Q: When taking questions at the parliament on May 28, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe did not rule out the South China Sea as a potential area with “incidents of significant influence” for Japanese self-defense force to give logistical support to US troops. When asked about the possibility of “incidents of significant influence” taking place in the South China Sea, Abe said that a certain country is engaged in land reclamation work in the South China Sea, and declined to clarify whether or not the law would apply to this issue for the time being under such complex circumstances. What is China’s comment on this?
A: Japan’s policy changes in the military and security areas have been closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community for historical reasons. We hope that the Japanese side would learn from history, take seriously the security concerns of its Asian neighbors, watch its steps in the military and security areas, stick to the path of peaceful development, and do more things that contribute to mutual trust with neighboring countries and regional peace and stability instead of deliberately hyping up regional tension.
Q: According to media reports, representatives from China, Russia and India held a consultation on the Afghan issue in New Delhi the other day. Please give us more information on that.
A: On May 28, Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao attended the second round of China-Russia-India consultation on the Afghan issue in New Delhi. The consultation was chaired by Deputy National Security Adviser of India Arvind Gupta, and attended by Liu Jianchao and Deputy Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation Evgeny Lukyanov.
The three parties exchanged views mainly on the situation in Afghanistan and the region as well as trilateral cooperation on the Afghan issue. They agreed that how the situation in Afghanistan plays out has a direct bearing on regional security and stability. As close neighbors of Afghanistan, the three parties support the peaceful reconciliation and economic reconstruction of Afghanistan and will play a constructive role in this regard. They agreed to enhance communication and coordination on the Afghan issue, effectively leverage the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Istanbul Process, and jointly push for security, stability and development of Afghanistan. They also reached consensus on a third round of consultation at a proper time, and the specific time and place will be finalized through the diplomatic channel.
Liu Jianchao also met with Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar the same day, and exchanged views with him on China-India relations.
Q: Media reports say that China is trying to persuade member states of the World Heritage Committee not to put Japan’s “Meiji industrial sites” on the world heritage list. Can you confirm this?
A: As we have said, the world heritage application should live up to the principle and spirit of promoting peace as upheld by UNESCO and the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Many of the Japanese industrial sites are connected to the use of forced labor from China, the Korean Peninsula and other Asian countries during the Second World War. The Chinese side is against Japan’s insistent application for the world heritage in disregard of China and the ROK’s concerns. China urges Japan to face up to the history and properly handle relevant concerns in a responsible manner.
Q: Today Special Representative Wu Dawei of the Chinese Government on the Korean Peninsula Affairs met with US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim in the ROK. Please give us more details.
A: I have no information at hand for the moment.
Q: According to media reports, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif convened the All Parties Conference (APC) on May 28 and talked about the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Prime Minister Sharif announced that his government decided to first build the western route of the Corridor passing through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, and set up a special committee in the parliament where all parties of the parliament would jointly discuss and monitor the planning and construction of the Corridor and implementation of projects. All parties at the conference welcomed the decision and pledged to fully support the construction of the Corridor. What is your comment?
A: Construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is an overall cooperation framework set up by China and Pakistan with a focus on the long-term development of bilateral cooperation in various fields. The Corridor is designed to serve the whole country, and its benefits will be delivered to all the Pakistanis. China is willing to join hands with Pakistan to move forward the building of the Corridor in a balanced and comprehensive way, deepen the all-weather friendship and all-round cooperation between the two countries and forge a China-Pakistan community of common destiny.
Q: US surveillance images show that China has deployed weapons on maritime features in the South China Sea where constructions are conducted. What is your comment?
A: I am not aware of what you said. China has enunciated its position on its construction in the Nansha Islands on multiple occasions.
Q: China has been proactively coordinating the peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the Afghan government, yet conflicts still occur frequently in the country. How does China assess the current situation in Afghanistan?
A: As a friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, China hopes for the early realization of lasting peace, stability and development in Afghanistan, supports the “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process, and stands ready to play a constructive role to this end.
Q: The EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) will hold a summit this week. Some people say that this summit is in response to China’s growing influence in Latin America, especially given the fact that China held a similar summit with CELAC earlier this year, and President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang separately visited Latin America in 2014 and 2015. How does China comment on the summit?
A: The strengthened cooperation between China and Latin America is based on common interests and mutual needs, with equality and mutual benefits, mutual respect and win-win results as its foundation. China is sincere about enhancing cooperation with Latin American countries, and hopes that this cooperation would bring tangible benefits to the two peoples. It is China’s belief that development of relations and cooperation between any countries or regions should be open and inclusive, and China-Latin America cooperation does not target nor exclude any third party. It is hoped that the cooperation between Europe and Latin America would not be aimed at a specific third party either.
Q: US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said yesterday that it is the scale of China’s land reclamation in the South China Sea that has changed the status quo there. How does China respond?
A: I wonder what kind of “status quo” the US referred to. If he means the Philippines’ and some other countries’ illegal occupation of China’s Nansha islands and reefs and massive construction since the 1970s by saying “status quo”, we do not recognize that as a matter of course. A basic legal principle states that "Ex injuria jus non oritur" (Law does not arise from injustice), accordingly China does not recognize the so-called “status quo” of the Philippines’ and some other countries’ occupation of relevant Nansha islands and reefs through illegal means.
There have been quite a few remarks by the US and the Philippines concerning changes to the status quo and violation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). It must be pointed out that the DOC not only applies to China, but also the Philippines. The Philippines has long been undertaking large-scale construction activities on illegally occupied China’s Nansha islands and reefs in defiance of the spirit and principle of the DOC for its self-serving interests. It also unilaterally initiated a request for arbitration on the South China Sea disputes, stood in the way of practical maritime cooperation among all parties under the framework of the DOC, and took actions to intensify and complicate disputes in the South China Sea. All these actions constitute an utter violation of the DOC. We urge the Philippine side to stop making erroneous remarks and the American side who is not a party to the South China Sea disputes to genuinely take a responsible attitude, be discreet with words and deeds, keep rational and calm, and refrain from any provocative and inflammatory remarks which will only jeopardize regional peace and stability instead of helping with the peaceful settlement of disputes.
Q: US Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim said today that China thinks it is important to keep pressure on the DPRK. What is your comment?
A: The proper settlement of the Korean nuclear issue concerns peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, meets the common interests and remains a common responsibility of all parties concerned. The Korean nuclear issue is very complicated, and the concerns of relevant parties need to be addressed in a balanced way through dialogue and negotiation. All parties concerned should make constructive efforts to the proper settlement of this issue.