|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on August 25, 2016|
At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev of the Republic of Kazakhstan will pay a working visit to China from September 1 to 5 and attend the 11th G20 Summit as the leader of a guest country.
Q: Singapore will hold a state funeral for its former president S.R. Nathan tomorrow. Will China send a representative there?
A: When serving as the president of Singapore, Mr. Nathan made contribution to the development of China-Singapore relations. We deeply mourn the passing of Mr. Nathan and express our sincere sympathy to the government and people of Singapore as well as Mr. Nathan's family. According to my knowledge, the Embassy of Singapore in China will be open this afternoon for people to offer condolences. Leading officials of the Chinese Foreign Ministry will mourn for Mr. Nathan at the embassy.
Q: What is your comment on the just concluded China-Japan-ROK foreign ministers' meeting? How was it affected by the DPRK's test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile?
A: Information on the meeting and relevant talks has been released. But I notice there are still unfaithful reports by some Japanese media.
This trilateral foreign ministers' meeting was convened as bilateral relations among the three countries meet with difficulties. By attending the meeting and positively interacting with Japan and the ROK, China has played a constructive role in promoting regional peace and development and improving relations with the other two. As this trilateral meeting came right before the G20 Hangzhou Summit, both Japan and the ROK expressed their support for China to make the Hangzhou Summit a success and pledged to enhance cooperation with China to this end, hoping that this Summit hosted by China would give a strong boost to world economy and create favorable conditions for the advancement of bilateral relations. China stressed that the three countries should act in the spirit of facing history squarely and advancing towards the future, overcome obstacles and interruptions, build up consensus, concentrate on cooperation, especially that in the four priority areas of politics, business, people-to-people exchanges and sustainable development, so as to bolster trilateral cooperation. China, Japan and the ROK are leading economies of East Asia, and this foreign ministers' meeting also set the stage for the upcoming leaders' meetings on East Asia cooperation. On the sidelines of the meeting, there were bilateral contact among the three parties, which were conducive to managing differences and improving relations with each other. As the three are going to hold winter and summer Olympics in succession, they also agreed to take the opportunity to carry out cooperation on Olympics and enrich friendship among the people.
The three also discussed the latest development on the Korean Peninsula. Foreign Minister Wang Yi expounded on China's position, emphasizing the importance of fully observing and implementing the UN Resolution 2270.
Q: Was the maritime issue highlighted in the foreign ministers' meeting?
A: Maritime issue was not discussed at the trilateral meeting. Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers, while meeting with each other, exchanged views on the East China Sea issue. Foreign Minister Wang Yi made clear China's position, saying that the two parties should stick to the four-point principled agreement, properly manage disputes, and give full play to the existing mechanisms of dialogue and consultation. Their talks were constructive and helpful. As for the South China Sea issue, it was not covered at this meeting.
Q: A couple of days ago, many Russian travel agencies and airlines reported that China had changed its rules on issuing visas for Russian citizens starting from August 15 to October 1. It is said to be connected with security measures for hosting the G20. Can you confirm that?
A: I want to stress that first, China advocates and has been taking positive measures to facilitate and expand people-to-people exchanges between China and Russia, and all the other countries. Guided by the consensus reached by leaders of China and Russia, the Chinese side stands for more convenience to friendly exchanges among the people, as it will also help advance bilateral relations. Second, Russia, as a major country, must have held a lot of international events and conferences. Any country, when hosing an event as important as the G20 Summit, will take some ad hoc measures, which is a normal thing to do. Third, I have no information about whether China has temporarily taken some special measures on issuing visas to citizens from certain countries or regions.
Q: Hundreds were killed and injured in the earthquake that struck Italy yesterday. Has the Chinese leadership expressed sympathy with the Italian side? Were there Chinese citizens among the injured and deceased?
A: China and Italy are friendly countries. China follows closely the situation in the earthquake-hit area and believes that the Italian government and people will triumph over the disaster and rebuild their homes at an early date. The Chinese leadership has sent messages of condolences to the Italian side, and China stands ready to do everything it can to support and help Italy.
The Chinese diplomatic missions in Italy have activated the emergency response mechanism, checked with the Italian side and Chinese communities about whether Chinese citizens were among the casualties, and issued safety warnings. There has been no report of Chinese citizens injured or killed in the earthquake up to now.
Q: After yesterday's meeting with the ROK foreign minister, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that he hoped to find a mutually acceptable approach through consultation. Has the consultation started? If not, what is the significance of a China-ROK consultation that excludes other countries?
A: I understand you are referring to the issue of THAAD. During his meeting with ROK Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se in Tokyo yesterday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi did elaborate on China's position on the issue of THAAD. I believe you have seen the news release. Ever since the ROK government consented to the US proposal of deploying THAAD on its territory, the Chinese side has been expressing our position with the ROK through diplomatic channels. We hope that the ROK will change the decision. Our discussion with the ROK on this issue is not newly started.
Q: The list of leaders attending the G20 Summit did not specify which Brazilian leader will be at the Summit. Is it because the Brazilian side is yet to make a decision? Secondly, the Russian side announced days ago that they will join France and Germany for a trilateral consultation on Ukraine on the sidelines of the G20 Summit. Can you confirm that?
A: Since you have noted that subtle difference, you might have already known the reason for that. Brazil's senate is still working on the impeachment of the president. The Brazilian side said that once the impeachment trial is closed, the Brazilian leader would like to attend the G20 Hangzhou Summit. Brazil is an important G20 member who plays a vital role in international and regional affairs. We welcome the Brazilian leader's attendance at the Summit and stand ready to work with Brazil and all the other parties for positive outcomes of the Summit, in a bid to make greater contributions to world economic growth.
