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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on June 25, 2019
2019/06/25

Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council will attend the World Economic Forum's 13th Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian from July 1 to 2. Besides attending the opening ceremony and delivering a special speech, Premier Li will also meet with Executive Chairman Schwab and foreign leaders at the forum and hold exchanges with people from the business, financial, think tank and media communities.

Under the theme of "Leadership 4.0: Succeeding in a New Era of Globalization", this forum will be attended by more than 1,900 delegates in the political, business, academic and media circles from over 100 countries.

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the People's Republic of Bangladesh will pay an official visit to China from July 3 to 5. Prior to the visit, Prime Minister Hasina will attend the 13th Annual Meeting of the New Champions 2019 in Dalian.

At the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Kingdom of the Netherlands will pay a working visit to China on June 27.

At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón of the United Mexican States will pay an official visit to China from June 30 to July 2.

Q: Regarding the upcoming visit by Prime Minister Hasina of Bangladesh you just announced, could you tell us more details as well as China's expectation? How does China see the current China-Bangladesh relationship?

A: This will be the first visit to China by Prime Minister Hasina since her re-election. It will be an important opportunity for the leaders of the two countries to chart the course for bilateral relations in the future. During the visit, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Li Zhanshu will meet and hold talks with her respectively to exchange ideas on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest. Besides Beijing, Prime Minister Hasina will also travel to Dalian for the 13th Summer Davos Forum.

China and Bangladesh are strategic cooperative partners with deepening political mutual trust, economic cooperation and cultural exchange in recent years. The two sides have been working to implement the important consensus reached when President Xi visited Bangladesh in 2016 and to advance BRI cooperation projects, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples. We will take the visit as an opportunity to consolidate our traditional friendship, create greater synergy between our development strategies, deepen practical cooperation across the board and bring our relations to a new height.

Q: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said yesterday that there's no sign that China would consider joining the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty or other nuclear disarmament negotiations. What's your comment?

A: As an important bilateral treaty between the US and Russia, the INF Treaty is of great significance to upholding global strategic balance and stability. The Chinese side opposes the US withdrawal from the Treaty. We urge the US and Russia to properly resolve differences through constructive dialogue and return to compliance with the Treaty at an early date. The US and Russia possess over 90% of the world's nuclear arms and shoulder special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament. On the basis of earnestly upholding the existing treaty, the US and Russia should continue to drastically reduce their nuclear stockpiles so as to create conditions for other countries' participation in nuclear disarmament negotiations.

Q: We noted that the IMF and WTO in their reports released yesterday expressed concerns over the prospect of world economy, saying that the trade-restrictive measures applied by G20 members and the trade tensions among them have led to increased uncertainty of global economic growth and calling on G20 economies to join hands in addressing that. What's your comment?

A: We noted these two reports and we believe the relevant content has reflected the overwhelming call and shared concerns of the international community. Indeed, the instability and uncertainty in world economy are mainly attributable to trade tensions, which are largely caused by unilateralism, protectionism and bullying acts.

China always champions free trade and upholds rules-based multilateral trading system. As a victim of trade-restrictive measures, China always stands at the forefront of opposing unilateralism, protectionism and bullying. We stand ready to exchange in-depth views on world economy with G20 members in Osaka and seek consensus and solution to promote international trade growth, advance world economic development, improve global governance and address risks and challenges.

We hope this G20 summit will send out strong signals in support of multilateralism, openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation and against unilateralism, protectionism and bullying. I think this is the responsibility of G20 as a premier forum for international economic cooperation under the current circumstances.

Q: With respect to the visit by Dutch Prime Minister Rutte, could you share more information and what does China expect from it? Also, how does China see current bilateral relations?

A: During the visit, Premier Li Keqiang will hold talks with Prime Minister Rutte to exchange views on bilateral relations, China-Europe relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. The two will also attend an inauguration ceremony of the China office of the Global Center of Excellence on Climate Adaptation.

