|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on September 20, 2017|
Q: According to reports, an earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale has rocked central Mexico on September 19, killing at least 200 people. Is any Chinese national killed or injured in this earthquake?
A: China is following the information about the strong earthquake that struck Mexico and caused major casualties. We deeply mourn for the victims and express our sincere condolences to the bereaved families, the Mexican government and the people of the earthquake-hit area. We believe that the brave and tenacious Mexican people will surely rise above the disaster and rebuild their homeland soon.
The Chinese government pays high attention to the safety of Chinese nationals in Mexico, and the Chinese diplomatic missions in Mexico have launched emergency consular protection mechanism. According to the information we have at this time, some Taiwan compatriots have been stranded and one injured after the earthquake. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese diplomatic missions in Mexico will continue closely following the situation of the disaster and provide necessary assistance to Chinese nationals.
Q: First, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday that the Iranian nuclear deal needs to be renegotiated and the US is looking for support from its allies to persuades Iran into reopening talks. What is China's comment on that? Second, in US President Donald Trump's first speech to the UN General Assembly, he called for rejecting threats to sovereignty from Ukraine to the South China Sea. What is China's comment?
A: With regard to your first question, I stated China's position on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) yesterday. As to the remarks of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson you mentioned, I would like to stress that the JCPOA is an important outcome of multilateralism and a model of peacefully resolving international hot-spot issue through political and diplomatic means, which has played a key role in upholding international non-proliferation regime and the peace and stability of the Middle East region. China has always supported the strict implementation of the JCPOA by various parties so as to uphold this hard-won outcome.
As to your second question, we have noted the relevant report. You should ask the US side for what those remarks mean specifically. Regarding to the South China Sea issue the remarks involve, we do see occasions on which the sovereignty of the relevant countries of the South China Sea is threatened. For some time, the actions of frequently sending naval ships and military planes for close-in surveillance over the coastal states of the South China Sea by certain countries under the pretext of the so-called "freedom of navigation" do pose threats to the sovereignty and security interests of the regional countries. We don't hope to see such threats any more in the future.
I also want to underline that we have all seen that, for some time, with the concerted effort of China and other littoral countries of the South China Sea, the situation on the South China Sea has been stabilized. We hope that this situation can be respected by other parties, especially the non-regional countries and that the effort of the coastal countries of the South China Sea to uphold the peace and stability of this region will no longer be threatened.
Q: What is China's response to US President Donald Trump's comments in his address to the UN General Assembly that if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, the US will have no choice but to totally destroy the DPRK?
A: We have reiterated China's stance on the Korean Peninsula issue multiple times recently.
I must stress that the relevant DPRK-related resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council, including the latest Resolution 2371 and 2375 have embodied the shared will and consensus of the international community. While demonstrating the international community's firm commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and opposition to the DPRK's development of its nuclear and missile programs in violation of the Security Council resolutions and the consensus of the international community, the relevant resolutions also require all parties to commit to upholding peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and peacefully resolving the relevant issue through political and diplomatic means. We hope these resolutions can be followed through on in a comprehensive, accurate and balanced manner.
The current situation on the Korean Peninsula remains complex and delicate, we hope all relevant parties can stay restrained and take more actions that are conducive to easing the tension and create necessary atmosphere and conditions for an early return to the track of settling the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through negotiation.
Q: In his speech, US President Donald Trump mentioned about Japanese citizens' abduction by the DPRK. Does China have any comment on that?
A: As I said yesterday, the September 19 Joint Statement is a consensus reached by various parties on the basis of mutual respect, which accommodates their concerns in a balanced way. What you are concerned about is actually included in the Statement, and I can read that to you again: "The DPRK and Japan undertook to take steps to normalize their relations in accordance with the Pyongyang Declaration, on the basis of the settlement of unfortunate past and the outstanding issues of concern."
Q: US President Trump's speech at the UN General Assembly yesterday required for UN reforms and reiterated commitment to the "America first" policy. Does China have any comment on that?
A: I will answer your second question first. President Donald Trump has mentioned about the idea of "America first" many times. In fact, it is beyond reproach that the leader of any state hopes to give priority and importance to the interests of his own country. But we should also come to realize that in today's world with the rapid development of economic globalization, the interests of various countries have been highly integrated and any country can hardly seek development on its own. So we maintain that countries should work to build a community of shared future for mankind in the spirit of mutual benefit and win-win results.
As to the issue of UN reform, I think China's stance is clear to all. Over the years, China has been supporting the UN in advancing with the times, enhancing its capability to coordinate countries for coping with global challenges through reform and better meeting the expectations of the international community. The UN is the most representative and authoritative inter-governmental international organization and the international community holds high expectations for it. For many years, the UN has made important efforts to uphold international peace and security and promote world development. At the same time, the UN also needs to keep up with the times and continue with reform and improvement. China has always maintained sound communication and coordination with the US and other relevant parties on the issue of the UN reform.