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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on June 11, 2014

2014/06/11

Q: Australia's Defence Minister is currently visiting Japan. He said he is seeking greater military and technology cooperation with Japan, including the purchase of submarines. What is China's comment on that?

A: China always maintains that countries in the Asia-Pacific should carry out friendly cooperation without harming the interests of the third party and jointly safeguard regional stability, peace and prosperity.

Q: The 24th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea held a special session to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the validation of the Convention. What is China's comment on the Convention? What role has China played in international maritime affairs?

A: The 24th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea held a special session in New York on June 9 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the Convention. Ambassador Wang Min, Deputy Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations and head of the Chinese delegation to the Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea addressed the conference to call for the establishment of a harmonious maritime order and the resolution of disputes through negotiations between countries directly concerned.

China holds that the Convention establishes a basic legal framework for maritime order in modern times, which is widely accepted by countries around the world.

China attaches great importance to the development of marine endeavors, takes an active part in international maritime affairs and stands for the establishment and maintenance of a harmonious maritime order. A harmonious maritime order means that we should respect not only the sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction of all the littoral states, but also every country's right and freedom for the lawful and peaceful use of the sea. A harmonious maritime order requires all countries to uphold the spirit of the Convention, exercise their rights and interests in accordance with law and perform obligations and duties in good faith. When addressing items not covered in the Convention, regulations and principles of the general international law should be followed.

China firmly safeguards and promotes the rule of international maritime law and the peaceful resolution of maritime disputes. The Chinese government upholds an independent foreign policy of peace, abides by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as well as the stipulation of the Convention, peacefully resolves maritime disputes and respects the lawful rights of all countries to independently choose peaceful means to resolve disputes. The most effective and widely accepted approach for the peaceful settlement of maritime disputes is negotiation and consultation between countries directly concerned based on the respect for historical facts and international law. There are plenty of successful experience on that.

Q: The nuclear envoy from the ROK is in China for a visit. Please give us more details.

A: On June 10, Wu Dawei, Special Representative of the Chinese government on the Korean Peninsular Affairs held talks with Hwang Joon-kook, ROK Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs and head of the Six-Party Talks delegation. The two sides had in-depth exchange of views on the resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: The Chinese government recently applied for the inclusion of relevant files and documents related to the Nanjing Massacre and Japan's forced recruitment of the "comfort women" in the Memory of the World Register. Japan said that it has lodged a protest with China through diplomatic channel, requesting China to withdraw the application. What is China's response?

A: As I said yesterday, by filing applications to the Memory of the World Register, China aspires to memorize the history, treasure the peace, uphold the dignity of mankind and prevent behaviors against humanity, human rights and human being from happening again. We will definitely not accept the unjustifiable representations by the Japanese side and will not withdraw the application.

Q: It is reported that China and Russia submitted to the Geneva Conference on Disarmament an updated draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects. Please give us more details.

A: On June 10, China and Russia jointly submitted to the Geneva Conference on Disarmament an updated draft Treaty on the Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space, the Threat or Use of Force Against Outer Space Objects. The draft treaty takes into account new developments over recent years in terms of outer space security as well as opinions and concerns of all countries in a balanced way, amending and improving the draft treaty jointly proposed by China and Russia in 2008. It reflects the two countries' efforts to promote negotiation on and formulation of the treaty on arms control in outer space and prevent outer space arms race.

To safeguard peace and tranquility of outer space is the common responsibility of the international community. I would like to take the opportunity to reaffirm China's commitment to the peaceful use of outer space and opposition to weaponization and arms race in outer space. We call on the international community to work out a legally-binding international treaty through negotiation based on the draft treaty submitted by China and Russia as soon as possible, so as to fundamentally safeguard peace and security of outer space. We hope that some of the countries can listen attentively to the appeal of the international community and deal with the proposal for negotiation with a constructive attitude.

Q: The Vietnamese side said that China has sent six warships to guard its oil rig in the disputed waters. Will this raise tensions? Where has the oil rig been moved? How long will the drilling activities last?

A: China's 981 oil rig operation is non-governmental. Due to Vietnam's continuous, forceful and illegal disruptions, we have sent government vessels to the site for security.

We have repeatedly expounded on our position on the 981 drilling rig operation. Relevant operations by China are normal activities in the contiguous area of China's Xisha Islands. It is totally unjustifiable for the Vietnamese side to send large amounts of vessels, including armed ones to continuously, forcefully and illegally disrupt China's normal operations. To make matters worse, the Vietnamese side also condoned beating, smashing, looting and arson conducted by a few Vietnamese against companies and personnel of China and other countries, causing great property losses and casualties to China. The Vietnamese side is yet to give an explanation to us. We call on the Vietnamese side to immediately stop all the disruptive and destructive activities at the site, pull out all the vessels and personnel and stop all forms of infringement upon China's sovereignty, sovereign rights and jurisdiction.

As for how long the drilling activity will last, the notice issued by relevant Chinese authorities has made it clear. Exploration by the Chinese company in relevant waters has lasted for 10 years. The drilling operation which started on May 2 is expected to be carried on till mid-August.

Q: The Vietnamese media reported that a Vietnamese fishing boat was rammed and sunk by a Chinese vessel in the Beibu Bay, and people on board the Vietnamese boat were also injured. How do you respond?

A: I have not seen the report you mentioned and have no information on that.

Hua Chunying announces: Tomorrow afternoon, after the regular press conference, Vice Foreign Minister Wang Chao and Assistant Commercial Minister Wang Shouwen will hold a briefing and take questions about Premier Li Keqiang's annual meeting with the British Prime Minister and visits to the UK and Greece. Welcome to the briefing.

June 10 marks the second "Low Carbon Day" of China, and the Foreign Ministry has chosen this week to raise people's awareness of energy conservation. A variety of activities, such as low carbon office work, energy saving and environmental protection have been held over recent days following the theme of jointly pursuing a low carbon and energy conservative life style to bring back clear water and blue sky.

As issues concerning ecological environment draw more and more attention of the international community and become a hotspot relating to international politics, diplomacy, economy and other areas, energy conservation, emission reduction and low carbon development have also become an inevitable and important task of China in securing ecological progress.

We are ready to join everyone in practicing the idea of energy conservation and low carbon in our work and daily life and contribute our efforts to preserving the mother earth and realizing sustainable development of the world.

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