Q: The Middle East Peace Conference initiated by France was held in Paris on January 15. The conference issued a statement, saying that the two-state solution is the only way out for the Palestine-Israel issue. Could you please brief us about the participation of the Chinese delegation in the conference?
A: Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming led a delegation to attend the foreign ministers' conference on the Palestinian issue held in Paris on January 15. In the speech made during the meeting, he made three proposals for resuming the Middle East peace process.
First, seeking wider international participation. Minister Zhang advocated the innovation of peace promoting mechanism and supported the conference in setting a follow-up mechanism. He called on relevant parties not to take actions that would escalate tensions or intensify the situation.
Second, upholding the direction of the two-state solution. Minister Zhang called for a stop of the expansion of settlement and opposed all forms of violence against civilians. He held that only by building on the two-state solution can it be possible to establish an independent State of Palestine with full sovereignty, taking the 1967 borders as the basis and East Jerusalem as its capital, while meeting the legitimate security concerns of Israel.
Third, focusing on the development of Palestine. He advocated that the international community, while keep pushing forward the direct negotiation between Palestine and Israel, should strengthen the support to Palestine's economic and social development as well as its capacity to achieve self-driven growth.
China will continue to make relentless efforts for the peace between Palestine and Israel and the regional stability.
Q: US President-elect Trump said in an interview that Brexit was a great thing and predicted that other states would follow the UK in exiting the group. Such remarks have caused repercussions across Europe. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe's fate was in their own hands. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said that the best response was the unity of Europeans. What is your comment?
A: We have noted these reports and the response of the relevant parties. China's policy towards Europe is consistent. We would love to see a prosperous, stable and open Europe and we support European integration. We hope that the EU could maintain unity and stability.
Q: It has been one year since the implementation day of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on Iranian nuclear issue. What is China's comment on the implementation? What role has China been playing in this process?
A: The JCPOA is a successful example of solving international hotspot issues through political and diplomatic means. In general, last year witnessed the smooth implementation of the JCPOA. The agreement, which has played an important role in safeguarding the international nuclear non-proliferation system and promoting the peace and stability in the Middle East, is widely supported and recognized by the international community,
Last week, the JCPOA joint commission held its sixth meeting, in which representatives from the P5+1 countries and Iran reviewed major issues such as lifting sanctions, measures in the nuclear field and the renovation of Arak heavy water reactor, and reaffirmed their political commitment to earnestly implementing the agreement. We think that the JCPOA is an international agreement reached by the P5+1 countries and Iran and formally approved by the UN Security Council. Parties should continue to earnestly carry out their obligations and solve differences through consultations to ensure the continued implementation of the agreement.
China has actively participated in, promoted and contributed to the settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. With an objective, just and responsible attitude, we have been committed to promoting the negotiation and implementation of the JCPOA. Especially as the co-chair of the working group on the renovation of Arak heavy water reactor, China has made huge efforts in this project. We are ready to maintain close cooperation with various parties to ensure the sustained, comprehensive and effective implementation of the agreement.
Q: It is reported that Malaysia, Australia and China have jointly announced to suspend the underwater search for Flight MH370. Please confirm. What's your comment?
A: I'd refer you to the competent authorities for the specifics regarding the search for MH 370.
I want to emphasize that the Chinese government has attached great importance to the missing of Flight MH 370 and taken an active part in handling the incident. We will continue to closely communicate and cooperate with Malaysia and Australia in relevant work.
Q: Philippine Foreign Minister said in an interview with the CNN yesterday that the Philippines once submitted diplomatic note to China for its deployment of air defense and missile defense weapons in the South China Sea. What is your comment?
A: Nansha Islands are China's inherent territory. China has the right to deploy necessary and proper national defense facilities on its own territory.
China is committed to peacefully resolving relevant disputes in the South China Sea through negotiation and consultation with sovereign countries directly concerned including the Philippines. The South China Sea issue is cooling down and returning to the right track thanks to joint efforts by China and relevant parties including the Philippines, and this meets the common interests of China and the Philippines and the aspiration of all, and does good for peace and stability of the South China Sea. We would like to make continuous efforts alongside all parties including the Philippines for peace and stability of the South China Sea.
Q: Reports said that books which openly deny the Nanjing Massacre and comfort women could be found in Japan's APA hotel rooms, written by the CEO of the APA Group. This, once revealed, was widely criticized in both China and the ROK. What is your comment?
A: We have noted relevant reports. This once again shows that some forces in Japan are still reluctant to look squarely at history, and even try to deny and distort history. The forced recruitment of comfort women and the Nanjing Massacre are heinous crimes against humanity committed by the Japanese militarism during WWII, which is a historical fact recognized by the international community and supported by iron-clad evidence.
History will not change by the passing of time, and facts will not vanish because some people choose to turn a blind eye to them. Only by honestly facing up to the history can one truly have a future. We once again urge the Japanese side to earnestly acknowledge and reflect upon history, educate its people with the right historical perspective, and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions.
Q: Yesterday is the one year anniversary of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). How does China comment on the year-long operation of the AIIB? What role has China played in engaging with the AIIB?
A: President Jin Liqun of the AIIB wrote an article for the People's Daily yesterday in which he went into great details on what the AIIB has done over the last year.
As an initiator of the founding of the AIIB, China is very pleased with the positive progress the AIIB has made during its first year in operation. Its simplified administration and high efficiency is really remarkable as a new institution. To this day, the AIIB has 57 members, and another 30 economies have officially submitted their intentions to join. The AIIB has won the full recognition of the international community.
As the largest shareholder, China always adheres to multilateral procedures and rules. China will endeavor to promote the AIIB's growth following the goals of "Lean, Green and Clean" for more standardized and high-quality operations. Besides, China will help the AIIB root itself in the practical development needs of the vast majority of developing countries in Asia, make it better financed, organized and more professional, and work along with other multilateral development institutions to promote the infrastructure connectivity and sustainable development in Asia, making positive contributions to the common prosperity of the region and the whole world. Meanwhile, China has been honoring its obligations as the host country, providing as much convenience and support as we can for the operation and development of the AIIB.
Q: A question on Singapore's armored vehicles detained in Hong Kong. As the Spring Festival draws near, Singaporean netizens hoped the vehicles to be returned by China before the holiday. Do you have any response?
A: I can tell you that China sets great store by its relations with Singapore, and meanwhile stands firm on the one-China principle. We hope that the Singaporean government can abide by the one-China policy. It is learned that the Hong Kong SAR government is handling this case in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.