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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on October 11, 2012


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a press conference on October 11, 2012

Q: During yesterday's exclusive interview with the Bloomberg, Japanese Prime Minister Noda said that China and Japan are two highly interdependent economies, and the current diplomatic deadlock between China and Japan should be broken through consultation. How does China respond?

A: Japan's illegal action of "purchasing" the Diaoyu Islands severely infringes upon China's territorial sovereignty, violates the consensus and understanding between the two sides and plunges China-Japan relations in an unprecedentedly grim situation. Japan should bear full responsibility for that.

Japan should face squarely the current exceptional hardship of China-Japan relations, recognize the sovereignty dispute over the Diaoyu Islands, correct the mistake of infringing upon China's territorial sovereignty and come back to the track of a negotiated settlement of the dispute.

Q: Japanese media reported that due to the Diaoyu Islands issue, China "delayed" the customs clearance of Japanese companies' goods. What is China's comment on that?

A: We noted relevant report. We have got the information from the competent authority that the Japanese media's report is inconsistent with facts. Following set procedures, China's customs has been carrying out normal and routine checks on Japanese companies' goods.

Q: Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba said at a press conference that China had not claimed sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands until the 1970s. In 1895, Japan included these islands into its territory after confirming that they did not belong to China. Citing a letter from the then Chinese Consul in Nagasaki in 1920 and Chinese maps published in 1933 and 1960 as evidence, the Japanese side regards China's sovereignty claim to the Diaoyu Islands as false. How does China comment?

A: It is not the first time for Foreign Minister Gemba to use materials taken out of context to support Japan's position. Backing its position with some fragmented materials on issues as significant and serious as a country's territorial sovereignty can only prove that Japan has never legally owned the Diaoyu Islands.

Scholars from both China and Japan have made detailed and rigorous analysis on the historical facts about Japan's stealing of the Diaoyu Islands after the 1895 Sino-Japanese War. Official historical records of Japan can also serve as unmistakable collateral evidence. However, turning a blind eye to and shunning all the above evidence, Japan has been justifying its war-backed aggression and expansion in history. This is totally gangster logic.

We have noted the Japanese side's statement of hoping to calm down the situation as soon as possible so as not to affect the stable development of bilateral relations. If the Japanese side matches words with deeds, it should truly recognize its mistakes of resorting to provocative actions and remarks and take concrete steps to maintain the overall interests of China-Japan relations.

Q: An annual report released by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China on October 10 made improper comments on China's human rights situation and rights protection activities and questioned the Chinese government's capacity to meet people's demands. What is China's comment?

A: Putting people first, the Chinese government governs for the people and commits itself to protecting and promoting people's rights and interests. Its achievements in this regard have been universally recognized. We urge the so-called "Commission" to respect the reality, discard prejudice, stop releasing this kind of report which makes unfounded charges against China and stop words and deeds that interfere in China's internal affairs and undermine China-US relations.

Q: In a recent press conference, Japanese Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba talked about the impact of the Diaoyu Islands issue on Japan-China economic relations. What is China's comment?

A: It is Japan's provocative actions on the Diaoyu Islands issue that plunged China-Japan relations in an unprecedentedly grim situation. China upholds principles on issues concerning territorial sovereignty. China's territorial sovereignty brooks no infringement. Japan should bear full responsibility for the current impact on China-Japan economic relations.

China always maintains that we should develop economic relations with countries around the world on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. As the world's second and third largest economies, China and Japan are each other's major economic and trading partners. We attach importance to the development of business cooperation with Japan. It is important now for Japan to show sincerity in correcting mistakes, deal with current problems appropriately and restore the favorable environment and conditions for bilateral cooperation.

Q: It is reported that US Republican presidential candidate Romney criticized China in a campaign speech on October 10. What influence, do you think, will his remarks have on China's image?

A: We noted the US presidential candidate's China-related remarks in the campaign period. I want to point out that China and the US are striving to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. To develop a new type of relations between major countries is the common cause of China and the US. The US should view China's development from an objective and rational perspective, have a correct understanding of relevant issues in China-US relations, stop making unfounded charges against China and promote China-US cooperation and mutual trust in a responsible manner. Fundamentally speaking, it also serves the fundamental interests of the US.

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