|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 18, 2016|
Q:Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi delivered a speech on television on October 17, announcing the beginning of the operation to take back Iraq’s second largest city Mosul, the last large stronghold of the Islamic State in Iraq. The operation is expected to last for a long time. How do you comment on this?
A: The Chinese side supports the Iraqi government’s efforts in safeguarding national stability and fighting terrorism, and hopes that security and stability can be restored to Iraq at an early date.
Q: What communication have China and Australia had on the detention of Australian nationals for gambling crimes?
A: I already responded to this question yesterday. The Chinese side has notified the Australian Consulate General in Shanghai about this case. Australian consular officials can pay consular visits to and provide necessary consular assistance for those who are involved. China is also willing to offer necessary assistance and convenience to Australian officials to perform their consular duties.
Q: Will the foreign suspects be prosecuted in China or deported?
A: Relevant case is still under investigation. You may ask the police for further development of this case.
Q: Philippine President Duterte will arrive at Beijing soon. Can you give us more details about his agenda?
A: President Duterte of the Philippines will arrive at Beijing tonight for a state visit. During his stay in China, President Xi Jinping will hold talks with him and exchange views on improving and developing bilateral relations, deepening all-round pragmatic cooperation and international and regional issues of common interest. Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Zhang Dejiang will meet with President Duterte on separate occasions. The two sides are in close communication on the specific arrangements and outcomes of this visit.
Both China and the Philippines attach great importance to this visit. During the visit, the two sides are expected to exchange views and reach consensus over a wide spectrum of areas including infrastructure building, economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges. We hope that President Duterte’s visit can help bring China-Philippines relations back to the track of sound and steady development. This meets the common interests of the people and contributes to regional peace and development.
After meeting with the New Zealand Foreign Minister this afternoon, Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the press that China and the Philippines are only separated by waters. Friendly exchanges between the Chinese and Philippine people date back a long time ago. After assuming office, President Duterte made a choice to restore amicable relations with China and expressed willingness to come back to dialogue and cooperation. This meets the aspiration of the Philippine people and national interests of the Philippines, and keeps in line with the trend of history. Today President Duterte will come across the sea to make a historic visit, which will mark a new starting point for China-Philippines relations. China sets great store by this visit. We are ready and willing to reach out to the Philippine people for friendship and cooperation. We believe that President Duterte’s visit will surely be successful.
Q: The DPRK has launched another ballistic missile. The UN Security Council issued a press statement to slam what the DPRK has done. How do you comment on this? According to media reports, China has asked for the canceling of an exchange activity between Chinese and the ROK maritime law enforcement personnel. Can you confirm this and explain why?
A: On your first question, we have noted relevant reports. The UN Security Council resolutions have clear provisions about the DPRK’s launching activities using ballistic missile technologies. We also notice the reaction made by the Security Council to the DPRK’s latest test fire. Given the current circumstances, we hope that relevant parties will exercise restraint and avoid provoking each other or exacerbating regional tension.
On your second question, China and the ROK did have some fishing disputes recently. The two sides are focusing on communication and negotiation to resolve the issue. The two sides will launch the exchange activity between Chinese and the ROK maritime law enforcement personnel to board each others’vessels when the time is appropriate. By enhancing law enforcement cooperation and exchanges on keeping fishing operations by the two sides in order, China and the ROK will better handle the issues in bilateral fishery cooperation and maintain a normal fishery order in relevant waters.
Q: Today some Japanese law-makers visited the Yasukuni Shrine. How do you respond?
A: China holds a consistent and clear position on the Yasukuni Shrine. We hope that Japanese politicians can hold a right perspective of history and do more things to promote reconciliation and mutual trust with its Asian neighbors.
Q: When President Duterte comes, will the two sides talk about relevant disputes?
A: As President Duterte has repeatedly said to the media, he comes to China for friendship and cooperation. We appreciate relevant remarks made by President Duterte. China remains committed to peacefully resolving relevant issues with countries concerned through negotiation and consultation in the spirit of equality and amity. We are willing to work with relevant parties including the Philippines to properly handle disputes, maintain regional peace and realize common development.