|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on July 4, 2019|
Q: The Washington Post published on July 3 an open letter to President Trump and the US Congress. The letter was written by former government officials and eminent academics in the US and signed by 95 experts from the scholarly, foreign policy, military and business community. It is stated in the letter that making China a US enemy is counterproductive and that the large number of signers of this open letter clearly indicates that there is no single Washington consensus endorsing an overall adversarial stance toward China, as some believe exists. Seven propositions on China-US relations are put forward. Would you like to comment on that?
A: I commented on this earlier. Now that it is published, we commend the rational and objective views in it. Let me stress the following points.
First, China and the US are not enemies. Four decades ago, diplomatic relations were established. Since then, we have gone through a lot and achieved historic progress in bilateral relations. It has not only brought enormous benefits to our peoples, but also contributed to world peace, stability, development and prosperity. The past shows that despite differences in history, culture, social system and ideology, as two major economies, China and the US can realize mutual respect and win-win cooperation on the basis of non-confrontation and non-conflict.
Second, cooperation is the only correct choice for both. As we said repeatedly, China and the US stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation; cooperation and dialogue beats friction and confrontation. With highly intertwined interests and broad scope for cooperation, we should avoid the pitfall of conflict and confrontation and realize mutually-reinforcing and common development. That serves the fundamental interests of both and is the shared aspiration of the international community.
Third, we have faith in China-US relations. There is a genuine friendship between our peoples. There are frequent interactions in the business, cultural and people-to-people sectors and at sub-national levels, bringing people together and integrating their interests. A myriad of such threads woven together adds to the resilience of bilateral relations. A sound and steady relationship is a overriding trend that both peoples would like to see.
Finally, let me stress, we must not allow current relations to be defined by conflicts and differences. Nor can we afford to allow future relations to be swung by prejudices and miscalculations. It is our belief that objective, rational and pragmatic voices will ultimately triumph over paranoid, fanatic and zero-sum game views.
We hope the US will heed the rational voice and constructive views at home and abroad. We hope it will work with China to implement the consensus of our heads of state and advance a relationship of coordination, cooperation and stability. By so doing, we will ensure steady and sustained development of bilateral relations and bring more benefits to people of both countries and the world.
Q: Peru's foreign ministry says that it will invite countries including China to attend a meeting on Venezuela on August 6. Has China already received an invitation for this? Will China attend and what are your expectations for this meeting?
A: China's position on the Venezuela issue is clear and consistent. We support the international community in facilitating peace talks under the framework of international law to help the government and the opposition to find a political solution through dialogue and consultation at an early date. We will continue to work for peaceful resolution of this issue.
On Peru's inviting China to the meeting, I have no information to offer at the moment.
Q: First question, Chinese Ambassador to the UK Liu Xiaoming criticized the country yesterday. He said that the UK, by supporting the violent storming incident in Hong Kong's Legislative Council, is choosing to stand on the wrong side. He warned that further interference will affect China-UK bilateral relationship. Ambassador Liu was "summoned" by the British foreign office and criticized for his remarks. I wonder if you have any response to that? Second question, Prime Minister Theresa May claimed that a high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong and all rights and freedoms enshrined in the Sino-British Joint Declaration should be respected. She has expressed concerns to the Chinese side. How do you respond to that?
A: The Chinese Embassy in the UK has released information on Ambassador Liu's meeting with the British side and how he made representations to them. I'd refer you to it if you want to know more about China's stern position, which I believe Ambassador Liu has made clear.
As to your second question, in the past several days, Foreign Secretary Hunt has been making wanton remarks on Hong Kong affairs. Now some other person joins his league. Are they doing this as a team?
China's resolute response to Mr. Hunt's erroneous comments on Hong Kong-related affairs can also be applied to similar remarks made by other British officials.
For the time being today, I will restrain myself and won't say anymore. But I may have more to say if certain people in the UK obstinately stick to the wrong path and keep repeating their mistakes.
Q: China's Transport Ministry has issued a warning for shipping in the Malacca Strait. Do you have any information from your point of view as to what the security risk might be in the Malacca Strait specifically towards Chinese shipping?
A: The Ministry of Transport already issued the notice. I don't have anything to say at the moment.
Q: The American ambassador to Germany met yesterday with Dolkun Isa, head of the World Uyghur Congress. Isa is a German citizen, and the American ambassador is posted to Germany. So the ambassador has the right and ability to meet with whomever he wants. He did have some tough things to say about China's policies to Xinjiang. How do you react to this meeting?
A: Are you defending the American ambassador?
Follow-up: I'm just asking questions.
A: I'm not aware of what you said. Our position on Xinjiang-related issues is very clear. We oppose any foreign interference in China's internal affairs under the pretext of Xinjiang.
To answer your question on the US ambassador's meeting with Dolkun, Dolkun is the head of the World Uyghur Congress and a complete terrorist.
