Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang’s Regular Press Conference on April 6, 2017
Q: Some companies in Pakistan are criticizing China for charging too much for infrastructure projects along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), specifically they are criticizing a high voltage transmission line that is being built by China State Grid. And China does not allow for competitive bidding on the Belt and Road projects there, which drives up costs. Do you have any response to that?
A: I am wondering where did you learn that. It is different from what I know.
We have been saying that the CPEC is a new cooperation framework established by China and Pakistan for long-term growth. Guided by the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the CPEC is built in an open and transparent way with reference to international practices. It is carried out in a market-based manner with enterprises as the main players. We believe that the CPEC will contribute to the common growth of China and Pakistan, and interconnectivity and prosperity of the region as well.
Q: You said yesterday that China would lodge representations with the Indian side about Dalai Lama’s visit to the “Arunachal Pradesh”. Can you now confirm that China lodged the representations? Can you tell us which Indian official received the representations?
A: The Chinese side has lodged representations with the Indian Ambassador to China in Beijing, and the relevant official of the Indian Foreign Ministry in New Delhi.
Q: Is China’s objection to Dalai Lama’s visit to the “Arunachal Pradesh” driven by the view that India is questioning the one-China principle by inviting the Dalai Lama?
A: I want to stress once again that on major issues concerning China’s territorial sovereignty and national security, China’s position is consistent. The boundary question and Tibet-related issues bear on China’s core interests. By extending an invitation to the Dalai Lama and approving his activities in the disputed eastern section of the China-India boundary, the Indian side has breached its commitment on Tibet-related issues, further escalated the boundary dispute, and undermined mutual trust and relations between China and India. The Chinese side opposes the Dalai Lama’s visit to the disputed area and any country’s provision of venues for his anti-China separatist activities. As I have said, the Chinese side has lodged stern representations with the Indian side in Beijing and New Delhi respectively. We urge the Indian side to stop its erroneous act of using the Dalai Lama to harm China’s interests.
Q: You just said that other countries should respect China’s core interests. Media reports say that the reason why India invited the Dalai Lama to the “Arunachal Pradesh” was because China did not respect India’s core interests in issues such as joining the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). What is your comment on that?
A: We have unequivocally expressed our opposition to India’s approval of Dalai Lama’s activities in the disputed eastern section of the China-India boundary. We will not speculate about India’s motive. What I want to stress is that India has violated its commitment on Tibet-related issues, fueled boundary dispute and hurt China’s interests and China-India relations by arranging Dalai Lama’s activities in the disputed eastern section of the China-India boundary in disregard of China’s concerns. The Chinese side is firmly against that. Mutual respect and mutual accommodation of each other’s core interests and major concerns serves as a foundation for the steady growth of China-India relations. The Indian side should honor its commitment, match its words with actions, stop its wrong moves and do more to increase mutual trust with China and safeguard the overall interests of China-India relations with concrete actions.
As for India’s application for the NSG membership, the Chinese side has elaborated on its position many times. It is a multilateral issue that should be resolved by all NSG members through consultation. The Chinese side supports NSG members in working out, on the basis of thorough discussion, a non-discriminatory solution that is applicable to all non-NPT states through open and transparent inter-governmental procedures.
Q: It would not be the first time that Dalai Lama visited the “Arunachal Pradesh”. He has been there in the past two years. China protested his visits before. Does this mean that China may protest as it always does, but it will not affect China-India relations?
A: China and India are two important developing countries. We are also neighbors. To maintain friendly relations between two developing countries is for sure in the interests of the two peoples. However, relations can only be developed on the basis of adhering to certain principles. As you just said, in the past, things that provoked China’s firm opposition did occur, and they did cause harm to China-India relations. Therefore, we have asked India to earnestly honor its political pledges and avoid damaging China-India relations. Otherwise, India only stands to get hurt.