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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on May 12, 2016
2016-05-12

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of France will pay an official visit to China from May 16 to 17.

Q: Chinese and US officials in charge of cyber security met in Washington on May 11. Cyber security has always been a sensitive topic for the two sides. Could you give us more details? What significance does this meeting hold for future cooperation in this field between the two sides?

A: Following the consensus reached between the two sides on cyber security last September, on May 11, China and the US held the first senior experts group meeting on international rules for cyberspace in Washington. Delegates from various departments of the two sides attended this meeting.

The two sides talked about international rules for cyberspace in a positive, in-depth and constructive way, touching upon norms for state behavior and cyberspace-related international law and confidence-building measures. As agreed by the two sides, the second meeting will be held in six months.

Cyber security is a challenge for the entire international community and requires all relevant parties to cooperate effectively based on mutual respect, mutual trust, equality and mutual benefit. Consensus reached by China and the US last year indicates the two countries' acknowledgement of common interests and shared responsibilities in the field of cyber security. We agree that China and the US should have more dialogues on this, and we also stand ready to turn cyber security cooperation into a new bright spot of bilateral relations.

Q: The EU parliament will decide to oppose China's market economy status in the WTO. What is your response?

A: We have responded to this question many times. In fact, there exists no definite stipulation for market economy status under the framework of the WTO. What we have been stressing is that relevant parties should obey Article 15 of the accession protocol signed when China joined the WTO. That is, when the time comes, the Surrogate Country approach used by other WTO members for anti-dumping investigations against China must be dropped. This international obligation must be shouldered by all WTO members. Bearing in mind the interests of all WTO members, it is better that we preserve the sanctity of WTO rules and respective obligations.

Q: It is reported that the G7 Summit which will be held in Japan this month will talk about the South China Sea issue and reiterate the importance of safeguarding maritime order in accordance with international law. However, what Japan has done regarding the Okinotori issue clearly violated international law. So do you think that Japan is contradicting with itself? If the G7 summit did issue a joint statement on the maritime issue, how would China respond?

A: We have talked about our position on this issue many times. Okinotori is a rock in the West Pacific far away from the Japanese soil. To claim Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf based on this rock makes no sense and violates the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). That is also why in April, 2012, the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, when giving its recommendations to the submission made by Japan on the limits of its outer continental shelf, did not recognize Japan's claim of an outer continental shelf based on Okinotori.

You may have already known that the above-water area of Okinotori is less than 10 m2-or no bigger than two beds as some people say-at high tide. Japan is anchoring its claim of jurisdiction over waters of 700,000 km2 on an outcropping no bigger than two beds. This encroaches upon the high sea and international seabed areas and severely harms the common interests of the international community.

Japan is acting against law while knowing law perfectly well. It is rather confusing to see Japan trying to draw others to its high-profile campaign for the international rule of law at the G7 Summit while breaking the law on the other hand. This only exposes its hypocrisy and that Japan is not serious. Considering all this, if the relevant institution still endorses Japan's behavior, then that would be very ridiculous.

Q: About what the UK said yesterday, Chinese media had a lot of criticism against western media. The Global Times even accused western media of being stuck in an uncivilized barbarianism. What is your comment?

A: There are a variety of comments every day on all kinds of media outlets. I cannot comment on each and every one of them. As for the Chinese government's attitude, I have repeated many times yesterday.

Q: Regarding US President Obama's visit to the A-bombed city Hiroshima. Did the US government give any explanation to the Chinese government?

A: It seems that you believe it is necessary for the US government to give an explanation to China.

Q: It is reported that Chair of the Human Rights Committee of the Federal German Parliament, Michael Brand, has been banned by the Chinese government from travelling to China because of his criticism on China's human rights record and participation in "Tibet independence" activities. Brand said that he has asked for a clear response from the German Foreign Ministry. The Human Rights Committee of the Federal German Parliament on May 11 discussed this and issued a statement condemning China's behavior. Can you confirm that? Why did China refuse to issue a visa to Brand?

A: China attaches importance to exchanges and cooperation with the Federal German Parliament and its affiliated committees. The Chinese Embassy in Germany and relevant departments have done a lot of work preparing for the visit of the Human Rights Committee of the Federal German Parliament. The German government knows that very well. The remarks by the specific person you mentioned are calling white black. We don't invite him to China, not because of what he said about China's human rights, since you know that he is not the only one that has something to say about China's human rights. But a lot of people still made their visits to China. He cannot come, because he blatantly breached the commitment of the German government to the "one China" policy and stuck his heels in advocating "Tibet independence" which is so wrong. I can say for sure that China will not welcome such a man. I have to say that the Human Rights Committee of the Federal German Parliament is very unwise in issuing the statement and hurling accusations at China.

Q: You may have taken some questions on the NGOs in the past couple of days. I just want to check if the Chinese government has discussed with NGO representatives this new law on the NGOs as well as the new relations between the government and the NGOs following the enforcement of the law? Has China explained to them how this law will work?

A: You have to admit that legislation is an act of sovereignty. It is the same for every country. For example, when the governments of other countries, like those who have said something about China regarding this issue, decided to enact a new law in their countries, have they thought about soliciting opinions from other countries?

The Chinese government is doing its best in being open and transparent on this issue. We listen earnestly to all the well-meant and constructive opinions. However, it is the sovereign right of the Chinese government to decide how to make and enforce this law.

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