Q: On May 27, the G7 Summit adopted a joint declaration which touched upon the South China Sea issue. There are comments that this summit is a farce led by Japan against China but fails because of divided opinions among G7 members. How do you comment on this? Japan also invited another 7 countries for a 7+7 meeting. What’s your take on it?
A: China’s actions in the South China Sea, which are justifiable, lawful and beyond any reproach, fall entirely within China’s sovereignty. China has long been an upholder of the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. However, the freedom of navigation does not give others a license to do whatever they want. China is firmly against certain countries slinging mud at China under the pretext of upholding the freedom of navigation. The fact is that more countries and organizations are showing understanding and support to China’s settlement of South China Sea disputes with relevant countries through negotiation and consultation following bilateral agreements and regional consensus, opposing intervention from countries outside the region and endorsing China’s efforts to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
As a host of the G7 Summit, Japan’s hyping up of the South China Sea issue and regional tension does no good to stability of this area, and is incompatible with the role played by the G7 as an economic governance platform for developed countries. China is strongly dissatisfied with what Japan and the G7 have done. It is hoped that G7 countries would take an unbiased and just position, honor their commitment of not taking sides on territorial disputes, stop making irresponsible remarks and do more things that contribute to regional peace and stability.
We have noted the outreach meeting between the G7 and another 7 countries. It is up to the G7 on how to convene a meeting. However, whatever they talk about in the meeting shall not jeopardize other countries’ interests nor escalate regional tension. I also want to emphasize that given the current complicated situation faced by global economy, it is hoped that the G7, as a forum on global economy, would focus on economy and development that the world cares about. China is about to host the G20 summit. We welcome the participation of relevant countries in the more representative platform of the G20 to make constructive efforts to global economic governance.
Q: President Obama visited Hiroshima today. What is your reaction? Foreign Minister Wang Yi made some comments this morning. What did he say?
A: While attending the global promotion activity for the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in the Foreign Ministry this morning, Foreign Minister Wang Yi was asked about his opinion on the Japanese government inviting foreign leaders to visit Hiroshima. Foreign Minister Wang Yi made clear China’s position, saying that Hiroshima deserves attention, and so does Nanjing. The victim deserves sympathy, but the inflictor shall never shun its responsibility.
Q: Delegation of the European Union to China issued a statement expressing concerns on China’s imprisonment of “human rights lawyers” and calling for China to release them. What is your comment?
A: China is a country ruled by law, and China’s judicial organs handle cases in accordance with law. Anyone who breaks law shall be brought to justice, and no one can go beyond the arm of law.
The EU makes irresponsible accusations against Chinese judicial organs’ normal operation, going against the spirit of the rule of law and flagrantly interfering in China’s judicial sovereignty. China firmly opposes and will not accept this.
We urge the EU Delegation to earnestly abide by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, stop meddling in China’s judicial sovereignty and domestic affairs, and join China to bolster the sound development of China-EU relations.
Q: UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous said that the UN plans to pull together a standby force of 15,000 troops for quick deployment to conflict zones by the end of this year. He said that China's offer to set up an 8,000-strong standby force last year was remarkable, praising Beijing for contributing peacekeepers and a squadron of transport helicopters to Sudan. What is your comment?
A: The UN peacekeeping mission is an important means for the UN to fulfill its responsibility of safeguarding international peace and security, and plays an important role in easing tension and settling regional conflicts. China stands by and actively participates in UN peacekeeping operations. Up to now, China has sent over 30,000 people consisting of military personnel, police and civilian officers. Over 3,000 people are carrying out missions in 10 zones. When attending last year’s summits commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the UN, President Xi Jinping announced a series of major proposals backing UN peacekeeping operations. We are currently implementing the proposals, and are willing to keep communication and coordination with all parties including the UN.
Q: French Ambassador to Russia said that France wished to convene a ministerial meeting at the UN Security Council on June 10 to discuss the protection of civilians in peacekeeping missions. What’s your comment? Will China attend the meeting?
