|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on April 19, 2017|
Q: The DPRK's Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN Kim In-ryong recently said at a press briefing that the DPRK is getting ready for another nuclear test, and relevant plans which were already announced publicly will be put into practice. Vice Foreign Minister of the DPRK Han Song-ryol also said that the DPRK will test more missiles every week, every month and every year. What is your response? Do you have any update on the DPRK's nuclear test or missile launch?
A: We have noted relevant reports. China is gravely concerned about these recent developments regarding the DPRK's nuclear and missile activities. China is committed to realizing denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, preserving peace and stability of the Peninsula, and resolving the relevant issue through dialogue and consultation. Such a position is steadfast and unshakable. I must stress that with the current situation on the Peninsula already so complicated and sensitive, China firmly opposes any words or actions that would escalate rivalry and tension. All relevant parties should make tangible efforts to ease the situation.
Q: Hong Kong media reported that the Chinese government has asked Interpol to issue a red notice for Guo Wengui. Can you confirm this and tell us what crime his suspected of??
A: You got it right. We have learnt that the Interpol has issued a red notice on suspect Guo Wengui. I would refer you to competent authorities for the specific details.
Q: A recent Op-Ed published by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace said that the US export control policies constitute one of the major reasons for the US-China trade deficit, and a significant amount of US potential exports to China were blocked by such policy barriers. What is your comment?
A: We have seen the relevant article. This article also mentioned that according to average 2004–2009 data, if the United States were to liberalize its export barriers against China to the same level as those applicable to France, the US-China trade deficit would be narrowed by 20.28–33.74 percent. Should the United States adjust its export barriers against China according to those applicable to Brazil, the US-China trade deficit would be narrowed by 5.95–24.38 percent.
We have repeatedly said that the China-US economic and trade relationship is in its nature for mutual benefit and win-win results. What we have learnt from practice is that China and the US are highly complementary in economic and trade areas. Market choices have forged such an economic relationship between the two countries that the interests of China and the US are inextricably intertwined. We are each other's largest trading partner. Our two peoples all benefited enormously. And we keep stressing that there is still immense untapped potential in the China-US economic and trade relations.
In order to effectively deliver more benefits from the China-US economic and trade relations to the two peoples, China and the US need to work together to make the cake of common interests bigger, instead of fixing on the distribution of interests and pondering over things like who gets a bigger share. China never intentionally seeks trade surplus. We are happy to expand imports from the US on the basis of the actual needs of China's domestic markets. Meanwhile, we also hope that the US could adjust its export controls against China which are outdated so as to help alleviate trade imbalance between China and the US, or as the US put it, the US-China trade deficit.
I still want to reiterate in the end that following the consensus reached between the two leaders in Mar-a-Lago, China would like to work with the US to expand the coverage of bilateral practical cooperation and properly deal with friction arising from the economic and trade fields through friendly consultation so as to ensure the sound and steady development of China-US economic and trade relations.
Q: The Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs said on April 14 that it has come up with new standardized names for six places in "Arunashal Pradesh". What is the reason for this issuing of the standardized names? Is this a response to the Dalai Lama's visit to that place? Chinese media also reported that the renaming would help China's position in its boundary talks with India. Can you comment on that?
A: With regard to the Indian government going ahead and allowing the 14th Dalai Lama to visit the controversial eastern part of the China-India boundary, our solemn position on that has been repeated multiple times. You must be very clear with it, so today I will not repeat it.
I also have seen the notice put up by the Ministry of Civil Affairs. China holds a consistent and clear position on the eastern section of the China-India boundary. The competent authorities in charge of managing China's geographical names were exercising their lawful rights in publicly releasing these names in accordance with Regulations on the Management of Geographical Names and relevant regulations of the State Council. It is legitimate and appropriate. These names are passed down by ethnic minority groups like Menba and Zang who have long been living and working in the region, and they have been calling these places as such for generations. These names reflect from another angle that China's territorial claim over South Tibet is supported by clear evidence in terms of history, culture and administration.
Q: The Japanese government recently planned to designate the DPRK-launched missile falling into Japan's territorial sea as "armed attack emergency". Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said that Japan's Self Defense Force will be sent if anything happens on the Korean Peninsula. The Spokesperson for the ROK Foreign Ministry said that these trends in Japan will invite misunderstanding and negatively impact peace and stability. What is your comment?
A: We have noted these developments inside the Japanese government and the media reports quoting Spokesperson Cho June-hyuck of the ROK Foreign Ministry as saying that such moves by Japan would have negative impacts on regional peace and stability. I identify with Mr. Cho June-hyuck's statements.
