|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on February 18, 2013|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on February 18, 2013.
Q: The UN Security Council is discussing sanctions against the DPRK. Some countries including the ROK and the US have signalled severe sanctions against the DPRK. What is China's comment?
A: The Chinese Foreign Ministry has issued a statement that firmly opposes the DPRK's nuclear test. The UN Security Council's discussion on relevant issue should be conducive to the denuclearization and non-proliferation of the Peninsula as well as peace and stability in Northeast Asia. China stands ready to maintain contact and communication with relevant parties on the discussion.
Q: Reuters reported on January 15 that the DPRK had told China of its preparations for one or two more nuclear tests and another launch of long-range ballistic missile this year, please confirm. What is China's attitude?
A: I have no idea where this information in Reuters report comes from. It serves the common interests and requires joint efforts of all parties to maintain peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia. The current situation on the Peninsula is sensitive and complex. We call on relevant parties to remain calm and refrain from taking actions that may worsen the situation.
Q: First, Chinese maritime surveillance ships continued patrols in waters off the Diaoyu Islands last weekend. How long will such kind of patrols last? Second, the Japanese side recently took a series of diplomatic efforts on the Diaoyu Islands issue, such as dispatch of former Prime Minister and leader of the New Komeito party to visit China. Have these efforts yielded results?
A: On your first question, the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. China has indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands. Chinese maritime surveillance ships' routine patrols and law-enforcement in waters off the Diaoyu Islands are normal performance of duty to exercise jurisdiction.
On your second question, I would like to point out that China remains committed to the policy of valuing its relations with Japan and developing bilateral relations on the basis of the four political documents between the two countries. At the same time, China is resolute in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We hope Japan could face up to the history and reality on relevant issue and work with China to manage and solve relevant issue through dialogue and negotiation so as to bring bilateral relations back to the track of normal development as soon as possible.
Q: Does China agree to authorize use of force against the DPRK by the UN Security Council under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter?
A: As I said just now, we believe the UN Security Council's discussion should be conducive to the overall goal of denuclearization and non-proliferation of the Peninsula as well as peace and stability in Northeast Asia. China stands ready to maintain communication with relevant parties on the UN Security Council's discussion on the DPRK's nuclear test.
Q: Will China support a resolution by the UN Security Council on sanctions against the DPRK?
A: I have clearly elaborated on China's stance. China opposes the DPRK's nuclear test and stands for denuclearization and non-proliferation of the Korean Peninsula as well as peace and stability in Northeast Asia. We remain committed to this policy.
Q: Recently, some foreign media and animal protection organizations blamed China for fueling illegal huntings of elephants due to its demand for ivory. What is China's comment?
A: The Chinese Government has always attached great importance to the protection of elephants and other endangered wildlife. We have enacted a series of laws and regulations, established a joint law enforcement mechanism of departments of public security, customs and industry and commerce and have actively participated in international law enforcement cooperation, which has cracked down on smuggling and illegal business of ivory and ivory products and effectively curbed ivory smuggling. China's penalties for smuggling ivory and ivory products are among the strictest in the world and its unremitting efforts have scored significant achievements, as evidenced by apparent decrease of illegal and criminal activities of ivory smuggling and trafficking in recent years.
We hope that people who fail to see China's efforts and progress can view China in an objective light instead of always wearing "colored glasses".
Q: What is China's comment on Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa's re-election?
A: China and Ecuador have maintained a good relationship in recent years in which the two sides have constantly enhanced political mutual trust, expanded mutually beneficial cooperation, increased people-to-people exchanges and maintained close communication and cooperation in international affairs. We congratulate Mr. Correa on his re-election and stand ready to work with the Ecuadorean side to push forward bilateral relations in a bid to better benefit the two peoples.
Q: It is reported that China will undertake a high-speed railway project in Iran, please confirm.
A: China and Iran have maintained normal trade and economic cooperation. Please consult competent authority for the specific cooperation project you mentioned.
Q: It is reported that the EU and the US will conclude bilateral Free Trade Agreement (FTA) negotiations in the next two years. What is China's comment?
A: We have noted that the EU and the US will launch bilateral FTA negotiations which we hope will follow the basic principles of openness and transparency and be conducive to not only trade and economic development between them but also the WTO Doha Round negotiations and the global trade liberalization process.
After the press conference, a journalist asked the following question: the city of Ishigaki of Okinawa Prefecture asked the Japanese government to include the Diaoyu Islands as part of its application for Amami and Ryukyu Islands of Kagoshima and Okinawa Prefecture to be World Natural Heritage sites. What is China's comment?
Hong Lei said that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. According to relevant provisions of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, Japan has no right to include Chinese territory in its application for World Natural Heritage sites. The scheme of some in Japan is doomed to fail.