|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 9, 2016|
The 13th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit will be held in Nanning, Guangxi from September 11 to 14. Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli of the State Council and leaders of Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and other ASEAN countries will attend the opening ceremony and other major events.
Q: The DPRK conducted the fifth nuclear test this morning. What is your view about the current situation of the Korean Peninsula and the timing of DPRK's nuclear test? Besides expressing opposition, what specific measures will China take in response?
A: In disregard of the international community's opposition, the DPRK conducted the fifth nuclear test. The Chinese Foreign Ministry has made a statement which expresses the Chinese government's firm opposition.
China stands firm for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, nuclear non-proliferation, as well as peace and stability of Northeast Asia. We strongly urge the DPRK to live up to its commitment of denuclearization, abide by relevant Security Council resolutions and refrain from any action that may deteriorate the situation.
We have seen twists and turns in the situation of the Korean Peninsula since the beginning of this year, which put peace and stability of the region in jeopardy and run counter to the shared aspiration of the international community. It has been proved time and again that security concerns of parties on the Korean Peninsula must and can only be resolved in a way that serves all parties interests. Any unilateral action based on one's self-interest will lead to a dead end. It will not help resolve one's security concerns but will only aggravate the tension, complicate the issue, and make it more difficult to achieve relevant goals. The Chinese side strongly urges all parties to speak and act cautiously with a larger picture in mind, avoid provoking each other and make genuine efforts for the realization of denuclearization, peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. The Chinese side will stay committed to resolving issues concerning the Peninsula through dialogue and consultation under the framework of the Six-Party Talks.
Q: Apart from the aforementioned stance, what else will China do to prevent the DPRK from the next nuclear test? Will China support more sanctions on the DPRK?
A: As I said, it has been proved time and again that security concerns of parties on the Korean Peninsula must and can only be resolved in a way that serves all parties interests. The Chinese side strongly urges all parties to speak and act cautiously with a larger picture in mind, avoid provoking each other and make genuine efforts for the realization of denuclearization, peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. The Chinese side will stay committed to resolving issues concerning the Peninsula through dialogue and consultation under the framework of the Six-Party Talks.
As for sanctions, China is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible member of the international community who will continue to fully implement relevant Security Council resolutions in their entirety and observe its due international obligations as it always does. The Chinese side stands for denuclearization and against nuclear proliferation. We will hold fast to this position and take part in relevant Security Council discussions in a responsible and constructive manner.
Q: Did the DPRK give any heads-up or information to China about the nuclear test in advance? Has the Chinese side communicated with the DPRK?
A: I have no information to offer.
Q: Yesterday, the East Asia Summit concluded, marking the end of this year's leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation. What are the outcomes of the meetings?
A: From September 7 to 8, the commemorative summit marking the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, the 19th ASEAN Plus Three Summit (10+3), and the 11th East Asia Summit were held in Vientiane, Laos. Premier Li Keqiang led a delegation to the meetings which have produced fruitful outcomes.
This year, which marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, presents an important opportunity for the two sides to build on what has been achieved in bilateral ties and practical cooperation in various fields and upgrade them in the future. The commemorative summit summed up the experience earned in the past 25 years and gave a high appraisal to the notable progress made in bilateral cooperation, believing that among all ASEAN's dialogue partnerships, the one with China is the most dynamic and most fruitful.. The two sides will continue to enhance strategic communication, promote practical cooperation, and elevate bilateral relations to a new high, so as to make new contributions to regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.
Before the meeting commenced, Premier Li and ASEAN leaders attended a commemorative ceremony for the 25th birthday of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, which was a special arrangement for the special occasion. A video clip about the 25-year history was played for all leaders. Witnessed by other leaders, Premier Li and Laotian Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith cut the ribbon for the issuance of a handbook titled "25 Years of ASEAN-China Dialogue and Cooperation: Facts and Figures". Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, whose country is the coordinator of China-ASEAN relations, joined them to cut a commemorative cake. Waves of applause made the ceremony full of festivity, warmth and harmony.
