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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 23, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on October 23, 2013.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcement:

As agreed by China and the European Union, Vice Premier of the State Council Ma Kai will co-host with Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn and Trade Commissioner De Gucht the fourth China-EU High Level Economic and Trade Dialogue in the EU headquarters in Brussels on October 24 and pay official visits to Belgium, Iceland and Ireland at the invitation of the federal government of Belgium, Prime Minister Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson of Iceland and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade of Ireland Eamon Gilmore from October 25 to 30.

Q: Please brief us on the specifics of Russian Prime Minister Medvedev's visit to China. How does China comment on the outcomes of this visit and the future of China-Russia relations?

A: At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Prime Minister Medvedev paid an official visit to China on October 22 and 23. President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Medvedev yesterday. Premier Li Keqiang held with him the 18th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers. NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang also met with him. A joint communiqué was signed by the two Prime Ministers after their 18th regular meeting. Relevant meetings and talks yielded important agreements and fruitful outcomes.

Chinese leaders expressed that China and Russia are genuinely good neighbours and strategic partners of coordination. The comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia has gained even greater momentum of growth since the beginning of this year. Leaders of the two countries met and held talks with each other on a number of occasions and reached a lot of consensus on major cooperation projects as well as the development direction of China-Russia relationship under the new circumstances. China and Russia should stick steadfast to good-neighbourliness and friendship and extend mutual assistance. The two countries should, with a keen appreciation of the bilateral relationship's unique strategic value to the two countries and beyond, offer sustained support to each other and intensify exchanges of experience on governance so as to realize common development and renewal to the benefit of the two peoples. Prime Minister Medvedev stated that Russia and China have extensive common interests and maintaining close cooperation serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples as well as world peace, stability and development.

The two sides also reached important agreements on deepening practical cooperation across the board. First, the two sides will expand business cooperation, open wider to each other and improve the quality of their trade. Second, the two sides will carry out more joint research, development and production in aviation and space, nuclear energy, high-tech, innovation and other fields. Third, the two sides will enhance and grow comprehensive and strategic cooperation in the energy field. A number of major projects will be followed through, including the additional supply of crude oil, building of natural gas pipelines, upstream oil and gas field development and construction of downstream refineries. Fourth, the two sides will intensify people-to-people and cultural exchanges and pay special attention to friendly exchanges among the youth. Cooperation in the fields of education, tourism, media, public health, sports and sub-national exchanges will also be strengthened to facilitate mutual understanding and friendship. Fifth, the two sides will step up coordination under such multilateral frameworks as the UN, SCO, BRICS and the G20 to safeguard world peace and stability and advance the building of a fair and equitable international order.

Cooperation between China and Russia, the two largest neighbours in the world, two permanent members of the UN Security Council and two major emerging market countries, carries unquestionable significance to the two countries, the Eurasian continent and the world at large. During Prime Minister Medvedev's visit, leaders of the two countries reached important consensus on further growing China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination and mapped out the strategic direction of the future development of China-Russia relationship. The two sides will follow through on the important consensus reached by the two leaders, continuously increase strategic mutual trust, strengthen strategic coordination, deepen practical cooperation across the board and push the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination to a new height.

Q: Please give us more details of Indian Prime Minister Singh's visit to China.

A: Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Singh had an in-depth exchange of views on China-India relations and issues of common interest in their friendly and sincere talks this morning.

Premier Li said that China and India are each other's important neighbours and both are major developing countries and emerging markets. China can bring development opportunities to India as a cooperative partner, and vice versa. Cooperation and joint development between our two countries will not only deliver better livelihood to the 2.5 billion people but also exert far-reaching impact on peace, development and the future of Asia and the world at large. China will, as always, commit itself to the further growth of political mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, promote common development and make new contribution to peace and development in the region and beyond. China is ready to work with the Indian side to deepen strategic security cooperation, tap the potential in business cooperation, foster highlights in people-to-people and cultural exchanges, properly manage and settle differences, strengthen cooperation on multilateral occasions and achieve greater development of China-India relationship with confidence, perseverance and determination.

Prime Minister Singh stated that friendship with China is a priority in India's diplomatic agenda. India stands ready to strengthen political mutual trust with China, promote practical cooperation across the board, increase mutual understanding, further elevate bilateral relations and jointly safeguard regional and world stability and prosperity.

