Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on June 28, 2011
On the afternoon of June 28, 2011, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei held a regular press conference.
Q: Will Sudanese President Bashir's delayed arrival in Beijing affect his schedule in China? Please brief us on the major arrangement for his visit. Will China broach the ICC's prosecution against him in the talks? Separately, the US and the Philippines are holding joint military drill in the adjacent waters of the South China Sea. What is China's comment?
A: On your first question, visiting Sudanese President Bashir's arrival was put off due to technical reasons, but his talks and meetings with Chinese leaders will not be affected. President Hu Jintao will hold talks with him tomorrow morning, and Chairman Wu Bangguo as well as Vice Premier Li Keqiang will meet with him respectively tomorrow afternoon.
China is not a state party of the Rome Statute and has serious reservations about ICC's lawsuit against President Bashir. Over the years, President Bashir visited many countries and was warmly received. As the leader of a country that enjoys friendship with China, President Bashir is also welcomed in China.
On your second question, we have noted relevant report. We hope countries concerned do more for regional peace and stability.
Q: The US Senate adopted a resolution recently, saying that China is flexing its muscles in the South China Sea, calling on all parties to resolve relevant disputes through multilateral and peaceful means and supporting US armed forces taking actions to ensure free navigation in the South China Sea. What is China's comment?
A: The core of the South China Sea issue is sovereign diputes between neighboring countries of the South China Sea over some islands and reefs of Nansha Islands as well as demarcation disputes over part of waters of the South China Sea, which shall be addressed through direct negotiation between relevant parties concerned. Free navigation in the South China Sea has never been affected by the disputes and is out of question. China always maintains that disputes and differences over the South China Sea should be resolved properly in a peaceful manner through bilateral negotiation and friendly consultation between relevant countries. The US Senate's resolution turns a blind eye to facts, confuses right and wrong, and thus does not hold water. We hope relevant US senators do more for regional peace and stability.
Q: As the date of the independence of Southern Sudan is approaching, is China optimistic about a peaceful settlement of disputes between Sudan's North and South on demarcation, distribution of oil revenues and others?
A: China welcomes President Bashir's visit which will further advance China-Sudan traditional friendship, promote the North-South peace process in Sudan as well as the resolution of the Darfur issue. We hope both sides stick to their choice of peace, implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and resolve disputes through friendly consultation so as to safeguard peace and stability of Sudan.
Q: A Japanese official was quoted as saying that a Chinese scientific research vessel conducted maritime survey in Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone without Tokyo's approval. Please give us more details.
A: On June 23, A Chinese scientific research vessel headed for the high seas to conduct marine environment research via Japan's Exclusive Economic Zone where it did not conduct any marine scientific research. At present, the vessel is carrying out relevant activities on the high seas. China has already made clarification to Japan.
Q: According to the ROK leader's recent remarks, China once expressed to the ROK that it did not support the DPRK taking actions that may further impact on peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. Please confirm. In addition, the ROK lauched a five-day military exercise in the vicinity of the 38th parallel on June 27. What is China's comment?
A: China always maintains close communication and coordination with all relevant parties on the situation of the Korean Peninsula, making joint efforts to safeguard its peace and stability and promote denuclearization. China sincerely hopes that the Peninsula will maintain peace and stability and opposes any action that runs in the opposite direction. We hope to work along with all relevant parties to actively promote contact, dialogue and consultation, and advance in parallel bilateral and multilateral dialogues in a bid to resume the Six-Party Talks as soon as possible.
The current situation on the Korean Peninsula remains complex and sensitive. We hope all relevant parties do more to safeguard peace and stability of the Peninsula.
Q: Consensus was reached between China and Vietnam on the South China Sea issue, following the recent visit of the Vietnamese leader's Special Envoy. What is China's comment?
A: During the recent visit of the Vietnamese leader's Special Envoy, the two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on the current South China Sea issue, arriving at important consensus. Both sides agreed to resolve disputes through friendly consultation rather than take actions that may complicate and expand the situation, and oppose external forces' interference in the China-Vietnam dispute so as to jointly safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea. The two also vowed to steer public opinions so as to avoid words or deeds that impair the friendship and mutual trust between the two peoples. We believe that the consensus will be conducive to the sound and stable development of China-Vietnam relations as well as the proper settlement of the South China Sea issue. We hope that Vietnam will make joint efforts with China to implement relevant consensus in real earnest and safeguard peace and stability of the South China Sea.
Q: Some experts are of the view that the US uses the South China Sea issue as a pretext for its return to Asia and attempts to cause troubles in this region. Does the Chinese Government share the view?
A: China always emphasizes that the South China Sea dispute, a matter for the directly concerned parties, should be resolved through direct negotiation and friendly consultation by them. We hope the non-parties respect the concerned parties' efforts to settle disputes peacefully through bilateral dialogue. Freedom of navigation in the South China Sea is out of question.
China and the US share important common interests and jointly shoulder major responsibilities in the Asia-Pacific region. We hope that the US will work along with China to promote regional peace, stability and prosperity.
Q: The ICC recently issued an arrest warrant against the Libyan leader Gaddafi. What impact will the action exert on the peace process of Libya?
A: China follows how the ICC's arrest warrant may affect the situation in Libya. We hope that the ICC performs its duty in a prudent, objective and just manner, making sure that its work genuinely serves regional peace and stability. China always opposes violence against civilians, maintains that all relevant parties should resolve the Libyan issue through dialogue, negotiation and other political means and supports the mediation efforts by the international community, especially South Africa and other African countries as well as the African Union.