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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 23, 2014

Q: There are reports that a South Sudan opposition delegation kicked off their visit in China recently, and met officials from China's foreign ministry. Can you provide more details?

A: At the invitation of China's foreign ministry, a delegation headed by Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol, chairman of the foreign affairs committee of the South Sudan opposition party, recently arrived in China for a visit. Yesterday, they met with Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Ming. Both sides exchanged views mainly on peacefully resolving the current South Sudan conflict. China stressed that it upholds a fair and objective position on the South Sudan issue, and calls on the conflicting parties to earnestly implement ceasefire agreement and peacefully resolve their disputes. China supports the leading role played by the Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in mediating the South Sudan issue, firmly safeguards peace and stability of South Sudan and the region, and stands ready to work towards an early, comprehensive and proper resolution of the South Sudan issue. As a friend of all South Sudanese people, China will continue to help them get through this difficult time.

Mathok spoke highly of China's position on the South Sudan issue, and appreciated the tremendous contribution China has made in promoting peace and development in South Sudan. He made it clear that the opposition party is willing to resolve the current crisis through peaceful negotiations.

Q: Fiji just wrapped up its general election. According to the official results, the sitting Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama won another term as the new Prime Minister. What is China's comment on this?

A: We noted that the election in Fiji went on smoothly. We congratulate on his election as the Prime Minister, and stand ready to work with the new Fijian government to push forward China-Fiji relations.

Q: Ilham Tohti was sentenced to life imprisonment earlier today for separatism. His case attracted foreign attention, and the EU condemned his detention. Can China explain the harsh sentence? Is this case a part of China's anti-terrorist campaign?

A: China's judicial authorities made their ruling in accordance with the law. I would like to remind you that China is a country governed by the rule of law, and China's judicial authorities handled the case according to the law. We firmly oppose interference in China's judicial sovereignty and independence by any country.

Q: There are reports that when meeting with PLA chiefs of staff, President Xi Jinping stressed that all PLA forces should improve their combat readiness and sharpen their ability to win a regional war in the age of information technology. Since President Xi just returned from India, some reports speculated whether his words were referring to India. What is China's comment on this?

A: Such speculation is far-fetched. As I have said when answering a question from your colleague yesterday, President Xi Jinping's recent state visit to India is very successful, and he received warm and grand welcome by the Indian government and people. During the visit, leaders from both sides reached a high level of consensus on the significance of developing China-India relations. They stressed the strategic significance and global impact of China-India relations from a historic and holistic point of view, decided to carry forward and build on the bonds of friendship, and ensured that cooperation will always remain the main melody of China-India relations. As for the boundary issue, leaders from both sides also reached a high level of consensus, and determined to continue with friendly consultation to resolve it. Pending final settlement, both sides should jointly safeguard peace and tranquility of the border area so that the boundary issue will in no way shadow the normal development of bilateral ties.

Both China and India are major countries with great influence. As President Xi said, when China and India speak with one voice, the whole world will lend ears. China and India should have such sense of historical responsibility, and courage to fulfill it. We should join hands to promote regional and global peace, stability and development. I hope you can convey this message to the Indian press.

Q: The US has started its air strikes against "Islamic State" targets inside Syria. What is China's comment? China always maintains that the international law and the sovereignty independence of countries concerned should be respected in the global fight against terrorism. It is reported that the US notified the Syrian government before its operation. Does China believe that the US showed respect for the sovereignty of Syria?

A: We have noted that some countries have started operations in Syria. We hope that these operations will not cause any civilian casualties. China always supports the counter-terrorism efforts made by the international community, and believes that the international community should coordinate closely, form synergy, adopt comprehensive policies, and target both symptoms as well as the root causes. The operations should comply with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and avoid causing more complex factors to the settlement of hotspot issues and the regional situation.

We have made clear our principles and positions on relevant issues multiple times. China consistently and firmly opposes all forms of terrorism, supports and contributes to the global efforts in combating terrorism, including supporting relevant countries' efforts in upholding domestic security and stability. We maintain that the international law, the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of relevant countries should be respected in global fight against terrorism. We hope that with concerted efforts from the international community, relevant countries can regain stability and order at an early date, and realize reconciliation, peace and development.

Q: You mentioned that counter-terrorism is a global fight, and China stands ready to face it with the international community. What kind of help will China offer?

A: We have said many times that China firmly opposes all forms of terrorism, and staunchly supports the international cooperation on counter-terrorism. We stand ready to remain in communication and coordination with relevant parties, assist regional countries with their counter-terrorism capacity building, and provide them with necessary humanitarian assistance.

Q: There are reports that 800 Chinese troops are holding position 3 kilometers inside the Indian territory near the Line of Actual Control. What is your response to that?

A: As I have said before, China and India share the strong will and good faith in keeping in timely contacts and effectively managing the situation through a series of existed mechanisms on the boundary issue. As far as I know, the situation on the ground has been brought under control in a timely and effective manner. The border area is in a peaceful state.

Q: "The China-India Media Dialogue" scheduled to be held in India this week was cancelled. Will this diminish the achievements of President Xi Jinping's visit to India or change the trajectory of China-India relations?

A: I think you concern is ill-founded. I suggest we look at things from a macroscopic view, instead of letting one small incident obscure the whole picture. We have briefed the achievements of President Xi's successful state visit to India. I would like to refer you to Foreign Minister Wang Yi's remarks to journalists in which he talked about the significance and achievements of President Xi's visit to India as the visit came to an end. During the visit, both sides issued a joint statement on building a closer partnership for development which incorporates details about enhancing communication and cooperation in various fields. We are extremely sincere and confident when we say we seek to advance China-India relations to a higher and more profound level.

"The China-India Media Dialogue" is an exchange activity between media groups of the two countries. As for why this event is delayed, you need to ask the organizers. I want to stress that more exchange and cooperation among media groups will go a long way in deepening mutual trust and cementing the public foundation of bilateral ties.

Q: Indian Prime Minister Modi went to Japan not too long ago. Some media in China believed that India should develop its ties with China, instead of Japan. Does China believe that India and Japan coming together will get in the way of China-India relationship?

A: China is willing to develop friendly and mutually beneficial relations with all countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. We are pleased to see other countries develop state-to-state relations on the basis of embracing the same principles. Chinese people are not that sensitive, nor that petty. As long as the ties between relevant countries are conducive to regional peace and development, we welcome that.

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