|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on February 24, 2014|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on February 24, 2014.
Q: China has recently extended invitations to foreign journalists for a reporting trip to Nanjing on the history of Japanese militarism's aggression against China. Please give us more details. What is China's purpose of hosting this activity?
A: The International Press Center of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Foreign Affairs Office of Jiangsu Province jointly organized foreign journalists in China to visit Nanjing for interviews. They visited the Memorial Hall for Compatriots killed in the Nanjing Massacre by Japanese Forces of Aggression, Nanjing Municipal Archives, the John Rabe and International Safety Zone Memorial Hall and the Memorial Hall for Chinese Pilots killed in the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. Journalists saw with their own eyes historical materials which record the atrocities and obliteration by Japanese forces of aggression and the original copies of relevant archives. They also interviewed survivors of the Nanjing Massacre. I believe that you have read their reports.
Japanese right-wing forces have been engaged in wild talk on historical issues, with an attempt to negate the history of aggression by Japanese militarism and the Nanjing Massacre. Facts speak louder than words. Japanese right-wing forces' preposterous remarks collapse when confronted with plenty of solid evidence. As many foreign media reports put it, if the Japanese side still attempts to deny and refuses to repent in front of so many convincing historical facts, it will go beyond the understanding of the world and incur the international community's concern about where Japan is headed.
History must not be forgotten. Only by facing up to history and taking history as the mirror, can one look forward into the future. The Japanese side should think seriously about what course to follow. Japan's Asian neighbors and the international community are watching closely.
Q: On February 22, the new Italian government was sworn in with Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi as the Prime Minister. What is China's comment? What is China's expectation for the growth of China-Italy ties?
A: We congratulate Mr. Renzi on his inauguration.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of both countries, China-Italy relations have scored positive progress over recent years, as evidenced by frequent high-level contact and fruitful mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. China is ready to work hand in hand with the Italian side to elevate comprehensive strategic partnership to the new high.
Q: The Ukrainian parliament nominated parliament speaker Oleksander Turchinov as acting president by vote. Turchinov said in a televised address that the priority of Ukraine is the return to the path of European integration. What is China's comment on the situation in Ukraine?
A: China follows closely the political situation in Ukraine. We hope that all relevant parties in Ukraine will continue to solve differences through political consultation peacefully within the legal framework, stabilize the situation and restore social order at an early date. China does not interfere in Ukraine's internal affairs, respects the independent choice made by the Ukrainian people in keeping with Ukraine's national conditions and stands ready to foster strategic partnership with the Ukrainian side on an equal footing for win-win progress.
Q: How does China view Vice Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin's recent visits to the DPRK and the ROK, and China's role in moving the situation on the Korean Peninsula towards relaxation?
A: As a close neighbor to the Korean Peninsula, China maintains friendly relations with both sides of the Peninsula. On the Korean Peninsula issue, China stays committed to denuclearization, peace and stability of the Peninsula and maintains that relevant issue should be solved through dialogue and consultation. Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin visited the DPRK and the ROK as a performance of shuttle diplomacy. He had in-depth exchange of views with the two countries on bilateral relations as well as international and regional landscapes, putting high premium on moving the situation on the Peninsula towards relaxation, preventing the repetition of previous tensions and promoting denuclearization of the Peninsula. Both the DPRK and the ROK responded positively, and the visits scored positive results. China will stay committed to safeguarding regional peace and stability and properly resolving the Korean nuclear issue. We hope that other parties concerned will work together with China for the shared goal.
Q: Indian opposition leader Narendra Modi reportedly said the other day that the "Arunachal Pradesh" is an inalienable part of India and no power on earth can snatch it away from India. What is China's comment?
A: The boundary question between China and India is an issue left over from history. It is true that there is dispute between the two countries on the issue of boundary. China's position on the disputed eastern section of the China-India boundary is clear-cut and consistent. China is committed to peace and development, good-neighborliness and friendly relations with surrounding countries and proper settlement of relevant disputes and differences through negotiation and consultation with countries concerned.
China-India relations maintain a sound momentum of growth. Leaders of the two countries enjoy a high degree of consensus on the importance of furthering bilateral relations. They agree to resolve the boundary question through negotiation at an early date. The two sides established a mechanism of special representatives' meeting on the China-India boundary question in 2003, which has made positive headway with the concerted efforts of both sides. We are ready to make joint efforts with the Indian side to press ahead with the process of boundary negotiation, ensure and promote the sound and steady growth of China-India relations. It serves the common interests of the two countries.
Q: Today, China and Algeria jointly announced the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership. What is China's comment?
