Q: Chinese media reported that, during the just concluded 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Singapore along with a few other countries, irrespective of clear opposition from a majority of members, insisted on highlighting the South China Sea-related contents in the outcome document. Singapore recently said that these reports are groundless and fail to tell the facts. What is your comment?
A: We have noted relevant reports.
NAM is not a proper place to discuss the South China Sea issue. Its outcome document shall reflect the consensus of all the members based on the long-held principle of consensus upon consultation. The facts are clear. Individual countries insisted on highlighting the South China Sea-related contents in the outcome document, but failed in doing so, because they did not secure the approval of the majority of NAM members and these contents did not represent the consensus of parties related to the South China Sea issue, China being one party.
Thanks to the concerted efforts of China and ASEAN states, the current situation in the South China Sea is moving towards a positive direction. China hopes that relevant countries can respect China's stance and relevant consensus reached between China and ASEAN, uphold an objective and unbiased position, and make constructive contributions to the sound and steady development of China-ASEAN relations and the proper settlement of the South China Sea issue.
Q: Considering a series of reports on what happened during the 17th NAM Summit, will the friendly relationship between China and Singapore be affected?
A: China and Singapore established the All-Round Cooperative Partnership Progressing with the Times last year. I want to stress that on issues concerning the core interests and major concerns of the two sides, China and Singapore should understand and respect each other.
Q: The US Department of Justice has announced criminal charges against Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Co. for violating UN Security Council Resolution 2270 and supporting the nuclear program of the DPRK. The US officials also disclosed cooperation with China on this case. What is your comment?
A: First, China is opposed to the DPRK developing nuclear weapons and is committed to realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. This position is consistent and clear. China has been faithfully implementing UNSCR 2270 and honoring its international obligation in non-proliferation. Such efforts are clear for all to see.
Second, any misconduct by any enterprise or individual, once found and confirmed, will be dealt with seriously. If necessary, we stand ready to cooperate with relevant countries in this process on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment.
Third, if any country tries to exercise "long-arm jurisdiction" by enforcing its domestic laws over China's enterprises and individuals, we are firmly opposed to that.
Finally, we have relayed the aforementioned positions to the US side in our recent communication.
Q: On September 26, the Colombian government and the country's largest rebel group the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, signed a peace agreement in Cartagena. What is your comment?
A: The signing of the peace agreement between the Colombian government and FARC is a major historical breakthrough in the peace process in Colombia. China would like to express congratulations on this development which we believe will bring the dawn of peace to the Colombian people and contribute to world peace and stability. China supports the peace process in Colombia and hopes it can realize comprehensive peace at an early date and make greater achievements in the new historical period.
Q: According to the statistics from the General Administration of Customs, bilateral trade between China and the DPRK registered a year-on-year 20% increase in August. How can that happen when China is economically sanctioning the DPRK?
A: After the passage of the UNSCR 2270, relevant departments in China have issued notices, requesting Chinese institutions and enterprises to strictly abide by the provisions of the resolution. Trade between China and the DPRK falls in line with Chinese laws and regulations as well as the provisions of relevant UN resolutions.
Q: In the US presidential debate broadcasted this morning, presidential candidate Donald Trump said that China is totally powerful as it relates to the DPRK and China should go into the DPRK to solve that problem. What is your response to his remarks?
A: First, it is not China that caused the Korean nuclear issue in the first place, and it is not China that holds the key to the settlement of this issue. Second, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council neighboring the Korean Peninsula, China has been working with the goal of upholding peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and preserving the international nuclear non-proliferation regime in mind. We have been striving for a proper settlement of the Korean nuclear issue along with all relevant parties. Third, China is devoted to such a position and will continue to work towards it.
Q: Has the date for Philippine President Duterte's visit been confirmed? If he were to visit China, would China raise the issue of fishing rights in waters around Huangyan Dao with the Philippines? Will China refuse fishing operations by Philippine boats near Huangyan Dao?
A: We have expressed our welcome to President Duterte's visit on many occasions. We hope that he can make this trip as soon as possible. The two sides are in close communication on this. High-level exchanges between the two countries are of great significance to enhancing mutual understanding, mutual trust and improving ties.
Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a policy speech at the outset of the extraordinary Diet session yesterday, saying that Japan welcomes China's peaceful development, and intends to improve relations for the overall interests according to the principle of strategic reciprocity. Abe also said that Japan rejects attempts to unilaterally change the status quo in the East and South China Seas, and calls for diplomatic means to resolve the disputes. What is your comment?
A: We have noted what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said. I want to stress that China is an important and close neighbor of Japan, and vice versa. The long-term sound and stable development of China-Japan relations serves the interests of people on the two sides as well as regional peace and stability. China is committed to improving its relationship with Japan. This basic position has not changed. We call on the Japanese side to work with us, obey the four political documents and the four-point principled agreement reached between the two sides, and move forward China-Japan relationship in the spirit of regarding history as a mirror and looking forward into the future.
We hope that Japan can genuinely take China's development as its own opportunity, respect China's core interests and major concerns, and properly deal with the sensitive parts of the bilateral relationship. In particular, Japan should work with China to maintain peace and stability in the East China Sea, mind its words and steps on the South China Sea issue, create more positive signs and less negative news for the bilateral relationship, and truly make efforts for China-Japan relations to improve and grow.
Q: According to the IMF, the inclusion of the RMB in the special drawing right (SDR) currency basket is slated for Oct 1st. What is the significance of this move? Besides, China incorporated the expansion of the use of the SDR into the G20 agenda during its G20 presidency. The Hangzhou Summit also reached relevant consensus on the SDR. How do you think the SDR can play a bigger role?
A: On your first question, the RMB is to be included in the SDR currency basket on Oct 1st, the first inclusion of a developing country's currency since the inception of the SDR, marking an important milestone in China's integration into the global financial system. It embodies the full recognition accorded by the international community to China's reform and opening-up. It will help enhance the representativeness and appeal of the SDR and stabilize the international financial market. Meanwhile, we are fully aware that as the RMB assumes the role of a major international reserve currency, the international community will become more attentive and sensitive to China's economic and financial policies. The Chinese government is expected to strengthen its communication with the market, release financial policy information in a timely and accurate fashion, and better guide market expectations.
As for the future role of the SDR, the potential of the SDR has yet to be unleashed for so many years. Not until 2008 when the financial crisis broke out did people once again fix their eyes on the international monetary system and the SDR. Now with the consensus regarding the SDR reached on the G20 Hangzhou Summit and the inclusion of the RMB into the basket, the SDR will more likely play an even positive role in the international monetary system.
As was announced last week, the Foreign Ministry and the People's Government of Sichuan Province will host a promotion event at 4 p.m. tomorrow at the Blue Room. The regular press conference will be adjourned for the day and resumed on Thursday (Sept. 29). The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson's Office will receive your questions via telephone and fax.