|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on November 21, 2013|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on November 21, 2013.
Q: US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and House Committee on Foreign Affairs respectively passed bills concerning arms sales to Taiwan, encompassing the content of selling or transferring four Perry-class frigates to Taiwan. What is China's comment?
A: China expresses firm opposition to and strong dissatisfaction with the deliberation and adoption of bills concerning arms sales to Taiwan by relevant US Congress committees. China is firmly opposed to any country's sale of arms to Taiwan. This position is clear and consistent. We urge some of the US Congressmen to discard their cold war mentality, observe the one-China policy and the three joint communiqués between China and the US, truly uphold the spirit of building a new model of major-country relationship between China and the US, stop pushing through any bill on arms sales to Taiwan and do more to promote the sound and steady growth of China-US ties as well as the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations rather than the opposite.
Q: First, how does China view the prospects of the new round of dialogue on the Iranian nuclear issue held this week in Geneva? Second, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission released its annual report for 2013, calling for the US to dramatically increase its naval footprint in the Pacific to offset China's military capabilities. What is China's comment?
A: On your first question, we have repeatedly expounded on China's position on the new round of talks between the P5+1 and Iran. China maintains that relevant countries should advance the dialogue on a step-by-step and reciprocal basis. Dialogues on the Iranian nuclear issue have taken on a positive momentum recently, with all parties showing their political readiness to solve the problem. China hopes that the parties could seize the opportunity, keep the momentum going, minimize differences and work for the best possible results. China will continue to play a positive role and strive for an ideal outcome of the dialogue.
On your second question, China sticks fast to the path of peaceful development and upholds a defence policy that is defensive in nature. To develop China's defence capabilities at a proper and moderate level is to safeguard China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. Always being an important force that safeguards peace and development in the Asia Pacific, China has made great contributions to regional peace, stability and development. The so-called "Commission" you mentioned releases year after year such kind of reports brimming with ideological prejudice and cold war mentality. Its arguments are not worth refuting at all. We hope that this "Commission" could discard its cold war mentality and refrain from disturbing the development of China-US relations.
Q: The China-related annual report released by the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission also touches upon the issue of universal suffrage in Hong Kong. What is China's comment?
A: We have made clear many times our position on the issue of Hong Kong's political system. This issue, which is the internal affair of Hong Kong and the domestic affair of China, brooks no interference from any other country.
Q: The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) today called for the stop of the vote counting of the constituent assembly election, claiming that there had been irregularities in the process. What is China's comment?
A: As a friendly neighbor of Nepal, we hope that the election of Nepal's constituent assembly will be a success and that the constitution-making process will be completed at an early date. China is ready to work with the Nepalese side to constantly advance our comprehensive partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship and bring benefits to our two peoples.
After the press conference, a journalist asked: The second round of China-Russia-Pakistan Trilateral Dialogue on Afghanistan was held in Pakistan the other day. Please brief us about the dialogue and China's position.
Hong Lei said that the second China-Russia-Pakistan Trilateral Dialogue on Afghanistan was held in Islamabad on November 20.
The three sides are of the view that the situation in Afghanistan after 2014 will exert a major influence on regional peace and stability. They reaffirmed their support to the inclusive "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" reconciliation process. Peace, security and development are all indispensable. The international community should step up its support to the economic development of Afghanistan.
The three sides support the enhancement of exchanges and improvement of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan, highlighting its positive effect on the regional landscape.
The three sides also agreed that the role of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on the issue of Afghanistan should be reinforced. Russia and Pakistan gave their backing to China's holding of the fourth Foreign Ministers' Conference of the Istanbul Process in Tianjin next year. As agreed by the three countries, the next trilateral dialogue will be held in Moscow in the first half of 2014.
Hong Lei issued a notice:
The International Press Center of the Foreign Ministry will hold a press briefing here at the Blue Hall tomorrow afternoon at 2:30. Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao and relevant officials from the Ministry of Commerce will brief you about Premier Li Keqiang's official visit to Romania and his attendance at the China-Central and Eastern European Countries Summit. Welcome to the briefing. The regular press conference will be adjourned tomorrow.