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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on March 23, 2016

Q: It is reported that Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has cancelled his visit to China to deal with a series of terrorist attacks back in Brussels. Please confirm this.

A: Yesterday Brussels was rocked by a series of terrorist attacks which caused heavy casualties. President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have sent messages of condolence to King Phillipe and Prime Minister Michel respectively right after the incident. The Chinese side strongly condemns the attacks, and extends deep condolences and sincere sympathies to the victims, the bereaved families and the injured. China is willing to enhance cooperation with Belgium on security and anti-terrorism, and push forward the joint efforts of the world to uproot all forms of terrorism and uphold peace and security of all countries and the world.

The Belgian side has confirmed that Prime Minister Michel can not visit China as scheduled because of domestic emergency. China understands that, and will maintain communication with the Belgian side on relevant issues.

Q: Will the Russian deputy Prime Minister come to China this week for the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2016?

A: The Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2016 will kick start soon. At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and other foreign leaders and officials will attend the conference upon invitation.

Q: There are media reports saying that after the clash between Chinese fishing vessel and Indonesian coast guard vessels, China has asked the Indonesian side not to disclose the incident to media. Can you confirm this?

A: We have all seen media reports about Indonesian officials briefing journalists on this incident. As friendly neighbors, we believe that properly and timely handling this issue in the spirit of friendly consultation and dialogue meets the common interests of both sides. China and Indonesia always and will continue to maintain close communication on relevant issue.

Q: Indonesia made strong complains to China about a Chinese coast guard vessel entering waters in the South China Sea that were involved in sovereign dispute. What is your comment?

A: 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. We are now in close communication with Indonesia on this. We have stated our position to Indonesia, and asked Indonesian side to release the detained Chinese fishing ship and ensure the safety of fishermen. It is hoped that the Indonesian side would bear in mind the general picture of bilateral relations and properly handle relevant issue through communication.

I also want to make a correction to what you said about "sovereign dispute". Indonesia has no territorial claims over China's Nansha Islands, and China fully agrees that Natuna Islands belong to Indonesia. As we always say and do in practice, bilateral disputes on the sea should be properly handled through friendly communication and consultation.

Q: Taiwan authorities today invited some foreign media to Taiping Dao. Is China concerned about this? Do you think this is appropriate? The Philippines has also invited foreign journalists to some islands and reefs quite often, and why doesn't China allow foreign media to visit Chinese islands and reefs?

A: Nansha Islands are China's inherent territory. Chinese people across the Strait have the responsibility to uphold the heritage of the Chinese nation.

I see you are very interested in whether China would organize foreign journalists to visit the Nansha Islands. Relevant islands and reefs are still under construction. When the condition is ripe, we will consider inviting foreign journalists to visit the islands and reefs.

Q: According to media reports, Japan's new security laws will take effect on March 29. What is your comment?

A: Due to history reasons, Japan's policy moves in military and security fields have long been closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community. We hope that the Japanese side would draw hard lessons from history, pay attention to the security concerns of its Asian neighbors, stick to the path of peaceful development, act cautiously in military and security fields and do more to enhance mutual trust among regional countries and promote regional peace and stability.

Q: It is reported that a diplomat from the DPRK had a car accident which killed others while driving in China, and compensations have been made. Can you confirm this?

A: In the early morning of February 10, a DPRK consular officer drove a car in Dandong, Liaoning Province and clashed with a taxi. The taxi driver and one passenger aboard died in the accident. Local traffic authorities immediately investigated and handled this case, and the DPRK consular officer has already compensated to the families of the dead.

Q: German President Gauck addressed a university in Shanghai today and talked about human rights and civil society. How do you respond?

A: I haven't seen reports about President Gauck's speech yet. We have noted that President Gauck's visit to China is to know more about China fully and objectively, just as he said when meeting with Chinese leaders. When meeting with President Xi Jinping, President Gauck mentioned that although different in social systems, China and Germany could move forward bilateral relations based on mutual respect and mutual trust. It is true that China and Germany differ in social systems and other aspects. As long as the two countries strengthen dialogue while respecting and treating each other equally, China and Germany can boost mutual trust and cooperation, and China-Germany relations will continue to lead China-Europe relations. This meets the interests of both countries.

Q: According to media reports, Chinese company ZTE was granted a temporary export license by the US government yesterday. Do you welcome this move?

A: We have noted that the US Department of Commerce and ZTE have made respective announcements. We hope that the two sides would continue to properly handle relevant issue through dialogue and consultation to ensure the sound and steady development of China-US economic and trade ties, which will benefit both countries.

Q: According to some Japanese media reports, Yingkou and Weifang ports of China have put a blanket ban on vessels from the DPRK. Can you confirm this?

A: First I would like to reiterate that China will implement UN Security Council Resolution 2270 in its entirety in a responsible and sincere way. We also notice from some recent media reports that Chinese ports have completely banned DPRK vessels. After serious and thorough check, relevant Chinese authorities found that those reports have no truth in them at all. I am not aware of the source of the information, and hope relevant media would report in a responsible way and not rely on hearsay evidence nor fabricate stories.

Q: It is reported that US government officials hoped to have technical dialogue with China on the deployment of THAAD in the ROK and explained that this system was only to defend the ROK from the DPRK's attacks, rather than target China. Does China want to have such a dialogue with the US?

A: THAAD is by no means a pure technical issue. China holds a consistent and clear stance when it comes to anti-missiles, and we are fully aware of the essence and danger of the relevant issue. Any country, when pursuing its own security interests, should bear in mind the security interests of other countries as well as regional peace and stability. The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is highly sensitive and complex. We urge relevant country to handle relevant issue prudently, and refrain from doing anything that undermines China's strategic security interests.

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