Q: On late December 1, Thai Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn officially ascended the throne as Thailand's new king. What is China's take on this? What is your expectation for the development of China-Thailand relations?
A: President Xi Jinping has sent a message of congratulations to H.M. King Vajiralongkorn on his ascension to the throne.
We wish Thailand greater progress under the leadership of H.M. King Vajiralongkorn, and believe that with the support of the king and the royal family, China-Thailand relations will be elevated to a new level.
Q: President Xi Jinping is said to meet with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger today. Can you tell us more about that?
A: At the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs, former US Secretary of State Kissinger is in China for a visit. We will release information about his meetings with the Chinese leadership in due course. Member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Political Bureau, and Secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection Wang Qishan met with him yesterday. Information about the meeting has been released.
Q: Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered an annual State of the Union address yesterday. What is China's comment on that? Which parts of the speech does China value in particular?
A: We have noted that President Putin spoke highly of China-Russia relations in his annual presidential address, and appreciate Russia's positive attitude towards developing relations with China.
At present, China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is in a better state than ever before. Following the purposes and principles of long-lasting friendship established in the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Between China and Russia, the two sides regard each other as their diplomatic priorities and important development opportunities, support each other on issues of core interests, set an example for the new type of state-to-state relationship featuring equality, mutual trust, mutual benefit and cooperation, and play a constructive role in promoting international and regional peace, security and development.
China stands ready to work with the Russian side to consolidate and develop the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, expand and deepen cooperation in various fields so as to contribute to the common prosperity of the two countries as well as regional and international peace, security and stability.
Q: It is said that US President Barack Obama is poised to block the Chinese company Grand Chip from buying Germany's semiconductor maker Aixtron. How do you respond to that?
A: The case you mentioned is a normal business acquisition and thus should be dealt with according to business principle and market rules. We hope there will not be too much political interpretation of this normal business activity, still less political disruption.
Q: On December 1, Germany officially took over the G20 presidency. German Chancellor Merkel said in a video statement that world economic stability and a responsible global climate policy will be top issues during the German chairmanship. What is China's comment on that?
A: Germany officially took over the G20 presidency for the year 2017. We take note that Germany has already announced the theme and key topics for the G20 Hamburg Summit next year. We believe this will help maintain the continuity of the Hangzhou Summit.
In view of the current world economic situation and the international community's expectations, it is highly relevant for Germany to highlight the topics of global economic stability and international cooperation against climate change. As a member state of the Troika, China will play an active part throughout the process of the Hamburg Summit and help Germany ensure its success, follow through on the outcomes of the Hangzhou Summit and the previous summits and materialize strong, balanced, sustainable and inclusive growth of the world economy.
Q: It is reported that US lawmakers are considering putting in the National Defence Authorization Act for the 2017 fiscal year military exchanges between Taiwan and US officials. What is China's comment on that? Will that affect China-US relations?
A: We are severely concerned about this report.
The Chinese side strongly opposes any form of official interaction and military contact between the US and Taiwan. This position is consistent and clear.
The Chinese side urges the US to abide by the one China policy and principles of the three joint communiqués, deal with the Taiwan question in a prudent manner, and avoid backsliding and damaging the larger interests of China-US relations.
Q: Following the Security Council's approval of the new resolution, the ROK government this morning announced unilateral punitive measures against the DPRK. What is China's comment on that?
A: The Chinese side always opposes unilateral sanctions above the Security Council's framework of sanctions, especially the attempt to harm China's legitimate rights and interests with unilateral sanctions.
The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complex and sensitive. All parties should work side by side instead of provoking each other and stirring up the tension. It is hoped that relevant parties will act with caution.
Q: The Japanese side also announced unilateral sanctions against the DPRK, which will affect some Chinese entities and individuals. What is China's response to that?
A: As I told the journalist with the Yonhap News Agency, the Chinese side always opposes unilateral sanctions above the Security Council's framework of sanctions, especially the attempt to harm China's legitimate rights and interests with unilateral sanctions.
Q: The British Ambassador to the US said that British fighter planes are visiting Japan and will fly over the South China Sea. It is also said that the UK is planning to sail its aircraft-carriers through the Pacific when they are operational in 2020. What is your response to that?
A: It is agreed that all countries are entitled to sail and fly freely through the South China Sea under the international law. Thanks to the concerted efforts of China and other coastal states in the South China Sea, freedom of navigation and overflight has never encountered any problem in the South China Sea. The situation in the South China Sea is also getting better. It is hoped that all relevant parties will respect efforts made by countries in the region to safeguard peace and stability in the South China Sea.
Q: First, the Philippine government said that the Chinese Coast Guard rescued two Philippine fishermen in the South China Sea. Can you give more information? Second, the German Ambassador to China said that he heard more German companies complaining about the worsening protectionism in China. How do you respond to this criticism?
A: On your first question, due to the impacts of this year's 25th typhoon Tokage, there were very stormy waves in waters off Huangyan Dao. The Chinese Coast Guard on site rescued two Philippine fishermen whose boat sank after running into a rock. Right now, these two fishermen, who are in good conditions, are properly settled on the Chinese Coast Guard vessel that is on duty. The Chinese side tried many times to turn them over to the Philippine side, but failed due to bad sea conditions. China will continue to find proper ways to hand them over, carry on with its patrols in waters off Huangyan Dao, earnestly fulfill its responsibilities and duties, and preserve peace, tranquility and order of relevant waters.
In response to your second question, I would like to quote a few figures from the annual German Business in China report released on November 22. According to this report, 90% of German enterprises in China continue to put their faith in the Chinese market with no intention of leaving. As many as 70% of the surveyed enterprises are optimistic about their business prospect in China, compared with 58% last year. I believe these figures mean something.
China will open wider to the outside world, do more to attract foreign investment, and improve the investment environment for foreign companies. There are still more China can offer to foreign investment. Once opened, China's door will remain so and will not shut down.
The Foreign Ministry and the People's Government of Guizhou Province will host a promotion event at 4 p.m. on December 6 (Tuesday) at the Blue Room under the theme of "open China: Guizhou, popular for its variety". Foreign Minister Wang Yi will deliver a speech. Party Secretary of Guizhou Province Chen Min'er, Governor Sun Zhigang will make presentations respectively. Foreign diplomatic representatives will speak and interact with guests. Welcome to the event! The regular press conference will be adjourned on that day.