Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on January 21, 2015

At the invitation of the government of the Republic of Korea, Vice Premier Wang Yang of the State Council will pay an official visit to the ROK, and attend the opening ceremony of the Tourism Year of China from January 22 to 24.

Q: During his visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust History Museum in Jerusalem on January 19, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the Holocaust shall never ever be repeated, and that Japan is determined to contribute even more proactively to world peace and stability. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said in a speech he delivered in Brussels on January 20 that Japan will deeply reflect upon its past, and is determined not to repeat the 20th century disaster. What is China's comment on that?

A: This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. It is a significant moment to review the history and look forward into the future. We have noted relevant statements recently made by Japanese leaders. We hope Japan can truly and profoundly reflect on the disastrous results the aggressive war launched by its militarists had afflicted on Asian people, properly handle relevant historical issues, put into practice its commitments to peaceful development, and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions.

Q: China and Japan will hold a new round of High-level Consultations on Marine Affairs in Japan. Can you confirm that and provide more details?

A: The China-Japan High-level Consultations on Marine Affairs is a comprehensive mechanism for communication and coordination between China and Japan on marine affairs. Under this mechanism, departments relating to marine affairs of both sides exchange views on the East China Sea-related issues and relevant cooperation. Since its establishment in 2012, two rounds of negotiations have been held separately in Hangzhou and Qingdao of China.

Upon mutual agreement, the 3rd round of negotiations will be held in Japan from January 21 to 23. Ministries of Foreign Affairs, ministries of National Defense and marine departments of both sides will attend the meeting.

Q: Concerning some Chinese media reports on the north Myanmar situation and the detention of Chinese for illegal logging, some media in Myanmar are questioning Chinese government's policy towards Myanmar and its stance on the north Myanmar situation. What is China's comment on that?

A: we have briefed on relevant situation and our stance many times. Here I would like to reiterate the following points:

First, China and Myanmar are close neighbors enjoying traditional friendship. Our peoples are bonded by a profound "paukphaw" friendship. We respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Myanmar, support its efforts to realize domestic peace and national reconciliation, and sincerely wish that a nationwide ceasefire can be reached at an early date through peace talks carried out by relevant parties in Myanmar so as to create favorable conditions for its national development. In accordance with their will, China has conducted some coordination work, which has been acknowledged by relevant parties in Myanmar. China will continue to play a constructive role in Myanmar's domestic peace process, and work with Myanmar to safeguard peace and stability of China-Myanmar border areas.

Second, China remains in close contact with the Myanmar side on properly handling the detention of Chinese illegal loggers. On January 19 and 20, a joint working group sent by Chinese embassy and consulates in Myanmar had direct contact with competent authorities in Myanmar, and visited the Chinese detainees. At present, a total of 155 Chinese citizens were in detention. The working group met with each one of them, and confirmed that they are all in sound physical and mental state, and no one has sustained any injury or illness. The Chinese urges the Myanmar side to accord humanitarian treatment to the detainees, and guarantee their legitimate rights and interests. Taking our concerns seriously, the Myanmar side said that they will improve the diet of those Chinese personnel, and agreed that the Chinese working group can provide them with living supplies. The Myanmar side also expressed that they will expedite investigation and trial, and ensure the legitimate rights and interests of the relevant Chinese citizens. China will keep in touch with Myanmar on this.

Third, as to the media reports on the trapping of Chinese citizens in north Myanmar, relevant departments of both sides are making further investigation. Based on the initial feedback from the Myanmar side, no Chinese citizens were found trapped so far because of the conflict. If any Chinese citizen was found trapped upon further investigation, we will immediately come to their assistance and help them out. We hope the media can respect facts and report with objectivity.

Q: First, in his state of the union address, US President Obama said that China wants to write the rules for trade in the Asia-Pacific. Does China have any response to that? Second, Pope Francis sent his regards by telegram to President Xi Jinping on his way back to Rome from the Philippines. He said he is open to visiting China and meeting the Dalai Lama. What is China's comment on that?

A: On your first question, we have noted that President Obama made the state of the Union address this morning. We still need time to go through it.

As for the rules for trade you mentioned, China has been carrying out economic cooperation and trade with countries around the world, including the US, on the basis of mutual benefit and win-win to all. For the issues that might come up amid such cooperation, we will work them out by being candid and practical with each other in the spirit of win-win cooperation. We hope that all sides can make joint efforts to provide a fair, open and transparent environment for such cooperation, and contribute to the further improvement of global trade rules.

On your second question, China is always sincere in improving China-Vatican relations, and has made unremitting efforts in this regard. Based on the relevant principles, China will continue with the constructive dialogue with Vatican to improve bilateral ties. We hope the Vatican side can take concrete actions to create conditions for the improvement of bilateral relations.