|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on January 10, 2018|
Q: According to reports, on January 9, after the high-level talks, the DPRK and the ROK issued a joint press release, saying that they have agreed to cooperate on the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games and ease military tensions. Some observers believe that this represents a major breakthrough in the ice-cold DPRK-ROK relations. What is your comment?
A: We have noted that the international community has been closely following the recent interactions between the DPRK and the ROK.
According to Chinese folk traditions, the nine times nine or 81 days following the winter solstice is called the "Nines of Winter". Today is the second day of the third Nine. As the saying goes in some places of China, "it is too freezing for people to hold out their hands during the third and fourth Nines". In some colder places, the saying goes that "people even do not dare to take their hands out of the pocket due to coldness during the first and second Nines and they walk on ice during the third and fourth Nines". At the time when the situation on the Korean Peninsula is extremely grave (just like this freezing weather), it is encouraging that the DPRK and the ROK can extend the hands of goodwill towards each other and have a handshake.
The Chinese side welcomes the positive outcomes achieved at the high-level talks between the DPRK and the ROK. As we said many times, as a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, the Chinese side welcomes and supports the positive steps taken by the DPRK and the ROK to ameliorate their relations. We hope that the two sides can take the opportunity of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games to improve relations, push forward reconciliation and cooperation and make positive efforts to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and bring the Korean Peninsula issue back to the right track of seeking settlement through dialogue and consultation. The international community should give the two sides full understanding and support.
Q: According to reports, the ROK President Moon Jae-in said at the New Year Press Conference that if conditions are ripe, the ROK-DPRK leaders' summit can be held at any time. What is your comment?
A: My answer to the previous question may have covered yours in part. At the beginning of a new year, the DPRK and the ROK have made some positive moves and demonstrated goodwill on improving relations. The DPRK-ROK high-level talks held yesterday have yielded tangible positive outcomes, which are gratifying and encouraging.
I would like to reiterate that the Chinese side hopes that the DPRK and the ROK can take the opportunity of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympic Games to improve relations, advance reconciliation and cooperation and make positive efforts to bring the Korean Peninsula issue back to the right track of seeking settlement through dialogue and consultation. The Chinese side will offer positive support in this regard.
Q: The Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific was quoted in The Australian, a newspaper in Australia, as saying that Chinese infrastructure projects in the South Pacific are not productive and are giving unfavorable financial terms. What's your response to that?
A: The remarks made by the Australian official show scant regard for the facts and are nothing but irresponsible. The Chinese side has lodged representations with the Australian government on this.
For a long time, on the basis of fully respecting the will of the Pacific island countries' governments and people and taking into full account their development needs, China has offered a great deal of assistance to them. The facts have proven that the assistance provided by China has significantly fueled the economic and social development of these countries and delivered tangible benefits to the local people, which has been warmly welcomed by the governments and people of these countries. No one knows better than the people and governments of these countries on whether China's assistance is productive or not. We hope that certain people in Australia should engage in self-reflection instead of pointing fingers at and making irresponsible remarks on other countries.
Q: According to reports, on January 9, the ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that the ROK-Japan deal on the comfort women issue cannot really solve the problem. What is your comment?
A: We have taken note of this situation. China's position on the issue of comfort women is consistent and clear-cut. We hope that the Japanese side can take seriously the concerns of its Asian neighbors and the international community and properly handle relevant issue with a responsible attitude. This bears on not only Japan's image but also the historical justice.
Q: It is learned that recently quite a few overseas Chinese fell victim to telecom swindle in the disguise of the Chinese diplomatic and consular missions. The caller claims that he or she is a staff member of Chinese Embassy or Consulate-General, informing the victims that they need to handle a legal issue back home or to renew their passport, and the caller ID shows up as that of the Chinese embassy or consulate. What is your comment?
A: Recently the Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in relevant countries have reported back to us these telecom fraud cases. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs takes this quite seriously and has issued notice and reminders together with the relevant diplomatic and consular missions many times.
I want to remind everyone that Chinese diplomatic and consular missions will not, via phone, ask overseas Chinese to handle cases in China or renew an expired passport or apply for a new one, still less telephone anyone to ask for the information of their bank card or account. The callers have employed technological means to pass for the phone number of a certain embassy or consulate.
Overseas compatriots are kindly reminded to stay on high alert in case of receiving such phone calls or e-mails. You can verify them through the phone number provided on the official website of a local Chinese diplomatic and consular mission or the 12308 hotline of the Global Emergency Call Center for Consular Protection and Services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.