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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on November 18, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a press conference on November 18, 2013.

Qin Gang started the press conference with the following announcements:

At the invitation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta of Romania and Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council will attend the China-Central and Eastern European Countries Summit in Romania, pay an official visit to Romania and attend the 12th Prime Ministers' Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Member States in Uzbekistan from November 25 to 29.

At the China-Central and Eastern European Countries Summit, Premier Li Keqiang will elaborate on China's framework measures on promoting cooperation with Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC), have an in-depth exchange of views with leaders of the 16 CEE countries on the improvement of cooperation and meet respectively with CEEC leaders. During his stay in Romania, Premier Li Keqiang will hold talks and meet with Romanian leaders to jointly draw up a plan for bilateral cooperation in various fields and advance the sustained, sound and steady development of China-Romania relations.

At the 12th Prime Ministers' Meeting of the SCO Member States, Premier Li Keqiang will expound on China's policy on deepening practical cooperation across the board within the SCO and have an in-depth exchange of views with leaders at the meeting on enhancing the development of the SCO and promoting regional peace, stability and development. Premier Li Keqiang will also meet with leaders of relevant countries.

To give the media more information about Premier Li Keqiang's visits and attendance at relevant meetings, the International Press Center of the Chinese Foreign Ministry will hold press briefings here at the Blue Hall at 10:30 a.m. on November 20 (Wednesday) and at 2:30 p.m. on November 22 (Friday) to respectively brief Chinese and foreign media about Premier Li Keqiang's attendance at the 12th Prime Ministers' Meeting of the SCO Member States and his visit to Romania to attend the China-Central and Eastern European Countries Summit. Welcome to the briefings.

At the invitation of Olga Golodets, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation and Chairman of the Russian Organizing Committee of the China-Russia Tourism Year, Wang Yang, Vice Premier of the State Council and Chairman of the Chinese Organizing Committee of the China-Russia Tourism Year will attend the closing ceremony of the Tourism Year of China in Russia from November 20 to 23.

Q: Taiwan announced today that it had severed "diplomatic relations" with Gambia. Has the mainland contacted Gambia in recent days? Is the mainland considering establishing diplomatic ties with Gambia?

A: We have noticed the changes in the relationship between Taiwan and its so-called "diplomatic ally". We always maintain that we develop friendly cooperative relations with all other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the One China policy. The mainland is ready to work with Taiwan to jointly maintain and promote the sound situation of the peaceful development of cross-straits relations.

Q: China expressed its readiness to dispatch the emergency medical assistance team to the Philippines on humanitarian grounds. When and on what conditions will the Chinese medical team set off? Which part of the Philippines will the team go to?

A: The emergency medical assistance team that the Chinese government is going to send to the Typhoon-hit areas of the Philippines is ready to leave. Many non-governmental professional rescue teams affiliated with the Red Cross Society of China are also on standby. We are in communication with the Philippines on this. Once the Philippines gives the permission and the conditions permit, the medical and rescue teams will immediately leave for the disaster-stricken areas. As we have said before, the Chinese government is to provide tents, blankets and other emergency humanitarian relief for the disaster-hit areas in the Philippines. The relief supplies will be arriving in the Philippines today and tomorrow.

At the invitation of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Red Cross Society of China will send an expert to the Philippines today to join the international expert panel on wind disaster relief. This expert will assess the damage caused by the Typhoon together with experts from other countries and hold meetings with local relief workers so as to provide guidance for the relief efforts.

Q: Results released by the Elections Commission of the Maldives showed that Progressive Party candidate Abdulla Yameen was elected new president of the Maldives. What is China's comment on this and what is China's expectation for China-Maldives relations?

A: China is pleased to see that the presidential election of the Maldives was successfully held on November 16. China congratulates Mr. Yameen on being elected as the new President of the Maldives.