The Netherlands is a founding member of the EU and an important cooperative partner for China in the EU. In recent years, bilateral relations have been growing with a strong momentum as evidenced by close high-level exchange, fruitful cooperation in trade, investment, agriculture, water conservancy and environment protection, and dynamic cultural and people-to-people exchange and sub-national cooperation. The two sides share extensive consensus on upholding free trade and multilateralism. China attaches importance to this relationship and stands ready to work with the Netherlands to tap into the potential for practical cooperation across the board and bring our open and pragmatic partnership for comprehensive cooperation to a new height.

This will be the fourth visit to China by Prime Minister Rutte since he took office. We believe it will further consolidate political mutual trust, expand practical cooperation and contribute to the sustained, sound and steady development of bilateral relations.

Q: The Xinhua News Agency released the readout of Vice Premier Liu He's telephone conversation with USTR Robert Lighthizer. Does that mean China and the US have restarted the trade talks? Can you confirm that President Xi Jinping will meet with President Trump on Saturday? According to reports, the US is suspending its arms sales to Taiwan to avoid escalation of tensions ahead of the two leaders'meeting and President Trump is not going to make remarks on the bill related to human rights and democracy in Hong Kong. What's your response?

A: The Xinhua News Agency released the readout of Vice Premier Liu He's telephone conversation upon invitation with the US side and I have nothing more to add.

Regarding the upcoming meeting between Chinese and US heads of state at the G20 Osaka Summit, as far as I know, the teams from both sides are in communication on scheduling the meeting. As to the measures related to Taiwan and Hong Kong by the US, I think the US side knows China's position very well. Taiwan and Hong Kong-related issues are China's internal affairs and we firmly oppose US interference.

Q: On June 24, US President Trump signed an executive order to impose punitive financial measures on Iran, denying Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his aides access to any assets within US jurisdiction. Eight senior commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are also included in the sanction list. Previously Vice President Mike Pence said that the United States is ready to talk with Iran with no pre-conditions, except one that Tehran gives up the nuclear weapons. Iran's foreign ministry spokesman said the latest US sanctions are closing the channel of diplomacy forever. What's your comment?

A: China is concerned about the tensions in the Gulf region and hopes that relevant party will stay calm and exercise restraint to avoid further escalation. China as always opposes unilateral sanctions and so-called long-arm jurisdiction and believes that the constant maximum pressure campaign will not help resolve the issue. Facts have shown that these measures have only aggravated instability in the region.

What the region calls for is not tension and containment, but dialogue and negotiation. We hope relevant party will demonstrate political courage and wisdom, properly resolve conflicts and differences through such peaceful means as dialogue and negotiation on the basis of equality and mutual respect and join us in safeguarding peace and stability in the Gulf region.

Q: Reports say Shanghai Pudong Development Bank could lose access to the US financial system after US judge found them in contempt for refusing to comply with subpoenas in the North Korean sanctions violation investigation. Is the Foreign Ministry aware of this and does it have any comments?

A: The Chinese government has all along fully implemented UN Security Council resolutions in a serious and earnest manner. It not only requires financial agencies, businesses and individuals to strictly abide by UN sanction resolutions, but also asks overseas branches of Chinese financial institutions to obey local regulatory laws and rules in their operation and cooperate with local judicial and law enforcement authorities on regulation.

Having that said, we always oppose the so-called long-arm jurisdiction over Chinese businesses by the US. We hope the US will step up bilateral cooperation with other countries in financial regulation and other fields, including exchange of information in accordance with respective domestic law, and addressing the problem of cross-border information sharing through such channels as bilateral mutual legal assistance and regulation cooperation.

Q: A research group said hackers targeted over a dozen telecom companies in more than 30 countries, taking corporate and personal data. The researchers said the hackers used tools previously used by a Chinese hacking group. What is your response?

A: Who did that research?

Journalist: A US-Israeli research group.

A: I haven't seen this report you mentioned.

First of all, I need to reiterate that China firmly opposes and legally cracks down on all forms of cyber attack and allows no country or individual to engage in cyber attack and other illegal activities on Chinese soil or using Chinese infrastructure.

