Q: Japan's Defense Minister Gen Nakatani and Adm. Harry Harris, Commander of the US Pacific Command agreed to conduct joint drills between Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force and the US military as well as help Southeast Asian countries increase their defense capabilities. What is China's comment on that?
A: We urge all relevant countries to contribute more to peace and stability in the South China Sea, instead of flexing military muscles, creating tensions and pushing forward militarization in the South China Sea.
Q: According to US General David Rodriguez, Commander of the US Africa Command, China is going to open up a military base in Djibouti, the first of its kind in Africa. Can you confirm that?
A: In accordance with relevant UN resolutions, China has deployed over 60 vessels to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast in 21 escort missions since 2008. In the process of escorting, we encountered real difficulties in replenishing soldiers and resupplying fuel and food, and found it really necessary to have nearby and efficient logistical support. China and Djibouti are friendly countries. We are consulting with each other on the building of logistical facilities in Djibouti, which will better serve Chinese troops when they carry out international peacekeeping operations, escort ships in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast and perform humanitarian rescue. It is of great significance for the Chinese troops in their performance of international obligations to safeguard international and regional peace and stability.
Q: Do you have any further comment on Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet?
A: We call on all parties to make joint efforts to avoid heightening the tension. The Chinese side supports the international counter-terrorism efforts. All parties should strengthen coordination so as to prevent similar incidents from happening again.