China and the Maldives are neighbors that enjoy long-standing friendship. Bilateral relations have maintained a sound momentum of growth over the recent years. The Maldives is one of Chinese citizens' favorite tourist destinations. Recent years has seen a rapid increase of Chinese tourists to the Maldives and China has been the largest source of tourists of the Maldives for three consecutive years. China attaches great importance to its relations with the Maldives and stands ready to work with its new government to further deepen friendly cooperation in various fields so as to deliver benefits to the two countries and two peoples.

Q: China's mainland and Taiwan reached the agreement of "diplomatic truce" in 2008. According to some mainland scholars, China's mainland has since then declined five countries' requests for the establishment of diplomatic ties. Please confirm it.

A: We stay committed to developing friendly cooperative relations with other countries in the world on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the One China principle. There is but one China in the world. Sticking to the One China principle is the universal consensus of the international community and supporting the peaceful reunification of China is an overwhelming trend.

Q: A high-level business delegation from Japan is reportedly visiting China. What influence will this visit have on the relationship between China and Japan?

A: To my knowledge, the Japan-China Economic Association delegation you have mentioned arrived in Beijing today at the invitation of the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. It will have a series of meetings and visits. We hope that through such visits, we could promote the Japanese business sector's understanding on China and China's stance and proposition on China-Japan relations. We hope that friendly personnel from all walks of life of the two countries could make joint efforts to inject new impetus to the improvement and development of China-Japan relationship.

Q: China says it has been in touch with the Philippines on the assistance issue. Do you have any update?

A: We have been in touch with the Philippines both at the governmental level and the non-governmental level including the Red Cross Society of China. With respect to assistance, I said just now that the emergency relief supplies that China provides for the Philippines have already been or will be transported to the Philippines today and tomorrow. With regard to the medical team, we are still in communication with the Philippines.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after his visit to Cambodia that maritime disputes should be solved through peaceful means and that principles of addressing maritime security issues by international law should be set. Analysis says that this move is aimed at China. What is China's comment?

A: I have seen relevant reports. The Chinese government and people are unswerving in their resolve and will to safeguard the national territorial sovereignty. Meanwhile, we maintain that relevant differences and disputes should be effectively managed and resolved through negotiation and consultation based on the respect for historical facts and the spirit of international law. China has been making active efforts and contributions to that end. We hope that all other relevant parties could work together with China to safeguard regional peace and stability.

I have also noticed that Japan seems to lay a special emphasis on the norms of international law. Then we wonder, on the issue of the Diaoyu islands, whether the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation still count or not, whether the outcomes of the victory of the world anti-Fascist war and the post-war international order should be observed or not and whether the purposes and the principles of the UN Charter should be upheld or not?

Q: The Australian intelligence agency has allegedly spied on the mobile phone conversations of the Indonesian President. The Australian Prime Minister neither confirmed nor denied that, but said that Australia gathered information to help its allies. Has China noticed relevant reports and is China concerned about that, given earlier allegations that the Australian Embassy in China was used by the US to gather intelligence here?

A: Over the recent period of time, reports about intelligence gathering have flared up, causing universal attention and concerns. Countries concerned should make clarification and explanation and reflect upon themselves. Universally recognized international law and norms governing international relations should be respected and observed in the development of state-to-state relations and other countries' security should not be harmed. This is both the requirement for foreign diplomatic missions in China and a universally recognized norm governing international relations.

Q: At the Commonwealth Summit in Colombo, human rights violation in Sri Lanka has become a big issue. The British Prime Minister raised the deadline to next March or so for Sri Lanka to set right its human rights record; otherwise, it will be taken on by the UN Human Rights Council. What is China's comment?

A: What you have mentioned is the "domestic affairs" of the British Commonwealth. But we hold that since national conditions of countries differ and levels of economic and social development vary, countries can have differences or even disagreements on human rights protection. What is the most important is that human rights conditions should be improved by the governments of countries concerned through their efforts and constructive help should also be offered by the international community. We have been upholding that on the issue of human rights, the international community should enhance mutual understanding and cooperation through dialogues and exchanges to jointly promote the international cause of human rights in a constructive way.

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