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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 21, 2013

2013/10/21

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on October 21, 2013.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcements:

At the invitation of Vice President Li Yuanchao, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe of the Republic of South Africa will pay an official visit to China from October 27 to 30 and co-chair with Vice President Li Yuanchao the fifth plenary session of the China-South Africa Bi-national Commission.

Vice Premier Wang Yang of the State Council will attend the 14th Western China International Fair (WCIF) in Chengdu, Sichuan on October 22 and 23 and deliver a keynote speech at the sixth Western China International Cooperation Forum.

Governor-General of Australia Quentin Bryce, Governor General of Canada David Johnston, President of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov, Prime Minister of Mongolia Norov Altankhuyag, Prime Minister of Tanzania Mizengo Pinda and Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Anatoly A. Tozik, among other foreign senior government officials, will attend the 14th Western China International Fair upon invitation.

Q: Please brief us the itinerary of South African Deputy President Motlanthe in China and China's expectations for this visit.

A: China sets great store by the official visit of Deputy President Motlanthe of the Republic of South Africa. During the visit, Vice President Li Yuanchao will hold talks and co-chair with him the fifth plenary session of the China-South Africa Bi-national Commission. Relevant leaders will meet with him. The two sides will have an extensive and in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and South Africa. Over the past 15 years, China-South Africa relationship leapfrogged from partnership to strategic partnership and to comprehensive strategic partnership. The two sides now enjoy ever-increasing political mutual trust, fruitful cooperation results in various fields and close communication and coordination on major international and regional affairs. Last March, President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to South Africa during his first overseas trip as President. During the visit, the two leaders agreed to make relationship with each other a priority in their respective diplomatic agenda, which further upgraded the China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership.

Both China and South Africa are major developing countries and important emerging markets. China stands ready to make joint efforts with South Africa to further enhance China-South Africa comprehensive strategic partnership through this visit.

Q: Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will kick off his visit to China tomorrow. Please give us more details on his visit. What are China's expectations for his visit?

A: At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Singh of the Republic of India will pay an official visit to China from October 22 to 24. During the visit, Premier Li Keqiang will hold a welcoming ceremony for him and hold talks with him. The two leaders will also attend the signing ceremony of cooperation agreements and jointly meet with the press and business leaders of the two countries. Premier Li will hold a welcoming luncheon for Prime Minister Singh. President Xi Jinping and NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang will also meet with Prime Minister Singh. Prime Minister Singh will deliver a speech in the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC.

China attaches great importance to Prime Minister Singh's visit, which marks another important high-level visit between China and India following Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India last May. This will be the first time for Prime Ministers of the two countries to exchange visits within one year since 1954. It will be of great significance to deepening China-India strategic cooperative partnership.

China and India are the two largest developing countries and important emerging economies in the world. The relationship between the two countries has assumed strategic significance and global implication. The combined population of China and India represents over one third of the world's total. The sound and steady development of bilateral relations is in the interests of both peoples and is of major significance to peace, stability and development of the region and beyond. China-India relationship scored all-round development over the past years. We are ready to, through Prime Minister Singh's visit, work with the Indian side to deepen strategic mutual trust, promote practical cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, strengthen communication and coordination on major international and regional issues and keep pushing ahead China-India strategic cooperative partnership.

Q: Regardless of China and the ROK's opposition, Japanese cabinet members and about 160 lawmakers paid homage to the Yasukuni Shrine during the autumn festival, a record high since the end of the Cold War. It is also reported that Abe was extremely regrettable that he could not visit the shrine during his previous stint as prime minister and the special aide to the LDP chief said that Abe is likely to visit the Yasukuni Shrine by year-end. What is China's comment?

A: China has repeatedly expounded its attitude and position on the Yasukuni Shrine issue. The Yasukuni Shrine is the Japanese militarism's symbol and its spiritual tool for aggression wars against other countries. Japanese leaders' visits to the Shrine is an issue about how Japan views and deals with its history of aggression and colonial rule. Whether Japan can correctly view and sincerely reflect on its history of aggression and colonial rule during WWII concerns not only where Japan itself is heading but also Japan's future with its Asian neighbours and peace and stability in Northeast Asia. Japan's relations with its Asian neighbours have no future if it does not reflect on its history of aggression and remains hell-bent on militarism. We once again urge the Japanese side to live up to its statement and commitment of reflecting on its history of aggression and take concrete actions to strive for the trust of its Asian neighbours and the international community.

Q: It is reported that police in the Maldives headed off a Presidential vote on October 19 on grounds that it violated the rules of the Supreme Court. President Waheed called for a new round of election as soon as possible. What is China's comment?

A: As a friendly neighbour of the Maldives, China follows closely the development of its political landscape and sincerely hopes that the Maldives could maintain national stability and social development. Presidential election is a domestic matter of the Maldives. China respects the independent choice of the people in the Maldives and hopes relevant parties could properly resolve differences through friendly consultations. We believe that the government and people of the Maldives have the wisdom and capacity to resolve relevant issues.

Q: Please give us more details of Russian Prime Minister Medvedev's visit to China. Will China and Russia sign any business deals, especially in the energy field?

A: At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev will pay an official visit to China from October 22 to 23 and co-host with Premier Li Keqiang the 18th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers. President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders will also meet with Prime Minister Medvedev. Apart from Beijing, Prime Minister Medvedev will also go to Anhui Province for a visit.

Now as China-Russia relationship stands on a new starting point, the two countries enjoy even more sound momentum of cooperation in various fields. China hopes to further tap the huge potential for cooperation between the two countries through this visit and strive for more cooperation results in economy and trade, investment, energy, high-tech, aviation and space and people-to-people and cultural fields. As to whether the two sides will sign any new energy cooperation agreements, I don't have information for you at the moment.

Q: There are comments in Japan saying that the opposition to Japanese leaders' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine by China and the ROK is interference in Japan's domestic affairs. What is China's comment?

A: On the issue of Japanese leaders' visits to the Yasukuni Shrine, there is much consensus among its Asian neighbours, including China and the ROK. The Yasukuni Shrine is the Japanese militarism's symbol and its spiritual tool for aggression wars against other countries. There are still 14 Class-A criminals of WWII worshipped in the shrine, who have committed monstrous crimes against people of China and other victimized Asian countries. Japanese leaders' visits to the Shrine is an issue about how Japan views and deals with its history of aggression and colonial rule and this is by no means Japan's domestic affair. We hope Japan could honestly reflect on history, correctly handle relevant historical issues and strive for the trust of its Asian neighbours and the international community with concrete actions.

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