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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on February 14, 2017

2017-02-14

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel of Germany which holds the G20 Presidency and Chairman Wolfgang Ischinger of the Munich Security Conference, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the G20 foreign ministers' meeting and the Munich Security Conference held in Germany from February 15 to 18.

Since taking over the G20 Presidency, Germany has made tremendous and effective efforts to advance G20 cooperation and prepare for the Hamburg Summit scheduled for July. China highly appreciates that and will continue to support Germany in making the Summit a success.

The upcoming foreign ministers' meeting will discuss three topics, i.e. implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, upholding peace and enhancing partnership with Africa. China hopes that the meeting will continue to follow through on the deliverables of the Hangzhou Summit, enhance policy coordination and cooperation to tackle major challenges confronting the world, and send a positive message of supporting multilateralism, advancing global governance and moving toward an innovative, interconnected, open and inclusive world economy. This is of great significance under the current circumstances. China will take an active part in the meeting, and work together with other parties to ensure the success of the meeting and address major challenges facing the world.

The Munich Security Conference is one of the important annual fora on international strategy and security. China stands ready to step up communication and exchanges with various parties through this platform. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will set out China's views and propositions on the current international situation and security cooperation at the 53rd session of the Munich Security Conference.

Q: It is reported that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will also attend the G20 foreign ministers' meeting. Will the Chinese Foreign Minister meet with him?

A: The specific schedule of Foreign Minister Wang Yi is still being worked out. I have no information on that for the moment.

Q: The initial tally of the recent presidential election in Turkmenistan reportedly suggests that President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has been reelected. What is China's comment? Has China sent a message of congratulations? How do you view the development of China-Turkmenistan relations?

A: China expresses its congratulations on the smooth presidential election in Turkmenistan and Berdymukhamedov's reelection. President Xi Jinping has sent a message of congratulations to President Berdymukhamedov.

China respects the choice of people in Turkmenistan and supports Turkmenistan in following a development path in light of its own national conditions. We believe that under the leadership of President Berdymukhamedov, Turkmenistan will maintain political stability and prosperity and score new progress in national development.

China and Turkmenistan are sincere and strategic partners enjoying mutual trust. The bilateral relationship has always kept a sound momentum of growth. China highly values its relations with Turkmenistan and is keen to work with Turkmenistan to step up mutual support and strategic coordination, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, and take the bilateral relationship to new heights.

Q: The White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn just announced his resignation. What is China's comment?

A: We have noted relevant reports. This is an internal affair of the United States. I am not going to make comments on that.

Q: The earthquake that hit the southern Philippines on February 10 has claimed eight lives. Has China followed the developments? Will China provide assistance to the Philippines?

A: An earthquake that hit the southern Philippines on February 10 has led to casualties and property losses. Foreign Minister Wang Yi has sent a message of condolences to Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay. The Red Cross Society of China will provide humanitarian assistance worth US$50,000. The Chinese government is ready to offer relief assistance as well. We believe that under the leadership of the Philippine government, the affected people will certainly overcome difficulties and return to normal life at an early date.

Q: It is reported that Venezuela and China have recently signed a series of cooperation deals. Please give us more information on the deals and the overall China-Venezuela cooperation.

A: We have laid out our position on China-Venezuela cooperation for many times. China has conducted practical cooperation with Venezuela in various fields on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Such cooperation has contributed to common development and made good progress. With great importance placed on the comprehensive strategic partnership, we will continue to deepen cooperation with Venezuela across the board. As for the specifics, I'd refer you to competent authorities.

Q: The US is reportedly considering a new exchange rate tactic. The Commerce Secretary will designate the practice of currency manipulation as an "unfair subsidy" instead of singling out China as a "currency manipulator". Analysts believe that the tactic aims to avoid China-US confrontation. What is China's response?

A: Firstly, China does not deliberately devalue the RMB in order to gain an export edge. There is no basis for continuous depreciation of the RMB. Secondly, China will continue to advance the reform of the RMB exchange rate formation regime and keep the RMB exchange rate basically stable at a reasonable and equilibrium level. Thirdly, we hope that relevant parties view issues related to the RMB exchange rate in an objective light. On the specific question you raised, I'd refer you to competent authorities.

Q: The day after tomorrow is the 75th birthday anniversary of Kim Jung-il. China and the DPRK have long-time and special relations. With that, is there any ongoing communication between China and the DPRK? Will China influence the DPRK on the nuclear issue?

A: As immediate neighbors, China and the DPRK have maintained friendly relations, cooperation and normal exchanges. In the meantime, we are committed to realizing denuclearization of the Peninsula, maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula and resolving relevant issues through dialogue and consultation. This position is clear-cut and familiar to all relevant parties including the DPRK.

Over the years, China has played its due part in seeking a peaceful settlement of the Korean nuclear issue. Our efforts have been widely recognized by the international community. Under the new circumstances, China will continue to enhance contact and communication with other parties and contribute its due share to an early and proper settlement of the Korean nuclear issue. We also encourage other parties to shoulder their due responsibilities and play their due roles.

Q: Yesterday, heavy casualties were caused by a suicide attack in the Pakistani city of Lahore, Punjab Province. The government of Pakistan has reiterated its commitment to continue fighting terrorism till it is completely wiped out. What is your comment on that?

A: China opposes terrorism in all manifestations and strongly condemns the terrorist attack in the city of Lahore. We highly appreciate the tremendous efforts made by Pakistan to fight terrorism and extremism and stand ready to further enhance cooperation with Pakistan in this regard.

Q: The Japan Coast Guard said that a flotilla of four Chinese coast guard vessels sailed into waters near Diaoyu Dao this morning and conducted patrol activities. What is the purpose of the patrol?

A: We have repeatedly said that Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. Normal patrol activity by Chinese coast guard vessels in waters around Diaoyu Dao is an exercise of China's inherent right. This is not subject to unwarranted comments.

Q: My first question is on Chinese investments in Cuba which have increased dramatically in recent years, including assistance for port facilities, electronic factories and golf courses. Is this an effort by China to expand its footprint in Cuba before possible opening to US companies? What is the strategic importance of Cuba to China? Second, according to media reports, the US will place forces in the ROK for annual joint military drills. What is your comment on that?

A: On your first question, China and Cuba are good comrades, good brothers and good partners sharing similar aspirations, standing together through difficulties and striving for common development. China has and will continue to commit to greater cooperation with Cuba in various fields. China-Cuba relations are open, inclusive and mutually beneficial. In growing such relations, we are not targeted at a third party, nor are we subject to the influence of any third party. To our delight, many countries have expanded their cooperation with Cuba in recent years. This testifies to the widely-shared expectation for the broad prospect of Cuba's development.

On the second question which is about the upcoming US-ROK military exercise, as I said yesterday, given the current circumstances, we urge relevant parties to keep restraint, not to take any action that may further ratchet up tensions on the Peninsula, and act responsibly to push for a proper settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

Q: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said today that it is significant that for the first time the joint statement of the Japanese and American leaders provides that Article V of the mutual defense treaty covers Diaoyu Dao. What is China's comment?

A: I fully elaborated on China's position yesterday. I wish to reiterate that Diaoyu Dao and its affliated islands are China's inherent territory. No rhetoric or actions, from whomsoever, will change the fact that Diaoyu Dao is part of China's territory or waver China's resolve and determination to uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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