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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 4, 2013


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on December 4, 2013.

Q: In addition to the issue of the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ), what are the other aspects in China-US relationship that China wants to see progress during its leaders' meeting with the US Vice President Joe Biden?

A: The current China-US relationship enjoys active and stable momentum of growth. The development of a new model of major-country relationship is conducive not only to both countries and peoples, but also to the maintenance of peace, stability and development in this region and beyond. During Vice President Biden's visit to China, the two sides will have in-depth discussions on building the new model of major-country relationship which is the important consensus between President Xi Jinping and President Obama, fully implementing the concept of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. We hope that China and the US can increase mutual trust, expand mutually beneficial cooperation, effectively manage and properly address disputes and elevate bilateral relationship to a new high.

With regard to the issue of the ADIZ, we have repeatedly expounded on China's position recently. We hope that the US side will show understanding and respect to and cooperate with China's justified actions.

Q: Some of China's neighbors see the East China Sea ADIZ as a destabilizing factor to regional peace. What is China's response?

A: I don't agree with that.

The establishment of the East China Sea ADIZ by the Chinese government is a necessary measure to protect national sovereignty and territorial and airspace security. It is also conducive to the flight security in the international airspace and in compliance with international laws and conventions. China always respects other countries' freedom of overflight entitled by international law. All international flights if operate normally in accordance with rules in the ADIZ, will not be affected at all and this is simply the reality. After the announcement of the ADIZ, China has gained understanding and recognition from a growing number of countries. So far, 55 airlines from 19 countries and 3 regions have reported their flight plans to China. More and more people come to realize that the East China Sea ADIZ is a zone of security and cooperation, rather than a zone of risks and confrontation.

Our neighbor Japan made irresponsible remarks on this issue, with an attempt to play it up, create frictions and damage regional stability. It is Japan that unilaterally and illegally "purchased" the Diaoyu islands, frequently sends ships and planes to disturb China's normal military exercises and trainings and hypes China threat so as to make up an excuse for constitutional amendment and military build-up. We urge Japan to stop provocation and disturbance to China's justified actions and work with us to uphold the flight security and order in relevant airspace.

Q: First, what is China's comment on the current situation in Ukraine? Second, could you give us more details on the Ukrainian President Yanukovych's visit to China?

A: On your first question, China has been following the development of the situation in Ukraine. We hope and believe that relevant parties in Ukraine can address disputes through consultation and jointly maintain social unity and stability. We also hope that the international community will play a constructive role in this regard.

On your second question, President Yanukovych has arrived in China for a state visit. He will visit Xi'an first and arrive in Beijing later today. His visit is a long-scheduled one based on bilateral agreement. We hope that this visit will help the two sides deepen political mutual trust, expand mutually beneficial cooperation, strengthen cultural exchanges, lift China-Ukraine relationship to a new level and bring benefits to both countries and peoples.

Q: Some US congressmen are reportedly concerned that the ROK is allowing a Chinese company Huawei to build telecommunication network in the ROK. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. I want to point out that Huawei and other Chinese companies conduct their international business operation in accordance with the rules of the market economy. They win the bid for cooperation projects through innovation and fair play. They observe the local laws and regulations, work with relevant countries for win-win results and make contributions to the local economic and social development. We hope that relevant countries will view the overseas business activities by Chinese companies such as Huawei in an objective and equitable way, instead of treating them at every turn as security or political issues.

Q: On Ukrainian President Yanukovych's visit to China, is China ready to provide Ukraine with more financial assistance?

A: In recent years, China and Ukraine have been engaged in substantive cooperation in a wide range of fields. Such cooperation is not only conducive to promoting the economic and social development in Ukraine, but also highly significant to China. During this visit, leaders of the two countries will have in-depth exchange of views on mutually beneficial cooperation which is an issue of common interest.

Q: First, how does China comment on the meeting between US Vice President Biden and Japanese leaders yesterday? Second, Japan established the "National Security Council" today. What is China's comment?

A: On the first question, I want to focus on the following points. First, China's establishment of the East China Sea ADIZ is completely out of the justifiable need for self-defense, which complies with international laws and practices. Both the US and Japan should view it in an objective and just way. Second, it is not China but Japan that is unilaterally altering the status quo and creating tensions. Third, Vice President Biden suggested dialogues and communication between China and Japan. We are ready to communicate with the Japanese side on relevant technical issues based on equality and mutual respect and jointly maintain the flight order and security in relevant airspace. Fourth, we require Japan to stop provoking China, making troubles or playing on this issue. Instead, it should strengthen communication and coordination with China and take concrete steps in maintaining peace and stability in this region and relevant airspace and improving China-Japan relationship.

On the second question, Japan's move in the military-security field has been followed very closely by its Asian neighbors and the international community due to historical reasons. Since early this year, there have been many negative developments in this field. The Japanese Prime Minister stated that "the definition of what constitutes aggression has yet to be established" and the Vice Prime Minister called for constitutional reforms by drawing upon Nazi tactics. How can such words and deeds put its Asian neighbors at ease? We demand the Japanese side to take its Asian neighbors' concerns seriously, conform to the trend of the times, follow the path of peaceful development and do more to promote regional peace and stability.

Q: Recently some western officials expressed their concerns over China's "pattern of behavior" in settling disputes with other countries in this region. Is China concerned about the negative impact on China's image?

A: China's position on the relevant issue remains unchanged. For one thing, like any other country, China must firmly uphold its national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. For another, China always stresses that we are ready to resolve disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests through bilateral dialogue and consultation with relevant countries. The international community and our Asian neighbors are increasingly aware of China's position and delivering understanding and support to us.

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