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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on October 28, 2014

2014/10/28

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, Emir of the State of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will pay a state visit to China from November 2 to 4.

Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai will attend and address the opening ceremony of the 4th Foreign Ministers' Meeting of Istanbul Process on Afghanistan.

Foreign ministers and high-level representatives from 46 parties, which consist of 14 regional member states, 16 countries outside the region and 12 international and regional organizations as supporting parties, as well as 4 countries and organizations as guests of the host country are invited to attend the meeting.

Q: On October 26, Ukrainians cast their vote for parliamentary elections. Initial results showed that the Poroshenko Bloc of Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and the People's Front of Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk led the polls. What is China's comment on the election? Will it help ease the Ukrainian situation? How does China see the future of China-Ukraine relations?

A: China has noted the smooth election of the Ukrainian parliament. China respects the choice of the Ukrainian people and supports Ukraine in treading a path that suits its national conditions. We hope this election can contribute to realizing domestic stability in Ukraine and moving forward the process of politically resolving the Ukrainian crisis.

China attaches importance to developing China-Ukraine relations, and stands ready to push forward bilateral friendly and cooperative relations on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.

Q: Vietnamese Prime Minister who is now visiting India told Indian media yesterday in an interview that he hopes India can support peacefully resolving the South China Sea disputes. He also expressed willingness to work with the Indian side to jointly explore oilfields in the South China Sea. What is China's comment on that?

A: Relevant disputes over the South China Sea should be resolved by parties directly concerned through dialogue and consultation on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law. This is in line with the international law and international practices, which is also a consensus ensured in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea reached between China and ASEAN countries. Relevant countries should respect the efforts made by parties directly concerned to resolve disputes through negotiation and consultation and to uphold regional peace and stability.

As for exploring oilfields in the South China Sea, China's position is consistent and clear. China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters. We have no problem with oilfield cooperation conducted by relevant countries in uncontested waters if such cooperation is legitimate and lawful. However, if such cooperation undermines China's sovereignty and interests, we are firmly opposed to that. At present, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable. We hope relevant parties can do more things that are conducive to regional peace and stability in the South China Sea.

Q: Japan had a suspected Ebola case recently which was later tested negative. What is China's comment on that? What measures has China taken to prevent and control the Ebola epidemic? Is there any suspected case found in China?

A: We have noted the report of a suspected Ebola case in Japan.

At present, the Ebola epidemic has become a common threat faced by the international community, and a major task for us all in the field of public health. China stands ready to work with the international community to help relevant African countries tide over this epidemic and win the battle against it. On top of a large amount of assistance we have sent to the African countries, President Xi Jinping announced the 4th round of assistance last week, which we believe will play an important role in African countries' fight against Ebola.

At the same time, the Chinese government is making active efforts to prevent and control the Ebola epidemic inside the country. We have enhanced the screening of body temperatures of those entering China and made epidemic prevention preparations. Some places also hosted exercises on fighting the epidemic. So far, owing to our effective work, no suspected case has been reported in China. But we will remain on high alert and will never let down our guard.

Q: State Councilor Yang Jiechi just concluded his visit to Vietnam. There are reports saying that China and Vietnam are committed to engaging in direct negotiations to settle maritime disputes. Can you give us more details?

A: Yesterday, State Councilor Yang Jiechi was in Vietnam for a visit and co-hosted the 7th meeting of China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation with Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh. During his visit, State Councilor Yang Jiechi met with the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam Nguyen Phu Trong and President of Vietnam Truong Tan Sang. State Councilor Yang Jiechi said that China-Vietnam relations are at a crucial stage of improvement and development. China is pursuing to deepen all-around reform and build a country governed by the rule of law while Vietnam is pushing forward its cause of reform, innovation and opening-up. To have a sound China-Vietnam relationship is the practical need for both sides to realize their respective development, which also serves the common interest of the two countries. Both sides should adhere to the right direction of bilateral ties, stick to good-neighborliness and friendship, and move forward mutually beneficial cooperation. Both sides should enhance high-level exchanges and give full play to the important role it plays in leading bilateral relations. We should hold fast to the theme of common development and realize common prosperity through mutually beneficial cooperation. We should actively conduct various forms of people-to-people exchanges so as to deepen our mutual understanding and consolidate the foundation of public opinion for bilateral ties. We should earnestly implement relevant agreements and consensus reached between the two sides, stay committed to resolving maritime disputes through bilateral consultation, control and manage differences, uphold stability, move forward cooperation, and ensure that maritime issues will not get in the way of bilateral relations.

General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said that developing Vietnam-China comprehensive strategic partnership is a long-term and basic guideline of strategic importance for the Vietnamese Party and government, and Vietnam-China relations sit on top of Vietnam's diplomacy. The Vietnamese side is willing to maintain high-level exchanges with China, compare notes on state management and governance, give full play to the Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation, enhance practical cooperation, and promote people-to-people exchanges among regions and youths. Both sides should properly handle maritime issues and safeguard the stability of bilateral ties based on the consensus and agreements that have been reached.

President Truong Tan Sang said that Vietnam has always valued Vietnam-China relations, and sound Vietnam-China relations are beneficial to both sides. Both sides should enhance mutual trust, promote cooperation, and elevate Vietnam-China relations to a new high.

During the 7th meeting of China-Vietnam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation State Councilor Yang Jiechi co-hosted with Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, both sides agreed to follow the spirit of relevant agreements and consensus, properly handle maritime issues, fully employ the inter-governmental negotiation mechanism on boundary issues, and seek a basic and enduring solution acceptable to both sides. Both sides should better manage and control maritime disputes, refrain from taking actions that complicate and enlarge disputes, bear in mind the general picture of China-Vietnam relations, and uphold peace and stability of the South China Sea.

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