The Third UN International Conference on Financing for Development will be held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from July 13 to 16. Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei will attend the meeting as the representative of President Xi Jinping.
At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama of the Republic of Fiji will pay an official visit to China from July 14 to 24.
At the invitation of Vice President Li Yuanchao, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa will pay an official visit to China from July 13 to 17.
Q: The 14th China-ASEAN joint working group meeting on implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) was held in Malaysia. Please give us more details on the conference and its outcomes.
A: The 14th joint working group meeting on implementing the DOC was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 1 to 3. The meeting aims to fully and effectively implement the DOC, and registers positive progress on moving forward maritime pragmatic cooperation and consultations on the code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC) as well as implementing the early harvest. The meeting drew up the Second List of Commonalities of the COC consultations and concept documents on the Terms of Reference of the Eminent Persons and Experts Group (EPEG) and the senior officials' hotline platform in response to maritime emergencies among ministries of foreign affairs of China and ASEAN member states, and decided to put them under deliberation in the senior officials' meeting to be held late this month.
An unofficial meeting among experts and technical officials on navigation safety and search and rescue was also held on the sidelines of the meeting, where in-depth discussions on implementing the hotline platform of maritime search and rescue among China and ASEAN member states were held. They decided to carry out point-to-point hotline communication between search and rescue departments of China and ASEAN member states, and have worked out the first phase plan for the search and rescue hotline platform. Parties concerned also formulated an implementation plan on the maritime search and rescue table-top exercise project among China and ASEAN countries, which will be put into practice this October in China.
Q: First, protests against China arose frequently in Turkey in recent days. Has China lodged representations with the Turkish side? Second, it is said that some media reports on Uighurs including the Chinese government's ban on Muslims in Xinjiang during the Ramadan are behind these protests. Do you agree with this?
A: I'd like to give one answer to both of your questions. Uighur is one of the 56 ethnic groups of China. Over 10 million Uighurs in Xinjiang live in peace and prosperity, and are entitled to freedom of religious belief under the Constitution. There is no such thing as the Uighur problems as you mentioned in some reports. We hope relevant party and people would avoid fabricating stories to smear China.
We are highly concerned about the recent violence against China in Turkey, and have asked the Turkish side to take strong measures to protect the security and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and institutions in Turkey. We urge the Turkish side to respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, be prudent in words and actions, and join China in safeguarding the sound development of bilateral relations.
Some Chinese tourists were harassed in the anti-China protests in Turkey. The Chinese Embassy in Turkey has reminded Chinese citizens there to step up precautions, stay clear from and not film the demonstration and avoid going outside alone. They can report to the police or contact the Chinese embassy in Turkey for help should there be an emergency.
Q: Greece held a referendum yesterday on whether or not to accept the "reform for fund" proposal offered by its creditors. How does China see the result of the referendum? Is China confident that Greece will remain in the eurozone? Has China had any communication with the Greek government on the debt issue?
A: We have noted relevant developments. At this moment the Greek debt issue is at a critical stage. China hopes that the negotiation will achieve an early success and wishes to see Greece remaining in the eurozone. China supports the European integration process and would like to see a prosperous Europe, a united European Union and a strong euro. We believe the eurozone can properly solve the Greek debt issue and tide over the difficulties We will continue to advance practical bilateral cooperation with Greece in various fields.
Q: The Iranian nuclear negotiation on a comprehensive agreement is under way in Vienna. Will Foreign Minister Wang Yi attend the meeting? Is China confident that a comprehensive deal will be reached as scheduled?
A: Foreign Minister Wang Yi left for Vienna early this morning to attend the foreign ministers' meeting between P5+1 and Iran.
Currently the negotiation has produced important progress, but differences still remain. Now is the time for relevant parties to make political decisions. We hope all parties concerned could bear in mind the bigger picture, be firm in their will and work towards the same goal in order to reach an agreement as soon as possible.
China will continue to play a constructive role and work with all sides to contribute to a durable, comprehensive and proper settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.
Q: Manorama Kotnis, the third younger sister of the late Indian Doctor Kotnis who assisted China, passed away after a heart attack on July 2. What is China's comment?
A: We deeply mourn the loss of Ms. Manorama and offer sincere sympathies to her families. The Chinese Ambassador to India sent a message of condolences to her families and the Chinese Consul-General in Bombay went to her home to convey the sympathies shortly after Ms. Manorama's passing.
