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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on July 28, 2017

2017/07/28

At the invitation of the government of the Islamic State of Iran, Director He Lifeng of the National Development and Reform Commission will travel to Tehran as President Xi Jinping's Special Envoy to attend the inaugural ceremony of Iranian President Rouhani on August 5.

The friendly China-Iran relations have been developing with a sound momentum since the establishment of diplomatic ties. During President Xi Jinping's successful state visit to Iran in January 2016, the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership was established, ushering a new chapter for bilateral relations. China attaches high importance to its relations with Iran and stands ready to work with Iran to consolidate traditional friendship, deepen practical cooperation, and move forward the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership.

Q: Commander Swift of the US Navy Pacific Fleet yesterday said at a meeting in Australia that he would hypothetically follow President Trump's orders to launch a nuclear missile at China. A spokesman for the US Pacific Fleet later clarified that the premise of the question was ridiculous and Swift was addressing the principle of civilian authority of the military. What is your comment?

A: You just answered your own question. This piece of news has been followed by many people, but as you said, the spokesman for the US Pacific Fleet had pointed out the fallacy of the relevant contents.

Q: UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in Australia yesterday that the UK would send two new aircraft carriers on a freedom of navigation operation to the area. he did not specify exactly where the carriers would be sent. But UK Defense Minister said they won't be constrained by China from sailing through the South China Sea. Johnson also urged all parties in the South China Sea to respect freedom of navigation and international law. How do you respond to these remarks by UK senior officials?

A: We have noted these remarks recently made by some government officials. But I wonder whether you have noticed that not a single regional country is involved in hyping up tension in the South China Sea. At present, countries in the region are working together to safeguard and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity, yet we see some countries outside the region who insist on stirring up trouble while the situation is trending towards calm in the South China Sea. Whoever they are, under whatever pretexts and whatever they say, their precedents of interfering in other regions on high-sounding reasons but only leaving behind chaos and humanitarian disaster warrant sharp alert of regional countries and people.

Q: China holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council this month. At the beginning of this month, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said that the Security Council will hold nearly 30 meetings and two open debates in July to deliberate on a series of international and regional issues. We are nearing the end of July, can you talk more about what China has done this month?

A: China holds the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council this month. Upholding the principle of objectivity, fairness, high efficiency, pragmatism, transparency and openness, China ensures that the Security Council fulfills the mandates of the UN Charter and organizes its work in a positive way. To this day, the Security Council has held more than thirty meetings, adopted four resolutions, issued four presidential statement and several press statements on international and regional hot-spot issues including Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, and Cyprus.

At China's initiation, an open debate on capacity building in Africa to maintain peace and security was held, attended by representatives from more than 60 countries and international organizations, including UN Secretary-General Guterres and Smail Chergui, the Commissioner for Peace and Security of the AU. The meeting enhanced the awareness of the international community on peace and security capacity-building in Africa, focusing on helping Africa resolve its practical difficulties, offering real help for African countries, and realizing peace, stability, and development in Africa. The meeting achieved its expected goals.

In light of the tense situation in Jerusalem and in response to the requirements of Egypt and other Security Council members, China convened an emergency meeting to learn about the latest development, focus the attention of the Security Council on the al-Aqsa Mosque incident and its aftermath, and commit efforts to cooling down the situation and creating conditions for dialogues between Palestine and Israel. The Chinese delegation gave a full account of President Xi Jinping's four-point proposal on resolving the Palestinian issue and called on all relevant parties to respond positively. The constructive efforts China has made as the president of the Security Council on resolving the Palestinian issue have won acclaim from all sides, including Palestine.

As a permanent member of the Security Council, China will keep playing a positive role in the Security Council works and make new contributions to maintaining international peace and security.

Q: First, at the foreign ministers' meetings on East Asia cooperation in Manila, are there plans to hold sideline meetings with the DPRK? If so, what do you hope to achieve through those discussions? Secondly, are there concerns that the DPRK tensions will overshadow discussions on the South China Sea at the forum?

A: On your first question, we attach great importance to the foreign ministers'meetings on East Asia cooperation. We said before that we support the Philippines as the president of ASEAN this year in organizing activities to promote regional cooperation. As for the detailed arrangements for the Chinese delegation, we will let you know in due course.

On your second question, I just said that the situation in the South China Sea is cooling down. We don't think that there is a so-called tense situation in the region as played up and exaggerated by some countries.

Q: According to Japanese media, the president of Japan-China Youth Exchange Association who was arrested in February was indicted last month. On what grounds was he indicted?

