|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 17, 2016|
Q: Regarding that three Australian nationals were detained in China for gambling crimes, can you confirm that Australian consular officials have been granted access to them? In which city are they detained? Do you have more details on the case?
A: After checking with competent authorities, we have learnt that Australian nationals were detained by the Shanghai police under gambling charges on October 14. This case is under further investigation. The Chinese police has notified the Australian Consulate General in Shanghai in accordance with relevant laws and agreements. The Chinese side will safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of people involved and provide convenience to Australian consular officials to perform their duties based on relevant laws and agreements.
Q: On October 15 local time in Rwanda, the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol adopted an amendment on eliminating HFCs. US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the amendment as a milestone. Miguel Arias Canete, EU commissioner for climate action and energy described it as an important step toward delivering on promises made on climate change in Paris in December. How do you comment on the amendment? What has China done to reach the amendment?
A: The passage of the Montreal Protocol is another significant achievement made by the international community against climate change following the Paris Agreement’s ratification and the adoption of global civil aviation market-based mechanism for cutting emissions by the International Civil Aviation Organization. It further represents the global proactive cooperation against climate change since the arrival of the Paris Agreement in last December, bearing great significance to propelling global green and low-carbon development. China welcomes the adoption of the amendment.
As a major and responsible developing country, China attaches great importance to countering climate change and eliminating HFCs. China has taken a leading role in communicating with various parties and reaching the amendment.
Q: At yesterday’s BRICS Summit, Indian Prime Minister said that Pakistan was the “mothership” of terrorists. As a good friend of Pakistan, do you think this is a fair characterization of Pakistan’s security problems by India?
A: China holds a clear and consistent position when it comes to fighting terrorism. We oppose terrorism of all forms and maintain that terrorist threats tackled through enhanced international cooperation in order to uphold peace, security and development of various countries and the region. We are also against linking terrorism to any specific country, ethnic group or religion.
Both India and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. The international community should respect the enormous efforts and sacrifices made by Pakistan in fighting terrorism.
Q: According to media reports, President Andrej Kiska of Slovakia met with the Dalai Lama over lunch in Slovakia in his “personal capacity”. What is China’s comment?
A: On October 16, President Kiska of Slovakia met with the 14th Dalai who was visiting the country in disregard of the strong opposition from China and in violation of the one-China policy Slovakia pledged to uphold. China is firmly opposed to this move and will react accordingly.
The 14th Dalai has long been engaged in anti-China separatist activities and conspiring to sever Tibet from China. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to Dalai’s undertaking of anti-China separatist activities in any country in any capacity. We are also against officials from any country engaging with him in any form.
Clinging obstinately to a wrong course, the Slovak President undermines China’s core interests and sabotages the political foundation for China-Slovakia relations. China urges the Slovak side to see through the anti-China separatist nature of the Dalai clan, respect China’s core interests and major concerns, hold fast to the one-China policy, and take effective measures to remove the fallout of this wrong act so that China-Slovakia relations can resume sound and steady development.
Q: It is said that during President Duterte’s visit to China, he will meet with President Xi Jinping. Whom else will he meet with? Can you offer us more details about his agenda in China?
A: At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines will pay a state visit to China from October 18 to 21. During his stay here, President Xi Jinping will talk with him and exchange views on improving and developing bilateral relations, deepening all-round pragmatic cooperation and international and regional issues of common interest. Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Zhang Dejiang will meet with President Duterte on separate occasions. We hope that President Duterte’s visit will help build up bilateral political trust, properly deal with relevant disputes through dialogue, deepen pragmatic cooperation, extend traditional friendship and bring bilateral relations back to the track of sound and steady development.
The two sides are in close communication on the specific agenda and outcome documents. We will release more information about this visit in due course. I can tell you for sure that China values the Philippines as its traditionally friendly neighbor, and the friendship between the two peoples goes back a long way. Improvement and development of bilateral relations and expansion of pragmatic cooperation meets people’s aspirations and coincides with regional trend for peace and development. We attach great importance to improving and developing relations with the Philippines and set great store by President Duterte’s visit to China. We will work alongside the Philippines to ensure this visit a success.
Q: Expectations for President Duterte’s visit are high. A series of cooperation will be signed during the visit and the Philippines has changed its government policy towards China. Will relevant disputes in the South China Sea overshadow the good environment of this visit?
A: We notice that President Duterte has devoted himself to cracking down on drug crimes, improving social security and upholding an independent foreign policy since assuming office. We believe that as the president of the Philippines, President Duterte considers and makes relevant policies with the national interests and people’s well-being of his country in mind. We believe that under the leadership of President Duterte, the Philippine people can explore a development path that suits their national realities.
