Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference on May 13, 2015
Q: On May 12, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Russia. The two sides called on parties to the Ukrainian crisis not to break the ceasefire agreement. How do you comment on the current situation in Ukraine?
A: The Chinese side notices that progress has been made in ceasefire, withdrawal of heavy weapons and formation of sub-working groups as the new Minsk agreement is being implemented. It is the long-standing belief of China that a peaceful settlement of the crisis through political dialogue is the only way out. It is hoped that parties concerned would act on the new Minsk agreement, sustain the ceasefire that comes at a great cost, press ahead with the process of politically resolving the Ukrainian crisis, help Ukraine to achieve an equilibrium in its own country and in relations with the East and the West, and realize peace and tranquility in Ukraine and the European continent as a whole at an early date. China welcomes the positive and constructive efforts by the international community to this end.
Q: A US official said on condition of anonymity that the US military is considering dispatching military vessels and aircrafts to waters within 12 nautical miles of maritime features in the South China Sea where China has been conducting reclamation, in a bid to assert navigation freedom. What is China’s comment?
A: We are deeply concerned about the US remarks. The US side must make clarification on this.
The Chinese side advocates the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea, yet the freedom definitely does not mean that foreign military vessels and aircrafts can enter one country’s territorial waters and airspace at will. China will stay firm in safeguarding territorial sovereignty. We urge parties concerned to be discreet in words and actions, avoid taking any risky and provocative actions and safeguard regional peace and stability.
Q: According to media reports, the ROK parliament passed a resolution on May 12 denouncing Shinzo Abe for shunning Japan’s history of aggression and colonial rule, and not expressing remorse and apology on some history issues including the forced recruitment of “comfort women” in his addresses to the US Congress and the Harvard University. What is China’s comment on this?
A: China constantly calls on the Japanese government and leaders to take a responsible view on history, strictly follow the Murayama Statement and other statements and commitment on facing squarely and reflecting upon the history of aggression made by the successive cabinets of Japan, and make concrete efforts to properly handle the history issues. This is the only way for Japan to win the trust of the international community, and develop friendly relationship for the future together with its Asian neighbors.
Q: Nepal suffered from another earthquake on May 12. Are you aware of the casualties of Chinese citizens in this earthquake, if there is any? Will China continue to help Nepal conquer the disaster?
A: Nepal was once again struck by an earthquake on May 12. It is known that this earthquake is a strong aftershock of the one on April 25,and has caused over 60 deaths and over a thousand injuries up to now. China expresses condolences to the lost lives, and extends sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured. The Foreign Ministry attaches great importance to this aftershock and immediately instructs the Chinese Embassy in Nepal to check on Chinese citizens without any delay. No report on casualties of Chinese citizens has been received up to now.
Since the powerful earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, the Chinese side has been going all out to assist Nepal in its disaster-relief efforts. The second batch of relief supplies sent by the Chinese government reached Nepal on May 10, and the third batch is being prepared. Relief forces sent by the Chinese government, military and civil societies are still carrying out rescue operations in Nepal. China is now in close contact with Nepal on the latest development of the disaster and its disaster relief need to work out a new plan on relief and assistance.
Q: According to media reports, a draft outcome document for the ongoing Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) has removed a reference for global leaders and young people to visit Japan’s atomic-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki as Japan proposed. How do you comment on this?
A: The Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs who is currently at the conference has made clear elaboration on this.
The Review Conference of the Parties to the NPT is now in a crucial stage. We hope that parties concerned can take a reasonable, pragmatic and collaborative view on relevant issues, avoid introducing complicated and sensitive factors, and make contributions to reaching a constructive outcome document based on consensus.
Q: Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida proposed in the NPT review conference visits to Hiroshima and Nagasaki by world leaders. The draft document dropped this part due to China’s objection. Can you confirm this? Will Chinese leaders visit the two Japanese cities?
A: I have answered this question. The Chinese Ambassador for Disarmament Affairs has made clear elaboration on this. It is hoped that all parties would take a reasonable, pragmatic and collaborative view on handling relevant issues, and avoid drawing complicated and sensitive factors into this.
You asked whether Chinese leaders would pay a visit to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Let me ask first: when will Japanese leaders come to China and visit the memorial hall of victims in the Nanjing massacre?
Q: The ROK intelligence agency told its lawmakers that the DPRK Defense Minister Hyon Yong Chol was executed. What is China’s comment on this?
A: I have taken note of the report. I am not aware of the specifics.
Q: According to media reports, China has made the day a public holiday when commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War are held. Can you confirm that a military parade will be held on September 3?
A: This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. The Chinese government will hold grand commemorations in Beijing which include commemoration meeting, reception, artistic performance and military parade. The military parade is part of the commemorations, and you may ask the Defense Ministry for details about it.
Q: First, what is the reason for just inviting about half of the European countries to activities commemorating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. Second, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China starts tomorrow. Do you expect any consensus and progress on the boundary question?
A: On your first question, as we said before, we invite leaders of all relevant countries and international organizations to attend activities marking the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War in Beijing. We are communicating and consulting with all parties on the invitation and the relevant arrangement. I have no more information to offer at the moment.
On your second question, both China and India set great store by the upcoming visit by Indian Prime Minister Modi to China, hoping to further cement and promote China-India relations through the visit. Leaders of the two countries will have in-depth discussion on deepening and advancing China-India strategic cooperation.
The two sides have common interest in the boundary question. Both sides have not only shown great willingness but also worked hard to resolve the boundary question at an early date. An early settlement of the boundary question meets the expectation of the two governments and two peoples and serves their common interests. However, the boundary question is an issue left over by history, and thus impossible to be settled overnight. The two sides are in close communication through the special representatives’ meeting on the boundary question as well as a series of border-related mechanisms, and negotiations in this regard have made headway. We will work in concert with the Indian side to press ahead with negotiations on the boundary question and strive for a mutually acceptable, fair and reasonable solution at an early date. Pending the final settlement, the two sides will work on to maintain peace and tranquility of the border areas, as it is in the common interests of the two countries.
Q: The US navy said that on May 11, a littoral combat ship USS Fort Worth cruised near Nanwei Dao with a Chinese naval frigate sailing close behind and monitoring it. The US navy claimed that the US ship was only sailing in international waters. Does China have any comment on this?
A: The Chinese side will take resolute measures to safeguard national sovereignty and safety. We will keep an eye on the situation in relevant waters and airspace and respond to any violation of China’s sovereignty and threat to China’s national security.