Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on January 24, 2019
2019/01/24

Q: We noted that a dialogue session on the Belt and Road Initiative was held during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting which is now underway in Davos. Many world leaders and officials, including the President of Azerbaijan, the President of Botswana and the Finance Minister of Singapore, spoke highly of the Belt and Road Initiative. Experts at the session also agreed in general that the key word for the dialogue session is "mutual benefit", and China has offered some real help to those countries that have no resources or lack building capacity. What is your comment?

A: Indeed, "mutual benefit" is one of the salient features of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Belt and Road Initiative is enjoying so much popularity and support because we are committed to following the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, upholding openness, transparency and inclusiveness, pursuing high quality, and valuing rules-abiding.

In May 2017, as you may remember, the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held successfully in Beijing which drew guests from more than 140 countries and over 80 international organizations and had very extensive and positive international influence. The Belt and Road Initiative has become the most popular international public good. I know that on January 22, the Spokesperson for the National Development and Reform Commission made a detailed briefing on the implementation of the outcomes of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

By the end of 2018, 269 of the 279 outcomes of the first BRF, or 96.4% of the total, have been realized or turned into routine work. The remaining 10 outcomes are being implemented.

Facts have proven that the Belt and Road Initiative has brought tangible benefits to the people of all countries along the way. I believe that as the Belt and Road Initiative takes steady steps forward, it will make greater contributions to the cause of global cooperation and common development.

Q: During an interview in Davos, Michael Moller, the Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, said that China plays a vital role in supporting multilateralism in an increasingly diverging world. He recalled the Chinese leader's remarks on the country's firm commitment to multilateralism two years ago in the Palace of Nations, Geneva. He added that in the following two years, China demonstrated its commitment with concrete actions. What is your comment?

A: I have noted relevant reports, and we appreciate Director-General Moller's positive remarks. China is committed to supporting, upholding and practicing multilateralism. President Xi Jinping's keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting at the beginning of 2017 left a deep impression on all of us. In his speech, President Xi Jinping put forth China's proposals on promoting world economic growth and advancing globalization, which was warmly received and echoed by the international community. This year, Vice President Wang Qishan attended the WEF annual meeting in Davos and further elaborated on China's observations and proposals. He pointed out that with more inward-looking policies and spreading unilateralism, protectionism and populism, the multilateral order is faced with severe challenges. Economic globalization is at a juncture where it can only go backward if not forward. Facing these headwinds, China chooses to give full play to its own role. We have been unswervingly promoting all-round opening up, advancing international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative and building an open world economy at a higher level. Guided by the principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits, China is committed to fostering a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.

Vice President Wang also underscored that we should uphold multilateralism, engage in extensive dialogue and cooperation based on mutual respect and mutual trust, and jointly build a system of rules for technology and a new framework for international cooperation featuring peace, security, democracy, transparency, inclusiveness and win-win outcomes, so that the benefits of technological innovation can be shared by all mankind.

In the face of a growing number of uncertainties and instabilities worldwide, members of the international community have ever more needs and common interests in upholding multilateralism. We will work with the international community to adhere to a global governance vision featuring consultation and cooperation for shared benefits, firmly support rules-based multilateralism, build an open world economy and foster a community with a shared future for mankind.

Q: The Australian side says that China failed to fulfill its obligation under the China-Australia consular agreement because China did not conduct consular notification to the Australian side about the detention of Yang Jun in a timely manner. What is your comment?

A: After checking with the relevant department, Yang Jun, an Australian national, has been taken compulsory measures and is being investigated by Beijing State Security Bureau in accordance with the law on suspicion of engaging in criminal activities that endanger China's national security. This case is still under investigation. All the legal rights of Yang Jun have been fully guaranteed. After taking compulsory measures against Yang Jun, the Chinese side has made official notification to the Australian Embassy in China.

Q: According to reports, on January 23, President of Venezuela's National Assembly Juan Guaido was sworn in as the country's "interim president". The US, Brazil and other countries have issued statements to recognize that. Venezuela's Supreme Court reaffirmed that the relevant action of the National Assembly "has violated the Constitution". President Maduro announced his decision to sever diplomatic ties with the United States. What is your comment?

A: We have been closely following the current situation in Venezuela and call upon all relevant parties to stay rational and cool-headed and seek a political solution to the issue of Venezuela through peaceful dialogue within the framework of the Venezuelan Constitution. China supports the efforts made by the Venezuelan government to uphold national sovereignty, independence and stability. China always upholds the principle of non-interference in other counties' internal affairs and opposes foreign interference in Venezuela's affairs. We hope that the international community can jointly create favorable conditions for that.

Q: The Australian Foreign Minister said that while the Chinese side has informed Australia of the detention of Yang Jun, the Australian side is yet to receive any explanation for the reason for his detention as is required under the consular agreement. Is that the case? When might they get a reason?

A: When taking the question raised by the journalist from Bloomberg, I said that after taking compulsory measures against Yang Jun, the Chinese side has made official notification to the Australian Embassy in China. Yang Jun has been taken compulsory measures and is being investigated by Beijing State Security Bureau in accordance with the law on suspicion of engaging in criminal activities that endanger China's national security.

Q: Reports say that French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian expressed hope for the early establishment of the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) aimed at facilitating non-dollar business with Iran and circumventing US sanctions to help Iran benefit from its oil resources and purchase necessary products from its three European partners. What is China's comment?

A: I have also taken note of relevant reports. As we all know, the unilateral sanctions the US imposed on Iran outside the framework of the UN Security Council are not in line with international law and have met with universal opposition of the international community. At present, the international community including France and the EU has consensus and common interests in upholding and implementing the JCPOA. We appreciate the efforts made by the European side to maintain normal economic and trade cooperation with Iran and safeguard the JCPOA. China supports the early establishment of this mechanism.

Q: US President Donald Trump in a statement said that the US recognizes the leader of the Venezuelan opposition Juan Guaido as the interim president. He added that the US does not rule out the military option. I wonder if China has any comment on that?

A: President Maduro started his new presidential term from this January 10. Many countries including China as well as international organizations had sent representatives to attend his inauguration ceremony. China hopes that all relevant parties in Venezuela can bear in mind the fundamental interests of their country and people, resolve political differences through dialogue and consultation on the premise of respecting constitutionalism, avoid violent conflicts and restore normal order.

As important countries in the Western Hemisphere, the US and Venezuela have close traditional relations. We hope that the two countries can handle their relations on the basis of treating each other as equals, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs as this not only serves the interests of the two countries and two peoples but also can contribute to peace and stability of the Americas.

We have noted that all relevant parties are firmly opposed to military interference in Venezuela. I want to stress that external sanctions and interference will only complicate the situation and cannot help resolve the current issue. Venezuela maintaining stability and development serves the interests of all relevant parties. We hope that all relevant parties can co