|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on November 20, 2017|
At the invitation of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Premier Li Keqiang will attend the Sixth Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries in Budapest from November 26 to December 2 and pay an official visit to Hungary, and attend the 16th Meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of Governments (Prime Ministers) in Sochi, Russia.
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Kang Kyung Wha will pay a visit to China from November 21 to 23.
Q: ROK Foreign Minister will arrive in Beijing to start her visit tomorrow. The ROK foreign ministry said that President Moon Jae-in's visit to China and the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue will come up in the discussions during Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha's visit. What's your comment on that?
A: I just released the information on Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha's upcoming visit to China. During her visit, the two sides will exchange views on how to improve and develop China-ROK relations as well as issues of mutual concern under the current circumstances. We will let you know once we have the information.
Q: You just said Premier Li Keqiang will attend the Sixth Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries. What is China's expectation for the outcomes of this meeting?
A: premier Li Keqiang's attendance at the Sixth Summit of China and Central and Eastern European Countries coincides with the fifth anniversary for the launching of the 16+1 cooperation. Over the past five years, the 16+1 cooperation has achieved fruitful outcomes and made remarkable progress in connectivity, economic and trade relations, financial support, industrial capacity cooperation and cultural and people to people exchange. It has also deepened the friendly relations between China and Central and Eastern European countries and brought tangible benefits to the people of the 17 countries.
We hope to sort out and sum up through this Summit the deliverables and experience of the 16+1 cooperation in the past five years, set out the main principles, key direction and major measures of the next-step cooperation, press ahead with the 16+1 cooperation in various fields for new progress, and promote the sustained and in-depth development of the China-Europe relations.
Q: Did Minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and General Secretary Xi Jinping's special envoy Song Tao meet with the DPRK supreme leader Kim Jong-un? When is Minister Song Tao going back?
A: The International Department of the Central Committee of the (CPC) has released the information on Special Envoy Song Tao's trip to inform the DPRK of the 19th CPC National Congress and visit to the DPRK. The DPRK side has also released the relevant information. The visit is still ongoing now. I have no more details to offer about the specifics of his visit. I will refer you to the relevant department if you are interested.
Q: ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha is visiting China tomorrow. We have noted that ROK Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon recently said at the China Forum 2017 that China and the ROK have been mutually dependent for more than a thousand years. Although the latter was faced with "tests"from the former occasionally, the two countries have maintained harmonious and close interactions for a long time. What does China think of the China-ROK relations for the time being and going forward?
A: China and the ROK are close neighbors. A sound China-ROK relationship accords with the general trend of the history and times and echoes with the shared aspiration of the two peoples. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 25 years ago, our bilateral relations and cooperation have developed rapidly with friendly exchange and win-win cooperation always featuring the mainstream. China has been committed and will continuously remain committed to advancing our bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect and win-win cooperation. We hope that the two sides will follow through on the important consensus on improving bilateral relations by the two presidents, enhance mutual political trust and respect each other's core interests and major concerns. In particular, the ROK needs to continue with concrete efforts to ensure China-ROK relations will move forward in the right track of sound and steady development, create enabling conditions for interaction and cooperation in various fields to the benefits of the two countries and the two peoples and promote regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.
Q: The Victoria's Secret Fashion Show is happening tonight in Shanghai. Two of the guests, according to US media reports, have been denied their visas. One of them, a US singer, failed to get her visa probably because she wore a Taiwanese "flag"over her shoulders at a 2015 concert in Taiwan. The other one, a US model, once made a gesture on social media that some people interpreted as being insulting to Asian people. Can you explain why they are not permitted to come to China?
A: I'm not aware of the details you mentioned. As we said before, as a principle, we welcome foreign citizens to China for normal trade, tourism and cultural activities, and we have been issuing visas to the eligible applicants. In the meanwhile, I have to point out that, just like all other countries, China is entitled to independently decide whether to issue a visa to foreign citizens or not in accordance with its domestic laws and policies as a sovereign country.
Q: According to reports, Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered the services of China as a mediator between the Myanmar military and the Rohingya people during his visit to Myanmar. Is this correct?
A: Foreign Minister Wang Yi is now in Myanmar and he met with the Myanmar leaders yesterday and today. You could refer to the press release we have issued and I'm not going into the details in it. With regard to your question, as a principle, I would like to say that China has been supporting Myanmar's effort to advance its ethnic reconciliation, uphold national stability and promote domestic economic and social development, and stands ready to make our constructive efforts in this regard.
Q: I want to make sure whether Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered to mediate between the Myanmar military and the Rohingya people? This may not be correct, because in May Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered China's services to mediate between Bangladesh and Myanmar, which is completely a different thing.
