|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on May 16, 2014|
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press conference on May 16, 2014.
Q: There have been violent activities against foreign investors and companies in Vietnam. Can you brief us on the casualties and losses of Chinese citizens and companies in Vietnam?
A: The Chinese government attaches great importance to and expresses grave concerns over the serious violent activities of beating, smashing, looting and burning in Vietnam. Last night, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi had an emergent call with Vietnam's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh. Wang Yi strongly condemned the serious violent incident against foreign-invested companies in Vietnam, lodged solemn representations, and urged the Vietnamese side to take resolute and effective measures to immediately stop all violence and ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and property of Chinese companies in Vietnam. He urged Vietnam to take proper care of Chinese companies and citizens attacked and take all measures to save and help the injured, immediately investigate the violent incident, hold all lawbreakers accountable in accordance with law and compensate Chinese companies and citizens for all their losses.
Yesterday afternoon, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin emergently summoned the Vietnamese Ambassador to China, expressing strong condemnation and lodging solemn representation. Last night, the Chinese government also sent a cross-sectoral working group to Vietnam headed by Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao.
The serious violence of beating, smashing, looting and burning taking place in provinces of Binh Duong, Ha Tinh and other areas in Vietnam has caused heavy casualties and property losses to Chinese companies including those from Hong Kong and Taiwan and companies from the ROK and Singapore. As far as I have learnt, two Chinese people are confirmed dead and hundreds injured, but the specific number is yet to be verified. The worst affected company in this incident is China Metallurgical Group Corporation in Ha Tinh province. Yesterday, China's embassy staff in Vietnam reached to the scene in Ha Tinh, visited the company staff and assisted the company in trying all out to save and help the injured. They maintained close communication with the Vietnamese side, and urged Vietnam to take all necessary steps to save and treat the injured and take proper care of companies and citizens affected. The Chinese government's joint working group has arrived in Vietnam this morning and carried out relevant work. We will continue to lodge more representations with Vietnam through various channels, maintain close communication with the Vietnamese government and relevant authorities and make every effort to save and treat the injured. We urge the Vietnamese side to immediately stop all the violence, bring those accountable to justice and prevent such incident from happening again.
Q: Results of India's general election are about to come out. The initial results show that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is likely to form a new government. How does China envision the development of relations with the new government of India?
A: We have noted that the vote-counting of the election in India is still ongoing. We always value relations with India. In recent years, China-India relations have maintained a sound momentum of development. This year marks the year of friendly exchanges between China and India, bringing new opportunities to China-India relations. The combined population of China and India accounts for one third of the world's total, and the maintenance and development of friendly, stable, sound and close cooperative relations between China and India is not only in the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries and two peoples, but will also make enormous contributions to regional and world peace and stability. China is willing to join hands with the new government of India to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, deepen mutual trust, carry out closer exchanges and cooperation in various fields and bring the strategic cooperative partnership between China and India to a new height.
Q: Some members of the UN Security Council are considering imposing sanctions on South Sudan. Will China support sanctions including arms embargo against South Sudan? And will China send more peacekeepers to South Sudan? Will China consider calling off the contract of arms trade with South Sudan?
A: We have seen some positive developments in South Sudan. We have noted that President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar of South Sudan held a direct meeting and signed a ceasefire agreement. We welcome that and appreciate the positive efforts made by Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and other relevant parties for ceasefire and peace talks. We hope that actions taken by all parties will help further relax the situation in South Sudan.
We have been taking an active part in peacekeeping operations under the framework of the UN. We are ready to contribute our share to peace and security of Africa. Right now, we have 360 peacekeepers in South Sudan. If needed, China is willing to increase its presence in peacekeeping operations in South Sudan at the request of the UN.
With regard to the arms trade agreement between China and South Sudan, I am not aware of the specifics. Arms export of China follows strictly relevant international treaties and regulations.
Q: Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary today expressed the hope of communicating with China and the ROK through diplomatic channels to win understanding on lifting the ban on the right to collective self-defence. How does China respond to that?
A: China and Japan maintain diplomatic communications. China has repeatedly expressed its position on the issue concerning Japan's push for lifting the ban on the right to collective self-defence. Due to historical reasons, any of Japan's move in the military and security field has always been the concern of its Asia neighbors and the international community. We have noted different voices in Japan on this issue. Since Shinzo Abe took office, he has taken a series of unprecedented actions in the military and security field. In view of this, you may understand why Japan's Asian neighbors, including China and the ROK and the international community are highly concerned and vigilant about Japan's move in the military and security field. We urge the Japanese side to respect and accommodate the reasonable and legitimate security concerns of its Asian neighbors, follow the path of peaceful development, take concrete actions to reassure its Asian neighbors and the international community and play a constructive role for peace and stability of Asia.