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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on June 20, 2016

2016/06/21

Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council will attend the opening ceremony of the 10th Summer Davos Forum to be held in Tianjin from June 26 to 28 and deliver a special speech. Premier Li Keqiang will meet with leaders from Kyrgyzstan and other countries as well as Executive Chairman of the Forum Klaus Schwab and other guests. He will talk to attendees from business, financial sectors, think tanks as well as the press.

Under the theme of "the 4th industrial revolution: the power of transformation", the forum will draw together about 1,700 attendees including politicians, entrepreneurs, scholars and media representatives from over 90 countries.

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, ROK Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn will visit China and attend the 10th Summer Davos Forum from June 26 to 30.

Q: At the request of the Vietnamese side, China has sent search and rescue vessels and coast guard ships to help locate the Vietnamese lost planes, and has allowed Vietnamese vessels to cross over to the Chinese side of the demarcation line in the Beibu Gulf for search and rescue. Can you give us more updates?

A: At the request of the Vietnamese side, the Chinese side has immediately sent 9 vessels from China's maritime search and rescue center, China's coast guard bureau and the Chinese navy to the Beibu Gulf for search and rescue. More search and rescue forces have been mobilized in light of the situation on the site. The Chinese army sent 4 planes on June 18, and China also deployed 8 fishing boats for search and rescue. Up to June 19, Chinese vessels have sailed 32 times and Chinese aircraft flown six sorties for this operation. Nothing has been found yet.

In the spirit of developing friendly relations with Vietnam and upholding humanism, China will continue to make all-out efforts to help search and rescue the lost Vietnamese planes and people on board.

Q: Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar visited China on June 16 and 17 and held talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi. This visit was mainly for discussions on differences between China and India on India's accession to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Do you have more details? Yesterday, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj told the press that China holds no objection to India's entry into the NSG, but wants a criteria-based approach for the group to admit new members. India is confident to gain China's support before the NSG Plenary Meeting to be held on June 23 in the ROK. She also said that India will not oppose Pakistan's entry into the group. What's your comment?

A: Last week, during Indian Foreign Secretary Jaishankar's visit to China, he talked with Chinese foreign ministry officials and exchanged views with them on bilateral relations and issues of common interest. Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a courtesy meeting with Foreign Secretary Jaishankar.

During this visit, the Indian side expressed its desire of joining the NSG for the purpose of developing nuclear energy to combat climate change. The Chinese side understood India's need to develop nuclear energy. Meanwhile, China reaffirmed the importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) as the cornerstone of the international non-proliferation regime, stressing that the group remained divided on the accession of non-NPT countries. Therefore, we call on further and thorough discussions within the group in order to make decisions based on consultation.

On your second question, it is worth noting that NSG meetings have never put the accession of any specific non-NPT countries on their agenda. The upcoming NSG Plenary Meeting in Seoul will not cover this issue either. Therefore there is no point talking about supporting or opposing the entry of a particular non-NPT country at this moment.

I understand that all parties follow closely the accession of non-NPT countries. Yet the group members remain divided on this issue, thus the conditions are not ripe for the Seoul Plenary Meeting to talk about particular non-NPT countries' accession. China maintains that the NSG fully discuss the accession of non-NPT countries and make decisions based on consultation in a way acceptable to all. China's stance does not target any particular country, but applies to all non-NPT countries.

Q: Today the Kremlin announced Russian President Putin's visit to China on June 25. Please confirm.

A: At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a state visit to China on June 25.

During the visit, President Xi Jinping and President Putin will hold talks, exchange in-depth views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest, and map out the further development direction and priority areas of cooperation for the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. The two leaders will sign and release several important political documents, and witness the signing of a series of pragmatic cooperation documents by relevant departments and companies from the two countries. Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Zhang Dejiang will meet with President Putin on separate occasions.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Between China and Russia. Activities will be held to celebrate this. China hopes that President Putin's visit will help solidify bilateral political and strategic trust, bolster pragmatic cooperation across the board, create new driving forces for the development of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, and make new contributions to international and regional peace, security and stability.

