|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on October 23, 2017|
Q: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said during the Moscow Nonproliferation Conference on October 20 that vigorous diplomatic efforts are needed to resolve the Korean Peninsula crisis. He said that at the moment the main goal is to prevent an armed conflict, which would inevitably result in a large-scale catastrophe. He added that there is no alternative to talks in the settlement of the DPRK issue and called on the international community to support the ideas envisaged by the Russia and China. What is your comment?
A: We agree with what Foreign Minister Lavrov said.
In fact, to peacefully resolve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue through dialogue and consultation is the common aspiration and expectation of the international community. It is also included in the DRPK-related resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council. It best serves the common interests of all relevant parties and the international community and stays as the consistent position of the Chinese side.
I would like to stress again that on the Korean Peninsula issue, military force offers no solution at all. It shall never be on the table as it entails nothing but more trouble and more severe after-effects.
China and Russia, sharing the same position on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, have been in close communication and coordination with each other. The joint plan, based on China's dual-track approach and suspension-for-suspension proposal and Russia's step-by-step initiative, is a fair and reasonable one which gives full consideration to and strives to accommodate in a balanced way the concerns of all relevant parties. It will help us out of the current stalemate and lead to a breakthrough for the resumption of talks. We once again call on all relevant parties to give serious thoughts and positive responses to the plan and make earnest efforts to bring the Korean Peninsula issue back to the right track of settlement through dialogue and consultation.
Q: According to the latest trade figures released today, in the past nine months of this year, China's trade with the DPRK raised by 3.7%. China's exports to the DPRK increased by 21% while imports from the DPRK dropped by 16%. What does these figures mean in terms of how enthusiastic China is in enforcing relevant UN Security Council resolutions?
A: First of all, China has been comprehensively, accurately, earnestly and strictly implementing the DPRK-related resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council and fulfilling its due international obligations. There is no doubt about that.
Second, as close neighbors, China and the DPRK maintain normal exchanges and cooperation.
Third, I want to stress, as is stated in the Security Council resolutions, that measures imposed are not intended to have adverse humanitarian consequences for the civilian population of the DPRK or to affect negatively or restrict those activities, including economic activities and cooperation, food aid and humanitarian assistance, that are not prohibited by resolutions.
I would like to draw attention of all parties to the aforementioned facts.
Q: Japan's Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito have won a landslide victory as is shown by the preliminary results of its lower house election. That means the two thirds majority requirement is met for them to propose a revision to the Constitution at the parliament. What is your comment?
A: We have noted the result of Japan's lower house election. China attaches importance to developing China-Japan relations and hopes that Japan could adhere to the four political documents between China and Japan as well as the four-point principled agreement and take concrete actions to stabilize and improve bilateral relations. Meanwhile, we would like to see Japan remaining on the path of peaceful development and playing a constructive role in regional peace and stability.
Q: The US has circulated a draft resolution at the UN Security Council on technically extending the mandate of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism investigating the use of chemical weapons in Syria. What is China's position?
A: China firmly opposes the use of chemical weapons by any country, organization or individual under any circumstance and for any purpose. This is China's consistent and clear position on the issue of chemical weapons.
We support the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) in following the mandate of the Security Council resolution, carrying out thorough, impartial and objective investigation into the cases on the use of chemical weapons, and, on the basis of solid evidence, reaching conclusions that will stand the test of time and facts.
The Security Council is now deliberating on the draft resolution circulated by the US on extending mandate of the JIM. We hope that all relevant parties could bear in mind the unity of the Security Council, show patience in consultation, and endeavor to reach consensus so as to create favorable conditions for the proper settlement of the issue of chemical weapons in Syria and build a sound environment for the next-stage political settlement of the Syrian issue.
Q: Is the Chinese military planning to continue with its expansion of deployment in the South China Sea in the coming years? Is the Chinese government confident that in doing so, it will not raise tension in the region?
A: China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters. We are resolute in safeguarding our territorial sovereignty and maritime entitlements. Meanwhile, we are committed to peacefully resolving relevant disputes with countries directly concerned through negotiation and consultation and jointly maintaining peace and stability of the South China Sea region with ASEAN member states.
I want to reiterate that China's normal construction of facilities on its own territory is a right bestowed by international law on a sovereign state.
As for your specific question, I have no information and I would refer you to the Defense Ministry if you are interested in getting more information.