|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on June 3, 2019|
Q: The latest quarterly report submitted by the General-Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency on May 30 reaffirmed that Iran has been abiding by the JCPOA. Does China have any comment on it?
A: As China notes, the IAEA General-Director's report confirms for the 15th consecutive time that Iran abides by the JCPOA and fully cooperates with the IAEA, and the IAEA has conducted monitoring and verification work in an objective and neutral attitude. China highly applauds that.
For some time, faced with tensions triggered by the "maximum pressure" and unilateral sanctions imposed by the US, parties to the JCPOA have maintained close communication and consultation. All stressed their commitment to defending and implementing the JCPOA and fulfillment of their respective duties and obligations. The complete and effective implementation of the deal is both the requirement of the Security Council resolution and the only viable way to ease tensions and resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, which serves the shared interests of the international community. China will continue to work with all relevant parties to this end and firmly uphold our own legitimate rights and interests.
Q: In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony at the Shangri-La Dialogue 2019, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong of Singapore said countries had to accept that China would continue to grow and strengthen, and it was neither possible nor wise for them to prevent this from happening. I wonder if you have any comment on it?
A: We appreciate Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's remarks. As we note, he also said in the keynote speech that China's growth was a tremendous boon, both to itself and the world. China would want a say in any new rules, which is entirely reasonable. As he stated, to expect every country to adopt the same cultural values and political system is neither reasonable nor realistic. In fact, humankind's diversity is its strength.
There have been many discussions on China's development and regional cooperation during this year's Shangri-La Dialogue. We believe Prime Minister Lee's speech reflects the common aspiration of regional countries, an aspiration for peaceful development, win-win cooperation, openness, inclusiveness and cultural exchanges, rather than confrontation and conflict, a zero-sum game mindset, exclusiveness and the clash of civilizations. This is also what China has been promoting. We hope such objective, just, rational and practical views can be shared by more people. By doing so, the conceited, opinionated and narrow-minded lies and fallacies will gain no ground.
Q: Some from Chinese media have suggested that China will issue a warning to Chinese students about the dangers of studying in the US. Can you tell us if this is true?
A: Recently the US has imposed some unnecessary restrictions on normal people-to-people exchange between our two countries, including on Chinese students planning to study in the US, which is opposed by the education sector and international students of both countries.
As to the measures China will take, you may follow up on that.
Q: China's Defense Minister Wei Fenghe said on Sunday at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that if anyone dares to split Taiwan from China, the Chinese military has no choice but to fight at all costs. In this regard, does China assume the situation in the Taiwan Strait is somehow worsening right now? If so, what factors have done such a negative impact?
A: First, in his remarks, State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe made clear China's position on the Taiwan question, which has been consistent and firm all along.
Second, his remarks were in response to the wrong comments on Taiwan-related issues by Acting US Defense Secretary Shanahan at the Shangri-La Dialogue.
Third, there is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. This is a universal consensus of the international community.
Fourth, China has the determination, the will and the capability to realize the complete reunification of our country.
Q: On June 1 at the Shangri-La Dialogue, Acting US Defense Secretary Shanahan delivered a speech on the US Indo-Pacific strategy. I wonder what is China's response?
A: The pursuit of peace, development and win-win cooperation is an unstoppable trend of the times and the shared aspiration of people all over the world. Any proposal on regional cooperation by any country should be in line with this trend and aspiration, or it will not gain universal support. By hyping up military undertones and confrontation, a country will only end up hurting itself. We hope the US will consider its own interests and the common interests of regional countries and contribute to regional peace, stability and development.
Q: FedEx made an open statement on June 1 that it will cooperate with any regulatory investigation. On June 2, head of China's State Post Bureau noted that FedEx seriously violated China's regulations on delivery service and the lawful rights and interests of customers. I wonder if you have any response to that?
A: We note the statement made by FedEx. You may also find the remarks by China's State Post Bureau in recent interviews online.
As the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I'd like to say that China's door is wide open for all foreign companies to invest and operate in our country. But while cooperating with the Chinese side, they need to abide by our laws and regulations and guarantee the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and consumers.
Q: On June 1, the US Department of Defense released its first Indo-Pacific Strategy Report on its website, referring to China as a "revisionist power" that undermines the international system. Do you have any comment on that?
