Q: The final result of the US presidential election was yet to be unveiled when the press conference was held yesterday. Since now that Donald Trump has won the election, does the Chinese government have anything further to say about this?
A: The final result of the US presidential election was yet to come out when I was here yesterday afternoon. After its announcement, President Xi Jinping sent a message of congratulations to US President-elect Donald Trump yesterday as you may have already noticed.
President Xi said in the message that being the largest developing country and developed country respectively and the two biggest economies in the world, China and the US shoulder special and important responsibilities and share wide common interests on maintaining world peace and stability and fostering global development and prosperity. A long-lasting, stable and sound bilateral relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and meets the common aspiration of the world.
President Xi pointed out that China attaches great importance to China-US relations. China looks forward to working alongside the US to act in the principles of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, expand overall cooperation on bilateral, regional and global levels, manage disputes constructively, move forward bilateral relations from a new starting point and deliver more benefits to people in our two countries and beyond.
Q: Donald Trump once criticized China and wanted to put a 45% tariff on Chinese imports. What is your message to the incoming US president regarding his previous remarks?
A: The economic and trade cooperation is what keeps the China-US relationship stable and moves it forward. As I said here yesterday, China-US trade volume has grown from just 2.5 billion dollars every year in the 1970s to over 550 billion dollars last year. Such sharp increase would not have been possible if people from both sides had not reaped tangible benefits out of it. Therefore, the China-US economic and trade cooperation is all about win-win results. It serves the common interests of both countries if the US views its economic ties with China in an unbiased and reasonable way and work alongside China to secure continuously steady and sound economic relations with China. I believe that any US politician, if he takes the interests of his own people first, will adopt a policy that is conducive to the economic and trade cooperation between China and the US.
Q: If US President-elect Trump does impose high tariff on China, how will that affect China-US relationship?
A: We have no response to hypothetical question. As I just answered to the previous question, we believe that any US politician will make policies with the immediate interests of the US people in mind.
Q: The 85th General Assembly of Interpol held in Bali, Indonesia today elected Chinese Deputy Minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei as its next president. What's your comment?
A: We congratulate Deputy Minister of Public Security Meng Hongwei on being elected as the next president of Interpol with a majority of votes at its 85th general assembly.
Recent years have witnessed closer cooperation and exchanges on law enforcement between China,Interpoland its members,which have produced substantial results. China highly values the important role played by Interpol, and stands ready to take on bigger responsibility and make greater contribution to push for global law enforcement and security cooperation.
We appreciate the active response from other member countries to our decision of running for the Interpolpresident. China will continue to fully support the Interpol's work, keep deepening the mutually beneficial coordination with other member countries on combating transnational crimes and jointly create a secure environment for the prosperity and development of the world economy.
Q: On November 9, the European Commission presented to the European Parliament and European Council a proposal introducing changes to the EU's anti-dumping legislation in order to conform with the obligations provided for in Article 15 of the Protocol on China's Accession to the WTO. What is you comment?
A: We have taken note of this with concerns.
China's position has been clear and consistent when it comes to the implementation of Article 15, that is, the use of "surrogate country" approach in anti-dumping investigations against China shall end along with the 15-year transitional period. It is what WTO member states must do in accordance with international treaties.
China acknowledges the EU Commission's proposal of removing the list of non-market economy countries, which reflects the EU's willingness to fulfill Article 15. Much to our regret, however, the new methodology proposed by the EU which replaces the concept of "non-market economy" with "market distortions", fails to uproot the practice of "surrogate country", but only gives it a new cover. That is neither a thorough implementation of Article 15 nor a compliance with WTO rules.
Let me emphasize China's principled position in three points. First, the EU must fulfill its obligations in a comprehensive manner, the sunset provisions of Article 15 shall come into full effect and the "surrogate country"practice shall be terminated in its entirety. Second, new standards and methods shall be scientific, fair, reasonable and transparent, and new forms of discrimination must be avoided. Third, the practice of "surrogate country" shall not continue in whatever name once it is expired and shall be replaced with the general anti-dumping method in strict accordance with WTO rules. I would like to emphasize that China will retain the right to take all necessary means to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests.
