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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on July 8, 2013

2013/07/09

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on July 8, 2013.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcements.

Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Qiangba Puncog will attend the inauguration ceremony of Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj upon invitation as the special envoy of President Xi Jinping from July 9 to 12 in Mongolia.

At the invitation of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic Erlan Abdyldaev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the Meeting of the SCO Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs in the Kyrgyz Republic and pay official visits to the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan from July 12 to 19.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in an interview on July 7 that China is trying to change the "status quo" by force. What is China's comment?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times and China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands. All the measures taken by Japan over the Diaoyu Islands are based on its illegal occupation of the islands. The so-called "status quo" claimed by Japan has been illegal and invalid since the very beginning and has never been recognized and accepted by China. Japan should abandon all its illusion, stay true to history and reality and make concrete efforts to properly manage and resolve the issue.

I want to point out that Japan has been intentionally hyping the so-called "China-threat", creating regional tensions and misleading international opinion, which is counterproductive to the settlement of the issue and will only damage the two sides' political and security mutual trust. If Japan is serious about improving China-Japan relations, it must stop all actions and words that tarnish the image of China and take concrete actions to improve bilateral ties.

Q: Indian Defence Secretary A.K. Antony met with Chinese leaders during his two-day visit to China last week. Please brief us on the visit and the progress made by the two countries on issues such as the border defense cooperation agreement.

A: China pays high attention to Defense Secretary Antony's visit to China. Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Chang Wanquan held talks with him. Premier Li Keqiang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi met with him respectively. The two sides had an extensive exchange of views on a wide range of defence and security issues and reaffirmed that defence exchanges were an important part of China-India strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity.

The two defense ministers issued a joint statement which covered issues related to the China-India Border Defense Cooperation Agreement. The two sides emphasized the importance of enhancing mutual trust and understanding between the two militaries, reviewed the application of agreements and protocols on the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas and directed that it be further strengthened. Appreciating that border defence cooperation would make significant contribution to peace and tranquility in the border areas, they agreed on an early conclusion of negotiations for a proposed agreement on border defence cooperation. They also agreed on more exchanges and visits between the two militaries. We hope that the two sides could take Defense Secretary Antony's visit as an opportunity to enhance mutual trust and understanding between the two militaries and jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas so as to create good atmosphere for the development of China-India strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity.

Please consult the Ministry of National Defense for more specifics about the visit.

Q: Please update us on the Chinese casualties in the crash-landing of an Asiana Airlines airplane in San Francisco on July 7 and what China has done.

A: Up till 9 am, Beijing time, of the 141 Chinese citizens on aboard, two from Zhejiang Province have been confirmed dead and 117 safe. The condition of the rest is to be verified.

General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, Chairman of the Central Military Commission and President Xi Jinping was deeply concerned about the casualties of Chinese citizens caused by the accident and made important instructions. Following General Secretary Xi's instructions, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, its diplomatic missions in the US, Embassy in the ROK and relevant local governments have gone all-out to treat and cure the injured Chinese citizens, help the survivors settle down and handle the aftermath. It's learnt that a working team of Zhejiang Province is expected to accompany the families of the victims to the US tonight. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions in the US will provide full assistance. The US side has pledged to give all possible convenience and assistance.

Q: The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs recently distributed foldouts about international arbitration in relation to the South China Sea issue to foreign diplomatic missions in Manila, promoting its position on arbitration and publicizing statements by relevant countries in support of its claim for arbitration. What is China's comment?

A: China has repeatedly expounded on its position regarding the Philippines' request for arbitration on the disputes between China and the Philippines in the South China Sea. I would like to reiterate that China rejects the Philippines' taking of the South China Sea issue to arbitration. This position will remain unchanged.

China's position stands on a solid basis of international law. It is China's lawful rights and interests as a sovereign country and a party to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which should be respected by other countries.

The Philippines attempted to use the arbitration to mislead the international community and pressure China. China is firmly opposed to that. We once again urge the Philippine side to come back to the right track of solving the disputes through bilateral negotiations. We also hope that other countries could be discreet on the issue of arbitration and do more things that truly contribute to peace and stability in the South China Sea so as to avoid aggravating and complicating the situation.

Q: The Kyodo News Agency quoted Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as saying on July 7 that every country takes pride in their own history and it is important to respect each other. It is wrong to take historical issues as a diplomatic card. What is China's comment?

A: We are shocked at the above remarks made by the Japanese leader. 76 years ago on July 7, Japan launched a full aggression war against China. The Japanese militarism's aggression, expansion and colonial rule in the past inflicted untold sufferings on its Asian neighbours. It is supported by iron-clad evidence and brooks no denial. The correct attitude Japan should take toward history is not to take unprincipled pride in history but to stay true to and reflect on its aggression history and stop using historical issues to irritate and hurt people of the victimized countries in Asia. We once again advise Japan to listen attentively to the international call for justice and stay true and honest to history.

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