A: Today, China and Algeria released concurrently the joint communiqué on the establishment of comprehensive strategic partnership, announcing the official establishment of China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership. This is the first of its kind between China and Arab states, giving full expression to the importance of China-Algeria relations and the scale, depth and level of bilateral cooperation.
Algeria is a major African country, which plays an important role in the Arab and Islamic world and in the Non-Aligned Movement. China is the largest developing country. Since the inception of diplomatic ties in 1958, China and Algeria have been good brothers sharing weal and woe, good partners for win-win cooperation and good friends for mutual assistance. The two countries established strategic and cooperative relations in 2004. Bilateral cooperation in various fields is developing rapidly in an all-round way. To further elevate bilateral relations meets common aspiration and expectation of the two countries and two peoples and serves the fundamental interests of the two countries. Therefore, it is a matter of course. In this connection, President Xi Jinping and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika jointly decided to upgrade bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership as the two countries are celebrating the 55th anniversary of diplomatic ties and 10th anniversary of strategic and cooperative relations.
China places high importance on growing relations with Algeria and is ready to work with the Algerian side to push constantly forward China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership from this new starting point. We believe that the development of China-Algeria relations will take China's friendship and cooperation with Arab states and African countries to a new high.
Q: The UN Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution on the humanitarian issue of Syria on February 22. What is China's comment? What role has China played in the humanitarian issue of Syria?
A: As what I have been saying throughout last week, China follows closely the humanitarian situation in Syria. Our hearts go out to the Syrian people who are suffering. China has taken a positive and construction part in the consultation of the draft resolution. China voted for Resolution 2139 which was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council on February 22.
Resolution 2139 reaffirms the respect for Syria's independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity, obligates all relevant parties in Syria to improve the humanitarian situation there, stresses that all parties should observe the UN guiding principles on humanitarian aid, voices support for the political settlement of the Syrian issue and reads out with one voice a strong message on the improvement of humanitarian situation in Syria as soon as possible. The resolution is significant. China calls on all relevant parties in Syria and the international community to make joint efforts to ensure the full and effective implementation of Resolution 2139.
China has made important contributions to improving the humanitarian situation in Syria. We have provided multi-batches of humanitarian aid for Syria and its neighbors through different channels and actively coordinated with all parties under relevant mechanisms and frameworks of the UN. We will continue to render assistance to the Syrian people and overseas refugees as our capacity allows.
The political settlement of the Syrian issue is in the final analysis, the key to easing the humanitarian situation in Syria. China urges both parties in Syria to stick to dialogue and negotiation, actively cooperate with and support Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi's mediation efforts and carry on with the dialogue until practical results are achieved. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible country in the international community, China will continue to make positive contributions to the comprehensive, lasting and proper settlement of the Syrian issue at an early date.
Q: The US has designated the Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy, and Human Rights, Dr. Sarah Sewall, to serve as the so-called "Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues". What is China's comment?
A: The Chinese government is firmly opposed to any country's interference in China's internal affairs by making use of the so-called "Tibetan issues". We will never recognize the so-called "Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues" designated by the US as we have never before.
Q: Japan's extreme right-wing activist Toshio Tamogami recently said that if Japan wants to become a major country that has sway over international politics, it should possess nuclear weapons. His remarks remind us of Japan's large stockpiles of weapons-grade nuclear materials and its big supply-demand imbalance in this regard. What is China's comment on that? What is the true picture of nuclear materials and facilities in Japan?
A: We have noted the remarks by Japan's extreme right-wing activist, which further trigger off China's concern over Japan's storage of weapons-grade nuclear materials and its big supply-demand imbalance of nuclear materials. To prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons is the international obligation explicitly stipulated in the Non-Proliferation Treaty. As s signatory to the treaty, Japan should earnestly observe its international obligation of nuclear non-proliferation as well as its commitment to the "three non-nuclear principles". The above irresponsible remarks by the individual Japanese political figure run counter to Japan's international obligation and pose a challenge to peace-loving people around the world. China condemns that.
Over recent years, we have heard pro-nuclear remarks in Japan from time to time. However, the Japanese government lets things drift. The international community cannot but feel worried given that there is a large stockpile of weapons-grade nuclear materials in Japan. China calls on the Japanese government to fulfill its international obligation of nuclear non-proliferation and make clear its attitude to the pro-nuclear remarks. China also requires the Japanese government to face up to the international community's concern and doubt over the supply-demand imbalance of nuclear materials in Japan and make clarification.
With regard to your specific question about nuclear materials and facilities in Japan, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is in the best position to answer that question. I believe that the IAEA will give you the most authoritative answer.