Q: An Australian student who had been detained in North Korea was released today and he has come through Beijing. I believe he is supposed to be leaving Beijing soon. Do you have some information on his movement and has China involved in helping getting him out?
A: I don't have any information on that.
Q: First, questions on the South China Sea were raised yesterday and the day before. US officials say that China recently launched six missiles in the South China Sea and that the US is on higher alert to China's militarization tendency in these waters. Can you confirm the missile testing? What's your response to the US remarks? Second, Chinese media reported that the 72nd Group Army organized live firing drills in some areas to test the multi-target interception capability. The Chinese side released the information about military training in the South China Sea from June 29 to July 3. Are there any connections between these two pieces of news?
A: Were you here these past few days?
Then you should know my answer. I'd refer you to the PLA on reports about the missile testing.
Q: First, President Trump tweeted that China and Europe play big currency manipulation game and pump money into their system in order to compete with the US and that the US should match. What's your comment? Second, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said that China-US trade consultations could begin within a week at the earliest and that China will purchase US soybean and pork. Can you confirm that?
A: On your first question, my first point is that the US Treasury Department did not list China as a currency manipulator for all these years. And that is a decision independently made by the US.
Second, relevant international institutions have all along kept authoritative evaluations on exchange rates of all countries, including China.
Third, as a responsible major power, China will not engage in competitive devaluation and will not use RMB exchange rate as a tool in trade disputes.
Regarding your second question, the Chinese and US heads of state agreed in their Osaka meeting to restart trade consultations on the basis of equality and mutual respect. The US has decided not to add new tariffs on Chinese goods. The two teams will hold discussions on specific issues.
I would refer you to the competent authority for the detailed information that you are interested in.
Q: It has been reported that there will be progress in the US government's work plan to sell 66 fighter jets to Taiwan. What's your response?
A: As we repeatedly stated, China consistently opposes official interactions and military ties between the US and Taiwan. We urge the US to honor its commitment to the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, stop arms sales to and cut its military ties with Taiwan, and prudently and properly handle issues relating to Taiwan to avoid affecting China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Q: Yesterday you announced that the World Peace Forum will be held in Tsinghua University. Do you have more details to share with us?
A: The 8th World Peace Forum will be held from July 8 to 9 under the them of "stabilizing the international order: common responsibility, joint governance and shared benefits". There will be three plenary meetings, two luncheons, one dinner banquet and several group discussions. The topics include international landscape and international order, geopolitics and relations between major countries, regional security and multilateralism and unilateralism.
As I announced yesterday, Vice President Wang Qishan will attend and address the opening ceremony on the morning of July 8. Dignitaries including former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, former Indonesian President Megawati, former Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, former President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and former Secretary of Russia's Security Council Sergei Ivanov. Diplomats from over 50 countries will also attend the opening ceremony and over 100 scholars of think tanks from 24 countries will deliver speeches. Around 200 academics on international relations and guests from related fields will also attend the event.
Here let me say a few more words about this forum. Organized by Tsinghua University in partnership with the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, the forum is the first high-level non-governmental seminar focusing on international security topics held by China. Established in 2012, it has been held for seven times with the aim to offer a platform to discuss international peace and security issues for strategists and scholars.
Q: There was a meeting between Foreign Minister Wang Yi and the Nepalese Foreign Minister yesterday. Do you have any details?
A: We have released a readout on the meeting. Have you seen it?
Follow-up: I wonder if you could add more to that?
Yesterday, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Nepalese Foreign Minister Gyawali in Beijing.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China and Nepal are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. Our leaders have set the course for our relations. We need to act on their consensus and bring bilateral relations to a new height in keeping with the times.
He also said that China appreciates Nepal's commitment to friendly relations with China and supports Nepal in finding a development path in keeping with its national conditions that will improve people's lives. China stands ready to work with Nepal and taking the BRI cooperation as an opportunity to explore building a Trans-Himalayan Multidimensional Connectivity Network and enhance practical cooperation in various fields. China stands ready to join hands with Nepal to uphold multilateralism and developing countries' interests and contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Foreign Minister Gyawali said that Nepal-China friendship has lasted for a long time, and the bilateral relations are based on solid foundations. Nepal agrees with the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind proposed by President Xi Jinping. It thinks highly of and looks forward to China's greater role in international agenda-setting. Nepal sees in China the most important partner for sustainable development. It would like to further deepen the comprehensive cooperative partnership with China, enhance high-level exchange, step up BRI cooperation, strengthen communication and coordination on international and regional affairs, jointly uphold multilateralism, fairness and justice, and strive for greater development of bilateral relations in the new era.
During the meeting, Foreign Minister Gyawali reiterated that Nepal is committed to the one-China policy and will never allow any force to conduct anti-China activities on Nepalese soil.