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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on February 25, 2014

2014/02/25

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a regular press conference on February 25, 2014.

Q: The Japanese side claims that its stockpile of nuclear materials is fully open and transparent for complete peaceful purpose. There is no potential nuclear security threats or proliferation risk. What is China's comment?

A: Japan is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a board member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The IAEA explicitly requires all countries to keep a supply-demand balance of sensitive nuclear materials. The Japanese government has also made commitment to the whole international community. Why does the Japanese government, in disregard of the IAEA requirement and its own commitment, still sit on such a big stockpile of sensitive nuclear materials with a large oversupply? Since the fallout of the Fukushima nuclear accident is yet to be totally removed, how can the Japanese government ensure that its large amount of sensitive nuclear materials will not incur security issue or proliferation risk? We urge the Japanese government to make responsible clarification as soon as possible and give direct response to the concerns of the international community.

Q: The Japanese government reportedly worked out new draft guidelines on arms export control to replace the three principles on arms export. The provision of blocking the transfer of weapons to nations involved in international conflicts can no longer be found in the new guidelines. What is China's comment?

A: Due to historical reasons, what policy Japan pursues in the military and security fields reflects where Japan is headed. It also has a bearing on the security environment and strategic stability of the region, hence high attention from its Asian neighbors and the international community. The Japanese government relaxes substantially restrictions on arms export when its politics is undergoing an intensifying swing to the right. The intention and impact are worrisome. We hope that the Japanese side could draw hard lessons from history, take its Asian neighbors' security concerns seriously, accord with the trend of times, pursue a path of peaceful development and do more for regional peace and stability.

Q: The current situation in Ukraine is complicated and sensitive with different reactions to the new authorities. How does China see the situation in Ukraine and its influence on China-Ukraine relations going forward? According to separate reports, the EU officials said yesterday that they had been in contact with China and other countries to discuss economic assistance to Ukraine. Can you confirm this?

A: China follows closely the situation in Ukraine. We have noticed that, the tension has been somewhat eased thanks to the joint efforts of all parties. We hope the political process for the settlement of crisis will proceed within the legal framework. China is willing to continue to grow the strategic partnership with Ukraine on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

China is ready to discuss relevant issues with Ukraine under the bilateral framework.

Q: Japan staged an annual rally in Shimane prefecture the other day to mark Tokyo's claim to Takeshima (known as Dokdo in the ROK). The ROK government released a statement of condemnation, saying that Japan who evades the issue of "comfort women" has taken one step further for provocation. It shows that Japan negates its history of aggression on the Peninsula during WWII. What is China's comment?

A: China hopes that the ROK and Japan can appropriately settle relevant issues through dialogue and consultation. I must point out that territorial disputes between Japan and its neighbors all stem from Japanese militarism's wartime aggression and colonial rule. The Japanese side should deeply reflect on history and take real actions to win trust from its Asian neighbors.

Q: Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida commented in an interview on China's peaceful development path and normal maritime activities. What's China's comment?

A: I have seen relevant reports. I'd like to point out that China commits to its peaceful development path and purses a defence policy that is defensive in nature. Its strategic intent is transparent, which is to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity and maintain regional and international peace and stability.

The remarks by Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida remind me of the recent public statement by Etsuro Honda, an economic adviser to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. He interpreted the nationalistic goal behind the "Abenomics" as follows: Japan needs a strong economic foundation to underpin an even more powerful military to cope with China. It's very clear to us all that it was Japan that launched the war of militarist aggression and committed heinous crimes to the people of victimized countries. The Japanese leader and right-wing forces have been backpedaling on historical issues and making a host of negative and mistaken remarks in an attempt to deny and glorify the past militarist aggression. Some Japanese are deliberately causing spike in regional tension, tarnishing China and at the same time stepping up constitution revision and military buildup. When we take the aforementioned developments into account, I think it is agreed that Japan has already become a de facto troublemaker harming regional peace and stability. The common concern of the international community is Japan instead of others. The Japanese leader should earnestly make clear his true strategic intention to the international community. We once again urge Japan to face up to and reflect on its history, win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community and be a responsible member in the family of nations.

Q: The Philippine government reportedly summoned an official of the Chinese Embassy in Manila today to protest the Chinese coastguard vessels' use of water cannon against Philippine fishing vessels around the Huangyan Island. What is China's reaction?

A: China does not accept the protest of the Philippines. The Huangyan Island is an integral part of China's territory. The Chinese government vessels are on duty in waters off the Huangyan Island to uphold China's sovereignty and maintain order in the waters in accordance with law. The Chinese government vessels deal with activities by foreign vessels in these waters within a justifiable and reasonable scope. Meanwhile, China has to make necessary reactions to the provocation from relevant countries. We urge the Philippine side to truly respect China's sovereignty and not to make new troubles.

Q: The US Defence Secretary reportedly unveiled yesterday several suggestions for the White House fiscal 2015 defence budget, including those related to the US rebalancing strategy in the Asia-Pacific. What is China's comment?

A: I haven't seen what you mentioned. On the US strategy of rebalancing in the Asia-Pacific, we hope that relevant adjustment to US policy can play a positive and constructive role in promoting peace, stability and development of the region.

Q: There are media reports about the supply-demand imbalance of Japan's nuclear materials. Some experts estimate that the current stockpile of separated plutonium in Japan will not be exhausted even after 100 years. What is China's comment?

A: These discussions just explain the doubts of the international community. China maintains that the Japanese government, first and foremost, should answer the question of how much weapons-grade and separated plutonium is there in Japan. The government should then go on to explain why. Moreover, is there any other kind of sensitive nuclear materials stored in Japan, in particular, weapons-grade ones? We urge the Japanese side to face up to the concerns and doubts of the international community and make an unequivocal reply in a responsible manner as soon as possible.

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