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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on June 17, 2014

2014/06/17

 

At the invitation of Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, State Councilor Yang Jiechi will co-host the chairmen's meeting of China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation with Pham Binh Minh on June 18.

Q: At least 50 people were killed after 50 militants who were likely to be Al-Shebab stormed a Kenyan town on the evening of June 15, attacking the police station, government institutions and civilians, Kenya's government officials said. What is China's comment?

A: China firmly opposes all forms of terrorism. We strongly condemn the terrorist attack in Kenya. We want to express our deep condolences to the victims and our sincere sympathy to the injured and the victims' families. China will continue to support Kenya's efforts in safeguarding national security and regional stability.

Q: The violence in Iraq is continuing. The rebel forces are pushing down from the north towards Baghdad. Chinese oil companies have significant interests in the south and southeast Iraq. Is China planning on sending a delegation or officials there to understand what is going on?

A: China is following closely the security situation in Iraq. China and Iraq enjoy a friendly relationship and sound cooperation. We support the Iraqi government's efforts in maintaining national security and stability and hope that security, stability and normal order can come back to Iraq at an early date.

The safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and citizens in Iraq are always a great concern for the Chinese government. In light of the recent tense situation in Iraq, China's Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Iraq have issued security notices, advising Chinese citizens not to travel to Iraq for the time being. Chinese citizens already in Iraq should keep tabs on the security conditions, take extra precautions and stay away from the conflict zone.

As to whether China will send a delegation to Baghdad in the near future, so far I have no relevant information. All the staff members at the Chinese Embassy in Iraq are doing whatever they can, and they are following the security situation there closely. They have asked the Iraqi side to step up protection of the Chinese Embassy, institutions and personnel, and have put in place precautionary security measures. Depending on how the situation evolves, we will take necessary steps to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens in Iraq.

Q: Premier Li Keqiang is due to give a speech in the UK. Could you give us an idea of the theme or contents of his speech?

A: I am also looking forward to Premier Li's speech as much as you are. I suggest that we wait for it in patience.

Q: On June 15, incumbent Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos emerged victorious from the second round of presidential voting. What is China's comment?

A: China congratulates President Santos on his successful re-election.

Colombia is an important country in Latin America. In the course of 34 years of diplomatic ties, the relationship between our two countries has made enormous strides. We have kept frequent high-level exchanges, deepened our political mutual trust, conducted fruitful and practical cooperation in various fields, and maintained close contact in international and regional affairs. President Santos attaches great importance to developing bilateral relationship. His state visit to China in 2012, which was very successful, was a strong boost to bilateral ties.

China believes that it is important to develop its friendly and cooperative relationship with Colombia, and stands ready to work with Colombia to enhance exchanges and cooperation across the board and elevate China-Colombia relationship to a new height.

Q: Pakistan recently launched military actions against terrorism, killing several dozen terrorists, including East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) members. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. In the global fight against terrorism, Pakistan, as a victim of international terrorism, has sacrificed a lot and made positive contributions. As the all-weather strategic cooperative partner and a friendly neighbor to Pakistan, China always stands by the Pakistani government in implementing and moving forward its counter-terrorism and security strategies based on its national conditions. We will continue to support the Pakistani government in their endeavor to safeguard national security and stability and to combat terrorism.

It is worth stressing that ETIM is an international terrorist organization designated by the UN Security Council. It is a plague to the international community. Fighting against ETIM terrorist forces is an important component of the international counter-terrorism campaign. China and Pakistan have conducted sound exchanges and cooperation in counter-terrorism field. China is ready to make positive contributions to safeguarding security and stability of the two countries and the region by enhancing exchanges and cooperation with Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.

Q: BP announced today that it is to sign a long-term natural gas contract worth 20 billion dollars with Chinese enterprises. Can you confirm that?

A: What you mentioned is cooperation projects between Chinese and British companies. I am not aware of the details.

Q: Can you give us more details on State Councilor Yang Jiechi's visit to Vietnam. Who will he meet? Will they talk about the current maritime situation? What kinds of suggestions will China put forward? And what does China want to achieve from this visit?

A: State Councilor Yang Jiechi is heading for Vietnam for the chairmen's meeting of China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation. This committee is an inter-governmental mechanism set up for coordinating bilateral relations. Chairmen from both sides have an established practice of meeting annually. As the Chairman from the Chinese side, State Councilor Yang Jiechi will hold talks with the Chairman from the Vietnamese side, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. He will also meet with other Vietnamese leaders. Both sides will exchange views on bilateral ties and issues of common interest.

China and Vietnam have been in contact with each other on the maritime situation and bilateral ties. China has made its position on relevant issues clear on many occasions. We hope that during this meeting, we can talk about relevant issues with the Vietnamese side in a candid and thorough way. We hope that Vietnam can bear in mind the big picture, work with China towards the same goal and properly deal with the current situation.

Follow-up Question: Was this meeting arranged a long time ago, or on short notice?

A: As I have said, Chairmen from both sides of China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation have an established practice of meeting annually. The specific time will be decided upon through consultations between the two sides.

Q: On the early morning of June 17 Beijing time, the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly approved by consensus Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's nomination of Jordan's UN Ambassador Zeid al Hussein as the next UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (HCHR). What is China's position on this? How will China enhance its cooperation with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)?

A: China congratulates Ambassador Zeid al Hussein on being appointed as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. The Chinese government always attaches high importance to the role played by the HCHR in promoting and protecting human rights and supports the HCHR in actively performing his duty within his mandate. We hope and also believe that, after Ambassador Hussein takes over, he will discharge his duties with justice and objectivity, and accord equal importance to all kinds of human rights. As the largest developing country, China is willing to work with Ambassador Hussein, elevate its cooperation with the OHCHR to a new level and promote the sound development of international human rights cause.

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