|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on February 21, 2019|
Q: The Mobile World Congress will be convened next week in Barcelona, where the 5G technology will be a hot topic. We know that for some time, there have been some debates on Chinese companies' participation in the 5G network building of relevant countries. Some people believe that the products and equipment of Chinese companies pose security risks and should be excluded from the 5G network building. What is your comment?
A: The 5G technology, cutting-edge as it is, should not be exclusively owned by one country or several countries. It means a lot to global economic development, the interests of all countries and the progress of human civilization.
The 5G technology owes its birth to the exchanges and cooperation among countries amid the surging tide of globalization. It is a product of hi-tech innovation by the international community. Its global industrial chain, supply chain and value chain are highly integrated and cannot be artificially severed or separated. Otherwise, mutually-beneficial multilateral cooperation will be affected, the open and inclusive business environment will be undermined, and the fair, just and non-discriminatory international rules will be undercut.
In the era of globalization, no country can achieve development in isolationfrom the world, nor is development and application of a technology possible without cooperation. Guided by the principle of consultation, cooperation and benefit for all, China will continue to share the major opportunities brought by the new round of technological revolution with other countries, step up exchanges and cooperation in the scientific and technological fields including the 5G technology, and contribute to the wellbeing of all mankind through common development and win-win results.
Along the way, we hope that all countries can form their own judgments and make independent decisions that serve their own interests and follow the trend of the times.
Q: Yesterday, during his speech, President Putin announced that the equitable, mutually-beneficial relationship between Russia and China is an important stabilizing factor of the international affairs and of security in Eurasia. Moreover, this relationship is an example of the effective collaboration in the economy. How do you comment on the statement of the Russian President?
A: China highly commends President Putin's positive remarks on China-Russia relations. In recent years, under the strategic leadership of President Xi and President Putin, marked progress has been achieved in the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. It has not only produced fruitful outcomes in bilateral cooperation, but also injected strong, positive impetus into global strategic stability. Last year, China-Russia bilateral trade exceeded USD 100 billion, and practical cooperation in various fields was enhanced and upgraded, which delivered benefits to our two countries and peoples.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Russia. Taking it as an opportunity, we will continue to deepen comprehensive strategic coordination, work together for more progress in bilateral relations and make greater contributions to the wellbeing of our two peoples and the security and stability of the world.
Q: There have been reports by Reuters that Australian coal is being held offshore in ports to China, and that the port of Dalian has said they are not accepting any more coal. Do you know any information about this? Is this the result of or does this have anything to do with tensions or problems in the relationship between China and Australia, possibly over 5G or other issue?
A: You were saying "coal", not "cow", right? (The journalist laughed and said, "Yes, coal.")
According to the information I have, China's customs assesses the safety and quality of imported coal, analyzes possible risks, and conducts corresponding examination and inspection compliant with laws and regulations. By doing so, it can better safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese importers and protect the environment.
Q: Nigeria is going to hold its presidential and parliamentary elections this Saturday. Last Saturday, the Independent National Electoral Commission announced its decision to postpone the elections for one week, which has garnered widespread attention from the international community. What's your comment on the elections in Nigeria?
A: We have noted the relevant situation. The Chinese side hopes and believes that Nigeria's presidential and parliamentary elections will be held successfully and smoothly.
I would like to point out that Nigeria is an important country in Africa. Peace, stability and development of Nigeria serve the interests of the Nigerian people, the region and Africa at large. China always stands for the principle of non-interference in other country's internal affairs. We believe the Nigerian government and people are capable of managing the relevant election affairs.
Q: New Zealand former Prime Minister Shipley has denied writing an article attributed to her in the People's Daily and that article praises China. Is that article faked? And what's your reaction to Shipley's comments on this matter?
A: I have read relevant media reports, but I'm not aware of the specifics. I'd like to refer you to the relevant Chinese media if you want to know more about it.
Q: I know that you said there has been a review of imported coal, but it seems to be affecting Australian coal specifically. So, is there any concern about Australian coal? And secondly, China Daily said today that Australian Prime Minister Morrison has implied that the cyber attack on the federal parliament in Australia could possibly come from China. Are these two linked in any way?
A: Regarding your question on the review of imported coal, as I said earlier, the Chinese customs conducts risk monitoring and analysis on the safety of imported coal in accordance with the laws and regulations and takes examination and inspection measures accordingly. I believe this is a normal practice.
