Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on April 15, 2014.
Q: The situation on the Korean Peninsula becomes strained again. What is China's comment? What has China done to ease the tension?
A: Tension resurfaced on the Korean Peninsula, and the situation there is rather sensitive and fragile. To safeguard peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia and push forward denuclearization serves the common interests of all parties concerned and meets the shared aspiration of all peoples in the region. As a responsible major country, China always upholds objectiveness and fairness and has been encouraging all parties to hold peace talks. We are opposed to any action that may lead to the escalation of tension. We disapprove of joint military drills and the threat of nuclear tests. We maintain that problems should be resolved through talks. China will continue to play a positive role to ensure the soft landing of the situation on the Korean Peninsula. We also hope that all parties concerned can keep the overall picture in mind, avoid provoking each other and do more to build mutual trust and move the situation toward relaxation.
Q: A car bomb caused heavy casualties at a Nigerian bus station on the outskirts of the capital city Abuja on Monday. What is China's comment? Are there Chinese citizens among the dead and injured?
A: China strongly condemns and firmly opposes all forms of terrorism. We are deeply shocked and saddened by this terrorist attack that killed and injured numerous innocent civilians. We lament the death of the victims and convey our heartfelt sympathy to families of the victims and the injured. As the strategic cooperative partner of Nigeria, China will continue its firm support to the Nigerian government in safeguarding national security and regional stability.
We have not received any report of Chinese casualties. The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria has activated the emergency response mechanism and advised Chinese institutions and citizens in Nigeria to take extra security precautions.
Q: It is reported that US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy attended an environmental education meeting in Taiwan from April 13 to 15 and met with the leader of the Taiwan authorities. What is China's comment on that?
A: The US EPA Administrator's visit to Taiwan, for whatever reason, goes against the three joint communiqués between China and the US and the commitment made by the American side to China on the Taiwan Question. China is firmly opposed to and strongly dissatisfied with that. We have lodged solemn representations with the American side.
We urge the American side to abide by the principles of the three joint communiqués and the commitment it has made, stop all forms of official interactions with Taiwan and properly deal with Taiwan-related issues in a prudent manner so as to avoid further damages to China-US relations.
Q: China and India held the sixth strategic dialogue. Please give us more details.
A: Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and the visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh held the sixth China-India Strategic Dialogue yesterday.
Liu Zhenmin said that China and India are each other's important neighbors and natural cooperative partners. China-India relationship, which has maintained sound and steady growth over recent years, is on a new and upward trajectory. This year, which marks the Year of Friendly Exchanges between China and India, has seen bilateral relationship get off to a good start. China is ready to maintain the momentum of high-level contact and exchange of visits with India, enhance strategic mutual trust, expand practical cooperation and friendly exchanges, strengthen strategic communication and cooperation on major regional and international issues, properly manage and handle differences and elevate China-India strategic cooperative partnership to a new high.
Sujatha said that the Indian side would like to avail itself of this opportunity to reaffirm the importance attached by the Indian government to relations with China and reiterate that the Indian side is committed to cementing India-China strategic cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity. All political parties in India share a common ground on advancing India-China strategic cooperative partnership. She expressed the belief that no matter which political party comes into office through the general election this year, India's policy toward China will not be changed.
Q: China reportedly called off human rights talks with the UK, due to the latter's irresponsible remarks on the human rights situation in China. Please confirm that and tell us the reason.
A: The spirit and principle that guide people-to-people and state-to-state dialogue and exchanges are equality and mutual respect. The purpose is to enhance mutual understanding, deepen mutual trust and promote cooperation through dialogue and exchanges. China always attaches importance and stands ready to carry out dialogue and cooperation with countries including the UK in the field of human rights based on equality and mutual respect.
But what we have seen is that the UK released a so-called Human Rights and Democracy 2013-14, making irresponsible remarks about the political system of China, slandering and criticizing China's human rights situation. China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to that. What the British side has done does no good to its dialogue and communication with China on the subject of human rights, nor does this benefit the sound and steady growth of China-UK relations. We urge the British side to stop using human rights as a pretext for interference in China's internal affairs and judicial sovereignty and create conditions for the next round of human rights talks.