As two great friends of the Chinese people, Doctor Kotnis and Ms. Manorama made important contribution to promiting China-India friendship. The Chinese people will never forget them. We believe that the spirit of internationalism of Doctor Kotnis will influence and encourage more people to dedicate themselves to the great cause of China-India friendship.
Q: First, have China and Malaysia had discussions on the South China Sea issue? Second, is the China Investment Corporation (CIC) authorized to buy Malaysian assets? Will it get preferential investment from Malaysia? Have China and Malaysia held consultation on the Malaysian debt issue?
A: On the first question, China and Malaysia have maintained communication on relevant issues and actively upheld regional peace and stability for a long period of time in light of the agreement reached by the leaders of the two countries.
On the second question, I am not aware of the specifics. The CIC makes its own decisions on overseas investment projects fully based on market rules.
Q: It is reported that Hillary Clinton recently made negative remarks on China in her election campaign concerning the South China Sea and cyber attack. What is china's comment?
A: We have noticed relevant reports. China has made clear its principled positions on cyber security and the South China Sea on many occasions.
What I want to say is, as we all know, the development of China-US relations shows nothing but the growing importance of itself. It is in the interests of both China and the US and conducive to peace and prosperity of the region and beyond when China and the US strengthen dialogue and cooperation in a constructive spirit in response to various challenges.
Q: It is reported that the Chinese government has officially nominated Jin Liqun as the Chinese candidate for the president of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Can you confirm this?
A: According to the selection procedure for AIIB president agreed upon in the special ministerial meeting in Beijing on June 29, the Chinese government has officially nominated Jin Liqun as the Chinese candidate for the president of the AIIB.
Jin Liqun is a veteran with rich leadership and managerial expertise in government agencies, international institutions and private sectors. As the Secretary-General of the Multilateral Interim Secretariat for Establishing the AIIB, he has made outstanding contribution to the preparations for setting up the AIIB.
According to provisions of the Articles of Agreement of the AIIB, the president of the AIIB shall be elected in an open, transparent and merit-based way. The president should be a national of a regional member. According to the selection procedure for AIIB president agreed by all members, all prospective founding members should nominate the candidate before July 31, 2015. The sixth chief negotiators' meeting of the prospective founding members, to be held in late August, will finally confirm the candidate for the president. After the official establishment of the AIIB, the candidate is expected to be elected as president in the first board of directors' meeting following the provisions of the Articles of Agreement of the AIIB.
Q: Ma Ying-jeou was quoted as saying that the Kuomintang was mainly responsible for the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. What's your comment on this? Which party do you think played the decisive role in the war, the Communist Party or the Kuomintang?
A: The great victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression was won thanks to the united struggle of all compatriots of the Chinese nation and should be commemorated and remembered by all Chinese people.
In the recent press conference held by the State Council Information Office, officials from related departments briefed on the specific arrangements for the activities commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the World Anti-Fascist War and the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. By holding such commemorations, we hope to join the rest of the world to remember history, recall the martyrs, cherish peace and open up to the future.
Q: The 39th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee has deliberated on and approved of Japan's bid for World Heritage designation for the sites of the Meiji Industrial Revolution. What's your comment on this?
A: The World Heritage Committee meeting has deliberated on and approved of Japan's bid to add the sites of the Meiji Industrial Revolution to the UNESCO World Heritage list. The Chinese side has noted that during the deliberation process, Japan owned up to the use of forced labor in some of the sites and the adoption of the forced labor recruitment policy by the then Japanese government during the World War II. The Japanese government has promised appropriate measures to remember the victims under the forced labor policy. This statement by Japan has been put on record by the World Heritage Committee. Japan should take concrete actions to gain trust from its Asian neighbors and the international community.
Q: It is reported that at the Mekong-Japan Summit on July 4, the "New Tokyo Strategy 2015 for Mekong-Japan Cooperation" was adopted and concerns over the South China Sea situation were expressed. What is China's comment on that?
A: The situation in the South China Sea remains generally stable thanks to the concerted efforts by China and relevant ASEAN countries. Freedom of navigation and overflight enjoyed by all countries in accordance with the international law has not in any way been affected.
China has noticed that Japan has been overactive on the South China Sea issue recently. Pursuing its own selfish interests, Japan has been heating up tensions, hijacking and sowing discord among regional countries and disrupting efforts by China and ASEAN countries to uphold peace in the South China Sea. Japan is not a country concerned to the South China Sea issue. We urge Japan to stop hyping up of this issue or launching groundless accusations against China, and take concrete steps to maintain peace and stability in the region.