First of all, I would like to thank you all for attending the last press conference of the Foreign Ministry before the Lunar New Year. Tomorrow is Lunar New Year's Eve. On behalf of my colleagues and in my own name, I wish you and your families a happy and healthy new year! I wish the Chinese journalists a happy family reunion, and I hope friends from the foreign press will share our festive joy and feel at home.
Q: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reportedly said on 25 January that Russia-China relations have set a model for major countries in the 21st century and that the development of relations with other countries will not call into question its relations with China. He also said that Moscow supports open and fair relations between the United States, China and Russia. And the triangle should not be closed. What is China's comment?
A: We have taken note of relevant remarks by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. We appreciate the highly positive comments on China-Russia relations from the Russian side on multiple occasions. Indeed, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is at its best in history. The strategic coordination between the two countries has extended far beyond a bilateral scope, serving as a cornerstone for regional and world peace and stability. China stands ready to work with Russia to reinforce and develop the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in line with the important consensus reached between our two heads of state, and continue to contribute positive energy to regional and world peace, stability and development.
China stands for the building of a new model of international relations featuring win-win cooperation on the basis of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. China, the US and Russia, all being major countries with worldwide influence and permanent members of the UN Security Council, share a great responsibility for promoting world peace, stability and development. We are working to set up a framework for major-country relations featuring overall stability and balanced development. We will deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with Russia and, at the same time, promote sound and sustained relations with the United States. We are ready to step up cooperation with the United States and Russia, and pull our weight together to address problems and challenges facing the world today.
Q: Yesterday, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and four other ministries jointly released a new list of items banned for export to the DPRK, including conventional weapons and dual use items. And the State Administration of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense was involved in this for the first time. What are China's considerations behind the move? Second, it is stipulated in Resolution 2321 of the UN Security Council that the imported coal from the DPRK by 31 December 2016 should not exceed one million ton or 54 million US dollars. Statistics recently released by China's customs shows that China's volume of coal imports from the DPRK in December 2016 exceeded the cap. What is China's comment on that?
A: On your first question, it is a shared obligation of UN member states to implement resolutions of the Security Council. According to Chinese laws, it is required for the Chinese government to issue a statement for actions taken to implement Resolution 2321. This is a regular practice of the Chinese side. The statement by relevant Chinese ministries is one such step. The list of dual use items and technologies annexed to the statement is a verbatim quote of the list in the resolution.
On your second question, let me point out that Resolution 2321 should be implemented in a comprehensive and balanced manner. And it is not only China who should implement the resolution. The resolution called for solving the issue of the Korean peninsula through political and diplomatic means. I would like to ask, what efforts have been made by other relevant countries?
Specifically on your question, competent authorities of China issued a statement on 9 December, immediately after the adoption of Resolution 2321 by the Security Council, ordering the suspension of coal imports from the DPRK until 31 December 2016. The Chinese side have taken measures in line with the requirements of the resolution and fulfilled its own international obligation.
Q: President Trump in a recent television interview said that water-boarding works as a technique for interrogation against terrorists. As a major power, does China have any reaction to this statement that advocate the use of torture technique and violation of human rights?
A: I don't comment specifically on the remarks of President Trump. As a principle, China firmly opposes any forms of terrorism. It is also our consistent position to oppose torture.
Q: Earlier this month, there were protests in Hambantota in southern Sri Lanka against Chinese-invested project. How concerned is China by these protests? Did China force Sri Lanka to offer concessions over the port project because Sri Lanka owes so much money to China in the form of loans? Did China ask Sri Lanka to ensure the industrial zone around the port is only for Chinese companies to use?
A: Let me be very clear, China has never asked Sri Lanka to allow only Chinese enterprises to operate in the Hambantota industrial zone. It is learned that small-scale protests occurred mainly because the local people misconstrued relevant policies on the projects. The Sri Lankan side has made an official clarification on this.
As the two countries are traditional friendly neighbors, China is willing to provide the best assistance it can to help Sri Lanka with its economic development so as to achieve common development. This is in the interests of both countries. The Chinese enterprises always discuss the Hambantota Port project with the Sri Lankan side on a voluntary basis, in the spirit of equality and mutual benefit, and following market rules. Relevant cooperation projects are expected to play a constructive role in the long-term development of Hambantota Port and other parts of Sri Lanka.
Q: As we know, the APA Hotel is designated by the Sapporo Asian Winter Games as its reception hotel. We have also noticed reports that the APA Hotel had agreed to remove the right-wing books, but some other resources say that the APA Hotel has not made a decision yet. Would you enlighten us on that?
A: This afternoon, spokesperson of the Chinese Olympic Committee already answered questions relating to the APA hotel. The Chinese Olympic Committee has lodged representations to the Japanese side on the erroneous practices by the APA Hotel, demanding that it strictly comply with relevant provisions of the Olympic Charter and the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and properly resolve the matter without delay. The Chinese Olympic Committee also requested the OCA by letter to urge the Japanese side to immediately correct the mistake. The Secretary-General of the Organizing Committee of the Sapporo Asian Winter Games has officially replied to the Chinese Olympic Committee, saying that the APA hotel has decided to remove all books from the hotel rooms, lobby and front desk. We hope that the Japanese side will earnestly honor its commitments and prevent any such problems from reoccurring during the Games to ensure the success of the Asian Winter Games.
Q: Taiwan's Central News Agency quoted Burkina Faso's Foreign Minister Barry as saying that people and companies with links to Beijing have been making offers worth of over 50 billion dollars for the country to dump Taiwan and switch recognition to Beijing, but Burkina Faso will not cut off the so-called "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan. What is China's comment?
A: We noticed the report. This is absurd and fake.
I would like to emphasize that the one-China principle, which bears on China's core interests and the feelings of the 1.3 billion Chinese people, can never be bought with money, and the Chinese Government will never trade on issues relating to the one China principle. The one-China principle, which is the prerequisite and cornerstone for China to develop its relations with all other countries, has become the general consensus of the international community, the will of the people and the trend of the times.
Q: US President Donald Trump is starting to meet foreign leaders. Shall we expect a meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Trump to happen soon?
A: High-level exchanges are of great importance to the sound and stable growth of bilateral relations between China and the US. At this point, I have no specific information to offer.
Q: Were you proposing a trilateral partnership between China, Russia and the US? If so, would you want this partnership acquire a strategic status in the future?
A: I was responding to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's remarks that China, the US and Russia should jointly develop an open and fair relationship with each other. As China, the US and Russia are all major countries with worldwide influence and permanent members of the UN Security Council, good interaction among the three will be beneficial not only to themselves but also to regional and world peace, stability and development. As Foreign Minister Lavrov pointed out, neither side should develop relations at the cost of a third party. This is also in line with our initiative to build a new type of international relations featured by win-win cooperation.
The regular press conference of the Foreign Ministry will be adjourned between January 27 (Friday) and February 2 (Thursday) for the Spring Festival holiday, and will resume on February 3 (Friday). During the adjournment, the Spokesperson's Office of the Chinese Foreign Ministry will take your questions by phone and fax. Wish you all a happy and peaceful Spring Festival!