Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on March 17, 2016
Q: This morning, the Chinese side announced that Nepali Prime Minister Oli will visit China. Can you give more details?
A: At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli of Nepal will take the opportunity of attending the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2016 to pay an official visit to China.
This visit will be the highest-level interaction between China and Nepal since the establishment of the new Nepali government last October. Chinese leaders will meet and hold talks with Prime Minister Oli and have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest. Apart from Beijing, Prime Minister Oli will also travel to Hainan to attend the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2016 and visit Xi'an and Chengdu.
China and Nepal are traditional friendly neighbors. The two countries, as time-tested friends sharing weal and woe, treat each other as equals with mutual support and mutual respect. At present, both China and Nepal are at a crucial stage of national development. The bilateral relationship is standing at new starting point and facing greater opportunities for development. We stand ready to work with Nepal and use Prime Minister Oli's visit to consolidate traditional friendship, improve long-term planning, expand mutually beneficial cooperation, promote common development, and elevate the comprehensive partnership of cooperation between China and Nepal for long-lasting friendship to a new level.
Q: US President Barack Obama yesterday signed an executive order, announcing a new round of unilateral sanctions on the DPRK which might affect normal business ties between Chinese banks and the DPRK. Is China concerned that such unilateral sanctions will affect its normal business cooperation with the DPRK?
A: I want to make three points. First, as I have repeated time and again, China never approves unilateral sanctions by any country. Second, since the situation on the Korean Peninsula is very complex and sensitive, we oppose any move which may further aggravate tensions on the Peninsula. Third, we keep stressing to relevant countries that unilateral sanctions taken by any country must not affect and harm the legitimate rights and interests of China.
Q: China has lodged representations with Argentina over the sinking of its fishing boat by Argentina's coast guards. Have you got any response from them? Was the Chinese fishing vessel operating in the Argentine waters? Has either the captain of the Chinese boat or the Argentine side confirmed that the Chinese boat did attack Argentina's coast guard vessels? Does China believe that if this incident is not properly settled, it will impact bilateral relations?
A: China and Argentina are friendly countries. We hope that this issue can be properly settled. Yesterday, the Chinese side has made clear its solemn position. We have lodged urgent representations with the Argentine side, expressing serious concerns and demanding that the Argentine side conduct a thorough investigation, inform the Chinese side of the details, ensure the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese crew, and take effective measures to avoid any repetition of such an incident. As for the specifics you asked, what I have at hand is that the two governments are in close communication through diplomatic channels. We hope that this incident can be properly resolved at an early date.
Q: Does the fishing boat belong to China's state-owned enterprise?
A: I have no more information to offer.
Q: During the visit of the leader of East Timor to Japan, the two sides issued a joint press release which touched upon the South China Sea issue and the South China Sea arbitration case brought up by the Philippine side and noted that the ruling would be binding on disputing parties. What is China's response?
A: China always adheres to resolving territorial disputes and maritime jurisdiction disputes with neighboring countries through negotiation and consultation. On issues concerning territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, China does not accept any dispute settlement approach of unilaterally resorting to a third party. The Philippine side neglected its agreement with China on resolving the South China Sea dispute through bilateral negotiations, went against the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and abused the arbitration procedures of the UNCLOS. Therefore, the South China Sea arbitration case unilaterally initiated and obstinately pushed forward by the Philippine side is illegal and invalid. We have been saying repeatedly that this illegal arbitration, regardless of its result, will not be binding on China at all.
I want to point out that Japan is in no position at all to make such irresponsible remarks on the South China Sea issue. However, lately, it has been very active on this issue, ignoring the basic facts, confusing the public and smearing China in front of the international community. I want to tell Japan that what it is doing is futile and will only make the Chinese people see clearer what some people in Japan are trying to achieve. We hope that the relevant country can tell right from wrong, mind its words and actions, and avoid being used by some country that harbors ulterior motives for selfish gains.
Q: It is reported that Indonesian police shot dead two Chinese militants. Do you have more details?
A: We have noted this report, and we are trying to get more information.
Both China and Indonesia are victims of terrorism and faced with new threats brought by changes in the international and regional counter-terrorism situation. In recent years, terrorist forces of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement have been intensifying their efforts to infiltrate Indonesia, collude with terrorist extremist groups in Indonesia to open channels for personnel transfer, and take part in international terrorist activities. This not only threatens national security of China, but also poses practical dangers to stability of Indonesia and the region.
China and Indonesia have very sound cooperation based on mutual understanding and mutual support. The Chinese side is willing to enhance bilateral and multilateral counter-terrorism exchanges and cooperation with the Indonesian side to jointly maintain security and stability of the two countries and the region.
Q: Regarding the 300,000-strong military drills between the US and the ROK, the DPRK sent a letter to the UN, requesting the body to hold an emergency meeting on the joint military drills. What is China's stance on this?
A: Since the Korean Peninsula is still in a complex and sensitive state, we hope that all relevant parties can react with calm and restraint, and avoid provoking each other and heightening regional tensions. If the situation keeps getting worse, it will do no good to any party.