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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on July 10, 2012

2012/07/11

On July 10, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin held a press conference.

Q: According to Japanese press reports, a senior US State Department official said on July 9 that since the Diaoyu Islands were returned to Japan by the US as part of Okinawa in 1972 and had been under Japan's administrative control that fall within the scope of the Article 5 of the US-Japan Security Treaty should apply to the Islands. How does China comment?

A: China has noted relevant reports. We express our grave concern and strong opposition to such remarks. China has indiputable sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands, which have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. The US and Japan's secret dealings with China's territory, the Diaoyu Islands, after WWII are illegal and invalid. Being a product of the Cold War, the US-Japan Security Treaty is a bilateral arrangement between the two countries, and should not undermine the interests of a third party, including China. We hope relevant countries will do more for regional peace and stability.

Q: It is reported that foreigners in Japan have to apply for new registration card from July 9. The category of "nationality" is now changed into "nationality and regions", under which people from Taiwan can register as from "Taiwan". How does China comment? Second question, will China take countermeasures in response to the Japanese government's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands? Third, Is the China trying to convey some message by staging naval exercises in the East China Sea? Fourth, the US hopes that the South China Sea issue will be raised at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting. Is China concerned?

A: On your first question, we demand Japan to continue to abide by the principles of China-Japan Joint Statement, and prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues.

On your second question, we will monitor the situation closely and take measures as the situation changes in order to defend our national territorial sovereignty.

On your third question, the Chinese military has released relevant information. This exercise is not targeted at any specific country or object.

On your fourth question, the South China Sea issue is not an issue between China and ASEAN, but one between China and some ASEAN countries. The series of foreign ministers' meetings of the ASEAN Regional Forum are an important platform to boost mutual trust and deepen cooperation among relevant countries, not a proper venue to discuss the South China Sea issue. Deliberately hyping the issue is turning a blind eye to regional countries' consensus to seek development and cooperation and an attempt to disrupt China-ASEAN relations. The South China Sea situation is now on the whole peaceful and stable. China has smooth and effective communication with relevant countries. China is ready to peacefully resolve the South China Sea disputes through dialogue and negotiation with countries directly involved.

Peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific is in line with the common interests of China and the US. China is willing to enhance cooperation with the US under the ARF framework for the sake of Asia-Pacific peace and stability.

Q: It is reported that participating parties expressed different views when the South China Sea issue was brought up at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Phnom Penh. How does China comment?

A:ASEAN has made it clear that the goal of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting is to push for the set-up of the ASEAN community before 2015, which China has all along supported. China supports ASEAN in playing a leading role in East Asian cooperation, and is committed to mutually beneficial cooperation with ASEAN countries for common development. We wish the ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting positive outcomes.

On the South China Sea issue, countries at the July 8 China-ASEAN Senior Officials' Meeting unanimously agreed to continue to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and cooperation projects under the DOC framework, and make positive efforts for peace and stability of the South China Sea. China hopes that the positive momentum of cooperation on the South China Sea issue can be maintained, and that efforts for and progress in the peace and stability of the South China Sea will not suffer from any disruption or damage.

Q: It is reported that Special Envoy Annan indicated that he had reached agreement with Bashar on the future of Syria. Has Annan communicated with China over it? How does China view this new progress in Annan's mediation?

A: China always actively supports Annan's mediation efforts, and hopes that relevant parties in Syria including the Syrian government and opposition will fully support and cooperate with his mediation.

China welcomes Annan's mediation progress in Syria. We hope his mediation will bear more fruits. China and Annan have stayed in close communication.

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