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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on November 11, 2013

2013/11/11

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a press conference on November 11, 2013.

Qin Gang started the press conference with the following announcements:

As agreed by China and the EU, the 16th China-EU Summit will be held in Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with President Herman Van Rompuy of the European Council and President José Manuel Barroso of the European Commission. Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council will hold meetings with European leaders on November 21.

At the Summit which will be held on the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, the two sides will map out a five to ten-year plan on future cooperation, in a bid to build an upgraded version of China-EU cooperation.

As agreed by China and the EU, the 4th round of China-EU High-level Strategic Dialogue will be held in Beijing on November 20, co-chaired by Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission.

The two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on current international situation, China-EU relations and regional hotspot issues of common interest.

Q: The amnesty bill has recently sparked political uneasiness in Thailand. What is China's comment?

A: China and Thailand are friendly neighbours. China follows the recent development of the political situation in Thailand. We believe that the Thai government and people have the ability to properly handle the problems. We also hope that Thailand could maintain political stability to ensure economic growth and people's wellbeing.

Q: The American Broadcasting Company (ABC) said the other day that it had publicly apologized for broadcasting the program with offensive remarks against China, admitted its mistake and promised to avoid the reoccurrence of similar incidents in the future. What is China's comment?

A: Overseas Chinese in the US have spontaneously held demonstrations to protest the ABC's offensive remarks against China. It must be pointed out that disseminating racial discrimination and hatred is against the social responsibility of the media. The ABC should squarely face its own mistake, make sincere response to the legitimate requirements of the overseas Chinese in the US and avoid the reoccurrence of similar incidents.

Q: Typhoon Haiyan swept acorss the Philippines over the weekend. Will China provide assistance for the Philippines?

A: Typhoon Haiyan has caused severe casualties and huge property losses to the Philippines. The Chinese side has expressed sympathy with and solicitude to the Philippines. The Chinese government will provide emergency humanitarian disaster relief assistance for the Philippine government. The Red Cross Society of China will do the same to its Philippine counterpart.

Q: It is reported that because of Typhoon Haiyan, some Chinese tourists are stranded in the Philippines. What assistance has the Chinese government given them?

A: After Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, Chinese diplomatic missions there immediately launched the emergency response mechanism, verified the information about Chinese casualties via various channels, contacted and asked relevant airlines in the Philippines to properly accommodate the stranded Chinese tourists and help them leave the Philippines as soon as possible. They also provided the Chinese citizens with consulting services and assisted them in contacting their relatives and friends. Up to now, there has been no report of Chinese casualties.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions in the Philippines will closely follow the development of the disaster and provide consular protection and assistance for the Chinese citizens there in a timely fashion.

Q: First, what is China's comment on the just concluded dialogue between the P5+1 and Iran. What role has China played during the dialogue? What is China's position on the outlined deal proposed during the Geneva dialogue? France rejected it, while the UK and Russia seemed to deem it as acceptable. Second, Iran insisted that as a party to the Non Proliferation Treaty, it should have the right to enrich uranium. Does China have a position on that? Third, US lawmakers have been saying that they would push through legislations to tighten sanctions on Iran, so as to force a complete stop to Iran's oil trade. If such legislation is enacted, how would China response?

A: On your first question, the latest round of dialogue held in Geneva between the P5+1 and Iran on the Iranian nuclear issue was very arduous but also very serious. We believe progress has been made in the dialogue, as all parties expressed the activeness to solve problems and mutual understanding was enhanced, consensus expanded and differences narrowed down. However, ice of three feet is not frozen in a single day. Given its complexity, negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue between the P5+1 and Iran have lasted for ten straight years. The issue cannot be solved overnight.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong attended this round of dialogue, during which he emphasized that the dialogue and negotiation themselves are a confidence-building process and that all parties should continue to promote mutual trust, expand consensus and narrow differences through dialogue and consultation on the basis of the existing dialogues. China always advocates the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and consultation, upholds an objective and fair position and actively promotes peace talks. China will continue to maintain communication and coordination with relevant parties and make unremitting efforts to peacefully resolve the Iranian nuclear issue through political and diplomatic means.

On your second question, China always maintains that all countries are entitled to the peaceful use of nuclear energy and that rights should go hand in hand with obligations. Relevant countries should fulfill their obligations of nuclear non-proliferation and accept the safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

On your third question, I want to emphasize that China always opposes the the imposition of sanctions by a country based upon its domestic law against another country and will by no means accept the imposition of such sanctions on any third party. I want to point out that the business interactions and energy cooperation between China and Iran, which are normal and in conformity with the international law, neither violate relevant UN resolutions nor harm the interests of other parties. Such cooperation is open, transparent and legal.

Q: Please give us more details of Foreign Minister Wang Yi's attendance at the 12th China-Russia-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting and brief us on his meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid.