Q: It is reported that on June 19, over 60,000 Okinawa Prefecture residents rallied to call for the removal of US military bases. The residents' assembly passed a resolution on the same day requiring the relocation of Futenma air station outside the Okinawa Prefecture. What is China's comment on that?

A: The issue of Futenma air station is an issue between Japan and the US. As for the alliance between Japan and the US, we maintain that it shall not overstep its limits as a bilateral arrangement, still less target the third country.

It is worth noticing that frequent military arrangements and moves by the US in some of the Asia-Pacific countries have raised the concern and opposition of people from these countries. How should the US present itself in the Asia-Pacific, and what kind of role should it play so as to genuinely serve the interests of countries and people of the region? This is something that deserves deep thought. It is hoped that the US will listen attentively to what regional countries and people have to say, and do what is really good to regional peace and stability.

Q: You said last week that the Tokara Strait was an international strait. But according to internal law, international strait must meet two requirements, namely geological conditions and a fairly large number of vessels passing through. Some experts say that the Tokara Strait does not meet the second requirement. What are China's grounds for defining the Tokara Strait as an international strait?

A: According to UNCLOS and relevant international practices, all vessels are entitled to transit passage in territorial straits for international navigation and are not obliged to notify littoral countries in advance. As provided for in UNCLOS, this kind of strait connects high seas or exclusive economic zones, and is used for international navigation.

Q: First, Indonesian Vice President said that Indonesia is determined to assert its exclusive right to the Natuna Islands where there has been a run of skirmishes between Indonesian navy ships and Chinese fishing vessels. Have you noticed these remarks? Second, the Cambodian police plans to repatriate all the 27 telecom fraud suspects from the mainland and Taiwan based on the "one China" policy. Do you know the details? Is there any call from Taiwan to repatriate those Taiwan suspects?

A: We have stated our position over the weekend on Indonesian navy vessels harassing and shooting Chinese fishing boats and fishermen. This took place in waters which are Chinese fishermen's traditional fishing grounds and where China and Indonesia have overlapping claims for maritime rights and interests. The Indonesian vessels that harassed and shot Chinese fishing boats with a willful resort to force put the life and property of Chinese fishermen in danger and violated international laws including UNCLOS and the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). China strongly protests and condemns the abuse of force. China urges the Indonesian side to stop taking actions that complicate, exacerbate the dispute and undermine regional peace and stability, and handle the fishery issue at sea in a constructive way.

China has no territorial sovereignty dispute with Indonesia. Yet the two countries have overlapping claims for maritime rights and interests over some part of the South China Sea. The two sides have normal communication channels, and it is hoped that they will step up communication in a friendly and constructive way and properly settle relevant issue.

On your second question, we commend the Cambodian side for handling relevant issue based on the "one China" principle. You may ask competent authorities for the specifics of this case and the communication across the Straits.

Q: Choe Son Hui, DPRK deputy negotiator for the Six-Party Talks arrived in Beijing this morning. It is learnt that she is going to join China's chief Six-Party Talks negotiator Wu Dawei for relevant activities. Can you confirm that? Will Mr. Wu Dawei meet with negotiators from other Six-Party states in a bid to restart the talks?

A: China Institute of International Studies and University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation will jointly hold the 26th Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue in Beijing on June 22 and 23.

Nearly 90 government officials, foreign envoys, experts and scholars including Special Representative of the Chinese Government for the Korean Peninsula Affairs Wu Dawei, Deputy Director General Choe Son Hui of the Department of US Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK, Director-General Kanasugi Kenji of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Director General Kim Gunn for North Korean Nuclear Affairs of the Office of Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs of the ROK Foreign Ministry, Ambassador-at-Large Oleg V. Davydov of the Russian Foreign Ministry and Special Representative for North Korea Policy and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Sung Kim will attend the meeting. They will talk about the security situation in Northeast Asia, the establishment of multilateral security dialogue platforms in the region, major-country relations and other issues.

I have no information about whether relevant parties will take the chance to meet with each other. What we are hoping is that the meeting will enable discussions on issues concerning Northeast Asia cooperation and offer advice about how to keep Northeast Asia peaceful and stable.

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