|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on December 17, 2019|
Q: Sources say that China and Russia proposed a draft resolution to the Security Council to terminate part of the sanctions against the DPRK and called for resumption of the six-party talks. I wonder if you could confirm the existence of that resolution? Why did the two countries decide to propose such kind of resolution?
A: I can confirm that on the early morning of December 17 Beijing time, China and Russia proposed a draft resolution on the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue to the Security Council. The draft resolution was distributed to the Security Council members.
At present, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is in a critical and sensitive stage with greater urgency for political settlement. The international community must take an objective and impartial position, act in the service of long-term interests and the greater good, gather consensus for political settlement, and sustain the hard-earned momentum for dialogue, to prevent a relapse of tensions and confrontations and head off a dramatic reversal. The Security Council must fulfill its responsibilities prescribed in the UN Charter and take concrete actions.
China is committed to upholding denuclearization, peace and stability on the Peninsula and resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation. We stand for advancing denuclearization in parallel with creating a lasting peace mechanism. We hold that parties' concerns, particularly the DPRK's legitimate and justified concerns in security and development, should be addressed in a balanced way.
In light of the above, China and Russia jointly proposed a draft resolution to the Security Council on the political settlement of the Peninsula issue. There are three major points in the draft. First, China and Russia reiterated that all parties need to stay committed to realizing denuclearization on the Peninsula. Second, we called on the United States and the DPRK to continue dialogue and resume the six-party talks. Third, some sanctions should be lifted in light of the DPRK's compliance with relevant resolutions. We hope the Security Council will speak unequivocally with one voice in support of political settlement and encourage the United States and the DPRK to respect each other's concerns, demonstrate flexibility and good faith, move towards each other, act on the consensus contained in the Singapore Joint Statement, and, by taking the phased and synchronized approach, break the deadlock and resume dialogue and engagement as soon as possible to prevent the dialogue process from "derailing" or "backpedaling".
China hopes the Security Council members will stay united, honor our historical responsibilities, support the draft resolution proposed by China and Russia and jointly work for political settlement of the Peninsula issue. China stands ready to continue working, along with all parties concerned, towards denuclearization, lasting peace and stability on the Peninsula.
Q: The 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting (ASEM FMM14) just concluded in Madrid, Spain. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended this meeting. What do you think of the significance of this meeting and its outcomes?
A: ASEM FMM14 is an important multilateral meeting held against the backdrop of fluid international landscape and rising instability and uncertainties. Important consensus was reached on upholding multilateralism, enhancing connectivity and resolving regional and international hotspot issues. The most significant outcome and highlight of this meeting is that 53 ASEM members, accounting for more than 60 percent of the world's population, nearly 60 percent of global GDP and close to 70 percent of global trade, voiced their strong support for multilateralism in the face of global challenges.
Under the theme of "effective multilateralism", State Councilor Wang Yi expounded on China's position for multilateralism and called on countries in Asia and Europe to lead by example. He said that multilateralism in the context of our times should have win-win cooperation as the goal, equity and justice as the essence, and be action-oriented. We need to defend the UN-centered international system, the international order based on international law, and the multilateral trading system underpinned by the WTO. We should oppose the abuse of "long-arm jurisdiction", unilateral sanctions, technology blockade, digital hegemony, the creation of technological divide and decoupling. China's position was broadly endorsed by representatives at the meeting.
ASEM foreign ministers stressed that as the international order based on international law was being challenged, Asian and European partners are committed to multilateralism, a multi-polar world and the WTO-centered multilateral trading system. They expressed opposition to protectionism in all forms and called for the resumption of the WTO appellate body's normal functioning as soon as possible. It is a strong testament to ASEM members' collective resolve and will.
Faced with common challenges in today's world, we need to defend multilateralism more than ever. China will work with other ASEM members to carry forth the consensus and outcomes reached at this meeting, uphold multilateralism and consistently add stability and impetus to world peace and development.
Q: US Defense Secretary Esper said that they might withdraw troops from Afghanistan whether or not there's a peace deal. Does China see this move as undermining the situation in Afghanistan and creating volatility? Second, Beijing was to host the Afghan peace talks which got delayed. Do you have any update on when that might take place?
A: We noted reports on US troops' possible withdrawal from Afghanistan. China believes the Afghan issue should be resolved by political means. We firmly support the "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned" peace and reconciliation process. We support more dialogue between parties concerned to create conditions for the final settlement. Any action to be taken should be conducive to peace and stability in Afghanistan. China will continue to make constructive efforts on this issue.
As for the intra-Afghan meeting that you are interested in, as I recall, you asked several times before and I responded to each of them.
My answer today may be familiar to you. Respecting the will of parties concerned in Afghanistan, China would like to contribute to the peace and reconciliation process by providing a platform for intra-Afghan talks in China. We are staying in contact at the moment.
