At the invitation of the Swiss Federal Council led by President Doris Leuthard, President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Switzerland from January 15 to 18.
During his stay in Switzerland, President Xi Jinping will attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 in Davos on January 17 at the invitation of Professor Klaus Schwab who is Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. At the invitation of UN Secretary General António Guterres, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Margaret Chan and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach, President Xi Jinping will visit the UN Office at Geneva, the WHO and the IOC on January 18.
Tomorrow morning at nine o'clock, the Foreign Ministry will hold a press briefing here at the Blue Room. Vice Foreign Minister Li Baodong will brief the press and take questions on President Xi Jinping's visit. We welcome your attendance at the briefing.
Q: Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay and Undersecretary Enrique Manalo said on different occasions that the ruling of the South China Sea arbitration would not be a topic of discussion at ASEAN meetings during the Philippines' holding of ASEAN chairmanship, since the Philippines has engaged in bilateral contact with the Chinese side and there is no need to raise the arbitration at ASEAN level. What is China's response to that? Does that mean this is no longer an issue between China and ASEAN?
A: This issue has never been and will not be an issue between China and ASEAN. The Chinese side welcomes the aforementioned remarks by the Philippines who serves as this year's rotating chair of ASEAN. The issue of the South China Sea is only an issue between China and some ASEAN countries, rather than ASEAN as a whole. The Chinese side will stay committed to peacefully resolving disputes over the South China Sea with countries directly concerned through negotiation and consultation, and safeguarding peace and stability of the region with ASEAN countries.
ASEAN celebrates its 50th birthday this year. Setting great store by the important role played by ASEAN in regional affairs, the Chinese side will enhance communication with the Philippines, support the Philippine government in doing a good job as ASEAN rotating chair, and work with ASEAN countries to pursue cooperation in development, and properly address sensitive issues, so as to push for new progress in China-ASEAN relations and East Asia cooperation.
Q: Since China recognizes the principle of sovereign immunity and uses it to defend its interests abroad, will China recognize it in the case of Singapore's armoured vehicles? Is it Beijing's claim that there is an exception to sovereign immunity in this case?
A: Generally speaking, the Chinese side sticks to and calls on all members of the international community to act in strict accordance with international law. We must view international law in its entirety instead of making selective application of it as we see fit.
With regard to the seizure of Singapore's armoured vehicles by China's Hong Kong SAR government, we have made China's position clear. I want to stress that all countries should adhere to the one-China principle which is the prerequisite for the development of relations between China and the rest of the world. Additionally, the relevant party should keep to the law and regulation of the Hong Kong SAR in this case. As I said yesterday, the Hong Kong SAR government is handling the issue in accordance with the law. We hope that the relevant party will be discreet with words and deeds in a bid to facilitate the proper settlement of the issue.
Q: The spokesperson of Tanzania's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation said that in accordance with the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Johannesburg Action Plan (2016-2018), 200 factories are planned for launching in Tanzania within the next three years with China's support, expected to generate 200,000 employment opportunities. Can you confirm that and tell us what outcomes have been reached during Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Tanzania?
A: The successful Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in December 2015 ushered in a new era for China-Africa win-win cooperation and common development. The ten cooperation plans announced by President Xi Jinping at the Summit aimed at accelerating industrialization and realizing agricultural modernization in Africa have been warmly received by governments and people of African countries. One year on, the implementation of the outcomes of the Summit has enabled robust cooperation and stronger synergy between China and Africa. Bilateral cooperation has already delivered tangible benefits to people from both sides.
China and Tanzania enjoy traditional friendship and all-round strategic cooperation that covers a wide range of areas. Foreign Minister Wang Yi just paid an official visit to Tanzania, during which Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa met with him as commissioned by President John Pombe Magufuli who was then overseeing disaster relief operation in remote areas. Foreign Minister Wang Yi also held talks with Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Augustine Mahiga. The two sides agreed to further solidify friendship and political mutual trust, and create four highlights of mutually beneficial cooperation, people-to-people and cultural exchanges, military-to-military communication and international coordination, so as to translate more outcomes of the Johannesburg Summit into concrete results in Tanzania. We also believe that the visit by Foreign Minister Wang Yi will give a boost to the traditional friendship and cooperation between China and Tanzania, and instill new impetus to their comprehensive cooperative partnership.