|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on February 24, 2016|
Q: Voting is going on in Nevada caucuses. It is increasingly likely that Donald Trump will be the Republican candidate for president. He has made some comments over the last couple of weeks aimed at China. For example, he said last month that if he became president, he would tax Chinese imports to deal with what he views as China's manipulation of yuan. How concerned is the Chinese government about the possibility that Donald Trump could become the Republican candidate and enact punitive tax on Chinese imports if he took office as US president?
A: Just like you all, we are following with interest the US presidential election. Since it belongs to the domestic affair of the US, I am not going to make comments on specific remarks by the relevant candidate.
But I want to stress that China and the US, as world's largest developing and developed countries, shoulder major responsibilities in safeguarding world peace, stability and security and driving world development. The sustained, sound and steady growth of China-US relations serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries and benefits the world. We hope and believe that the US government will pursue a positive policy toward China in a responsible manner.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on a visit to the US. Both Foreign Minister Wang Yi and US Secretary of State John Kerry stated in their talks that they attach great importance to China-US relations, and that the two sides should maintain and increase dialogues and exchanges at high and various levels, enhance practical cooperation in different fields, and conduct sound interaction in the Asia-Pacific. We stand ready to preserve and advance China-US relations together with the US side.
Q: The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China said in a report that China's overcapacity is wreaking far-reaching damage on the global economy and China's economic growth in particular. The Chamber President said that Beijing hopes to soak up overcapacity by selling its excess production to markets in Central Asia and the Middle East as part of the Belt and Road initiative. But those markets are not big enough to absorb China's overcapacity. What is China's comment on that?
A: I have not seen the whole report you mentioned, but I have some queries about the viewpoint that you quoted. Some Chinese industries do face the problem of overcapacity. However, it is just a phenomenon in the process of China's economic restructuring. The rationale is that after over 30 years of high speed growth, the Chinese economy has entered a new stage where its driving force is being converted and its structure readjusted. The Chinese economy is growing at medium and high speed compared with the previous high speed. That is in line with the economic laws and is also the result of the Chinese government's regulation. In recent years, the Chinese economy has contributed 50 per cent to world economic growth. Even in the last year when the Chinese economy was under increasing downward pressure due to the influence of external environment, China still created about 25 per cent of world economic growth with a GDP that accounted for around 14 per cent of the world's total, making more contributions to the global economy than it was supposed to. I wonder how the report you mentioned reached the conclusion that China "is wreaking far-reaching damage on the global economy". Once the restructuring is finished, the Chinese economy is sure to offer stronger boosts to the world economy.
We maintain that when we carry forward the Belt and Road initiative and conduct international cooperation on production capacity, we should make joint efforts with all relevant countries based on thorough communication so as to make the best of each other's advantages and achieve win-win results. We design each and every program through consultations with cooperative partners, taking into full account the actual needs of countries where the production capacity goes. Cooperation as such is not just about addition or reduction. The linking of industrial chain and supply chain through production capacity cooperation will unleash more new space and potential for growth. Because of that, some developed countries including EU countries have taken an active part in trilateral production capacity cooperation with China and other developing countries. I believe that we could combine Chinese manufacturing's advantages in cost and performance with developed countries' high-end technologies as well as developing countries' needs, in a bid to meet the interests of all and inject new impetus to the world economy.
Q: First, a Chinese official reportedly said yesterday that bilateral relations between China and the ROK could be destroyed if the THAAD system was deployed in the ROK. Does that reflect China's official stance? Second, it is reported that Chinese companies in the border city of Dandong will suspend coal trade with the DPRK. Can you confirm that? Is that a countermeasure of China in response to the DPRK's nuclear test?
A: On your first question, China's position on the deployment of the THAAD system is clear and consistent. We have been stressing that the Chinese side understands the ROK's reasonable security concerns, but no country can pursue its own security interests at the expense of others'. We believe that the deployment of the THAAD system will have a direct impact on China's national security interests. Therefore, we oppose that.
On your second question, I am not aware of the specifics. The UN Security Council is deliberating on the new resolution against the DPRK. As a responsible country, China always acts in strict accordance with relevant Security Council resolutions and fulfills its due international obligations.
Q: The US media reported that China has sent fighter jets to one of the islands of the Xisha Islands. Can you confirm and make comments on that?
A: It seems to me that a lot of foreign media are quite interested in this kind of questions. I want to stress that the Xisha Islands are part of China's territory with no dispute at all. Construction and deployment on China's own territory is totally within China's sovereignty and perfectly justified.
In order to present a comprehensive, objective and accurate picture of the whole thing to the public, I suggest that the media should neither selectively exaggerate what they want to report nor neglect what they do not want to report. When you report what China is deploying, have you ever noted that some countries have deployed quite a few radar and military facilities in the past decades on the islands and reefs that they illegally seized from China? It is hoped that friends from the press would stay sensible and cool-headed and write objective and impartial reports.
Q: When commenting on relations between Tokyo and Moscow, a Japanese official reportedly said that "not all results of World War II have been summed up" and the territorial issue between the two countries remains to be addressed. In response to that, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement that Japan admitted defeat and took full responsibility for its actions against the then Soviet Union and other allied countries when Tokyo signed a surrender document on September 2, 1945. The Russian side expressed regret that the Japanese side allows an arbitrary and distorted interpretation of historical facts. What is China's comment on that?
A: The issue between Russia and Japan concerning the relevant islands is an issue about the bilateral relationship between Russia and Japan. The Chinese side hopes that the two sides could properly address that issue through peaceful negotiations. We always maintain that the victory outcomes of World War II must be respected and preserved.
Q: Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that we need to monitor the situation on the Korean Peninsula very closely in the coming two months. Why is that?
A: Foreign Minister Wang Yi who is on a visit to the US talked about the Korean nuclear issue when jointly meeting the press with Secretary Kerry. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that important progress has been made in UN Security Council's consultation on the new resolution against the DPRK, and we are looking at the possibility of reaching agreement in the near future. Once that agreement is passed, we can effectively limit further progress of the DPRK's nuclear and missile program. At the same time, China would like to emphasize that the Security Council resolution cannot provide a fundamental solution to the Korean nuclear issue. To really do that, we need to return to the track of dialogue and negotiation.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China, as the chair of the Six-Party Talks, has been exploring ways to resume the Six-Party Talks in an objective and impartial manner. In light of the evolving situation, the Chinese side has proposed to pursue in parallel tracks the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the replacement of the Korean armistice with a peace agreement. China sees the parallel-track approach as a reasonable one. It highlights the overriding goal of denuclearizing the Peninsula, at the same time it seeks to address the major concerns of the various parties. The Chinese side would like to have further discussions with interested parties about the specific steps in the approach.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi also pointed out that we need to monitor the situation on the Peninsula very closely in the coming two months. Various factors of instability might intertwine and have an impact. It's very important that the various parties have more dialogues so as to prevent the heightening of tension. In particular, we must avoid misinterpretation and miscalculation and prevent the situation on the Peninsula from spinning out of control. China hopes that the relevant parties will not take any action that might heighten tension on the Peninsula.