As for your question on the so-called cyber attack, I gave my answer several days earlier. I can repeat it if you need me to. (The journalist nodded.)
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 instead of making baseless speculations and firing indiscriminate shots at others. 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. China calls on the international community to deal with cyber security threats through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
I would like to take this opportunity to add a few words on China-Australia relations. As we stressed many times before, a sound and stable China-Australia relationship serves the common interests of both countries and peoples. China hopes Australia can work with us to advance bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
Q: Nine countries in the United Nations Security Council have called for a meeting on Myanmar to address the Rohingya refugee crisis. But diplomats say they expect to see opposition from China on this move. What's China's position on this matter?
A: I am not aware of the latest developments you talked about at the UN Security Council. Did you just say that some countries expect China to raise opposition? (The journalist nodded)
What I can tell you now is that, regarding the Rakhine situation, it is imperative at present for all parties to help Myanmar and Bangladesh with the early repatriation of the first batch of displaced persons, which I believe will help the two sides establish mutual trust and build a sound momentum for the settlement of the relevant issue. The international community needs to play a constructive role in this regard. This has been our position all along.
Q: Could you give us an update on the visit of the Saudi Crown Prince to China and any details of any agreements that may be signed while he is here?
A: I responded to this question several times recently. As far as I know, the main activities are scheduled to take place tomorrow when Crown Prince Mohammad will meet with leaders from the Chinese side. We will release more information afterwards in a timely manner.
Do you need me to restate my previous answer?
(The journalist said, "I just want to know if there are any new developments. I can wait for tomorrow.")
Q: US President Donald Trump suggested that the US would consider easing sanctions on the DPRK if it does what he says "something meaningful" on denuclearization. What's China's response to those comments?
A: China always supports the DPRK and the US in maintaining dialogue and meeting each other halfway. We hope that the second DPRK-US summit will be held successfully and produce positive outcomes to inject new impetus into the realization of denuclearization and lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.
China believes that relevant parties should implement the DPRK-related Security Council resolutions fully and accurately in their entirety. Both implementing sanctions and promoting political settlement are equally important under the Security Council resolutions, which must be advanced in parallel, not in a partial or selective way. Under the current circumstances, the Chinese side believes that the Security Council needs to consider holding a debate on invoking the provisions of Security Council resolutions for the body to modify sanctions so as to encourage the political settlement process with concrete actions.
Q: Regarding the second summit between the US and DPRK leaders, there have been reports that the North Korean leader will pass through China by train to go to Viet Nam. Do you have any information on that?
A: I don't have relevant information.
Q: There has been a Reuters report that the trade talks have entered the phase of developing six MOUs and a ten-point list to deal with problems of the trade deficit. Are those reports accurate? Can you tell us anything about that?
A: During the sixth round of China-US high-level economic and trade consultations held recently in Beijing, the two sides reached principled consensus on major issues and had consultations on the MOUs of bilateral economic and trade issues.
However, as I'm not aware of the specifics of this round of consultations, I'd refer you to the competent authorities of the Chinese side.
The Foreign Ministry and the People's Government of Shanxi Province will hold a promotion event in the South Building at 3:30 pm on February 25 under the theme of "China in the New Era: Shanxi, New Transformation for a Shared New Future". State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will deliver a speech. Secretary of the CPC Shanxi Provincial Committee Luo Huining and Governor Lou Yangsheng of Shanxi Province will also address the event. Representatives of foreign diplomats in China are invited to deliver remarks and interact with the guests.
As one of the birthplaces of the Chinese nation, Shanxi boasts a long history, rich resources and brilliant culture. As an important energy base in China, Shanxi has made important contributions to national social and economic development. In the new era, Shanxi, following a new development philosophy, is transforming its growth model, embracing the Belt and Road cooperation and exploring new horizons for opening up as an inland province. This promotion event will showcase Shanxi's profound history and culture, its vision of transformation in pursuit of high-quality development and a shared new future for the world. It will serve as a platform for all to better understand and appreciate Shanxi and expand cooperation with it. We look forward to your attendance and coverage of this event.
Due to the promotion event for Shanxi, the regular press conference of the Foreign Ministry will be adjourned on Monday, February 25 and resumed on Tuesday, February 26. During this period, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Office will take your questions via fax and e-mail as usual.