A: I would like to stress that the development of relations between China and any other country is based on mutual respect. In particular, China sticks to the principle of non-interference in other's internal affairs. As I said, under this precondition, China stands ready to make constructive effort to advance Myanmar's domestic peace and reconciliation process and uphold its stability and development.
As to whether China will play its role to promote talks between Myanmar and Bangladesh, I want to point out specifically that Foreign Minister Wang Yi did put up a constructive proposal to address the issue in the Rakhine State, which includes a three-phase solution to fundamentally and effectively resolve the issue. This three-phase solution has been agreed by Bangladesh and positively received by Myanmar. We hope the relevant proposal will help address the Rohingya issue on the ground and offers a final and fundamental solution to this issue in the long term.
Q: The Philippine government said today that its President offered to let China run the third telecom company in the Philippines during Premier Li Keqiang's visit to that country last week. Is China willing to participate in running a telecom service in the Philippines?
A: In fact, since President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to China last October, China-Philippines relations have taken an overall turn, which has opened up a good situation for the rapid restoration and development of our cooperation in various fields. The Philippines is China's friendly neighbor and important partner, and the Chinese side always attaches great importance to its relations with the Philippines. During Premier Li Keqiang's recent visit to the Philippines, the two sides reached a series of important consensus and outcomes in such fields as infrastructure, economic and trade investment, production capacity cooperation and intellectual property. We are convinced that this will further promote our cooperation in various areas in the future. As for the details of the cooperation on telecom between the two sides, I would like to refer you to the competent authority.
Q: A Pakistani Foreign Minsitry spokesperson said that Indian intelligence agency has created a cell particularly to target the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Various statements of Indian leadership are on record to this effect. Also, he said that Pakistan would continue to work with China on trade and connectivity. What is your comment?
A: We have noted the relevant reports. The CPEC is a new type of cooperation framework between China and Pakistan for across-the-board cooperation, in particular the long-term development of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries in a broad sense. The CPEC is not only of important significance to China-Pakistan common development, but also conducive to regional connectivity and common prosperity. We hope that the CPEC will receive wider approval and support among the regional countries and the rest of the international community. China is confident in working with Pakistan to ensure the sound development of the CPEC and uphold the economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.
Q: You said that the three-phase solution has been agreed by Bangladesh and Myanmar. Given that phase one involves a ceasefire, does that mean the government in Myanmar has agreed to that ceasefire?
A: I think I have made it very clear. During Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Bangladesh and Myanmar, he raised the three-phase solution to resolve the current issue in the Rakine State. This solution not only seeks to address the immediate situation, but also offers a final and fundamental solution to resolve the root cause of the Rohingya issue.
Like what I said, this three-phase solution has beenagreed byboth Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Q: The agreement by the Bangladesh and Myanmar governments was on this trip by the Foreign Minister or on a previous trip several months ago?
A: The three-phase solution was put forward on Foreign Minister Wang Yi's trip this time. In a broader sense, we have been raising our constructive proposal so that the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments will properly settle the Rohingya-related issues through friendly bilateral negotiation. During Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit this time, the Myanmar and Bangladesh governments both agreed to resolve this issue through friendly bilateral negotiation. In fact, such negotiation is now underway.
Q: According to Indian media reports, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind visited the so-called "Arunachal Pradesh"on November 19. What's your comment?
A: The Chinese government has never recognized the so-called "Arunachal Pradesh". China's position on the China-India border issue is consistent and clear. At the moment, China and India are trying to address the border issue through dialogue and negotiation and seek a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides. Before the solution is reached, we should uphold peace and tranquility of the border area. China is firmly opposed to the activity of Indian leader in the disputed area. Now the China-India relations are at a crucial moment of development. We hope that the Indian side will work with us for the shared goal to uphold the larger picture of our bilateral relations, refrain from moves that may complicate the border issue and create enabling conditions for the border talks and the sound and steady development of the relations between the two countries.
Q: The Chinese U20 football team is now in Germany. Their first football match over the weekend has been interrupted because of the demonstrators for Tibet independence waving with the Tibet independence flag. What is your comment?
A: The Tibet-related issue involves China's core interests and the national sentiment of the Chinese people. As is known to all, Tibet has been part of China's territory since the ancient times. China firmly opposes any country, organization or individual supporting the anti-China separatist activities of the Tibet independence forces in any form and under any pretext.
I should stress from this podium that mutual respect is the right way for a host to treat its guest. Moreover, respect should indeed be mutual between any two countries.