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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on January 24, 2014

2014/01/24

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a press conference on January 24, 2014.

Q: With the mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), representatives of the government and the opposition of South Sudan signed a ceasefire agreement on January 23 in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia. What is China's comment?

A: China welcomes the ceasefire agreement recently signed by the warring parties of South Sudan and appreciates the unremitting efforts made by IGAD and all relevant parties. We hope that the two parties in South Sudan could immediately put into practice the agreement and create favorable conditions for the comprehensive and proper settlement of the relevant issue.

China has long been supporting the mediation efforts by IGAD. We stay in close communication with all relevant parties and have done a lot to promote peace talks. China will continue to enhance coordination and cooperation with all relevant parties including IGAD to bring stability back to South Sudan at an early date.

Q: The Japanese government circulated on January 23 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's lunar new year message to the Chinese in Japan. He called on China and Japan to recommit to the basic focus of establishing "strategic relations of mutual benefit" and manage a couple of problems between the two countries so that they will not affect the overall interests of bilateral relations. He hoped that in the year of horse the two countries could overcome all the obstacles and move side by side into the future. How does China respond?

A: China attaches high importance to China-Japan relations. We always maintain that we should develop China-Japan relations based on the four political documents and in the spirit of facing up to history, taking history as the mirror and looking into the future. We hope that the Japanese side could be honest and make concrete efforts to improve bilateral relations, instead of ducking major matters and taking up minor ones, avoiding real efforts and paying lip service or saying one thing while doing another. The Chinese lunar year of horse is just around the corner. If the Japanese leader wishes the Chinese and China-Japan relations the best, then nothing is better than declaring that: I will pull back from the precipice, immediately admit and correct mistakes and make no more visits to the Yasukuni Shrine.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Abe likened the current China-Japan relations to the pre-WWI UK-Germany relations in an interview on the sidelines of the Davos Forum. How does China respond?

A: I answered the relevant question twice on this podium yesterday. Instead of repeating what I have already said, I would like to add something new.

The Japanese leader who preaches "proactive pacifism" is actually pursuing "arms expansion and war preparation". His relevant remarks lay bare his intention of achieving domestic political ends by straining relations with neighbors and stirring up regional tension. This kind of intention is dangerous.

If his analogy suggests that some country is going to challenge the existing international order, then I want to remind you that the Japanese leader's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine and blatant whitewash and denial of Japan's history of aggression and colonial rule indicate that Japan attempts to negate the outcome of WWII and the post-war international order. This move is dangerous, which cannot but give rise to concerns and vigilance of Japan's Asian neighbors and the international community.

Be it China or the ROK, the reason for us to strongly oppose this kind of actions by the Japanese leader is that it is not just an issue between China and Japan or the ROK and Japan, but a major issue of principle which bears on regional and world peace and stability. We are doing so to safeguard regional peace and stability as well as the hard-won international order built upon the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. We must not repeat the tragedy of war. People with conscience and countries that love peace should be vigilant against and opposed to the Japanese leader's backsliding on historical issues.

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