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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 10, 2014

Q: It is reported that China deployed another 700 peacekeepers to South Sudan to protect China's oil fields and workers there. Can you confirm that?

A: As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has been proactively participating in the UN peacekeeping missions. China's participation in any of the peacekeeping missions is to strictly perform the mandate of the Security Council, peacefully resolve disputes, promote development and reconstruction and safeguard regional peace and security. Recently the UN Security Council unanimously passed the Resolution 2155 on South Sudan, deciding to expand the peacekeeping activities of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). China stands ready to continue with more support to all peacekeeping missions including the UNMISS, and is currently in close communication with the UN Secretariat. Further information will be released if there is any.

Are these 700 people the largest peacekeeping forces China has ever deployed? What kind of soldiers are they?

As I just mentioned, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has been proactively participating in the UN peacekeeping missions. Up to now, China has sent the most peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, participated in 16 UN peacekeeping missions in Africa and has a total number of over 1,800 peacekeepers in Africa. We are willing to step up support to the peacekeeping activities of the UNMISS and are in close communication with the UN Secretariat. Further information will be released if there is any.

Q: First, it is reported that American President's National Security Adviser Susan Rice talked about the constitutional reform of Hong Kong with Chinese officials yesterday. How did China respond to that? Second, Vietnam accused Chinese vessels of harassing Vietnamese vessels in the Xisha Islands on September 9. What is China's comment on that?

A: On your first question, American President's National Security Adviser Ms. Susan Rice is visiting China. Chinese President Xi Jinping, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met and talked with her respectively, and relevant information has been released.

On the constitutional reform of Hong Kong, we have expressed our principle and position many times before. Hong Kong affairs including the constitutional reform are internal matters of China, and we firmly oppose to interference by any foreign country in any form.

On your second question, Vietnam's accusation against China in certain report is completely far from the truth. Upon verification, on August 15, a Vietnamese fishing vessel illegally entered waters of China's Xisha Islands to blow up fish. China's law enforcement authority boarded and inspected the vessel and confiscated a large amount of explosives in accordance with law. It should be pointed out that the Xisha Islands are China's inherent territory, and waters off the Xisha Islands are within China's jurisdiction beyond any dispute. China urges the Vietnamese side to take concrete actions to strengthen education and management of Vietnamese fishermen and stop the illegal fishing activities in waters off China's Xisha Islands.

Q: It is reported that Japan is talking with America about the possibility of purchasing offensive weapons so as to beef up Japan's military strength. What is China's comment on this?

A: Due to historical reasons, any policy move Japan takes in military and security areas has been closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community. In view of Japan's series of erroneous words and actions on historical issues and its moves to push for reinterpretation of the constitution and expansion of its army force, I believe that we have every reason to follow up and watch out for some of Japan's moves and intentions. We urge the Japanese side to face up to and reflect upon history, respect the security concerns of regional countries and pursue a path of peaceful development.

Q: According to a public opinion survey co-sponsored by China Daily and Japanese nonprofit think tank Genron NPO yesterday, the portion of Chinese people having a negative impression about Japan is 86.8%,and in Japan the corresponding figure hits as high as 93%. What is China's comment on this?

A: As countries cannot choose their neighbors, a stable and sound relationship between China and Japan meets the interests of the two countries and the region. Strong support and participation from people of the two countries are indispensable for the sound and stable development of Sino-Japanese relations in the long run. In face of the current situation of public opinions in the two countries, Japan should deeply reflect on this. We hope that the Japanese government and leaders can take practical actions to correct wrong policies and positions and make positive efforts to improve public opinions as well as develop bilateral ties.

Q: It is reported that there are some Chinese who joined the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Please confirm this. Does China have any plan to work with America against ISIS?

A: We have noted the recent report about Chinese citizens joining the ISIS. We are verifying and will follow up on this.

The Chinese government staunchly fights against any form of terrorism. China is facing realistic and direct threat from the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM). The international community should increase cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and equality, effectively combat terrorism and safeguard security and stability of the world and the region.

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