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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on May 9, 2016
2016/05/09

The 7th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF) will be held in Doha, Qatar on May 12. At the invitation of Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani of the State of Qatar, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will lead a delegation to the meeting and pay an official visit to Qatar.

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui of the Republic of Tunisia, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Tunisia on May 13 and 14.

Q: Last week, there was a protest in Myanmar against a Chinese-funded copper mine project. Is China concerned that there will be more protests like this in the future? Has China asked the government of Myanmar to do more to protect the interests of foreign enterprises, including Chinese enterprises, in Myanmar?

A: You may have noticed that Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid an official visit to Myanmar upon invitation when its new government was just formed. During the visit, the two sides had in-depth discussions on conducting more extensive and mutually beneficial cooperation under the new circumstances. We are fully confident of carrying on with the win-win cooperation with Myanmar.

As for your specific question, China and Myanmar are neighbors enjoying traditional friendship. Mutually beneficial cooperation serves the interests of the two countries. Our government has been asking overseas Chinese enterprises to abide by local laws and regulations, and fulfill social responsibilities and obligations, including environmental protection. We will work with the Myanmar side to carry out these mutually beneficial cooperation projects so as to promote local economic and social development and better benefit the two countries and peoples.

Q: Could you give us more details on this CASCF meeting? What is China's expectation for this meeting?

A: This year marks the 60th anniversary of the inauguration of diplomatic ties between China and Arab States. President Xi Jinping visited Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the Headquarters of the Arab League at the beginning of this year, which elevated China-Arab States relations and fully reflected China's emphasis on and expectation for growing ties with the Arab States. The 7th ministerial meeting of the CASCF, as the first high-level political dialogue between the two sides since President Xi Jinping's visit, is of great importance to implementing the outcomes of President Xi Jinping's visit, enhancing dialogue and cooperation, and improving the Forum.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi, foreign ministers of the Arab States and Secretary General of the Arab League will focus on the subject of building the Belt and Road together and strengthening China-Arab States strategic cooperation, have an extensive and in-depth exchange of views on international and regional issues of common interest, formulate a road-map for the implementation of the outcomes of President Xi's visit, and chart the course for the Forum's development and collective cooperative in the next two years. China sincerely hopes that this meeting could be an opportunity for China and Arab States to elevate their strategic cooperative relations in the new era.

Q: Some said that China is a big country wielding strong power. The Philippines is nowhere near China in terms of state power, and it does not stand a chance of resolving territorial and maritime demarcation disputes with China through bilateral negotiations. That is why it resorted to arbitration. What is your comment?

A: These comments show no regard for facts and call white black. They are reminiscent of a theory called the Original Sin of Major Powers. It is just another attempt to smear China with ulterior motives. Behind all these lurks the logic of "major countries are bound to seek hegemony" and "measuring others' corn by one's own bushel".

I want to stress that China is committed to the path of peaceful development, a defense policy that is defensive in nature and a neighborhood diplomacy that treats neighbors as friends and partners. We have long been engaging in dialogues, consultations and negotiations to peacefully resolve relevant disputes. This commitment is determined by the peace-loving genes flowing in the veins of the Chinese people. Since the establishment of the new China, bearing in mind this commitment, China has surveyed and demarcated more than 20,000 km boundary lines with 12 out of its 14 land neighbors, covering over 90% of China's entire land border. The survey and demarcation were done based on historical facts and basic norms of international law through bilateral consultation and negotiation. Moreover, China and Vietnam have clarified the maritime boundary of Beibu Bay through negotiation and consultation.

I also want to add that as a major country in the region, China knows full well the significance of preserving regional peace and stability and the responsibility on its shoulder. China has never lost sight of the larger picture and has been dealing with the South China Sea issue in a constructive and responsible way. The door for negotiation and consultation is always open. It is the Philippines who has abandoned bilateral agreements and showed no sincerity for settling the matter with China through negotiation and consultation. Dressed up as a victim, the Philippines keeps acting provocatively, stirring up troubles, aggravating tensions, and undermining regional peace and stability. China will never bully small countries, but we will in no way tolerate small country making up excuses and hurting China's interests.

Q: Former US Secretary of Defense Hague said that failure to observe the ruling of the South China Sea arbitral tribunal by either party of China or the Philippines will be a dangerous beginning. What is your response?

A: China will not accept nor participate in the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated by the Philippines. This position is clear and consistent and has been repeated multiple times. The act of initiating the arbitration is in itself a violation of international law including UNCLOS. The total disregard for basic facts, willful manipulation of international law, inappropriate words and deeds under the banner of international law all point to ulterior motives, which I must say will never come to fruition.

The US poses itself as the guardian of the maritime rule of law, but drags its feet in ratifying UNCLOS 34 years after the Convention was reached; it demands other country to accept a third-party dispute settlement procedure, but shuns the procedure to the extent of refusing to obey the ruling and order of the International Court of Justice, the main judicial organ of the UN; it urges other country to follow international law, but turns a blind eye to the acts of breaching international law by itself and its so-called allies, including conniving the Philippines' illegal occupation of some islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands. When it comes to international law, the US adopts whatever serves its purposes and disavows the rest. Such speculative behavior severely erodes the authority, sanctity and efficacy of international law. That is the real danger the international community should be on high alert against.

Q: The Supreme Leader of the DPRK Kim Jong-un said in his report to the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea that the DPRK is a nuclear state and will continue to improve the quality of its nuclear weapons. The Rodong Sinmun of the DPRK also called the country a major nuclear country in the East. What is your comment?

A: Our position on the Korean nuclear issue, which has been reiterated time and again, remains the same. It meets the interests of all parties and serves peace and stability of Northeast Asia and the international nuclear non-proliferation regime to realize denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maintain peace and stability of the Peninsula, and resolve the Korean nuclear issue through negotiation, dialogue and consultation. To achieve all these, we hope that all relevant parties can work in the direction the trend of the times points to.

Q: How does China respond to the DPRK's claim of being a nuclear state?

A: As I have said, China's position on the Korean nuclear issue is subject to no change. We also believe that all the resolutions related to the Korean nuclear issue passed by the UN Security Council shall be observed and executed by all relevant parities without reservations.

Q: The Chinese government signed an agreement with the UN to set up a peace and development fund. Could you give us more details? Through this fund, what kind of projects will China finance?

A: On May 6, China's Permanent Mission to the UN and the UN Secretariat signed an agreement to establish China-UN peace and development fund.

Last September, while attending summits celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN, President Xi Jinping announced the decision to establish a 10-year, US$ 1 billion China-UN peace and development fund. The fund is split into two sub-funds -- one for peace and security under the trusteeship of the Office of the UN Secretary-General, and the other for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development under the trusteeship of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. The signing of this agreement is an important step to implement the outcomes reached during President Xi Jinping's attendance at the UN summits last year.

This marks the first time that China financed a trust fund in the UN. It reflects China's commitment to promoting multi-lateralism, carrying out multi-lateral cooperation, upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and supporting the UN's core role in stopping war, keeping peace and pushing for development. China will work with the UN closely to ensure the early launch and operation of the fund.

Q: Russian President Putin met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Sochi last week. What is your comment on that?

A: Both Russia and Japan are important neighbors of China and major countries of the Asia-Pacific. We welcome the stable development of bilateral ties between Russia and Japan.

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