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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 31, 2013

2013/10/31

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on October 31, 2013.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Vesna Pusić of Croatia will pay an official visit to China from November 4 to 8.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pusić. The two will exchange views on bilateral relations, China's cooperation with Central and Eastern European countries, China-EU relations and other issues of common interest. Chinese leaders will meet with her.

Apart from Beijing, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pusić and her entourage will also visit Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Q: The "World Uyghur Congress" reportedly expressed doubt over China's handling of the "October 28" incident and called for an independent investigation of it. It also criticized China's policies on ethnic groups and religions. What is China's comment?

A: The Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau has released the initial investigation results of the "October 28" incident. The police identified this as a carefully planned, organized and premeditated violent terrorist attack. Such attacks, which target innocent civilians and tourists, are against humanity, society and civilization and should be strongly condemned by all conscientious mankind.

China is a country under the rule of law and the Chinese government protects the rights of all ethnic groups, including their freedom of religious belief, in accordance with law. To severely punish terrorists in accordance with law is a must for upholding the sanctity of law, for maintaining social order and for safeguarding the basic human rights. No single law-based and responsible government would condone terrorist acts.

The Chinese government firmly opposes and cracks down on terrorism of all manifestations. We oppose applying "double-standard" in counter-terrorism or associating terrorism with certain ethnic groups or religions. Some link the terrorist acts of a handful of extremists with ethnic and religious issues or even use this as an excuse to attack China's policies on ethnic groups and religions. Such behavior with ulterior motive is extremely wrong.

I also want to call your attention to the fact that "East Turkistan" terrorist forces have long been engaged in separatist activities aimed at splitting China and establishing the so-called "East Turkistan" state in Xinjiang. They even collude with foreign terrorist forces in an attempt to carry out terrorist activities and sabotage China's development and stability. We hope the international community and all relevant parties could have a clear understanding of it and relevant media could see the truth and facts in an objective, impartial and cool-headed manner in their reports and comments on relevant incidents.

Q: A few Japanese media recently reported that Russia's holding of the Foreign and Defence Ministerial consultation with Japan is to contain China with Japan. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Morgulov refuted these remarks, saying that those media reports are distorting facts. He also said that China is Russia's strategic partner, and Russia will not talk of China behind its back. What is China's comment?

A: I have noted relevant reports and remarks by Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Morgulov. China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has never been better than today. The two have established high-level political mutual trust and are offering more and more support to each other. We maintain close communication and cooperation on international and regional issues. China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination will not be disturbed or influenced by any external force. Some individuals' attempt, for whatever purposes, to sow discord between China and Russia is made to no avail.

Q: It is reported that the US intelligence is operating 80 special collection services around the world, including listening posts in US diplomatic missions in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu. Some intelligence agents go undercover as diplomats. What is China's comment? What impact will it have on China-US relations?

A: China is severely concerned about relevant reports. We have lodged representations with the US and required the US to make a clarification and offer an explanation. We urge foreign diplomatic missions and personnel in China to strictly abide by international treaties, including the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and not to engage, in any way, in activities that are inconsistent with their functions and capacities and that jeopardize China's national security and interests.

The sound and steady growth of China-US ties is in the interests of not only the two countries, but also peace, stability, prosperity and development of the Asia Pacific and beyond. The two sides should make joint efforts to bring the spirit of the new model of major-country relationship of no conflict or confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation to all aspects of bilateral relations.

Q: Please give us more details of the visit by Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran Ali Larijani. Did the two sides talk about Syria and the Iranian nuclear issue? What are China's positions on the Syrian issue and on the new round of talks between Iran and P5+1 countries in Geneva?

