Q: US State Department announced that Daniel Russel, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, will visit China from September 6. Please confirm that and give us more details.
A: Upon mutual agreement, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Russel will visit China from September 6 to 8. During his visit, both sides will exchange views on bilateral relations and important issues of common concern and make preparations for President Xi Jinping's state visit to the US this month upon President Barack Obama's invitation.
Q: It is reported that the Defense Ministry of Japan has submitted its budget request, planning to increase its defense spending for the 2016 fiscal year by 2.2% to 5.09 trillion yen. What is China's comment on that?
A: We have noted the relevant report. Due to historical reasons, Japan's policy moves in its military and security fields have been closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community. A series of unprecedented moves recently taken by the Japanese side in its military and security fields have raised the attention and concern of the international community on the path Japan is pursuing. It is hoped that the Japanese side can truly learn from history, stick to the path of peaceful development, and do more things that are conducive to regional peace and stability.
Q: If China's economic growth rate keeps slowing down, will China be able to sustain its double-digit military budget growth?
A: China's national defense policy is defensive in nature. We make proper allocation for defense expenditure in accordance with the principle of keeping defense building in line with economic growth. China's military strategy and national defense budget are transparent.
Q: Some foreign media commented that by holding the September 3 commemoration, China is staging a show to flex its military muscles. That is why some western countries will not send high-level representatives. What is China's comment on that?
A: I believe whoever said these words must either lose their focus, or have a dark side in their hearts.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, an important year that is commemorated in various ways by different countries around the world. The aim of China holding relevant activities as others do is to better draw lessons and experience from history, build up consensus and positive energy, and safeguard and promote world peace with stronger determination. If the September 3 commemoration has to be connected with a certain kind of "show" somehow, it is a show to exhibit our resolution, will and capability to safeguard peace together with people from around the world. History stands as the proof that China is a guardian, architect and contributor to regional and world peace. China's military is a force for peace. The stronger such a force becomes, the more assured we can be about world peace.
China's commemoration activities have been met with extensive responses and positive support from the international community. Our invitation extends to all countries relevant to the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. Except for several countries, all have sent representatives to attend the commemoration. There are other countries which do not have any direct connection with the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, but as a way of showing their acknowledgment and appreciation of the sacrifices and contributions made by the Chinese people during World War II, they also have sent representatives to attend the activities. We warmly welcome that. Chinese people will celebrate this great and memorable day marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression no matter what.
Q: First, some in Africa are worried that the economic downturn in China may lead to the reduction of China's development projects in Africa. What is your response to that? Second, President of Venezuela said yesterday that Venezuela and China have signed a US$ 5 billion loan deal on oil production. Please give us more details on that.
A: On your first question, heads of China's financial and economic sectors have been expounding on their observations of China's economic performance. As I said yesterday, Premier Li Keqiang presided over a State Council meeting on August 28 with a purpose to find out how the new circumstances in international economy and finance have affected China's economy and how China should deal with them. Recent volatility in the global market has added new uncertainties to world economic recovery and put new pressure on China's economic performance. Nevertheless, China's economy is operating in a reasonable range. Its growth rate still leads the world. Many foreign economists also expressed their confidence in the prospect of China's economic growth. We have been engaging in mutually beneficial cooperation with African brothers following the principle of "sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith". We will continue to assist Africa with its development and push forward practical cooperation between China and Africa.
On your second question, the news release about President Xi Jinping's meeting with President Maduro Moros of Venezuela has been issued. I would point you to the competent authorities for specifics concerning the cooperation deal.
Q: Although China has invited Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the September 3 commemoration, neither he nor Japanese diplomats from the Japanese Embassy will attend the event. What is China comment on that?
A: We noted that the Japanese side said that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would skip the September 3 commemoration because of parliamentary schedule. We have made it clear on many occasions that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. The aim of us holding relevant activities together with people from around the world is to remember the history, pay tribute to the martyrs, cherish peace and open up future. We have also pointed out many times that relevant activities target no specific country. We hope that by celebrating such an important day with guests from various countries tomorrow, we can better learn from history and be more resolute in safeguarding world peace.
Q: Thai media reported that the bomb attack suspect may hold a Chinese passport. Is there any communication between China and Thailand about this?
A: We have noted the relevant report and are in close contact with the Thai side. The case is still under investigation and interrogation. The Chinese side will keep up with the updates of the investigation. We believe that whoever committed such crime will be brought to justice.
