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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 19, 2012

2012/09/20

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 19, 2012.

Q: Will the Chinese government clearly say "stop" to the current Japan-related demonstrations? If yes, why?

A: The recent Japan-related demonstrations were entirely caused by Japan's announcement of "purchasing" the Diaoyu Islands. These demonstrations reflected the just appeals of the Chinese people to safeguard national territorial sovereignty and oppose Japan's infringement upon China's sovereignty. Meanwhile, the Chinese government requires citizens to express relevant appeals within the constitution and law in a calm, rational, law-abiding and orderly manner.

Q: It is reported that the car of US Ambassador to China was slightly damaged as it encountered demonstrators in Beijing yesterday. Please confirm. How will China respond to the US' representations?

A: Abiding by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, China always earnestly protects the safety of foreign diplomatic missions and staff in China. Relevant case is an individual one. Relevant department in China is conducting a serious investigation and will deal with the case in accordance with law.

Q: First, windows of some Japanese diplomatic missions in China were smashed. Will China compensate for that? Second, according to yesterday's report, nearly a thousand fishing boats will head to the Diaoyu Islands, but it is reported today that there are only some eighty boats. Please tell us the exact number of the fishing boats.

A: On your first question, recent days' Japan-related demonstrations conveyed the Chinese people's outcry against Japan's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands and infringement upon China's territorial sovereignty. The Japanese government should face squarely China's solemn demands, listen to the Chinese people's just appeals, stop actions that undermine China's territorial sovereignty and get back to the track of resolving the Diaoyu Islands issue through negotiation. China protects the safety of foreign diplomatic missions and staff in China in accordance with law and will deal with relevant issues in light of the realities.

On your second question, the Diaoyu Islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. Waters adjacent to the Diaoyu Islands are under China's jurisdiction and have been Chinese fishermen's traditional fishing grounds for generations. It is justified and reasonable for Chinese fishing boats to fish in relevant waters.

Q: It is reported that US Defence Secretary Panetta suggested that China and Japan should come to an understanding on the Diaoyu Islands issue. What is China's comment?

A: I want to point out that Japan should be held fully accountable for the current grim situation in China-Japan relations. The core reason is that Japan denies the consensus and understanding reached between China and Japan on the Diaoyu Islands issue. Japan should take full responsibility for that. We urge the Japanese side to return to the consensus and understanding between China and Japan.

Q: This year marks the seventh anniversary of the Joint Statement of September 19. What is China's comment? What is China's expectation of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks?

A: China always maintains that the Korean Peninsula issue should be solved through dialogue and consultation in a peaceful manner. In order to achieve the above goal, China creatively initiated the Six-Party Talks. Despite twists and turns over the past nine plus years since the launch of the Talks, we have made a series of important progress, including the Joint Statement of September 19. It has been proven that the Six-Party Talks is an effective mechanism to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and maintain peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia, and an important platform for relevant parties to improve their relations. It serves the common interests of all parties to resume the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible. China stands ready to work with all relevant parties to play a constructive role in moving forward the process of the Six-Party Talks, denuclearizing the Peninsula and maintaining enduring peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia.

Q: The Chinese government recently published the base points and baselines of the territorial sea of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands. Does that mean that China will expel Japanese government ships entering China's territorial waters?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. The Chinese government's release of the base points and baselines of the territorial sea of the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands represents China's solemn assertion of sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands. It is totally justified for Chinese government ships to exercise sovereignty and curb infringement in waters off the Diaoyu Islands.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda recently required the Chinese side to compensate for the Japanese companies' losses inflicted by the Japan-related demonstrations. What is China's response?

A: I have answered relevant questions. First, the Japanese government should face squarely the unbreakable will and determination of the Chinese people in safeguarding national territorial sovereignty. Second, China protects in accordance with law the safety of foreign institutions and nationals in China and will deal with relevant issues in light of the realities.

Q: It is learned that the China-Japan Green Expo scheduled to be held on September 20 in Shanghai has been canceled. Please confirm.

A: I am not aware of the specifics you mentioned. I want to point out that the Japanese government's illegal "purchase" of the Diaoyu Islands has severely damaged China-Japan relations and exerted negative impact on China-Japan exchanges and cooperation in various fields. Japan should be held fully accountable for that. China urges the Japanese side to return to the consensus and understanding reached between the two sides as soon as possible and come back to the track of resolving the dispute through dialogue and negotiation.

Q: Analysts say that Japan has made "military preparations" in response to the entry of Chinese fishery administration ships and a large number of fishing boats into waters off the Diaoyu Islands. Relevant Chinese military official also stated that China reserved the right to take further actions. What does that specificly mean?

A: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. Waters adjacent to the Diaoyu Islands are under China's jurisdiction and have been Chinese fishermen's traditional fishing grounds for generations. It is totally justified and reasonable for Chinese fishing boats to enter relevant waters. Meanwhile, we urge the Japanese side to face squarely China's solemn demand, listen to the Chinese people's just appeals and come back to the track of resolving the Diaoyu Islands dispute through negotiation.

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