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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 3, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on December 3, 2013.

Q: US Vice President Joe Biden will pay a visit to China. Would you please give us the major topic that leaders of the two countries will cover during their meeting? How does China comment on the current China-US relations? What is China's expection for Biden's visit?

A: We released the information of US Vice President Biden's visit to China on December 1. China welcomes his visit. We hope that this visit will help advance the building of the new model of major-country relationship between China and the US and play a positive role in promoting regional peace, stability and development. During his visit, Chinese leaders will meet and hold talks with Vice President Biden. We will release relevant information in due course.

At present, China-US relations in general enjoy an active and stable momentum of growth. Building a new model of China-US major-country relationship and keeping the healthy and steady growth of bilateral relationship serves the fundamental interests of both peoples. It is also conducive to peace, stability and prosperity of the region and beyond. China is ready to work with the US to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and President Obama, and translate the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation to every aspect of bilateral relationship. The two sides should strengthen dialogue, mutual trust and cooperation, effectively manage differences and sensitive issues, work for new progress in the building of the major-country relationship, and make contribution to peace, stability and development of the region and beyond.

Q: In a recent interview with the Japanese media, US Vice President Biden said that China and Japan should take crisis management and confidence-building measures to lower tensions. What is China's comment?

A: I want to point out that the Air Defense Identification Zones (ADIZ) of China and Japan overlap and with regard to the flight security in the overlapping airspace, China maintains that the two sides should enhance dialogue and communication, which fully demonstrates China's goodwill. However, the Japanese side who keeps saying that its door for dialogue is always open, shuts the door when it truly comes to dialogue. This once again reveals the hypocrisy of the Japanese side who is just making empty calls for dialogue. We urge the Japanese side to correct mistakes, take a responsible attitude and communicate and coordinate with China so as to jointly maintain the order and security of flight in the related airspace above the East China Sea.

Q: If Japanese airlines continue to refuse to file their flight plans with China, will China take measures to limit or ban their commercial flights?

A: According to relevant authorities, after China set up its East China Sea ADIZ, a majority of airlines from relevant countries and regions that have flights flying across the identification zone have reported their flight plans to China. So far, all together 55 airlines from 19 countries and 3 regions have reported their flight plans to China. We appreciate their constructive attitude and their understanding and coordination. We believe that such practice is mutually beneficial. It helps China maintain its own security of territorial land and airspace and prevent miscalculation. In addition, it is also conducive to the flight security of relevant airlines and the flight order above the East China Sea.

Q: Is the aircraft identification rule for the East China Sea ADIZ applicable to all the aircrafts flying through this zone? Do the civil airplanes flying through the zone without entering China's territorial airspace need to report their flight plans to China?

A: There is no unified standard in the establishment of the ADIZ. But countries share the same purpose, that is to uphold national sovereignty and the security of territorial land and airspace. They just differ in specific practices. China requires all aircrafts flying through the East China Sea ADIZ to report their flight plans to China in advance. Such practice is not original with China. Before us, Canada, India, Thailand and the ROK have all asked aircrafts flying through their ADIZs to report flight plans in advance.

I want to point out that the air traffic in the international airspace above the East China Sea is busy. We ask foreign aircrafts flying through the East China Sea ADIZ to report flight plans so as to get the dynamic information in the airspace and prevent miscalculation. That is how we can better uphold security of China's territorial land and airspace and maintain the flight order and security in the relevant airspace.

Q: Should the aircrafts flying through the East China Sea ADIZ report to China's civil aviation authorities or to the military?

A: According to the Announcement of the Aircraft Identification Rules for the East China Sea ADIZ of the PRC, aircrafts flying in the East China Sea ADIZ shall report their flight plans to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China or the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

Q: The spokesperson of the US State Department reportedly said that China needs to rescind its East China Sea ADIZ. What is China's response?

A: Recently, we have repeatedly expounded on issues concerning China's establishment of the East China Sea ADIZ. The establishment of the East China Sea ADIZ falls within China's sovereignty. It is a necessary measure taken by China in exercising its justifiable self-defense rights. Relevant practice is fully in compliance with international laws and practices and should be respected and coordinated by other countries.

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