|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on April 15, 2016|
At the invitation of President Denis Sassou-N'guesso of the Republic of Congo, Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development Chen Zhenggao will attend the inauguration ceremony of President Sassou in Brazzaville on April 16 as the special envoy of President Xi Jinping.
The 14th China-Russia-India foreign ministers' meeting will be held in Moscow on April 18, and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will lead a delegation to the meeting. Given the current international situation, the three foreign ministers will exchange views on international and regional issues of common interest and deepening of trilateral pragmatic cooperation. China believes that this meeting will help improve mutual political trust and move forward the communication and cooperation among the three countries.
Q: According to the White House officials, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter today will visit the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis sailing in the South China Sea. Yesterday, Carter reiterated in the Philippines America's desire to resolve disputes in the South China Sea peacefully and its value on freedom of navigation. Countries that do not uphold those two principles will be isolated by themselves rather than by the US. What is your comment?
A: It's not the first time that such remarks are made by certain US officials, especially officials in charge of defense affairs. I want to say that resolving disputes peacefully is exactly the aspiration shared by countries in the region, including China and other parties directly involved in relevant sovereignty disputes in the South China Sea. Before the US rolled out its pivot strategy to the Asia-Pacific, countries in the region had controlled differences and managed disputes through friendly dialogues for over 40 years since the disputes emerged. Therefore, if certain people from the US sincerely wish to peacefully resolve the issues, we hope that their actions would match their words and be genuinely conducive to resolving disputes.
Regarding your second question on the safety and freedom of navigation, some US officials often replace concept in the argument. Are they talking about the safety and freedom of civil navigation for commercial purposes or that of military navigation? If the answer is for civil navigation, we have asked the US side may times to name one example that the safety and freedom of civil navigation in this region has been affected since the South China Sea disputes emerged over 40 years ago. Yet the US has been unable to offer one single example up to now. Perhaps the US refers to the safety and freedom of military navigation, if so, countries of the region and many countries around the world all hope that international laws should be followed in this respect.
Q: A briefing on the preparation for the 2016 G20 Summit was held this morning. Please tell us more details.
A: The secretariat of the 2016 G20 preparation committee held a briefing on the preparation work for the summit this morning at the Blue Room of the Foreign Ministry, with attendance by diplomatic officials from G20 member countries, guest countries and relevant international organizations.
Working groups under the secretariat of the G20 preparation committee briefed on the overall preparation, work division of the committee, and relevant arrangements regarding the agenda, protocol, meeting organization, information service and logistics of the summit, and took questions from journalists. The preparation for the Hangzhou Summit is currently going smoothly with all parallel activities running in an orderly way. As the preparation work moves forward, the secretariat will organize presentations and briefings at proper time. All parties speak highly of what China has achieved so far to prepare for the Hangzhou Summit, and look forward to keeping close communication with China to ensure a full success of the Hangzhou Summit.
Q: It is reported that on April 14, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said in a press conference in the Philippines after meeting his Philippine counterpart Voltaire Gazmi that the two countries had launched joint patrols in the South China Sea in March. What is your comment?
A: You question is somewhat connected to the previous one. The actions taken by the US and the Philippines contaminate relations among regional countries, provoke conflicts in the region, aggravate tensions and jeopardize peace and stability in the South China Sea. It is clear to all who is pushing ahead militarization in the South China Sea.
Q: Early this morning, the DPRK failed to launch a mid-range missile. How does the Chinese government view this?
A: The UN Security Council resolutions has clear provisions on the launch of ballistic missiles by the DPRK. The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive, and we hope that all relevant parties would strictly abide by the Security Council resolutions, avoid taking any action that may exacerbate the tension, and work together to uphold peace and stability of the Peninsula.
Q: You mentioned the China-Russia-India foreign ministers' meeting in Moscow. These three countries are part of the BRICS which is more active and holds various meetings and has created the New Development Bank. So what is the relevance of the China-Russia-India foreign ministers' meeting? Where do you put it in the context of strategic relations between China, Russia and India?
A: All countries you mentioned are emerging countries that have an important role to play in international affairs. Exchange of views on major global issues of common interest, stronger connections and better communications among these countries are conducive to promoting the common interests of emerging economies. China and Russia share borders, the same case for China and India. The three countries do have common concerns over some issues in this region and on the Asian continent. An exchange of views on issues of common interest between the three countries in a more targeted way is in itself a good thing.
Q: Taiwan said that Malaysia is going to deport 52 Taiwan criminal suspects to the mainland. Please confirm. Does the case have anything to do with Kenya's sending of Taiwan wire fraud suspects to the mainland?
A: You may have noticed that the Ministry of Public Security has issued rather detailed information about the Kenyan government's deportation of criminal suspects to the mainland. Issues relating to the cross-Straits relations are not diplomatic issues. The Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council also communicated with Taiwan through cross-Straits channels. I would point you to competent authorities of China for specifics concerning the case you asked, and the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council for issues relating to the cross-Straits relations.
I would like to reiterate that the one-China principle is the prerequisite and basis for China's relations with other countries. We fully commend those governments that stay committed to the one-China principle.
Q: Today is the anniversary of DPRK's late founder Kim Il Sung's birthday. Has the Chinese side expressed congratulations to the DPRK side?
A: As amicable neighbors, China and the DPRK have some friendly traditions.
Q: With regard to the missile test by the DPRK, has the Chinese side summoned the ambassador or senior officials from the DPRK Embassy in China to voice opposition?
A: The UN Security Council has explicit stipulation on issues concerning DPRK's ballistic missiles. As we have said on this podium before, it is hoped that the relevant party would act in strict accordance with Security Council resolutions, refrain from actions that may escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula and safeguard stability of the Peninsula.