At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation, President Xi Jinping will attend the seventh BRICS Summit on July 8 and 9 and the 15th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States on July 9 and 10 in Ufa, Russia.
At the invitation of King Tupou VI of the Kingdom of Tonga, head of the China National Tourism Administration Li Jinzao will attend the coronation ceremony of King Tupou VI as the Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping on July 4.
Q: A Japanese weekly magazine reported the other day that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told heads of media agencies in an internal meeting in early June that amendments to the security law were made with China and the South China Sea in mind. Commentary said that Abe took China as the imaginary enemy of the self defense force and the US army. What is China’s comment on that?
A: We have noted the relevant report. If it should be true, the Japanese side would have to make explanation and clarification on that.
There have been a series of negative moves taken by Japan over the recent period of time. Domestically, it speeds up adjustments to the security policy and pursues military buildup through constitutional reform. Externally, it hypes up and creates regional tensions by making use of the issue of the South China Sea. The real intention behind the above negative moves by Japan is alarming. I would like to stress that the Chinese side is firmly resolved in safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests on the issue of the South China Sea. Due to historical reason, actions taken by the Japanese side in the military and security fields always draw wide attention from Japan’s Asian neighbors and the international community. Any words or deeds within Japan that play up tensions or instigate confrontation go against the trend of world peace and development as well as the aspiration of the public, and are doomed to be rejected and condemned by the peace lovers. History has shown that those who dreamed of making profits in troubled and risky situations would overreach themselves and eat the bitter fruit of their own making. We urge the Japanese side to learn lessons from the history, stay on the path of peaceful development and take prudent actions in the military and security fields so as to avoid committing the same mistake.
Q: How is China concerned about Greece’s possible withdrawal from the Euro Zone?
A: We take note of the recent bailout negotiation between the Greek government and international creditors, and applaud the efforts made by all relevant parties. The Chinese side consistently supports the integration process in Europe, and is happy to see a stable, united and prosperous EU. We believe that the Euro Zone has the capability and wisdom to properly resolve the European debt issue and tide over the difficulties. The Greek debt issue is currently in a critical situation, and China is willing to see a Euro Zone with Greece in it and hopes for success of relevant negotiations.
Q: The Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) has applied many times to visit China’s Nansha islands and reefs where construction is taking place, but has got no permission yet. Do you think it is possible for us to get this opportunity? Is China trying to hide something since it forbids us to visit those islands?
A: I am not aware of the application by the CBS to visit some Nansha islands and reefs. I can not give an explicit response to your request at this moment. But I can tell you for sure that the Chinese government has nothing to hide from the international community. China holds a consistent and clear-cut position on the South China Sea issue.
Q: The US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a speech the other day, saying that China’s massive reclamation in the South China Sea was a threat to peace and stability and an unilateral move to coercively change the status quo. What is China’s response to this?
A: China has repeatedly elaborated on its position regarding the construction on Nansha islands and reefs. Relevant construction falls entirely within China’s sovereignty. It is different in nature from some countries’ “unlawful construction” on illegally occupied Chinese islands and reefs, and has nothing to do with unilaterally and coercively changing the status quo. Moreover, China has never recognized the so-called “status quo” created by other countries’ illegal occupation of some maritime features of the Nansha Islands.
It is hoped that the US side would refrain from discriminating in favor of its allies, act on the own merits of the case and respect China’s sovereignty and rights and interests, stop making any irresponsible remarks that deliberately fuel regional tensions and confrontation, and do more things that will genuinely contribute to regional peace and stability. This is also in the interests of the US itself.
Q: In the China-ASEAN Senior Officials’ Consultation held this June, all parties agreed to hold the 14th Joint Working Group Meeting on Implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). Please brief us more on this.
A: China and ASEAN countries will hold the 14th Joint Working Group Meeting on Implementing the DOC in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from July 1 to 3. The Chinese side will exchange in-depth views with parties concerned on fully and effectively implementing the DOC, enhancing and deepening maritime pragmatic cooperation and pushing forward the code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC) consultations based on existing outcomes.
Officials from the competent authorities and experts of various countries will meet on the sidelines of the meeting to press ahead with the implementation of the “early harvest” outcomes. Discussions will also be held on setting up a China-ASEAN maritime search and rescue hot-line platform and a China-ASEAN hot-line platform among senior officials of the foreign ministries in response to maritime contingencies.
Q: The signing ceremony of the Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was held this morning. How will the AIIB contribute to or affect China’s diplomacy and economy?
A: The signing ceremony of the Articles of Agreement of the AIIB was held this morning in Beijing. Finance ministers or representatives from the 57 perspective founding members of the AIIB attended the ceremony. President Xi Jinping met with the heads of delegations from various countries attending the ceremony in the Great Hall of the People.
President Xi Jinping first extended warm congratulations on the signing of the Agreement on behalf of the Chinese government. He pointed out that China’s proposal of setting up the AIIB means to advance the infrastructure building and connectivity in Asia, deepen regional cooperation, and realize common development. This proposal is well responded by countries inside and outside the region. The signing of the Agreement demonstrates the practical efforts by all parties to seek common development through unity and cooperation in the principle of openness and inclusiveness. As long as all parties carry on with the spirit of multilateral cooperation, we are sure to build the AIIB into a new platform featuring openness, inclusiveness and win-win results and make positive contribution to the infrastructure building in Asia.
During the meeting with President Xi Jinping, representatives from Switzerland, New Zealand and the ROK all said that China’s proposal of establishing the AIIB is timely and significant. The AIIB, together with the Belt and Road initiatives, will substantially alleviate the bottleneck and the funding restrictions on this region’s infrastructure building, strengthen trade connections and connectivity among regional countries, deliver special assistance to countries that are poor in infrastructure, and promote Asia’s development. It is believed that the AIIB will become an integral part of the international financial institutions for development. While proposing and preparing for the establishment of the AIIB, the Chinese side displays admirable willingness and openness. Relevant member countries will work in tandem to ensure that the AIIB will become a pragmatic and efficient international financial institution. It is believed that the AIIB will play a vitally leading role in Asia’s development.
Q: Will China recommend a strong and powerful candidate as the governor of the AIIB? Who will be the head of it?
A: You may refer to the Articles of Agreement of the AIIB which includes unequivocal terms concerning the governance structure of the AIIB. I’d like to point you to competent authorities for specific questions.
Q: In the signing ceremony of the Articles of Agreement of the AIIB, seven countries including the Philippines and Thailand did not put their signatures on the agreement. Can you tell us why? What follow-up procedures will they expect?
A: This morning, finance ministers or representatives from the 57 perspective founding members of the AIIB took part in the signing ceremony. 50 countries that have gained domestic approvals officially sealed the Articles of Agreement, and the rest 7 countries that have not yet gained domestic approvals witnessed the signing ceremony. According to provisions of the Articles of Agreement, those perspective founding members that failed to sign the Agreement this time can sign it before the end of this year.