On your second question, we have noted the statement by the relevant party. The Chinese side supports any endeavor by all parties concerned to implement the Minsk agreement and politically resolve the Ukraine crisis. As for whether there will be a trilateral consultation on the sidelines of the G20 Hangzhou Summit, it is up to relevant countries.
Q: A Taiwan leader will go to the Vatican next month. I am wondering if China has lodged a protest with the Vatican or potentially with Italy? Secondly, Donald Trump has once again threatened that he would hit China with tariff and trade cases if he's elected US president. Do you have a response to that?
A: On your first question, the one-China principle is widely recognized by the international community. It is our long-standing stance in dealing with Taiwan's interaction with foreign countries. We hope that the relevant country will handle Taiwan-related issues with prudence.
On your second question, it is our opinion that the positive, stable and sound relationship, especially the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the US in trade has brought enormous benefits to people from both sides. We believe that the future leader of the US, whoever it will be, will continue to take mutually beneficial cooperation as their basic policy toward China in the interests of the US and its people.
Q: A 6.8 magnitude quake hit Mandalay, Myanmar on August 24. Is China helping with Myanmar's earthquake relief efforts? Were Chinese citizens killed or injured in the quake?
A: As a close and friendly neighbor to Myanmar, China sympathizes with Myanmar for its loss of lives and properties in the earthquake. We are ready to offer necessary assistance in light of the situation and Myanmar's needs.
The Chinese diplomatic missions in Myanmar activated consular protection and emergency response mechanisms right after the earthquake, checked with the Myanmar government and Chinese companies and communities in Myanmar about the situation of Chinese citizens, and issued safety warnings to Chinese citizens in Myanmar. No report of Chinese casualties has been received up to now.
Q: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said that China must respect the Hague ruling on the South China Sea. Will that affect the prospects for bilateral talks this year? The Philippine foreign minister summoned the Chinese ambassador over drug trafficking from China. Do you have a response to that?
A: On your first question, we have said time and again that our position on the so-called arbitration case is consistent and clear. The Philippine side including its top leader has been expressing the hope of having talks with China as soon as possible. I said yesterday that we are willing to talk with the Philippines as well. The Philippines is our close neighbor. We do have some problems, but nothing unbridgeable. We have the confidence that the two sides can resolve differences through friendly consultation. We remain positive about and welcome talks with the Philippines.
On your second question, drug is the enemy of all mankind. It is the shared responsibility of all countries to fight against drug-related crimes. The Chinese government is a staunch force in the international campaign against drug crimes. Our resolve is firm, policy clear and achievement remarkable. The Chinese government has long been conducting anti-drug cooperation with the international community. The Chinese side understands and supports the Duterte adminsitration's policy that prioritizes the fight against drug crimes, and stands ready to cooperate with the Philippines in this regard and make a joint working plan on that.
Q: Since March this year, the government and relevant opposition groups of Sudan have signed in succession the roadmap brokered by African Union mediators to realize peace and stability in the country. How does China comment on the reconciliation process in Sudan?
A: The Chinese side supports Sudan in safeguarding national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and appreciates the unremitting efforts made by the Sudanese government in implementing the roadmap. We support the national dialogue in Sudan and call on all relevant parties to follow through on the roadmap, join in the dialogue as soon as possible and realize enduring peace in Sudan at an early date.
Q: You just said Russia, France and Germany have to decide by themselves whether to hold the trilateral meeting on Ukraine. But as the G20 host country, does China welcome such a meeting?
A: The initiative was made by parties concerned, not China. As I said, we support any endeavor conducive to implementing the Minsk agreement and politically resolving the Ukraine crisis. If relevant parties are willing to take one step forward, of course China would like to facilitate the move. Meanwhile, the topic is not on the agenda of the G20 Summit. The G20 serves as a platform for enhancing coordination of macroeconomic policies among major economies. The theme and topics of the G20 Summit have been decided by all parties through thorough discussion.
Q: Shotaro Yachi, Secretary General of Japan's National Security Secretariat met with State Councilor Yang Jiechi this afternoon for a political dialogue. Can you give us more details about the dialogue?
A: As far as I have learnt, State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Secretary General Yachi had a candid exchange of views on improving and developing China-Japan relations, properly dealing with problems between the two countries, enhancing pragmatic cooperation and ensuring the success of the G20 Hangzhou Summit. I will let you know if there is any further information.
Q: Will ROK President Park Geun-hye have bilateral talks with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Hangzhou Summit?
A: This question was raised at the press briefing held by the Foreign Ministry on August 15 on President Xi Jinping's hosting of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou. Quite a few leaders have made the request of meeting with President Xi on the sidelines of the Summit. We are still working on that. We will inform you of the final arrangement in due course.
Q: It is reported that China and the US will announce their ratification of the Paris Climate Agreement before the G20 Summit. Can you confirm that?
A: The entire world is striving to deal with climate change. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the international community, China and the US included, the Paris Climate Agreement was reached. It is the international community's consensus that all parties should work to put the agreement into practice as soon as possible. That requires all the signatories to ratify the agreement with no delay. To my knowledge, the Chinese government is endeavoring to do so. We have also learnt that the US is pushing the agreement through the legislature. We believe that there are other countries and their law-making bodies working as hard as us. We will let you know if there is any further information.