|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on May 9, 2018|
Q: On the early morning of May 9, Beijing time, US President Trump announced the US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but Iran says it will remain in the JCPOA as long as other parties do the same. What is China's position on this?
A: China regrets the decision made by the US side. The JCPOA is a multilateral agreement reached by the P5+1, the European Union and Iran through negotiations and endorsed by the UN Security Council Resolution 2231. All relevant parties should implement the JCPOA in good faith and ensure its integrity and sanctity. This will contribute to upholding the international non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East and will play an exemplary role for the political settlement of hot-spot issues.
Under the current circumstances, China calls on all relevant parties to assume a responsible attitude, bear in mind the long-term and overall picture, stay committed to the political and diplomatic solution, properly handle differences and come back as soon as possible to the right track of continuing with the implementation of the JCPOA. China will maintain dialogue and consultation with all relevant parties and stay committed to upholding and implementing the JCPOA in an objective, unbiased and responsible attitude.
Q: According to Japanese media, China and Japan plan to establish a public-private council related to the Belt and Road Initiative in a bid to promote their joint economic and industrial projects in other countries. Can you confirm that? Do you have any comment?
A: As an open and inclusive initiative, the Belt and Road Initiative follows the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. Any country that shares the same aspiration is welcome to take part in the Belt and Road Initiative and China is always open to Japan's participation in it. Last year, Japan sent a high-level delegation to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
We have noted that recently the Japanese leaders have made positive remarks on the Belt and Road Initiative on many occasions, and many Japanese enterprises have also expressed their willingness to take part in the Belt and Road Initiative. We believe that Japan's participation in the Belt and Road Initiative in an appropriate way will open up new space and create new growth drivers for China-Japan economic cooperation. Promoting Chinese and Japanese companies' cooperation in a third market is conducive to expanding China-Japan economic and trade cooperation as well as the economic development of the third party.
As far as I know, during the 4th China-Japan high-level economic dialogue held not long ago, China and Japan reached consensus on establishing a public-private communication platform and looking into specific cooperation projects. During Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Japan, our two sides will ink relevant memorandum. We are willing to work with Japan for cooperation in a third market to leverage complementary strengths and achieve mutual benefit and win-win outcomes.
Q: Yesterday President Xi Jinping and Chairman Kim Jong-un met with each other in Dalian. Can you tell us the outcomes of this meeting?
A: From May 7 to 8, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and President Xi Jinping met with Kim Jong-un, Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in Dalian. China has issued a detailed press release on the meeting and I would like to refer you to that.
At this crucial moment when the situation on the Korean Peninsula is undergoing profound and complex changes, the strategic communication between the two leaders of the two parties and countries is conducive to promoting the sound and steady development of China-DPRK relations, realizing the denuclearization of the Peninsula and achieving lasting peace and stability on the Peninsula.
Q: According to reports, on May 8, when addressing the WTO's General Council, the new US ambassador to the WTO said he was perplexed by China's assertion that it was a "victim" and how could the world's most protectionist economy position itself as the defender of free trade and the global trading system? The WTO must not protect a country that undermines the global trading system. What is your comment?
A: As a Chinese proverb goes, "a clean hand wants no washing".
The international community knows very well who is defending the multilateral trading system and upholding the international trading rules and who is taking protectionist measures and wielding the big stick of unilateral sanctions. We hope the US will give up its trick of a thief crying "stop thief".
At this point, the global economic recovery is at a crucial stage. We hope the US, as the world's No.1 economy, can faithfully assume its due responsibility and play a constructive role, as a country of its standing should do.
China stands ready to work with the US and other members of the international community to promote the growth of international trade, deepen economic and trade cooperation between countries and inject more positive energy into world economic development.
Q: US President Trump has announced the US withdrawal from the JCPOA. Is China still open to buying more oil and other goods from Iran?
A: China and Iran maintain normal economic ties and trade. We will continue with our normal and transparent practical cooperation with Iran on the basis of not violating our international obligations.
Q: In order to avoid being targeted by potential US sanctions, will China call upon its companies to withdraw from Iran?
A: As I said just now, China and Iran maintain normal economic ties and trade. We will continue with our normal and transparent practical cooperation with Iran on the basis of not violating our international obligations.
Meanwhile, I want to stress that the Chinese government is opposed to the imposition of unilateral sanctions and the so-called long-arm jurisdiction by any country in accordance with its domestic laws. This position is consistent and clear-cut.
Q: As to the China-DPRK summit, did China send an invitation to the DPRK? Or was that proposed by the DPRK? Could you give us more information about the background of the talks?
A: According to my information, this visit was proposed by the DPRK.
Regarding the background of this meeting you asked about, as I said just now, the current situation on the Korean Peninsula has reached a key stage. The strategic communication between China and the DPRK at this point is conducive to developing China-DPRK relations, realizing the denuclearization of the Peninsula and upholding peace and stability of the region. You may refer to the readout issued by the Chinese side for more details.
Q: According to reports, Vietnam has asked China to remove missiles deployed to the South China Sea islands. What is your comment?
A: We have made clear China's position on this issue many times recently. China has indisputable sovereignty over the Nansha Islands and the adjacent waters. Our peaceful construction activities on the Nansha Islands, including the deployment of necessary national defense facilities, are meant to safeguard China's sovereignty and security, which is also a right sovereign states are entitled to. The relevant deployment targets no one.
With the concerted efforts of our two sides, China-Vietnam relations are experiencing a sound momentum of development now. We urge Vietnam to respect China's sovereignty, work with China to properly handle the South China Sea issue and move forward China-Vietnam relations along the right track.
Q: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Iran will talk with all other parties that signed the JCPOA, namely Britain, France, Germany, Russia, the EU and China. Do you welcome these talks with Iran? What message will China deliver to Iran?
A: We have taken note of the relevant positive remarks made by Iran, the European side and Russia. China will maintain dialogue and consultation with all relevant parties and stay committed to upholding and implementing the JCPOA in an objective, unbiased and responsible attitude.