|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on September 28, 2012|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on September 28, 2012.
Hong Lei started the press conference with the following announcement:
Upon invitation, Special Envoy of President Hu Jintao and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Han Qide will go to Kampala for the 50th anniversary of the independence of Uganda on October 9.
Q: It is reported that a small passenger plane crashed near the Nepali capital of Kathmandu today, killing 19 people, including four Chinese citizens. Please confirm. What measures has China taken by now?
A: After checking and verifying the passenger list, the Chinese Embassy in Nepal and the Nepali airport police confirmed that four Chinese citizens were killed in the plane crash in Nepal on the morning of September 28 local time. We are deeply grieved over their death and convey our profound sympathy to the bereaved families.
Paying high attention to the incident, the Chinese Foreign Ministry, upon being informed, instructed the Chinese Embassy in Nepal to do its best in emergency response. The Chinese Embassy has sent staff to the scene and required the Nepali side to find out the cause of the accident. The Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Nepal will do their utmost to assist the bereaved families in dealing with the aftermath.
Q: September 29 marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic ties. Will the Chinese side put off or cancel all commemorative activities?
A: We have briefed you about relevant information. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the normalization of China-Japan diplomatic ties and should have been a year of opportunity for the two sides to push forward bilateral relations. However, a lot of plans have been sabotaged by Japan's erroneous actions. Many of the planned commemorative activities were either canceled or put off. This is what we do not want to see. The grim situation facing China-Japan relations is totally caused by Japan's blatant infringement upon China's territorial sovereignty, outright denial of the outcomes of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and gross challenge to the post-war international order. We urge the Japanese side to take concrete measures to correct mistakes and stop all acticities that violate China's territorial sovereignty so as to get China-Japan relations back on the track of sound development.
Q: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, when addressing the General Debate of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, mentioned the issue of the Diaoyu Islands. Please give us more details.
A: Foreign Minister Yang elaborated on China's solemn position on the issue of the Diaoyu Islands. He said that the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been an integral part of China's territory since ancient times. China has indisputable historical and jurisprudential evidence in this regard. Japan stole these islands in 1895 at the end of the Sino-Japanese War and forced the then Chinese government to sign an unequal treaty to cede these islands and other Chinese territories to Japan. After the end of the Second World War, the Diaoyu islands and other Chinese territories occupied by Japan were returned to China in accordance with the Cairo Declaration, the Potsdam Proclamation and other international documents. By taking such unilateral actions as the so-called "island purchase", the Japanese government has grossly violated China's sovereignty. This is an outright denial of the outcomes of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist war and poses a grave challenge to the post-war international order and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The measures taken by Japan are totally illegal and invalid. They can in no way change the historical fact that Japan stole the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands from China or shake China's territorial sovereignty over them. The Chinese government is firm in upholding territorial sovereignty. China strongly urges Japan to immediately stop all activities that violate China's territorial sovereignty, take concrete actions to correct its mistakes, and return to the track of resolving the dispute through negotiation.
Q: A journalist of Iran's Press TV was killed by a sniper in Syria this week. What is China's comment on the killing of war correspondents?
A: We noted relevant report and condemn all acts of violence.
Q: First, the heads of state of Sudan and South Sudan have held several rounds of talks in Ethiopia recently and signed a series of agreements on border security, economic and citizen status and other issues. What is China's comment? Second, President Abbas of Palestinian National Authority said when addressing the General Debate of the General Assembly on September 27 that Palestine would continue to seek UN membership and had held frequent consultations with relevant regional organizations and countries with a view to pushing the UN General Assembly to adopt the resolution on Palestine's observer status at the UN. What is China's comment?
A: On the first question, China welcomes the multiple agreements reached between Sudan and South Sudan on bilateral cooperation and some outstanding issues and appreciates the two countries' flexible, pragmatic and responsible attitude during their negotiations as well as the international community's active efforts. We hope Sudan and South Sudan can earnestly implement the agreements they signed and continue to maintain the sound momentum of negotiation and properly solve other outstanding issues as soon as possible.
On the second question, China always supports the Palestinian people's just cause of restoring their lawful national rights and interests and believes that independent statehood is the lawful rights and interests of the Palestinian people and the basis to implement the "two-state solution". China supports the founding of an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty and East Jerusalem as its capital based on the 1967 borderline. China understands, respects and supports Palestine's relevant requirements on the issue of joing the UN.
China also maintains that peace talks is the right way to the final realization of the "two-state solution" and supports Palestine and Israel in seeking a proper settlement of the issue of ultimate status through political negotiation.
Q: It is reported that recently leaders of a few countries said in addressing the UN General Assembly that China and Russia are partly responsible for the worsening of situation and casualties in Syria. What is China's response?
A: The remarks made by some countries alluding to or targeting at China are completely unacceptable to us. China laments the casualties of innocent civilians including women and children in Syria caused by violence and conflicts. I want to stress that China is not the reason for the above consequences. On the contrary, China has been making efforts to push for the political resolution of the Syrian issue with the very aim to realize ceasefire and end of violence in Syria at an early date so as to avoid civilian casualties. China believes that an early launch of the political dialogue by relevant parties in Syria and the political transition process led by the Syrian people is the fundamental way out to stop the conflicts and bloodshed and reduce the Syrian people's plight. The international community should bear in mind the larger interests of peace and stability in Syria and the Middle East and jointly work for the realization of this goal. Some countries should draw a lesson from previous mistakes and seriously reflect upon their policies on the Syrian issue.
Q: First, it is reported that the Chinese Embassy in Japan received an envelop containing what was suspected to be a riffle bullet yesterday. Please confirm. Did China express its concern to the Japanese side? Second, is China considering taking the Diaoyu Islands issue to the International Court of Justice for arbitration?
A: On the first question, China expresses serious concerns over and strongly condemns the incident. We demand Japan to take effective measures according to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to step up protection of Chinese diplomatic missions and staff and ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and nationals in Japan.
On the second question, we always hold that relevant dispute over the Diaoyu Islands should be resolved by negotiation between China and Japan.
Q: First, representatives of friendly personnel from Japan were invited to meet with CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin yesterday. Please comment on the outcome of the meeting. Second, is China still adhering to the position of "shelving difference" on the Diaoyu Islands issue?
A: On the first question, CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin met with representatives of friendly personnel from Japan yesterday. He stressed again that Japan's wrong action of illegally "purchasing" the Diaoyu Islands grossly violated China's sovereignty and offended the Chinese people. Chairman Jia Qinglin demanded the Japanese side to correct mistakes, stop acts that undermine China's territorial sovereignty and get China-Japan relations back on track of sound development. We are ready to work with people of vision from all sectors of Japan for the improvement and development of China-Japan relations. But the pressing task now is for the Japanese government to take concrete actions in response to the Chinese government's solemn demands.
On the second question, I want to point out that the grim situation in China-Japan relations is completely caused by Japan's unilateral action of "purchasing" the Diaoyu Islands and the responsibility rests entirely with Japan. The root cause of the problem is that Japan attempted to break the common ground and understanding reached between China and Japan as well as the overall stable situation over the Diaoyu Islands for many years. China's position on the Diaoyu Islands issue has been consistent. We strongly urge the Japanese side to face the realities squarely, correct mistakes and solve the Diaoyu Islands issue through dialogue and negotiation.
The regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be suspended from Saturday, September 29 to Sunday, October 7 for the Mid-Autumn Festival and National Day Holiday and resumed on Monday, October 8.