|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on December 30, 2013|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a press conference on December 30, 2013.
Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said after visiting the Yasukuni Shrine that he wants to explain his visit to Chinese and ROK leaders in person and establish friendly relations with the two countries. How does China respond?
A: Abe has been playing a double game in China-Japan relations ever since he took office. The erroneous actions he takes jeopardize the overall interests of China-Japan relations and hurt the feeling of the Chinese people. This time he went even further. In disregard of China's firm opposition and solemn representations, he insisted on paying a visit to the Yasukuni Shrine where Class-A war criminals are housed, openly violated the principle and spirit of the four political documents between the two sides and severely damaged the political foundation of China-Japan relations. Abe's hypocrisy in his claims of attaching importance to growing ties with China and his hopes for dialogue with Chinese leaders has been fully revealed. In fact it is Abe himself who shuts the door on dialogue with Chinese leaders. The Chinese people do not welcome him. Now, Abe needs to admit his mistakes to the Chinese government and people and change course.
Q: China said that the Chinese people do not welcome Abe. Does it mean that the Chinese side will bring high level contacts with Japanese leaders to a full stop and not meet with them on any bilateral or multilateral occasions?
A: Let me tell you why the Chinese people do not welcome Abe. Since Abe assumes office, he has miscalculated on China-Japan relations and made mistakes one after another, especially visiting the Yasukuni Shrine which houses Class-A war criminals. Who are these Class-A war criminals? They are the ones engaged in plotting, waging and implementing Japanese militarism's war of aggression. They are criminals of history subject to trials of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. They have the blood of people from victimized countries on their hands. They are fascists and "Nazis" of Asia.
Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine, in nature, is to overturn the Tokyo trials, whitewash the history of aggression and colonial rule by militarist Japan and deny the outcome of the world anti-fascist war and the post war international order. It is a willful trample on human conscience and an unscrupulous challenge to justice. Of course the Chinese people do not welcome such a Japanese leader, nor will Chinese leaders meet with him.
Q: A violent attack took place in Xinjiang today. Please give us more details. Who is behind the attack? Does the "East Turkistan" have anything to do with that?
A: The violent terrorist attack in Xinjiang once again shows the anti-society and anti-human nature of the "three evil forces" and the serious harm they cause to the country, the society and people's lives and property. The Chinese government cracks down on these forces in accordance with law. Relevant Chinese authorities are dealing with this case, and details will be released to the public.
I want to underscore that terrorism is the common enemy of the international community. China stands ready to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation with all other countries.
Q: Will China stop all exchanges and cooperation with Japan including people-to-people exchanges?
A: Abe insisted on visiting the Yasukuni Shrine and deliberately jeopardized the political foundation of China-Japan relations which has severely obstructed the exchanges and cooperation between China and Japan. What he did goes against the will of the two peoples, and will ultimately harm Japan's own interests. For the grave situation of today's China-Japan relations, Abe can hardly absolve himself from the blame. We noted that over the past days, more and more media, insightful people and man on the street in Japan were criticizing and questioning the erroneous words and deeds by Abe. We believe that these people do care about China-Japan relations and cherish China-Japan friendship. We also believe that a large number of people in Japan are people of conscience who love peace and value friendship with China. We are ready to work with them in the spirit of regarding history as a mirror and facing up to the future and uphold historical justice and the overall interests of China-Japan relations based on the four political documents between the two sides.
Q: China has confirmed that it would send naval vessels to escort the shipping of chemical weapons in Syria. It is learned that days ago a plan for joint escort was reached at the multilateral coordination meeting on the shipping of Syrian chemical weapons. Please confirm it and brief us on that. What is China's role in making this plan? What is the main reason for China to take part in the escort?
A: On December 27, at the invitation of Russia, representatives from China, the US, Syria, Denmark, Norway and the OPCW-UN Joint Mission held a multilateral coordination meeting in Moscow. They discussed and reached agreement on a plan for escorting the shipping of Syrian chemical weapons.
Relevant parties will report to the UN and the OPCW about the plan as soon as possible. As a next step, naval vessels from China, Russia, Denmark and Norway will coordinate with each other closely to jointly ensure a secure and smooth shipping of Syrian chemical weapons.
China attaches great importance to the multilateral coordination meeting, in which officials from the Chinese Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry took part. They discussed and pinpointed military and technical issues of the escort. They maintained close coordination and communication with other parties to properly dissolve differences and pool consensus, and played a constructive role in making the plan.
China has long been upholding an objective and just position on the issue of Syrian chemical weapons. It contributes to regional security and serves the interests of all parties to transport chemical weapons out of Syria for destruction in a smooth and secure way. By sending naval vessels, China is implementing Resolution 2118 of the Security Council and relevant decisions of the OPCW on the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons. China answers the call of the UN and the OPCW with concrete actions and makes due contribution to regional and international peace.
Q: The UN and the OPCW said that the deadline for removing the deadly toxins out of Syria by the end of this year might be missed. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon does not think that the postponement will have much impact on the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. What is China's comment?
A: China welcomes the positive and notable outcomes of the verification and destruction of chemical weapons in Syria and appreciates the efforts by the UN, the OPCW, Syrian government and relevant parties of the international community. This fully demonstrates their resolution and will to implement UN resolutions and OPCW decisions and safeguard regional peace and stability.
On the other hand, numerous difficulties and uncertainties exist in this historic work. To ensure security remains a top priority. China understands the postponement in the transport of chemical weapons due to some objective reasons. China expects all relevant parties to keep creating favorable conditions and make concerted efforts to press ahead with the destruction of chemical weapons.
Q: Huge casualties were caused by the blasts in Volgograd, Russia on December 29 and 30. Preliminary investigation shows that these are suicide bomb attacks committed by terrorists. What is China's comment?
A: China strongly condemns the terrorist activities in Volgograd, Russia, deeply laments the death of the Russians and sends sincere condolence to the injured and the bereaved families.