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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on January 28, 2014

2014/01/28

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on January 28, 2014.

Q: Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery on January 27 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the defence of Leningrad. In his letter to Putin, German President Joachim Gauck said he thought of "Nazi Germany's war of extermination against the Soviet Union" with deep sadness and shame. What is China's comment?

A: I have seen relevant reports. How the leader of a country views and deals with history determines what kind of future this country will make. The Modern international order represented by the UN was built on the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. The victory of WWII and the post-war international order are the cornerstones for peace, stability and prosperity of the international community nowadays, which demands the joint maintenance of the international community.

The next year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. China will continue to make concerted efforts with the international community to uphold historical justice, the victory of WWII and peace, stability and prosperity of the world.

Q: Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has reportedly decided to write explicitly in the teaching manuals for junior and senior high schools that the Diaoyu islands are "Japan's inherent territory". What is China's comment? Will China lodge representations with Japan?

A: We express grave concerns over this, and we have lodged solemn representations with the Japanese side.

I want to stress that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's territory since ancient times. No matter how it racks its brain to propagandize for its erroneous position with various means, Japan cannot change the basic fact that the Diaoyu islands belong to China. We urge the Japanese side to respect historical facts, stop provocations, teach the younger generation with a correct historical perspective and improve its relations with neighbors with concrete actions.

Q: It is reported that the ROK proposed to the DPRK on January 27 a reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War from February 17 to 22 at Mount Kumgang resort. Prior to that, the DPRK made a "significant proposal" aiming at improving relations with the ROK. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. We are delighted to see the positive planning by both the DPRK and the ROK for holding a reunion of separated families. The DPRK and the ROK belong to the same ethnic group and blood is thicker than water. From a humanitarian perspective, China actively supports the two sides in conducting relevant exchanges and cooperation. As a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, China always encourages the two sides to improve their relations through dialogue and promote reconciliation and cooperation with concrete actions. Since the beginning of this year, the DPRK and the ROK have been sending each other positive messages for the improvement of bilateral relations, which is hopeful. China sincerely hopes that the two sides seize the opportunity, continue to release goodwill to each other, have a correct understanding and make positive responses to these goodwill gestures, and make tangible efforts to improve their relations and relax regional tension.

Q: First, it is learned that the second shipment of chemical weapons was removed from Syria on January 27. Please give us more details. Second, representatives from the Syrian government and opposition reportedly had direct interactions thanks to the mediation of UN-AL Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi. Despite big differences, both sides are positive with the continuation of the talks. What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, in line with the plan reached in Moscow by all sides on escorting, China's naval vessel Yancheng entered once again into the territorial waters of Syria on January 27 to escort the shipping of the second batch of Syrian chemical weapons in close cooperation with naval vessels from Russia, Denmark and Norway. The entire operation is swift, smooth and secure.

The successful launch of the shipping of the second batch of Syrian chemical weapons reflects the resolve and will of all parties including the Syrian government to earnestly press ahead with the destruction of chemical weapons. China applauds the efforts of all sides and the relevant progress. China will continue to step up coordination with all sides to jointly ensure the secure and smooth shipping of Syrian chemical weapons.

On your second question, the conflicting parties in Syria recently sat together for the first time. This is an important step forward towards the political settlement of the Syrian issue, for which China and the international community have made great efforts and in which the UN has played a main-channel role. This hard-won step is worth cherishing.

Everything is difficult at the beginning, but just as Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out at the Geneva II Conference in Montreux, Switzerland, the political settlement of the Syrian issue is a process. Just as we eat bite by bite, we negotiate step by step. We believe that as long as the two sides embrace sincerity and patience and adhere to the major direction of settling the Syrian issue politically, there will be a way forward for the negotiation. We hope that, based on the Geneva Communique, the conflicting parties would compromise with each other, work towards the same goal, constantly narrow down differences and build up mutual trust, so as to find a resolution accepted by all parties in Syria.

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