|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on December 13, 2016|
Q: First, US President-elect Trump has tapped ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as the Secretary of State. What is your comment? Second, the US Defense Department said that China flew its H-6 bomber along the "Nine-Dash line" after Trump spoke with Tsai Ing-wen by phone. It is interpreted by some people in the US as a warning in response to Trump's remarks on China. What is your comment?
A: On your first question, we have noted the relevant reports. It is in the fundamental interests of the Chinese and American people if the two countries continue to develop their relationship in a sound and steady way. China is willing to work with the US Secretary of State, whoever it is, to move forward China-US relations at a new starting point.
On your second question, Chinese military aircrafts have been carrying out normal flight operations in the relevant airspace over the South China Sea, which we hope can be perceived correctly by the relevant party.
Q: The Chinese Defense Ministry accused Japan of firing jamming shells at the Chinese aircrafts flying over the Miyako Strait on December 10, The Japanese side denied that yesterday, saying that China's unilateral announcement which does not tally with the facts is deeply regrettable and it has protested with China. Can you give more details?
A: The spokesperson for the Defense Ministry has responded to the situation you asked. If you are interested in getting more details, you can contact them.
China urges Japan to bear in mind regional stability and the overall interests of China-Japan relations, and take effective measures to avoid security issues on and above the sea.
Q: It is learnt that China and Vietnam held the Plenary Meeting of the Governmental Delegation on Border Negotiation. What are the outcomes of this meeting?
A: On December 12, Head of the Chinese Government Delegation and Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin and Head of the Vietnamese Government Delegation and Deputy Foreign Minister Lê Hoài Trung held in Beijing the Plenary Meeting of the Governmental Delegation on Border Negotiation. Representatives from relevant departments and local governments of the two countries attended the meeting.
The two sides spoke highly of the border negotiation mechanism's role in properly managing disputes, deepening practical cooperation and promoting the sound and stable development of bilateral relations. They reaffirmed their efforts to continue to implement the major consensus reached between leaders of the two parties and two countries, enhance consultation and cooperation, move forward all kinds of work concerning border negotiation, and improve the negotiation mechanism for new achievements, so as to benefit the two countries and peoples.
The two sides fully acknowledged the progress made in land boundary management, cooperation and exploration, agreed to improve boundary management to make it more law-, institution-, and norm-based, expand cooperation on border control and law enforcement in border areas, facilitate people-to-people exchanges and infrastructure connectivity, so as to serve the development of border areas and increase the well-being of border residents from both sides.
The two sides also agreed to properly conduct the Beibu Bay oil, gas and fishery cooperation projects, and joint patrols by naval forces and coast guards of the two countries, so as to safeguard peace and stability of the waters.
The two sides stressed the importance to follow through with the consensus reached between leaders of the two parties and two countries, and the Agreement on Basic Principles Guiding the Settlement of Sea-related Issues Between the People's Republic of China and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, give full play to the governmental border negotiation mechanism and relevant working groups, properly manage disputes, steadily step up practical cooperation, work jointly to maintain peace and stability on the sea, and ensure the continuous development of China-Vietnam Comprehensive Strategic Partnership for Cooperation.
Q: ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is likely to be nominated as the US Secretary of State. Mr. Tillerson has very little experience dealing with China. Is China concerned if he does become the Secretary of State?
A: As I said in response to the CNN question, China is willing to work with the US Secretary of State, whoever it is, to move forward China-US relations at a new starting point. We keep repeating that a sound and stable China-US relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples. We hope that departments in charge of foreign affairs of our two countries can enhance communication and cooperation and play an important and constructive part in promoting the sustained and steady development of bilateral ties.
Q: Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi just concluded his visit to Mexico. Could you comment on whether this trip was an attempt to deepen cooperation with Mexico by capitalizing on both countries' discomfort with Trump's rhetoric towards their countries?
A: Information about State Councilor Yang Jiechi's visit to Mexico from December 11 to 12 has been released.
Mexico is a major Latin American country and emerging market. As comprehensive strategic partners, China and Mexico have been engaging in close exchanges and contacts at different levels. During his stay in Mexico, State Councilor Yang Jiechi exchanged views with the Mexican side on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern and reached important consensus. The two sides agreed to further deepen practical cooperation in trade, investment, energy, infrastructure, and financial services, expand people-to-people exchanges, and harvest more results from China-Mexico friendly cooperation.
Q: China has been a WTO member for 15 years, but some western countries said recently that China is not a market economy. We know China has launched a complaint. What is your take on this?
A: The spokesperson for the Commerce Ministry has made remarks on this issue many times, expounding on our position in a rather comprehensive way. I want to stress the following points:
First, acknowledging the market economy status and honoring international obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol on China's Accession to the WTO are two different things. Some people try to confuse them so that they can evade their responsibilities.
Second, in accordance with Article 15 of the Protocol on China's Accession to the WTO, WTO members must end the "surrogate country" practice in anti-dumping investigations against China by December 11 this year. They need to honor the international duty.
Third, China commends the WTO members who have pledged to end the "surrogate country" approach and fulfill their obligations under Article 15 of the Protocol. Meanwhile, for a small number of others who are ambiguous on the issue of honoring these obligations and attempt to shun their responsibilities, we are dissatisfied with that. As you said, China has filed a complaint with the WTO. We will resolutely defend our legitimate rights and interests.
Q: Japan announced that the trilateral summit between China, Japan and the ROK, which cannot happen as scheduled in December, will be held next year. Can you confirm and explain the delay?
A: We have responded to questions on the trilateral summit many times. China attaches great importance to the trilateral cooperation. We are willing to work in unison with Japan and the ROK to maintain the upward momentum of trilateral cooperation and ensure its sound, steady and sustainable development.
China has been in close communication with Japan on the summit. We believe that the summit should be held at a time and under a condition suitable to all, and deliver positive outcomes once is held.
After the press conference, the following question was raised: after the December 7 earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia, President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolences to Indonesian President Joko Widodo, expressing China's willingness to help Indonesia cope with the aftermath. How did China help specifically?
Geng Shuang replied that China is very concerned after Aceh, Indonesia was rocked by a 6.4-magnitude earthquake on December 7 which caused huge casualties and property losses. In order to assist Indonesia in carrying out disaster relief and post-disaster reconstruction, the Chinese government has decided to off US$ 1 million to the Indonesian government for disaster relief, and the Red Cross Society of China offered the Red Cross Society of Indonesia US$ 100,000 for humanitarian assistance. We hope that the Indonesian people can overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homes at an early date.