|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on January 21, 2016|
Q: Terrorists stormed the Bacha Khan University in the Khyber Pakhtunkwa province of Pakistan on January 20, killing at least 21 people, including students and teachers. What is China's comment on that?
A: We strongly condemn the attack. The Chinese side firmly opposes terrorist attacks targeting innocent civilians, and supports Pakistan in combating terrorism and safeguarding national stability and people's safety.
Q: President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti announced on January 20 that a series of agreements have been signed with the Chinese side to set up a free trade zone, expand Djibouti's role for transshipment of goods in trade between China and the world, and let Chinese banks operate in Djibouti. Why does China attach so much attention to the country?
A: Friendly relations between China and Djibouti have been forging ahead over recent years, as evidenced by constantly increased political mutual trust, flourishing cooperation in economy and trade and vibrant cultural exchanges. During his attendance at the FOCAC Summit in Johannesburg, President Xi Jinping met with President Guelleh, reaffirming their commitment to enhancing the bilateral relationship, safeguarding regional peace and stability and promoting common development. China and African countries are making efforts to implement the consensus reached at the Johannesburg Summit, in a bid to drive development in Africa. Agreements signed by China and Djibouti are part of the efforts.
Q: The American Chamber of Commerce in China said in its survey that one out of four US companies active in China has moved some operations out of the country or is planning to, as the business climate in China is getting worse. Rising labor costs and regulatory challenges such as online control and monopoly probes were cited as the major causes. What is China's comment on that?
A: I have noted the relevant report. To my knowledge, the Chamber also said in the report that 60 percent of US companies are making profits in China. China remains a top three investment priority for 60 percent of its member companies, and the No. 1 priority for about 25 percent of members.
Statistics from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce show that in 2014, China received US$ 120 billion in foreign investment, more than any other country, and remained the leading destination among the developing countries for 23 years running. From January to November, 2015, there were a total of 23,648 newly-established foreign-invested enterprises approved in China, up 11 percent year on year. The actually utilized foreign direct investment (FDI) registered a 7.9 percent year-on-year growth. It is estimated that China has attracted US$ 126 billion foreign capital in 2015, creating a new high.
I want to stress that China will not change its policies in utilizing foreign capital, creating favorable investment environment for foreign-invested companies in China, and protecting their legitimate rights and interests. The Chinese economy is developing with huge potential and strong resilience. We will continue to share development dividends with other countries and pursue win-win results.
Q: US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Beijing for a visit. Who will meet with him? Will the bilateral discussion mainly focus on issues about the DPRK and Taiwan?
A: US Deputy Secretary of State Blinken is in China on January 20 and 21 to co-host the interim Strategic Security Dialogue with Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui. The two sides will exchange views on China-US relations, strategic security, comprehensive security and other issues of common interest.
Q: Is the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden the only purpose of China's setting up of military facilities in Djibouti?
A: Vessels have been sent by China to the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast for escort missions in recent years. In fulfilling escort missions, we encountered real difficulties in replenishing soldiers and resupplying fuel and food, and found it really necessary to have nearby and efficient logistical support. China and Djibouti consulted with each other and reached consensus on building logistical facilities in Djibouti, which will enable the Chinese troops to better fulfill escort missions and make new contributions to regional peace and stability. The nature of relevant facilities is clear, which is to provide logistical support to Chinese fleets performing escort duties in the Gulf of Aden and the waters off the Somali coast.