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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on February 12, 2014

2014/02/12

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on February 12, 2014.

Q: Tomiichi Murayama, the former Japanese Prime Minister reportedly said in the ROK on February 11 that no one can deny the Murayama Statement which is the cornerstone of Japan's development. Japan should earn the trust of Asian countries, if it wants to score progress. He also met with three ROK "comfort women" on the same day. What is China's comment?

A: Perverse actions taken by the Japanese leader on the issue of history has triggered strong opposition and condemnation of the international community and drawn criticism and skepticism from more and more peace-loving and insightful people of conscience in Japan. To face up to and reflect on the history of aggression and colonial rule by the militarist Japan is an important basis and prerequisite for Japan to rebuild relations and develop future-oriented relations with victimized Asian countries in the post-war era. The history must not be forgotten and still less be denied and distorted. We urge the Japanese leader to face squarely the cry for justice from the international community and within Japan, adopt a correct attitude, correct mistakes, properly deal with issues left over from history in a responsible manner and take concrete steps to win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community.

Q: It is reported that the DPRK and the ROK are holding high-level talks in Panmunjom. It is said to be the first of its kind since Park Geun-hye took office and is expected to be an important turning point of DPRK-ROK relations. What is China's comment?

A: We welcome the high-level talks between the DPRK and the ROK and wish the talks positive results. China has long been encouraging the two sides to improve relations through dialogue and promote reconciliation and cooperation. We hope that they will redouble their efforts to push forward bilateral relations and relax regional tensions in the real sense.

Q: Cypriot President and Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Dervis Eroglu met on February 11. A joint statement was released after the meeting, representing an official resumption of political negotiation between the South and the North on the Cypriot issue. How does China view this important progress?

A: We have noted the relaunch of negotiation on the Cypriot issue, which is a positive development. We welcome the meeting and the ensuing joint statement between the two leaders. China appreciates the efforts made by the UN and the international community to push for the settlement of the Cypriot issue and supports an equitable and reasonable solution based on relevant UN resolutions. We stand for all the peaceful efforts conducive to the settlement of the Cypriot issue and believe that the solution should be in the interests of both the Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus. We hope that the two sides could seize the opportunity, narrow down differences through negotiation and work on a mutually acceptable solution. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to play a positive role to that end.

Q: Minister of External Affairs Gamini Lakshman Peiris of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is visiting China. Please give us more details.

A: At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, special envoy of Sri Lankan President and Minister of External Affairs Peiris started visiting China on February 10. Vice President Li Yuanchao met with him and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with him on February 11. The two sides exchanged views on China-Sri Lanka relations as well as regional and international issues of common interest. Gratified with the momentum of growth of bilateral relations, they agreed to deepen practical cooperation in various fields, and based on that, fully expand maritime cooperation and jointly build the maritime silk road of the 21st century.

The Sri Lankan side briefed us on its post-war reconstruction and national reconciliation. China applauds Sri Lanka's efforts to promote economic and social development and improve people's livelihood and human rights. China supports the Sri Lankan government in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. We believe that people in Sri Lanka have the wisdom and capacity to manage their internal affairs and oppose some countries' interference in Sri Lanka's domestic affairs under the pretext of the human rights issue. China always maintains that countries should dissolve differences in the field of human rights through dialogue and communication based on equality and mutual respect. We oppose politicizing and imposing double standards on the issue of human rights. The international community should respect the right of the Sri Lankan government and people to independently choose the path of development and create a favorable external environment for stability and prosperity of Sri Lanka.

Q: It is reported that Chinese diplomats recently visited the DPRK. Please confirm that and give us more details.

A: China and the DPRK are neighbors. The two sides have long been engaged in close interactions at different levels. Days ago, the official of the Department of Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China went to the Chinese Embassy in the DPRK to deal with some internal affairs and had contact with officials from the DPRK Foreign Ministry and other relevant ministries. The two sides exchanged views on China-DPRK relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. It is a regular work-related activity.

Q: With regard to the maritime silk road of the 21st century that will be jointly built by China and Sri Lanka, please tell us more about this initiative and cooperation between China and Sri Lanka in the relevant field.

A: I will come back to you after getting more detailed information about the discussion between China and Sri Lanka on the maritime silk road of the 21st century. It is China who put forward this initiative and proposed to build the silk road economic belt, with the aim of integrating all the existing cooperation, especially that in the field of connectivity with neighboring and regional countries and enabling everyone to share development opportunities and promote common growth and prosperity.

Q: The Russian side said that the draft resolution presented by a few countries to the UN Security Council on humanitarian aid to Syria was creating conditions for military intervention in Syria. Will China join Russia in vetoing the draft resolution?

A: Yesterday, I stated China's position on the humanitarian issue in Syria. The parties are still consulting on the relevant issue, and we should not predict the result of discussion. The international community should not only ease the humanitarian situation in Syria with joint efforts, but also create conditions for dialogue and negotiation between the two parties of Syria.

Q: It is reported that the Japanese government will file a damages suit against the Chinese captain of a fishing boat involved in the 2010 "collision incident" in waters off the Diaoyu Islands and make public relevant video. How does China respond?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are integral parts of China's territory. The collision that took place in waters off the Diaoyu Islands in 2010 was a severe incident when the Japanese side grossly infringed upon China's territorial sovereignty and damaged Chinese fishermen's legitimate rights and interests. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China issued a statement which made clear China's solemn position. It stressed that any judicial measures adopted by the Japanese side against Chinese fishermen and fishing boats, including detention and investigation are illegal and invalid and required the Japanese side to apologize to and compensate the Chinese side for this incident. We urge the Japanese side to stop provocation and take concrete actions to own up to and correct mistakes.

After the press conference, a journalist asked: As revealed by media reports, someone claimed in public that China had made the signing of the association agreement between Ukraine and the EU the precondition for China's agricultural investment in Ukraine. What is China's comment?

Hua Chunying: The above remarks are utterly groundless. China and Ukraine are each other's strategic partners. Practical cooperation in agriculture and other fields between the two sides are mutually beneficial, with no political strings attached.

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