|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on December 16, 2016|
The second foreign ministers' meeting of the Lancang-Mekong River Cooperation (LMC) will be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia on December 23 with Cambodia and China as the co-chairs. At the invitation of Cambodia's Senior Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhon, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend and co-host the meeting with the Cambodian side.
Prior to the foreign ministers' meeting, the six parties will hold the 4th senior diplomatic officials' meeting on the LMC as a prelude to the foreign ministers' meeting which Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin will attend and co-host with the Cambodian side upon invitation. Besides, the six parties will hold the 5th diplomatic working group's meeting and the joint session of the joint working group on diplomatic and other priority areas.
Q: Can you be specific about the outcomes of the LMC? What is your expectation for the upcoming foreign ministers' meeting?
A: Last March, the first LMC leaders' meeting concluded successfully in Sanya, Hainan Province with a wide range of important outcomes. With the concerted efforts of all parties, we have seen positive progress in effectively implementing the outcomes of the meeting, with more than 10 of the 45 early harvest projects having been completely or partially finished, and others being specified and pushed forward. Such progress demonstrates the pragmatic and efficient features of the LMC which is in action, and reflects the strong willingness of and the broad prospect for all parties to carry out pragmatic cooperation under the framework of the LMC mechanism.
As a new-type of sub-regional cooperation mechanism which is based on wide consultation, joint participation, and shared benefits of six sub-regional countries, the LMC serves as an important platform for the six countries to promote good neighborliness, friendship, practical cooperation and sustainable development. The upcoming foreign ministers' meeting will continue to follow the theme of Shared River, Shared Future and exhibit the cooperative spirit of six countries holding hands together for shared future, looking after each other for mutual support, working side by side for cooperation, and seeking development for win-win results. China hopes to see progress in two areas during this meeting. The first is to consolidate the foundation for cooperation so as to ensure a sound, stable, and sustainable development of the LMC. The second is to enhance practical cooperation and strengthen all-dimensional cooperation of the LMC centered around the three pillars of political security, economic and sustainable development, and social and cultural endeavors, so that the cooperation can deliver more benefits to people in this region.
Q: Ecuador had a violent protest against a Chinese copper exploration project. Is there any Chinese citizen injured in the protest? Have you expressed concerns to Ecuador?
A: China pays close attention to this incident. We are in contact with Ecuador on this. We have noticed that President Rafael Correa condemned the attack in the protest, and Ecuador's government took immediate actions to contain the situation. The Chinese government commends that.
China will work with Ecuador to take effective measures to create a good environment for bilateral practical cooperation. So far, we have received no reports of Chinese people hurt or killed in the incident.
Q: Russian President Putin is visiting Japan. The two countries agreed on the joint economic development of the Northern Territories. What is your comment?
A: I answered a similar question yesterday. We are following President Putin's visit to Japan.
As for the issue about relevant islands, it is between Japan and Russia. We hope they can properly resolve it through peaceful negotiation.
Q: President Putin said before the bilateral summit that there is no territorial dispute between Russia and Japan. What is China's position on the issue of Northern Territories? Do you think Russia and Japan have a territorial dispute?
A: As I said, this issue is a bilateral one between Japan and Russia. We hope they can properly resolve it through peaceful negotiation.
Q: Moon Jae-in, former leader of the ROK's main opposition party said on December 15 when declaring his decision to run for presidency that it is inappropriate to push the THAAD installation under the current political circumstances. The deployment should be postponed and left up to the next administration for reconsideration based on diplomatic efforts. What is your comment?
A: I have seen relevant reports. On the THAAD issue, China has repeatedly expressed its serious concerns and clear opposition. The THAAD deployment by the US in the ROK, which severely undermines regional strategic balance and the strategic and security interests of relevant regional countries including China, will not help preserve peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula. We hope that relevant countries can take our legitimate concerns seriously and halt the deployment.
Q: Regarding the meeting between Putin and Shinzo Abe, some analysts said that Abe wants to play the Russia card in its relationship with China and persuade Russia to adopt a balanced policy in Asia. What is your comment?
A: You may have seen that before embarking on his visit to Japan, President Putin gave an interview in which he spoke highly of China-Russia relations. China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners for coordination. Thanks to the joint efforts of the two sides, China-Russia relations have been proceeding at a high level. We would like to work with Russia to continue to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership for coordination.