Q: The Syrian government and the opposition will hold a dialogue meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan next Monday. The UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura also expressed intention to resume the Geneva peace talk on February 8. How do you see the prospect of politically resolving the Syrian issue? Are you concerned that the Astana dialogue meeting will compromise the UN's role as a major mediator?
A: China consistently advocates that political and diplomatic settlement holds the only key to defusing the Syrian crisis which has lasted for 6 years. The international community has been drumming up momentum to prompt the political settlement of the Syrian issue, one example being the UN resolution 2336 unanimously adopted not long ago that supports and welcomes relevant countries' efforts to push for a nation-wide ceasefire and peace talks among all Syrian parties. China is positive to all proposals and plans that will help politically resolve the Syrian issue. With the Astana dialogue meeting in sight, we hope that this meeting will further pull up consensus of all parties on realizing a ceasefire and ceasing violence, and make breakthrough on moving forward the political process.
China supports the UN as a major mediator on the Syrian issue. As a valuable supplement to the Geneva peace talk, the Astana dialogue meeting is hoped to make new strides and lay a solid foundation for the latter. China advocates that the Geneva peace talk should advance the political settlement process of the Syrian issue in pursuant to the road map provided for in UN resolution 2254. We hope that the Syrian government and the opposition will seek inclusive dialogue and negotiation, bridge differences, build up mutual trust and push for an early harvest of Syria's political process, calling on both parties in Syria to set no precondition and take an active part in the Geneva peace talk.
Ambassador Xie Xiaoyan, Chinese government's special envoy for Syria, has made great efforts for the political settlement of the Syrian issue by recently paying visits to countries and regions and exchanged in-depth views with UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura, the EU, Russia and others along the trip. China will continue to endorse the Geneva peace talk while upholding justice and objectiveness, and make constructive efforts to help Syria reach long lasting peace and stability at an early date.
Q: Trump will inaugurate as the next US President soon. What's China's expectations for relations with the new US government?
A: I have answered a similar question yesterday. As one pair of the most significant bilateral relations in the world, China-US relations maintaining steady and sound development meets the common interests of the two countries and peoples and the shared aspiration of the world. China-US relationship has been forging ahead against trials and hardships in the past 38 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties. Recent years, in particular, have seen positive achievements on cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues across the board thanks to the joint efforts by China and the US.
It is also true that there are differences between China and the US, and the key is to properly handle them. We would like to join hands with the new US administration to uphold the principles of non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, deepen communication and dialogue, build up mutual trust, respect and accommodate each other's core interests and major concerns, properly deal with sensitive issues and disputes in constructive ways, expand bilateral cooperation on bilateral, regional and global issues across the board, and propel further development of China-US ties at a new staring point.
A: China is keeping a close watch on this. We support the relevant UN Security Council resolution, and commend regional organizations for giving priority to the political settlement of relevant issue. It is hoped that various parties can put the interests of Gambia and its people first, exercise restraint, uphold Gambia's peace and stability and realize a smooth political transition in the country.
Q: There are reports that Yu Shyi-kun, former head of the Taiwan administrative organ, is now in the US for the inauguration ceremony of President Trump. What is China's comment on that?
A: I noticed that the U.S. government has reiterated many times that it only invites diplomatic envoys posted in the country to attend the presidential inauguration ceremony, and does not invite or encourage other countries or regions to send delegations to the ceremony. By blatantly hyping up the attendance of the so-called official delegation of Taiwan to the ceremony upon invitation, some people in Taiwan plot to disturb and undermine Sino-U.S. relations. We have for many times expressed our firm opposition to this.
Q: Kyodo news reported that Japan's Self-Defense Forces is planning a table-top exercise that would simulate a conflict between China and Taiwan. What is your comment?
A: I have seen relevant reports. For some people in Japan, it seems that the last thing they want is peace. We must solemnly stress that the Taiwan question, as part of China's domestic affairs, bears on the core interests of China. We hope that Japan can watch its words and steps on Taiwan-related issues, strictly abide by the principles in the four political documents between China and Japan, and avoid sending any wrong signal to the Taiwan-independent forces nor undermining regional peace and stability.