At the beginning of the press conference, Director General Mr. Lu Kang of the Department of Information of the Foreign Ministry gave an introduction to Mr. Geng Shuang, newly appointed Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry and Deputy Director General of the Department of Information of the Foreign Ministry. Mr. Lu Kang said that in his twenty-odd years of diplomatic services, Mr. Geng Shuang has worked at the Department of International Organizations and Conferences, Department of International Economic Affairs and Permanent Mission of the People's Republic of China to the United Nations. His latest overseas posting made him the Press Counsellor and Spokesperson of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America. Therefore, he is not only adept at multilateral and bilateral diplomatic affairs, but also knows how to work with the press. Mr. Lu Kang believes that Mr. Geng Shuang will competently fulfill his duty as Foreign Ministry Spokesperson and have a good time with the journalists.
Mr. Geng Shuang said that together with all the journalists, he would like to help people in and outside China know China's diplomatic policies and positions in a more timely, accurate, all-around and objective way, and promote mutual understanding and mutual trust between China and the world.
Q: Canada's the Globe and Mail carried an article on September 23 saying that the Chinese Premier's visit couldn't have been a better example of a mix of serious business deals, delicate justice deliberation and plain old friendship. What is your comment? How do you comment on Premier Li's visit?
A: Premier Li Keqiang paid a successful official visit to Canada from September 21 to 24.
This is the first visit made by a Chinese Premier in 13 years, marking the official launch of the annual dialogue mechanism between the Chinese Premier and the Canadian Prime Minister. The two sides reached a series of major consensus on deepening cooperation in various fields, giving a strong boost to forging a new golden decade of China-Canada relations. The two sides also agreed to enhance mutual understanding by strengthening communication at all levels and through different mechanisms, and properly handle problems and differences. When attending the China-Canada Economic and Trade Cooperation Forum, Premier Li Keqiang fully elaborated the stance of promoting all-around practical cooperation. The two sides issued China-Canada Joint Statement and inked a series of cooperation documents and business contracts.
As Premier Li Keqiang pointed out, it is normal for China and Canada, two countries with different historical and cultural backgrounds, different national conditions and in different development stages, to differ, but our common interests far outweigh differences. We hope that the two countries can take the leaders' mutual visits this year as an opportunity, follow the principle of respecting each other, and seeking common ground while shelving differences, and work together to ensure the sustained and stable development of China-Canada relations so as to deliver benefits to people of the two countries.
Q: On the occasion of commemorating the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on September 23, the UN Security Council passed a resolution, calling for concerted efforts from all relevant parties to bring the treaty into force at an early date. What is your comment?
A: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing and the opening for signature of the CTBT. In 20 years' time, a complete ban on nuclear tests has become an international consensus. By reaffirming the goal of banning nuclear tests, the Security Council resolution helps advance the process of bringing the CTBT into force at an early date.
China always supports and advocates a complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and remains committed to its promise of not being the first to use nuclear weapons, not using or threatening to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states and nuclear-weapon-free zones without any conditions. As one of the earliest countries to put their names on the CTBT, China will always uphold the principles and purposes of the treaty and stick to its pledge of putting a moratorium on nuclear tests. China stands ready to work with the international community to ensure an early entry into force of the treaty.
Q: ROK media reported that the Chinese government is investigating a Dandong-based DPRK bank called Kwangson Banking Corporation. Can you confirm it?
A: I am not aware of what you said.
Q: The former chief economist of the IMF said in an interview with the BBC that China's economy is sliding far faster than its official data suggest, making it one of the greatest threat faced by the world economy. Can you comment on his remarks?
A: I want to stress that over the past few years, China has been a significant contributor to the world economy. We stand ready to work with other major economies to better coordinate macro-economic policies and move forward the world economy along a track of strong, sustainable and balanced growth.
Q: China is investigating Liaoning Hongxiang Industrial Development Company. Could you share with us more details?
A: China's position on opposing the DPRK's development of nuclear weapons is clear and consistent. Our efforts in striving for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula are also open for all to see. We have been earnestly and faithfully implementing Security Council resolutions related to the DPRK in their entirety and fulfilling our international obligations in non-proliferation export controls.
As for the Liaoning Hongxiang Industrial Development Company, relevant departments in China are investigating its illegal behavior including economic crimes in accordance with the law and have released relevant information.
