Q: According to media reports, Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Russel and other US officials said recently that the equitable resolution of disputes and the freedom of navigation are being challenged now by Chinese activities in the South China Sea, and the US looks to the Navy to uphold those principles. US naval vessels and aircraft would continue to fully exercise the right to operate in international waters and airspace. What is China’s response?
A: For a long period of time, there has never been any problem concerning the freedom of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea that all countries are entitled to under the international law. Nor will there be any in the future. China always values and safeguards the freedom and safety of navigation and over-flight in the South China Sea. The freedom of navigation and over-flight, however, is not tantamount to the violation of the international law by foreign military vessels and aircraft in defiance of the legitimate rights and interests as well as the safety of over-flight and navigation of other countries. The close reconnaissance conducted by the US military aircraft of China’s maritime features is highly likely to cause miscalculation and untoward incidents in the waters and airspace, and is utterly dangerous and irresponsible. China firmly opposes America’s provocation, and has lodged solemn representations with the American side.
I’d like to reiterate that China’s determination to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity is as firm as a rock. We urge the US side to correct its mistake, stay rational and cease irresponsible words and deeds.
Q: Representatives of the Afghan government and former officials of the Taliban reportedly held a two-day meeting in Urumqi, China. What is your comment?
A: I am not aware of what you mentioned. Peace and stability of Afghanistan meets the common interests of the international community. As a friendly neighbor to Afghanistan, China attaches great importance to China-Afghanistan relations, hopes for the realization of long-lasting peace, stability and development of the country at an early date and supports the “Afghan-led and Afghan-owned” peace and reconciliation process. We are willing to play a constructive role to this end.
Q: A suicide bomb attack against a mosque in Qatif of eastern Saudi Arabia on May 22 killed 21 people and maimed over 80. What is China’s comment on this?
A: China deplores this incident, and extends condolences to the victims and sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured. China staunchly opposes all forms of terrorism, and supports efforts by the Saudi Arabian side to safeguard national security and stability.
Q: US officials reportedly said the other day that there is no reason for China and ASEAN countries not to reach the code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC) before the East Asia Summit this November. What is China’s comment?
A: China and ASEAN countries are fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). Under this framework, consultations on the COC are making steady progress, and all parties are striving to seal the COC based on consensus. The US is not a party concerned to the South China Sea issue. Instead of stirring up troubles, it should show full respect for efforts by China and ASEAN countries, be discreet with words and actions and create an enabling environment for the consultation.
Q: According to media reports, the DPRK side has yet to accredit the new Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK. Can you give us more information?
A: As far as I have learned, Chinese Ambassador to the DPRK Li Jinjun has already presented credentials to Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK on March 30.
Q: Washington blocked the outcome document which includes the establishment of a zone free of weapons of massive destruction in the Middle East of the 2015 Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). What is China’s comment?
A: During this NPT review conference, all parties discussed and deliberated on issues such as nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy. Despite the failure to reach an outcome document at the conference, all parties still pay great attention to the Treaty’s role as a cornerstone in the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, and support the purposes and goals of the Treaty. We hope that all parties would put international peace and security first, step up dialogue and bridge differences, enhance the universality, sanctity and effectiveness of the Treaty, and press ahead with and realize the three objectives set by the Treaty, namely nuclear disarmament, nuclear non-proliferation and the peaceful use of nuclear energy, in a comprehensive and balanced manner. .
China consistently and firmly supports the establishment of a zone free of weapons of massive destruction in the Middle East, and welcomes the work done by parties concerned including the Arab states. We are willing to work in tandem with all parties and try to convene the relevant international conference as soon as possible.
Q: The Global Times published an editorial today saying that a war between China and the US is inevitable unless the US stops demanding China to halt the reclamation activities on maritime features in the South China Sea. Is this China’s official position or just a public opinion?
A: The editorial of the Global Times only speaks for itself.
In recent days, we notice that some people from the US have been making jarring noise and misleading the public on issues concerning China’s construction on some stationed maritime features in the Nansha Islands. We are gravely concerned over relevant remarks and deeds of the US. China’s position on the relevant issue has been made crystal clear. We stand ready to carry out good interactions with the US in the Asia-Pacific. But as Foreign Minister Wang Yi put it when jointly meeting the press with US Secretary of State John Kerry who visited China not long ago, China is rock-firm in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. If the US really wants to see a peaceful and stable Asia-Pacific, it should keep its promise of not taking sides on issues related to territorial sovereignty, do more things that are placatory and less inflammatory, stop irresponsible provocations and join hands with China to maintain peace and stability of the South China Sea.