|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on April 18, 2013|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on April 18, 2013.
Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcement:
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Lady Catherine Ashton will visit China from April 25 to 28.
Q: The DPRK today laid out pre-conditions for dialogue with the US and the ROK, including the removal of the UN Security Council's sanctions against the DPRK and pledge to end their joint military exercises. What is China's comment?
A: It serves the common interests and is also the shared responsibility of all relevant parties to safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia and realize denuclearization of the Peninsula. The current situation on the Peninsula is highly complex and sensitive. We urge all parties concerned to remain calm, exercise restraint and jointly work to cool down the tension as soon as possible. We always maintain that dialogue and negotiation is the only correct way to solve the Peninsula issue. The pressing task now is to step up diplomatic efforts and return to the right track of dialogue and negotiation as soon as possible. We hope and support relevant parties in easing the tension and improving relations through dialogue so as to properly solve the issue.
China stands ready to continue working with relevant parties and the international community to make unremitting efforts for safeguarding peace and stability of the Peninsula, pressing ahead with the Six-Party Talks and realizing long-lasting peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia.
Q: The US recently said that it believes the DPRK is not yet capable of launching nuclear missiles. What is China's comment?
A: I have no comment on whether the DPRK is capable of launching nuclear missiles. China's position on the Korean Peninsula issue is clear, resolute and consistent. China stands for denuclearization, peace and stability of the Peninsula and settlement of the issue through dialogue and negotiation.
Q: On the South China Sea issue, is there any progress in discussing and signing the "Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC)"? Is China ready to sign the COC at this year's China-ASEAN Summit?
A: The South China Sea issue is not an issue between China and ASEAN. China and ASEAN countries have reached consensus on safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea. At the 19th China-ASEAN Senior Officials' Consultation, all parties agreed to continue comprehensively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), promoting cooperation within the framework of the DOC, maintaining dialogue and negotiation, enhancing mutual trust, strengthening practical cooperation and working towards agreement on the COC based on consensus through consultation.
Q: Japan's latest data show that the number of scrambles of its Air Self-Defense Force fighter jets against Chinese aircrafts last year almost doubled that of the previous year. What is China's comment?
A: Japan's repeated provocative actions on the Diaoyu Islands issue is the root cause of the continuous tension in the area. China's position on the Diaoyu Islands issue is very clear. The Diaoyu Islands belong to China and we have the determination, confidence and ability to safeguard our national territorial sovereignty. Meanwhile, we always stand for solving relevant issue through dialogue and negotiation. We believe that instead of scrambling more fighter jets, Japan should show greater sincerity and take more concrete actions, and work with China to figure out a solution to properly manage and solve the issue through dialogue and negotiation.
Q: The first round of China-India Consultation on Afghanistan was held in Beijing today. Please brief us on the main topics of the Consultation.
A: China and India held the first round of consultation on Afghanistan in Beijing today. The consultation was co-chaired by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui, Director General of Department of Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and Ambassador Yash Sinha, Additional Secretary of Ministry of External Affairs of India.
The two sides agreed that the Afghanistan issue concerns regional security and stability. China and India are two important countries in the region, and the consultation on Afghanistan helps them to coordinate positions and deepen cooperation, and contributes to early settlement of the issue. The two sides reiterated their support for "Afghan-led, Afghan owned" reconciliation process and their commitment to working with regional countries and the international community to help Afghanistan achieve its objectives of peace, stability, independence and development at an early date. The two sides agreed to continue bilateral consultation on Afghanistan.
Deputy Foreign Minister Zhai Jun met the Indian delegation.