Q: It is learnt that Premier Li Keqiang will stop briefly at the Azores Islands of Portugal on his way back from Cuba to China. Can you tell us about the arrangement? Will China seek to increase its presence on the Azores Islands?
A: As far as I know, Premier Li Keqiang's flight will make a technical stop at the Terceira Island of Portugal en route from Cuba to China. At present, China-Portugal relationship is enjoying a sound momentum of development, with frequent high-level exchanges, solid political mutual trust and constantly deepening practical cooperation in various fields. China would like to work with Portugal to move forward China-Portugal Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.
Q: During Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Canada, the Agreement between China and Canada on Sharing and Return of Forfeited Assets was officially signed. Can you give us more details?
A: On September 22,during Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Canada, foreign ministers of the two countries officially signed an agreement on sharing and returning forfeited assets. Cooperation in this regard is one of the specifics under the framework of international judicial assistance. By laying down and fleshing out bilateral cooperation on retrieving, returning and sharing illicit proceeds, the aforementioned agreement serves as a practical guidebook for law enforcement of the two countries.
I also want to add that this agreement is the first specified agreement China signed with another country on retrieving illicit proceeds transferred overseas. Since reform and opening-up, China has signed 79 judicial assistance treaties with almost 60 countries, and extradition treaties with 46 countries, amid cooperation in such fields with other countries. Going forward, we will continue to improve our external cooperation system on judicial law enforcement. With all the experience we have gained and when time is ripe, we will continue to intensify our pursuit of fugitives and illicit assets by signing specified agreements on retrieving criminal gains with countries concerned.
Q: The UN Security Council held a meeting on September 25 to discuss the Syrian situation. The US, the UK, and France accused Russia of sponsoring barbarism of the Syrian government. Russia said the US failed to convince the opposition to obey the ceasefire agreement. What is your take on the current situation in Syria?
A: The situation in some parts of Syria has flared up, causing loss of lives. China is concerned about that.
Not very long ago, during the UN General Assembly, relevant parties had intensive communication on the Syrian issue. The Security Council also held a high-level meeting. As Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the meeting, to resolve the Syrian issue, it is imperative to follow relevant resolutions adopted by the Security Council, especially the UNSCR 2254. Efforts shall be made along four parallel tracks, namely the realization of ceasefire, political negotiation, humanitarian assistance and joint campaign against terrorism.
Ceasefire and cessation of violence is an important prerequisite for the political settlement of the Syrian issue, a must-have for the improvement of the humanitarian situation inside Syria and the effective strike against terrorism. We call on all relevant parties to think first and foremost the interests of the Syrian people, put an end to conflicts and violence, and create favorable conditions for an early resumption of peace talks and accessibility of humanitarian assistance.
Q: Nepalese media reported that the plan for Chinese leader's visit to Nepal has been canceled. Can you confirm it? Is it because of India's observation that the visit might stoke regional tension?
A: We have been in touch with Nepal through diplomatic channels on bilateral high-level visits.
Q: India said that it would ratify the Paris Agreement on October 2. China and the US have already approved the agreement. What is your comment?
A: Climate change is a common challenge for all mankind. No country can stay aloof and intact. This challenge needs to be addressed through international cooperation.
China welcomes India's decision to ratify the Paris Agreement, which will be another key impetus driving the entry into force of this agreement. China would like to strengthen cooperation with all parties including India on combating climate change, accelerating the process of bringing the Paris Agreement into force, and promote the green, low-carbon and sustainable development of the whole world.
Q: Indian and Pakistani media have been discussing which side China would be on once conflicts broke out between India and Pakistan. On the issue of Kashmir, will China support Pakistan?
A: The Kashmir issue is left over from history. We hope that relevant parties can properly resolve this issue peacefully through dialogue and consultation.
Q: Indian media reported a stand-off on September 9 between Chinese and Indian border troops on the eastern section of the China-India borderline in Arunachal Pradesh. The two sides have convened a border meeting to discuss this on September 13 and plan another one on October 1. Do you have more details?
A: China's position on the China-India boundary question is consistent and clear. The China-India borderline has yet to be demarcated. The two sides are trying to resolve this question through negotiations. The Chinese border troops have been following relevant agreements reached between the two sides and strictly observing the Line of Actual Control while patrolling. It is hoped that India would work with China to preserve peace and tranquility of the border region and settle the boundary question at an early date.