|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on June 20, 2019|
Q: Yesterday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said that a meeting of the JCPOA Joint Commission is going to be held in Vienna on June 28. The meeting is to be held with attendants and representatives of Iran, China, Germany, UK, France and Russia. Could you give any details about who is going to represent China?
A: I can confirm that parties to the JCPOA will hold a Joint Commission meeting on June 28. China is in close contact with all relevant parties on this meeting. More information will be released in due course.
China is closely following the persistent tensions on the Iranian nuclear issue and has been in contact with Russia, relevant European countries and Iran through bilateral and multilateral channels. We hope this meeting in Vienna can produce positive outcomes.
Q: Spokesperson of Iran's nuclear agency announced on June 17 that the country will boost uranium enrichment for domestic need. On June 19, Iranian President Rouhani said that pulling out of some commitments under the nuclear deal was a "minimum" measure that Tehran could adopt, and that there would be new measures if Iran's demands could not be satisfied. Do you have any comment on that?
A: China is closely following the continued tension on the Iranian nuclear issue.
As State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during yesterday's joint press conference with Syrian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid Al-Moualem, ensuring the full and effective implementation of the JCPOA, which concerns the common interests of the international community, has been written in UN Security Council resolutions and is the only viable approach to settle the Iranian nuclear issue. China calls on all sides to stay rational, exercise restraint and refrain from actions that may lead to further escalation. Maximum pressure adopted by a certain country, in particular, should be ceased.
You may have noted that the IAEA confirmed recently for the 15th consecutive time that Iran has fulfilled its nuclear obligations under the JCPOA. All relevant parties need to acknowledge this and earnestly respect the country's legitimate demands and maintain the balance of rights and obligations under the JCPOA through concrete measures.
Q: US Senator Rubio recently filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020. If passed, it will prevent Huawei and other companies on the government's list from seeking damages in US patent courts or bring legal action over patent infringement. I wonder if you have any comment?
A: I note the media reports. A Senator of a country which prides itself with democracy and rule of law should propose legislation to thwart and curtail foreign companies' efforts to defend legitimate rights and interests through legal means. It is small wonder that such a preposterous move has triggered strong domestic and international responses. We always know that some people in the US are doing all they can to smear and oppress foreign companies, but such blatant manipulation of laws and rules went beyond our imagination. Frankly, it damages not only the reputation of the country but also the interests of its own companies in the long run.
I'd like to reaffirm China's opposition to US abuse of national power on Chinese companies. We urge the country to stop this wrong practice, treat Chinese companies fairly and create conditions for normal trade and cooperation between Chinese and US companies. China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of our companies.
Q: According to reports, the Foreign Minister has asked China to give Syria military and political help to combat Islamic terrorists in Idlib. I wonder if you can confirm this report? And if so, has China agreed to provide Syria military and political help?
A: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi talked about this at a joint press conference with Syrian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid Al-Moualem the day before yesterday. He said that a large number of terrorists and extremists remain in Idlib, posing risks for a relapse. Relevant parties should put aside geopolitical considerations and step up coordination under unified standards to fight terrorist organizations listed by the UN Security Council to restore peace and stability in Syria and the region at an early date.
Q: A question about Huawei. There is report about US telling India that Indian companies found supplying equipment and other products of American origin to Huawei will face punitive actions. In fact, the Indian foreign ministry has also sought support from other departments of India over the issue, what's your comment?
A: We've stated repeatedly that the Chinese government always asks Chinese businesses to abide by host country laws and regulations in operating and investing overseas. At the same time, we are firmly against unilateral sanctions based on domestic law or abuse of national security issues and export control measures.
More and more people from various sectors are showing their just attitude towards Chinese tech companies' participation in 5G development. We hope and trust that India will make independent decisions, provide a fair, unbiased and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese business, and guarantee the win-win cooperation between Chinese and Indian companies.
Q: President Xi Jinping has started his state visit to the DPRK and Chinese media are following it. Could you update us on the latest information? How did the talks between him and Chairman Kim go? What does China expect out of the visit?
A: The Chinese side has been releasing information on General Secretary and President Xi's state visit to the DPRK. I'm sure you have seen that President Xi and Madame Peng arrived in Pyongyang around 12 o'clock local time. The latest is that President Xi and Chairman Kim are holding talks.
As to expectations for this visit, as was released at an earlier briefing by the International Department of the Central Committee of the CPC and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during the visit, the two leaders will meet and hold talks to look back on 70 years of bilateral relations and chart the course for the future. Besides domestic development, they will also exchange views on the Peninsula and work for new progress in political settlement of the issue. We will keep you updated.
Q: Philippine media reported that on June 17, President Duterte made his first public comments on the collision between Chinese and Filipino fishing vessels at an event. He called it a maritime incident and a collision of ships that is best investigated instead of escalated. Is there any update on this incident?
