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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 9, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on October 9, 2013.

Q: Meetings of East Asia leaders will be held in Brunei. Does China expect progress in talks towards a code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC)?

A: Premier Li Keqing left today to attend meetings of East Asia leaders in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei and pay official visits to Brunei, Thailand and Vietnam.

The overall situation in East Asia is stable. We have seen sustained economic growth of countries in the region and continuous advancement of regional cooperation. However, there are still many uncertainties in international and regional landscapes. We hope that these meetings of East Asia leaders will focus on further enhancing cooperation, advancing regional integration and pursuing common development. We are looking forward to close communication and coordination with ASEAN countries to ensure a full success of meetings of East Asia leaders.

In his recent joint interview with media of ASEAN countries, Premier Li Keqiang said that China-ASEAN relationship is at a new historical starting point, where both sides should work hand in hand to build a China-ASEAN community of common destiny. We should stick fast to good-neighbourliness and friendliness, enhance exchanges and cooperation in the field of security, upgrade the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area, promote connectivity, strengthen financial cooperation, develop a partnership on maritime cooperation and step up cultural and people-to-people exchanges. China looks forward to new consensus on elevating China-ASEAN strategic partnership and new progress of China-ASEAN cooperation.

With regard to your question about the COC, China and ASEAN countries have reached consensus on safeguarding peace and stability in the South China Sea. There has been friendly and candid communication on the Sixth Senior Officials' Meeting and the Ninth Joint Working Group Meeting on the Implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). All participants agreed to further implement the DOC in a comprehensive and effective manner and steadily press ahead with the COC process while fully and effectively implementing the DOC under the principle of "seeking gradual progress and consensus through consultations". We are ready to stay in close communication with ASEAN countries for dialogue and cooperation and jointly safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea.

Q: Japanese Cabinet Advisor Isao Iijima reportedly said on October 7 that he would persuade Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to pay homage to the Yasukuni Shrine during the autumn worship ritual in October. He also said that China never said it would not allow the Japanese Prime Minister to visit the Shrine and even if Abe pays the visit in October, a meeting between Chinese and Japanese leaders can still be realized in the near term. What is China's comment?

A: Fourteen Japanese class-A Second World War criminals are worshipped in the Yasukuni Shrine. The issue of Japanese leaders' visiting the Shrine is an issue about whether Japan can correctly view and deal with its history of military aggression and whether it respects the feeling of the people of the victimized countries, including China. It is a major matter of principle that has a bearing on the political foundation of China-Japan relations. The Chinese side has repeatedly expressed its resolute opposition to any visit to the Yasukuni Shrine by Japanese leaders at any time in any form and any capacity.

China-Japan relationship is facing grave difficulties. If the Japanese side stirs up new incidents on the issue of the Yasukuni Shrine, more severe consequences will follow. The Japanese side should be well aware of this. We hope that the Japanese side could avoid misjudging the situation, misleading the public and repeating its mistakes.

Q: NASA has recently barred Chinese scientists from an academic conference for alleged national security concerns. What is China's comment?

A: I have read relevant reports and also noticed that this discriminative action has met with opposition and sparked a boycott by US and western scientists. We believe that academic or scientific activities should not be politicized.

Q: President Xi Jinping has scored a host of achievements during the 21st APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. Media reports say that China has played an important role in the meeting. What is China's comment? China is going to host next year's APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. What preparations has China made so far?

A: Foreign Minister Wang Yi has already provided detailed information about the meeting and its outcomes when President Xi Jinping wrapped up his visit yesterday.

Participants to the meeting had an in-depth exchange of views on a wide range of issues, reaffirmed their confidence in the prospect of the development of the Asia-Pacific and reached a host of important consensus. With a keen appreciation of the trend of economic development in the Asia-Pacific and beyond, President Xi Jinping proposed at the meeting that we should foster an open economy featuring innovative development, mutually reinforced growth and interdependent interests, deepen the readjustment of economic structure, oppose trade protectionism and achieve connectivity across the Pacific Ocean. These proposals are not only made to tackle the current challenges faced by the Asia-Pacific, but are also made for the future development of the region, which will help the Asia-Pacific carry on its role as the engine of the world economy. President Xi Jinping maintains that Asia-Pacific economies should enhance coordination on macro policies, strengthen communication and exchanges between different regional free trade arrangements and give a bigger leading role to APEC in the principle of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation. China's proposals and propositions have been broadly endorsed by participants and demonstrated China's important and constructive role in promoting regional cooperation and economic integration.

13 years after China's successful holding of the ninth APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Shanghai, China is going to host the 2014 APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Beijing. The Chinese government attaches great importance to the event and has got down to making preparations.

President Xi Jinping has briefed participants to the APEC meeting on China's thoughts of holding next year's meeting. We hope that we could take the opportunity to deepen cooperation among Asia-Pacific economies, build an even closer partnership facing the future and jointly map out the blueprint for the long-term development of the Asia-Pacific.

Q: First, US President Obama said he was sure the Chinese didn't mind that he was not at the APEC meeting. What is China's response? Second, what is China's comment on the continuous shutdown of the US federal government? Does it have any impact on China?

A: With regard to your first question, as I just said, the 21st APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting just came to a successful conclusion. At the meeting, President Xi Jinping put forward important propositions and initiatives on safeguarding economic and financial stability in the Asia-Pacific region and advancing Asia-Pacific regional cooperation. His propositions and initiatives, which were well-received, reflect China's important and constructive role in promoting regional cooperation and regional economic integration.

Regarding President Obama's absence from the meeting due to the shutdown of the US federal government, we have taken notice of relevant comments. China understands the decision by the American side and hopes that it can properly handle the issue and play a constructive role in Asia-Pacific regional cooperation. China, the US and other participants have had close cooperation before and during the meeting and together contributed to the success of the meeting. China is ready to further communication and cooperation with all relevant parties, including the US, and jointly promote peace, development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.

On your second question, the Chinese economy and the American economy are interdependent. We hope that the US can properly address relevant issues and ensure the safety of Chinese assets in the US. Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao expounded China's position on this issue days ago and you can refer to that.

Q: The ROK confirmed that the DPRK has reactivated a reactor at its Nyongbyon nuclear complex. In the meantime, the US, Japan and the ROK will hold joint maritime exercise on October 10. According to the DPRK, as tension on the Korean Peninsula again runs high, the Supreme Command of the Korean People's Army (KPA) has issued an emergency order to keep the army fully ready. What is China's comment on the current situation of the Korean Peninsula?

A: China always stands for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and maintains that peace and stability of the Peninsula should be upheld and the Korean nuclear issue should be solved through dialogue and consultation. This is our clear-cut position. To realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and safeguard peace and stability of the Peninsula serve the common interests of all parties and require joint efforts by all. Not long ago, with the concerted efforts of all parties, there were some signs of easing and positive elements on the Peninsula, which should be cherished by all parties.

We call on all parties to bear the big picture in mind, stay calm and exercise restraint, do more to reduce tension, maintain the momentum of dialogue and engagement and create conditions for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks and the incorporation of the Korean nuclear issue in a reliable and sustainable dialogue process.

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