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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on August 24, 2016

The 11th G20 Summit will be held in Hangzhou, Zhejiang on September 4 and 5. The following leaders from G20 members, guest countries and international organizations will attend the summit at the invitation of President Xi Jinping: President Mauricio Macri of Argentina, Brazilian leader, President Francois Hollande of France, President Joko Widodo of Indonesia, President Park Geun-hye of the ROK, President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico, President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, President Barack Obama of the US, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi of Italy, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, Prime Minister Theresa May of the UK, President Donald Tusk of the European Council, President Jean-Claud Juncker of the European Commission, Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Muhammad bin Salman Al Saud of Saudi Arabia, President Idriss Deby of Chad, President Abdel Fatah al-Sesi of Egypt, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, President Bounnhang Vorachith of Laos, President Macky Sall of Senegal, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy of Spain, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha of Thailand, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo, Director-General Guy Ryder of the International Labor Organization, President Mark Carney of the Financial Stability Board, Secretary-General Angel Gurria of the OECD, etc..

At the invitation of Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of the State Council, Deputy Crown Prince, Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud will visit China from August 29 to 31 and join Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli for the first meeting of the high-level committee between governments of China and Saudi Arabia.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed will also attend the 11th G20 Summit.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly will visit China from August 25 to 27.

Q: How are the preparations going for the upcoming G20 Hangzhou Summit? As we can see from the list of leaders coming for the Summit, quite a few of them are from developing countries. Does this Summit have the widest participation of developing countries? What does that mean for the development of G20 in the future?

A: China, especially Hangzhou, has started the countdown to the G20 Summit. Preparations leading up to the Summit, including the venue and supporting facilities, arrangements for major activities, protocol and logistic services, are well underway. China is ready, and Hangzhou is ready to welcome friends from afar.

Intense but orderly, preparations for the Summit were made in an open, transparent and inclusive manner. Up till now, the Chinese side has held three Sherpa meetings, three Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meetings, and finance and central bank deputies meetings as well as dozens of working group meetings in various fields. G20 meetings for agriculture ministers, energy ministers, trade ministers and employment ministers have been held in succession. We have had talks with people representing different walks of life, such as business, youth, women, labor force, think tanks and civil societies, and with G77, African countries, LDCs, landlocked countries, small island states, the British Commonwealth and French-speaking countries. We pay heed to voices and opinions of different parties, laying a solid groundwork for the Hangzhou Summit.

The G20 Hangzhou Summit is expected to reach nearly 30 outcomes if all of us work together. That will make the Summit one of the most fruitful ones. As the Summit is drawing near, we can sense the international community's expectation for the Summit. Countries all hope to ensure the success of the Summit through intensified cooperation and inject strong impetus to world economic growth.

As for the participation of developing countries, indeed, the number of developing countries invited to the Hangzhou Summit is larger than any previous meetings. Developed and developing countries will sit down as equal partners and explore how to realize long-term and steady world economic growth at the Summit, which showcases that this Summit is much more representative and inclusive. Developing countries' voice will be clearly heard at the Hangzhou Summit. Developed and developing countries making decisions on global economic affairs through consultation on an equal footing reflects a major change in the world economic landscape. It answers the trend of the times, and is a historical progress.

Q: The DPRK fired a submarine-launched ballistic missile off its east coast this morning. The missile flew about 500 km, marking the longest distance ever. Reports say that the DPRK has made much progress in relevant technology. Some US scholars attribute progress by the DPRK in this regard to China's relaxation of sanctions against the DPRK in retaliation for the deployment of THAAD by the US and the ROK. What is your response?

A: On your first question, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive. We believe that all parties concerned should refrain from escalating tension. Everyone has the obligation to safeguard peace and stability of the region.

On your second question, everybody knows that China, as a permanent member of the Security Council, has a perfect record of fulfilling international obligations and observing Security Council resolutions. We know well what our obligations are, and we also hope that all the other parties concerned will fully and precisely implement Resolution 2270. This resolution not only contains sanctions against the DPRK's nuclear tests, but also requires all relevant parties to avoid raising tension in the region. We all have the responsibility to safeguard peace and stability of the region, and create conditions for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: Reports say that there are about 200 Chinese fishing vessels circling the rim of Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone off its east coast. Some vessels use "tiger nets" and keep transmitting false AIS locations. What is your comment on that? Is China trying to target Japan's fishing industry?

A: According to what we have learnt from competent authorities, some Chinese fishing vessels conduct fishing activities on the high sea in Northern Pacific under the permission of the Chinese government. Squid jigging, light seining, saury stick-held netting are their major approaches for fishing. Given what was told by the Japanese side, relevant agencies of China made close inspection and found that Chinese fishing vessels had never fished in any way prohibited or restricted by international or regional fishery management organizations. It is also not true that Chinese fishing boats deliberately send wrong locations.

I want to stress that as a responsible fishery country, China pays attention to and stays committed to preserving and making rational use of world fishing resources, improving domestic laws and regulations on fishery, cooperating with relevant international and regional fishery organizations as well as other major fishery countries, following preservation and management measures and fulfilling corresponding international obligations.

Q: New Zealand Police said in a statement on August 23 that they had reached a deal with Yan Yongming for him to pay a fine to settle the legal action following a money-laundering inquiry. This result reflects the effective working relationship between law enforcement agencies of China and New Zealand. Can you give us more details about cooperation between China and New Zealand in the case? Will China ask for the repatriation of Yan?

A: Information from the competent authorities shows that the Chinese and New Zealand police have been in close cooperation on pursuing Yan Yongming, a suspect of economic offence, and retrieving his ill-gotten money. The seizing of Yan's assets by New Zealand is an achievement of bilateral cooperation. In the next step, the Chinese and New Zealand police will continue with their law enforcement cooperation concerning the case of Yan.

