|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on December 24, 2019|
Q: When asked to comment on China's diplomacy in 2019 last week, you said that State Councilor Wang Yi usually takes a year-end interview with Chinese media and suggested that the journalist may wait for it. We note that he gave the interview yesterday. Could you share more information?
A: State Councilor Wang Yi gave an exclusive year-end interview with Chinese media yesterday, during which he took stock of China's diplomacy this year and charted the future for key diplomatic agenda next year.
In 2019, there has been disorder in many parts of the world with increasing challenges. Speaking of the extraordinary journey over the past year, State Councilor Wang said, "weathering rain and storm, China has forged ahead on the diplomatic front." Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core, we have pressed ahead, overcome challenges and achieved new, important advances amid turmoil and instability in international landscape, the sluggish world economy and difficult situation of global governance.
Over the past year, we have stayed committed to multilateralism, championed international fairness and justice, and rejected unilateralism, hegemony and power politics. We have steadily developed relations with other major countries, vigorously advanced mutually-beneficial cooperation with neighboring and developing countries, and contributed wisdom to resolving international and regional hotspot issues. We have spearheaded global governance and added stability into the international landscape. We have stay committed to the principle of mutual benefit and win-win results, announced new major measures for opening-up and provided new impetus for free trade and an open world economy. In the face of external interference and provocation, we have firmly defended national sovereignty, security and development interests, and resolutely upheld the dignity of the country, nation and people.
Next year will be a year of great significance for the renewal of the Chinese nation. In 2020, China will eradicate extreme poverty and build a moderately prosperous society in all respects, meeting our first centenary goal. State Councilor Wang outlined our work on the diplomatic front in the coming year with the following six major tasks with specific goals, courses and measures to be achieved: first, to serve major national development strategies; second, to defend national interests; third, to deepen partnerships; fourth, to champion multilateralism; fifth, to expand international cooperation; and sixth, to modernize our system and capacity for diplomacy.
In the coming year, we will rally closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core, implement Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and continue to forge ahead. We will fulfill our responsibilities to our country, to the Chinese nation, and to the world and all humankind. We hope to work together with the international community against all odds to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Q: A question about the China-Japan-South Korea trilateral in Chengdu today. Was there any discussion about China's joint proposal with Russia to ease sanctions on the DPRK? If there was, what was the response that China got?
A: The eighth China-Japan-ROK Leaders' Meeting was held in Chengdu this morning. You may follow up on our press release that will soon come out.
According to the information on hand, the three leaders had an in-depth exchange of views over the Korean Peninsula situation. They reiterated that denuclearization of the Peninsula and lasting peace in Northeast Asia is a shared goal and that dialogue and consultation is the only viable way to solve the Peninsula issue. They stressed the need to resolve the issue through political and diplomatic means, strengthen the three sides' communication and coordination on Peninsula affairs, and to make constructive efforts in realizing denuclearization of the Peninsula and lasting peace in Northeast Asia.
This is all I can share at the moment.
Q: On December 20, a satellite given by China to Ethiopia was sent into space in China's Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center. Could you tell us the reason behind China's assistance?
A: Ethiopia's first satellite was successfully launched in China's Taiyuan on December 20, an event worth celebrating in both countries.
As we often say, the friendship between China and Africa is concrete, not abstract. It is embodied in our fruitful cooperation, of which space and aviation is an emerging and important area. In September 2018, the FOCAC Beijing Action Plan (2019-2021) was adopted at the FOCAC Beijing Summit. In this document, it is stated that China will continue to provide meteorological and remote-sensing application equipment, education and training support for African countries, in order to better equip African countries for disaster prevention and mitigation as well as climate change response. We do our utmost to keep our promises to African brothers. The satellite launched for Ethiopia is a project under China's climate change South-South cooperation aimed to help Ethiopia with research in climate change response and agriculture and boost economic and social progress. Before this launch, China has also helped send satellites into space for other African countries including Nigeria and Algeria.
I'd like to stress that Chinese and Ethiopian scientists built this satellite in close collaboration. The Chinese side also provided Ethiopian technicians with training in satellite technology. After the satellite enters into orbit, Ethiopia will be able to operate it independently. This is another example showing China's concept of teaching someone to fish rather than giving him a fish.
China and Africa have always been a community with a shared future and common interests featuring win-win cooperation. We stand ready to work with African countries to promote cooperation in space and other sectors to help African brothers realize their African dream with higher quality and at a higher level and achieve win-win cooperation and shared development in the process.
Q: The police in Nepal today said they had arrested 122 Chinese citizens. Do you have any details or comments on this case?
A: Based on my information at present, these citizens are suspected of engaging in cross-border cyber fraud activities. The case is still under investigation. This is a major operation conducted in collaboration by the Chinese and Nepalese police. We will continue to work with Nepal to enhance cooperation in law enforcement and other fields, fight cross-border crime and facilitate friendly exchange between the two peoples.
Q: Parliamentary elections were held in Uzbekistan on December 22. Would you like to make a comment?
A: China congratulates Uzbekistan on its smooth parliamentary elections. At the invitation of the Central Election Commission, China sent a delegation to observe the elections. We believe it was a democratic, open and transparent process that demonstrated Uzbekistan's political openness and inclusiveness. China commends it and wishes the Uzbekistan people greater progress in national development.
As Uzbekistan's friendly neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner, China attaches high importance to this relationship. We stand ready to work with Uzbekistan to enhance mutual support and strategic coordination, deepen BRI cooperation, and bring bilateral relations to new heights.
Q: According to China's readout yesterday on President Xi Jinping and President Moon Jae-in's meeting, President Moon said Hong Kong and Xinjiang affairs are China's internal affairs. But the ROK side has denied this, saying President Moon didn't state any position regarding Hong Kong and Xinjiang. What's China's comment?
A: I trust you have read China's press release? I also responded to an NHK question here yesterday. The press release is a thorough description of the meeting. I suggest you read it again.
Q: State Councilor Wang Yi talked about the Korean Peninsula issue when looking back on China's diplomacy in 2019. He called on the US to take concrete steps as soon as possible to deliver what has been agreed in Singapore. What "concrete steps" was he referring to? Does China believe the DPRK has already implemented the Singapore consensus?
A: Not long ago, China and Russia tabled a draft resolution on the Korean Peninsula issue at the UN Security Council. Both believe that the current de-escalation should be cherished, and the opportunity for a political settlement seized. We encourage all parties, especially the US and the DPRK, to stay committed to dialogue and consultation, move towards each other, break the deadlock as soon as possible, work for new progress in the political settlement process. At the same time, our position is clear that sanctions on the DPRK should be adjusted in light of new developments. There is explicit expression in the draft resolution by China and Russia.
We stand ready to stay in close communication with all parties to the Peninsula issue and work in concert to make progress in the political settlement, and in particular head off a dramatic reversal.