A: I note relevant reports.
Once again, I would like to offer sympathy to the Filipino fishermen who were in distress after the accidental collision of the Chinese and Filipino fishing vessel in Liyue Tan, Nansha Islands.
I'd like to reiterate that China attaches great importance to friendly relations with the Philippines and safety of personnel at sea, regardless of nationality. We will continue to investigate the incident thoroughly and communicate with the Philippine side via bilateral channels.
To find a proper solution, we suggest a joint investigation at an early date so the two sides can exchange respective initial findings and properly handle the matter through friendly consultations based on mutually-recognized investigation results.
Q: Yesterday New York State Senate passed unanimously a resolution to promote China-US friendship and acknowledge the contribution of American Chinese. It recognizes October 1, 2019 as China Day and the first week of October 2019 as Chinese American Heritage Week. Senators also said that the state understands how important China is to its economy, and emphasized that relations between the two sides are precious and New York State would like to be an example in China-US relations. What's your comment?
A: I have seen relevant reports, especially the decision to recognize October 1, 2019, which marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, as China Day. This year is the 40th anniversary of China-US diplomatic relations. At this special moment, New York State, one of the most populous states in the US, is expressing shared hopes for friendship and cooperation by passing the resolution. I have noted that some state Senators said joint efforts should be made to see that US-China relations will tide over difficulties and continue to grow. The two sides should show vision and courage and build an equal and respectful partnership. The two sides will see that they are friends, not enemies for each other. We appreciate these rational voices.
In fact, state legislatures in California, Nebraska, Tennessee, Iowa, Utah and Illinois, among others, have all passed bills or awarded certificates of recognition to mark the 40th anniversary of China-US diplomatic relations and promote friendship and cooperation. I believe they reflect the shared desire for steady and sound development of bilateral relations.
I would like to emphasize that none of the achievements made in the past four decades would have been possible without sub-national support. People-to-people friendship is the fountainhead of bilateral relations. The fundamental guarantee for steady and sustained progress in our relationship lies in going with people's aspirations.
Q: China announced last week that it will hold a coordinators' meeting on the implementation of the FOCAC Beijing Summit outcomes. As the meeting is drawing near, can you give us more details on the preparations? How many ministerial-level officials from the African side will attend the meeting? What outcomes do you expect to achieve?
A: The coordinators' meeting on the implementation of the FOCAC Beijing Summit outcomes will be held in Beijing from June 24 to 25. With the joint efforts of both sides, the preparations are well underway. The African side attached great importance to this meeting. All African members will send delegations. According to my information for now, there will be over 80 African ministerial-level officials at the meeting, including 24 foreign ministers. On the sidelines of the meeting, more than 40 bilateral and multilateral activities will be held to implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit, synergize efforts, consolidate consensus and deliver more benefits to our peoples.
The Chinese and African sides will sign cooperation agreements during the meeting and issue a joint statement afterwards. I believe this meeting will deepen our friendship and trust, boost high-quality and sustainable cooperation and demonstrate our determination for cooperation, multilateralism and a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.
According to the schedule, a meeting between Chinese finance officials and African coordinators will be held on the afternoon of June 24. On June 25, the opening ceremony of the coordinators' meeting will be held in the morning. After the closing ceremony in the afternoon, China and Senegal, the African chair, will hold a joint press conference on the meeting and its outcomes. You are welcome to attend them.
Q: Taliban's chief negotiator Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and other officials recently had talks with the Chinese side. Can you confirm that and provide some details?
A: Chief Baradar of Taliban's Political Office in Doha and his assistants recently visited China.
They exchanged views with Chinese officials on Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation process, counter-terrorism and other issues of mutual interest.
China has been closely following Afghanistan's situation in recent years and making constructive efforts in its peace and reconciliation process. We support intra-Afghan dialogue and broad, inclusive peace and reconciliation that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. The Chinese side exchanged views with Mr. Baradar based on our consistent position, which is part of our efforts in promoting peace and facilitating talks between relevant parties. Both sides agree to stay in communication and cooperation for the political settlement of the Afghan issue and counter-terrorism. For early realization of peace, reconciliation, stability and development in Afghanistan, China will continue to conduct talks and coordination with relevant parties through various means.
Q: Regarding what you said about the talks with the Taliban leader, what exactly does Taliban want to restore peace in Afghanistan?
A: I believe relevant parties in Afghanistan hope to settle the internal problems and realize peace and reconciliation through political dialogue, and they are making efforts to restore stability and development in the country.
As I said, the Chinese side exchanged views with Mr. Baradar and his delegation on promoting intra-Afghan dialogue and the realization of broad, inclusive peace and reconciliation that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. We also talked about counter-terrorism, which is a mutual concern. This is all I know and can offer at the moment.