Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on Febuary 10, 2015

Q: During Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao's visit to Afghanistan, he said China would help Afghanistan build highways connecting Kabul and Pakistan, and build a hydro-electricity plant exporting electricity to Pakistan. Can you give more details?

A: We have released information about Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao's visit to Afghanistan. During his visit, he met with Afghan President Ghani, Foreign Minister Rabbani, and held talks with Deputy Foreign Minister Karzai. Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao said that China will work with Afghanistan to implement the important consenses reached between the two leaders, move forward bilateral strategic communication and practical cooperation, map out and follow through the assistance and training programs for Afghanistan, and expand friendly exchanges at all levels so as to elevate China-Afghanistan relations to a new high. The Afghan side made it clear that Afghanistan will continue to deepen bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields, firmly support China's Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and vision and contribute positively to relevant cooperation efforts.

As for the specifics you asked, you can check on the 1st round of strategic dialogue between China, Afghanistan and Pakistan co-hosted by Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao, Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Karzai and Pakistani Foreign Secretary Chaudhry on Febuary 9 in Kabul. The three parties talked about trilateral cooperation and agreed to conduct practical cooperation projects under the framework of strategic dialogue. This year, China will invite 5 delegations respectively from Afghanistan and Pakistan, including friendly personages and those from the parliaments, media, diplomatic front and think tanks. Afghanistan and Pakistan welcomed China's invitation, and said they would take an active part in the program. China agreed to lend its support to the initiatives aimed at enhancing highway and railway connection, interconnectivity and economic interaction between Afghanistan and Pakistan, including the Kunar hydro-electric dam.

A major topic of the trilateral strategic dialogue is the situation in Afghanistan and the region. The three sides reaffirmed their commitment to peace and stability of Afghanistan and the region. China and Pakistan reiterated their support to the peace and reconciliation process led and owned by the Afghans and the efforts made by the Afghan government in this regard. The Afghan side said it is committed to moving forward the peace and reconciliation process, and hopes that China and Pakistan can continue to play a constructive role in promoting bilateral interactions between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and enhancing cooperation in the political, security, counter-terrorism and economic fields which is crucial to regional peace and stability. As a friend and neighbor to both Afghanistan and Pakistan, China sincerely welcomes the above-mentioned progress, and encourages Afghanistan and Pakistan to enhance strategic mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation. The three parties reaffirmed their willingness to deepen cooperation on counter-terrorism and security as terrorism, extremism and separatism pose grave threat to peace and stability of the three countries and the region.

The trilateral strategic dialogue between China, Afghanistan and Pakistan was born as the three countries aim to enhance three-way communication and cooperation in response to the fast-changing regional situation. At a proper time, the three parties will hold a second round of strategic dialogue. When and where it will be held is yet to be decided through diplomatic channels.

Q: There are reports that the Kokang alliance has united the Kachin Independence Army and other local militias to " recover Kokang". Many border residents in Myanmar have flooded into the Chinese territory. What is China's comment on that?

A: China is following the situation. Since yesterday, out of safety concerns, many Myanmar residents living along the border have crossed the border into China's territory, and they are now properly settled. China will follow closely the situation on the ground and respond accordingly so as to maintain the stability of China-Myanmar border. We hope Myanmar can also work in that direction.

The situation in northern Myanmar has a direct bearing on the China-Myanmar border security. We hope relevant parties in northern Myanmar can stick to peaceful talks to work out differences and avoid further escalation of the tension. The stability of the border areas should not be affected. More importantly, the security and order of the Chinese side of the boundary shall not be impaired.

Q: Yemen's Houthi movement dissolved parliament and formed a new interim assembly recently. Demonstrations and protests broke out in some places. The UN Security Council voiced its deep concern over this. What is China's reaction to the current situation in Yemen?

A: China follows closely the major shifts in Yemen's political field. We hope that relevant parties in Yemen can prioritize state interest, strengthen unity, refrain from taking unilateral actions, properly resolve differences through dialogue and consultation and in accordance with the initiatives of the Gulf Cooperation Council, "the national peace and partnership agreement", and relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and move forward the process of political transition so that national stability and normal order can be restored at an early date.

Q: There are reports that the US Navy is considering deploying military vessels in Australia, and including Japan and Australia in the annual maritime military exercise held by the US and India. What is China's comment?

A: I need to check on the reports you mentioned. As a country of major influence, the US is watched for every action it takes in the Asia-Pacific region. We hope that the US policy and action in the Asia-Pacific region can inject positive energy to peace and stability of the region and play a positive and constructive role in maintaining peace and stability of the region and promoting mutual trust and cooperation among countries in the region.

Q: Many shops owned by Chinese people in the northwest region of South Africa have been robbed. What is China's response?

A: China's diplomatic missions in South Africa have asked competent authorities in South Africa to heighten security measures over Chinese communities and take concrete measures to ensure the safety and lawful rights and interests of the Chinese citizens there. They have alerted local Chinese citizens and institutions to enhance their security precautions. China's Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions in South Africa will continue to follow the situation closely and offer assistance to Chinese nationals and institutions there.

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