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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 26, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on March 26, 2013.

Q: The Vietnamese Foreign Ministry yesterday protested against a Chinese vessel's law enforcement against Vietnamese fishing boats in waters off the Xisha Islands and urged China to investigate and seriously deal with the incident and compensate those Vietnamese fishermen for their loss. What is China's response?

A: The Xisha Islands are Chinese territory. It is without dispute. It is necessary and legitimate for China to take actions against Vietnamese fishing boats that entered waters off China's Xisha Islands for illegal fishing. It is verified that no damage was caused to those Vietnamese fishing boats. China urges Vietnam to take effective measures to improve education for and management of its fishermen so as to stop relevant illegal activities.

Q: The Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army (KPA) today declared its readiness for combat, saying that it was prepared to deal with possible strikes from its enemies at any time. What is China's comment?

A: The current situation on the Peninsula is complex and sensitive. We hope relevant parties could exercise restraint, be discreet in word and deed and do more that is conducive to peace and stability of the Peninsula.

Q: The Japanese Ministry of Education today released the result of its review on text books, most of which claim that the "Senkaku Islands" are Japanese territory. What is China's comment?

A: China's position on relevant issue is very clear. The Diaoyu Islands are China's inherent territory. China has indisputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. We hope Japan could face up to history and reality, correct its mistakes and make tangible efforts to improve bilateral relations.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy reportedly had a telephone conversation on March 25. Abe said that given the increasingly severe security situation in East Asia, it is absolutely necessary for the EU to maintain its arms embargo against China. What is China's comment?

A: China's position on the issue of lifting arms embargo is consistent. The EU's arms embargo against China does not tally with the development status of China-EU relations as well as the world's trend of peace, development and cooperation. We hope that the EU will take the initiative at an early date to remove undue obstacles in China-EU relations. The Japanese side should take a correct attitude and do more that is conducive to enhancing mutual trust with neighbouring countries as well as regional peace and stability, rather than the contrary.

Q: Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr reportedly said that Australia did not have to make choice between China and the US and rejected any idea of containing China. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. To safeguard peace and stability and promote common development and prosperity of the Asia Pacific serves the common interests and is also the shared responsibilities of countries in the region including China and Australia. China adheres to the path of peaceful development and pursues peaceful, cooperative and win-win development. We are ready to work with relevant parties including Australia to make positive contributions to promoting unity, mutual trust and cooperation between countries in the region as well as safeguarding regional stability and prosperity.

Q: Yesterday, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that both Russia and China should participate in the UN investigation of chemical weapons in Syria. Does China share the view?

A: China always stands for complete prohibition and thorough destruction of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), including chemical weapons, and supports the purposes and principles of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The use of chemical weapons violates the norms of international law that are widely accepted by the international community. We are firmly opposed to the use of chemical weapons, no matter by whom.

China believes that the authorization for the investigation launched by the UN Secretary General at the request of the Syrian government should meet requirements of relevant international law and UN resolutions. The investigation group's activities in Syria should be supported and cooperated by relevant parties in the country. To ensure an open and transparent investigation and an impartial and objective result, members of the investigation group should be fully representative.

Q: The Philippine Foreign Ministry recently said that the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea had appointed another judge as the member of the arbitration panel for Philippines-China dispute on the South China Sea. What is China's comment?

A: The note and its attached notice submitted by the Philippines to arbitration not only violates the consensus reached between ASEAN countries and China in the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea" (DOC), but also contains serious errors in fact and law as well as many false accusations against China. We have made clear that China does not accept the note and its attached notice and has returned it.

China hopes the Philippines could honor its commitment, refrain from taking actions that may complicate and aggravate the issue and return to the right track of resolving disputes through bilateral negotiations.

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