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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on February 28, 2014

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a press conference on February 28, 2014.

Q: Some people from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in Ukraine have recently taken to the street for independence. China has voiced its respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine in a range of political documents signed between the two countries following the establishment of diplomatic ties. Is there any change in your position?

A: China's position is consistent. We believe that the Ukrainian people can properly resolve the problems that the country is facing.

Q: The DPRK has reportedly test-fired several short-range missiles. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. We hope that relevant parties would stay committed to moving the situation on the Korean Peninsula toward relaxation and safeguarding peace and stability there.

Q: The Philippine media report that China has offered the Philippines incentives so as to stop the latter from submitting the South China Sea dispute to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. Please Confirm that. What is China's response?

A: The reports you mentioned are sheer fabrication. No one can shake the Chinese government's resolve of safeguarding national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. We will never trade away our sovereignty and territory. With reference to the Philippines' attempt of initiating arbitration proceeding against China regarding South China Sea dispute, China is firmly opposed to and will by no means accept that. This clear-cut position will not change.

Q: The Japanese official has reportedly responded to the call for the return of weapons-grade plutonium, but is yet to clarify issues concerning highly enriched and weapons-grade uranium. What is China's comment?

A: Uranium, be it highly enriched one or weapons-grade one, is sensitive nuclear material just like plutonium. Any supply-demand imbalance of these sensitive materials will put nuclear security in potential jeopardy and bring about risks of nuclear proliferation. We urge the Japanese government to be responsible and give explicit answers to the following questions: Is there any highly enriched and weapons-grade uranium in Japan? If so, how much does it have? What is the uranium for? Is the supply and demand in balance?

Q: The State Council Information Office released today the Human Rights Record of the US in 2013, criticizing the human rights practices and democratic system in the US. What is China's comment?

A: There is a reason behind everything. The US State Department made public the other day the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2013, making groundless accusation against the human rights situation in China once again.

The Chinese people are in the best position to judge the human rights situation in China. The US is always making indiscreet remarks or criticisms on the affairs of other countries, but it keeps silent on its own problems. This is a typical double-standard. We are happy to carry out dialogue and communication with other countries on human rights issue based on equality and mutual respect, but we are firmly opposed to interference in other country's domestic affairs under the pretext of human rights.

The Human Rights Record of the US in 2013 released by the State Council Information Office is to enable people to see whether the US, who wants to be a preacher of human rights, really has due credentials.

Q: Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said that he wondered why the Chinese side designated a national memorial day when it's already been over 60 years since WWII ended. How does China respond? What is China's purpose of doing so?

A: The two decisions adopted by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress have given clear answer to the question that why China designates the victory day of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japan's Aggression and a national memorial day to commemorate the victims in the Nanjing Massacre.

I want to point out that when we are no more than 70 years away from the end of WWII, some people in some country have already shown that they have a poor memory of history and suffer selective amnesia. They attempt to overturn the verdict on the history of aggression, negate the atrocity of Nanjing Massacre and pay homage to Class-A WWII criminals. The international community needs to be on high alert. Decisions by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which are necessary, come at the right time.

The Chinese people will never forget the huge national sacrifice in the war of resistance against Japan's aggression, nor will they forget the compatriots slaughtered in the Nanjing Massacre, just as the Americans will not forget the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Russians will not forget the Battle of Stalingrad, the Europeans will not forget the D-Day and the Jews will not forget the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

I also want to point out that Japan, the perpetrator and the defeated in WWII, stages so-called commemorative activities every year on August 15, the day that marks Japan's surrender. China, who is the victim to Japan's militarism and the victorious nation of the anti-fascist war, has every reason to mourn for the compatriots killed in the war and commemorate the victory of the war of resistance against Japan's aggression.

Q: A leading official of the Chinese Foreign Ministry yesterday issued a statement on the adoption of the decision on the victory day of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japan's Aggression and the decision of designating a national memorial day to commemorate the victims in the Nanjing Massacre by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. May I ask who the leading official is?

A: The leading official in question is a man who respects human dignity, who upholds the justice of history and who cherishes world peace. He speaks out the shared aspiration and heartfelt wishes of the Chinese people.

Q: Japan decided to set up a task force to re-examine the "Kono Statement", as the Japanese side regards the history concerning the forced recruitment of "comfort women" as controversial. What is China's comment?

A: The forced recruitment of "comfort women" is a grave crime against humanity committed by Japan's militarism to people from victimized Asian countries during WWII. It has inflicted severe physical and mental trauma on the victims, which is hardly healed even to this date. We hope that the Japanese side could be faithful to history and properly deal with this issue left over from history.

Many of the "comfort women" have passed away, and only a few are alive. We hope that the Japanese side could be responsible and properly deal with this issue, so that the living would be consoled and the deceased may rest in peace.

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