|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 22, 2016|
Q: The US military has stepped up discussions on updating missile defense facilities in Hawaii. Analysts say that it is because of military threats from the DPRK and China. What is your comment on that?
A: China's attitude on the issue of anti-missile is clear, consistent and unchanged.
Q: Special Representative Wu Dawei of the Chinese government on the Korean Peninsula Affairs held talks with Japan's chief nuclear negotiator, Director-General Ishikane Kimihiro of the Asian and Oceanic Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Beijing. Can you give us more details about their talks? Were there any other Chinese officials at the talks?
A: On January 21, Special Representative Wu Dawei of the Chinese government on the Korean Peninsula Affairs met with Japan's chief nuclear negotiator, Director-General Ishikane Kimihiro of the Asian and Oceanic Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry in Beijing. The two sides exchanged views on the current situation on the Korean Peninsula.
Q: The Spokeswoman for the Kalayaan Atin Ito group said on January 21 that they plan a second trip to the Nansha Islands in April to "fight for the Philippines' territory". What is China's response to that?
A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. Any of the Philippines' activities on islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands it has illegally occupied is illegal and invalid. The Philippines is obliged to keep a tight rein on the relevant group and people so as not to complicate or escalate relevant issues.
Q: President Xi Jinping told the National University of Singapore during his visit last November that although some of the islands over which China has sovereignty have been occupied by others, we have all along advocated a resolution of these issues through peaceful negotiations. Does that mean that China will recover relevant islands through negotiations rather than military actions?
A: China has indisputable sovereignty over islands in the South China Sea and their adjacent waters. In the 1970s, some countries illegally seized some islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands by force. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to that. Bearing in mind the overall interests of the region, the Chinese side has all along exercised a high level of restraint, and stayed committed to resolving relevant issues with countries directly concerned through dialogues and consultations on the basis of respecting historical facts and in accordance with the international law. China will work together with ASEAN countries to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea. This position remains the same.
Q: According to the Canadian media, prosecution documents recently released by a Vancouver court said that two Chinese soldiers were part of a hacking conspiracy allegedly carried out by Chinese citizen Su Bin to steal US military secrets. What is China's comment on that?
A: The Chinese government agencies and military oppose and never participate in any form of hacking activities. The allegation of Chinese soldiers' involvement in the theft of US secrets is totally baseless, and driven by ulterior motives.
The Chinese government attaches importance to protecting the lawful rights and interests of overseas Chinese citizens. We will follow closely the case against Chinese citizen Su Bin, and ask the Canadian side to ensure the lawful rights and interests of the relevant Chinese citizen in accordance with the Consular Agreement Between the Government of the PRC and the Government of Canada.
Q: It is reported that ROK President Park Geun-hye called on members of the Six-Party Talks to meet without the DPRK. Do you believe that a five-nation meeting could work better than the Six-Party Talks in resolving the Korean nuclear issue?
A: Dialogue and negotiation remains the fundamental approach, given the current situation on the Korean Peninsula. It is hoped that all relevant parities would adhere to the principle and spirit of the September 19 Joint Statement, restart the Six-Party Talks at an early date, strive for denuclearization on the Peninsula and pursue peace and stability in Northeast Asia.
Q: In response to the accusation that the Chinese government failed to prevent DPRK's nuclear test from happening, US political historian John Kotch and Professor Charles Armstrong of Columbia University said in an article that the world should be thanking China, not rebuking it, for its role on the Korean nuclear issue. What is your comment on that?
A: China remains the one who upholds the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, works for peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and calls for problems to be solved through dialogues and negotiations. China has been working hard for the long-standing goal of denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. We hope that parties concerned could all shoulder their due responsibilities and obligations and push for an early and proper settlement of the Korean nuclear issue.
Q: The Communist Party of Vietnam is holding the 12th National Congress for the election of a new leadership. Given the dispute between China and Vietnam in the South China Sea, is China concerned that Vietnam may be tilting toward the US?
A: The 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam has convened. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has sent a congratulatory message on January 21. The Party and government of China value relations with Vietnam and stand ready to work with Vietnam to forge a stronger comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership guided by the principle of "long-term stability, orientation to the future, good-neighborly friendship and all-round cooperation" and the spirit of "good neighbors, good friends, good comrades and good partners". We are also willing to properly manage maritime disputes and maintain maritime stability with Vietnam.
Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe voiced his hope of building on the momentum of improving ties with China. On the same day which is January 22, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida referred to China's construction in the South China Sea as unilateral actions that escalate tensions, called on the G7 to enhance cooperation on maritime rule of law, and claimed that there are still intrusions into waters off Diaoyu Dao and unilateral development of resources in the East China Sea. What is China's comment on that?
A: China-Japan relations are being improved which serves the common interests of the two peoples. In order to maintain the momentum, the Japanese side should do and say more that is conducive to the development of bilateral ties.
With regard to Japan's remarks on the South China Sea, I want to point out that Japan illegally occupied China's islands in the South China Sea during WWII. The Chinese side has retrieved these islands after the war. The Japanese side should learn lessons from history instead of sowing discord on the issue of the South China Sea. The Chinese side will be on high alert against Japan's attempt to poke its nose in the issue of the South China Sea.
China's position on the issue of Diaoyu Dao is very clear. Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. The Chinese government is resolute in safeguarding its territorial sovereignty.
China conducts oil and gas development in undisputed waters under China's jurisdiction in the East China Sea. It is within the realm of China's sovereign rights.
Q: Can you tell us anything about US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to China?
A: Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui co-hosted the interim Strategic Security Dialogue with US Deputy Secretary of State Blinken on January 21. The two sides had an in-depth and candid exchange of views on major issues concerning strategic security and comprehensive security, and agreed to make good use of the Strategic Security Dialogue so that it would play a bigger role in improving mutual trust, managing differences and expanding cooperation. During the dialogue, the two sides also talked about China-US relations as well as major international and regional issues of common interest.