A: Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian and Indian counterparts held the 12th China-Russia-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting yesterday in New Delhi. The meeting is very successful.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that as three major emerging markets, China, Russia and India are playing an increasingly important role in not only economic development but also international affairs. The combined population and area of the three countries respectively account for 40% and over 22% of the world's total. The enhancement of the China-Russia-India cooperation will not only benefit the three peoples but also promote peace, stability, development and prosperity of the region and beyond.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi specially underlined at the meeting that the three countries should enhance strategic coordination and practical cooperation, view and advance the trilateral cooperation with strategic and overall interests in mind and render the trilateral cooperation to focus on the three major areas of enhancing strategic mutual trust, coordinating common positions and deepening practical cooperation.

Foreign Ministers of the three countries also had an in-depth exchange of views on international and regional issues of common interest, including the issue of Afghanistan and reached important consensus.

During his stay in India, Foreign Minister Wang Yi also met with Indian Foreign Minister Khurshid. He highlighted that this year marks "a year of harvest" for China-India relations, as leaders of the two countries have engaged in close interactions, which brings bilateral relations into a new stage of development. The two sides should earnestly further strategic mutual trust, make it a shared view of the two countries that China and India are partners rather than rivals, press vigorously ahead with practical cooperation, promote common development and bring benefits to the two peoples. The two sides should step up people-to-people and cultural exchanges to make China-India friendship an aspiration shared by the two peoples.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi suggested that the two sides should make joint efforts to ensure the success of "the year of China-India friendly exchanges", commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, make steady headway in the construction of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, promote practical cooperation on landmark projects, so as to make breakthroughs in cooperation on high-speed railways, heavy haul railways, the renovation and speed-up of existing railway lines and power generation at an early date. The two sides should also properly manage the boundary question, jointly implement the border defence cooperation agreement and maintain peace, stability and tranquility of the border areas. Communication and coordination between the two countries on international and regional affairs should be strengthened to safeguard common interests.

Q: It is reported that China will be elected tomorrow a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council for the 2014-2016 term. What is your comment?

A: China has made great contributions not only to the human rights cause in China but also to that of the world. China is fully qualified to be elected as a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council. Of course, no country in the world can say that it is perfect in human rights, therefore, we maintain that all countries should uphold a principle of mutual respect, strengthen exchanges and promote mutual understanding on the issue of human rights, so as to jointly advance the development of the international human rights cause. We oppose pressure and confrontation.

Q: According to the Indian media, the issue of counter-terrorism was discussed during the China-Russia-India Foreign Ministers' Meeting. Considering the recent "October 28" incident in China and the upcoming withdrawal of the US troops from Afghanistan, will the Chinese side strengthen the strategy of counter-terrorism cooperation in this region?

A: China maintains that the international community should strengthen cooperation to jointly oppose and combat terrorism. Terrorism should not be linked to any particular country, religion or nation. Both the symptoms and the root causes should be addressed in counter-terrorism campaigns. For example, on counter-terrorism in Pakistan, we support Parkistan in formulating and implementing counter-terrorism strategies in accordance with its national conditions. With 2014 approaching, the situation in Afghanistan naturally becomes the key concern of the international community, countries surrounding Afghanistan in particular. We hope the post-2014 Afghanistan can realize peace, stability, development and good neighborliness as soon as possible and truly embark on the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" political process, so as to improve the regional security situation and maintain peace and stability of the whole region. The Chinese side will continue to strengthen communication and coordination with relevant parties to realize the aforementioned goal through concerted efforts.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly said during a meeting of the Japanese House of Councilors the other day that since China is engaged in continuous military buildup and the DPRK is endeavoring to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, Japan is facing an even more severe security situation and should thus actively push for the formulation of the policy on national security. What is China's comment?

A: We express dissatisfaction with Japanese leaders' flagrant hype of the so-called "China threat theory". China follows the path of peaceful development and the defence policy that is defensive in nature. To maintain and develop China's defence capability at a proper and moderate level is to better defend China's national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity against the backdrop of a complex and volatile international and regional security situation.

Japan's move in the military and security sector calls for our close attention. Japan has provoked China over and over again. What on earth does Japan want to do? If it insists on taking China as a rival, Japan has chosen the wrong object and made the wrong calculation, which will lead to nowhere. We hope that the Japanese side could seriously reflect upon history, face up to the reality, think about the future and pursue a path of peaceful development. Japan should do more to promote political mutual trust with its neighbours and regional peace and stability, instead of making an issue of China at every turn to achieve its ulterior motives.

Q: Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister's advisor for national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz yesterday. Please brief us on that.

A: Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Pakistani Prime Minister's advisor for national security and foreign affairs Aziz yesterday in New Delhi, the capital of India. The two sides expressed satisfaction with the sound growth of China-Pakistan relations during the meeting. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. Leaders of the two countries have realized mutual visits within this year and reached a series of important consensus. The two sides are making efforts to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of their countries, enhance strategic communication, expand practical cooperation, foster people-to-people and cultural exchanges, deepen communication on international and regional affairs and boost especially the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the cooperation in other major projects so as to promote the China-Pakistan strategic cooperative partnership to a new high.

Aziz concurred with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He expressed Pakistan's readiness to implement the consensus of the leaders of the two countries together with China, especially to promote bilateral cooperation on major projects, such as the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor. The two sides also had an in-depth exchange of views on relevant regional issues, for example the issue of Afghanistan.

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