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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on November 24, 2016


Q: Philippine President Duterte reportedly said on November 23 that he had received assurances from President Xi Jinping when they met in Lima, Peru that the implementation of investment deals agreed in October would be accelerated. Can you brief us on the progress of cooperation in trade and investment between China and the Philippines?

A: With President Duterte's successful visit to China last month, bilateral relations and cooperation across the board have turned to a new page of all-around improvement and development.

The geographical proximity and economic complementarity give China and the Philippines unique advantages and huge potential for growth in trade and investment cooperation. The Chinese side supports President Duterte's efforts to lead the Philippine people in building the country and developing the economy. China is willing to conduct cooperation with the Philippines in business, production capacity, infrastructure and other fields in support of the Philippines' socioeconomic development.

China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of Agriculture have sent delegations to the Philippines to have discussions with their Philippine counterparts on how to follow through on the outcomes of President Duterte's visit to China. Positive results have already been achieved in such fields as economy and trade, investment, tourism and agriculture. We have reason to believe that further development of China-Philippines relations and all-round cooperation in various fields will benefit the two peoples with more tangible cooperation achievements.

Q: A UN diplomat said that China and the US had agreed on new sanctions against the DPRK, but Russia was delaying the process. What is China's comment on that? Is it possible for China to bring Russia on board for the draft resolution?

A: The Chinese side firmly opposes nuclear tests by the DPRK. To realize denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula, prevent nuclear proliferation, safeguard peace and stability of Northeast Asia and peacefully resolve the Korean nuclear issue through dialogue and consultation is China's staunch commitment. We stand for new actions taken by the UN Security Council in response to the fifth nuclear test by the DPRK. As far as we have learnt, members of the Security Council are consulting with each other about the draft resolution on the DPRK.

Q: The Chinese side issued today its policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean. Is it related to President Xi Jinping's visit to Latin America? Or does it have anything to do with the result of the US presidential election? Compared with its first policy paper in 2008, what new elements does this paper have? Does the release of the paper imply that China attaches bigger interests to developing political and economic relations with the region?

A: Today, the Chinese government issued its second policy paper on Latin America and the Caribbean. The first of its kind was issued in 2008 as a policy basis for the development of China-Latin America relations, commencing the notable progress of friendly cooperation between China and Latin America in different fields. Eight years on, the international landscape has gone through great changes, and the circumstances for the development of China and Latin America are much different from what they were like eight years ago. By releasing the second policy paper, the Chinese government is to fully elaborate on the new concepts, proposals and measures in its policy toward Latin America in the new era, showcase China's positive stance in developing China-Latin America relations, and drive forward the comprehensive cooperative partnership between the two sides.

As for whether this paper is related to President Xi Jinping's visit to Latin America, I will say that given the guiding role of high-level exchanges in China-Latin America relations, we believe it is proper to take President Xi Jinping's third visit to Latin America as an opportunity to comb through and expound on China's policy toward Latin America.

With regard to whether the paper has anything to do with the US presidential election, both China and Latin American countries are developing countries who base their cooperation on shared interests and reciprocal demands in keeping with the principle of equality, mutual benefit, openness, inclusiveness and win-win results. The relationship between China and Latin America will not target or exclude any party, nor will it hamper each other's relations with other countries. The Chinese side is willing to conduct trilateral cooperation with countries outside the region or international organizations under the principle that such cooperation being initiated, approved and led by Latin American and Caribbean states.

Q: US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker told the press after the meeting of the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade (JCCT) that it was not the time to grant China the market economy status. What is China's comment on that?

A: Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang is co-hosting the JCCT meeting with the US side in Washington. At the meeting, the two sides had a broad and in-depth discussion on how to deepen bilateral economic cooperation and trade, sending out a positive signal that the two sides are committed to expanding and deepening cooperation.

As for you question about China's market economy status, the Chinese government has been working to improve the socialist market economy system through market-oriented reforms and create a more normative and stable environment for market economy. China's achievements in developing market economy are universally acknowledged.

Q: Will China give priority to working out a free trade deal with the UK after the Brexit?

A: Our position on negotiating and signing free trade agreements or arrangements with foreign countries is clear. The Chinese side is ready to do that with interested countries on the basis of the WTO rules and in the spirit of mutual respect, mutual benefit, openness and inclusiveness, in a bid to promote trade and economic growth in the two countries, the region and beyond.

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