|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on May 4, 2016|
Q: May 3 marks Japan’s “Day of Constitution”. Large numbers of Japanese people assembled in Tokyo yesterday to protest against the Abe administration’s attempt to amend the constitution. How do you comment on this?
A: Japan’s path of development has always been closely watched by its Asian neighbors due to history reasons. It is hoped that Japan would draw hard lessons from history, go with the trend of the time, heed people’s call for peace, stick to the path of peaceful development and play a constructive part for regional peace and stability.
Q: It looks like there is no way to stop Donald Trump from becoming the Republican candidate for the US presidential election. He is famous for his strong stance against China on issues like trade. Are you nervous that Donald Trump may become the next US president?
A: The US presidential election is its domestic affairs. We have no comment on what is happening now with the election.
It is worth pointing out that mutual benefit and win-win results are defining features of economic cooperation and trade between China and the US, and meet the common interests of both. We hope the US people from all walks of life would view bilateral relations from a reasonable and objective perspective.
Q: UN human rights experts released a statement in Geneva on May 3, fearing that China’s law on the management of foreign NGOs can be wielded as tools to intimidate, and even suppress, dissenting views and opinions in the country and calling for the Chinese government to repeal it. What is your response?
A: China is firmly opposed to the remarks made by several so-called experts from relevant institution of the UN Human Rights Council. What they said is full of prejudice and untrue accusations against China, ruthlessly interfering in China’s legislative sovereignty and internal affairs. We ask relevant people to immediately withdraw such irresponsible remarks.
By formulating the law on the management of foreign NGOs, China aims to protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign NGOs operating in China so as to help them better fit into China’s economic and social development. China is committed to open and democratic lawmaking. While deliberating on the law, China’s legislative bodies have absorbed opinions from all sectors in and outside China and adopted some reasonable suggestions. China welcomes constructive opinions from all walks of life on the management of foreign NGOs, but stands firmly against any distortion and reproach irrespective of the fact.
Q: According to media report, Philippine presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte said that he would hold bilateral negotiations on the South China Sea issue with China and even jointly develop marine resources. Is China willing to talk to the Philippines on the South China Sea after the Philippine presidential election next Monday?
A: The current China-Philippine relations are hit by major setbacks due to reasons known to all. It is hoped that the new Philippine government would properly deal with the South China Sea disputes with China, and make concrete efforts to improve bilateral relations.
Q: It is reported that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida expressed concerns over China’s “militarization” in the South China Sea during their recent visits to Europe and South East Asia. How do you respond?
A: Japan is an outsider when it comes to the South China Sea issue. It tries everything to make its own presence felt on this issue. Nevertheless, what we feel is nothing but Japan’s poor record of illegally occupying China’s islands and reefs in the South China Sea during the Second World War, as well as its hidden agenda behind the South China Sea issue. We urge the Japanese side to stop trying.
Q: Chairman of the State Duma of Russia Sergey Naryshkin will visit China. What are China’s expectations?
A: At the invitation of Chairman Zhang Dejiang of the NPC Standing Committee, Chairman of the State Duma of Russia Sergey Naryshkin will lead a delegation to visit China and attend the 2nd meeting of the China-Russia committee on parliamentary cooperation from May 4 to 6.
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia, as well as the 20th anniversary of the establishment of China-Russia strategic partnership for coordination.
Over the years, China and Russia have followed the policies and principles identified by the Treaty, conducted close strategic collaboration based on equality, trust, mutual support, common prosperity and long-lasting friendship, and pushed for fruitful results in bilateral exchanges and cooperation across the board. Bilateral relations are becoming more mature, stable and steadfast. Exchanges between the two countries’ legislative bodies are part and parcel of bilateral relations. We hope that Chairman Sergey Naryshkin’s visit would boost understanding, trust and cooperation between the two legislative bodies, and bring forward greater development to China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership for coordination.