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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on December 7, 2016

2016-12-07

Q: It is reported that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will go to the Pearl Harbor, a visit when "apology" will not be mentioned by Abe according to the Japanese side. What is your comment?

A: China has taken note of relevant reports.

Today marks the 75th anniversary of Japan's sneak raid on the Pearl Harbor and the breakout of the Pacific War. That war of aggression waged by the Japanese militarists inflicted grave sufferings on people in regional countries, those in the Asian victimized countries in particular. The international community keeps watching whether Japan can view that part of history in a sincere and accurate way.

I have no comment on whether the US side expects an apology from Japan on its sneak attack on the Pearl Harbor. On China's part, we believe that upholding international justice and the international order established following WWII is very important. What is also important is that Japan show a right attitude toward history and the crimes against humanity committed by Japanese militarists and take concrete actions to win the trust of people in China and other victimized countries of Asia.

Follow-up: Some people in Japan think that compared with the Pearl Harbor, there are more reasons for Abe to visit the Nanjing Massacre memorial hall. Do you have anything to say about this?

A: The Pearl Harbor event will be on the mind of the American people. Likewise, the Chinese people will never forget the huge national sacrifices in its war of resistance nor the deceased in the Nanjing Massacre.

If the Japanese side intends to deeply reflect upon itself and make a sincere apology, there are many places in China where they can pay tribute to, be it the Nanjing Massacre memorial hall, the museum of the event on September 18, 1931 or the exhibition hall of evidences of crimes committed by Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army. There are also places in Japan's Asian neighbors that can remind Japan and the international community that the crimes committed by inflictors during WWII will not be bygones and history brook no distortion.

Q: The Singaporean Defense Ministry said today that they were yet to receive a formal explanation from China on Hong Kong's detention of Singaporean armored vehicles and hoped to get these vehicles back as soon as possible. What's your response?

A: We have stated our position on this issue. We hope that relevant side can fully abide by the one China policy as well as relevant laws and regulations of the Hong Kong SAR.

Q: Please brief us on the agenda of Chinese State Councilor Guo Shengkun's visit to the US. Whom will he meet with? And what is China's expectation for this visit?

A: State Councilor and Minister of Public Security Guo Shengkun is travelling to the United States from December 6 to 9 to preside over the third high-level joint dialogue against cyber crimes and related issues between China and the US. During his stay in the US, State Councilor Guo Shengkun will join US Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Charles Johnson in chairing the third China-US high-level joint dialogue against cyber crimes and related issues in Washington. Guo will also meet with the US President's national security advisor Susan Rice and FBI director James Comey for discussions on such issues as China-US law enforcement cooperation, cyber security, anti-terrorism, fugitive repatriation and asset recovery, narcotics control, etc.

With the purpose of implementing the consensus reached by the two heads of state, this visit will help maintain the momentum of cooperation between the two sides in cyber security and law enforcement cooperation and promote a smooth transition of China-US relations.

Q: First, the central bank of China and that of Egypt signed a currency swap deal worth of 2.6 billion US dollars on December 6. Please confirm. Second, China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council draft resolution on imposing a 7-day ceasefire in Aleppo on December 6. The Syrian government said on the same day that they had taken back 75% of eastern Aleppo from the rebels. Do you have anything to say about this?

A: On your first question, the People's Bank of China (PBC) has released relevant information. On December 6, the PBC and the central bank of Egypt signed a currency swap deal worth of 18 billion RMB in a bid to facilitate bilateral trade and investment and maintain financial stability of the two countries.

