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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on September 23, 2019

Q: The UN Climate Action Summit will be held in New York today. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said the other day that China will announce very meaningful progress in renewable energy and other areas and that China's leadership role in climate action is of vital importance. What's your comment on that? Can you tell us about China's expectations for the summit and what new proposals or measures it will put forward?

A: China applauds Secretary-General António Guterres' initiative to convene this UN Climate Action Summit. As we announced earlier, State Councilor Wang Yi will attend this summit as President Xi Jinping's special representative.

Bearing in mind the nine action areas of the summit, China has recently released the document "UN Climate Action Summit: China's Position and Action". Elaborating on China's propositions and measures, the document demonstrates our resolution and sense of responsibility. It also shows how we are contributing to and supporting the UN summit. We hope this summit will further consolidate consensus, promote international cooperation on climate change and inject new impetus into the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The Chinese government takes addressing climate change as an inherent part of its own sustainable development and its due responsibility towards building a community with a shared future for mankind. We have vigorously advanced ecological progress and earnestly implemented a national strategy on climate change. China will fully implement its obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement, submit long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies on time and strive to meet all its intended nationally determined contributions.

We would like to take this summit as an opportunity to work with other parties under principles such as common but differentiated responsibilities with the UNFCC as a main channel towards the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement to jointly build a clean and beautiful world.

Q: Iran said this weekend it would organize a drill with Russia and China. Can you confirm this and explain why China is taking part in it?

A: What I can tell you is that the Chinese armed forces maintain normal exchange and cooperation with armed forces of other countries. I would like to refer you to the PLA for the specifics.

Q: The Taliban spokesperson said that a Taliban delegation is currently visiting China and met on Sunday with Deng Xijun, Chinese Foreign Ministry's Special Envoy on Afghan Affairs. Could you confirm that and provide more information?

A: China has been following the situation in Afghanistan closely. We are committed to promoting the peace and reconciliation process and have been engaging and communicating with all parties to the issue. Head of the Afghan Taliban's political office in Doha Baradar and his aids came to China recently for communication and relevant officials from China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs exchanged views with them on the situation in Afghanistan and how to promote the peace and reconciliation process.

China consistently supports a broad, inclusive peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. We hope the US and the Afghan Taliban will keep up the momentum for negotiation and support intra-Afghan dialogue for national reconciliation, peace and stability at an early date. China will continue to play a constructive role to this end.

Q: The Afghan government this week is holding elections and the Taliban has basically vowed to attack polling stations and commit violence to discourage people from voting. Has China called on the Taliban to specifically not carry out any attacks?

A: As I just said, China consistently supports a broad, inclusive peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. We have all along been engaging and communicating with all parties to the issue.

I also mentioned that the Chinese side recently exchanged views with people from the Afghan Taliban on the situation in Afghanistan and how to promote the peace and reconciliation process. We certainly hope to see national reconciliation, peace and stability in Afghanistan at an early date. China will continue to play a constructive role to this end.

Q: On September 22, US Secretary Pompeo mentioned Xinjiang-related issues when meeting with Central Asian foreign ministers. He said that what China did in Xinjiang is not about terrorism and called on all countries to resist China's demands to repatriate Uighurs. What's your comment?

A: In disregard of facts, a certain politician in the US has tried to smear and vilify China's policy in Xinjiang time and again in a gross attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs. It fully reveals the double standard the US applies in counter-terrorism. China deplores and strongly opposes that.

Xinjiang affairs are purely China's domestic affairs. No foreign country has any right to interfere. The Chinese government issued a white paper not long ago, giving a full account of the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang. These measures are no different in nature from the de-radicalization and preventive counter-terrorism measures taken by many other countries, the US included.

Facts can prove that these measures have produced visible outcomes. Xinjiang now enjoys social stability, sound economic momentum, and harmony between ethnic groups. It has not seen a single terrorist attack in the past three years. People of all ethnic groups there support the government's measures to fight terrorism and safeguard stability.

People from many countries have visited Xinjiang to know more about the vocational education and training centers. Many of them made positive comments on the Chinese government's work in fighting and preventing terrorism in accordance with law. They believe Xinjiang's successful experience is worth learning. This cannot be denied or wiped out by a few words of a certain individual in the US.

Instead of fooling the world, the lies of American politicians will only further reveal their hidden political intention. We advise relevant individuals in the US to discard the double standard in counter-terrorism, stop making irresponsible remarks on Xinjiang and condoning the violent terrorist forces of the East Turkestan Islamic Movement and refrain from endorsing any anti-China separatist forces to avoid hurting its own interests at the end of the day.

Q: Now that China has reestablished ties with Kiribati. Is China planning to reopen the space tracking station it had there that was closed down in 2003?

A: Michael, I need to correct you. The Kiribati government announced last week that it severed the so-called "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan authorities and expressed the will to resume diplomatic relations with the Chinese side. But our two countries have yet to reestablish diplomatic relations.

I take it that you really hope to see us resuming relations soon. Thank you for your interest and good wishes.

As I used to say here, sooner or later, whatever will be, will be. Please remain patient for the time being.

I'd like to reiterate that China is committed to developing friendly cooperative relations with other countries on the basis of the one-China principle. We look forward to reestablishing diplomatic relations with Kiribati and turning a new page in our bilateral relations. We believe this will bring benefits to the two peoples and is conducive to peace, stability, development and prosperity of the Pacific Island region.

Q: Reports say that on September 20, a bus carrying 30 Chinese tourists crashed near Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, causing casualties. Could you confirm and share more information?

A: At around 12 p.m. on September 20 local time, a bus carrying 30 Chinese citizens crashed about 3.5 kilometers west of Bryce Canyon National Park in the US State of Utah, killing 4 Chinese citizens and injuring 26. Based on known information, the 29 tourists and one tour guide on board are from places including Shanghai, Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Heilongjiang. The tour was organized by Shanghai Zhuyuan International Travel Agency.

Upon learning the accident, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded actively by immediately setting to work with relevant authorities, local governments and the Chinese embassy in the US. The embassy activated its emergency response mechanism and coordinated with the US side to ensure that the injured are receiving all necessary treatment, the bodies of the dead are properly kept, and the Chinese side will be notified of the cause of the crash after a prompt investigation. The embassy also dispatched a working group to visit the injured and see to their treatment.

As the approaching National Day holiday will see a peak in overseas tours, the importance of safety cannot be overstressed. Once again I would like to remind tourists going abroad to raise risk awareness, plan itinerary properly, travel safe, and purchase necessary insurances. In case of emergencies, call local police immediately. You may also dial the Ministry of Foreign Affairs global consular protection and service emergency hotline +86-10-12308, or contact the local Chinese embassy or consulate for assistance.

Q: Further to what you said about the visit of the Taliban to Beijing, recently there was a trilateral meeting between Pakistan, China and Afghanistan, where State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for reconciliation between the Taliban and the Afghan government. Is China making any progress in the reconciliatory process between the two sides?

A: As I just said, China consistently supports a broad, inclusive peace and reconciliation process that is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned. We would like to continue our engagement with all parties to the issue. We hope the country will realize national reconciliation, peace and stability at an early date. We will continue to play a constructive role to this end.

Q: Can you tell us why the Chinese delegation canceled its intended visit to Nebraska and Montana? Was that done at the request of the US government?

A: As I understand, the official in charge from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs has made a very detailed response to this and there are a lot of reports about it online. Do you still need me to repeat that? Actually I have nothing more to add.

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