Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference on January 31, 2019
Q: The conference of the five nuclear-weapon states in Beijing has caught much attention. Could you provide some information? Is China satisfied with the outcome of the conference?
A: The conference of the five nuclear-weapon states was concluded successfully in Beijing. China has issued a press release on it. Here I would like to highlight the three important consensus reached at the meeting.
First, the five states pledged their shared responsibility to world peace and security. Recognizing the severe challenges to the current international security environment and the vital role of maintaining sound major country relations in resolving strategic global issues, the five countries agreed to objectively view each other’s strategic intentions, enhance exchanges in nuclear policies and strategies, strengthen strategic mutual trust and safeguard common security.
Second, the five states pledged to jointly uphold the NPT mechanism. They emphasized that the NPT is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and an important component of the international security architecture. They committed themselves to fully implementing the NPT in its entirety, progressively achieving the goal of a nuclear-weapon free world, doing their utmost to resolve the nuclear non-proliferation issue through political and diplomatic means, and promoting international cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
Third, the five states pledged to continue to make full use of their cooperation platform to maintain dialogue and coordination. They agreed to maintain strategic dialogue and strengthen coordination in the NPT review process for a successful 2020 review conference. The five countries will also actively promote open and constructive dialogues within the international community, such as the dialogue session held this morning in Beijing with international academic institutions, media and embassy officials from some non-nuclear states.
Against the background of rising instability and uncertainty in the international security landscape, major country relations and responsibilities of major countries are receiving more and more attention. The five states, in sitting down for face-to-face exchanges and in-depth discussions of urgent issues related to strategic security and reaching the above-mentioned consensus, demonstrated a positive attitude in dealing with international security challenges through coordination and cooperation. It will help enhance the international community’s confidence in the international security environment. The positive outcomes were acclaimed by all parties to the meeting.
As the rotating coordinator for the cooperation mechanism of the five nuclear-weapon states, China will continue its efforts to help build consensus and manage differences among the five countries and replace major power competition with coordination and zero-sum game with win-win cooperation, to contribute to world peace and stability.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference on January 30, 2019
Q: The Beijing P5 Conference lifted its curtain this morning. Can you give us some information on that?
A: The Beijing P5 Conference commenced this morning in Beijing. China, France, Russia, the UK and the US, as the five nuclear-weapon states, all affirmed their important and special responsibilities to uphold international peace, security and stability. Recognizing the severe challenges to international security, the five countries expressed readiness to enhance coordination, manage differences and jointly deal with threats to international security.
In light of the current situation, the fact that the five nuclear-weapon states are sitting down for face-to-face and in-depth discussions on urgent strategic security issues in itself sends an important and positive signal to the world. During the meeting, the five nuclear-weapon states will have an in-depth exchange of views on issues related to nuclear policies and strategies, nuclear disarmament and nuclear non-proliferation. As the host, China will release more information on this conference at a proper time.
Q: I have a question regarding the Beijing P5 Conference. The NPT has three goals. The first, which is non-proliferation, tends to be emphasized at the expense of the other two goals of the treaty, which are nuclear disarmament and peaceful uses of nuclear powers. Could you just please say a bit about China’s commitments to the other two goals of the NPT?
A: I can see that you know the treaty very well.
The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons is the cornerstone of the international nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament regime, and an essential part of the post-war international security system. Since coming into effect, it has played an important role in preventing nuclear proliferation, advancing nuclear disarmament, and promoting peaceful uses of nuclear energy.
As a firm supporter of multilateralism, China is committed to upholding the purposes and goals of the NPT. In light of the current situation, the international community should stick to multilateralism, advance nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear disarmament and peaceful use of nuclear energy – the three goals of the NPT – in a comprehensive and balanced manner, and seek practical measures through extensive consultations. We firmly oppose approaching the efficacy of the NPT with double standards, and believe that countries should consistently uphold and strengthen the authority, universality and effectiveness of the NPT and move forward the NPT review process for practical outcomes so as to better cope with new issues in the fields of arms control and non-proliferation.
