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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 12, 2012

2012/09/13

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 12, 2012.

Q: First, Director General Shinsuka Sugiyama of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry is now in China and meeting with Chinese officials today. Please brief us on the meeting. Second, the Japanese government said today that it does not "accept" China's protest against the "nationalization" of the Diaoyu Islands. What is China's comment? Third, media reports said that China had sent maritime surveillance ships to the waters off the Diaoyu Islands, but Japan said it had not spotted Chinese ships in the area. Are there Chinese maritime surveillance ships in waters off the Diaoyu Islands?

A: On the first question, Director General Shinsuka Sugiyama of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Japanese Foreign Ministry is now in China for a working visit. China will fully state its solemn position on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands to the Japanese side and strongly demand the Japanese side to revoke its wrong decision of "purchasing" the Diaoyu Islands. Relevant working talks are still going on. We will release information on the specifics in due course.

On the second question, the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. This is supported by historical facts and jurisprudential evidence. The Japanese government's so-called "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands is totally illegal and invalid, to which China is firmly opposed. The Japanese side should not make mistakes repeatedly. It should pull back and immediately stop all acts that may undermine China's territorial sovereignty, truly come back to the very understanding and common ground reached between the two sides, and return to the track of negotiated settlement of the dispute. China will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard national territorial sovereignty in light of the developments.

On the third question, Chinese government ships will continue normal patrol activities in waters under China's jurisdiction.

Q: Many Chinese tourists cancelled their trips to Japan recently. Is it because of Japan's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands?

A: The current grim situation of China-Japan relations is completely caused by Japan. China strongly urges the Japanese side to correct its wrong acts and create atmosphere and conditions for the improvement and development of China-Japan relations.

Q: It is reported that P5+1 countries including China and Russia agreed on a text at the meeting of IAEA Board of Governors, which calls for continued diplomatic efforts to solve the Iranian nuclear issue and backs the IAEA's efforts to clarify the outstanding issues of the Iranian nuclear program. The text is expected to be released within the week in the form of a Board of Governors' resolution or a statement by P5+1 countries. Please confirm.

A: China is taking an active part in the review of the Iranian nuclear issue by the IAEA Board of Governors. We hope the Board can handle the Iranian nuclear issue in an objective and balanced manner and play a constructive role for pushing forward diplomatic efforts to solve the Iranian nuclear issue. We encourage the IAEA and Iran to strengthen dialogue and cooperation and restore international confidence in the fully peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program as soon as possible.

Dialogue on the Iranian nuclear issue is now at a critical juncture. Dialogue and cooperation is the only right way out for the resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue. It is now imperative for the P5+1 countries and Iran to hold a new round of dialogue at an early date, properly handle differences, accommodate each other's concerns and move in the same direction for progress of the dialogue as soon as possible.

Q: China said that it would take necessary measures to safeguard national territorial sovereignty. What will be the specific measures? Do they include economic sanctions?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's sacred territory since ancient times. China absolutely cannot accept Japan's illegal invasion and occupation of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands. Any attempt by Japan to strengthen its status on the Diaoyu Islands is doomed to failure. The Chinese government will not sit idly by watching its territorial sovereignty being infringed upon. We urge the Japanese side to immediately stop all actions that may undermine China's territorial sovereignty and return to the track of negotiated settlement of the dispute.

Q: China released the base points and baselines of the territorial sea of the Diaoyu Islands recently as a countermeasure against Japan's "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands. Does it mean that China has discarded its long-held principle of "shelving the difference" concerning the Diaoyu Islands issue?

A: The current situation is completely caused by Japan. It is completely justified for the Chinese government to take necessary measures to safeguard national territorial sovereignty and uphold historical facts and justice. The Chinese government and people is resolute and determined to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. China strongly urges the Japanese side to concretely correct its mistakes, change course and return to the track of negotiated settlement of the Diaoyu Islands issue.

Q: Some Chinese cancelled their trips to Japan or cooperation plans with the Japanese side recently. Is it related to the Japanese government's "nationalization" of the Diaoyu Islands? Will the commemoration activities marking the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan relations be held at the end of the month as scheduled ?

A: The current grim situation of China-Japan relations is completely caused by Japan. China hopes to see the sound and steady development of China-Japan relations. The key is that Japan should make earnest efforts to this end, correct mistakes, and work together with China for the larger interests of China-Japan relations through concrete actions.

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