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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 21, 2015

The ASEM Industry Dialogue on Connectivity will be held in Chongqing from May 27 to 28. Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of the State Council will attend and address the opening ceremony. The theme of the dialogue is "Advancing Asia-Europe Connectivity Through Innovation". Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia Yim Chhaily, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance of the Slovak Republic Peter Kazimir and others will attend the dialogue upon invitation.

At the invitation of Secretary Nikolai Patrushev of the Security Council of the Russian Federation, State Councilor Yang Jiechi will attend the fifth meeting of BRICS senior representatives on security issues and host the eleventh China-Russia Strategic Security Consultation in Moscow from May 25 to 26.

Q: The DPRK said yesterday that it has developed the capacity to miniaturize and diversify nuclear weapons. What is China's comment on the DPRK's advancement in nuclear weapon technologies?

A: I have noted the report. The Chinese side stays committed to realizing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability of the Peninsula and resolving problems through dialogue and consultation. Given the complex and sensitive situation on the Peninsula, the Chinese side calls on all parties concerned to keep calm, exercise restraint, avoid provoking each other, do more to ease the tension and make joint and tangible efforts to uphold peace and stability of the Peninsula and push for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly told a conference yesterday in Jakarta, Indonesia that land reclamation by China in the South China Sea risks provoking tension, instability and can even lead to conflict. He said that the US does not take sides on issues concerning the sovereignty over the South China Sea but strongly opposes actions that aim to advance a claim by force or coercion. How does China respond?

A: China carries out construction within the scope of sovereignty, with the aim of providing services for search and rescue, disaster prevention and reduction and navigation security in the South China Sea, and better performing China's international responsibilities and duties. It is a peaceful cause for public interests, and thus beyond reproach. The speculation by the US does not hold water. The relevant remarks will do no good at all to the settlement of relevant disputes, nor will they help maintain mutual trust among countries in the region as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea. It will only end up encouraging a few countries to take different provocative actions.

It is hoped that the US can honor its commitment of not taking sides on issues relating to sovereignty, take an objective and fair look at the relevant issue on its own merits, be discreet with words and deeds, refrain from making inappropriate remarks and play a more constructive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability.

Q: It is reported that the Chinese navy issued warnings as a US surveillance plane on Wednesday flew over China's islands in the South China Sea. Please confirm that.

A: I am not aware of the specifics. I would like to reiterate that China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. The Chinese side is entitled to monitor the situation in relevant waters and airspace, so as to guard against any harm to China's national security and maritime and aerial accidents. The Chinese side urges the relevant country to respect China's sovereignty as well as rights and interests, avoid taking any action that may complicate or exacerbate the disputes and play a constructive role for regional peace and stability.

Q: It is reported that on May 20, the Indonesian side blew up and sank 41 foreign fishing vessels suspected of illegal fishing. These vessels were from Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, China and other countries. What is China's comment on that?

A: The Chinese side expresses strong concern about the relevant report. We are checking up on what has happened and calling on the Indonesian side to make a clarification on that. Fishery cooperation is part and parcel of the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Indonesia. We always ask the Indonesian side to advance fishery cooperation with China in a constructive attitude and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies.

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