As a pillar of the WTO, the EU has always stood for the multilateral trading system and global trade liberalization. It is hoped that the EU will honor its commitment and fulfill its obligations comprehensively and thoroughly as scheduled, safeguard the order of international trade and the overall interests of China-EU economic and trade relations.
Q: Indian Prime Minister Modi starts a state visit to Japan today. China once expressed concerns over Japan's export of amphibious military aircraft to India which might be announced today or tomorrow. The two countries are also likely to issue a joint statement on maritime security in the South China Sea. What's your response to this?
A: We do not comment on speculative reports. We have noted Prime Minister Modi's visit to Japan today. You asked about issues that Prime Minister Modi is likely to discuss with his Japanese counterpart, as we said before, we are happy to see neighboring countries develop normal bilateral relations. We hope that while doing this, they can also respect the legitimate concerns of other countries especially those in the region and do more things conducive to regional peace and stability.
Q: According to Japanese media reports, former "comfort women" from the ROK, the Philippines, Indonesia and East Timor jointly submitted a letter to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe through the Japanese Foreign Ministry, demanding an open apology and legal compensation from the Japanese government. The letter expressed discontent about the agreement reached between Japan and the ROK last year on "comfort women" which was believed to have "nationality difference", and called on the Japanese side to heed the outcry of the victims and conduct educational campaignsat schools. Do you have any comment on that?
A: I have also noted relevant reports. China holds a consistent and clear position that the forced recruitment of "comfort women" by the Japanese militarists during the Second World War was an atrocious crime against humanity committed on people in victimized countries in Asia and inflicted grave sufferings on them. Its negative impact is yet to be eliminated till now.
We always maintain that Japan look squarely at and reflect upon its history of aggression, draw lessons from history, properly handle relevant issue in a responsible manner and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with tangible moves. We also hope that Japan will pass on a right perspective on history to its citizens especially the younger generation so that they can get a full and objective picture of that part of history and stop the tragedy from repeating itself.
Q: Can you comment on the current progress in the China-US bilateral investment treaty (BIT)? And can you comment on how President Trump's election can potentially change this progress?
A: Given the current global economic landscape, reaching a high-level China-US BIT meets the common interests of both countries and will stimulate global macro economy. To conclude this treaty, there is no doubt for us to take into full consideration of the specific realities in each country. I can tell you that the negotiation on the BIT has been making headways as we speak.
Regarding how this treaty will be affected by the transition of the US government, I believe any politician will be happy to sign this treaty if it satisfies the needs of companies in China, the US and the world and brings greater benefits, such as more jobs and better well-being to people in the two countries.
Q: Throughout his entire campaign, Donald Trump has spoken negatively about China. What is China's strategy to have a positive relationship with the US?
A: Your judgment is unfounded. We notice that most of President Trump's remarks during his campaign are about US domestic policies. You said that he has spoken negatively about China throughout his entire campaign, I don't know how others feel about this, but to me not everything he said about China is negative.
Follow-up: were any special meetings held by China to discuss how to handle Donald Trump's presidency after the election was announced?
A: As Mr. Trump was just elected yesterday, we, like other countries in the world, will wait and see what kind of policies the new US government under the leadership of Mr. Trump will adopt in various fields. What I can tell you now is that as a principle and as we said yesterday, the development of China-US relationship has brought real benefits to people in the two countries and beyond and greatly helped maintain world peace, stability, prosperity and development, therefore we look forward to working alongside the new US government to deepen our cooperation following the principles of non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. If differences still linger between our two major countries, we are ready to properly manage them so that our cooperation can yield more profits for our people and the international community.
Q: Do you think that the new US government will adopt a different approach on some difficult diplomatic issues between China and the US, such as the THAAD system and the South China Sea issue?
A: As I said before, we need time to see what kind of policy will be adopted by the new US government. I also notice that when the spokesperson of the US State Department was asked about the new government's policies at yesterday's press briefing, he also said that it is for the new government to speak to.
Q: Is China planning to invite Donald Trump to visit China?
A: In the past four decades since the establishment of China-US diplomatic relations, high-level bilateral exchanges have been significant in moving forward bilateral relations. We believe maintaining such exchanges are helpful to improving bilateral ties.