|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on May 28, 2019|
Q: The media yesterday quoted China's Ambassador to Palestine saying that China would not be attending the meeting organized by the United States on financial aids for the Palestinians to be held in Bahrain in June. Can you confirm and explain why not?
A: I am not aware of that and China has not received a formal invitation to the meeting. But I am sure you know that the Chinese government's position on the question of Palestine is clear and consistent. We believe that international consensus and principles including the "two-state solution", relevant UN resolutions, the principle of "land for peace" and the Arab Peace Initiative should be adhered to. The international community should keep up efforts to promote peace, try its best to build consensus and ensure that the voice and propositions of parties concerned, especially Palestine, are heeded.
Q: We noted that the fifth China-US Governors Forum concluded in Lexington, Kentucky on May 24. Could you share more information with us?
A: Indeed, this forum attracted much attention in both China and the US and the number of participants was quite high. Just like you said, the fifth China-US Governors Forum was successfully held in Lexington, Kentucky from May 23 to 24. It was a lively and fruitful forum. Under the theme of "toward a better future for China-US relations", many events were organized. About 400 delegates attended the forum, consisting of, from the Chinese side, leaders from the CPAFFC, Chongqing Municipality, Shaanxi Province, Jiangxi Province, Gansu Province and the Chinese Embassy in the US, and from the US side, leaders from the Department of Education and 19 states, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Colorado, Michigan, Washington, etc.
Delegates focused on such areas as trade, investment, education, culture, advanced manufacturing and infrastructure and had in-depth discussions on how to promote the sound and steady development of China-US relations through sub-national exchange and cooperation. Sub-national governments, businesses and education institutions signed a series of deals on enhancing friendly relations and strengthening cooperation in agriculture, energy and education. Local officials and business leaders from the US emphasized in their speeches the importance of China-US relations, voiced support for exchange and cooperation between local governments and other sectors, and called for a proper settlement of differences and friction to ensure the steady development of the bilateral relationship.
The active participation of both sides shows once again that exchange and cooperation is a shared aspiration and invincible trend. We stand ready to work with the US for greater benefits to our peoples by deepening sub-national and across-the-board exchange and cooperation.
Q: A Chinese delegation attended the ministerial meeting of the 75th session of UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), which was held from May 27 to 28 in Bangkok, Thailand. How do you view this meeting?
A: ESCAP is the most influential UN agency for regional economic and social development. The theme for this year's session is "empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality". Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun attended the meeting as head of the Chinese delegation, participated in the discussions of all agenda items and elaborated on China's position on important issues.
The world economy, international order and international fairness and justice are dealt a heavy blow by unilateralism and protectionism. Against such a backdrop, as Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun emphasized, the ESCAP needs to stay true to its founding purposes, move toward the right direction and take effective measures to foster an open, inclusive and favorable environment for regional development. It is all the more important for regional countries to uphold multilateralism, deepen partnership, foster an open economy for inclusive development, step up connectivity for better implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, advance innovation-driven development and create more growth drivers. Assistant Foreign Minister Zhang Jun specifically stated China's opposition to the abuse of national power to oppress foreign innovative companies, intervention in business operation and distortion of global markets.
China's proposals were echoed by other participants. They spoke highly of China's contributions to Asia-Pacific economic cooperation and the 2030 Agenda, applauded its efforts in upholding multilateralism and fostering an open world economy, and expressed readiness to work with it for deeper cooperation under ESCAP and regional sustainable development and people's well-being.
On the sidelines of the session, China co-hosted a thematic meeting on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with Thailand, Kazakhstan and the ESCAP secretariat, where more than 150 representatives from over 30 countries shared experience in successful BRI cooperation. They all agree that the BRI is a road of opportunities, prosperity and sustainable development, and support China's visions and efforts in high-quality BRI cooperation. Faced with great uncertainties, the world is seeing hope from the win-win cooperation and shared benefits championed by the BRI, which has already produced positive effects. The BRI, dovetailing with the 2030 Agenda, will play an even bigger role in and open up greater space for world economic growth, people's welfare and sustainable development.
