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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on February 20, 2014

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on February 20, 2014.

Hua Chunying started the press conference with the following announcement:

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Bernard Kamillius Membe of the United Republic of Tanzania will pay an official visit to China from February 24 to 28.

Q: It is learned that Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin will start his visit to the ROK on February 20 immediately after the visit to the DPRK. This will be a rare shuttle diplomatic activity by China between the two countries. Please give us more details.

A: At the invitation of the DPRK Foreign Ministry, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin paid a visit to the country from February 17 to 20. Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin held separate meetings and talks with DPRK Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun, Vice Foreign Minister Kim Hyong Jun and Ri Yong Ho, Deputy Director Kim Sung Nam of the International Affairs Department of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party of Korea, Vice Chairman Lee Chol Sok of Economic Development Commission. The two sides had an extensive and in-depth exchange of views on China-DPRK relations and the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin expressed China's commitment to relations with the DPRK and willingness to enhance political communication with the DPRK, respect each other's interests, expand practical cooperation so as to ensure sound and steady growth of bilateral relations. China commits to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula and seeking a settlement through dialogue and consultation. China never allows chaos or war to break out on the Peninsula. China supports the improvement of DPRK-ROK relations and applauds the recent progress in their dialogue. China hopes that all relevant parties will act together in concert to move the situation on the Peninsula toward relaxation, maintain peace and stability and create conditions for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks.

The DPRK side stated the unwavering position of its Party Central Committee and government, that is, to cement and strengthen traditional friendship and cooperation with China. The DPRK stands ready to work with China to step up exchanges and cooperation in various fields. Achieving denuclearization is the wish of late President Kim Il Sung and late General Secretary Kim Jong Il and the long-standing stance of the DPRK. The DPRK would like to increase communication and coordination with China, make every possible effort to ease tension and restart the Six-Party Talks, and maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula and in the region.

At the invitation of the ROK Foreign Ministry, Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin will visit the ROK from February 20 to 22. During the visit, Vice Minister Liu will hold diplomatic consultation with officials from the ROK Foreign Ministry and meet with heads of relevant departments. The two sides will exchange views on China-ROK relations, regional situation and other issues of common interest. Like his visit to the DPRK, Vice Minister Liu's visit to the ROK is also a regular exchange between the two foreign ministries.

As a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, China maintains friendly relations and cooperation with both the DPRK and the ROK. China commits to upholding peace and stability on the Peninsula, promoting the process of denuclearization and the Six-Party Talks. China will continue to make positive efforts to that end in its own way.

Q: The DPRK and the ROK have reportedly kicked off the reunion of families separated since the 1950-1953 Korean War at the Mt. Kumgang resort. What is China's comment?

A: We are glad that the DPRK and the ROK hold the family reunion as scheduled. We welcome and support that. We view it as a correct step taken by the two sides with national interests and regional peace and stability in mind. This can help improve the DPRK-ROK relations and move the regional situation toward relaxation. We believe that further progress toward trust-building, reconciliation and cooperation will be scored as long as both sides constantly show goodwill and make unremitting efforts. China sincerely hopes that the DPRK and the ROK could seize the opportunity, sustain the momentum of dialogue and cooperation with redoubled efforts and take concrete steps to further improve bilateral relations and defuse regional tension.

Q: The situation in Ukraine is deteriorating. Some EU leaders condemn the Ukrainian government and are considering sanctions against Ukraine. What is China's comment?

A: I elaborated on China's position on the situation in Ukraine yesterday. We are deeply concerned about the current situation and the eruption of violent clashes in Ukraine and feel regret about the ensuing casualties. We call on all parties in Ukraine to exercise calmness and restraint, seek a solution through consultation and dialogue as soon as possible and restore the rule of law and social order. It is in the interests of the country and the people.

We stand for mutual respect of sovereignty and non-interference in each other's internal affairs among countries. We hope that the international community could stand on an objective, balanced and fair footing and play a constructive role in encouraging all relevant parties in Ukraine to solve problems through dialogue and consultation and restore political and social stability as soon as possible.

Q: China expressed serious concerns about Japan's large stockpile of nuclear materials on its territory including those at weapons grade. However, some western media describe that as another tit-for-tat struggle between China and Japan. What is China's comment?

A: Japan has a large stockpile of nuclear materials including those at weapons grade on its territory. It severely upsets the supply-demand balance of sensitive nuclear materials, brings about dire and creeping proliferation threats to nuclear security, and puts regional and international peace and security in potential jeopardy that cannot be ignored. Japan's action is not what is expected of a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and an IAEA member. We once again urge Japan to strictly observe its international obligations of non-proliferation and truly make good on its international commitment on supply-demand balance of sensitive nuclear materials.

Q: Deputy Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso reportedly said at the Diet session yesterday that it was justifiable to pay tribute to those who laid down their lives for their country, adding that few countries other than China and the ROK criticized Abe's visit to the Yasukuni Shrine. Etsuro Honda, an advisor to the Japanese Prime Minister, told American media on the same day that Japan's international status would have been weakened, had the Prime Minister not visited the Shrine. What is China's comment?

A: The repeated ridiculous remarks by Japanese senior political figures in total disregard of the call for justice from the international community reveal that they have no repentance in the slightest for the history of aggression. They are even of the view that Japan's rise in "international status" would not be possible without changing the post-war international order. What logic is it?! What message do they want to send?! I think, the "explanation" given by them cannot but help the world see through the real intention and nature of the Japanese leader's visit to the Shrine. Japan's Asian neighbors and the international community have a more solid ground for their high alert against the political move in Japan.

Q: The UN is going to vote on the draft resolution on Syrian humanitarian relief. What is China's position?

A: China closely follows the humanitarian situation in Syria and takes an active part in the consultation on the draft resolution on Syrian humanitarian issue. We maintain that under the current conditions, the action by the Security Council should contribute to the political settlement of the Syrian issue and further talks between the two warring parties. It should follow the UN guiding principles on humanitarian aid on the basis of fairness and neutrality. We hope that the Security Council members will press ahead with constructive consultations for extensive consensus, keep the Council united and speak with one voice to the outside.

Q: During Pakistani President Mamnoon Hussain's visit in China, did the two sides discuss the new project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor?

A: President Xi Jinping and President Hussain held talks yesterday. The news release has been issued. Speaking highly of the development of bilateral relations, the two presidents agreed to jointly uphold and develop the traditional friendship and translate that into more tangible results of cooperation. The two sides clinched important agreement on strengthening practical cooperation in various fields, including steadily advancing China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, ensuring the success of such flagship programs as Gwadar Port and Karakorum Highway, steering cooperation in energy, transport infrastructure and industrial parks, and accelerating the second phase of FTA negotiations.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is not only crucial to common development of the two countries, but also conducive to regional connectivity, peace, stability and development. During the visit, the two sides successfully held the second meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee on the Long-Term Plan for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. At the meeting, the two sides had a frank and in-depth exchange of views on strengthening overall planning of the Economic Corridor, priority projects and practical cooperation in transport infrastructure, energy and information technology. The two sides reached extensive consensus.

Q: Beirut, the capital of Lebanon was hit by two car bombs yesterday which caused heavy casualties. An Al-Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility for the attack. Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, UN Secretary General and the Security Council have all voiced their strong condemnation against the terrorist attack. What is China's comment?

A: China strongly condemns the terrorist attack and firmly opposes all forms of terrorism. We render resolute support to the measures taken by the Lebanese side for security and stability. We call on all parties to pull together to achieve the aforementioned goal.

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