|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on February 17, 2017|
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Mongolian Minister for Foreign Affairs Tsend Munkh-Orgil will pay an official visit to China from February 19 to 21.
During his visit, Foreign Minister Munkh-Orgil will hold talks with Foreign Minister Wang Yi for discussions on strengthening political mutual trust, deepening practical cooperation, and expanding people-to-people and cultural exchanges. He will also call upon the Chinese leadership. The Chinese side hopes that the visit will cement the political foundation of bilateral relations, advance bilateral exchanges and cooperation, and drive forward the overall relationship between China and Mongolia.
Q: Reports say that the Chinese government has just approved President Trump's trademark application in construction services, potentially enabling Mr. Trump to gain business benefit from a foreign government. Can you comment on this? What is the Chinese government's policy on trademark registration?
A: Chinese authorities in charge of trademark-related affairs protect the lawful trademark rights of trademark holders, Chinese and foreigners alike, and examine applications for trademark registration in accordance with laws and regulations. I'd point you to competent authorities for more details.
Q: Former director of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) said yesterday that US Marine Corps will be posted at the new AIT compound in Taipei as a symbolic expression of the US commitment to Taiwan. What is China's response to that?
A: We have just seen the report and have to get more information on that. I want to point out that the Chinese side opposes all forms of official contact and military interactions between the US and Taiwan. We hope that the US will abide by the one-China policy and principles prescribed in the three joint communiqués between China and the US, and properly deal with Taiwan-related issues in a prudent manner.
Q: Choe Ryong Hae, a member of the Politburo Presidium of the Workers' Party of Korea, is said to be visiting China. Can you confirm that? Separately, the death of Kim Jong Nam has been headline news. What is your comment on the developments?
A: On your first question, I am not aware of that.
On your second question, I can see that you are all watching that closely. We have noted the Malaysian side's statement and the latest developments. We will keep following the developments of the incident.
Q: Yesterday a shrine in the Sindh Province of Pakistan was attacked, in which a large number of people lost their lives. What is your comment on this?
A: Shocked at the terrorist attack in Pakistan's Sindh Province which has caused heavy casualties, the Chinese side strongly condemns the attack, mourns for the victims and expresses sympathy and condolences for the injured and the bereaved families.
The Chinese side opposes terrorism in all its manifestations, and will stand firmly behind the Pakistani side in its endeavour to combat terrorism, safeguard national stability and protect people's life and properties.
Q: The India-China Strategic Dialogue will take place in Beijing next week. Can you share a little bit information about when that will happen and what issues are likely to be discussed?
A: As agreed by China and India, Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui and Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar will hold a new round of Strategic Dialogue on February 22 in Beijing. The two sides will exchange views on international situation, bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest.
The Strategic Dialogue is an important communication mechanism between China and India. The Chinese side looks forward to building up political mutual trust, broadening strategic consensus and advancing its strategic and cooperative partnership with India through the dialogue. Details about the dialogue will be released in due course.
Q: The Chinese national Zhang Weiqiang has been convicted in the US of conspiring to steal samples of genetically engineered rice seeds from a US research facility. Does the Foreign Ministry have any comment on this?
A: I have not heard about it and need to check on that.
Q: Further to what you said about the Strategic Dialogue between India and China. India said yesterday that points of frictions with China, like issues related to the NSG and the 1267 committee, will be raised in the dialogue. How do you respond to that? What will China touch upon during the dialogue?
A: The Indian media have been closely following the listing issue in the 1267 committee and the issue of India's application for the NSG membership. I would like to restate China's position which has been told many times.
On the listing issue in the 1267 committee, all parties are deliberating on the renewed application recently filed by relevant countries to the committee but have not yet reached consensus. What I want to stress is that the Chinese side participates in relevant discussions in the principle of objectiveness, impartiality and professionalism. Be it India's listing application last year or other countries' application this year, China's position and attitude remains the same. We have but one standard in listing terrorists, that is to take the move based on solid facts. Without facts, it would be difficult for Security Council members to reach consensus. It also shows that China develops its position in relevant discussions based on the merits of the issue rather than its relations with India.
As for India's application for the NSG membership, we have been saying that the Chinese side sticks to the two-step approach which requires the NSG members to work out a solution applicable to all non-NPT states, and on that basis, to deliberate on specific non-NPT states' joining. India and all the other applicants are subject to the same standard.
Finally, I want to stress that both the listing issue and the NSG issue are in essence multilateral ones instead of bilateral ones between China and India. We hope that India understands China's attitude and position on them.
Both being developing countries, China and India have extensive converging interests. China-India cooperation not only benefits the two countries and peoples, but also serves the interests of the whole region and solidarity and cooperation of the whole developing world. Differences between China and India are inevitable, but through various forms of in-depth exchanges, including the upcoming Strategic Dialogue, differences can be minimized and new agreement can be reached on further cooperation.
Q: Foreign Minister Wang Yi has met with his British, German and Russian counterparts during a gathering of G20 foreign ministers. Will he meet with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson? Will he meet with US Defense Secretary James Mattis during the Munich Security Conference?
A: It is widely watched whether Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with Secretary Tillerson during the G20 foreign ministers' meeting. It exactly proves how much you care about China-US relations. We have repeatedly emphasized that the significance of China-US relations goes far beyond bilateral context. A sound and steady China-US relationship meets the interests and wide aspirations of the international community.
During the G20 meeting, Foreign Minister Wang Yi has met with his counterparts of some countries. You can find on our website the readouts. If he meets with Secretary Tillerson, we will release information without delay.
As to whether Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with Secretary Mattis, I have no information to share for the time being.
Q: Reports say that the Chinese government has newly rolled out the Provisions on Diplomatic Vehicles Management, requiring stricter management of diplomatic vehicles in China and in particular severer punishment in case of traffic violations. Can you give us more information on that?
A: As China reaches out more broadly, the scale of foreign missions and the number of diplomatic vehicles in China have greatly increased. Last January, the Foreign Ministry, together with the Ministry of Public Security, General Administration of Customs and State Administration of Taxation, among others, released and started to implement the Provisions on Diplomatic Vehicles Management, aiming at better regulation of diplomatic vehicles. The document sets out for the first time that diplomatic vehicles in China are subject to quota control and case-by-case approval. It includes specific requirements on driving permits, compulsory purchase of third party liability insurance of no less than RMB 1 million and so forth, as well as the responsibilities and means of the Foreign Ministry and other authorities in terms of the purchase, use and disposal of diplomatic vehicles. The Provisions stipulate that traffic violations by diplomatic vehicles shall be subject to punishment in strict accordance with the law and due procedures. As required by the Provisions, China is now issuing new license plates to embassies and representative offices of international organizations.
This document has gained understanding and cooperation of diplomatic missions in China. They express their respect for Chinese laws and regulations and their commitment to cooperating with China in implementing the Provisions and to strictly managing their diplomatic vehicles.