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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on December 30, 2015

2015-12-30

Q: French journalist Ursula Gauthier said that the Chinese Foreign Ministry has contacted her three times since the end of November, asking her to apologize publicly for her report. Can you confirm that? Ursula Gauthier also said she received anonymous death threats. Do you have any comment?

A: First of all, we maintain normal contact with all foreign journalists in China for reasons of work. As for the contact between the Chinese side and Ursula Gauthier, the agreement is to keep it between ourselves.

Second, if she had some serious introspection, she would take the initiative to apologize, instead of being asked to apologize.

Ursula Gauthier told the press that she received the so-called death threats. If I remember it correctly, this is not the first time she made such claims. The logic goes that if a person seriously believes that his or her life is threatened, the first response must be calling the police. The Chinese government has the responsibility of safeguarding lawful rights and interests of foreigners in China. But as far as I know, the Chinese police has yet to receive such an alarm. Ursula Gauthier should go to the police if she really believes she is threatened. Instead she is flaunting it in front of the press which is rather unusual, unless she is doing it for other purposes.

Q: On December 29, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the end of Ebola epidemic in Guinea. What is your comment?

A: The WHO has formally announced an end to Ebola in Guinea, which marks a notable victory achieved by West African countries and people in the fight against Ebola. We express our congratulations.

Following the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa last year, China was the first that came to the aid of African people, and the first that delivered on pledges of assistance. Till now China has provided several batches of emergency assistance, sent over 1,000 medical experts and staff to the affected region, and trained more than 10,000 local medical workers, making significant contributions to the final triumph over the disease. China's support exemplifies the Sino-African brotherhood sharing weal and woe, through thick and thin, and gives testimony to China's policy of "sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith" towards Africa. Relevant African countries told us that China set a good example for the international community in helping people from the affected areas fight against the epidemic. China's assistance was highly appreciated by Africans and the international community.

Nowadays, relevant countries are conducting social and economic reconstruction in the "post-Ebola era". While carrying out plans yielded in the FOCAC Summit in Johannesburg, the Chinese side will help relevant countries speed up economic development and improvement of people's livelihood, enhance the system and capacity of public health and disease prevention, so that the trauma of Ebola will never come back again.

Q: The Philippine government said on December 30 that it is expecting to become a founding member of the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB). Will the South China Sea disputes between China and the Philippines affect its membership? Will it affect AIIB's release of fund to Philippines-related projects?

A: I have just heard about that. If it is verified to be true, it is a piece of good news.

You asked whether or not the disputes between China and the Philippines will affect the latter's participation in relevant cooperation under the framework of the AIIB. I think you are making a far-fetched link between these two totally different things. The operation of the AIIB follows the AIIB Charter which is formulated upon consultation among all members.

Q: The Financial Times reported that US officials have repeatedly expressed concerns to the EU on granting China the market economy status, saying that it would amount to unilaterally disarming Europe' trade defenses against China and could hamper efforts to prevent Chinese companies flooding US and European markets with unfairly cheap goods. What is China's response?

A: We have just noted the report. To be frank, I hope what the report described is just hearsay. All members of the World Trade Organization (WTO) need to take the international trade regime seriously. It is our shared responsibility and serves the common interests of all.

This issue essentially relates to all WTO members' fulfillment of the obligations stated in the Protocol on the Accession of the People's Republic of China to the WTO. Article 15 of the Protocol requires members to stop using an alternative calculation method in anti-dumping investigations against China after December 11, 2016. Pacta sunt servanda (Latin for "agreements must be kept") is a basic principle and obligation in international law. No signatory party can evade its obligations under international treaties by citing domestic laws as an excuse, and treat Chinese enterprises in an unfair, unjust, unreasonable and discriminative manner. As a WTO member, China has been earnestly honoring each of its legal obligations since its accession, and must be entitled to all the WTO rights.

In recent years, economic cooperation and trade between China and the EU has been faring smoothly with broad prospects. We hope that the EU can set a good example in obeying the WTO rules and take substantive actions to meet its obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol, which will also facilitate the development of China-EU economic and trade ties.

Q: It is reported that on December 29, Kim Yang Gon, member of the Politburo of the Korean Workers Party Central Committee and secretary of the party Central Committee died in an automobile crash. What is your comment on him?

A: Comrade Kim Yang Gon has long been committed to developing China-DPRK relations. He has, in particular, made active contributions to high level exchanges between both sides and parties. We deeply mourn the passing of Comrade Kim Yang Gon and express sincere sympathy to his families.

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