Q: Does the decision by Norway's Telenor not to use Huawei as the key technology provider for Norway's 5G network impair the FTA talks between Beijing and Oslo? Have you raised concerns with the Norwegian authorities?
A: The FTA negotiations between China and Norway serve the interests of both sides. In the spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefit, China is willing to continue advancing the negotiation process, which is our action in support for economic globalization and free trade.
On the 5G technology, China's position is consistent and clear. We hope Norway will make its choice independently and objectively to serves it national interests and foster an open, fair, impartial and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies.
Q: Germany's Social Democrats (SPD) and coalition lawmakers on December 16 agreed a blueprint, which stipulates that telecoms equipment suppliers from countries where state influence cannot be monitored and manipulation or espionage cannot be ruled out should be excluded from Germany's core networks. Reports say this proposal was rejected by the government, and the SPD decided to hold an internal vote on December 17. I wonder if you have any comment on that?
A: It is understandable that Germany is having concerns about its network security, especially considering the country's bitter experience that its networks and even its leaders' cellphones have been eavesdropped by other countries. But I'd like to point out that security concerns should be based on facts and kept within a rational and fair range. They cannot be an excuse for countries to practice protectionism and, even worse, to politicize or ideologize economic and trade cooperation.
We noted the recent discussions in Germany on Huawei's 5G technology. It is a worrisome tendency and a wrong behavior that some parties and people in Germany are trying to exclude Chinese companies by political means. It goes against the market economy values of openness, inclusiveness and fair competition, values that Germany has always been advocating. And it will undermine Germany's own interests and international reputation.
China's position on the 5G technology is consistent and clear. The Chinese government has never supported Chinese companies in undertaking activities that jeopardize other countries' legitimate security interests. No law in China has required companies to install backdoors or collect foreign intelligence. Openness should be mutual. As China continues to keep its door open for all telecoms enterprises, including European ones, in our 5G networks, we hope other countries could also foster an open, fair, impartial and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies.
Q: The withdrawal of troops by the US has been on the cards for some time. Does China have a plan of action with neighbors to deal with the particular situation if the US withdraws its troops? Another question about talks between Taliban and the Afghan government. Taliban earlier refused to hold talks with the Afghan government when the US tried to do that. Can we presume that Taliban was not ready for talks with the Afghan government proposed by the Chinese government?
A: I stated my position on the US troops' possible withdrawal from Afghanistan.
We support more dialogue between parties concerned to create conditions for the final settlement. Any action to be taken should be conducive to peace and stability in Afghanistan. Our position on that is very clear.
On the intra-Afghan talks in China, as I said earlier to another friend from the press, we are discussing that with parties concerned. We will update you if anything comes up.
Q: Just a follow-up question on the draft resolution proposed by China and Russia to the Security Council. Do you have any information yet on the timing of a vote on that? Any idea, a month, a week, anything like that?
A: Like I said, on the early morning of today Beijing time, China and Russia proposed a draft resolution on the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue to the Security Council. We will discuss that with other Security Council members. Of course, we hope all members will reach a consensus, take on historical responsibilities and jointly work for political settlement of the Peninsula issue.
Q: Pyongyang has set a deadline of the end of this year for the US to change its policies. I just wondered how China viewed that deadline? What will be your message to Pyongyang about the deadline?
A: Like I responded earlier, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is in a critical and sensitive stage. You may have noticed the recent remarks made by the DPRK side.
Currently there is greater urgency for political settlement. Against this backdrop, China and Russia jointly proposed this draft resolution because we believe the international community need to be fair and unbiased, have the bigger picture in mind, further consolidate consensus on political settlement, sustain the hard-earned momentum for dialogue, prevent the resurgence of tension and confrontation, and head off a dramatic reversal.
Also, I'd like to emphasize that both the DPRK and the US, as parties directly concerned, should cherish the hard-won opportunity of political settlement as well as outcomes that have been achieved. Both sides need to stay committed to dialogue and consultation, meet each other halfway and break the deadlock at an early date. China will continue to make constructive efforts on that. China and Russia will discuss the draft resolution with other Security Council members. We hope members will reach consensus on advancing political settlement as soon as possible.
Q: About the China-Japan-ROK summit, do you have more information on that? Also in terms of accreditation, will that information be coming from the foreign ministry?
A: We released information on the China-Japan-ROK Leaders' Meeting before. The meeting will be held on December 24 in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. We are in close communication with Japan and the ROK regarding the specific arrangements.
As for the accreditation details, I will get back to you after the press conference as I need to know more about that.
Q: Another question on the Security Council draft resolution where China and Russia called for resumption of the six-party talks. I wonder if China is ready to be a host for the six-party talks?
A: As we all know, China played a critical and constructive role in previous six-party talks. Considering the mechanism's success in the past, China, Russia and many other countries as well as international organizations are calling for its early resumption. It will provide a valuable platform for parties to exchange views, enhance mutual trust and consolidate consensus. In fact, China has been in communication with relevant parties on that. We hope the six-party talks will be resumed soon.