|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on June 27, 2019|
At the invitation of the Panamanian government, President Xi Jinping's special envoy and Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Changfu will attend the power handover ceremony of the Panamanian President in Panama City from June 30 to July 1.
Q: According to reports, Australian Prime Minister Morrison delivered a speech in the runup to the G20 Osaka summit, elaborating on Australia's foreign policy and mentioning China and China-Australia relations several times. What's your comment?
A: We noted Prime Minister Morrison's speech on Australia's foreign policy, in which he said China's growth is good for China itself and in the interests of Australia. Australia welcomes China's economic growth as always and the contributions of the Belt and Road Initiative to promoting regional infrastructure investment and socio-economic development. He also reiterated his commitment to deepening the Australia-China comprehensive strategic partnership and we appreciate that.
China always believes that a sound and stable China-Australia relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and is conducive to regional peace, stability and prosperity. We hope Australia will meet China halfway and promote the healthy and steady development of the bilateral relations on the basis of mutual trust and mutual benefit.
Q: The US recently unveiled the economic portion of a new Middle East Peace Plan. What's your comment?
A: We noted relevant reports and hope that the international community will stay committed to the international consensus and principles including the "two-state solution", relevant UN resolutions and the principle of "land for peace", put emphasis on heeding the voice and propositions of parties concerned, especially Palestine, and ensure the Palestinian issue will be settled in a comprehensive, just and sustained manner at an early date.
Q: According to media reports, US Secretary of State Pompeo said while visiting India that regional countries have come to see that the BRI may come with no strings, but it comes with shackles. Countries are looking to develop infrastructure, digital connectivity and energy cooperation without relinquishing sovereignty. Do you have a comment?
A: I don't know if Mr. Pompeo is under a spell or something, but he has been so obsessed with the BRI, talking about it wherever he goes.
Unfortunately, it seems his attacks and slanders against the BRI are not working. His attempts to persuade other countries out of BRI cooperation are not getting anywhere either. Why is it so? He should really give it some thought.
If the BRI indeed comes with shackles, like he said, why are so many countries and international organizations actively participating in and supporting it? If not the BRI projects, what can these countries look up to in terms of boosting infrastructure and economic development? Will the US, who has been chanting "America first", do it? Will it actually take concrete measures to help them and offer them funds?
I believe the international community sees this crystal clear. Perhaps Mr. Pompeo also knows the answer deep in his heart.
I would like to advise certain people in the US to stop the one-man show because there is no audience.
Q: President Trump said in an interview on June 26 that China and the US exchanged views on the trade issue over the past few days and it's possible that the two sides will make a deal at G20, and he would do additional tariffs if that doesn't work. What's your comment?
A: Our position is very clear. China always believes that the trade disputes with the US should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation. Having said that, we will firmly defend our legal and legitimate rights and interests.
The US threats to impose additional tariffs will in no way intimidate the Chinese people. We do not believe in fallacy, nor are we afraid of pressure. Such tricks will never work on us.
I would like to remind the US that waging a trade war and raising tariffs will hurt others as well as itself and can never solve any problem at all.
We hope the US will earnestly listen to the outcry against trade war and additional tariffs of its people and various groups at home and heed the call against unilateralism, protectionism and bullying from the international community at the G20 Osaka Summit.
We hope that the US will meet China halfway and accommodate each other's legitimate concerns and seek win-win results on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. This not only serves the interests of the two countries and two peoples, but also meets the shared aspirations of the international community.
Q: Japanese media report that the section on global warming in the current draft of the G20 Osaka Summit communique does not include implementation of the Paris Agreement. Could you confirm that and what is your comment?
A: As I understand, G20 members are having consultations on the draft communique of the Osaka Summit, so I won't comment on the details.
What I would like to say is that addressing climate change has all along been an important item on the G20 agenda. As a major forum for international economic cooperation, the grouping has long played a significant role in advancing international cooperation on climate change. We hope the Osaka Summit will send out a positive political signal in this regard.
China is committed to the multilateral process to tackle climate change. We participate in discussions under the G20 and other multilateral mechanisms and have made important contributions to global climate governance.
Last year, on the sidelines of the G20 Buenos Aires Summit, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres held a trilateral meeting on climate change and issued a press release, sending out a joint message in support of multilateralism and cooperation to deal with climate change. It elicited a strong international response and helped prepare the ground for formulating the guidelines to implement the Paris Agreement at the Katowice Conference.
Based on my information, during the Osaka Summit, the three sides will continue last year's successful practice and hold another meeting on climate change. We hope it will play a positive role in promoting discussions at the G20 and other multilateral mechanisms to tackle climate change and in boosting multilateral efforts in this field.
Q: There was a report saying that China and the US had reached a tentative agreement that would delay tariffs ahead of the planned meeting between the two heads of state at G20. I wonder if you have any comment on the accuracy of the report?
A: I'm not aware of what you said. A press conference is also being held in the Commerce Ministry this afternoon and you may refer to them. I just reiterated China's position on the trade friction and talks with the US when taking an earlier question. As far as I know, the Chinese and US teams are making preparations for the upcoming meeting between the two heads of state at the G20 Osaka Summit and we hope that the US will work with us for positive outcomes.
Q: Tanzania suspended the construction of a $10 billion Bagamoyo port project, citing the onerous financial conditions put in place by Beijing. Do you have any comment on that?
A: I am not aware of specific information on the project you mentioned and can only offer a principled response. Backward infrastructure and funding shortage are major bottlenecks constraining Africa's independent development. As a friend and partner of African countries, China has been conducting infrastructure, investment and financing cooperation with Africa to the best of its capabilities. At the same time, we also conduct joint feasibility studies with the African side to ensure the socio-economic effects and sustainable development of the projects. China supports Chinese businesses in participating in Tanzania's infrastructure development based on market principles.