|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on January 4, 2019|
Q: In his replies to questions posed in the Rajya Sabha on January 3, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs General VK Singh said at a time of global uncertainty, India-China relations are a factor of stability and the two countries must not allow their differences to become disputes. Therefore, both sides have been working towards utilizing bilateral dialogue mechanisms to promote mutually beneficial cooperation in a wide range of areas. What is China's comment on this?
A: We have taken note of the relevant reports. In April last year, President Xi Jinping had a successful meeting with Prime Minister Modi in Wuhan which charted the course of development and opened up new prospects for bilateral relations. Since then, as everyone has witnessed, under the strategic guidance of the two leaders, China-India relations have shown a momentum of overall improvement and development. High-level exchanges have been non-stop, exchanges in various fields have been accelerated, and pragmatic cooperation has entered the fast lane of development.
China and India are each other's important neighbor. We are all important emerging markets. China always believes that a healthy and stable China-India relationship is not only in the interests of the two countries and the two peoples, but also conducive to the cause of world peace and development. In the context of growing uncertainty and instability globally, China is willing to work with India to strengthen coordination on international affairs and jointly safeguard the interests of the two countries and the collective interests of the developing countries.
Q: The Spokesperson of China's Commerce Ministry announced this morning that the US delegation will be in China for trade talks on January 7 and 8. Can you confirm it?
A: This morning, China and the US had a vice-ministerial level phone call, confirming that a working team led by Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will come to China to have positive and constructive discussions with Chinese counterparts on implementing the important consensus reached by the Chinese and US presidents in Argentina.
Q: A question on Canada. Canada said yesterday that 13 Canadians have been detained in China since December 1 and 8 of these 13 people have been released already. That means 5 Canadians are still detained. That includes Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Can you confirm this and give us some details?
A: As for the specific details, I would refer you to the competent authorities in China. China's Justice Department have talked about the relevant issue at today's press briefing of the Information Office of the State Council. I have nothing further to add. But I want to stress that China is a country governed by law and China ensures the safety and legitimate rights and interests of foreign citizens in China in accordance with law.
As for Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, we have said many times that these two Canadian citizens have been taken compulsory measures for their involvement in activities undermining China's national security.
Q: Firstly, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that Iran's plan to launch three rocket satellites represents another violation of Resolution 2231 of the UN Security Council. What is your comment on this issue? Secondly, Iran announced that it had negotiated with a group of Taliban representatives with the purpose of peace in Afghanistan. What is your opinion about Iran's role in Afghan peace?
A: China always maintains that Resolution 2231 of the UN Security Council shall be accurately interpreted and effectively and comprehensively implemented to safeguard the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East. Under the current circumstance, we hope that relevant parties could bear in mind the larger and long-term picture, and on the basis of preserving and implementing the JCPOA, seek to resolve other related issues through dialogue and consultation.
On your second question, China supports the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, we support the international community, especially regional countries, in strengthening coordination for greater synergy and making joint efforts for Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation.
Q: The United States yesterday issued a travel advisory for China, warning the US citizens about the risk of exit bans and some causes of detentions here in China. What is your response to the decision to release that advisory?
A: We have noted the relevant reports. China always welcomes foreigners, including Americans, and ensures their safety and legitimate rights and interests, including their freedom to enter and exit the border. Meanwhile, foreign citizens in China should also respect and abide by Chinese laws.
Here I need to point out that for the small number of foreign citizens who have committed crimes in China, relevant Chinese departments will handle their cases in accordance with the law while ensuring all their legitimate rights and interests.
To be frank, the issuance of such a travel advisory by the US side does not hold water. From January to November 2018, 2.3 million visits to China were made by Americans, which means 70 per 10,000 American people made the trip, a ratio far higher than that of the Chinese visiting the US. So, this figure is a testament to China's safety. On the contrary, the US has been citing various reasons and excuses to block the entry of Chinese citizens to the US and conduct needless checks. This is a problem the US needs to pay attention to and address. We hope that the US side could do more to promote exchanges and mutual trust between the two peoples, instead of playing the opposite role.