A: China notes the groundless accusations made by the US Department of Defense in its Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, which are totally unacceptable. It is never China that should be accused of being a "revisionist power" undermining the international system.
China has all along been upholding the international order. As the first country that signed the UN Charter, it is now member of over 100 intergovernmental organizations and signed party to more than 500 multilateral treaties. It is also the largest troop contributor to UN peacekeeping missions in the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. We will continue to uphold the international order and international system with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter at its core.
By contrast, while talking all about rules and order, the US in fact has been practicing unilateralism, protectionism and bullyism. It withdrew from the Paris Agreement which was signed by more than 190 countries, the JCPOA which was endorsed in the UN Security Council, and international organizations including UNESCO and the UN Human Rights Council. As an important member of the WTO, the US blatantly violated multilateral trading rules and wantonly wields the big stick of tariffs. To the world, it is crystal clear who is favoring international rules and institutions when they serve its interests and abandoning them when they don't.
We advise some US individuals to face facts squarely, stop smearing China's image and instead devote their mind and energy to peace, stability and development of the region and beyond.
Q: Media reports say that the Twitter accounts of many "dissidents" are blocked. Considering the sensitive timing, it is assumed that this is due to the pressure from the Chinese side. US Senator Rubio said that Twitter has become a censor for the Chinese government. Has China pressurized Twitter to block those accounts? What is your response to Senator Rubio's comment?
A: I'll leave that to Twitter. As I note, it already gave a response to that.
Q: Another question on the Iranian nuclear issue. As we note, US Secretary of State Pompeo said yesterday that the US was prepared to engage in a conversation with no preconditions. Iran's President Rouhani suggested that Iran might be willing to hold talks if Washington showed it respect, but said Tehran would not be pressured into talks. I wonder if you have any comment on that?
A: We note the latest statements made by the US and Iran regarding possible talks between them. As we repeatedly stated, conflict and confrontation will lead us nowhere, while dialogue and consultation is the only way out.
Again we call on all parties to exercise restraint, step up dialogue and do our best to support and uphold the JCPOA. The complete and effective implementation of the deal is both the requirement of the Security Council resolution and the only viable way to ease tensions and resolve the Iranian nuclear issue, which is also the shared aspiration of the international community.
Q: We note that during his visit to Germany, Vice President Wang Qishan met with German leaders. Did they talk about China-US trade disputes? Is his visit helpful to China in dealing with the trade war started by the US?
A: As far as I know, Vice President Wang Qishan and the Chinese delegation have concluded their visit to Germany and returned to Beijing. During the visit, Vice President Wang met with President Steinmeier, Chancellor Merkel and Foreign Minister Maas. They had in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Faced with complex and fluid international situation, a basic consensus reached by both sides is that China and Germany should jointly uphold multilateralism and the current international order, and oppose the practices undermining the current order and abusing sanction measures. China and Germany are both staunch supporters, defenders and promoters of multilateralism.
Q: US Senator Cory Gardner, Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy, said recently that he hopes to invite Tsai Ing-wen to speak at the US Congress and that he will continue to push the "TAIPEI Act". Chinese State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe has given a strong response to the recent developments implying warming US-Taiwan ties. Will the mainland pressure Taiwan with diplomatic means, for example, by grabbing its "diplomatic allies" or "pressurizing" foreign companies into marking Taiwan differently on their websites, a request dating back to last year?
A: You seem to have a lot of considerations on this issue.
First, the remarks by the certain US Senator are a grave violation of the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, which we strongly reject.
Second, there is only one China in the world, the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal representative of the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. This is a universal consensus of the international community.
Third, we are firmly against any official exchange between the US and Taiwan and any attempt to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan". This has been our clear and consistent position. We urge the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques and act prudently to prevent damages to bilateral relations and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.
As to whether China will grab the so-called "diplomatic allies" of Taiwan, frankly, do we really need to do that? China develops friendly and cooperative relations with all countries based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the one-China principle. In fact, the one-China principle has become a norm of international relations and the trend of the times which the vast majority of countries choose to follow. As such, do you think we need to make additional efforts on that?
On your second concern, as we stated repeatedly, we welcome foreign companies to invest and do business in China, but they must comply with Chinese laws and regulations and respect Chinese people's sentiment. Our position is clear-cut. The relevant companies know it very well.