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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on July 12, 2013

2013/07/12

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on July 12, 2013.

Q: First, what is China's comment on the fifth round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue? Second, the US said that it was disappointed with China on the Snowden case. How does China respond? Third, reports say that the US side would cooperate with internet companies to counter China's cyber spies. What is China's comment?

A: The fifth round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue has concluded. President Xi Jinping's special representatives, Vice Premier Wang Yang and State Councilor Yang Jiechi co-chaired the dialogue with US President Barack Obama's special representatives, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. The two sides had candid and in-depth discussions and reached broad consensus on implementing the outcomes of China-US presidential meeting at the Annenberg Estate and building the new model of major-country relationship between China and the US. The dialogue yielded important and positive results.

The two sides had candid and in-depth discussions on overarching, long-term and strategic issues concerning the economy of the two countries and the entire world during the economic dialogue. They also had a candid, in-depth and constructive strategic dialogue on advancing the building of a new model of major-country relationship, increasing strategic trust, forging sound interactions in the Asia Pacific, and expanding cooperation on such global issues and regional hotspots as climate change, the Middle East, and South Asia. The two sides believe that the China-US relationship has reached a new starting point and that each has a stake in the other's success. Both sides are of the view that positive actions should be taken to advance the building of a new model of major-country relationship in an all-round way.

Please refer to the press release about the dialogue.

On the second question, China has repeatedly stated its principled position on the issue. The central government of China has always respected the Hong Kong SAR government's handling of cases in accordance with law. The Hong Kong SAR government has handled the Snowden case in accordance with law, and its approach is beyond reproach. Others should respect this.

China has repeatedly expounded its principled position on cyber security recently. You may refer to the press release about the first cyber working group meeting between China and the US under the framework of the strategic security dialogue. The two sides had candid and in-depth discussions on institutional building of the cyber working group, bilateral cyber relations and international rules in the cyber space. They also put forward some constructive proposals for cooperation and agreed to hold another cyber working group meeting within the year.

I would like to emphasize again that cyber security is a common problem and challenge facing both the two countries and the international community. Blaming each other does not help solve the issue. We hope that all parties could actively engage in dialogue and cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect and trust, work out relevant international rules in the cyber space under the framework of the UN and jointly uphold peace and security of the cyber space.

Q: The Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario criticized China on the South China Sea issue when addressing an experts' roundtable in Belgium, arguing that the Philippines had exhausted almost all political and diplomatic avenues for a peaceful settlement of its dispute with China and its last resort therefore was to utilize the legal track of international arbitration. What is China's comment?

A: While resolutely safeguarding national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, China stays committed to solving territorial and maritime disputes through negotiation and consultation. China has repeatedly made clear its position on the Philippines' taking of the South China Sea issue to international arbitration. China's rejection of the Philippines' request for arbitration has a solid basis in international law. The Philippines' claim that "it had exhausted almost all political and diplomatic avenues for a peaceful settlement of the dispute" is completely not true. China has repeatedly suggested to the Philippines that the two sides could resume the existing consultation mechanism or establish new ones. But we have not yet got any response from the Philippine side. The Philippines is keen on attacking China in international settings while unilaterally shutting the door for negotiation and consultation. Such practice is anything but helpful to solve the issue. China urges the Philippine side to change its wrong course, stop misleading public opinion and come back to the right track of solving the dispute through bilateral negotiation and consultation.

Q: US President Barack Obama hoped that China could solve its maritime disputes with its neighbors peacefully. What is China's response?

A: China stated its principled position on the South China Sea issue at the fifth round of China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue. The Chinese side emphasized that China stays committed to solving disputes through negotiations with countries directly concerned while resolutely safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. We hope that relevant country could make good on its commitment to properly handle and solve relevant dispute through bilateral and friendly consultation. We say it and we do it.

The US said that it does not take sides in the South China Sea issue. China hopes that the US side could respect the facts and live up to what it says.

Hua Chunying announced at the end of the press conference that according to the past practice, the regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will adjourn from Monday, July 15 to Friday, August 30 for the summer break and resume on Monday, September 2. During the adjournment, journalists can raise questions to the Spokesperson's Office by telephone and fax. Wish all the journalists a happy summer vacation.

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