|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on January 28, 2016|
At the invitation of George T. Chaponda, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malawi, Etienne Sinatambou, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of the Republic of Mauritius, Oldemiro Balói, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Mozambique, Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Namibia, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay official visits to the aforementioned four countries from January 30 to February 6.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi will travel to the UK for the Conference on Supporting Syria and the Region on February 4.
Q: We have noted that Africa is usually the destination of the Chinese Foreign Minister's first visit at the beginning of a new year. Why did Foreign Minister Wang Yi choose these four African countries this time? What is China's expectation for the visits? Amidst his tight schedule, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will also attend the Conference on Supporting Syria and the Region in the UK. What is the consideration behind this? What proposals will Foreign Minister Wang Yi make?
A: Unity and cooperation with African countries is the cornerstone of China's foreign policy as well as a strategic choice that China stands by for a long term. The Chinese Foreign Minister has a fine tradition of choosing Africa as his first stop of overseas visits at the start of a new year. Foreign Minister Wang Yi is following that tradition, showcasing the high importance attached by the Chinese side to developing China-Africa relations.
Visits to the four African countries with distinctive features fully demonstrate China's diplomatic principle of treating all countries, big or small, as equals. The visits carry the important mission of implementing the outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, especially the new ideas and concepts on developing China-Africa relations and the ten cooperation plans for the next three years put forward by President Xi Jinping at the summit, and align priority areas and key projects of cooperation so as to deliver tangible benefits to people in China and Africa at an early date and promote win-win cooperation and common development. This is also in line with China's way of honoring its words.
Amid his tight schedule in Africa, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay a special visit to the UK for the Conference on Supporting Syria and the Region. It highlights China's attention to the issue of Syrian refugees and the process of political settlement in Syria. We hope that this meeting could further draw the attention of all sides to the Syrian refugee issue and encourage the international community to increase input and coordinate efforts to better assist and resettle refugees. Meanwhile, we should support UN's mediation efforts to strive for an early progress in Syria's political settlement process and a fundamental solution to the humanitarian crisis. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will expound on China's proposals on the humanitarian situation and political process in Syria as well as the measures taken to alleviate sufferings of the Syrian displaced and refugees.
Q: It is reported that the DPRK will launch a long-range missile in a week. What is China's position on this?
A: The Chinese side is firmly committed to realizing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula, and resolving the issue through dialogues and consultations. DPRK's latest nuclear test has further complicated the situation on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia. China has been following the situation very closely and is highly concerned about where it is heading. We hope relevant parties can treat the situation with calm, exercise restraint, refrain from taking provocative actions, avoid ratcheting up tension, and jointly maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
Q: On January 27, the 12th Communist Party of the Vietnam Central Committee in its first plenary re-elected Nguyen Phu Trong as the general secretary. What is China's comment? Has the Chinese leadership sent congratulations? What is your expectation for the future development of China-Vietnam relations?
A: The 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of Vietnam came to a successful end on January 28. General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong was re-elected in the first plenary of the 12th Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam. General Secretary Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, stressing that China and Vietnam are a community of common destiny of great strategic significance. China highly values its relations with Vietnam and is willing to work with Vietnam to advance their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a sustained, healthy and steady way.
China and Vietnam, which are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers, are also comprehensive strategic partners for cooperation. With concerted efforts, bilateral relations are developing well with frequent high-level visits, deepening win-win cooperation, and closer people-to-people exchanges, bringing tangible benefits to people of the two countries. The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Vietnamese side to earnestly implement the consensus reached by Party and state leaders of the two sides and further advance China-Vietnam comprehensive strategic cooperation.
Q: Taiwan's leader Ma Ying-jeou visited Taiping Dao today and issued a statement. What is your comment?
A: The Nansha Islands have historically been China's territory. Chinese people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits share the responsibility to protect the ancestral property of the Chinese nation.
The Chinese government has been committed to making the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation, and will continue to make positive efforts to safeguard navigation freedom, peace and stability, and prosperity and development of the South China Sea.