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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 9, 2013

2013/12/09

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on December 9, 2013.

Q: Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra announced this morning that the parliament was dissolved and her administration would remain in power as a caretaker government until the next election. She called on all parties to observe the principles of constitutional democracy and the rules of election. What is China's comment?

A: China has been following closely the situation in Thailand. We hope that relevant parties in Thailand will bear in mind national interests and people's well-being, properly address the problem at hand and work for early restoration of stability and order.

Q: It is reported that days ago at an annual meeting organized by a Chinese newspaper office, a Minister from the Japanese Embassy said that China unilaterally altered the status quo in the East China Sea. He claimed that if China accuses Japan's secret protection law of constituting militarism, then China is already a militarist nation. What is China's comment?

A: Facts of relevant issues concerning the East China Sea are clear. Japan's accusation against China confuses right and wrong and is totally groundless.

The past, if not forgotten, can serve as a guide to the future. Due to historical reasons, it is normal for the international community and Japan's Asian neighbors, including China to keep an eye on Japan's development trend. It is extremely erroneous and ridiculous that the relevant Japanese confounds the right with the wrong and uses the opportunity to attack China. We are strongly dissatisfied. We urge the Japanese side to listen to the concerns and voices of its Asian neighbors and the international community with an open mind and work to improve bilateral relationship.

Q: Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera and Philippine Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin met on December 7. Both believe that if China sets up an Air Defence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, it will cause regional tension and they are concerned about it. Onodera said that the international community should oppose China's establishment of an ADIZ in the South China Sea. What is China's response?

A: China is resolute in upholding national security and all other countries should not make irresponsible remarks. Besides, China will, as it always does, stick fast to the path of peaceful development, stay as a staunch force in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia Pacific and promoting cooperation and development. China firmly opposes relevant countries' words and deeds which deliberately provoke regional confrontation regardless of the security of others. This is the fundamental factor that affects regional peace and stability.

Q: The UN adopted a resolution upon consensus to designate a "World Cities Day". What is China's comment?

A: On December 7 Beijing time, the Second Committee of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution upon consensus, which decided to designate each and every October 31 starting from 2014 as the "World Cities Day". It is the first time China has proposed an international day in the UN. We express gratitude to every other country and the UN-HABITAT for their active support.

October 31 is the closing day of the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The "World Cities Day", which is originated from the idea of "better city, better life" of the Shanghai World Expo, is to keep up with the trend of accelerated global urbanization. This designation is expected to greatly promote the international community's interest in global urbanization, press ahead cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and challenges in urbanization and contribute to sustainable development in urban areas and around the world.

China is at an important phase of a new-type of urbanization. We want to take the designation of the "World Cities Day" as an opportunity to strengthen international cooperation in urbanization, promote ecological progress and realize sustainable development.

Q: It is reported that the ROK Defense Ministry issued a plan to expand its ADIZ to the airspace above the Suyanjiao. The ROK has notified the US, China and Japan through defense and diplomatic channels. What is China's response to the ROK's decision? What is China's position on the expanded ROK ADIZ which covers the Suyanjiao? China's ADIZ and that of the ROK overlap. What is China's response?

A: China has communicated with the ROK side many times over the establishment of the East China Sea ADIZ. The ROK side also notified China of the expansion of its ADIZ. China expresses regrets over the the ROK's decision. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of National Defense have respectively made clear China's position to the ROK and called on the ROK side to handle relevant issue prudently and properly.China will stay in communication with the ROK in the principle of equality and mutual respect. We hope that the ROK will meet China halfway.

In terms of the Suyanjiao, I want to stress again that an ADIZ is not the territorial airspace. It is established by a country in the public airspace outside its territorial airspace for identification and early-warning. It has nothing to do with maritime and air jurisdiction. The Suyanjiao is an isolated and submerged reef rather than territory. China and the ROK have the consensus that the two sides have no territorial dispute over that. The Suyanjiao is in the overlapping waters of the Exclusive Economic Zones of China and the ROK. This issue can only be resolved through negotiation on maritime demarcation.

Q: It is reported that due to serious differences in the form of election and other issues, there has been increased antagonism between the ruling and opposition parties of Bangladesh, causing thousands of deathes and injuries. What is China's comment on the latest development in Bangladesh?

A: As a friendly neighbor of Bangladesh, China sincerely hopes that relevant parties in Bangladesh will put premium on national interests, find a solution acceptable to both through dialogue, hold an inclusive election at an early date and work together for political stability, social tranquility and economic development.

Q: How will the dismissal of Jang Song Thaek, Vice Chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission affect the situation in Northeast Asia?

A: We have noted relevant reports. This is the internal affairs of the DPRK.

As a friendly neighbor, we hope to see national stability, economic development and people living in happiness in the DPRK. China will stay committed to promoting its traditional, friendly and cooperative relationship with the DPRK.

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