Q: Please give us more details about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's visit to China. What is China's comment on the visit?
A: At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov visited China today. They held talks and met the press together at noon. Later this afternoon, President Xi Jinping will meet with Foreign Minister Lavrov. We will release relevant information in due course.
Foreign Minister Lavrov is to lay the groundwork for Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to China and attendance at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit in May. The two sides compared notes on relevant arrangements concerning President Putin's visit to China and attendance at the CICA summit, prepared for the outcome of President Putin's visit and explored new ways to strengthen mutual support on issues relating to each other's core interests and intensify international strategic coordination under the new circumstances.
Chinese and Russian leaders have been making top-level design and giving strategic guidance on the development of bilateral relations over the past one year and more, bringing China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination to a new phase of development. China-Russia relationship has become one pair of major-country relationship that boasts the richest contents, the highest level and the greatest strategic significance. We are ready to work together with the Russian side to further advance China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination at a high level.
Q: The Venezuelan government and the opposition held official talks the other day for the first time. What is China's comment?
A: We have noted the report. This round of talks represents an important step taken by the Venezuelan government and the opposition toward national stability. Both sides express their willingness to oppose violence and carry out dialogue and consultation. It will help stabilize the current situation in Venezuela.
China hopes that all parties in Venezuela will continue with their dialogue and consultation for the settlement of differences. We believe that the Venezuelan government and people have the capacity to properly deal with their internal affairs. Venezuela is an important country in Latin America. Stability and development of Venezuela not only meets the fundamental interests of the Venezuelan people but also contributes to peace and development of Latin America.
Q: Please update us on the P5 conference in Beijing.
A: The P5 conference is being held in Beijing from April 14 to 15. This conference is the fifth of its kind among the five nuclear-weapon states, namely China, the US, Russia, the UK and France. It is also the first time for China to host the conference, which has attracted high attention from all sides. Yesterday, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the conference, making a five-point proposal on improving global nuclear governance.
First, universal security is the fundamental goal of global nuclear governance. We should work to build an international environment featuring peace and stability. We should fully respect and accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all countries and discard zero-sum thinking and cold-war mindset. We should develop country-to-country relations based on mutual understanding and trust and dissolve disputes and suspicion through dialogue on an equal footing. Second, the leadership role of the P5 states is a major driving force for global nuclear governance. The P5 states, being nuclear-weapon states and also permanent members of the UN Security Council, shoulder the important mission of maintaining global peace and stability, and should also play a leading role in global nuclear governance. Third, multilateral mechanism is the central content for global nuclear governance. Nothing can be accomplished without norms and standards. To solve the problems in the nuclear field, we must give full play to the pivotal roles of existing multilateral agencies like the UN, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva and the IAEA. This is the only way to bring all key parties on board and ensure that the issues concerned get discussed and positive results achieved. Fourth, balanced progress and consensus is the basic principle for global nuclear governance. Nuclear issues bear on international stability and security as well as the vital interests of all countries. Decisions on these issues must be made by consensus and through discussions on an equal footing. Fifth, broad participation is a critical guarantee for global nuclear governance. The world today is a community of common destiny where no country can stay immune from global challenges or solve global challenges on its own. To push forward the nuclear disarmament process, strengthen the nuclear non-proliferation system and promote peaceful use of nuclear energy, we must allow all countries to play their roles as stake-holders.
We will release information about the conference in a timely fashion.
After the press conference, a journalist asked: Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a pamphlet on issues concerning the Diaoyu Islands on its official website, saying that it is groundless for China to assert that the Diaoyu Islands have been inherent parts of China since ancient times. What is China's comment?
Hua Chunying: The Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been inherent territory of China since ancient times. This is supported by abundant historical facts and jurisprudential evidence. Whatever means the Japanese side employs to publicize its erroneous position, it cannot change the fact that the Diaoyu Islands belong to China and that Japan snatches and attempts to permanently occupy China's territory. We urge the Japanese side to face up to history and facts, correct mistakes, stop provocations and come back to the right track of managing and resolving problems through dialogue and consultation.