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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 17, 2012

2012/09/18

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 17, 2012.

Q: First, Japanese Prime Minister Noda reportedly said during an interview on September 16 that the Japanese government was deeply disappointed with the ongoing anti-Japan protests in China. He required the Chinese government to take measures to stop actions against Japanese institutions and nationals. What is China's comment on that? Second, how does China view these actions' possible impact on Japan-China economic relations and trade?

A: On your first question, I want to point out that the Japanese side should not shun or cover up its responsibilities. The whole Chinese nation is firmly opposed to the Japanese government's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands. The Chinese government has made its position clear to the Japanese side through various means. The Chinese people have also voiced their strong indignation. Whether the Japanese side can face squarely China's solemn position, listen to the Chinese people's just appeal and take the correct attitude and measures bears on the developments of the situation. I would like to reiterate that the Japanese side should immediately halt all actions that undermine China's territorial sovereignty and come back to the track of resolving the dispute through dialogue and negotiation.

We ask Chinese citizens to express their appeals rationally within the law. We will continue to protect the safety of foreign institutions and nationals in China in accordance with law.

On your second question, I want to point out that the devastating effect of Japan's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands on China-Japan relations is looming large. Japan should be held fully accountable for that. We require the Japanese side to correct the wrongs, remove the adverse impact and stop going down the wrong path.

Q: It is learned that a car of the Italian Consulate in Guangzhou was smashed and overturned by anti-Japan demonstrators yesterday. Please confirm and brief us on that.

A: Relevant department in China is investigating and dealing with the case in accordance with law. China is a country ruled by law. The Chinese government always fulfills relevant obligations stipulated by international conventions and protects the safety of foreign diplomatic missions and staff in China. We call on Chinese citizens to express their appeals in a calm, rational, legal and orderly manner.

Q: US Defence Secretary Panetta has just arrived in China for a visit. He hoped to play the role as a "mediator" on the Diaoyu Islands issue. An official from the US Defence Department said that the US-Japan Security Treaty covered the Diaoyu Islands. What is China's comment?

A: We have expounded on our position on relevant issues concerning the US-Japan Security Treaty on many occasions. We hope the US will honor its promise of not taking a position on the dispute over the ownership of the Diaoyu Islands. Being a product of the Cold War, the US-Japan Security Treaty should not undermine a third party's interests, including that of China.

Q: It is reported that China's fishing boats will arrive at waters off the Diaoyu Islands this afternoon. How many ships will there be and when will they set off? In addition, will they be escorted by fishery administration ships? If so, how many will there be?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are China's inherent territory. Waters off the Diaoyu Islands are Chinese fishermen's traditional fishing grounds. Chinese fishermen have long engaged in normal fishing activities for generations in waters off the Diaoyu Islands. Fishery resources and weather conditions in this area will determine whether Chinese fishermen will come back for fishing or not and how many ships will head for that area after the end of the fishing moratorium. Chinese fishery administration authorities will manage and provide necessary services to Chinese fishermen's normal production activities in this area.

Q: It is learned that the Public Security Bureau of Xi'an recently issued a ban on illegal assemblies and demonstrations. Please confirm. Have other cities adopted similar measures?

A: I have pointed out that it is crucial for the Japanese side to face squarely China's solemn position, listen to the Chinese people's just appeal, take the correct attitude and measures, stop undermining China's sovereignty and come back to the track of resolving the Diaoyu Islands dispute through negotiation. I have repeatedly stressed that China is a country ruled by law. We protect the safety of foreign institutions and nationals in China in accordance with law. We also hope that Chinese citizens can express relevant appeals in a rational and law-abiding manner. Relevant authorities in China will administer Japan-related activities in accordance with law.

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