|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on April 1, 2014|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on April 1, 2014.
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcements:
Upon invitation, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council will be in Hainan from April 8 to 10 to attend the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2014 and deliver a keynote speech.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia, Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov of Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Jung Hong-won of the ROK, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of Laos, Prime Minister Hage Geingob of Namibia, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan, Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of East Timor, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich of Russia, Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam of Vietnam and other foreign leaders will attend the annual conference in China upon invitation.
At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Austrlia, Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov of Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong of Laos, Prime Minister Hage Geingob of Namibia and Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao of East Timor will pay official visits to China while coming to attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2014.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the delegation of the Quartet of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) led by Foreign Minister Enrique Castillo Barrantes of the Republic of Costa Rica, which holds the pro tempore presidency of CELAC, will pay an official visit to China from April 3 to 4.
He then updated the press on China's latest search efforts for the missing Malaysian plane.
On March 31, China continues its all-out efforts for search in relevant waters. Seven Chinese vessels, including Jinggangshan, Kunlunshan, Haikou and Qiandaohu of the Chinese Navy, Haixun 01, South China Sea Rescue 115 and East China Sea Rescue 101 have arrived at the newly adjusted search area in the southern Indian Ocean to carry forward the search operation. The new search area is located between 28 and 34 degrees south latitude, and between 92 and 96 degrees east longitude, covering a smaller area of 72,000 square nautical miles. One IL-76 of the China Air Force is also searching above the same waters. Haixun 31 and the Chinese naval vessel Yongxingdao continue their search in the eastern part of the southern Indian Ocean.
Yesterday, Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui and Vice Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng met and held talks on separate occasions with visiting Deputy Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato' Hamzah Zainudin. The Chinese side expressed its hope that the Malaysian side would continuously enhance its search efforts, push forward the investigation in parallel with the search and do everything possible for families of the Chinese passengers. Deputy Foreign Minister Hamzah said that the Malaysian side would stick fast to its commitment, never let up the search operation, press firmly ahead with the investigation, release all the information they know and properly handle the work relating to families of the passengers. He added that the Malaysian side would enhance communication and coordination with the Chinese side and do their best in handling the issue.
Q: Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf of the US State Department said yesterday that China's blockage of the Philippine supply vessel for nearly two hours was a provocative and destabilizing action, urging China to refrain from further provocative behavior by allowing the Philippines to continue to maintain its presence at the Ren'ai Reef. What is China's comment?
A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands including the Ren'ai Reef. China will not sit watching any of the Philippines' provocative actions aimed at snatching the Ren'ai Reef, and will resolutely safeguard China's legitimate and lawful rights and interests.
If the Philippine side did not attempt to illegally occupy the Ren'ai Reef by running aground its military vessel in 1999, if it did not take further actions to cement its illegal presence at the Ren'ai Reef, there would not have been the escalation of dispute between China and the Philippines surrounding this issue. It is without any doubt that the Philippine side is the one who provokes and makes troubles.
We urge the US to respect facts, stop making irresponsible remarks and cease to encourage the provocative and risky actions of relevant country.
Q: The Japanese government reportedly enacted a new edition of the "three principles on arms export" with the aim of lowering the threshold for arms export. It has been criticized as a move to shake Japan's "pacifism". What is China's comment?
A: 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 us. We hope that the Japanese side could draw hard lessons from history, take seriously the security concern of its Asian neighbors, conform to the trend of times, follow a path of peaceful development and do more to uphold peace and stability of the region.
Q: With regard to the Philippines' submission of the Memorial to the arbitral tribunal on the South China Sea disputes between China and the Philippines, has China accepted the arbitration request and taken countermeasures against the Philippine side?
A: China made clear its solemn position of non-acceptance and non-participation right after the Philippines' announcement of its submission of the Memorial. This position is clear-cut and fully supported by international law. We urge the Philippine side to bear in mind the larger picture of Sino-Philippine relations as well as regional peace and stability, stop its erroneous actions and return to the right track of resolving disputes through consultation and negotiation.
Q: Please give us more details about Vice Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin's meeting with the Philippine Ambassador to China.
A: Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin summoned the Philippine Ambassador to China the other day to make solemn representations to the Philippines about its willful pursuit of international arbitration on the South China Sea disputes with China.
Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin expressed the strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition of the Chinese government with regard to the Philippines' submission of the Memorial to the arbitral tribunal and unilateral promotion of the international arbitration in disregard of China's solemn position.
He pointed out that China's position of non-acceptance and non-participation did not and would not change. The Philippines' action of forcing through the international arbitration will not help solve the South China Sea disputes between China and the Philippines, will not change the fact that China owns sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters, will not shake the will and resolve of the Chinese government to safeguard national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, nor will it affect China's policy and approach of resolving the South China Sea disputes through direct negotiation and jointly maintaining peace and stability of the South China Sea with countries in the region.
Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin urged the Philippine side to correct mistakes, bear in mind the overall interests of Sino-Philippine relations as well as peace and stability of the South China Sea, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the consensus repeatedly affirmed by the two sides and come back to the right course of resolving disputes through bilateral negotiation.
Liu Zhenmin also lodged solemn representations with the Philippines for its organization of the reporting trip to waters off China's Ren'ai Reef, stressing that China will by no means allow the Philippine side to seize the Ren'ai Reef in any form, nor will China allow it to build any facilities in waters off the Ren'ai Reef. China demanded the Philippine side to stop all its provocative actions.