A: I need to check on the French proposal as you mentioned. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China stays in close communication with Russia and France. China will play an active and constructive role in actions as long as they are conducive to regional peace and stability.
Q: Indian President Pranab Mukherjee met with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to China. The two sides also held a series of talks. What’s your comment on the outcome of this visit, especially on India’s pursuit of support from China on the listing matter of the UN Security Council 1267 committee?
A: At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee paid a state visit to China from May 24 to 27. President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Zhang Dejiang held amicable talks with President Mukherjee, exchanged views with him on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of common interest, and reached important consensus. The two sides agree to carry on the tradition of learning from each other’s civilization, enhance comprehensive cooperation and bring China-India strategic cooperation to a new high.
Here are the outcomes and consensus achieved in this visit.
Politically speaking, the two sides agree to maintain the momentum of exchanges between leaders, improve the top design for China-India relations, make good use of various bilateral dialogue mechanisms, and step up mutual understanding and trust. In terms of pragmatic cooperation, the two sides agree to enhance cooperation on railways, industrial parks and new energy, galvanize and support friendly relations between more provinces and cities, and uplift the level of cooperation. The two sides agree to strengthen cooperation on investment, trade and tourism, take more measures to expand bilateral trade and bolster a more balanced development of bilateral trade in a constructive manner. In order to help Indian pilgrims pay tribute, China will gradually extend the scale of Indian officially-organized pilgrims paying tribute to the holy mountains and lakes in Tibet through Nathu La mountain pass. The two sides agree to enhance bilateral and multilateral cooperation on fighting terrorism. Regarding the disputes, the two sides agree to seek solutions while respecting the facts, manage the thorny issues that are difficult to resolve in a short term, and prevent the disputes from getting in the way of bilateral friendly cooperation. The two sides agree to press ahead with boundary negotiation through the special representatives’ meeting and jointly maintain peace and tranquility of the border area. Concerning international and regional affairs, the two sides agree to take a positive look at each other’s participation in regional and international affairs, support each other in hosting this year’s G20 Hangzhou Summit and BRICS leaders’ meeting and speak in one voice in the international arena.
As for the listing matter of UN Security Council 1267 committee, the two sides exchanged views on anti-terrorism, recognizing terrorism as the common enemy of mankind. The two sides stand ready to step up anti-terrorism cooperation, and enhance cooperation under multilateral frameworks like the UN and BRICS to jointly uphold regional security and stability.
Q: Yesterday, at the G7 summit, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a pointed comparison between the current economic situation and that right before the 2008 global financial crisis. Not all his G7 partners appeared to agree. What is your comment?
A: All parties are following the world economic situation very closely. The performance of major economies all falls short of expectations. Influenced by the global environment, the growth rate of emerging markets has slowed down, but the long-term upward trend has not changed. The latest report of the International Monetary Fund lowered its expectations for world economic growth, but increased its expectations for China from 6.5% to 6.7%. Moreover, China contributes over one quarter to the world economic growth, serving as an important engine for the world economy. Many people are talking about structural reform. Some are just paying lip service. Some are taking real actions. China’s structural reform leads the world in width, depth,and intensity.
Given such a background, the world has huge expectations for the G20 Hangzhou Summit China will host this year, hoping that it can point out directions and inject momentum to the world economy. As the host country of this year’s G20, China hopes to work with all parties to focus on the prominent issues faced by the world economy, drive innovation and reform through the G20, foster new growth momentum, and promote strong, sustainable, and balanced growth of the world economy.
G7 members also belong to the G20. We hope that the G7 can play a constructive role, offer its support to the G20 in achieving fruitful results, and jointly restore life and vitality to the world economy.
Q: Yesterday an editorial from China Daily said that Japan should be blamed for the nuclear explosion in Hiroshima. Do you have any comment?
A: We have stated our position.