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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 15, 2014

2014/12/15

Q: The UN Climate Change Conference in Lima concluded on December 14. What kinds of outcomes and consensus have emerged out of the conference? What is China's comment on the conference? What has China done to push for these outcomes?

A: The just-concluded Lima Climate Conference passed the Lima Call for Climate Action, and made positive headway on the elements of a draft 2015 agreement, information requirement of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, and efforts to accelerate pre-2020 climate action. All these formed the basis of a successful Paris conference. The Lima Call is a relatively balanced outcome as a result of mutual compromise, which basically meets the requirements of developing countries. Meanwhile, all parties are still far apart when it comes to key issues concerning a new 2015 climate change deal. Therefore, the negotiations remain an uphill journey.

China has made positive efforts in moving the Lima conference towards the outcomes. Before the Lima conference, China and the US jointly announced separate targets for countering climate change after 2020, creating a sound political ambiance for the Lima conference. During the conference, the Chinese delegation engaged in communication and coordination with all parties in a reasonable, practical and constructive way. China, by supporting the host country Peru in every way, has made significant contributions to the conference. On the basis of equity and in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, China will move ahead with other parties like passengers in the same boat so as to push forward international negotiations on climate change for a new deal as scheduled, and build a global climate governance structure that benefits all based on cooperation.

 

Q: December 15 is the deadline day for China to submit its counter-memorial on the South China Sea arbitration initiated by the Philippines to the arbitral tribunal. China has said that it would not accept or participate in the arbitration. If arbitration cannot resolve the dispute, then what does China believe is the way to solve relevant problems without causing conflicts?

A: You must have taken note of the position paper issued by the Chinese government on December 7 on the matter of jurisdiction in the South China Sea arbitration initiated by the Philippines. The Chinese side specifies in the position paper that it will neither accept nor participate in the so-called South China Sea arbitration unilaterally initiated by the Philippines, and that the arbitral tribunal does not have jurisdiction over this case. Both the legal basis and the position of us are clear. I suggest that you give the position paper another careful read.

China's position on the issue of the South China Sea is consistent and clear. We maintain that parties concerned should resolve relevant disputes through consultation and negotiation on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law. We also hope that all parties concerned will work with China in this spirit and the principle established in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, so as to jointly safeguard peace and stability there. Meanwhile, the Chinese side is resolute in defending its territory and maritime rights and interests. The Chinese side will have to make necessary response to any intentional and provocative action unilaterally initiated by relevant party.

Q: First, the spokesperson of Pope Francis said last week that the Pope would not meet with the Dalai Lama. Does China view it as a positive gesture by Vatican? Does China welcome it? Second, a US citizen held a press conference in Pyongyang, saying that he wants to seek asylum in Venezuela. Does the Chinese side have any information to suggest that this US citizen perhaps illegally crossed the border from China into the DPRK?

A: On your first question, we have noted the remarks by Vatican. The Chinese side is always sincere about improving and developing relations with Vatican. We are willing to continue constructive dialogues with Vatican based on relevant principles. It is hoped that Vatican will work with China in the same direction and create conditions for the improvement of bilateral relations.

On your second question, we have no specifics.

Q: Japan's Liberal Democratic Party headed by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe swept the lower house election. There has been commentary that the number of seats won by the Abe administration will enable him to get rid of the pacifist constitution and get Japan fully armed. What is China's response?

A: We have noted the result of Japan's lower house election. Any change in Japan's policy in the military and security fields indicates where the country is heading for and bears on the security environment of the region, and thus is closely followed by Japan's Asian neighbors and the international community. It is hoped that the Japanese side can learn hard lessons from history, conform to the trend of the times featuring peaceful development and win-win cooperation, respect the legitimate and reasonable security concerns of countries in the region, follow the path peaceful development and play a constructive role for regional peace and stability.

Q: The Canadian Ambassador in Beijing said in an interview that Canada would soon sign an agreement with China to return ill-gotten assets. The Canadian side will help China get back proceeds from corrupt officials who presumably have fled to Canada. Please confirm. When will this agreement be signed?

A: The crime of corruption is an issue faced by the entire international community. The Chinese government is determined in clamping down on corruption. While engaging ourselves in anti-corruption campaign at home, we are also aware of the increase of cross-border corruption crimes over recent years. Therefore, the fight against corruption calls for intensified cooperation, especially that in judiciary and law enforcement, among countries across the world, so that the corrupt will have nowhere to hide. No country should become a safe haven for the corrupt or a place for them to transfer illegal gains. The Chinese side is ready to enhance cooperation with the Canadian side in this regard.

Q: Do you have any comment on the hostage incident that took place in Sydney, Australia today?

A: The Chinese side is following closely the development of the incident and looking forward to an early and proper settlement. We are in close communication with the Australian side to check whether there is any Chinese citizen among the hostages. We have not received any report on that up till now. The Chinese Embassy in Australia and the Chinese Consulate General in Sydney have activated emergency response mechanisms. We will stay in touch with the Australian side and release the update in a timely fashion.

Q: 7 Myanmar soldiers were killed by militants close to the Chinese border. The Myanmar authorities blamed the attack on the Kokang insurgents. Is the Chinese side aware of that? Will the Chinese side communicate with the Myanmar government about this?

A: I am not aware of the specifics you mentioned. As a neighbor of Myanmar, China hopes that Myanmar can maintain peace, stability and development, advance its national reconciliation process through dialogue and safeguard peace and stability of the border with China.

Q: Spanish media reported that several Spanish government institutions related to national security have become the target of cyber attack which can be traced back to Russia and China. Has the Spanish government contacted the Chinese authorities about this?

A: I have not heard about this. I need to check whether the Spanish side has contacted the Chinese side.

I would like to point out that cyber crime is a common threat to the international community which should be tackled with enhanced cooperation. Therefore, we stand ready to have closer contact with the Spanish side to jointly combat cyber crimes.

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