China's position on opposing a nuclear-capable DPRK is firm, clear and consistent. Just like what we've been stressing multiple times in recent days, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is already highly complicated and sensitive, and all relevant parties should remain restrained while working collectively to lower tension on the Peninsula, rather than adding fuel to the fire by provoking each other. In fact, in our communication and contact with the major parties to the Korean Peninsula issue, they all explicitly expressed their reluctance to see confrontation and war. After all, once the war is on, its consequence is out of hand of anyone. Former US Vice President Joseph R. Biden used to quote one sentence a lot from his father, which is "the only conflict worse than one that is intended is one that is unintended".
Therefore, we believe that if a country is genuine in its wish for regional peace, it will not intentionally play up tension. What is more, we should guard against those attempts that aim to achieve ulterior political motives by creating tension and stoking contradiction.
Q: First, reports say that the Chinese government's department concerned has given approval to the trademark application of Ivanka Trump's company on April 6, the day that President Xi and President Trump were having a summit. And people were wondering whether that was coincidental or not. What is your comment? Second, Ivanka Trump is an official adviser to President Trump. How do you view her role in promoting relations between the two countries?
A: Regarding the Mar-a-Lago meeting between the two presidents, the vast majority of the international community and major news outlets focus on the policy-level exchanges between the leaders of the two major countries and how such exchanges would impact international relations and affairs. Still, some media chose to report on gossips. You are from a mainstream media. This should not become a topic for you to gather information. If some media try to imply anything by utilizing gossip news, they will simply get nowhere.
As for some companies' trademark registration in China, we have said many times that competent authorities in China consistently follow the principle of equally protection for the legal trademark rights of trademark owners of domestic and foreign companies and handle the process of relevant trademark registration in accordance with laws and regulations. I see no need for you to link it with anything else.
As for your second question, we think highly of all people, whether they are from the government or non-government sector, who devote themselves to promoting China-US friendship and cooperation, and we highly appreciate their efforts in this regard.
Q: US President Trump said that in light of the tense situation on the Korean Peninsula, the US would send USS Carl Vinson to the Korean Peninsula. The US aircraft carrier that everyone thought was steaming towards the DPRK is apparently not steaming towards the DPRK. It is still in the waters of Indonesia. Do you think this is rather a bizarre thing that the US words failed to match its actions? What is China's reaction to the latest development?
A: We do not need to repeat our position. As I just said, the situation on the Korean Peninsula is already very complicated and sensitive and tense. What is needed at the moment is for all relevant parties to lower tension, rather than aggravating the situation by provoking each other. All relevant parties who do not wish to see an escalation of tension shall speak and act in a constructive way. Yesterday, I said from this podium that some American officials did make some positive and constructive remarks regarding the Peninsula situation, such as using whatever peaceful means possible to resolve the Peninsula nuclear issue. This represents a general direction that we believe is correct and should be adhered to.
Q: Further to what you said about the standardization of the names for the "Arunachal Pradesh", why has it taken so long for China to do this? The timing of this coincides with China's protest over the Dalai Lama's visit to these areas. Can you clarify whether this is a retaliatory response to India?
A: I can repeat for you that the Chinese government firmly objects to the Indian government allowing the 14th Dalai Lama to carry out anti-China separatist activities in disputed eastern section of the China-India boundary, and we have clearly pointed out that by doing this, the Indian side violated the solemn pledges it once made to China.
As for the timing of the announcement for these standardized names, in fact, I can tell you here that the Chinese government is conducting the second nationwide survey on geographical names, an important task of which is to standardize the geographical names in the languages of ethnic minority groups. Going forward, relevant authorities will step up their research and verification on geographical names recorded in Zang language. More standardized names will be released when the time and condition is right.
Q: A Chinese tourist who tried to seek political asylum in Taiwan was deported back to the mainland. Does the central government welcome this move by the Taiwan authorities?
A: I have to remind you again that this is China's domestic affair, and I would refer you to the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council.
Q: Did China ask the US not to send the USS Carl Vinson?
A: China remains in close communication with all relevant parties including the US regarding the current situation on the Korean Peninsula. And we cannot be any clearer with our hope that all relevant parties should work together to lessen tension on the Peninsula and refrain from provocative action. We see no way how provoking each other can serve the interests of any party.
Follow-up: Some ROK politicians criticized the contrast between words and actions from the US on USS Carl Vinson as lies. What is China's comment?
A: Like I just said, we maintain close contacts with the US on the current situation. It is impossible for us to comment on every word or every statement. But the US and other parties to the Korean Peninsula issue know fully well China's position.