|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on May 14, 2015|
Q: The P5+1, the EU and Iran are about to start a new round of negotiation on a comprehensive agreement at the political director-general level in Vienna. Can you tell us who will attend the negotiation on behalf of China? What do you expect from it?
A: The P5+1, the EU and Iran will hold a new round of negotiation in Vienna at the political director-general level for a comprehensive agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue. Ambassador Cheng Jingye, Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Vienna will attend the negotiation.
The current Iranian nuclear talks focus on negotiation of the text. It is hoped that all parties would take advantage of this opportunity, hold fast to the consistent position, respect and accommodate each other’s concerns, and firmly move forward and conclude this historical process. China will continue to make constructive efforts for an early comprehensive agreement that is fair, equitable and win-win to all.
Q: According to media reports, the International Council on Monuments and Sites has completed the assessment on “Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution” which are applying for the honor of world cultural heritage. The application will be presented to the World Heritage Committee for review. The ROK has voiced strong objection to this, expressing grave concerns about the use of forced labor in the aforementioned Japanese sites during the Second World War. What is China’s comment on this?
A: The world cultural heritage application should live up to the principle and spirit of promoting peace as upheld by UNESCO and the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage. Many of the 23 Japanese industrial sites witnessed the use of forced labor from China, the Korean Peninsula and other Asian countries during the Second World War. The forced recruitment and enslavement of labor was a heinous crime committed by Japanese militarism during its aggression and colonial rule of other countries. The legitimate and reasonable appeals of many innocent victims have not yet been responded or addressed responsibly up to now. The Japanese side should ponder over the message to be sent out to the world, as it attempts to register the industrial sites as world heritage in defiance of the forced recruitment of labor relating to those sites.
China shares the concerns of the ROK when it comes to Japan’s move to register the relevant industrial sites as world heritage, and expresses opposition to this. China calls on Japan to face up to and properly address relevant concerns. It is believed that the World Heritage Committee would figure out a responsible way to deal with this issue.
Q: My question is about China-US relations. The US Marine Corps plans to invite amphibious forces from over 20 Asia-Pacific countries to a symposium in Hawaii, but China won’t get the invitation. Do you know about the specifics? Do you take this as an insult? Will this have negative impact on military mutual trust between China and the US?
A: I only learn about America’s plan of inviting military forces from some countries to a symposium in Hawaii from your question. You asked whether China feels insulted by being excluded from America’s invitation list consisting of over 20 countries. The Chinese have a much bigger heart than you think. Any country has the right to invite other countries to a symposium or event, as long as such activities contribute to regional peace and stability.
You may ask the Defense Ministry for specifics of this symposium. But I can tell you that the Chinese and US militaries maintain normal exchanges and cooperation at various levels. A sound and steady military-to-military relationship is conducive to the new model of major-country relations between China and the US as well as world peace and stability.
Q: According to Japanese media, the destruction and disposal of Japan’s abandoned chemical weapons in China is lagging behind the schedule. How do you comment on this?
A: Japan’s abandonment of chemical weapons in China is one of the brutal crimes committed by Japanese militarist invaders during the war of aggression against China. The abandoned chemical weapons are still posing threats and harms to people’s life and property as well as the ecological environment in some areas of China 70 years after the war. The Chinese government constantly requires the Japanese government to act upon the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction as well as relevant memorandums between the two governments on the destruction of Japan’s abandoned chemical weapons in China, so as to destroy those weapons as soon as possible.
Progress has been made on the disposal of Japan’s abandoned chemical weapons thanks to the joint efforts by both China and Japan. China has assisted Japan with over 200 excavation and recovery operations in a variety of places of China, safely recovering over 50,000 pieces of chemical weapons abandoned by Japan, and destroying 37,825 pieces of them in Nanjing, Shijiazhuang, Wuhan and Ha’erba Mountain of Jilin Province. Despite all these achievements, the process is still lagging far behind the destruction plan made by the two countries. China has expressed concerns and dissatisfaction to the Japanese side on many occasions.
It is worth emphasizing that according to the Convention and the memorandums between the two governments, Japan is responsible for the destruction of its abandoned chemical weapons and the provision of all necessary funding, technology, experts, facilities and other resources, with China offering assistance in the process. The Chinese side urges the Japanese side to fulfill relevant responsibilities and obligations, and invest more manpower and material resources. While ensuring the safety of the Chinese people and the environment, Japan should expedite the destruction process and eliminate threats and dangers posed by these weapons to people’s life and property and the ecological environment in some parts of China at an early date.
Q: The Japanese cabinet approved the new security defense law today, which would expand the range of operation by the Japanese self-defense force. How does China comment on this?
A: As we put it many times before, changes to Japan’s security policies are closely followed by its Asian neighbors and the international community given some historical reasons. We hope that Japan would learn lessons from history, strictly follow a path of peaceful development, and do things positive and conducive to peace, stability and development of Asia.
Q: According to American media reports,a US naval combat ship was closely followed by a Chinese missile frigate when patrolling in waters off the Nansha Islands. Please give us more details and China’s take on this.
A: I answered this question yesterday. China exerts indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters. China is entitled to monitor the situation in relevant waters and airspace so as to guard against any harm to China’s national security and maritime and aerial accidents. We will keep the situation in relevant waters and airspace under surveillance, and protect China’s national security from being jeopardized and maritime and aerial accidents from happening.