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

2012/10/19

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

Q: First, Japanese Foreign Minister Gemba published an article on the French newspaper Le Figaro claiming that the Diaoyu Islands are Japanese territory, and it is unjustified for some country to assert territorial claim with might in disregard of international order. How does China comment? Second, it is reported that following yesterday's visit of LDP President Shinzo Abe to the Yasukuni Shrine, today several Japanese cabinet members also visited the Shrine. How does China comment?

A: On your first question, the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands are China's sacred territory as evidenced by history and jurisprudence. 117 years ago, it was Japan that stole the Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands during its overseas aggression and expansion. After the WWII, it was again Japan that refused to return the Diaoyu Islands to China in violation of the obligations outlined in the Cairo Declaration, Potsdam Proclamation and other international legal documents, rejecting the outcomes of victory of the WWII and challenging the post-war international order. Japan should face squarely and reflect upon history, and seriously think about how to peacefully live with its neighbours.

On your second question, the Yasukuni Shrine was a spiritual tool used by the Japanese militarism to wage war of aggression overseas. At present, it still enshrines Class A war criminals who have committed bloody crimes against people in the victimized countries of Asia. The Yasukuni Shrine issue concerns whether Japan can correctly perceive and deal with its history of militarist aggression, and whether Japan can respect the feelings of the vast number of people of the victimized countries including China. China's position on this issue has been consistent and clear. We demand Japan to face up to and rethink history, truly uphold the spirit of "taking history as a mirror and face the future", abide by the solemn statements and pledges it has made on historical issues and face the international community in a responsible manner.

Q: US Deputy Secretary of State Burns met with the Chinese side during his visit to China this week. The US side said that the issue of the Diaoyu Islands was discussed. Please brief us on the specifics.

A: Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi met with visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Burns on October 17. Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun had talks with him.

The Chinese side expressed that it serves the fundamental interests of both China and the US to maintain the steady development of bilateral relations. The two sides should continue to earnestly implement the consensus reached between the two heads of state, further expand and deepen dialogue, mutual trust and cooperation, respect each other's core interests and major concerns, properly handle sensitive issues and ensure that China-US relations always develop on the positive and correct track.

The US side expressed that the Obama administration highly values its relations with China. It is ready to continue working with China in building the cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit and exploring a new type of relations between major countries such as China and the US for constant growth of bilateral relations.

China reiterated its solemn position on the Diaoyu Islands issue.

The two sides also exchanged views on international and regional issues of common interest such as the Middle East issue.

Q: Recently, the ROK coast guard detained some Chinese fishermen and shot dead a Chinese fisherman with a rubber bullet. Separately, the Spanish police arrested some Chinese nationals for crimes. Please brief us on the lastest developments and China's efforts regarding these two cases.

A: On your first question, Chinese Consul-General to Gwangju has visited the detained Chinese fishermen and made further representations with the ROK, demanding the ROK to have a responsible and thorough investigation of the case, inform China of the investigation result in a timely fashion, provide humanitarian treatment to the detained and ensure their safety and lawful rights and interests.

On your second question, the Chinese Embassy in Spain has expressed concerns to the Spanish police, demanding it to act in strict accordance to law, carry out law-enforcement in a civil manner, concretely protect the lawful rights and interests of Chinese nationals and inform China of their conditions in a prompt manner.

Q: It is reported that China's Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue Ambassador Wu Sike will visit Israel, Palestine, the UN Headquarters and the US. Please tell us the purpose and details of the visit.

A: Recently, the Middle East peace process has been stalled due to the turmoil in West Asia and North Africa. China's Special Envoy on the Middle East Issue Ambassador Wu Sike will visit Israel, Palestine, the UN Headquarters and the US from October 19 to 28 to exchange views with relevant parties on the Middle East peace process and the current regional situation and mediate for peace talks. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China is ready to work with the international community to play a positive and constructive role for progress in the Middle East peace process.

Q: According to Philippine media reports, high-level representatives from China and the Philippines will engage in a formal meeting in Manila in the near term. Please confirm and brief us on the specifics. How does China view the current bilateral relations?

A: Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying will pay a visit to the Philippines at invitation from October 18 to 20 for exchange of views with the Philippine side on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest. China and the Philippines are important neighbours to each other. Attaching importance to China-Philippines relations, China is ready to work with the Philippines for the sound and steady development of bilateral relations.

Q: This year marks the 50th anniversary of China-India border conflict, but the dispute over the demarcation of their borders is not yet resolved. How does China comment?

A: This year is the "Year of China-India Friendship and Cooperation" jointly announced by President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Singh. Bilateral relations have maintained good momentum of sound and steady development with frequent high-level exchanges, strengthening exchanges and cooperation in all fields and sound communication and coordination on major international and regional issues. We are ready to work with India to continue to implement the consensus between our leaders, boost strategic mutual trust, deepen win-win cooperation and push for common development.

As for border issues left over from history, we are ready to work in concert with India to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution through friendly consultation. Pending a final resolution, the two countries should ensure the peace and tranquility of the border areas.

Q: A report of the US White House claimed that no evidence has been found that Huawei engages in espionage economic activities in the US. How does China comment?

A: We have noticed relevant reports. This once again proves that relevant US congressional report is a false accusation of Huawei. Chinese companies' investment overseas with relevant country is win-win and mutually beneficial in nature. We hope relevant country can correctly view Chinese companies' investment and business operation, and create a a fair and stable environment for them.

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