Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference on May 6, 2015
Q: Can you tell us more about Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China? What is China’s comment on the current state of relations with India? What is China’s expectation for the visit?
A: Yesterday we announced that Indian Prime Minister Modi will pay an official visit to China from May 14 to 16. This visit will be Prime Minister Modi’s first visit to China since taking office and another important high-level interaction between China and India following President Xi Jinping’s visit to India last September. President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, Chairman Zhang Dejiang and other Chinese leaders will meet and hold talks with Prime Minister Modi for in-depth discussion on bilateral relations and issues of common interest. Apart from Beijing, Prime Minister Modi will also visit Xi’an and Shanghai.
China and India are the two largest developing countries and major emerging economies. The bilateral relationship boasts strategic significance and global influence. Over the past years, China and India have kept their relationship developing in a sound and steady manner and figured out a way to get along with each other that focuses on mutual benefit and cooperative development, accommodates each other’s concerns and properly handles differences. President Xi Jinping paid a successful state visit to India last September when he mapped out the development of China-India strategic cooperative partnership for the next five to ten years together with Indian leaders. Leaders of the two countries agreed to deepen all-round cooperation and jointly build a closer partnership of development. We will work hand in hand with the Indian side to boost strategic mutual trust, enhance pragmatic cooperation as well as cultural and people-to-people exchanges and increase communication and coordination on major international and regional issues through the visit, so as to advance China-India strategic cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity and realize common development and prosperity.
Q: Today marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the EU. How does China appraise China-EU relations?
A: The EU is a comprehensive strategic partner of China. To deepen China-EU relations is part and parcel of China’s endeavour to build a new type of international relations. Over the past four decades since the establishment of China-EU diplomatic ties, we have witnessed the growth and expansion of bilateral relations at a higher speed. The two sides are committed to building a partnership for peace, growth, reform and progress of civilization, implementing China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation, fully leveraging around 70 dialogue and cooperation mechanisms and pushing forward in an all-round way the relationship between China and the EU and its members. The annual trade volume between China and the EU has topped 600 billion US dollars, and every year there are over five million mutual visits by people from the two sides. Bilateral cooperation in mutual investment, infrastructure building, finance, scientific innovation and other fields has deepened and borne rich fruits. The two sides have also maintained sound communication and coordination on international and regional hot-spot issues. China-EU relations have taken on greater global influence.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the EU. President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have respectively exchanged messages of congratulations with President of the European Council Donald Tusk and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. Yesterday, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini successfully held the fifth round of high-level strategic dialogue. Tomorrow, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and High Representative Mogherini will jointly publish an article entitled “At 40 We Have No More Doubts” – The EU and China are Strategic Partners for a Long Run. There will also be the 17th China-EU Summit, and new rounds of China-EU High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue and High-Level People-to-People Dialogue within this year. A rich variety of exchange activities will also be held by the two sides in Beijing and Brussels.
It is believed that by jointly celebrating the 40th anniversary, China and the EU are able to deepen pragmatic cooperation, draw people from both sides closer, and elevate China-EU relations to a new high.
Q: Can you give us more details about Prime Minister Modi’s itinerary in Xi’an? What will be covered in the talks between the two sides? What progress has been made in China-India cooperation after President Xi Jinping’s visit to India last year?
A: President Xi Jinping paid a successful state visit to India last September. He was warmly received by the Indian side, especially by Prime Minister Modi. The Chinese side highly appreciates that. The Chinese and Indian sides are in close communication to speed up preparations for the reception of Prime Minister Modi in China. It is believed that efforts by the two sides will ensure the success of Prime Minister Modi’s visit and showcase the importance attached by the Chinese side to China-India relations and to the visit.