After their talks, the two Prime Ministers jointly witnessed the signing of nine cooperation documents covering transportation, energy, culture, education and sub-national exchanges.

This afternoon President Xi Jinping and NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang will meet with Prime Minister Singh respectively and relevant information will be released in due course. We hope to work with the Indian side, through this visit, to advance the development of China-India relationship in an all-round and rapid manner.

Q: Have China and India signed a border defence cooperation agreement during Prime Minister Singh's visit to China?

A: Today, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Singh jointly witnessed the signing of nine cooperation documents covering transportation, energy, culture, education and sub-national exchanges, and one of them is the border defence cooperation agreement between the two governments.

Over the past decades, with the concerted efforts of the two countries, negotiations on the boundary question have sustained a sound momentum and the border areas are basically peaceful and tranquil. The two sides have effectively managed border-related differences and safeguarded the overall interests of common development.

The China-India border defence cooperation agreement, which codifies some of good practices and experience, has set parameters and guidelines for future handling of similar circumstances. This is of great significance to enhancing friendship and mutual trust and better safeguarding peace and stability of the border areas. It again demonstrates the two countries' resolve and commitment in upholding and promoting friendly and cooperative relations with each other.

Q: It is reported that President Bashir of Sudan and President Kiir of South Sudan issued a joint communiqué after holding talks in Juba on October 22 and reached consensus on the issue of Abyei as well as expediting the establishment of the Safe Demilitarized Border Zone. What is China's comment?

A: China welcomes Sudanese President Bashir's recent visit to South Sudan and the consensus reached by the two leaders on many issues. We hope that Sudan and South Sudan could continue to, in the principle of mutual understanding and accommodation, resolve the outstanding issues through peaceful negotiations. China will continue to make active efforts for the sustained improvement and growth of Sudan-South Sudan relations along with the international community.

Q: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Head of the Russian Delegation to the Six-Party Talks visited China days ago and held talks with Special Representative Wu Dawei of the Chinese Government on the Korean Peninsular Affairs. Please give us more details.

A: On October 21, Special Representative Wu Dawei of the Chinese Government on the Korean Peninsular Affairs held working consultations with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister and Head of the Russian Delegation to the Six-Party Talks Morgulov, having in-depth exchange of views on achieving denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and resuming the Six-Party Talks.

I wish to stress that China has been in close communication with relevant parties of the Six-Party Talks. There have been some positive elements and signs of reduced tensions on the Korean Peninsula. China upholds denuclearization, peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and is committed to resolving relevant issues peacefully through dialogue and consultation under the framework of the Six-Party Talks. China hopes to work with all relevant parties to create conditions for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

Q: The Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council on Universal Periodic Review yesterday carried out the second round of review of China's human rights record. What is China's comment?

A: China underwent the second round of Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland on October 22. In the review, the Chinese delegation elaborated China's efforts, achievements as well as challenges in improving human rights in a down-to-earth manner and engaged in candid and constructive dialogues with other parties. A total of 137 countries made remarks in the meeting and the vast majority of them fully acknowledged China's marked progress in economic and social development, promoting democracy and the rule of law, protecting the rights of special groups and conducting international human rights cooperation. They support China in further promoting and improving human rights in light of its national conditions and hope that China could share its practices and experience in protecting rights to life and development. Naturally, there are also suggestions and criticism to China's human rights record from other countries. We will listen attentively to those constructive criticism and suggestions, study carefully those conforming to China's national conditions and submit feedback to the Human Rights Council in time.

Q: Reports issued by two human rights organizations say that drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen by the US resulted in casualties of civilians and violated international law. What is China's comment?

A: China always maintains that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and relevant military actions should earnestly observe the UN Charter and the International Law of Armed Conflict, including the principle of protecting civilians.

After the press conference, one correspondent asked: Japan's Foreign Ministry reportedly posted a video on the Internet, claiming that the Diaoyu Islands are integral parts of Japan's territory. What is China's comment?

Hua Chunying stated that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. China has sufficient historical and jurisprudential evidence to support that. Whatever propaganda tools Japan employs to support its illegal claim, it will not change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China. We strongly urge the Japanese side to correct its attitude, stop all provocative words and actions and make concrete efforts for the proper management and resolution of the question of the Diaoyu Islands.

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