Q: Yesterday, at a hearing organized by the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Director of the US National Intelligence said that he has some concerns about the expanding cooperation between Russia and China. He said that Moscow and Beijing are eroding well-established norms and trying to rebuild the international system. He also said the two countries are increasing the risk of regional conflicts, particularly in the Middle East and East Asia. Do you have any comments?
A: China and Russia, two major powers with global influence and permanent members of the UN Security Council, both maintain that efforts should be made to uphold the international order with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter at the center, promote multipolarity in the world, and make the international relations more democratic.
China-Russia relations are at their best in history, thanks to the facts that the two countries have left behind the outdated zero-sum game mindset which presupposes that two major powers must be either allies or rivals, regarded each other as development opportunities, and established the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination. China and Russia have forged a new type of state-to-state relations featuring non-alliance, non-confrontation, and not targeting any third country, setting an exemplary precedence for the international community and major-country relations. Coordination between China and Russia in international affairs has effectively promoted regional and global peace, security and stability, acting as an anchor of stability in the turbulent and fluid international situation, and showcased the sense of responsibility of the two major powers for world peace and development.
Follow-up: He also said that China poses the biggest threat to the US. Do you have any comments?
A: If I recall correctly, I replied to a similar question last January or February. At that time, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence also held a hearing where a certain US official said that threats to the US came from hither and thither and particularly singled out China and Russia. I am going to repeat my answer then because I believe it is still applicable today.
“We have seen relevant reports. The US is the world’s number one superpower with unrivaled military strength. If even the US perceives threats from far and near, what about others? They must feel that danger is crouching right at their doorsteps, wouldn’t they? How could they possibly carry on with their lives with such a mentality?
It baffles me as to where the US gets its strong sense of insecurity. I want to stress that it is impossible to find absolute security in the world. Nor is it possible for any country to achieve its security at the expense of others’ insecurity.
The Chinese side always advocates a new security concept featuring common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We hope that the US will discard the zero-sum game mindset, stop viewing major-country relations from a confrontational perspective, and, heeding the call of the times for peace and development, make concerted efforts with China, Russia and the rest of the international community to uphold world peace and security.
This is what I said last year and what I want to say today. If next year, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is to hold another such hearing and release similar remarks, I will still respond in this way.
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Remarks on the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between China and the United States
In 2019, we will mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. Over the past four decades, China-US ties have traversed a tortuous journey and forged ahead. The exchanges and cooperation between the two countries have scored historic achievements. Forty years ago, only several thousand visits were made between the two countries each year. In 2017, over 5.3 million visits were made between the two sides. Forty years ago, the bilateral trade volume was less than $2.5 billion. In 2017, it surpassed $580 billion. Forty years ago, the two-way investment between China and the US was almost zero. In 2017, two-way investment in various forms amounted to over $230 billion in accumulative terms. Over the past forty years, from advancing the proper settlement of regional hot-spot issues to fighting international terrorism, from tackling the global financial crisis to promoting global growth, China and the US have conducted extensive cooperation at bilateral, regional and global levels. Facts have fully shown that the development of China-US ties has not only delivered huge benefits to the two peoples but also contributed to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
The progress achieved in the past forty years has not come by easily and experience should be derived from that. The two sides should view each other’s strategic intentions in a rational and objective manner, step up strategic communication, enhance strategic mutual trust and avoid strategic misjudgment. The two sides should stick to the general direction of bilateral cooperation and keep expanding the areas for mutually beneficial cooperation so as to deliver more benefits to the two peoples. The two sides should respect each other’s sovereignty, security and development interests and properly manage differences in an effort to avoid disturbing the general picture of bilateral ties. The two sides should expand people-to-people exchanges to continuously cement the social foundation for China-US relations.
After forty years of development, China-US relations are standing at a new historical starting point. In the face of new opportunities and challenges, China stands ready to work with the US to implement the important consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and President Trump in Argentina, expand cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit, manage differences on the basis of mutual respect, move forward the China-US ties which are underpinned by coordination, cooperation and stability and make bilateral cooperation deliver greater benefits to the two peoples and people around the world.