|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 31, 2013|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on December 31, 2013.
Q: Terrorist attacks that took place in succession in Volgograd, Russia arouse media's concern about the security of the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. What is China's comment? Will China strengthen cooperation with Russia in counter-terrorism?
A: China firmly opposes terrorist activities of any kind and has maintained sound cooperation with Russia in counter-terrorism. China actively supports Russia in holding the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games. We believe that Russia is capable of ensuring the security and a full success of the Winter Olympic Games.
Q: It is reported that Israel released dozens of Palestinian prisoners today while announcing plans to build new settlements in the West Bank. What is China's comment? Foreign Minister Wang Yi has recently visited Palestine and Israel. Please give us more details about his visit and China's role in promoting peace between Palestine and Israel.
A: China welcomes Israel's release of the Palestinians and calls on the Israeli side once again to stop building settlements, make joint efforts with the Palestinian side and create proper atmosphere for peace talks.
One of the major purposes of Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Palestine and Israel is to engage the two countries in peace talks for continuous progress in accordance with the four-point proposal put forward by President Xi Jinping last May for the settlement of the Palestinian issue. During his visit, Foreign Minister Wang Yi encouraged the two sides, Israel in particular, to have a greater sense of urgency, seize the current hard-won opportunity, take constructive measures and strive for an early and substantive progress of peace talks. Foreign Minister Wang Yi underscored that to recognize each other's right to exist is the precondition for peace talks, to accommodate each other's concerns is an indispensable element and to think in each other's position is a positive approach to promote peace talks. Both Palestine and Israel agreed to stick to the choice of peace and thanked the international community, including China for the peace promotion efforts.
On the Palestine-Israel issue, China is always firm in advocating peace, active in advancing peace talks and sincere in promoting reconciliation. Since early this year, China has hosted Palestinian and Israeli leaders in succession, raised a four-point proposal on the Palestinian issue, held the UN International Conference in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace and backed the capacity building of Palestine. Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit makes up an important part of the aforementioned efforts, demonstrating China's role as a responsible major country.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a common friend of all countries in the region, China will continue to play a positive and constructive role in the Palestine-Israel issue in its own way and make unremitting efforts for the comprehensive and just resolution of this issue at an early date.
Q: The opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party has demonstrated for days and called on workers to come out on strike. What is China's comment? How does China assess the current China-Cambodia relations?
A: As a friend and neighbor of Cambodia, China firmly supports the positive efforts made by the Cambodian government for national stability and economic growth. We hope that all relevant parties in Cambodia could give priority to state and national interests, express appeals through lawful means, properly solve differences through friendly consultation and safeguard the hard-won stability and tranquility of Cambodia.
China-Cambodia relationship enjoys a sound momentum of growth. Leaders of the two countries had multiple contacts this year and reached important agreement on deepening China-Cambodia friendship. At the invitation of State Councillor Yang Jiechi, Hor Namhong, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, will arrive in Beijing tomorrow to co-chair with State Councillor Yang Jiechi the First Meeting of China-Cambodia Inter-governmental Coordination Committee. Chinese and Cambodian leaders agreed in April this year to set up the Inter-governmental Coordination Committee which aims to press ahead with bilateral cooperation across the board and deal with major issues in cooperation in a coordinated way. This meeting is expected to play a positive role in deepening China-Cambodia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Cooperation under the new circumstances.
Q: Both China and the ROK expressed strong dissatisfaction and resorted to countermeasures in response to Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. Did the two countries consult and communicate with each other over that?
A: China and the ROK are strategic partners. The two countries have maintained close communication and consultation on issues of common interest. On Japan-related historical issues, China and the ROK share the same or similar experience. Both sides are indignant about Abe's perverse act of visiting the Yasukuni Shrine. Both hold that Japan must face up to and deeply reflect on history, and that only by upholding a correct historical view can Japan develop future-oriented relations with its neighbors. We have also noted what ROK President Park Geun-hye said yesterday: a country that repeats acts which do not conform to universal values and standards of the international community and go against human conscience will never be credited as a first-class nation, no matter how it thrives economically. We are ready to keep in touch with the ROK side to jointly uphold historical justice and safeguard regional peace and stability.