A: Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran Ali Larijani visited China the other day. President Xi Jinping, NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang and other Chinese leaders met and held talks with him respectively. The Chinese side spoke highly of China-Iran relations. President Xi Jinping stated that the growth of China-Iran relations not only serves the common interests of the two countries but also contributes to peace and stability in the Middle East region. China views its relations with Iran from a strategic height and with long-term interests in mind. China stands ready to carry forward the traditional friendship between the two countries and advance their friendship and cooperation across the board. Speaker Larijani said that Iran attaches great importance to growing relations with China and expects to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with China in economy and trade, energy, investment and other fields. The two sides also exchanged views on issues of common interest, including the Syrian issue and Iranian nuclear issue.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, China believes that there have been some positive changes thanks to the concerted efforts of Iran and all other relevant parties. China welcomes that and will continue to play a constructive role in advancing the peaceful solution of the Iranian nuclear issue within the mechanism of the P5+1. Iran and the P5+1 countries will hold another round of talks in Geneva. We hope that all parties could seize opportunities, be pragmatic and flexible, seek for common ground and remove differences so as to make early progress and create conditions for a full, proper and long-term settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.

On the Syrian issue, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who is visiting France, elaborated China's position on the issue to Xinhua News Agency upon request. Wang Yi stressed that political solution is the only realistic way out for the Syrian issue. Efforts should be made on the domestic, regional and international levels to push for an early convening of Geneva II and the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué. Work on finding a political solution and destroying the chemical weapons in Syria should be advanced in parallel. China will continue to play an active and constructive role to this end.

Wang Yi said that all parties in Syria should bear in mind the future of the country and the overall interests of its people and resolve differences through dialogue and consultation. The priority now is that all parties should support the mediation efforts of the UN Secretary-General and the Joint Special Representative of the UN and the Arab League on the Syrian crisis and participate in Geneva II without any preconditions so that the conference could be more representative, and all parties could express their aspirations in dialogue and negotiation and pave the way for political transition through consultation.

On the regional level, China supports regional countries' important role in the political solution. We also support them in safeguarding peace and stability of the Middle East region and promoting harmony among different ethnic groups, religions and factions for common progress. We hope regional countries could leverage their unique influence, send out a concerted signal on the early convocation of Geneva II and the full implementation of the Geneva Communiqué and actively exert their influence on all parties of Syria. China supports relevant countries in attending Geneva II.

On the international level, the international community should resolutely uphold the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations, respect the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria and respect the will and choice of the Syrian people. The political transition of Syria should be led by the Syrian people and the future of Syria can only be determined by the Syrian people. The international community should create favorable conditions for the convening of Geneva II and fully harness the important role of the UN but should refrain from imposing an external political solution.

Wang Yi also stated that the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria is well underway with positive progress. Chinese experts have joined relevant work of the OPCW upon invitation and China is also ready to provide financial assistance. China hopes that all parties could support the work of the joint mission of the OPCW and the UN to ensure the smooth and complete destruction of chemical weapons.

Q: It is reported that the 68th Session of the UN General Assembly elected China as a member of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) by a unanimous vote on October 30. How has China been able to keep its membership in the Council since 1972?

A: ECOSOC is an important UN agency in charge of economic, social, development, cultural, education and public health affairs. China has been a member of the Council ever since 1972, making positive contributions to international cooperation in economic and social fields. China's efforts have been recognized by the international community. As China is now successfully re-elected, it stands ready to work with other UN members to make greater contributions to the development of mankind.

Q: Abe said today that he would express gratitude to a Chinese student for rescuing a drowning Japanese boy when a typhoon swept across Japan not long ago. What is China's comment?

A: I have noted reports of a Chinese student rescuing a Japanese boy. Such act of mutual assistance in times of adversity shows the two peoples' aspiration for peace, amity and harmonious co-existence.

Q: It is reported that the US Treasury submitted a semi-annual report to Congress yesterday, saying that the RMB was "significantly undervalued". What is China's comment?

A: Please refer to competent authorities for further information. Over the years, China's current account surplus-to-GDP ratio has been declining steadily and there is a supply-demand balance in the foreign exchange market. There is no such thing as "significantly undervalued". China will remain committed to reforming the formation mechanism of the RMB exchange rate and will continue to improve the managed floating exchange rate regime based on the principles of independent initiative, controllability and gradual progress. We hope the US could correctly view and properly manage the issue of RMB exchange rate and other trade and economic issues and work with China to ensure the sound and steady growth of China-US business relations.

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