Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on September 19, 2016


Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang


Consulate-General of the People's Republic of China in Houston


 September 19, 2016


Q: The Japanese Defense Minister visited Washington last week, pledging to participate in training exercises with the US in the South China Sea and saying that Japan would enhance cooperation with other countries surrounding the South China Sea. Do you have any response to this?
A: Japan has been acting abnormally on the South China Sea recently. As I said in a statement on July 28, we find Japan's refusal to acknowledge reality the most pathetic. We can see form the report you mentioned that the Japanese side still fails to acknowledge the irresistible trend of time, or shall we say that it is reluctant to do so. Let's take a look at the development of the South China Sea issue for a period of time. The South China Sea had remained tranquil all along, but certain differences that were under effective control in this region were picked up and highlighted by some non-regional countries. After being sidetracked, regional countries finally realized where their fundamental interests lie, agreeing to come back to regional consensus and properly deal with the South China Sea issue with the dual-track approach, namely peacefully resolving disputes through negotiation and consultation by countries directly concerned and jointly upholding peace and stability in this region by China and ASEAN countries. Following this spirit, the China-ASEAN foreign ministers' meeting in July issued a joint declaration on fully and effectively implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), followed by an outcome document of the China-ASEAN leaders' meeting in September that pledges to fully and effectively implement the DOC and advance consultations in a substantive way so as to reach the code of conduct in the South China Sea (COC) based on consensus. These efforts reflect the common will of countries surrounding the South China Sea, and also represent the only viable path out of the South China Sea issue. Meanwhile, let's take a look at what Japan has done with all means to disorder the region. To start with, Japan launched a negative publicity campaign to stir up troubles in the South China Sea while claiming to represent the "international community". Realizing that few countries were on its side, Japan enlisted another seven or eight countries to cheer for its actions. When being increasingly isolated, Japan did not hesitate to play tricks and impose on relevant countries its own opinions, which were proven to be wrong immediately. I suggest Japan be mindful of two things. First, China is committed to safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. Second, China and ASEAN countries are committed to properly handling the South China Sea issue through the dual-track approach.