|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on October 18, 2019|
Q: The Chinese side has announced President Bolsonaro's upcoming state visit to China. Can you give us more details on the arrangement for this visit and your expectations? How do you view the current state of China-Brazil relations?
A: Invited by President Xi Jinping, President Bolsonaro of the Federative Republic of Brazil will pay a state visit to China from October 24 to 26. President Xi Jinping will hold a welcoming ceremony and a welcoming banquet for him and chair an official meeting and the two presidents will attend a signing ceremony. Premier Li Keqiang and NPC Chairman Li Zhanshu will meet with him respectively. Both sides will exchange views on bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest. President Bolsonaro will also attend bilateral economic and trade events.
China and Brazil are both major developing countries, important emerging markets and comprehensive strategic partners to each other. In the past 45 years after establishing diplomatic ties, China and Brazil have enjoyed a sound and stable relationship with fruitful and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. This relationship has become an example of solidarity, cooperation and common development between major developing countries. China appreciates the high importance that President Bolsonaro has attached to China-Brazil bilateral relations since he took office.
China has been viewing its relations with Brazil from a strategic and long-term perspective. Taking the 45th anniversary as an opportunity, we will work with Brazil for closer high-level exchange, better alignment of development plans, deeper cooperation in various fields, and greater progress in our comprehensive strategic partnership to deliver benefits to both countries and peoples.
Q: NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the Chinese government asked him to fire Rockets general manager Daryl Morey over his tweet on Hong Kong. I wonder if the Chinese side could confirm this?
A: I saw that in the news and I specifically checked that with the competent authority. The answer is, the Chinese government has never raised such demands.
Q: What is the opinion of the Chinese government about the initiative of the peace of Hormuz (OMID/HOPE) initiated by the Iranian President Rouhani?
A: China is closely following the highly complex and sensitive situation in the Gulf region and the Middle East. Maintaining peace and stability in the region meets the common interests of the world. China welcomes all initiatives and diplomatic efforts that are conducive to amelioration in the region. We encourage regional countries to follow the spirit of friendliness and good neighborliness, show good will to each other, stop hostility, engage in dialogue and settle differences through collective consultation.
Q: Regarding the US State Department asking Chinese diplomats to notify them before meeting with local officials and visiting educational and research institutions, you gave us a response yesterday. I wonder what are the specific measures China will take for that?
A: I stated China's position yesterday when taking relevant question. The US Department of State raised extra requirements on and deliberately set obstacles for US-based Chinese diplomats in their normal official activities. Now they even argued irrationally that they acted in response to China's restrictions on American diplomats. This is totally putting the blame on its victim with a guilty conscience. We can't help asking where is that United States of America full of confidence? We urge the US side to correct its wrongdoing at an early date and immediately cancel its restrictions on Chinese diplomats. This is the only right way out. Reciprocity matters in diplomacy. We will surely make reactions based on reciprocity.
Q: President Juncker of the European Commission wrote on Twitter on October 17 that the EU and the UK have reached a deal, and that "it's a fair and balanced agreement for the EU and the UK and it is testament to our commitment to find solutions." On the same day, British Prime Minister Johnson tweeted that "we've got a great new deal that takes back control-now Parliament should get Brexit done on Saturday so we can move on to other priorities." I wonder if you have any comment on their remarks?
A: China has noted the positive developments in the negotiations between the UK and the EU. We hope for a stable and orderly Brexit, which will meet the interests of the EU, the UK and all other parties and contribute to world stability and development.
Q: Malaysia has ordered a scene that shows the nine-dash line in the South China Sea to be cut from DreamWorks film Abominable. This follows the decision by Vietnam to ban the entire movie. I wonder what the foreign ministry thinks about these developments?
A: I'm not aware of the specific situation you mentioned. China's position on the South China Sea is consistent and clear.
Q: A total of 14 countries were voted into the UN Human Rights Council, including Venezuela, at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly on October 17. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that China and Russia voted to put Venezuela on the Human Rights Council, which is a farce. Its membership includes countries with abhorrent human rights records. These are among the reasons why the United States withdrew from the Human Rights Council in 2018. What's your comment?
A: The US allegation is entirely illogical. The election of Venezuela to the UN Human Rights Council is a result of the vote by UN members following UNGA rules of procedure. It reflects the mainstream opinion of the international community and is legitimate, legal and logical. For anyone that doubts this result, is he trying to challenge the authority of the UNGA, or to challenge the vast majority of the UN members?
We advise the US side to stop dictating to others what they should or shouldn't do and politicizing human rights issues, and stop interfering in others' internal affairs under the cover of human rights. Such behaviors will only further compromise its image and reputation and will be met with opposition from the rest of the international community.
Q: The first phase of Nairobi-Malaba Railway Line constructed by Chinese companies was officially put into operation on October 16, and China and Mauritius signed a free trade agreement (FTA) on October 17. Can you tell us more details?
A: The first phase of Nairobi-Malaba Standard Gauge Railway, with a total length of 120 kilometers, is an extension of the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway to northwest Kenya. It is another standard gauge railway that used Chinese standard, technologies and equipment and was constructed with Chinese assistance. The synergy formed by the Nairobi-Malaba line and the Mombasa-Nairobi line will be an important support for Kenya's socio-economic development and industrialization as well as east Africa's connectivity.
The FTA signed by China and Mauritius is the first one signed between China and an African country, which covers trade in goods and services, investment, economic cooperation and other areas. It offers a powerful institutional guarantee for deepening China-Mauritius economic and trade relations and plays a positive role in China's cooperation with Africa.
I'd like to emphasize that as a good partner, friend and brother of African countries, based on the needs of African countries, China has been conducting economic and trade cooperation with them, participating in Africa's infrastructure building and helping them to accelerate development. China and countries in Africa are working to implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and to carry out BRI cooperation. The operation of the first phase of Nairobi-Malaba railway line and the signing of the China-Mauritius FTA, as the latest outcomes of China-Africa cooperation, represent the two sides' determination and progress in achieving win-win cooperation and common development. They are highly applauded and welcomed by the African side.
China will continue to work with African countries to accelerate the implementation of the FOCAC Beijing Summit outcomes, to deepen our cooperation in industries, infrastructure building, trade and investment, and to deliver more development dividends to African countries and bring tangible benefits to peoples in Africa and China.