A: As far as I know, the relevant department in China arrested Hideji Suzuki in accordance with law, if he is the one you are referring to. We had informed this to the Japanese side and arranged several consular visits. I can tell you that China will deal with this case in accordance with law. Meanwhile, we will protect the lawful rights and interests of the person involved in accordance with law. If you need to know more, I would refer you to the competent authority.

Q: The Japanese government said today that it will take steps to freeze the assets of two Chinese companies as part of additional sanctions with the DPRK. What is China's comment?

A: You must be very clear with China's position on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. I need to stress that China is committed to realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and comprehensively implementing DPRK-related resolutions of the Security Council in entirety. Meanwhile, we oppose unilateral sanctions imposed by any country outside the framework of the Security Council, and in this case we oppose sanctioning Chinese entities and individuals. Japan will only end up hurting itself by following the footsteps of some country and taking a move that harm others without benefiting itself. Here, I solemnly tell the Japanese side that China will never accept the wrongdoing of the Japanese side and demand the Japanese side to retract its wrong decision. If Japan insists on carrying on, the China-Japan relations and bilateral cooperation on the Korean Peninsula issue would face tremendous political obstacles, the consequence of which shall be borne by the Japanese side.

Q:The US Senate voted yesterday for US sanctions on Russia, Iran and the DPRK, which might apply to the Chinese companies which operate in these three countries. Does China have any comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. We also noticed that Russia, Germany and France have given their responses, which you must know more clearly than I do. In principle, China maintains that disputes between countries shall be properly handled through friendly consultations. We do not approve the use of unilateral sanctions at every turn.

If China's interests are affected in any way, we have said many times that China opposes unilateral sanctions aimed at hurting the interests of Chinese entities and individuals by any country citing its own domestic laws.

Q: The Italian police on Wednesday detained Dolkun Isa, a member of the World Uighur Congress who holds a German passport. Did China request or have any contact with Italian officials in relation to his detention?

A: Dolkun Isa is a terrorist wanted on the red notice of the Interpol and by the Chinese police. To bring him to justice is what should be done. The international community should work together to firmly crack down on all forms of terrorism including the terrorist forces of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement.

Q: The ROK government today officially announced that it will conduct a general environmental impact assessment on the THAAD site to replace the previous small-sized ones. What is your comment?

A: China's position on the THAAD issue is clear and consistent and is subject to no change. We strongly urge relevant countries to immediately stop and revoke the deployment of the THAAD system.

Q: Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada today announced her resignation. What is your comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. This belongs to Japan's domestic affairs.

Q: I know a journalist just asked about the UK planning to send military vessels to the South China Sea. And the British side also said yesterday that China should do more to contain the threat of DPRK's nuclear and missile programs. Does China believe that such moves by the UK would hinder the China-UK relationship which is in its golden era?

A: We have recently taken many questions about the South China Sea and the Korean Peninsula. On the issue of the South China Sea, we would like to tell those outside the region that China and ASEAN countries are working to further stabilize the situation in the South China Sea, and promote peace, stability and prosperity in the region. It is hoped that countries without will not make waves and stir up troubles.

On the issue of the Korean Peninsula, we have been saying that China is not the cause of the issue and does not hold the key to resolving it. China will work together with all parties to seek for a political and proper settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through peaceful negotiation and consultation. And that requires the concerted efforts, practical and flexible attitude of all parties.

As for whether what the UK lately said and did would affect the bilateral relationship, I want to tell you that China is sincere about developing the golden era of the China-UK relationship, but a good relationship between any pairs of countries won't be possible without joint efforts of both sides.

This year's summer recess of the Foreign Ministry's regular press conference will start on July 31 (Monday) and end on August 11 (Friday). During the recess, the Spokesperson's Office will take your questions by phone and fax. Wish you a happy summer vacation, and see you on August 14 (Monday)!

After the press conference, the following question was asked: Pakistan's Supreme Court has delivered a final ruling on the case linking the premier's family to offshore businesses. It asked the electoral committee to disqualify Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from public office. Sharif accepted the ruling. What is your comment?

The Spokesperson said that we have noted relevant reports. This is the internal affair of Pakistan. As a friendly neighbor, China hopes that all parties and sections in Pakistan can prioritize state and national interests, properly deal with their domestic affairs, maintain unity and stability, and keep focusing on the economic and social development.

The all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan has withstood the test of times. We believe that the China-Pakistan strategic cooperative partnership will not be affected by the change of the situation inside Pakistan. China stands ready to work with Pakistan to continue jointly building the Belt and Road and build a community of shared future, which serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples and promotes peace and development of the region and beyond.

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