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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on February 26, 2014

2014/02/26

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on February 26, 2014.

Q: Etsuro Honda, an advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister, recently said that his understanding of the "Abenomics" is that Japan needs a strong economy to bolster a more powerful military so as to set itself against China. What is China's comment?

A: Relevant remarks made by the Japanese side give us a clearer idea about what "Abenomics" is. It shows that the purpose of "Abenomics" is to serve military buildup and preparedness. To underpin military with economy is an idea in the same category with that upheld by pre-war Japanese militarism. These remarks once again testify to the hypocritical nature of the so-called "proactive pacifism" and the repeated call for "dialogue" with China. They also expose Japan's dangerous agenda forward, namely, intransigent pursuit of a counter-China policy and an attempt to change its post-war path of peaceful development. Japan's right-wing forces who are leading Japan down a perilous path incompatible with the trend of the times have become troublemakers undermining regional peace and stability. Peace-loving people around the world should be highly vigilant against the Japanese right-wing forces' hazardous moves. We should by no means allow Japan to set back the wheel of history and retrace its steps.

Q: A report about US-Japan relations by the US Congressional Research Service said that "there is the danger that Abe's views on history could clash with Americans' conception of the US role in WWII", expressing concern about Abe's understanding of history. What is China's comment?

A: The report by the US Congressional Research Service pointed out the fault of the Japanese leader's views on history. To face up to and reflect on the history of Japanese militarism's invasion and colonial rule is the major prerequisite and basis for the development of Japan's relations with its Asian neighbors. The Japanese leader has been backpedalling on the issue of history and senior political figures have been making ridiculous remarks to deny and whitewash Japan's history of invasion, which lay bare their real intention of overturning the verdict on history and clearing the names of Class-A WWII criminals. Their actions are in nature challenges to the outcomes of World Anti-Fascist War and the post-war international order. This wrong conception of history will not only steer Japan on its way forward, but also put regional peace, stability and security in potential jeopardy, making Japan the troublemaker impairing regional peace and security. We urge the Japanese leader to be open-eared to the concern and call for justice of the international community and take concrete actions to win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community.

Q: China and Ukraine signed in 2012 a framework agreement on agricultural cooperation. Ukrainian reports say that the Ukrainian side is yet to fulfill its obligations stated in the agreement. What is China's comment?

A: China is ready to further its strategic partnership with Ukraine. We hope that the Ukrainian side could maintain the continuity of its policy toward China and ensure the effective implementation of relevant legal documents and agreements signed by the two sides.

Q: Several Chinese survivors of wartime forced labor and families of the deceased filed a lawsuit today to the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court for compensation and apology from the Japanese side. What is China's comment?

A: The forced recuitment and enslavement of labourers is a grave crime committed by the Japanese militarism during its invasion and colonial rule. It is also a major issue left over from history which has not been properly resolved even till this date. We urge the Japanese side to be responsible with history, take seriously and properly deal with the relevant issue. We believe that the relevant court in China will handle the lawsuit in accordance with law.

Q: The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress is deliberating the draft decision on the Victory Day of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japan's Aggression and the daft decision of designating a national memorial day to commemorate the victims in the Nanjing massacre in the 1930s. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said today that Japan wonders why China considers a national memorial day when it's already been 69 years since the War ended. How does China respond? What is China's purpose of doing do?

A: With reference to the remarks by the Chief Cabinet Secretary, it seems that he is playing ignorant. Director Li Shishi of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress yesterday made a readout on the two draft decisions under review. The Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japan's Aggression was a war for justice by the Chinese people against Japanese imperialist invadors. As an important part of the World Anti-Fascist War, it witnessed huge sacrifice and made crucial contribution to the victory of the war. Japanese invaders started a heinous massacre in Nanjing against Chinese compatriots on December 13, 1937. It lasted over 40 days and over 300,000 people were slaughtered. That was the appalling Nanjing Massacre. It was a brutal crime in flagrant violation of the international law with compelling evidence. The historical conclusion and legal verdict have already been made after the trials by the post-war International Military Tribunal for the Far East and the Nanjing War Crimes Tribunal.

Nearly 70 years on, erroneous rhetorics and actions are still emerging one after another in Japan, such as the leader's Yasukuni visit, the denial and even glorification of Japanese militarism's past aggression and the negation of the Nanjing Massacre. It is only conceivable that the perverse acts by Japanese right-wing forces have triggered indignation and firm opposition from China and other countries. The decision made by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress of giving a legislative back to the Victory Day of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japan's Aggression and the national memorial day to commemorate those killed by Japanese aggressors during the Nanjing massacre gives full expression to the Chinese people's wishes and reminds us to remember history, cherish peace and embrace future. I want to point out that the reason for us to underscore the importance of remembering history is not to cling to hatred, but to uphold peace and justice and avoid the repetition of wartime miseries with history in mind. We once again urge the Japanese leader to be responsible with history, people and future, truly face up to and atone for its past militarist aggression, stop repeated and wrong remarks and actions that are offensive to victimized people, and regain trust from its Asian neighbours and the international community with an honest attitude and concrete actions.

Q: It is reported that the Japanese government is making final preparation for the return of plutonium given by the US and other countries in the Cold War era for research purposes. What is China's comment?

A: If what you said is confirmed, that will be the first step by the Japanese government toward the correct direction. China supports the US demand for Japan's return of weapons-grade plutonium. We also urge Japan to take concrete steps to give this batch of weapons-grade nuclear materials back to the US at an early date.

Q: Reports say that Japan's possession of nuclear materials is far more than 331kg of weapons-grade plutonium. It is said that Japan also hoards a large amount of highly enriched uranium, especially that at the weapons-grade. What is China's comment?

A: Plutonium, weapons-grade plutonium in particular is indeed a problem, but highly enriched uranium can also bring about creeping proliferation threats to nuclear security. Information in this regard is critical for the removal of doubts and concern of the international community. China urges the Japanese side to be responsible and tell the international community as soon as possible about whether it is in possession of highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade uranium apart from weapons-grade plutonium and how much does it have.

Q: It is reported that China and ASEAN countries will hold a meeting on the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) on March 18. The code of conduct (COC) in the South China Sea will also be discussed during the meeting. Please confirm.

A: China is open to the formulation of the COC and is in smooth communication with ASEAN countries. In September 2013, at the Sixth Senior Officials' Meeting and the Ninth Joint Working Group Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, all relevant parties had in-depth exchange of views on the full and effective implementation of the DOC and enhancement of maritime cooperation. Consultation on the COC was also held under the framework of implementing the DOC, producing positive results. In accordance with the working plan for 2013-2014 adopted by the above meetings, all parties have agreed to hold the Tenth Joint Working Group Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC in Singapore on March 18, 2014 and continue with relevant discussion. China is ready to work with ASEAN countries to maintain the hard-won momentum, carry on with the full and effective implementation of the DOC and actively press ahead with the consultation on the COC in a steady manner.

Q: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) released a statement the other day, expressing concerns over the exchange of fire between the warring parties of South Sudan and calling for the two parties to observe the truce agreement. What is China's comment? How does China view the situation in South Sudan?

A: We have noted relevant reports and express deep concerns over the re-eruption of armed clash in South Sudan and the casualties therefrom. China calls on the warring parties in South Sudan to earnestly implement the truce agreement, properly resolve disputes through peaceful means and restore stability at an early date.

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