Q: Samantha Power, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations launched the Free the 20 campaign for the release of prisoners related to women's rights, including three Chinese. What is your comment on that?
A: I would like to make two points. First, the Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting women's rights and has done a remarkable work in promoting women-related undertakings. China is joining other countries around the world to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the world conference on women which was convened in 1995 in Beijing, so as to further advance global women's rights.
Second, China is a country under the rule of law. It is for China's judicial authorities to make the judgment in accordance with the law about whether Chinese citizens violated the law or not and whether they are subject to legal punishment. No country and no one have the right to interfere in China's judicial sovereignty.
Q: Can you give us more details on the China-ROK leaders' meeting? Did they talk about the history issue or the schedule of China-Japan-ROK leaders' meeting?
A: This morning, President Xi Jinping met with ROK President Park Geun-hye. Relevant new release has been issued.
President Xi Jinping expressed his welcome to President Park Geun-hye's attendance at the commemoration marking the 70th anniversary of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. President Xi stressed that as two close and friendly neighbors, China and the ROK represent important force in promoting regional and world peace. People from the two countries stood by and helped each other in opposing the Japanese colonial invasion and fighting for national liberation, making important contributions to the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War.
President Xi pointed out that China-ROK relations are enjoying a good momentum with political mutual trust, economic cooperation and trade, and people-to-people exchange marching forward together. A series of important consensus reached between the two leaders are being fully implemented and have produced many positive results. We stand ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the ROK in various fields so that we can work towards the partnership for common development, regional peace, Asia's renewal and world prosperity.
President Park Geun-hye said that it is very meaningful to attend the commemoration marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. China and the ROK experienced a difficult period together last century, which further highlights the importance of developing China-ROK strategic and cooperative partnership. The ROK side stands ready to move forward bilateral cooperation in various fields, and better align "Euro-Asia Cooperation Initiative" with "the Belt and Road Initiative".
The two heads of state exchanged views on the situation of the Korean Peninsula. President Xi stressed that China remains committed to realizing denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, safeguarding peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula, and resolving issues through dialogue and consultation. China believes that the September 19 Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks and relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council should be fully implemented, and any action that may escalate tensions be opposed. All sides should stick to the goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and make efforts to ensure an early resumption and positive progress of the Six-Party Talks. China welcomes the continuous improvement of relationship between the DPRK and the ROK through dialogue and the advancement of reconciliation and cooperation which would lead to the final achievement of independent and peaceful unification. China supports the visions put forward by relevant party aimed at promoting regional peace and cooperation. It is willing to discuss with relevant parties about how to deepen cooperation in northeast Asia and promote common prosperity and development of the region. The Chinese side stands ready to continue its communication and coordination with the ROK side on international and regional issues, including the Korean Peninsula issue.
With regard to whether the topic of China-Japan-ROK leaders' meeting was touched upon, I don't have specifics at hand. China has been supportive of a strengthened trilateral cooperation. As for when the trilateral meeting will be held, it calls for the concerted efforts of all parties to create favorable conditions.
Q: As with the situation in Africa, is it appropriate for China to provide Venezuela with loans when China's economic growth rate is slowing down?
A: I would refer you to the competent authorities for specifics concerning the loan. On the basis of mutual interest and mutual benefit, we would like to give full play to the existing financing vehicle and explore the potential of cooperation in finance and other fields.
Except for finance cooperation, China has been cooperating with Latin American and African countries, including Venezuela, across extensive fields, like infrastructure and production capacity. I suggest that you look wider and further so as to see the all-round cooperation China has been having with relevant countries in various fields.
Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe refused to attend the military parade, nor will he send high-level representatives. Besides, the Japanese side expressed their dissatisfaction and concerns about the attendance of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the commemorative activities. What kinds of impact will these words and actions by the Japanese side have on China-Japan relations?
A: I answered this question yesterday. The United Nations is an important outcome of the victory of World War II. We warmly welcome the attendance of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as leaders of other countries at the commemorative activities marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. It is ridiculous for the Japanese side to express its dissatisfaction with the attendance of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. In this crucial year when people around the world are commemorating the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, we hope Japan can adopt an honest and modest attitude, truly reflect upon its militarist past of aggression, take concrete actions to show that it is learning from history and it is sincerely committed to the path of peaceful development so as to win back the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community. This is an important threshold for Japan. It is hoped that Japan can cross this threshold with the right attitude and the right actions, realize reconciliation with its Asian neighbors, and forge a future-oriented relationship by taking history as a mirror.