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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 18, 2012

2012/09/19

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 18, 2012.

Q: Today marks the 81st anniversary of the "September 18 Incident". Demonstrations in various parts of China against Japan's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands are still going on. What is your comment?

A: The Japanese government recently announced its "purchase" of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands, severely infringing upon China's territorial sovereignty and arousing the Chinese government and people's strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition.

The Chinese government immediately lodged solemn representations and strong protest, issued a statement to fully elaborate on China's position, published the base points and baselines of the territorial sea of the Diaoyu Islands and deposited the document with the United Nations, declared the submission of the outer limits of the continental shelf in the East China Sea to the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and dispatched maritime surveillance ships to waters off the Diaoyu Islands for patrol and law-enforcement. China's forceful measures have effectively offset the legal consequences of Japan's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands.

The Chinese people have also voiced their strong indignation. Chinese citizens in various parts of China spontaneously took to the street in protest against the Japanese government's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands, denouncing the Japanese side's defiance of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War as well as the post-war international order. They have demonstrated their just position and patriotism and built up a strong momentum to safeguard sovereignty, defend territorial integrity and uphold justice.

Today marks the 81st anniversary of the "September 18 Incident". Long gone are the days when the Chinese nation was subject to bullying and humiliation. The Chinese government and 1.3 billion Chinese people will not sit idly by watching its territorial sovereignty being infringed upon. Japan's scheme of the illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands is doomed to failure.

We urge the Japanese side to face squarely China's solemn position, listen to the Chinese people's just appeals, and stop holding on to the wrong course. Japan should take the correct attitude and approach, stop immediately all kinds of actions that undermine China's territorial sovereignty, come back to the very consensus and understanding between China and Japan as well as the track of resolving the dispute through dialogue and negotiation.

Q: First, how does China comment on the effects of its countermeasures against Japan? Second, Japanese right-wing activists landed on the Diaoyu Island this morning. How does China respond? Third, are the Chinese maritime surveillance ships armed when they patrol in waters off the Diaoyu Islands?

A: On your first question, I have pointed out that the Chinese government immediately lodged solemn representations and strong protests with the Japanese side against its erroneous actions and adopted a series of countermeasures. These forceful measures effectively offset the legal consequences of Japan's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands. We will continue to take actions in accordance with the developments of the situation and staunchly defend China's territorial sovereignty.

On your second question, Japanese right-wing activists' illegal landing on China's Diaoyu Island constitutes a severe violation of China's territorial sovereignty. China has lodged solemn representations with the Japanese side, demanding an explanation from the latter for its connivance of the right-wing activists. We urge the Japanese side to take effective measures to stop all acts that may escalate the situation and sharpen the dispute. China reserves its right to take further actions.

On your third question, I want to emphasize that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are China's inherent territory. Waters off the Diaoyu Islands are also under China's jurisdiction. Chinese maritime surveillance ships have and will continue to conduct regular patrol and law-enforcement in waters under China's jurisdiction to assert China's sovereignty and curb all kinds of aggression.

Q: How many Chinese cities have been involved in Japan-related demonstrations?

A: It is crucial for the Japanese side to listen to the whole Chinese nation's outcry against Japan's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands, behold the Chinese people's unbreakable will and determination in defending national sovereignty, safeguarding territorial integrity and upholding international justice. Based on that, the Japanese side should reflect on its current erroneous actions, stop infringing upon China's territorial sovereignty and come back to the track of resolving the Diaoyu Islands dispute through negotiation.

Q: It is reported that a Japanese right-wing activist threw two smoke bombs into the Chinese Consulate General in Fukuoka City on September 17. What is China's comment?

A: The Chinese government expresses strong dissatisfaction at the attack against the Chinese Consulate General in Japan and has lodged solemn representations with the Japanese side. Every country is obligated to prevent foreign institutions and nationals in the country from being caught up in danger. We strongly demand the Japanese government to take measures to stop violence against Chinese institutions and nationals in Japan and bring the perpetrator to justice.

Q: It is learned that relevant Chinese department has finished the map compilation of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands. How do you comment on that?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are China's inherent territory. According to the Regulations on Map Compilation and Publication of the People's Republic of China, SinoMaps Press has completed the compilation of the thematic map of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands. The map is officially published today. This is another specific measure of the Chinese government to strengthen its jurisdiction over the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands.

Q: First, are anti-Japan protests and demonstrations completely spontaneous? Do they have government support? Second, the US is going to file a case against China's auto subsidies with the WTO. How does China respond?

A: On your first question, I have already stressed just now that the recent protests and demonstrations in China are completely caused by the Japanese government's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands and are people's spontaneous acts. Such acts showed the Chinese people's strong indignation over Japan's violation of China's sovereignty and strong dissatisfaction over Japan's defiance of the outcome of the World Anti-facist War and post-war international order. Japan should face squarely the just call of the Chinese people which comes from their heart, truly correct its wrong actions and come back to the track of resolving the dispute over the Diaoyu Islands through negotiation.

On your second question, I want to point out that China-US economic and trade ties are mutually beneficial in nature. It is inevitable that there will be frictions and disputes in their expanding economic cooperation and trade. But the two sides should properly resolve relevant disputes based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit through dialogue and consultation. It is imperative not to politicize economic issues or engage in trade and investment protectionism. This is in the interests of both.

Q: US Defense Secretary Panetta has started his visit in China. What's China's expectation of his visit?

A: We attach great importance to Defense Secretary Panetta's visit. China-US military-to-military relations are an integral part of China-US relations. We hope our military-to-military relations will attain further development so as to play an important role for the sound and steady development of bilateral relations.

Competent authorities will release information about his visit in due course.

Q: It is reported that over one thousand Chinese fishing boats have entered waters off the Diaoyu Islands. Please confirm. What's the purpose?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are China's inherent territory. Their adjacent waters are waters under China's jurisdiction and also the traditional fishing grounds of Chinese fishermen. It is totally justified for Chinese fishing boats to go to that part of the sea for fishing.

Q: The US and Japan agreed on the set-up of a new anti-missile system in Japan during Panetta's visit to Japan. How does China comment?

A: The anti-missile issue concerns global and regional strategic balance and mutual trust. One country's measures to seek national security should not come at the expense of another country's security. We hope the US will prudently handle this issue from the perspective of maintaining global and regional strategic balance and stability as well as enhancing strategic mutual trust.

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