Q: Japan proposed to host the China-Japan-ROK leaders’ summit in December, which is now likely to fall through due to the unstable political situation in the ROK. Do you have any comment?
A: What you said is true. The date for the trilateral leaders’ summit is yet to be finalized due to reasons we all know. China attaches great importance to trilateral cooperation and the summit mechanism. We are willing to work in unison with Japan and the ROK to maintain the upward momentum of trilateral cooperation and ensure its sound, steady and continued development.
The leaders’ summit should be held at a time and under a condition suitable to all, and deliver positive outcomes once is held. The three parties are still in communication on the leaders’ summit through diplomatic channels.
Q: It is reported that Iowa Governor Terry Branstad has accepted the nomination to be the next US Ambassador to China. Yesterday you said here that he is an “old friend of the Chinese people”. How will this improve the future sound and steady development of China-US ties?
A: We hope to have more and more friends, and hope that all our friends can play bigger roles in propelling China’s relations with other countries.
As I said yesterday, Governor Branstad is an old friend of the Chinese people and has made great efforts to enhance bilateral exchanges and cooperation serving as the governor. We hope that he can contribute more to the growth of China-US relations.
I also said yesterday that US Ambassador to China is an important bridge connecting the US and Chinese governments. The Chinese government stands ready to work with whomever that takes this post to move forward the steady and sound development of bilateral ties.
Q: A Russian military hospital in Aleppo, Syria was bombed by the opposition on December 5, which killed two medical personnel and left one in severe injury. What is China’s comment?
A: China’s position on the Syrian issue has been made clear to all. We hope that all parties concerned can commit themselves to relieving the tension and humanitarian situation in Syria through cooperation. We condemn and oppose any attack against civilians amid a conflict.
Q: The northern coast of Aceh province,Indonesia was rocked by a magnitude 6.5 earthquake on December 7 which left at least 97 people dead and another 562 injured. Is there any Chinese citizen among the dead or injured? Will China help Indonesia in the disaster relief operation?
A: The past month or so has witnessed several earthquakes around the world. We just got news that the Xinjiang autonomous region of China was also struck by a magnitude 6.2 quake.
The strong earthquake in Aceh, Indonesia yesterday has caused heavy casualties and property losses. China offers its deep condolences to the victims and sends sincere sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured.
The Chinese Consulate General in Medan has activated the emergence response mechanism, checked whether there are Chinese casualties or not through various channels and alerted Chinese enterprises and citizens there to step up safety precautions. As we speak, there has been no report on Chinese casualties. We will keep a close eye on the disaster and do anything we can to meet the disaster relief needs of Indonesia.
Q: You described Governor Branstad as “an old friend of the Chinese people”. Does China think that appointing Mr. Branstad as the US Ambassador to China is a good sign for future development of China-US relations and a positive decision by the Trump administration?
A: You can only ask President-elect Trump and his team about his nominations to various posts, the US Ambassador to China included. On China’s part, I have just said that the US Ambassador to China works as a bridge connecting the US and Chinese governments. We are willing to work together with whomever that takes the post and drive forward the continued, steady and sound development of bilateral ties.
Governor Branstad is an old friend of the Chinese people. He has been contributing to promoting bilateral exchanges and cooperation for years. We are pleased to see an old friend taking this job.
Q: Russian Defense Minister called the killing of two Russian medical personnel in Aleppo a “murder”, accusing not only those who committed this but also western governments that support the opposition in Syria. I wonder what’s your comment on this.
A: I have just stated China’s position. We condemn and oppose any attack against civilian and humanitarian relief facilities in armed conflicts.
Q: Flight PK-661 of the Pakistan International Airlines crashed on December 7 local time, killing all on board including one Chinese citizen. What is your reaction to this? What have you done in terms of consular protection?
A: China is deeply saddened by the loss of one passenger flight of Pakistan International Airlines and the deaths of all on board including one Chinese citizen. On behalf on the Foreign Ministry, I would like to express heartfelt condolences to the victims and offer sincere sympathies to the bereaved families. The Chinese people stand with the Pakistani people at this tragic moment.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Embassy in Pakistan have activated the emergence response mechanism right after the crash. After check and verification, the deceased Chinese citizen has been identified and family members have been notified. The Chinese Embassy in Pakistan will provide assistance to the bereaved family for the aftermath work.
Q: We understand that there have been delays in Afghanistan in putting in security gates financed by China due to conflicts there. What’s your comment? Are you aware of the delays? Has China been in talks with Afghanistan about this? How important are these security gates to the security environment in Kabul?
A: I am not aware of the reports, and I will check on that. You may also ask competent authorities for specifics.
Q: It is reported that President Xi Jinping will attend the Davos Forum in Switzerland. Please confirm and give us more details.
A: We will release relevant information on the major diplomatic agenda of Chinese leaders once they are set.
Q: We learn that goods imported from the DPRK including fish and mushrooms are being re-labeled in China and then exported as Chinese products to third countries such as the ROK, Japan and the US. Do you have any comment? How does China ensure that such products are classified as livelihood products when managing what crosses the border?
A: Some concepts are mixed up in your question. The UN Security Council has imposed a series of sanctions on the DPRK, which are widely recognized and should be observed by all. We also notice that some countries have imposed unilateral sanctions beyond the UN framework. So if you want to talk about prohibited goods from the DPRK, I suggest that first of all, you find out whether the goods you mentioned are covered by the UN resolution that is binding to all UN members, or they are just under the unilateral sanctions imposed by particular countries.
The Chinese government holds a clear position on this. As a permanent member of the Security Council, we always act in strict accordance with the sanctions imposed by the UN. Meanwhile, we never accept or recognize any unilateral sanction imposed by any other countries. Back to your question, I suggest you check the products you mentioned against the UN resolutions on the DPRK and see whether they are on the sanction list.
Q: Philippine President Duterte has issued an arrest warrant for Jack Lam, a Chinese citizen who has fled from the Philippines and whose whereabouts are currently unknown. Is China aware of this? Do you support the Philippine investigation into him and will you cooperate with the Philippine side?
A: We have taken note of the reports and will get to know further details. As far as I know, the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines is making verification, ready to provide consular assistance to the involved Chinese citizen within its capacity.
Q: Indian media reported that India is in talks with Russia on a swap of natural gas with China and Myanmar. India proposed that Myanmar transfers to India the gas that should go to China, and Russia instead supplies the exact amount to China. Is China open to this proposal? How do you respond?
A:Ｉam not aware of this. I would refer you to relevant departments in Russia and India for the details.
Q: The Mongolian Ambassador to India has asked for clear support from India against a transport-obstructions imposed by China after the recent visit of the Dalai Lama to Mongolia. What is your comment?
A: I haven’t heard of this.