IV. China's Positions and Views on Regional Hotspot Issues
1. Nuclear Issue on the Korean Peninsula
China's position on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is consistent and clear-cut. China is committed to the denuclearization of the peninsula, its peace and stability, and settlement of the issue through dialogue and consultation. Over the years, China has made tremendous efforts to facilitate the process of denuclearization of the peninsula, safeguard the overall peace and stability there, and realize an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. In January and September this year the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) conducted two nuclear tests and launched missiles of various types, violating UN Security Council resolutions and running counter to the wishes of the international community. China has made clear its opposition to such actions and supported the relevant Security Council resolutions to prevent the DPRK's further pursuit of nuclear weapons. China will continue to work with the international community and strive for denuclearization and long-term peace and stability of the peninsula and of Northeast Asia as a whole. At the same time, other parties concerned should not give up the efforts to resume talks or their responsibilities to safeguard peace and stability on the peninsula.
2. Anti-Ballistic Missile Issue
The anti-ballistic missile issue concerns global strategic stability and mutual trust among major countries. China always holds the view that the anti-ballistic missile issue should be treated with discretion. Forming Cold War style military alliances and building global and regional anti-ballistic missile systems will be detrimental to strategic stability and mutual trust, as well as to the development of an inclusive global and regional security framework. Countries should respect other countries' security concerns while pursuing their own security interests, and follow the principle of maintaining global strategic stability without compromising the security of any country so as to jointly create a peaceful and stable international security environment featuring equality, mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation.
Despite clear opposition from relevant countries including China, the US and the Republic of Korea (ROK) announced the decision to start and accelerate the deployment of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system in the ROK. Such an act would seriously damage the regional strategic balance and the strategic security interests of China and other countries in the region, and run counter to the efforts for maintaining peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. China firmly opposes the US and ROK deployment of the THAAD anti-ballistic missile system in the ROK, and strongly urges the US and the ROK to stop this process.
3. Afghanistan Issue
China supports peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, and hopes to see an Afghanistan that is united, stable, prosperous and at peace with its neighboring countries. Since 2015 China has increased assistance to Afghanistan in support of that government's capacity building. In the wake of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in northern Afghanistan in October 2015 China provided assistance for disaster-relief efforts. China believes that only an inclusive reconciliation process that is "Afghan-led and Afghan-owned" can provide the ultimate solution to the Afghanistan issue. China will continue to play a constructive role in advancing the reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
4. Counter-Terrorism Cooperation
At present, the counter-terrorism situation in the Asia-Pacific region is undergoing complex and profound changes. The region faces severe security and stability challenges posed by violent and extremist ideologies spreading at an ever-faster pace, more active terrorist and extremist forces, rising threats from cyber terrorism, and frequent violent terrorist activities, in particular the infiltration of international terrorist organizations and the inflow of foreign terrorist fighters.
Terrorism is a common scourge of the international community and humanity as a whole. The Chinese government opposes terrorism in all forms and calls on the international community to cooperate in fighting terrorism on the basis of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and other universally recognized norms governing international relations. China believes that dialogue among different civilizations should be enhanced and a holistic approach taken to eliminate the breeding grounds of terrorism by addressing both its symptoms and root causes by political, economic and diplomatic means. At the same time, there should be no double standard in fighting terrorism, which should not be associated with any particular country, ethnicity or religion.
5. Maritime Cooperation
The overall maritime situation remains stable in the region. It is all parties' common interest and consensus to maintain maritime peace, security and freedom of navigation and overflight. However, non-traditional maritime security threats are on the rise. The ecological environment in many marine areas has been damaged. Marine natural disasters occur frequently, and leaks of oil or hazardous chemicals happen from time to time. In addition, there are often cases of piracy, smuggling and drug trafficking. Misunderstandings and lack of mutual trust among some countries about traditional security issues also pose risks to maritime security.
China has called for even-handed, practical and mutually beneficial maritime security cooperation. It adheres to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the fundamental principles and legal system defined by universally recognized international laws and modern maritime laws, including the UNCLOS and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, in dealing with regional maritime issues, and is committed to coping with traditional and non-traditional maritime security threats through cooperation. Maintaining maritime peace and security is the shared responsibility of all countries in the region, and serves the common interests of all parties. China is dedicated to strengthening cooperation and jointly tackling challenges with all relevant parties so as to maintain maritime peace and stability.
China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and their adjacent waters. China has always been committed to resolving disputes peacefully through negotiation and consultation, managing disputes by setting rules and establishing mechanisms, realizing mutually beneficial outcomes through cooperation for mutual benefit, and upholding peace and stability as well as freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. China and the ASEAN countries stay in close communication and dialogue on the South China Sea issue. When fully and effectively implementing the DOC, the two sides have strengthened pragmatic maritime cooperation, steadily advanced the consultations on COC and made positive progress. China resolutely opposes certain countries' provocations of regional disputes for their selfish interests. China is forced to make necessary responses to the provocative actions which infringe on China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea. No effort to internationalize and judicialize the South China Sea issue will be of any avail for its resolution; it will only make it harder to resolve the issue, and endanger regional peace and stability.
Issues concerning the Diaoyu Islands and maritime demarcation in the East China Sea exist between China and Japan. The Diaoyu Islands are an integral part of China's territory. China's sovereignty over the Diaoyu Islands has a sufficient historical and legal basis. China and Japan have maintained dialogues on issues related to the East China Sea and held several rounds of high-level consultations. They have had communication and reached consensus on crisis management and control in the air and waters of the East China Sea, maritime law enforcement, oil and gas exploration, scientific research, fisheries and other issues. China is willing to properly manage the situation and resolve related issues through continued dialogue and consultation.
China and the ROK have extensive and in-depth exchanges of views on maritime demarcation, and launched relevant negotiations in December 2015.