At the invitation of the Nigerian government, Minister of Agriculture Han Changfu will attend the inauguration ceremony of Nigerian President-elect Muhammadu Buhari on May 29 as the Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping.
Q: China today held a groundbreaking ceremony for a lighthouse on Huayang Jiao of the Nansha Islands. What is the purpose for building the lighthouse?
A: China has made it clear on multiple occasions that the construction on maritime features of the Nansha Islands is to better fulfill China's international responsibilities and obligations in maritime search and rescue, disaster prevention and mitigation, marine science and research, meteorological observation, protection of the ecological environment, safety of navigation, fishery production and services, etc.
The South China Sea is a vital passage for maritime transport and one of the important fishing grounds in the world. A large number of vessels pass through this area, which is under complicated conditions and vulnerable to marine accidents. China's construction of lighthouses on Huayang Jiao and Chigua Jiao of the Nansha Islands is to implement China's international obligations and responsibilities, and provide passing vessels with efficient guidance and aiding services which will substantially improve navigation safety in the South China Sea. Going forward, the Chinese side will continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features of the Nansha Islands and offer better services to vessels from littoral countries of the South China Sea and those sailing through this area.
Q: Andrzej Duda from the Law and Justice Party of Poland won the presidential election on May 24. What is China's comment on this? What does China expect for the prospects of China-Poland relations?
A: China has taken note of the smooth running of the presidential election in Poland, and congratulates Andrzej Duda on being elected as the new president. China always attaches great importance to its relationship with Poland, which is currently in good shape. We look forward to working together with Poland to deepen mutual trust, enhance cooperation and push for the sound and steady development of China-Poland strategic partnership.
Q: Philippine Defence Minister Voltaire Gazmin said today that he will meet the US Defense Secretary in Hawaii to appeal for America's support to the Philippines, and that the Philippines is being oppressed by China's reclamation in the South China Sea and the prospect of China implementing an air defense identification zone in the area. What is China's comment?
A: There have been reports about the remarks by some people from the Philippines over the recent days. The Philippine President reportedly said that Philippine military aircraft will keep flying over disputed areas in the South China Sea, and that China should not bully small countries. The Philippine Air Force spokesman said its planes will fly over the South China Sea along the route taken by the US Navy plane. I can feel the restlessness and rashness of some people from the Philippines on issues of the South China Sea. China's relevant position has been made pretty clear on multiple occasions. Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. We hope that the Philippine side would stop instigation and provocation and come back to the right track of resolving issues through negotiation and consultation.
Q: According to media reports, Taiwan today proposed a "peace initiative in the South China Sea". What is the mainland's comment?
A: We have noted the relevant "initiative" brought up by Taiwan. Chinese people across the Taiwan Straits are obliged to jointly safeguard national territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Q: First, Japan will for the first time join a US-Australia military drill this July. Is China concerned that this is aimed at China? Second, Bangladesh said last year that it would purchase two submarines from China, a move that aroused concerns of India. What is the purpose of China's military sales to Bangladesh?
A: On your first question, I have also seen the report. You ask whether we're concerned that this trilateral military drill is aimed at China. The answer is no. The Chinese side believes that relevant countries should play a positive and constructive role in enhancing mutual trust and cooperation between regional countries. It is hoped that all parties would contribute positive energy to regional peace, stability and development.
On your second question, I am not aware of the specifics.
Bangladesh is a friendly neighbor of China, and the two countries carry out normal cooperation in various fields.