On your second question, Ambassador Liu Jieyi, China's Permanent Representative to the UN has made an explanation after the voting. The UN Security Council voted on a draft resolution proposed by Egypt, Spain, and New Zealand concerning the Syrian issue on December 6. Some UN Security Council members including China cast negative votes on the resolution. China's voting is based on its consistent stance on the Syrian issue. China staunchly supports resolving the Syrian issue through political means and the Syrian people in defining their country's future on their own, and opposes foreign interference. We maintain that the international community work in unison to alleviate the humanitarian situation in relevant region. Meanwhile, we are against politicizing the humanitarian issue. The current situation in Syria remains complex and sensitive. The UN Security Council actions should help build consensus to politically resolve the Syrian issue and uphold unity of the UN Security Council. China does not agree to the UN Security Council's forced voting on the draft resolution where parties are still divided. Issuing ultimatum to UN Security Council members never works in terms of resolving issues, only leaving the UN Security Council in division. China will continue to play an active role in the political settlement of the Syrian issue and strive to defuse the tension in Syria and propel parties concerned to resume peace talks at an early date.

Follow-up: Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, UK Permanent Representative to the United Nations expressed surprise about the decision of China to side with Russia in blocking the resolution. How would you respond?

A: I have made it very clear just now about why China voted against relevant draft resolution. As for certain country's unjustified accusation, Ambassador Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations, has also made a response then and there. Allow me to quote his words: how did the Syria issue develop to what it is like today? How did the issues facing other countries in the Middle East be what they are like today? What is the original cause? What role has relevant countries played? All parties will find answers clearly written in history records, which will not be altered by anyone's attempt to distort other country's position in the Security Council.

What the UK Representative said about China siding with Russia is very baffling. Because if he compares the diplomatic policies of China and the UK on international affairs, especially on multilateral affairs, he can tell whose are more independent. This will be an interesting topic.

Q: Tsai Ing-wen said to the US media yesterday that her phone call with Trump did not signal any change in policies and that everybody valued regional stability. What's your response?

A: I would refer you to the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council for comments on what was said by certain people in Taiwan. Regarding US President-elect Trump's call with Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, we have made multiple statements of our position here. There is no need for me to repeat.

Q: It is reported that the Chinese government has asked the US government to prevent Taiwan leader from making a stop-over in the US on her way to Nicaragua. Do you have anything to say on this?

A: I believe China's position is well known to all. As we have been saying on this podium, there is only one China in the world, the government of the People's Republic of China is the only legitimate government representing China and Taiwan is only part of China. This is a consensus reached by the international community, and also an important political pre-condition if other countries intend to grow ties and carry out mutually beneficial cooperation with China. Only on this premise can we grow smooth ties with relevant countries and move forward mutually beneficial cooperation. The so-called transit diplomacy is only a petty trick played by the Taiwan leader, whose hidden political agenda should be clear to all.

Q: It is understood that China and Japan have agreed to hold the sixth round of high-level consultation on maritime affairs in China later this year. What is the specific time, place and agenda for this consultation?

A: As agreed upon by the two sides, the sixth round of China-Japan high-level consultation on maritime affairs will be held in Haikou, Hainan Province from December 7 to 9, with participants from the departments of foreign affairs, national defense, maritime law enforcement and ocean affairs of the two countries.

The China-Japan high-level consultation on maritime affairs serves as a comprehensive mechanism for communication and coordination on maritime affairs between the two. China is willing to exchange views with the Japanese side on maritime issues of common concern in the upcoming consultation in a bid to enhance mutual understanding and trust.

Q: First, it is reported that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has accepted Trump's nomination as the new US ambassador to China. Do you have any comment? Second, Trump's pick for US national security adviser Michael Flynn said that China was in alliance with Islamic extremism. Considering that Flynn is going to be a close adviser to Mr. Trump, is China concerned about his remarks?

A: On your first question, we are also following reports about Mr. Branstad being appointed as the new ambassador to China. Mr. Branstad is an old friend of the Chinese people, and we welcome his greater contribution to the development of China-US relations. The US ambassador to China serves as an important bridge linking the governments of the US and China. We are willing to work with whomever that takes this position to strive for the continued, sound and steady development of bilateral ties.

On your second question, we hope that people who take a responsible attitude and commit themselves to maintaining China-US ties and promoting bilateral cooperation can make remarks based on solid facts so that bilateral mutual trust can be enhanced.

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