|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on July 12, 2017|
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Tunisia Khemaies Jhinaoui will pay an official visit to China from July 17 to 21.
China and Tunisia enjoy traditional friendship. During the past 53 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the bilateral relations have witnessed sound and steady growth and cooperation in various fields has achieved steady progress. The Chinese side supports Tunisia's efforts in maintaining national stability and development and stands ready to work with the Tunisian side to continue to cement political mutual trust, strengthen exchanges and cooperation in various fields so as to move forward the development of the bilateral relations.
This is the first visit of Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui to China since he took office and this is also a visit in return for Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Tunisia in May last year. Both China and Tunisia attach great importance to this visit. During the visit, the Chinese leaders will meet with Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with him.
We hope to have an exchange of in-depth views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern during this visit so as to consolidate consensus, deepen cooperation, enhance friendship and promote the sound and rapid development of China-Tunisia relations.
Q: The Japanese government said today that the Chinese government had arrested 35 Japanese nationals who are suspected of involvement intelecommunications fraud in China. Can you give us details about this investigation? Will the 35 Japanese nationals be repatriated to Japan for trial?
A: On June 30, 35 Japanese nationals were placed under criminal detention by local Chinese police on suspicion of involvement in telecommunications swindle. China has made a consular notification in accordance with the Agreement on Consular Relations Between China and Japan.
Q: It is reported that the Philippines issued a statement on the first anniversary of the South China Sea arbitration on July 12. How do you comment on that?
A: China's stance on this arbitration has been consistent and clear-cut. While firmly upholding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea, China has also been committed to peacefully resolving the relevant disputes through negotiation and consultation with countries directly concerned and working with the ASEAN countries to jointly uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Since last year, with the concerted efforts of the two sides, China and the Philippines have come back to the right track of peacefully solving disputes through dialogue and negotiation, and the China-Philippines relations have taken an upturn comprehensively. The two sides have committed themselves to advancing friendly and pragmatic cooperation in various fields. This accords with the common interests of the two countries and peoples as well as the shared aspirations of the regional countries, and is also conducive to further safeguarding the peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Q: The US military said yesterday that it had conducted a successful test of the THAAD system, which brought down a target in the airspace over Alaska. It also said this test had nothing to do with the ICBM launch by the DPRK. Given China's strongly-worded remarks on the THAAD issue previously, how do you comment on this successful test and what has been said by the US?
A: We have noted relevant reports. China's stance on the anti-missile issue has been consistent and unequivocal. We hope relevant parties can act cautiously on the anti-missile issue so as to avoid any negative impact on global and regional security and stability.
As to the deployment of the THAAD system in the ROK by the US, our firm opposition is consistent and clear.
Q: The Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers yesterday strongly condemned the tense situation in the India-administered Kashmir and called upon India to implement the Security Council's resolutions on Kashmir. How do you view the ongoing tension between India and Pakistan on the Line of Control in Kashmir and the security situation in the region? Is China willing to play any role to defuse this tension between India and Pakistan on Kashmir?
A: We have noted relevant reports. The situation of Kashmir has drawn the attention of the international community. Both Pakistan and India are important countries in South Asia. The conflict between the two countries along the Line of Control in Kashmir is neither conducive to their own stability and development nor regional peace and tranquility. China hopes relevant parties to do more to help with regional peace and stability and refrain from escalating the tension. China stands ready to play a constructive role to improve the relations between Pakistan and India.
Q: July 16 will mark the 100th day since the first meeting between President Xi and US President Trump. Can you tell us what has been achieved during this period? Has the United States upheld its commitments to the plan? Secondly, President Xi said last week that the relations between China and the US have been hurt by negative factors. Have there been any changes in this assessment?
A: Since the successful meeting of the Chinese and US heads of state at the Mar-a-Lago resort, the China-US economic cooperation has made important and positive progress. Following the important consensus reached between the two presidents at their meeting, the two sides have vigorously advanced the 100-Day Action Plan for China-US economic cooperation. In early May, China and the US reaped a series of early harvests. To my knowledge, at present, the two sides are conducting consultation on the follow-up outcomes of the 100-Day Action Plan with the expectation for more practical outcomes.
