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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on January 5, 2015

Q: The Eurasian Economic Union initiated by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan was officially launched on January 1. What is China's comment on that?

A: All member states of the Eurasian Economic Union are friendly neighbors of China. The Chinese side respects efforts by parties concerned to advance regional economic cooperation and supports their pursuit for common development by drawing on each other's strength and sharing interests. The Chinese side is also willing to carry out cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union and work hand in hand for regional peace, stability and development.

Q: US President Barack Obama signed on January 2 an executive order authorizing the imposition of sanctions against individuals and entities having connections with the government of the DPRK and the Workers' Party of Korea in response to the recent cyber attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment. What is China's comment on that? Does the Chinese side support it?

A: We have taken note of that. The relatively stable situation on the Korean Peninsula does not come easily. All parties concerned should act cautiously, avoid taking measures that may escalate the situation and stay united in safeguarding peace and stability of the Peninsula.

On the issue of cyber security, the Chinese side has repeatedly expressed its opposition to all forms of cyber attacks and prohibition of illegal activities including cyber attacks conducted by any country or individual in China or with the use of China's facilities. Such activities, if caught, will be handled in strict accordance with law.

Q: The Japanese Emperor released his "New Year Thoughts" on January 1, in which he said it is important for Japan to take the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII as an opportunity to learn from the history of this war starting with the September 18 Incident and consider the future of the country. On the same day, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan as a free and democratic country sticking to the path of peaceful development has contributed to post-war peace and prosperity of the world while reflecting upon WWII. What is China's comment on that?

A: We have noted relevant remarks made by Japanese leaders. Only by facing up to the past, can Japan embrace the future. It is hoped that the Japanese side can live up to its words, view and deal with the history of aggression correctly and earnestly, stay true to the solemn statement and commitment it has made on historical issues, learn hard lessons from history, follow the path of peaceful development and work constructively for peace, stability and development of the region.

Q: The search for the missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 is still ongoing. Can you update us on China's engagement in the search and rescue work?

A: In light of the need of the Indonesian side in its search and rescue mission, experts with professional devices from the Civil Aviation Administration of China will head to the waters designated by the Indonesian government to help search for the black box of the missing aircraft. Chinese Marine Search and Rescue Center has mobilized salvage ships of China's Ministry of Transport to join the search and rescue efforts in relevant waters.

Q: Last month, an escaped soldier from the DPRK shot dead four Chinese citizens in a village near the border of China and the DPRK in Yanbian, Jilin province. Please confirm that.

A: China has lodged representations with the DPRK side. China's Public Security Department is now processing the case in accordance with law.

Q: The Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office in the US held a flag-raising ceremony on the New Year's Day. What is China's comment on that?

A: We are resolutely opposed to the so-called flag-raising ceremony staged by Taiwan's office in the US, and have lodged solemn representations with the American side. The Chinese side requests the American side to adhere to the one-China policy and the principles established by the three China-US joint communiqués, act with discretion when dealing with Taiwan-related issues and avoid the recurrence of similar incident.

Q: It is reported that Chinese and Indian border troops in the western section of the China-India boundary celebrated the New Year together on January 1, expressing their goodwill of jointly safeguarding peace of the border areas. Please confirm and give us more details.

A: Over recent years, China and India have established a host of mechanisms for cooperation and communication in safeguarding peace and tranquility in the border areas. Generally speaking, relevant cooperation and communication is effective, which helps maintain overall peace and tranquility in the border areas between China and India.

As far as I have learned, relevant activity is a New Year get-together held by the two sides in accordance with existing agreement. The two sides conveyed to each other their best wishes for the New Year. It is positive for the enhancement of communication and mutual trust between the border troops of China and India, demonstrating their resolve and readiness to uphold peace and stability in the border areas.

The Chinese side is full of confidence in maintaining the enduring peace of China-India border and is ready to work with the Indian side in line with the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, constantly improve and promote relations between the two border troops and make joint efforts to ensure peace and tranquility of the border areas.

Q: The signing ceremony of the Host Country Agreement on the Conduct of Dispute Settlement Proceedings by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hong Kong SAR was held in Beijing on January 4. Please give us more details about the event and duties of the PCA. How do you view the signing of the agreement?

A: The signing ceremony of the Host Country Agreement on the Conduct of Dispute Settlement Proceedings by the PCA in the Hong Kong SAR was held in Beijing on January 4. Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, representing the central government of China, signed the agreement with the Secretary-General of the PCA, Mr. Hugo Hans Siblesz. Mr. Rimsky Yuen, the Secretary for Justice of the Hong Kong SAR signed the Memorandum of Administrative Arrangements with the PCA. The National People's Congress, the Supreme People's Court of China, the Supreme People's Procuratorate of China, relevant departments of the State Council and some foreign diplomatic envoys in China attended the ceremony.

The 115-member PCA was established by the Convention for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes enacted in 1899 and revised in 1907 in the Hague, the Netherlands. As an international arbitration institution with a time-honored history, the court has made outstanding contributions to the peaceful settlement of international disputes. China is the original member of the court. Since its resumption of activities in the court in 1993, China has appointed several Chinese arbitrators. Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin is now serving as an arbitrator.

The approval of the conduct of dispute resolution proceedings by the PCA in the Hong Kong SAR is an important measure taken by the central Chinese government in practicing "one country, two systems", steering and supporting the SAR government in carrying out legal cooperation with foreign countries. It will enable Hong Kong to play a bigger role as a regional center for law and arbitration and as an international commercial hub. It will help maintain long-lasting prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and promote the rule of law, justice and harmony of the region.

Q: One ROK citizen was executed by China's judicial authority for drugs smuggling. Are you aware of that?

A: The case has been dealt with in accordance with law by competent authorities in China. It is to my knowledge that China has provided convenience and assistance to the consular officials of the ROK side in their performance of consular duties.

Drug-related offences are universally-recognized serious crimes, posing grave danger to the society. We hope all countries can work towards improving their citizens' awareness about that.

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