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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on November 23, 2016

2016/11/23

At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Hungary will come to China on November 30 for an annual consultation with his Chinese counterpart and the first bilateral working group meeting on the "Belt and Road".

That is the first consultation between foreign ministers of the two countries following the signing of the inter-governmental MoU on making joint contribution to the "Belt and Road" in June 2015. It is also the first time for the bilateral working group to meet. It is believed that the consultation and the working group meeting will help foster political mutual trust, align development strategies, promote pragmatic cooperation between the two sides under the framework of the "Belt and Road" and add new impetus to the rapid development of the bilateral relations.

China-Hungary relations enjoy a sound momentum of growth, featuring frequent high-level mutual visits and increasing exchanges and cooperation in different fields. Hungary is the first European country that has signed the MoU on jointly promoting the "Belt and Road" with China. It will play host to the 6th meeting of leaders from China and Central and Eastern European countries next year. Attaching importance to developing relations with Hungary, China will work together with the Hungarian side to strengthen political mutual trust, synergize development strategies, deepen pragmatic cooperation, increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges, enhance communication and coordination on international affairs, and press ahead with the bilateral relationship as well as "16+1" cooperation, making contribution to the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries and the development of China-EU relations.

Q: Can you confirm that China has canceled the visit by Danish Prime Minister and tell us the reason?

A: The Chinese side values its relations with Denmark and welcomes the visit by Prime Minister Rasmussen when it is convenient for both sides. The two sides are communicating with each other about the time of the visit.

Q: The website of Taiwan's "Foreign Ministry" updated its column about Mainland's restriction on Taiwan's activities in the international arena. What is your comment on that?

A: I am not aware of the updates you mentioned. As for issues about the space for Taiwan's international activities, we have been stressing that they must be handled in accordance with the one China principle. That is also the consensus of the international community.

Q: It is reported that the ROK and Japan have signed the General Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) in Seoul on November 23 to share confidential security information. What's your comment?

A: We have taken note of the relevant report. Intensified cooperation between relevant countries based on the deeply entrenched Cold War mentality for the sharing of military intelligence will only worsen the confrontation on the Korean Peninsula, and add to insecurity and instability in Northeast Asia. It runs counter to the trend of peace and development and the common interests of countries in the region. The current situation on the Korean Peninsula remains complex and sensitive. While carrying out military cooperation, relevant countries should take seriously the security concerns of regional countries and contribute more to regional peace and stability, rather than the opposite.

Q: US President-elect Donald Trump said that the US would withdraw from the TPP. This could imply a diminished influence of the US in the Asia-Pacific. Will China benefit from this? Will China play a bigger role in Asia?

A: We have answered TPP-related questions several times over these days. I would like to fully elaborate on China's position again.

First, China is open to all the trade arrangements that are conducive to economic integration in the Asia-Pacific, liberalization and facilitation of regional trade and investment, and common development and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific. At the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting that was just concluded, participants discussed free trade arrangements in the Asia-Pacific, and decided to press ahead with the process of FTAAP, which is quite a positive signal.

Second, we believe that affairs in the Asia-Pacific should be decided upon consultation among all countries in the region, rather than being dictated by one country. Trade rules in the Asia-Pacific should be jointly made by all parties concerned through consultation on an equal-footing. Like I said yesterday, free trade arrangements in the Asia-Pacific must not be politicized, which means that parties must not read too much into the free trade arrangements from the geopolitical angle. It is not a zero-sum game, and relevant arrangements should reinforce each other rather than exclude each other.

Third, on the basis of acknowledging the differentiation and diversity of regional economic development and in the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and mutual benefit, China would love to work with all parties to push forward Asia-Pacific economic integration for the benefit of all countries and all peoples in the Asia-Pacific. China will play its part and make its contribution in this process.

Q: President Xi Jinping is going to meet with the Vice Spanish Prime Minister at Gran Canaria. What is China's expectation for the meeting? What are the important aspects of China-Spain relations?

A: President Xi Jinping will stop by Gran Canaria en route from Latin America to China. During the stay, he will meet with the Spanish leader for an exchange of views on the bilateral relationship. That will be an important meeting which will push forward the bilateral relationship.

Q: According to the Mongolian media, the Chinese side has indefinitely postponed an inter-governmental meeting and a meeting on mines and energy with the Mongolian side due to be held soon because Mongolia green lighted Dalai's visit. Can you confirm that? How do you comment on that?

A: We have expressed our solemn position on Dalai's visit to Mongolia. The erroneous action taken by the Mongolian side on Dalai's visit hurt the political foundation of China-Mongolia relations and exerted negative impact on the development of bilateral relations. The Chinese side requires the Mongolian side to genuinely respect China's core interests and major concerns, take effective means to remove the negative impact caused by its erroneous action, and bring China-Mongolia relations back to the track of sound and steady growth.

Q: Australian Foreign Minister said yesterday that China had notified the Australian government of the formal arrest of the three Australian employees of Crown Resorts Ltd on suspicion of gambling offences. Can you give us more details?

A: The arrest of the three Australian employees of Crown Resorts Ltd on suspicion of gambling offences was approved on November 18. Chinese authorities in charge of the case notified the Australian side of that in accordance with the consular agreement between the two countries and provided assistance to the Australian consular officers' performance of duty. The Chinese side will continue to handle the case in accordance with the law.

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