|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on October 13, 2016|
Q: As reportedly announced by the Colombian government and the second largest rebel group National Liberation Army (ELN) in Caracas, Venezuela, the two parties would begin peace talks in Quito, Ecuador starting from October 27. How does China comment on this?
A: The announcement by the Colombian government and the ELN to launch peace talks is a major leap forward in Colombia's domestic peace process. China will continue with its support to Colombia's domestic peace process, and hopes that parties concerned can go with the trend and realize comprehensive peace at an early date. China also commends efforts by Venezuela, Ecuador and other countries to launch the peace talks.
Q: Yesterday, the Japanese government protested against China's oil and gas exploration activities in the East China Sea, saying it is regrettable that China is carrying on with unilateral development despite the ongoing consultation between the two sides about restarting negotiation on joint oil and gas exploitation following the bilateral leaders' meeting in September. What is your comment?
A: All relevant oil and gas exploration activities by the Chinese side take place in waters under indisputable jurisdiction of China, and fall completely within China's sovereign rights and jurisdiction.
Q: The British government has just released a Six Monthly Report on Hong Kong. What is your comment on that?
A: The Chinese side firmly opposes the British government's issuance of the so-called Six Monthly Report on Hong Kong,which contains wilful comments on Hong Kong affairs. We by no means accept the unwarranted accusations against China in some parts of the report.
Since the return of Hong Kong, the practice of "one country, two systems" has made world-renowned achievement. The Chinese central government fully implements the principle of "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and high degree of autonomy, acts in strict accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, and supports the Chief Executive and the SAR government in administering in accordance with the law. Hong Kong maintains its prosperity and stability, and Hong Kong people are fully entitled to rights and freedom under the law. The Chinese government is confident and determined in carrying forward "one country, two systems".
I want to re-emphasize that Hong Kong is China's special administrative region, and Hong Kong affairs fall within China's domestic affairs. No country has the right to interfere. We require the British side to be discreet in word and deed and stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs.
Q: Yesterday the Foreign Ministry released information about Philippine President Duterte's visit to China and voiced China's expectation for the visit. We all know that President Duterte attaches weight to economic growth and has come up with a ten-point agenda on socioeconomic development. He also has high expectation for pragmatic cooperation with China. Does China have any plan to promote business cooperation with the Philippines? Is China willing to help the Philippines build new infrastructure facilities, especially railways?
A: China and the Philippines enjoy geographic proximity, amity among the people and economic complementarity. Business cooperation between the two countries thus boasts special advantages and great potential for growth. It serves the common interests of the two countries and two peoples to improve bilateral relations and carry out mutually beneficial cooperation.
The Chinese side supports President Duterte's efforts to lead the Philippine people in building the country and developing the economy. China is willing to take an active part in the Philippines' socioeconomic development and conduct cooperation with the Philippines in business, production capacity, infrastructure and other fields. It is believed that with the improvement of the bilateral relationship, the two sides will expand and deepen cooperation in various fields, realize common growth and promote people's well-being.
Q: Japan intends to expand its military base in Djibouti to counter China's presence there. What is your response to that?
A: We have noted the report. Japan's military and security policies have garnered full attention in Asia and the international community due to historical reasons. We hope that Japan can draw lessons from history, reflect trend of the times, and truly follow the path of peaceful development.