Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on July 7, 2015

Q: According to reports, Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said on July 6 that since June 2013, China has been stepping up construction of new gas field facilities close to the Japan-China median line in the East China Sea. Japan has repeatedly protested to and asked China to end its construction work. What's China's comment?

A: China's relevant activities are in waters within China's jurisdiction beyond any dispute. The protests by Japan are groundless, and China does not accept the unreasonable request of Japan.

Q: What is your comment on the South China Sea arbitration initiated by the Philippines that opens today?

A: China has, on many occasions, expounded its position of neither accepting nor participating in the arbitral proceeding unilaterally initiated by the Philippines in breach of the agreement that has been repeatedly reaffirmed with China as well as the Philippines' undertakings in the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). China opposes any moves by the Philippines to initiate and push forward the arbitral proceeding. China's position has been clearly stated in the Position Paper of the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Matter of Jurisdiction in the South China Sea Arbitration Initiated by the Republic of the Philippines released in last December.

Q: It is reported that after the "Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution" were added to the World Cultural Heritage list, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, among others, denied on many occasions the existence of "forced labor". In addition, the Japanese text used the term "forced to work" instead of "forced labor". What is China's comment?

A: The forced recruitment and enslavement of laborers is a grave crime committed by the Japanese militarism during its invasion and colonial rule of other countries. This fact is not to be denied and history not to be distorted. To play with words on such a major issue of principles can only lead to worse results and invite ridicule of the international community. It is another example that Japan lacks the basic integrity on the issue of history. China urges Japan to adopt a responsible attitude, face up to the past and properly handle the relevant issue of history, and win trust from its Asian neighbours and the international community with concrete actions.

Q: It is reported that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Rogozin said yesterday that China may buy rocket engines from Russia for its space program. What is your comment on that?

A: On July 6, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang and Russian Deputy Prime Miniter Dmitry Rogozin held the bilateral chairmen's meeting of the China-Russia Prime Ministers' Regular Meeting Committee in Irkutsk. Relevant news release has been made public. During this meeting, the two sides had in-depth discussions on cooperation in such important fields as trade, finance, nuclear power, aviation, aerospace, satellite navigation, cross-border infrastructure, information technology and scientific and technological innovation. The two sides agreed to speed up the implementation of existing major strategic projects, constantly expand cooperation in relevant fields, and continue to improve cooperation mechanisms between regions and government departments of the two sides. China and Russia enjoy a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination at a high level, and we stand ready to work with the Russian side to continue our cooperation on major aviation and aerospace projects based on the principles of mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

Q: China today started the commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression by opening an exhibition at the Lugou Qiao to mark the 78th anniversary of the outbreak of the War. What are the main objectives to hold such commemorative events? What effects does China expect to achieve?

A: On 7 July, 1937, the Lugou Qiao Incident broke out following provocation by Japanese militarists, marking the beginning of Japan's full-scale invasion of China and plunging the Chinese people into the calamity of war. After united and arduous struggle, all compatriots of the Chinese nation won the victory of the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression.

This year, we will hold activities to commemorate the end of the World Anti-Fascist War and the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. In the recent press conference held by the State Council Information Office, officials from related departments briefed on the specific arrangements for the events. China has already issued invitations through diplomatic channels to leaders from major belligerent states in the Second World War, some Asian countries, countries in other regions and relevant international organizations to attend the events. The main objective is to join the rest of the world to remember history, recall the martyrs, cherish peace and open up to the future. The international community has commended the important contribution by China to the World Anti-Fascist War. We hope to maintain close communication with all parties and, through the commemorations, draw lessons from history, enhance our cooperation and safeguard the hard-won peace so as to ensure a peaceful and prosperous world for future generations.

Q: Can you tell us which leaders will attend the events?

A: Leaders of many countries and international organizations have confirmed to attend the events. We are still communicating closely with parties concerned regarding the attendance by foreign leaders, and will release the information in due time.

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