At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation of the United Republic of Tanzania Augustine Mahiga will pay an official visit to China from December 18 to 21.
This will be Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga's first official visit to China. During the visit, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with him and they will exchange in-depth views on bilateral relations and other international and regional issues of mutual concern.
China and Tanzania enjoy traditional friendship. The relations between China and Tanzania have continued to develop steadily with fruitful outcomes of mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields in recent years. We hope and believe that Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga's visit will further consolidate the traditional friendship between the two sides, promote greater development of the China-Tanzania Comprehensive Cooperative Partnership and bring more benefits to the two peoples.
Q: According to reports, when asked about China-Russia relations at the annual press conference on December 14, Russian President Vladimir Putinsaid that concerning the decisions adopted at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Russia rates them highly and sees them positively, as they are identical or similar to what Russia proposes for developing Russia and international relations as well as Russia’s place in the world. There is a nationwide consensus in Russia concerning the development of relations with China, and whatever the outcome of the presidential election, Russia and China will remain strategic partners for the long-term historical perspective. What’s your response to these remarks by President Putin?
A: President Vladimir Putin has given positive appraisal of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) on several occasions and we highly appreciate this. China fully agrees with the positive remarks of President Putin on China-Russia relations.
At present, the China-Russia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination is operating at a high level with a series of important outcomes and has taken on a more positive momentum. The mature and stable bilateral relations have strong endogenous impetus and development potential. Just as President Putin said, the development of relations between Russia and China remains a long-term strategic perspective for the two countries no matter how the international landscape changes.
We believe that under the strategic leadership of the two heads of state, the China-Russia relations will make greater progress next year, bring more benefits to the two peoples and contribute more to world peace security and prosperity.
Q: Do you have any updates on the mishap of ROK journalist beaten up in China? Can you tell us more about the investigation?
A: As I said at this podium yesterday, this mishap occurred at an event organized by the relevant ROK side as part of President Moon Jae-in's visit in China. I need to stress again that many departments and authorities of China and the ROK have been actively working on President Moon Jae-in's visit, and we share the same goal here, which is to ensure the good outcome of this visit. Like what I said yesterday, though this event was organized by the ROK side, this mishap happened in China and someone did get hurt after all, so we are really sympathetic.
As to the investigation you just mentioned, you might have to get the relevant information from the ROK organizer which organized this event, made arrangement for media and employed the security guards. That being said, we are very concerned that someone got hurt. We will cooperate to find out what really happened if necessary.
Q: According to reports, President Xi Jinping and President Moon Jae-in held a talk yesterday. In a briefing on the outcomes of the talk, officials from the ROK Presidential Office Cheong Wa Dae said that the two sides reached consensus on the four principles concerning peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, which include: first, no war or conflict is allowed on the Peninsula; second, the denuclearization of the Peninsula should be firmly kept in mind; third, the denuclearization and all other issues need to be resolved peacefully through dialogue and negotiation; fourth, the improvement of inter-Korean relations will ultimately contribute to the peaceful settlement of the Peninsula issue. Can you confirm that China and the ROK have reached consensus on these four principles?
A: As we said before, China and the ROK have common interests in and share similar position on achieving denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and negotiation and upholding peace and stability of the Peninsula.
Yesterday, President Xi Jinping and President Moon Jae-in exchanged views on the situation on the Peninsula in their talk. President Xi Jinping stressed that we need to adhere to the goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and never allow any war or conflict on the Peninsula. This issue should be resolved through dialogue and negotiation at the end. We stand ready to continue to enhance communication and coordination with the ROK on maintaining stability, preventing war and promoting peace talks. China will also continue to support the improvement of inter-Korean relations through dialogue and engagement for reconciliation and cooperation, and this is conducive to the deescalation and settlement of the Peninsula issue. President Moon Jae-in also emphasized that the ROK is firmly committed to resolving the Peninsula nuclear issue through peaceful means and willing to work with China to jointly uphold regional peace and stability.
I would like to stress again that to peacefully resolve the Peninsula nuclear issue through diplomatic means and uphold peace and stability of the Peninsula is the largest converging interests of various parties of the Peninsula issue, especially countries in this region, and that is the widespread aspiration among the international community as well. We would like to call upon all the relevant parties to work for the shared goal and bring back the Peninsula issue to the right track of settlement through dialogue and negotiation.
