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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 15, 2014


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on January 15, 2014.

Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:

The third round of the strategic dialogue between China and the GCC will be held in Beijing on January 17. The dialogue will be co-chaired by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and First Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Hamad Al-Sabah of Kuwait, the country that holds the current rotating presidency of the GCC. The dialogue will bring together GCC Secretary-General Abdul Latif bin Rashid Al Zayani, Mr. Mohammed Rumaihi, Assistant of the Foreign Minister of Qatar, which is the next rotating president of the GCC, and officials of foreign ministries or representatives of foreign ministers of other GCC members.

Q: At a press conference on January 14, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida argued that relevant countries should not take Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine as a political and diplomatic issue. Skirting questions raised by journalists about whether Japan waged the war of aggression, he repeatedly claimed that the Abe Cabinet had inherited the views of its predecessors on historical issues and never denied the Kono Statement and the Murayama Statement. What is China's comment?

A: I have noted the Japanese Foreign Minister's remarks at yesterday's press conference. We get the distinct impression that the Japanese government deliberately evades the history of militaristic aggression, shuts its eyes to the severe damage caused by Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine to the sentiment of people from victimized countries and always takes the Kono Statement and the Murayama Statement as the shield. It has to be pointed out that Abe's visit in itself is a political and diplomatic action in every sense. What Abe has done has denied the spirit of the Kono Statement and the Murayama Statement. The Japanese side says one thing and does another on historical issues. Its hypocritical manner cannot deceive the international community. We solemnly urge the Japanese side to correct its attitude, admit mistakes, change course and win the trust of its Asian neighbours and the international community with concrete actions.

Q: During his recent visit to Africa, Japanese Prime Minister Abe said that China assisted Africa for the purpose of garnering Africa's market and resources and claimed that Japan's assistance to Africa was different from that of China and had created more jobs. What is China's comment?

A: Such remarks are unprofessional and ridiculous.

Over a long period of time, China has offered selfless assistance to Africa mainly in the fields of economic and social development and people's livelihood under the framework of South-South cooperation and in the spirit of mutual help and mutual assistance. The construction of roads, railways and power plants with China's assistance has improved the investment environment of Africa. China has helped create a large number of jobs for Africa and improve the ability of self-development of African countries by investing in the establishment of productive projects such as automobile assembly, household appliances manufacturing and leather processing. China has helped African countries enhance agricultural production and made contribution to Africa's food security by sending many agricultural experts there and assisting in the establishment of a lot of agricultural demonstration centers and agro-technical stations. China has helped better African people's medical, educational and cultural conditions by building lots of hospitals, schools and stadiums there. Since 1963, medical staff from China have paid altogether 18,700 visits to 48 African countries and given over 200 million treatments to African patients. China has helped promote the quality of personnel in Africa by providing many government scholarships for African countries and actively conducting African human resources training. With over 1,800 Chinese peace-keepers still on mission in Africa, China also actively participates in peace-keeping missions there. China is the largest contributor of peace-keepers to Africa among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, thus making important contribution to peace and security of Africa.

As for China-Africa cooperation on energy resources, China has, in the words of African friends, by purchasing Africa's raw materials at fair prices, improved the value of African resources, helped Africa earn development fund and promoted Africa's ability of self-development and ability of bargaining in the international market.

What is mentioned above shows that China's assistance in and cooperation with Africa are indeed different from those of Japan. First, our assistance in and cooperation with Africa are all-dimensional, covering all African countries and all areas including development, people's livelihood, peace and security. Second, we not only offer fish to others, but also teach others to fish, namely, while helping improve African people's well-being, we focus more on improving Africa's ability of self-development. Third, China is a country that honors its commitments. We will deliver on and finish well all that we have promised. Japan claimed that its assistance to Africa had created new jobs there. Then we wonder how can there be any job if there is no industry? Besides, now that the Japanese Prime Minister has promised in this visit a handsome amount of assistance, we will wait and see how it will be implemented.

Q: It is reported that the fiscal year 2014 omnibus appropriations bill unveiled by the US Congress on January 13 did not include funding for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to complete 2010 reform on quotas and governance. Is China concerned about this?

A: Quota realignment is a significant decision made by the IMF. Members of the relevant organization should step up efforts to implement the plan for quotas and governance reform and give greater representation and bigger say to emerging markets and developing countries in international financial institutions.

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