|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on May 8, 2017|
Q: Yesterday, Emmanuel Macron won the presidential runoff and became the new President of France. What is China's comment on that? How does China envision the prospect of China-France relations?
A: China has noted the election of Mr. Emmanuel Macron as President of France. President Xi Jinping has sent a congratulatory message to Mr. Macron.
As President Xi pointed out in his congratulatory message, France was the first major western country to formally establish diplomatic relations with China. The China-France relationship has great strategic importance and international influence. Maintaining the sound and steady development of the relationship serves the interests of the two countries and two peoples, and also contributes to world peace, stability and prosperity.
China attaches great importance to its relations with France, and is fully confident in the prospect of the relations. We expect and believe that with the care and support of the two leaders and joint efforts of people from all circles of the two countries, the close and enduring comprehensive strategic partnership between China and France will be blessed with an even brighter future.
Q: The deadline for online registration of this year's World Health Assembly (WHA) is coming soon, and Taiwan has yet to receive any invitation. Recently, the US and Canada expressed their support for Taiwan's continued participation in the WHA as an observer. There are comments saying that politics should not overtop public health. What is China's comment on that?
A: As we have said many times, the one-China principle must be followed when dealing with Taiwan's participation in activities of international organizations.
You mentioned that relevant countries expressed their support for Taiwan's continued participation in the WHA as an observer. As far as I know, only some individual countries are making irresponsible remarks on this issue. We are firmly against such remarks. In fact, most countries support the handling of the issue in keeping with the one-China principle.
Q: According to the Japanese and the ROK media, the US and the DPRK will soon hold a dialogue in Europe, which shows that the situation on the Korean Peninsula has entered a stage of negotiation. What is China's comment on that?
A: It has been China's consistent position that the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula should be solved peacefully through dialogue and consultation. We always encourage parties directly concerned to increase contact, conduct dialogue, strengthen mutual trust and eventually resolve the issue through dialogue and consultation.
We have also noted the reports you mentioned. We hope, as parties directly concerned in the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, the US and the DPRK can show each other the sincerity and build trust, and thus make constructive contribution to the peaceful settlement of the issue.
China is ready to continue working with relevant parties to make its own contribution to resolving the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and consultation.
Q: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated recently that the US made it clear to the ROK, Japan, China and Russia that denuclearization of the Peninsula is a shared objective. It is not about regime change, not about regime collapse, not about an accelerated reunification of the Peninsula, and not about looking for an excuse to cross the 38th Parallel, but to let the DPRK know that only denuclearization can bring security and prosperity. The US is ready to negotiate with the DPRK when conditions are right, but is not going to negotiate its way to the negotiating table. What is China's response to that?
A: We have noted the remarks by Secretary Tillerson, the principles he mentioned and the commitment of the US to promoting denuclearization of the Peninsula. Under the current circumstances, the message sent by the US about solving problems through dialogue and consultation is of positive significance and worth serious consideration by relevant parties.
The US is one of the main parties directly involved in the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula. Together with the international community, China always expects and encourages the US to play a constructive role in the peaceful settlement of the issue. We hope the US can, based on the above-mentioned positions, strengthen contact with the DPRK to gradually seek consensus and build preliminary mutual trust. We are ready to join hands with the US and other relevant parties to continue to work for the peaceful settlement of the nuclear issue through dialogue and consultation.
Q: A recent report from Japan's Kyodo News said, quoting a "source", that during the Mar-a-Lago meeting between the Chinese and US presidents, Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai, on behalf of the Chinese government, asked the US side to dismiss Commander Harris of the United States Pacific Command, a hardliner on China, in exchange for China intensifying its pressure against the DPRK. Can you confirm this report?
A: It is fake news and not worth refuting.
Q: Just to follow up on that question. We noticed that this was not the first time for Kyodo News to make up China-related news by quoting so-called sources. What is your comment on such practices?
A: I thought Kyodo News, as a relatively large news agency, would have cherished its reputation. Yet for the above-mentioned report, I'm wondering whether it is because Kyodo News was so naive that it believed the appointment and removal of the US military personnel would be discussed on diplomatic occasions between China and the US, or it is because Kyodo News was in such a depressed condition that it had to depend on plotting groundless stories for a living, or it is because there were some ulterior motives behind Kyodo News' spreading of rumors?
Q: A recent exchange of fire on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan forces led to the death of soldiers and civilians. What is China response to that?
A: China has noted relevant reports. As a close neighbor of Afghanistan and Pakistan, China hopes that both sides can properly settle this incident and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.
Q: According to some reports, the Kushner Companies recently held visa-for-investment events in Beijing and Shanghai, courting Chinese investors to immigrate to the US, which gave rise to concerns about conflict of interest. What is China's comment on that?
A: China and the US maintain close business relations. I do not know the business activities you mentioned. As we said before, we are not to comment on each individual business activity between China and the US.
Q: According to a Taiwan official, a fishing boat from Guangdong province was seized Saturday by a Taiwan patrol. Can you confirm this? Is the mainland handling this case?
A: Your question is about cross-Straits affairs. As far as I know, the spokesperson from the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council has already made comments on that.
Q: The international community has a keen interest in the French election. How will the result affect the EU and the China-Europe relations?
A: China always supports the integration process of Europe. We believe that a prosperous, stable and open Europe is in the interests of all parties. We hope to advance the partnership of peace, growth, reform and civilization with the EU.