China-India relations have made progress in various fields since the state visit paid by President Xi Jinping to India last September. I have noted that recently there have been quite a few positive commentary and reports by the Indian media on that. For example, the two sides have been working in concert to maintain peace and stability of the border areas, step up economic cooperation and trade and carry forward sound communication and cooperation on international and regional issues, such as BRICS cooperation. During the visit, leaders of the two sides will exchange views on bilateral relations and major issues of common interest. We expect and believe that the visit will help enhance mutual understanding and mutual trust between the two countries, step up bilateral cooperation across the board and enable the bilateral relations to make bigger strides at a faster pace and in a more stable manner.
Q: What is China’s comment on today’s joint coast guard exercises between the Philippines and Japan?
A: It is hoped that countries in the region will work as one, contribute more positive energy and make more positive efforts to build up mutual trust and uphold regional peace and stability.
Q: Is there any update on the Colombo Port City project undertaken by China Communications Construction Company? Will the controversy over the project and the recent changes in the domestic politics of Sri Lanka affect China-Sri Lanka relations and the development of the project?
A: You asked for an update on the specific project, I need to get more information on that after the press conference. China and Sri Lanka are friends who value the relationship with each other. Large infrastructure cooperation projects, including the Colombo Port City project have contributed to local economic and social development. The Chinese government has been asking Chinese companies to abide by laws and regulations of countries where they are operating. We hope that relevant cooperation will follow the market rules and deliver mutual benefits.
The government of Sri Lanka examined and assessed the domestic procedure of some of the cooperative projects. That is within Sri Lanka’s domestic affairs, and we respect that. The Sri Lankan side has made clear during its recent high-level interactions with China that it looks forward to further enhancing cooperation with China. We hope and believe that the relevant project will shut out unnecessary disturbance, make steady progress, help promote economic and social development in Sri Lanka and underpin the traditional relationship of friendly cooperation between China and Sri Lanka.
Q: According to media reports, representatives from the EU and Iran will meet in Vienna on May 12 for a new round of nuclear talks, and representatives from the P5+1 will join the talks on May 15. What is China’s comment on this?
A: We have noted that the EU and Iran will hold a bilateral meeting on May 12 on the Iranian nuclear issue. The Iranian nuclear talks have come to the final stage, and all parties are putting in more diplomatic efforts. We hope that all parties would stick to the political guidance, attend to each other’s concerns, make a political decision, move forward and accomplish this historic process as soon as possible.
Q: Can you update us on China’s disaster relief assistance to Nepal?
A: After the massive earthquake hit Nepal, China immediately extended a helping hand by sending relief and medical teams in batches and offering emergency relief supplies to Nepal. Up to May 3, the three medical teams sent by China have altogether made 2,234 visits to patients during their rounds, treated and cured 969 people, trained 714 medical staff, and helped Nepal work out a technical plan on health and epidemic prevention. The second batch of 360 tons of relief supplies sent by the Chinese government will be loaded this afternoon and is expected to reach Nepal in four days. The 100 tons of emergency supplies offered by the Chinese military arrived in Nepal on May 2 and 3. At the request of the Nepali side, the Chinese military sent three MI-17 helicopters to perform airlift and relief operations in Nepal this morning. The operation by the armed transportation police force of China in Nepal goes well, and about 30 kilometers of the China-Nepal highway have been unclogged up to this noon.
The Nepali leadership has repeatedly expressed gratitude for China’s generous assistance. Nepali President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala separately met with Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Wu Chuntai, extending thanks to Chinese leaders who sent messages of condolences to the Nepali leaders immediately after the earthquake. They said that the central and local governments as well as the people of China provided massive emergency supplies to Nepal in multiple batches effectively, and the care given by China is deeply felt by the Nepali people. The Chinese rescue and medical teams did an excellent job by working closely with the Nepali side day and night to save lives. China is a true friend of Nepal. The military and leaders of major parties in Nepal also commended China’s assistance to Nepal, saying that they would cooperate closely with China in post-earthquake epidemic prevention and reconstruction.
Head of the United Nations Development Program said the other day that China’s assistance to Nepal right after the earthquake shows that China is a kind neighbor to Nepal. The performance of China’s relief and medical teams in Nepal is also lauded by peers across the world.