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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on March 21, 2016

Q: US President Barack Obama signed a bill on March 18, asking the US Secretary of State to develop a strategy to obtain observer status for Taiwan in the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol). What is your comment?

A: Interpol is an intergovernmental organization made up of sovereign states. Eligibility of membership is clearly stated in its legal materials. China always deals with Taiwan's participation in international organizations in line with the one-China principle, and this position is clear and consistent. Chinese mainland and relevant sides have made practical arrangements for how Taiwan would participate in Interpol's cooperation on combating criminal offenses. Such arrangements have been proved effective.

The Taiwan issue is China's domestic affair. China urges the US to abide by the one-China policy and principles enshrined in the three communiques between China and the US, and refrain from supporting Taiwan to join any international organization so as not to hurt Cross-Straits relations and China-US relations.

Q: US President Barack Obama is now visiting Cuba. Do you think that the improved US-Cuba ties will impact relations between China and Cuba?

A: We have noticed President Obama's visit to Cuba. We believe that it is a good thing that the US and Cuba are normalizing bilateral relations, and we are happy to see its result. The US has blocked Cuba for over half a century. The two countries are now carrying out dialogues and exchanges, which are in the interests of the two peoples and also conducive to regional peace, stability and development. It is hoped that the two sides would build on this good momentum. We also call on the US to completely lift its blockade policy on Cuba as soon as possible.

We also noticed that recently there have been some reports linking China-Cuba relations to US-Cuba relations. I would like to point out that mutual benefit and win-win results are dominant features of international relations in today's world. China and Cuba have long enjoyed friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation. We will deepen our relations with Cuba, and this does not target nor affect any third party.

Q: It is reported that the Indonesian government summoned the Chinese ambassador to Indonesia today and complained that a Chinese coast guard vessel had infringed upon the Indonesian waters when being involved in a dispute between a Chinese fishing vessel and Indonesian coast guards. Can you tell us if the Chinese coast guard vessel was in Indonesian or Chinese waters?

A: This incident took place in traditional Chinese fishing grounds, and the Chinese fishing vessel was carrying out normal operations in this area. On March 19, after the relevant fishing vessel was attacked and harassed by an armed Indonesian ship, a Chinese coast guard ship went to assist and did not enter the Indonesian territorial waters. The Chinese side has immediately asked the Indonesian side to release the detained Chinese fishermen and ensure their personal safety. It is hoped that the Indonesian side would bear in mind the general picture of bilateral relations and properly handle this incident.

Indonesia has no territorial claims over the Nansha Islands. Natuna Islands belong to Indonesia, and there is no objection from China on that. Maritime disputes between the two countries should be properly handled through bilateral negotiation.

Fishery cooperation is a major component of China-Indonesia mutually beneficial cooperation. China is consistently against illegal fishing, and believes that the two sides should press ahead with fishery cooperation in a constructive way including enhancing exchanges and cooperation on fishery governance and law enforcement and properly handle disputes. In the past two days, China and Indonesia have maintained close communication in order to properly deal with the current issues surrounding fishery.

Q: Nepal's Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli is now visiting China. He will meet with Chinese leaders and the two sides will sign a series of agreements. Can you give us more details?

A: At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Nepali Prime Minister K.P.Sharma Oli is paying an official visit to China while attending the Boao Forum for Asia. Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Oli held a meeting this morning, and President Xi Jinping will meet with Prime Minister Oli this afternoon. Relevant information will be released soon.

Q: A suicide bombing rocked central Istanbul, Turkey on March 19, leaving many people dead or injured. How does China comment on this? Is there any Chinese citizen affected?

A: The Chinese side strongly denounces this terrorist attack, and sends condolences to the victims. China fights against any form of terrorism, and calls on the international community to enhance coordination and combat terrorism through joint efforts.

The Chinese Embassy in Turkey and the Consulate-General in Istanbul have initiated emergency response mechanism right after the incident. No casualties of Chinese citizens have been reported up to now. The Foreign Ministry and the Chinese embassy and the consulate in Turkey have issued security warnings, advising Chinese citizens not to go to Turkey for the time being, and Chinese citizens in Turkey to stay indoors as much as possible and avoid going to sensitive or populous areas.

Q: It is reported that the DPRK launched several missiles to the eastern waters of the Korean Peninsula this afternoon. Do you have any comment?

A: We are concerned about the current situation on the Peninsula. We hope that the DPRK would not do anything that violates the UN Security Council resolutions, and hope that relevant parties would keep calm and exercise restraint and avoid taking any action that may escalate rivalry and tensions.

Q: The Taiwan side said today that China's restoration of diplomatic ties with Gambia was to put pressure on Tsai Ing-wen. Did the mainland do this to impose pressure on Tsai Ing-wen?

A: My colleague has taken this question last week. The time for China's restoration of diplomatic ties with Gambia was set upon consultation. It has been long since Gambia severed its so called "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan. China and Gambia's restoration of diplomatic relations does not target anyone.

I also want to emphasize that there is only one China in the world. Mainland and Taiwan belong to one same China, and China's sovereignty and territorial integrity shall not be undermined. The Chinese government is committed to developing friendly and cooperative relations with all countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the one-China principle. We always deal with Taiwan's relations with others following the one-China principle, and object to activities aiming to create "two Chinas" or "one China and one Taiwan".

Q: It is reported that during the US-Philippines annual diplomatic and defensive strategic dialogue held on March 18, consensus was reached on the Philippines granting US military vessels and planes access to five military bases written in the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, including one "close to the South China Sea". How do you respond?

A: I have noted relevant report. The US-Philippines cooperation should not target a third party, even less jeopardize the sovereign and security interests of other countries or affect regional peace and stability.

I also want to mention that the US military has kept talking about the so-called militarization in the South China Sea. Maybe they can explain whether their increased military deployment in the South China Sea and nearby areas is an action of militarization or not?

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