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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang's Regular Press Conference on March 5, 2014

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Qin Gang held a press conference on March 5, 2014.

Q: The Japanese government criticized today the growth of China's military budget. What is China's response?

A: China's national defence spending is the focus of attention every year during the two sessions. China is committed to the path of peaceful development and a defence policy that is defensive in nature. China is open and transparent with its development strategy and national defence budget. These are what we say every time and what I want to underscore once again.

I also need to point out that China is a large country and the international landscape is complicated. Against such a backdrop, the moderate growth of China's defence spending, which is consistent with its economic growth, is totally reasonable and justifiable and there is no need to feel surprised.

I want to reiterate that the Chinese People's Liberation Army is not a children corps equipped with red-tasselled spears. Some outside China hopes to see China stay as a boy scout and never grow up. If that is the case, who will ensure our national security and how can the world peace be upheld? If that is the case, will China be tranquil, the region stable and the world peaceful?

Even if China were a boy scout, he will grow taller and his feet will grow larger year by year. You cannot simply have him wearing the same small clothes and shoes, can you?

Q: ROK media reported that the DPRK launched seven rocket shells yesterday. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant report. As a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, China follows closely the development of the situation on the Peninsula. The situation there has started moving toward relaxation. For example, the DPRK and the ROK successfully held high-level talks and reunion of separated families. We are glad to see more interactions between the two sides and improved North-South relations. On the other hand, we need to be aware of the uncertainties on the Peninsula, including the joint ROK-US military exercises and reactions from the DPRK.

China has done a lot to ease the tension and promote peace and talks. Not long ago, Vice Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin shuttled between the DPRK and the ROK mainly to lower the tension on the Peninsula. Recently, the Chinese Foreign Ministry and relevant Chinese embassies renew the efforts by carrying out close communication with relevant parties. China urges relevant parties to stay calm and exercise restraint, be discreet in words and deeds, avoid a repeat of the scenario where there is a progressive escalation of tensions and jointly maintain peace and stability of the Peninsula.

We believe that the current situation on the Peninsula is generally stable and all parties need to coordinate with each other and move the situation toward a good direction. We hope all other parties will stay committed to improving relations, avoid provoking each other and do more things that are conducive to peace and stability rather than the opposite so as to safeguard the overall peace and stability of the Peninsula and create favorable conditions and atmosphere for the early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

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