Q: According to reports, a US think tank published a satellite picture on December 14 and said that China continues to deploy high-frequency radar and other equipment that could be used for military purposes on the islands and reefs in the South China Sea. Previously, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson again called on China to stop its construction there. What’s your response?
A: It’s just normal for China to carry out peaceful construction and deploy necessary defense equipment in its own territory, which is part of China’s sovereignty. We believe it is out of ulterior motives that certain people make a fuss over and create trouble out of this issue.
At present, with the concerted efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea continues to be stabilized and get better. Besides, China and ASEAN countries have reached sound consensus and are implementing it. Therefore we hope non-regional countries and the relevant party will respect the efforts of regional countries and refrain from stirring troubles.
Q: This morning, Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong said at an activity commemorating the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People that China is going to hold a symposium of Israeli and Palestinian peace advocates in Beijing from December 21 to 22 to contribute advice and wisdom to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. As the situation in the Middle East is grabbing the attention of all, what is China’s consideration behind hosting this event?
A: During Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s visit to China in July, President Xi Jinping put forward a four-point proposal to resolve the Palestinian issue. He said China stands ready to join in and support all efforts that are conducive to the political settlement of the Palestinian issue and is going to hold a symposium of Israeli and Palestinian peace advocates to contribute advice and wisdom to the solution of the Palestinian issue this year. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China has been actively supporting the Middle East peace process and playing a constructive role to this end. To implement the four-point proposal of President Xi Jinping, China will hold a symposium of Israeli and Palestinian peace advocates in Beijing from December 21 to 22. According to our information at hand, Adviser on International Relations to Palestinian President Nabil Shaath and Deputy Speaker of the Knesset Yehiel Bar will head delegations to attend the symposium. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with the Palestinian and Israeli attendees. Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong will be present at the symposium and address the opening ceremony.
In fact, in December of 2006 and 2003, China held two symposiums of Palestinian and Israeli peace advocates respectively in Beijing and Jerusalem, which have yielded good results. The symposium this time aims to offer a platform for communication and interaction between the Palestinian and Israeli peace advocates under the current circumstance, express the hope for peace and continue to offer idea for promoting the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
Q: As for the mishap of the ROK journalist, is it true that the ROK Foreign Ministry has lodged a formal representation with China about it? How does China respond to that?
A: As I just said, according to what we learned, this event was organized by the representative office of a ROK chamber of commerce in Beijing. That being said, this mishap occurred in China and someone did get hurt, so we are very concerned. It is true that the relevant departments of China and the ROK have exchanged views on that. We hope the relevant authority will find out the truth as soon as possible.
I could tell you that as we understand, the media, the security guards and other service providers all share the same goal, that is to to ensure the success of President Moon Jae-in’s visit. Yet those responsible for different parts of the work might need different working conditions or lay down different requirements. That’s why it requires the organizer to make sound plan and arrangement, and ensure coordination.
For example. In any such event during a high-level visit, the media may try to get closer to the state leaders or other interviewees so as to get better access, or even try to stay with them as long as possible.. But on the part of the security service, they are tasked with the mission of their own and have to safeguard the necessary security and dignity of those who they serve.
Therefore, in this process, different parties may have different needs, which requires the organizer to strike a balance and clearly state the rights and convenience the media are entitled to and the rules for them to observe and the tasks of the security guards as well. The latter should also be told how much leeway they could have in case of emergency when they try to protect the security and dignity of those who they serve. All this needs to be made clear from the very beginning by the organizer.
As we said, this mishap happened in China and some did get hurt, so we are indeed very sympathetic. We also hope the relevant party will get the mishap straight as soon as possible. We stand ready to offer assistance if needed.
I would also like to add that all events of President Moon Jae-in’s visit haven been going smoothly and successfully by far, including that event yesterday as mentioned by you and the journalist with Yonhap News Agency. In fact, there were over 2200 persons present at that event, journalists included. Most of them have acted in accordance with regulations and ensured the overall success of the event.