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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on March 15, 2018

2018-03-15

Q: According to the ROK government, State Councilor Yang Jiechi is due to visit the ROK next week. Can you give us details of his visit? Whom he will be meeting and what is the purpose of the visit?

A: China and the ROK remain in communication on such issues as bilateral relations and the Korean Peninsula situation. I have no information to offer at this moment regarding your question. We will let you know timely when we have it.

Q: DPRK Foreign Minister was spotted at the Beijing International Airport earlier in the day. Is he due in Beijing for any meeting or is he on his way to any other country?

A: My information is that DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho is on his way to Sweden via the Beijing International Airport. Other than that, I have no information to offer.

Q: The United States has asked China to cut its trade surplus by $100 billion. This follows an early tweet from President Trump when he said that it was $1 billion but was later corrected by the US side to $100 billion. So what measures will China take to deal with this? Will China have any talks with the US on reducing trade surplus and how?

A: I have seen relevant reports as well. As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Commerce officials, my colleagues and I have repeatedly talked about China's position on China-US economic relations in the past few days. I want to reiterate the following points:

First, the economic relations between China and the US are in nature mutually beneficial. Over the course of the past 40 years, bilateral trade and investment cooperation has opened up huge market, created a large number of jobs, and done immense good for the people and business communities of the two countries. Like I always say, if China-US economic cooperation only benefited China lopsidedly, then I honestly don't believe that China-US economic relations could have gone this far.

Second, in our economic engagement with other countries, we always honor our commitments and live up to our promises, by which we mean those made in the multilateral trade regime centered around the WTO rules as well as bilateral or plurilateral investment agreements we inked with other countries. We will not accept unilateral game rules any country tries to force upon us.

Third, looking back at the past 40 years, China and the US have been able to properly and constructively manage trade frictions. Today, we still believe that China and the US can resolve their differences through friendly consultations, and we sincerely want to do that. History teaches us that trade war is in the interest of no one. If anything unpleasant does come about, though we all hope it never will, we are definitely determined to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests.

As for the specific issues you mentioned, I can tell you that for quite some time, China and the US have been in contact with each other on how to deal with our trade frictions. We hope that by making the pie of our cooperation bigger, these problems would be properly and constructively addressed.

Q: Yesterday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May announced that 23 Russian diplomats have a week to leave the country, after blaming Moscow for poisoning a former Russian intelligence officer. The Russian side denies all these accusations. How would China comment on the situation? How will this affect international cooperation on resolving today's hotspot issues within the framework of the United Nations Security Council?

A: As I said yesterday, we have noted the response from Britain and Russia on it. We hope that relevant parties could properly resolve this issue through dialogue and consultation in the spirit of mutual respect and equality while respecting facts and acting in strict accordance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and relevant international laws.

Russia and the UK, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, are two important and influential countries in the world. We hope that they could properly resolve this issue through consultation. After all, maintaining communication and cooperation between permanent members of Security Council could not be more important.

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