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

2013/09/26

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

Q: The five permanent members of the UN Security Council reportedly arrived at an agreement on the core of a resolution to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. The draft resolution will soon be presented to the 15-member Security Council. What is China's response?

A: Relevant parties are in intensive consultations on the UN Security Council's draft resolution on the issue of chemical weapons in Syria. China supports the Security Council in coming to an early agreement, so as to start the verification and elimination of chemical weapons in Syria as soon as possible and send an unequivocal signal in support of the political settlement of the Syrian issue. China has been taking a positive and constructive part in the consultations and is willing to stay in communication with all parties to work for an early agreement.

Q: First, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly explained the limitations imposed by the current interpretation of the pacifist Constitution in his speech in the US, saying that lifting the ban on collective self-defense is to turn Japan into a country of "active pacifism". As an expression of dissatisfation about the international accusation of Japan's veering to the right, Abe said "so call me , if you want, a right-wing militarist". What is China's comment? Second, Iranian President Rowhani said in his interview with the Washington Post that he hopes to see an agreement out of nuclear negotiations in three to six months. What is China's comment?

A: With regard to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's remarks on exercising the right of collective self-defense, I want to point out that due to historical reasons, where Japan is heading in terms of military and security always holds the attention of its Asian neighbours and the international community. Japan should not stir and play up tensions and make excuses for its military buildup and adjustment to military policies. We urge Japan to take history as a mirror, draw lessons from history, respect the concerns of countries in the region, take concrete actions to enhance political mutual trust as well as peace and stability in the region.

As for his remarks on Japan's tilt to the right, I want to point out that whether Japan will face up to and reflect on its history of aggression and follow the path of peaceful development has long been an issue of great concern to its Asian neighbours and the international community. There have been negative words and deeds from Japan which go to great lengths to deny and whitewash its history of aggression. Japan's Asian neighbours and the international community condemn that with one voice. The Japanese leader should take seriously the international community's concerns and cry of justice, show its readiness to face up to and reflect on history and win the trust of the international community with concrete actions.

On your second question, China always maintains that dialogue and negotiation is the only correct way to solve the Iranian nuclear issue. Iran has the right to access peaceful nuclear energy as well as the international obligation to uphold nuclear non-proliferation. We have ushered in a new and important opportunity for the dialogue on the Iranian nuclear issue. P5+1 countries and Iran should re-engage in dialogue as soon as possible for an early progress, move forward the dialogue in a result-oriented manner and explore a win-win approach so as to create conditions for a comprehensive, long-term and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. China is ready to play an active and constructive role together with all relevant parties in the process.

Q: It is reported that China and India will hold the Fourth Meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on China-India Border Affairs on September 29 and 30 in Beijing. Please give us more details on that.

A: As agreed by the two sides, the Fourth Meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on China-India Border Affairs will be held in Beijing on September 29 and 30. The two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on the situation in the China-India border areas, exchanges and cooperation between border control authorities on both sides and specific measures to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.

To uphold peace and tranquility in the border areas is a shared commitment between China and India as well as an important guarantee to the sound and steady growth of bilateral relations. The overall situation in the China-India border areas is peaceful and stable, with border troops from both sides holding regular exchanges and meetings and the two countries maintaining close communication and coordination on border affairs. The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on China-India Border Affairs, since its inception, has played an active role in enhancing the understanding and cooperation between border-related departments from both sides, managing in a timely fashion border-related affairs and stabilizing the situation in the border areas. China will work together with the Indian side to leverage the working mechanism, safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas and create favorable atmosphere for the ultimate settlement of the boundary question as well as the stable development of bilateral relations.

Q: It is reported that the first of the 12 anti-submarine warfare aircrafts sold by the US to Taiwan has been delivered on September 25. What is China's comment?

A: China is firmly opposed to arms sales to Taiwan by any country. This position is clear-cut and consistent. China has lodged solemn representations with the US for its sale and delivery of anti-submarine warfare aircrafts to Taiwan. China urges the US to abide by the one-China policy as well as the principles enshrined in the three China-US Joint Communiques, stop arms sales to Taiwan in all forms and desist from actions that are detrimental to China-US relations and the peaceful growth of cross-Strait relations.

After the press conference, a journalist asked for China's comment on Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's speech in the US which indicated that the defense outlays by Japan's immediate neighbour is at least twice the level of Japan, next only to the US.

Hong Lei: We have noted relevant report. If the Japanese side is alluding to China, I would like to highlight that China sticks to the path of peaceful development and upholds the defense policy that is defensive in nature. Our strategic intent is transparent. The normal and legitimate development of China's national defense poses no threat to any country and brooks no irresponsible remarks from the Japanese side.

I also want to remind the Japanese side that in a stretch of years after the end of the Second World War, we saw a spike in Japan's defense spending. Due to historical reasons, where Japan is heading in terms of military and security always holds the attention of its Asian neighbours and the international community. If Japan really wants to make contributions to world peace and stability, it should match words with deeds, stop creating tensions and sowing discord and make more efforts to build up political and security mutual trust among countries and uphold regional peace and stability.

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