|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on November 8, 2019|
At the invitation of France, Vice President Wang Qishan will attend the Second Paris Peace Forum from November 11 to 13.
France is a permanent member of the UN Security Council and core major country of the European Union. In recent years, the China-France ties have grown in a steady and sound way with close high-level exchange, ever deeper political mutual trust and outcomes in practical cooperation across the board. This year marks the 55th anniversary of our diplomatic ties. President Xi and President Macron exchanged visitsthis year and reached new strategic consensuses. Vice President Wang Qishan's attendance at this Paris Peace Forum shortly after President Macron's visit testifies to the high standard and quality of the current China-France relations. China will join France in stepping up strategic communication, deepening practical cooperation and implementing our leaders' consensus with a view to scaling new heights in our comprehensive strategic partnership.
Q: A South China Sea question. A senior Vietnamese official said this week that Vietnam may consider legal options to resolve its disputes with China in the South China Sea. Has the Vietnamese government discussed this with China? If so, what was China's reaction to it?
A: The core of the South China Sea issue is territory, a matter related to the occupation of China's Nansha Islands by Vietnam and other countries concerned. I hope the Vietnamese side will face up to the historical fact, keep to our high-level consensus and resolve differences through dialogue and consultation. It needs to avoid taking actions that may complicate matters or undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea as well as our bilateral relations.
Q: US Secretary of State Pompeo said during his visit to Germany that German telecommunications network is facing complicated challenges presented by the Chinese Communist Party. In previous interviews, he also said that the US needs to make sure the world knows the risks brought by the CPC and the consequences of long-term tolerance. I wonder if you have a comment on his remarks?
A: China deplores and firmly opposes Mr. Pompeo's words that smeared China's political system as well as domestic and foreign policies, hyped up so-called "China threat", and were full of ideological bias and Cold-War, zero-sum game mentalities.
Mr. Pompeo is trying to drive a wedge between the Chinese people and the Communist Party of China (CPC) by severing the bond between them. Let me make it clear: the CPC, as our country's ruling party, has always been representing and defending our people's interests over the past decades, and it has been deeply trusted and warmly endorsed. Words and deeds intended to alienate the CPC from the people are considered provocations to all Chinese nationals. They are doomed to fail.
I must point out the fact that Mr. Pompeo's comments are extremely dangerous and unworthy of the US Secretary of State. His words further reveal a sinister intention to gain political capital for himself by taking anti-China moves.
We urge him to stop badmouthing China. If he continues doing so, the negative effects will only boomerang on himself.
Q: First question, Washington had no public response to China's Commerce Ministry statement yesterday that the two countries agreed to remove tariffs. How firm was the agreement between the two sides on this? It seems the US side is still hesitant about rolling back tariffs. Some in Washington accused China of trying to renegotiate the phase one deal to its advantage and the US previously only agreed to some tariffs that had not yet come into effect. Second question, what are China's concerns of when and where phase one of the trade deal will be signed? US Secretary of State Pompeo suggested holding an APEC summit in the US in January but it still delays the original plan to sign that in Chile. Do you have any comment?
A: On your question especially the part about China and the US rolling back tariffs, I believe spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce gave a thorough answer yesterday at a press briefing. I have nothing to update you at the moment.
Q: The BRICS leaders' summit traditionally holds the BRICS+ meeting where leaders can meet face to face with their regional counterparts but that's not happening at the summit next week. Does the foreign ministry know why the BRICS+ meeting isn't happening? Do you see that as a lost opportunity to improve the ties in Latin America?
A: The BRICS mechanism has been all about emerging markets and developing countries ever since it was first established. Cooperation with other developing countries is a tradition as well as a responsibility for us BRICS countries. In 2017, China first proposed BRICS+ cooperation and held the first ever Dialogue of Emerging Market and Developing Countries in Xiamen with guest countries. This innovative approach of cooperation was highly acclaimed. Last year, South Africa held the second BRICS+ dialogue in Johannesburg during the BRICS Summit, which also produced positive effects. We continued to apply this model by inviting representatives from emerging markets and developing countries to many BRICS events this year. BRICS countries are having more friends and contributing to common development of the world.
In the meantime, we respect the host country's decision to not hold a BRICS+ dialogue during the BRICS Summit in Brasilia this year.
Q: A question on the APEC meeting. Some say the US is considering holding the APEC summit in January next year after Chile canceled it. Does China have a comment on that?
A: We have been discussing this matter with all relevant parties and getting updated. As a principle, when it comes to APEC-related affairs, we believe the host country's opinion needs to be respected and all decisions need to be made based on consensus.
Q: Japan's former local lawmaker Takuma Sukuragi was sentenced to life in prison by a Chinese court. Do you have any comment?
A: The Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court in Guangdong today heard in public the relevant drug smuggling case. On October 31, 2013, a Japanese named Takuma Sukuragi was picked up by the security when he was at the Guangzhou Baiyun international airport intending to take a flight back to Japan via Shanghai. The security team found 3,289 grams of methamphetamine (also known as crystal meth) in a hidden interlayer in his suitcase and in the platform shoes inside his luggage. According to Chinese laws, the Guangzhou Intermediate People's Court sentenced him to life imprisonment and confiscated all his properties. Related information was released by the court.
Regarding this case, China has notified the Japanese Consulate-General in Guangzhou.
Not long ago we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Today marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Exactly 70 years ago, on November 8, 1949, the Foreign Ministry's inauguration ceremony was held in Beijing. The then Premier and Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai attended and addressed the event.
The past 70 years witnessed an extraordinary journey with fruitful outcomes and progress in China's diplomacy amid difficulties. Such achievements were made under the leadership of the Communist Party of China and won support and respect from our country and beyond.
Over the past 70 years, we have been safeguarding our national sovereignty, security and development interests. We have been making positive efforts in reform and opening up, dedicated to serving the people and contributing to world peace and development. Our diplomatic achievements have profoundly changed China's role in the world, made China more eminent on the global stage and created favorable external environment for our growth.
Standing at a new starting point, we will continue to implement Xi Jinping Thought on diplomacy, remain committed to peace, development, cooperation and win-win spirit, forge global partnerships, participate in global governance, and contribute to the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation, a new type of international relations and the community with a shared future for mankind.
In China we celebrate November 8 as the Journalists' Day. I wish all Chinese and foreign journalists working and living in China a happy day!
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your coverage of China and our diplomacy, as well as your long-time support for and participation in our regular press conferences.
We look forward to continued, close communication and cooperation with you all!
Wish you a joyful day!