The commemorative summit passed four outcome documents, namely, the Joint Statement to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations, the Joint Statement on Production Capacity Cooperation, the Guidelines for Hotline Communications among Senior Officials of the MFA of China and ASEAN Member States in Response to Maritime Emergencies, and the Joint Statement on the Application of the Code of Unplanned Encounters at Sea in the South China Sea. The Joint Statement to Commemorate the 25th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations is an all-encompassing one in which the two sides reaffirm friendly policies towards each other and chart the course for future cooperation. China welcomes the completion of ASEAN community, and supports the process of ASEAN integration and ASEAN's centrality in regional architecture. ASEAN, believing that China's development is an important opportunity for the region, supports China's peaceful development and will always uphold one-China policy. The Statement points out that all parties are committed to the full and effective implementation of the DOC which is of milestone significance, and will work actively on consultations and progress in a substantial way towards reaching the COC upon consensus at an early date.
On the ASEAN Plus Three Summit, all parties spoke highly of the positive achievements of 10+3 cooperation and expressed willingness to strengthen the cooperation, and commemorate the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the 10+3 mechanism next year. The meeting also issued declarations on promoting sustainable development and active aging. The former, put forward by Laos and China together, calls for comprehensive, swift and effective actions from all parties in the spirit of equality, cooperation and inclusiveness to promote sustainable development goals and raises concrete cooperation initiatives in poverty reduction, small and macro businesses, tourism and culture. It is of great importance in promoting sustainable development of the region and East Asia economic integration.
On the East Asia Summit (EAS), all parties reviewed progress made in six major areas of cooperation--energy, finance, education, public health, disaster management and environment protection, and ASEAN connectivity, and discussed the prospect of the EAS as well as international regional issues of common interest. The leaders approved the Vientiane Declaration on Promoting Infrastructure Development Cooperation in East Asia, the EAS Declaration on Strengthening Responses to Migrants in Crisis and Trafficking in Persons, and the EAS Statement on Nuclear Non-proliferation. The Vientiane Declaration on Promoting Infrastructure Development Cooperation in East Asia, jointly initiated by China and Laos, highlights the significance of East Asia cooperation on infrastructure development and encourages regional countries to enhance cooperation, including in infrastructure building. The Declaration is conducive to East Asia connectivity and regional integration. All parties also exchanged views on issues of the South China Sea and the DPRK nuclear and missile program. Premier Li Keqiang elaborated on China's stance regarding the South China Sea issue, which was echoed by ASEAN countries. Most countries spoke highly of the efforts made by China and ASEAN countries to resolve the South China Sea dispute and jointly maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea through dialogue and consultation, and expressed their support to the full and effective implementation of the DOC and an early conclusion of the COC consultations. Only two non-regional countries raised the South China Sea arbitration case, which seemed rather out of place considering the positive progress China and ASEAN countries are making in implementing the DOC and expediting consultations on the COC.
Q: You just said that only two non-regional countries raised the South China Sea arbitration case. We all know that one of them was Japan. According to the Japanese media, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at the EAS that the Japanese side was seriously concerned about continued unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East and South China seas in the past several months, hoping that China will keep its promise of not militarizing the South China Sea. What is China's comment on that?
A: We have sensed the unusual restlessness of Japan on the issue of the South China Sea over the recent period of time. It keeps launching negative publicity campaigns or even spreading rumors about this issue regardless of occasions and with every means at its command. Fortunately, the public are all sharp-eyed. One simple example speaks for itself. Yesterday, at the EAS, while 16 out of all the 18 countries concentrated on cooperation and called for joint efforts to safeguard regional peace and security and maintain economic prosperity and growth, only two countries, one of which was Japan, raised the South China Sea arbitration case. What Japan did was obviously inappropriate. With no proper understanding of the state of affairs, Japan is walking down a path of self-isolation. We hope that the Japanese side will match its words with deeds, and play a constructive role in promoting regional peace and stability with concrete actions.
Q: Has the Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned the DPRK ambassador for protest against the nuclear test?
A: The Chinese Foreign Ministry will lodge representations with the DPRK Embassy in China.
Q: Given what has happened, will China consider tightening up sanctions on the DPRK?
A: As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible member of the international community, China will continue to fully implement relevant Security Council resolutions in their entirety and observe its due international obligations as it always does. We will hold fast to this position and take part in relevant Security Council discussions in a responsible and constructive manner.
Q: You mentioned leaders of Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Laos and other ASEAN countries will attend the opening ceremony and other major events of the Expo. Could you be more specific?
A: Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc of Vietnam, Vice-President Myint Swe of Myanmar and Deputy Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandon of Laos will attend the 13th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit upon invitation. Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli will have bilateral meetings with these leaders on the sidelines of the Expo.