Q: Its was reported that China's envoy to Palestine Guo Wei said yesterday that China will not attend an international conference in Bahrain in June where the US will lay out its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. I wonder if you could confirm and explain why China is not going to attend?
A: Reuters just asked the same question. Would you like me to repeat my answer?
I am not aware of that. China has not received a formal invitation to the meeting. The Chinese government's position on the question of Palestine is clear and consistent. We believe that international consensus and principles including the "two-state solution", relevant UN resolutions, the principle of "land for peace" and the Arab Peace Initiative should be adhered to. The international community should keep up efforts to promote peace, try its best to converge consensus and ensure that the voice and propositions of parties concerned, especially Palestine, are heeded.
Q: Huawei's founder and chief executive Ren Zhengfei said that he is against any Chinese retaliation against Apple. If that happens, he would be the first to protest. How do you comment on that?
A: I have taken note of relevant media reports. Like I said last week, for a company, a broad mind sees a vast world.
Q: As far as I know, a high-level DPRK official arrived in Beijing today. Can you confirm that? Will he meet with the Chinese side?
A: As friendly neighbors, China and the DPRK maintain regular bilateral exchange. Regarding your question, I don't have any information for you at the moment.
Q: We just got the news. There was an accident involving a tourist bus with 84 people on board including Chinese passengers in the Russian Far East. Do you have any information on this?
A: I haven't heard of what you said yet, but since you mentioned there might be Chinese nationals involved, we will closely follow up on that and update you when we have more information. Thank you for sharing the news.
Q: The US Embassy in China issued a statement saying that during Ambassador Branstad's recent visit to the Tibet Autonomous Region, he encouraged the Chinese government to engage in dialogue with the Dalai Lama or his representatives, and expressed concerns regarding religious freedom and the Americans' access to Tibet. I wonder if you have any comment?
A: As we said earlier here, Ambassador Branstad recently visited the Tibet Autonomous Region. According to my information, leaders of the autonomous region and Lhasa city met with him. He also visited local communities, educational and cultural institutions and religious venues. The Chinese side elaborated on the government's ethnic and religious policies and the socio-economic development in Tibet and made clear the central government's policies on engaging the 14th Dalai Lama and on foreign visits to the autonomous region. We stressed our opposition to any foreign interference in China's internal affairs and the affairs of the Tibet Autonomous Region. Ambassador Branstad thanked the government of the autonomous region for a warm and friendly reception. He made positive comments on Tibet's economic and social development and said that the visit has led to better understanding of Tibet.
Q: Recently there have been reports on a warming relationship between Taiwan and the US. For instance, US warships sailed through the Taiwan Strait; the Coordination Council for North American Affairs (CCNAA) was renamed the Taiwan Council for US Affairs (TCUSA); Taiwan's security chief David Lee met with US National Security Adviser John Bolton. Since the phrase "maximum pressure" has been frequently used in the context of China-US trade talks, do you think the closer ties with Taiwan is part of the US "maximum pressure" on China? Second question, besides expressing strong opposition and urging the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, has China taken diplomatic countermeasures?
A: You know the Chinese government's position very well.
Let me reiterate that the one-China principle is the political basis for the development of China-US relations in the past four decades. Only when the US strictly abides by this principle and the three joint communiques can there be sound development in bilateral relations and good cooperation on important issues. The US knows that very well. Therefore, regarding the recent wrong moves relating to Taiwan, China has stated its solemn position to the US side and urged it to honor its commitment under the bilateral political framework to avoid disrupting our relationship and cooperation in key areas.
Q: First, ROK media earlier reported that Chinese President Xi Jinping would visit the ROK in June, but that was canceled later. Could you comment on that? Second, when will President Xi visit the DPRK?
A: On your first question, I never heard of the planned visit or the cancellation.
On your second question, China and the DPRK are good neighbors with normal friendly exchange, including at the high level. I understand ROK reporters are particularly interested in this topic, so we will keep you updated if there is any information.
Q: It has been reported that two TV anchors, one from China and one from the US, plan to hold a debate on China-US trade friction in English at 8 a.m. Thursday. Do you have any comment?
A: I think it's a good idea. I, too, am very interested. I hope you will also stay tuned to it.
You know, as our Chinese adage goes, truth will emerge clearer from debates.