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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on May 12, 2014


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on May 12, 2014.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President of the Republic of Turkey Abdullah Gul will pay a state visit to China from May 16 to 21 and attend the 4th Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit in Shanghai.

At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev will pay a state visit to China from May 19 to 22 and attend the 4th CICA Summit in Shanghai.

Q: During the weekend, many cities in Vietnam saw anti-China protests. What is China's response to that?

A: Xisha Islands are China's inherent territory. The Chinese enterprise is carrying out normal operations in China's territorial sea. China follows the protests you mentioned closely. We have asked the Vietnamese side to take all measures necessary to safeguard the security and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and organizations in Vietnam.

Q: On May 10, South Africa's election commission announced that the ruling African National Congress (ANC) won the 5th National Parliamentary Election with 62.15% of the vote. What is China's comment?

A: China has been following this election closely. We have noted that this election went on steadily and smoothly, and has come to a result that is accepted by all sectors in South Africa. China congratulates South Africa on that. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has sent congratulatory messages to the National Executive Committee of the ANC right after the result came out.

China stands ready to work with South Africa and continue to regard China-South Africa relationship as a strategic pivot and priority in our two countries' foreign policies, enhance political mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation, and elevate the comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries to a new level.

Q: First, Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) calls for speeded-up negotiations with China on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC). What is China's response to that? Second, some western media believed that China's drilling activities in the waters off Xisha Islands are in response to the US's pivot to Asia and President Obama's recent visit to Asia. What is China's comment?

A: On your first question, the issue of South China Sea is not one between China and ASEAN. There is consensus between China and ASEAN countries on jointly safeguarding peace and stability in South China Sea. China stands with ASEAN countries to continue to work for a full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and steadily move forward the negotiation process of COC. China and ASEAN countries are in close communication on this point. At the same time, we hope relevant ASEAN countries can earnestly respect and implement DOC, make positive efforts along with China to safeguard peace, stability and maritime security of South China Sea and create enabling conditions for COC negotiations.

On your second question, last week, Deputy Director General Yi Xianliang of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs of the Foreign Ministry held a press briefing. He talked in details about the Vietnamese vessels' disruptions of Chinese enterprise's normal operations in the waters south to Zhongjian Island. He mentioned that the drilling operation did not just start a few days ago. China has been carrying out these drilling operations for a decade, so the operation this time is just a routine continuation of what China has begun a decade ago.

Q: Ukraine's eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions held referendums yesterday. The US and some European countries refuse to acknowledge the result of the referendums. What is China's position on that?

A: China always upholds the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. We respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, and believe that in dealing with the Ukrainian issue, all parties' legitimate and reasonable concerns and rights and interests should be weighed in a comprehensive manner and taken into full consideration, and relevant disputes should be properly resolved within the framework of law and order.

Q: Turkey may scrap China's missile defense system deal. Chinese analysts said Turkey's backing out of the deal is the result of pressure from the US and NATO. What is China's comment?

A: The cooperation between Chinese enterprises and Turkey is normal cooperation in the field of military trade. It is our principle that we hope not to see any normal commercial cooperation being politicized.

Q: On May 9, President of South Sudan Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar held the first ever direct meeting since the break-out of the conflict and signed a ceasefire agreement. What is China's comment?

A: China welcomes the direct meeting and signing of ceasefire agreement between President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, and appreciates the relentless efforts made by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and other relevant parties in this regard. We hope the two conflicting parties in South Sudan can earnestly honor the ceasefire agreement and create enabling conditions for the comprehensive and proper settlement of the conflict. China will continue to work together with IGAD and other relevant parties and push for the restoration of stability in South Sudan.

Q: How is the consultation going between China and the Philippines on the detention of Chinese fishermen? How will this incident end?

A: We have made clear our positions and demands on many occasions. We hope that this incident can be properly settled as soon as possible.

Q: The construction of a memorial stone at the former barracks of the Korean Liberation Army in the northwestern Chinese city of Xi'an is about to be completed. Can you confirm that? Japan has expressed opposition to this memorial stone. How do you anticipate the Japanese side's reaction to this?

A: During the anti-Japanese war, many peace-loving and respectable men who came from the Korean Peninsula fought alongside Chinese soldiers and together resisted against the invasion of imperialist Japan. Following relevant regulations on building memorial facilities involving foreign interest, China decided to build a memorial stone at the former barracks of the Korean Liberation Army in Xi'an. It is to my knowledge that the construction is basically over, and the site will soon be open to the public.

As to how the Japanese side will react to this memorial facility, I think we need to take things in an ordinary manner. Every country, every nation and everyone needs to remember history so as to better embrace the future.

Q: China says there is no dispute over the Xisha Islands, but criticizes Japan for saying there is no dispute over the Diaoyu Islands. Isn't there a contradiction?

A: These two claims are so different that nothing can link these two together. That no dispute exists over the Xisha islands is a fact. Based on sufficient historical and jurisprudential evidence, China's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands and the adjacent islands is indisputable, which is also a fact.

Q: The US naval vessel "Blue Ridge" had an encounter with Chinese naval vessels in waters near the Huangyan Island. Can you give us more details and what is China's comment?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea, including the Huangyan Island, as well as the adjacent waters. It is legal and legitimate for Chinese naval vessels to carry out routine patrols in relevant waters. There is no need to be surprised at something that is perfectly normal.

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