Second, with the cyberspace being a highly virtual one filled with multiple actors whose behaviors are difficult to trace, one should present abundant evidence when investigating and determining the nature of a cyberspace activity. Making groundless accusations are neither professional nor responsible. I'm sure those who have long been following cybersecurity issues must still remember the PRISM program and have heard of the Equation Group. They may also have known that a certain country has been wantonly waging "cyber war" against other countries. Just a few days ago, a certain country said it launched a cyber war against Iran. These incidents have sounded the alarm for peace and security of global cyber space.

Third, I would like to stress once again that cyber security should be upheld by all members of the international community as it is a global issue that concerns the common interests of all countries. The cold-war and confrontational mindset will only poison the cooperation environment and contribute nothing to the peace and security of cyber space.

Q: Sweden said it has detained a Chinese citizen Qiao Jianjun at the request of the US after turning down a Chinese extradition request. Will China continue to call for his extradition to China?

A: I just heard the news and will need to get more information and check on that. What I can say here is that China attaches importance to protecting and promoting human rights. The Chinese judicial system guarantees the legal rights of all criminal suspects. The progress in human rights protection through judicial means is there for all to see. We have extradited more than 260 criminal suspects from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, a testament of the international community's faith in China's judicial system. This is my principled response. I will need to get more information on the details.

Q: Further to the visit of the Bangladesh Prime Minister, China has made extensive investment in Bangladesh under the BRI and you also said there would be a discussion on the BRI. Do you have an official data of Chinese investment in Bangladesh?

A: I don't have information at hand. I will check on that and get back to you.

Q: You mentioned earlier how the teams from America and China are working towards preparations for the Xi-Trump meeting. Is China hopeful of a deal being reached at that meeting?

A: If you follow the news, you may have noticed that President Xi recently upon invitation held a telephone conversation with President Trump. During the call, the two heads of state agreed to have a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Osaka Summit. It will be an important meeting where the two leaders will exchange views on fundamental issues in bilateral relations.

We certainly hope that the meeting will help enhance mutual trust, resolve differences and address outstanding issues in bilateral relations. China is committed to working with the US to foster a relationship featuring coordination, cooperation and stability. We hope the US will meet us halfway and work toward this end. It serves the interests of both countries and is also the shared expectation of the international community.

Q: According to media reports, a jury in a federal court in Illinois found Christensen guilty of kidnapping and murdering Zhang Yingying in 2017. Reports also say that the court is adjourned and will mete out sentences on July 8. Christensen will face life imprisonment or death penalty. Do you have a comment?

A: We have been closely following the case and note the latest developments. China asks the US judicial departments to hold a just trial and bring the murderer to justice. Also our Consulate-General in Chicago will continue to assist Zhang Yingying's family in handling relevant matters in the US.

Q: I want to ask about the visit from Marcos Peña, chief of cabinet of ministers of Argentina. He is in China for a visit and is expected to meet with some Chinese officials. So what will be the topics and what does China expect from this visit? Does China expect to advance the plan to build a nuclear plant in Buenos Aires, Argentina?

A: Argentina is China's comprehensive strategic partner. At the end of 2018, President Xi Jinping paid a successful state visit to Argentina and held fruitful discussions with President Macri. During chief of cabinet of ministers Peña's visit to China, the two sides will work to implement the two Presidents' consensus and deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation.

With highly complementary economies, there is huge potential in China-Argentina cooperation. We have extensive cooperation in various areas, including nuclear energy. Going forward, China will continue to advance mutually-beneficial cooperation with Argentina to the benefits of our peoples.

Q: According to US media reports, President Trump is privately considering withdrawing from the US-Japan Security Treaty because he thinks it is not fair for the US. Would you like to comment on that?

A: I have not seen relevant news and need to get more information. With respect to any bilateral agreement between countries, we always believe that such bilateral agreement and cooperation should go with the trend of the times and be conducive to enhancing mutual trust between regional countries and maintaining regional peace and stability.

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