Regarding the South China Sea issue, China holds a consistent and clear position. China is committed to peacefully resolving relevant disputes in the South China Sea with countries concerned including the Philippines through negotiation and consultation. This is an agreement already reached by China and the Philippines and also a consensus and common aspiration of regional countries. The door of dialogue with the Philippines is always open. You may have also noticed that President Duterte has been expressing his positive intention of having dialogue with China and properly dealing with relevant issues. We are willing to work with relevant countries surrounding the South China Sea including the Philippines to discuss how to carry out pragmatic cooperation in the South China Sea and jointly uphold peace and stability and realize common development of countries concerned.
Q: You mentioned that the international community should respect the sacrifices Pakistan has made to fight terrorism. But as Indian Prime Minister Modi said at the BRICS Summit, Pakistan supports anti-India terrorist groups by offering them weapons and financing, and helps them cross the border to launch attacks in India. Do you think that the international community should also take a stand on Pakistan’s support to terrorists?
A: As I just mentioned, China holds a consistent position on anti-terrorism issues. We are strongly against terrorism of all forms, maintaining that terrorism should not be linked to certain country, ethnic group and religion. Regardless of which country, organization or individual that conducts terrorist activities, the international community should work in concert and deal a heavy blow to them to maintain regional peace and stability and national security and development. The BRICS Summit adopted the Goa Declaration which also incorporates anti-terrorism contents and represents the position of BRICS countries including China.
Both India and Pakistan are China’s friendly neighbors. China sincerely hopes that India and Pakistan can peacefully resolve relevant issues through dialogue and consultation and develop bilateral relations peacefully and stably. This is in the interests of the two countries and also helpful to regional peace and stability.
Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave ritual offerings to the Yasukuni Shrine today. Has China lodged protest with Japan?
A: The Yasukuni Shrine honors Class-A war criminals in WWII who were directly responsible for Japan’s war of aggression. We are firmly against the wrong doing of Japanese politicians. China urges the Japanese side to look squarely at and reflect upon its history of aggression, draw a clear line with militarism and take real actions to win back the trust of its Asian neighbors and international community.
Q: We notice that while attending the BRICS Summit, President Xi Jinping met with Nepali Prime Minister Prachanda and Indian Prime Minister Modi. Can you brief us on their meeting? The three leaders took a photo together. Did they talk about trilateral cooperation?
A: We have released relevant information on President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Nepali Prime Minister Prachanda. President Xi Jinping said that China and Nepal are close neighbors connected by mountains and rivers. Over the past fifty years and more since diplomatic relations we re established and regardless of the changing international landscape, China-Nepal relations have been developing in a sound and steady way. China sets great store by its relations with Nepal, and stands ready to further align development strategies of the two sides, deepen practical cooperation in various fields and forge a community of shared future with Nepal. President Xi also emphasized that China and Nepal need to enhance high-level contacts and political exchanges and continue to support each other on issues concerning core interests and major concerns. Consensus between the two sides on strengthening cooperation in connectivity, free trade arrangements and energy need to be implemented so as to continuously move forward development cooperation. China is willing to further its assistance to help Nepal recover from natural disasters, move forward projects on improving infrastructure, restore livelihood, and repair cultural relics. We will encourage prominent Chinese enterprises to invest in Nepal and participate in its building of special economic zones and industrial parks, and consolidate cooperation on the industrialization of agriculture, water conservancy and hydropower. Moreover, the two sides should carry out more people-to-people exchanges in a wider range of areas like tourism, education, culture, youth exchanges, media and local-to-local exchanges. Coordination and collaboration between the two countries also needs to be carried forward within the frameworks of multiple regional organizations.
Nepali Prime Minister Prachanda said that the bilateral relationship, which goes back a long way and is founded on the five principles of peaceful co-existence, mutual respect and mutual trust, is impregnable. The Nepali side also thought highly of China’s neighborhood policy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and expressed its appreciation for China’s enormous support to Nepal’s peace process, post-disaster reconstruction and national development. Nepal regards China as its reliable partner for development, stands ready to develop the bilateral partnership in a more comprehensive way, plays a positive role in the connectivity projects under the framework of the Belt and Road and the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank. Nepal will enhance its coordination and cooperation with China in regional and international organizations.
Nepal and India are China’s friendly neighbors. We believe that positive interactions of the three pairs of bilateral relations will not only promote economic and social development of the three countries, but also contribute to regional stability and development. We would like to explore how to enhance trilateral cooperation with India and Nepal so as to advance common development of the three countries.