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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on October 15, 2019


Q: According to reports, a Panama-registered cargo ship sank in waters near Tokyo Bay on October 12, killing six Chinese crew members. Do you have more information?

A: Affected by Typhoon Hagibis, a Panama-registered cargo ship sank in waters off the coast of Kanagawa prefecture, Japan on October 12. One of seven Chinese crew members was rescued and six were killed. After the accident happened, the Chinese Embassy in Japan immediately activated the emergency mechanism, contacted the Japanese side to verify and gather relevant information, visited the rescued sailor and provided assistance to the families of those killed for follow-up matters. China expressed thanks to the Japanese side for their rescue efforts and proper settlement.

Q: Turkish military operation in Northeast Syria since October 9 have caused many casualties so far. Analysts say that it will lead to a humanitarian disaster and will destroy counter-terrorism outcomes by giving terrorists detained near Turkish-Syrian border a chance to escape. I wonder if you have any comment?

A: China opposes the use of force in international relations. We believe all sides should observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as well as the basic norms governing international relations, and solve problems through political and diplomatic means under the framework of international law. Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity should be earnestly respected and safeguarded. We call on Turkey to stop its military actions and come back to the right course of political settlement.

Considering the severe situation for counterterrorism in Syria at the moment, relevant military actions may lead to the outbound escape of terrorists and the resurgence of the Islamic State. We urge Turkey to take up its responsibilities and combat terrorism with the rest of the international community.

Q: LeBron James, a basketball player, said that Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey was "misinformed" when he tweeted about Hong Kong and warned others on the negative ramifications about freedom of speech. Does the Chinese side agree with James' statement?

A: I responded to similar questions many times. Here I'd like to reiterate that sports exchange has played a positive role in China-US friendship and relations. However, an important prerequisite for exchange and cooperation is mutual respect. It is true in China, the US and everywhere else.

Q: The 13th round of China-US trade talks was recently held in Washington. The US side said that both sides reached substantial phase one agreement. The Chinese side said that both sides made substantive progress in some areas and agreed to work toward reaching a final agreement. I wonder if the two teams have the same understanding of this issue?

A: What the US side said is true, and it is the same with our understanding on this agreement. This economic and trade agreement will be very important. It will bring benefits to China, the US and the world, and it will contribute to trade and peace.

Q: The US side said recently that China has begun purchasing large amounts of American agricultural products, which has caught extensive attention from both within China and all over the world. Can you give us more details on China's purchases of American agricultural goods this year?

A: Many journalists have been asking us about the purchases, and we specifically consulted the competent authorities for this. As I know, Chinese companies independently purchased US agricultural products following market principles and based on domestic demand.

According to the preliminary statistics, this year, Chinese companies have purchased 20 million tons of soybeans, 700,000 tons of pork, 700,000 tons of sorghum, 230,000 tons of wheat and 320,000 tons of cotton from the US. We will step up purchases of American agricultural goods.

Q: When did China start purchasing American agricultural products?

A: As I stated earlier, the purchasing amount I gave you is that of this year for now.

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