Q: First, yesterday a UN human rights envoy complained about Chinese government's interference during his work here and also criticized China's policies toward ethnic minorities. Do you have any response to his comments? Second, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he hoped for formal talks on the South China Sea within the year with China, and that he would not raise the issue at the upcoming East Asia Summit. What is your comment on that?

A: On your first question, UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights Philip Alston visited China from August 15 to 23 at the invitation of the Chinese government. Following the principle of equality and mutual respect, China and the Special Rapporteur jointly drew up the schedule of the latter's visit to China through consultation. While in China, the Special Rapporteur met with senior officials from over 10 government agencies, and legislative and judicial authorities, talked with Chinese experts and scholars, and paid a visit to Yunnan Province.

The Special Rapporteur spoke highly of China's achievement in poverty eradication, social and economic development and improvement of people's well being, and praised the CPC and the Chinese government for their strong political willingness to alleviate poverty.

I have learnt that the Special Rapporteur also met with UN officials in China, diplomats, NGOs and individuals in private on the sidelines of the official agenda. There is no such thing as the Special Rapporteur being interfered by the Chinese government when engaging with some scholars, and the claim about an activist being harassed when planning to meet with the Special Rapporteur is even more preposterous.

I would like to make two points on what the Special Rapporteur said after this visit.

First of all, after paying visits to China, both the Special Rapporteur and most other people who take a great interest in China's human rights endeavor come to an objective conclusion, that is, China has made huge headway in the past several decades on economic and social development as well as the human rights condition under the leadership of the Chinese government.

Second, some of them may still be reluctant to admit that China's achievement is basically attributable to its path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Some of them may have a stereotype about human rights, and find China odd as it does not go their way. If they do care about human rights and the social and economic development of developing countries, it is hoped that they will take an unbiased view and do some serious thinking. The fact is that the model they have been promoting has not brought progress and genuine human rights to the majority of people in many developing countries.

On your second question, we have noted the Philippine President's relevant remarks. China welcomes President Duterte's remarks that the Philippines would not bring up the South China Sea issue in the upcoming meetings on East Asia cooperation. China remains committed to peacefully resolving disputes in the South China Sea with countries directly concerned including the Philippines through negotiation and consultation, and upholding regional peace and stability alongside ASEAN countries. China and the Philippines are friendly neighbors. The two countries have the capability and the wisdom to properly address relevant issues through consultation, bring bilateral relations back to the track of sound and stable development, and deliver benefits to the people. We look forward to having dialogue with the Philippines at an early date.

Q: Italy was hit by an earthquake this afternoon. Is China willing to help with Italy's earthquake relief efforts?

A: We have heard about the earthquake and hereby express our sympathy to the Italian people over the loss of lives and properties caused by the earthquake. We will prepare ourselves for assistance to or cooperation with Italy in light of the latter's need. Chinese diplomatic missions there will activate the emergency response mechanism and monitor closely whether Chinese citizens were hurt in the earthquake.

Q: The DPRK fired once again a ballistic missile this morning. Will China get tougher with its sanctions on the DPRK?

A: As I just said, the situation on the Peninsula is complex and sensitive. We are against any words or deeds that may ratchet up tension and undermine peace and stability of the region. It is the long-standing position of China.

Q: The China-Japan-ROK foreign ministers' meeting has concluded. Can you update us on the outcomes of the meeting? How will you comment on the meeting?

A: The Chinese side has released information about Foreign Minister Wang Yi's attendance at the meeting and the three foreign ministers' joint meeting with the press.

We believe that pragmatic cooperation among the three countries in various fields has made positive progress since important consensus was reached by the three leaders during their meeting last year. It is worth cherishing by the three countries. Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated that this foreign ministers' meeting will definitely create a favorable atmosphere for the G20 Hangzhou Summit in early September and set the stage for leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation to be held in the first half of September.

In the face of new changes to regional and international landscapes, the three parties agreed to shoulder the responsibility of promoting economic growth of East Asia, leading East Asia cooperation, safeguarding peace and stability of East Asia and making more contribution to the renewal of entire Asia as well as peace and development of the world. The three parties reached an important agreement that special efforts shall be made in four areas, namely political mutual trust, pragmatic cooperation, people-to-people exchanges and sustainable growth. These are like four wheels driving forward trilateral cooperation.

We believe that consensus reached at this meeting is of great significance to further promoting trilateral cooperation, accelerating regional economic integration and forging a synergy for peace, stability and prosperity of the region.

Q: My question is about the China-Japan-ROK foreign ministers' meeting. On Monday you said that this was a trilateral meeting and there was no element of bilateral meeting involved, then on Tuesday you said that there may be some aspects of bilateral meeting unavoidable. Did Foreign Minister Wang Yi talk in a bilateral way with his Japanese counterpart about disputes over Diaoyu Dao? Did he talk with the ROK foreign minister about tensions over the deployment of the THAAD system?

A: That is not what I said. I said on Monday that this was a regular multilateral meeting rather than a bilateral visit. At that time, several media especially the Japanese media reported the meeting as Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Japan, so I made clarification on that. I also said that it is quite normal for relevant parties to have some bilateral contact or communication on such a multilateral occasion. As you have already known, bilateral contact did occur on the sidelines of the meeting. Chinese and ROK foreign ministers met with each other. As for whether there will be a meeting between Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers, the information will be released in a timely fashion.

As for whether issues you mentioned will be touched upon if there is a meeting between Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers, as I said yesterday, the Japanese side has taken a series of negative moves on relations with China and on the issue of the South China Sea in particular. If there is going to be a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will definitely make clear China's solemn position with the Japanese side, asking the Japanese side to take concrete steps and come back to the track of working alongside China for the sound and steady growth of bilateral relations.

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