|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin's Regular Press Conference on June 6, 2012|
On June 6, 2012, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Liu Weimin held a press conference.
Liu Weimin started the press conference with the following announcement.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Libya Ashur Bin Khayal will pay a visit to China from June 9 to 13.
During the visit, Vice President Xi Jinping will meet with Foreign Minister Khayal. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will hold talks with him. The two sides will exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest. Besides Beijing, Foreign Minister Khayal will also visit Shanghai. We hope the visit will boost mutual understanding and trust between China and Libya and push for the steady development of China-Libya friendly cooperation.
Q: It is reported that China and the Philippines reached a deal on withdrawing both their government vessels from the lagoon of the Huangyan Island. Can you confirm? What is China's comment?
A: The Huangyan Island is indisputably China's territory. Since April 10 when the Philippine warships harassed Chinese fishermen which caused the Huangyan island incident, while making solemn representations with the Philippine side, China has also sent government vessels to the area for regulation, which made the Philippine side withdraw most of its ships except for one Philippine government vessel still left in the lagoon. China has been committed to solving the situation through diplomatic consultations and has worked a great deal on the Philippine side, and the remaining vessel finally left the lagoon on June 3. China does not hope to see any more provocative behaviour that hurts China's rights and interests.
The Huangyan island has a fragile ecology in the lagoon and China seldom allows large ships to carry out activities inside. China sent two government vessels to the lagoon as necessary on May 30 and cleared the area after the withdrawal of Philippine government vessels. The two Chinese ships left the lagoon after completion of the mission on June 5. At present, Chinese fishing boats are operating normally in the lagoon free of disturbance and Chinese government vessels are continuing their management and service for the Chinese fishing boats and fishermen in waters off the Huangyan island. Meanwhile, China is continuing its communication with the Philippine side on how to properly handle the Huangyan island incident and improve bilateral relations.
Q: The Chinese leader said today that China is ready to play a bigger role for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. What does it mean? Does it mean that China will participate in the training of Afghan troops after NATO withdraws its troops from the country in 2014? Secondly, what concerns does China have on the security situation of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of NATO troops?
A: On the first question, as a friendly neighbour of Afghanistan and a responsible member of the international community, China has been actively supporting and participating in the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan. China will continue its firm support to Afghanistan's efforts to safeguard national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and promote peace, stability and development. China will continue to provide assistance within its capacity to Afghanistan in line with its actual needs and strengthen cooperation with the country in such fields as resource development, infrastructure construction, energy and personnel training.
On the second question, China believes that relevant parties should take a responsible attitude, honor their commitments in real earnest and continue to offer help to the Afghan government and people on the basis of respecting Afghanistan's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity so that Afghanistan's autonomy and development capacity can be strengthened in a bid to lay the groundwork for a full transition to governance of Afghanistan by the Afghan people. We hope to see a step-by-step and steady withdrawal of troops and relevant parties can continue to take up the responsibility for safeguarding security and stability of Afghanistan while transferring security power to Afghanistan.
Q: The SCO Beijing Summit was opened today. Some western media commented that the SCO is "NATO of the East". What is China's comment?
A: Under the current circumstances, the reason why the SCO is showing vitality and vigor is that the organization has explored and embarked on a new path of regional organization cooperation, responded to the call of the times for peace and development, acted upon the common aspiration of the people of the member states for peace, development and cooperation, and formed the "Shanghai Spirit" featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for diversified civilizations and pursuit of common development.
The SCO stays committed to seeking peace, development and resolution of disputes through cooperation. It aims at partnership instead of alliance. The SCO Charter defines it as an open organziation of non-alliance and non-confrontation that is not targeted at other countries or organizations, without the possibility of evolving into a military and political bloc.
Q: Afghanistan is going to become an SCO observe state. What role has the SCO played in addressing the issue of Afghanistan? What will the SCO do in this regard?
A: Afghanistan is an important country of the region and close neighbour of the SCO. The development of Afghanistan bears on security and stability of Central Asia. With the experience and strength in counterterrorism, drug control, fighting transnational crimes and economic development, the SCO is ready to step up cooperation with Afghanistan, who is also positive about that.
Since 2009, the SCO has convened an international conference and five vice foreign ministerial level consultations on Afghanistan and has made detailed plans for cooperation. It enables the SCO and Afghanistan to move faster in their cooperation in the security, economic and social fields if Afghanistan becomes an SCO observer state. The SCO supports Afghanistan in building itself into an independent and prosperous country enjoying peace and free of terrorism and drugs, and is willing to play a bigger role in the peaceful reconstruction of Afghanistan.
Q: In response to the opposition of an official of China's Ministry of Environmental Protection to foreign diplomatic missions publishing air quality data of Chinese cities, the spokesperson of US State Department said that the move does not violate the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. What is China's comment? Secondly, the US said it would not oppose Chinese diplomatic missions publishing air quality data of US cities. Does China plan to do so?
A: Foreign embassies and consulates in China do not have the legal qualifications to monitor the environment and publish relevant data in China, nor do they have the professional capabilities or qualifications of environmental monitoring. Unwarranted monitoring and data release on China's environmental quality is irresponsible since it does not comply with relevant provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and violates relevant Chinese laws and regulations on environmental monitoring. Therefore, we hope the embassy and consulates of relevant country in China abide by the universally accepted principles of international law, respect China's laws and regulations and stop their irresponsible behaviour.
On the second question, China has no interest in doing so.