Q: It is reported that the Lotte Group will hold a board of directors meeting today to decide on a land swap agreement with the ROK military for the deployment of THAAD. After that the ROK military will speed up the pace to complete the deployment in three to four months. What is China's comment on this?
A: The THAAD deployment in the ROK by the US and the ROK will severely disrupt regional strategic balance, gravely jeopardize the strategic security interests of relevant countries in this region including China, and is not conducive to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. The Chinese side has stressed repeatedly that we understand the legitimate concerns of relevant parties in safeguarding their security, however, one country's security cannot be pursued at the expense of other country's security. Regrettably, ignoring China's interests and concerns, the ROK insisted on working with the US to accelerate the deployment process. China is firmly opposed to and strongly dissatisfied with that.
I want to emphasize again that China is firm in its resolve to oppose the deployment of THAAD in the ROK and will resolutely take necessary actions to safeguard its own security interests. Any consequences entailed from that will be borne by the US and the ROK. We strongly urge relevant parties to stop the deployment process and not to go further down that wrong path.
Q: Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean of Singapore recently said said in an interview with Xinhua News Agency that Singapore will do its best to strengthen ASEAN-China partnership, improve synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Masterplan for ASEAN Connectivity, and welcome Chinese companies to put in a bid for the high-speed rail link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. What is China's response?
A: We appreciate such positive statements from Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean on China-Singapore relations. As I said at last week's briefing, China values its relationship with Singapore. The two sides have established an all-around cooperative partnership progressing with the times and have been conducting extensive cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. This morning, Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli and Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean co-chaired the China-Singapore Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation and meetings of the joint steering councils of three cooperation projects, during which they had a comprehensive review of bilateral cooperation in all fields and, in particular, made plans for the future development of the three government-to-government cooperation projects in Suzhou, Tianjin and Chongqing. The two sides agreed that there is great synergy between their development strategies, and bilateral cooperation in such fields as infrastructure, information technology and finance under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative enjoys tremendous potential and bright prospects. I am confident that with the efforts of both sides, China-Singapore relations highlighted by practical cooperation will achieve greater development and deliver more benefits to the people of the two countries and this region.
The Malaysia-Singapore high-speed railway will have a positive impact on regional connectivity and it is a major potential project under the Belt and Road Initiative framework. We are happy to see that both Singapore and Malaysia recognize China's strength and competitive edge in this field and have expressed welcome to Chinese companies in the bidding process. We support Chinese companies in taking an active part in the bidding and believe we will continue to have the support of Singapore and Malaysia.
Q: We have noted that State Councilor Yang Jiechi is visiting the United States. What US officials will he meet? What does China expect from the trip? What topics will the two sides discuss?
A: At the invitation of the US government, State Councilor Yang Jiechi will visit the US from 27 to 28 February. During the visit, he will exchange views with high-level officials of the US on China-US relations and issues of mutual interest.
We will release information about relevant arrangements of State Councilor Yang Jiechi's visit in due course.
Q: We have learnt that State Councilor Yang Jiechi will discuss with the US side a meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Trump during his visit. Can you confirm that? Can you give us more detail about whether they will touch on issues like the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea and the currency exchange rate?
A: Recently President Xi Jinping and President Trump had a phone call during which both presidents agreed to remain in close contact and said they look forward to meeting each other at an early date. The two sides will stay in communication on the high-level exchanges at the working level.
As for whether they will discuss relevant topics, like I just said, they will exchange views on China-US relations and issues of mutual interest.