Q: The US State Department released Secretary of State John Kerry's exit memo to President Obama in which he said that the relationship with China is the most consequential of US' bilateral relationships in the world today, and the two sides have been expanding cooperation on a range of global challenges. The report also admitted areas of vigorous disagreement between the two countries. What is your comment?
A: We agree with Secretary Kerry's positive remarks on the important progress China-US relations have made over the years. Yesterday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed his appreciation for Secretary Kerry's contributions to the development of China-US relations when talking with him over the phone.
We always believe that the China-US relationship is so significant that it has exceeded the scope of bilateral ties. It concerns not only the benefits of people in the two countries, but also peace, stability, development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific and the whole world. People in the two countries and around the world all expect to see China and US develop their relations in a steady way.
China stands ready to work with the incumbent and the incoming US administrations under the principle of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, expand cooperation, and manage differences so as to seek greater progress of bilateral ties from a new starting point and benefit people in the two countries and beyond.
Q: Is China behind the abortion of Greenland Trade Minister's planned visit to Taiwan last November?
A: We stand firmly against any forms of official contact and interaction between Taiwan and countries that have diplomatic ties with us. The Chinese side appreciates Denmark's adherence to the one China principle. As Denmark's autonomous constituent country, Greenland should follow the foreign policy upheld by Denmark.
Q: The ROK Finance Minister yesterday said that China's blocking of new chartered flights between the two sides might be an indirect counter-measure in response to the ROK's deployment of THAAD. What is your comment on that?
A: We have repeatedly expressed our stance of serious concerns and firm opposition on the issue of THAAD. This stance remains unchanged and the ROK side is quite clear about that. As for economic cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges between the two sides, as we have said, we are open and positive to that. But cooperation and exchanges as such need popular support.
We have also expressed our hope that the ROK would immediately cease the deployment, and stop travelling any further down the wrong path. We would also like to stay in touch with the ROK side in a bid to find a proper solution that accommodates each other's concerns through communication and consultation.
Q: It is reported that in opposition to the deployment of THAAD in the ROK, the Chinese side has recently had active contact with the ROK opposition party, dwarfing its official contact with the ROK government. It seems to be driven by some special consideration. What is your response to that?
A: I have made our position clear when answering the question from the Reuters. The Chinese side attaches importance to developing relations with the ROK and stays in touch with both the government and all sectors of the ROK. Foreign ministries of the two countries are also in communication.
The Chinese side has made clear its serious concerns about and firm opposition against the deployment of THAAD. Messages regarding China's stance on the issue of THAAD passed from China to the ROK government, the ruling party and other parties are identical.
Q: Last Friday, Japan recalled its ambassador to the ROK, in protest of the installation of a statute symbolizing comfort women in front of the Japanese Consulate General in Busan. Does China have the intention to build a similar statute in China?
A: We have noted the report. The forcible recruitment of comfort women is a crime against humanity committed by the Japanese militarism during WWII. We have been urging the Japanese side to face up to and deeply reflect upon the history. It is hoped that the Japanese side will take seriously the concerns of its Asian neighbors and the international community, and properly deal with the relevant issue in a responsible attitude.
Q: Media reports say that China is vetting a number of large and famous American companies. In case US President-elect Trump did launch punitive tariffs on imports from China and trigger a trade war, China could punish these foreign enterprises on grounds of anti-monopoly and taxation policies. What is your comment?
A: I wonder where you got this information. I can tell you that first, trade between China and the US is in its essence for mutual benefit and win-win results. We keep stressing that the benefits of business cooperation between the two countries will be felt not only by the two countries or the two peoples, but also the whole world. Both China and the US are crucial parts in the world industry and value chains. Should any problem emerge in trade between the two sides, the influence as well will be borne not only by the two countries or the two peoples, but also the whole world. Therefore, a well-functioning trade relationship between the two sides serves the common interests of the two countries and the international community. Second, we welcome foreign companies investing and operating in China, including American ones. Meanwhile, it must be made clear that these foreign enterprises must obey Chinese laws and regulation while in China.
Q: Ma Xiaohong, owner of the Liaoning Hongxiang Industrial Development Company, is under investigation on suspicion of serious economic crimes. What is the final verdict?
A: As you said, she is under investigation. I think when the investigation is done, relevant information will be released.
Follow-up: do you mean that the investigation is still underway?
A: The investigation is still underway.