|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on March 10, 2016|
Q: The DPRK fired two short-range ballistic missiles early this morning into waters off the eastern coast and announced that it would liquidate the ROK's assets in the DPRK. What is China's comment on that?
A: The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive. The US and the ROK are conducting large-scale military drills in the ROK, which have drawn strong reactions from the DPRK. The Chinese side is seriously concerned about the situation. We ask parties to stop all the provocative words and deeds, keep calm, exercise restraint, refrain from ratcheting up tensions and safeguard peace and stability of the Peninsula. It serves the common interests of all.
Q: The Philippines announced on March 9 that it would lease five training planes from Japan to patrol the South China Sea as part of efforts to protect Philippine territory. What is China's comment on that?
A: The Chinese side has noted the relevant report. If the Philippines is meant to challenge China's sovereignty and security interests, it will be met with firm opposition from the Chinese side.
I also wish to reiterate that Japan is not a party related to the South China Sea dispute. We are on high alert against its move. We urge the Japanese side to act with prudence instead of further complicating the situation and jeopardizing regional peace and stability.
Q: Foreign Minister Wang Yi starts his visit to Russia today. Is the visit arranged because of tensions on the Korean Peninsula or in Syria?
A: China and Russia have close communication in different areas. As Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the press on March 8, President Xi and President Putin met five times last year. Foreign Ministers of the two sides also had frequent meetings on bilateral and multilateral occasions and made multiple phone calls. We hope to maintain the strong momentum in China-Russia exchanges, and have in-depth communication on advancing the bilateral relations and promoting mutually beneficial cooperation. The international landscape is experiencing profound changes. When it comes to the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the Syrian issue, we have seen new situations emerge. A timely exchange of views between China and Russia on international and regional issues of common interest will help strengthen strategic coordination and maintain peace, security and stability of the region and beyond.
Q: The EU trade minister said yesterday during a visit to Washington that the EU must maintain solid trade defenses even if it decides to grant China market economy status. What is your response to this?
A: We have heard some different voices from the EU regarding its recognition of China's market economy status. I want to point out that China has been working faithfully to fulfill its obligations as a WTO member since its accession. And as a WTO member, China has every reason to enjoy WTO rights. We hope that the EU, as an important WTO member and a major strength supporting the international rule of law and multilateral trade system, would observe WTO rules, honor its commitment concerning China's accession to the WTO and stop acting unfairly against China.