Q: During Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to India, both sides signed a number of cooperation agreements, including one on the civilian use of nuclear energy. Japan will also help India build a high-speed railway. India agreed to include Japan as a partner in the Malabar naval exercises over which China once expressed its concerns. The two sides also mentioned in their joint statement the South China Sea issue, stressing the significance of the sea lanes in the South China Sea for regional energy security and commerce and calling on all parties to refrain from taking unilateral actions that could lead to tensions in the region. There is also reference to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. What is China’s take on Abe’s visit? What is China’s comment on relevant agreements?
A: As for Japan-India nuclear energy cooperation, the Chinese side always believes that under the premise of honoring international nuclear non-proliferation obligations, all countries are entitled to make peaceful use of nuclear energy and conduct relevant international cooperation in a way that uphold the authority and effectiveness of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.
As for the high-speed railway cooperation between Japan and India, it has been common over the years for Asian countries to drive national development through infrastructure construction. China and India are also cooperating in the high-speed railway sector. We stand ready to move forward relevant cooperation together with the Indian side.
As for the South China Sea-related contents in their joint statement, I would like to point out that China respects the navigation and overflight freedom in the South China Sea that all countries are entitled to in accordance with international law. The construction activities that China undertakes on the stationed islands and reefs in the South China Sea fall completely within China’s sovereignty. They are justified, reasonable and lawful, targeting no country and impeding in no way the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. We hope countries outside the region would respect the efforts of regional countries in maintaining peace and stability of the South China Sea, instead of doing the opposite.
As for Japan’s participation in the relevant military exercises, China’s position is very clear. Relevant countries should not provoke confrontation and create tension in the region.