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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 19, 2016


Q: It is reported that a Chinese student studying in the US was killed in a shooting attack on the afternoon of January 16 in Arizona, the US. Can you confirm that and tell us what has been done by the Chinese side after that?

A: On January 16 local time, the Chinese student Jiang Yue was shot dead in Arizona, the US. Highly concerned about the case, the Chinese Consulate-General in Los Angeles immediately activated the emergency response mechanism, sent officials to the site of the crime to get more information, and asked the US side to find out as soon as possible what has happened, hold the perpetrator accountable and take concrete measures to ensure the safety of Chinese personnel and institutions in the US.

The Foreign Ministry and the Consulate-General in Los Angeles will keep a close eye on how the case plays out and provide necessary assistance to families of the victim in their travel to the US and handling of follow-up matters.

Q: In his recent interview with the Financial Times, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that Japan harbors very strong concerns over China's building of islands in the South China Sea and development of resources in the East China Sea. He called on the international community to raise its voice against this. What is China's response to that?

A: China's oil and gas development activities in the East China Sea are all conducted in undisputed waters under the jurisdiction of China. They are within the realm of China's sovereign right.

China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. Construction by China on relevant islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands falls within China's sovereignty. It is legitimate, reasonable and justified. Japan once snatched from China islands in the South China Sea during the Second World War. The Chinese government retrieved them after the War. Japan should reflect upon rather than forget what it has done during the aggression, act and speak cautiously on issues concerning the East China Sea and the South China Sea, and make more efforts to increase mutual trust with its neighbors and promote regional peace and stability instead of sowing discord. China is on high alert against Japan's attempt to poke its nose in the issue of the South China Sea.

Q: Officials of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said on January 18 that they received radio warnings identified as from the Chinese navy when they flew a civil aircraft close to Zhongye Dao on January 7. Mayor of "the Municipality of Kalayaan" said that other civilian and military planes flying over the region have also been shooed away by the Chinese, threatening the freedom of over-flight. How do you respond to that?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands including Zhongye Dao. In the 1970s, the Philippines sent troops to eight islands and reefs of China's Nansha Islands including Zhongye Dao and illegally occupied them. Since then, it has been building facilities and deploying weaponry on these islands and reefs. The Chinese side is firmly opposed to that.

The Philippine side made relevant remarks with the ulterior motive of sensationalizing the situation and playing up the tension. Their plot will not work.

Q: The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said on January 18 that the Philippines plans to install a satellite-based system on Zhongye Dao to track civilian and commercial flights over the region. Seven civil aviation radar stations will also be added. What is your comment on that?

A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands including Zhongye Dao. Any activity by the Philippine side on China's territory it has occupied is illegal and cannot cover up the illegal nature of its encroachment.

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