Q: On the last day of 2013, how do you picture China's diplomacy in the next year?
A: In his recent interview with the People's Daily, Foreign Minister Wang Yi reviewed China's diplomacy in the past year and looked forward to the next year. He said that the year 2013 has been an extraordinary year for China's diplomacy. The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary has planned ahead and blazed new trails, opening up new dimensions for the major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. In the past year, General Secretary Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other leaders of the central government have visited countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas, met with more than 300 foreign dignitaries, hosted over 60 foreign heads of state or government in China. China has reached nearly 800 cooperation agreements with other countries. Major achievements have been made in the following six areas. Firstly, the China-Russia Comprehensive and Strategic Partnership of Coordination has been elevated to a new stage. China's relationship with Russia, which is based on the most solid foundation and covers the widest range of areas, has topped China's strategic relationships with other countries and acquired the greatest regional and international influence. Secondly, China and the US have entered a new era of jointly building a new model of major-country relations. Heads of state of China and the US reached important agreement on jointly building a new model of major-country relations, sending a positive signal to the world that the two countries opt for a relationship featuring no conflict or confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. With the concerted efforts of both sides, the new model of major-country relationship between China and the US has been constantly enriched. Thirdly, China has broken new ground in friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with neighboring countries. We held the first conference on neighborhood diplomacy since the founding of the PRC, which set out the strategic objectives, basic principles and overall plans for our neighborhood diplomacy in the next five to ten years and fleshed out the concept of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, thus opening up even greater prospects for neighborhood diplomacy. Fourthly, overall progress has been made in China's traditional friendship with other developing countries. Fifthly, China has resolutely safeguarded its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Sixthly, China has been more active in playing a constructive role in regional and international hotspot issues.
In 2014, China's diplomacy is going to focus on the following five areas. First, we will work harder to build a framework of major-country relations featuring sound interactions and mutual benefits. Second, we will foster a stable, friendly and prosperous neighborhood to underpin our overall diplomatic strategy. Third, we will continue to elevate friendly cooperation with other developing countries. Fourth, we will step up economic diplomacy to facilitate efforts to comprehensively deepen reform at home. Fifth, we will ensure the success of diplomatic events to be hosted by China so as to build up China's international influence. China will further its mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation with all the other countries in the world in a win-win spirit and continue to play a positive role and make contribution to world peace and stability.
Q: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) held a special summit the other day in Kenya to discuss the situation in South Sudan and released a communiqué. What is China's comment? What will China do in the next step to help bring stability back to South Sudan?
A: China appreciates and supports IGAD's mediation efforts in South Sudan. We call on the conflicting parties to put a premium on the interests of the country and the people, give a positive response to the mediation efforts by the international community and solve the problem through negotiation.
Since the outbreak of conflicts in South Sudan, China has been promoting peace talks in its own way, such as working on all relevant parties and providing South Sudan with humanitarian assistance. Chinese government's Special Representative on African Affairs Zhong Jianhua made contact with all relevant parties on the sidelines of the special summit and will continue with his work in South Sudan and the whole region. In the next phase, China will continue to enhance communication and coordination with relevant parties to resume stability in South Sudan as soon as possible.
Q: The year 2014 marks the 120th anniversary of the Sino-Japanese War (1894-1895). What is your outlook on the future of China-Japan relations?
A: Past experience, if not forgotten, is a guide for the future. Today's China is no longer the one 120 years ago. We are fully capable and confident of defending our sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity. We are ready to work with the Japanese people who are of conscience, love peace and value friendship with China 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. Meanwhile, we will surely stand up to any provocative action.
Hua Chunying announced at the end of the press conference:
Tomorrow is the New Year's Day. As usual, the regular press conference will be adjourned for one day and resumed on January 2, Thursday. I wish you a happy new year!