You mentioned that China-US relations have been affected by certain negative factors. I believe we have all noted that in recent days certain moves by the US side did disrupt and affect China-US relations. I shall point out that, as two major countries, China and the US should continue to enhance mutual trust, deepen cooperation and properly manage differences, so as to ensure that the China-US relations can move forward in a sound and steady track. This serves the interests of the two countries and peoples and is also conducive to the peace, stability and prosperity of the region and world at large.
Q: We have noted a news release on the website of the Ministry of National Defense, announcing that the PLA has established a logistics support base in Djibouti. Can you tell us China's consideration for setting up such a base?
A: In accordance with relevant UN resolutions, China has been sending convoy fleets for escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and waters off Somalia since 2008. In its performance of missions, the Chinese convoy fleets have faced such practical difficulties as getting refreshment and refueling, and the Djibouti side has provided logistics support for the Chinese convey vessels on multiple occasions.
The establishment of the Djibouti logistics support base of the Chines troops is a decision made by the two countries through friendly negotiations. The completion and operation of the base will enable China to better perform the international obligations of the UN escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters as well as humanitarian relief, help with Djibouti's socio-economic development and allow China to make greater contributions to the peace and stability of Africa and beyond.
Q: The first round of the China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue will be held in Washington D.C. on July 19. Will the Chinese side hold any open events for the media?
A: I have confirmed yesterday that the China-US Comprehensive Economic Dialogue will be held in Washington D.C. on July 19. Yet I don't have the detailed schedule at hand and will refer you to the relevant competent authority.
Q: Can you tell us on what charges the above-mentioned 35 Japanese were arrested? Some reports say the Japanese policy requested the its Chinese counterpart to help arrest them. Can you confirm that?
A: As I said just now, these 35 Japanese nationals were placed under criminal detention by local police in China. As to the details you were asking about, including whether there is any communication with the Japanese police, I will refer you to the relevant competent authority.
Q: On the base in Djibouti, some have also said that this is the first step in China's military expansion abroad. Do you have any comment on that?
A: As I said just now, the establishment of this base is mainly aimed to enable China to better perform its escort missions in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters as well as humanitarian relief and to make greater contributions to the peace and stability of Africa and beyond. In addition, I would like to reiterate that China stays committed to the path of peaceful development and follows a defensive national defense policy. This remains unchanged.
Q: Yesterday Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said about the current standoff at the Doklam of the Sikkim sector that there were border differences in the past which have been resolved. At the same time, it is a long border, of which no part has been agreed upon on the ground. Therefore, it's likely that from time to time there are differences. But differences should not become disputes as they can be resolved just as in the past. What is your reaction?
A: China has explicitly pointed out that the illegal trespass of Indian border troops into China's territory this time took place at the defined Sikkim section of the China-India boundary, which is utterly different in nature from the previous frictions between the two sides at the undefined sections of the China-India boundary. The Sikkim section of the China-India boundary has come to existence against special historical background, and it is the only delimited section of the China-India boundary, which is totally different from the undefined eastern, central and western sections. The Convention Between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet (1890) has officially delimited this particular section, whose validity is recognized by both the Chinese and Indian governments. This convention is effective and legally binding to both sides. The Chinese side demands that the Indian side immediately pull the Indian border troops back to the Indian side of the boundary and properly settle this incident.
The Foreign Ministry and the People's Government of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region will host a promotion event for Chinese provinces themed Open China: Magnificent Inner Mongolia Inviting Friends around the Globe on the third floor of the Southern Building on 3:30 p.m. 21 July. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will address the event. The Party Secretary of the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region Li Jiheng and chairperson Bu Xiaolin will respectively deliver speeches and presentations. Foreign diplomatic envoys and representatives will also be invited to make remarks and interact with other guests.
The Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region boasts magnificent natural scenery, profound history and extensive culture. It is in the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region that the system of regional ethnic autonomy of the People's Republic of China was first and successfully practiced. Over the past 70 years since its founding, the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, enjoying ethnic unity, economic development, social stability and cultural propensity, has become a shining pearl in the north of China. With the advancement of the Belt and Road Initiative, the Inner Mongolian Autonomous Region, as an important window for China's opening up to the north, has attracted worldwide attention for actively interconnecting with the world with an open arm. We welcome your participation and covering of this event.