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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on November 15, 2019

Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council will hold the fourth Round Table Dialogue in Beijing on November 21 with President of the World Bank Group David Malpass, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva, Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organization Alan Wolff, Director-General of the International Labor Organization Guy Ryder, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Angel Gurria, Chairman of the Financial Stability Board Randal Quarles. They will hold discussions on the global economic trends and macro policy coordination, promoting China's economic growth with higher-level opening-up and advancing global economic governance reform.

Themed "promoting open, steady and high-quality world economic growth", this round table dialogue will focus on world economic outlook and response, China's continued efforts to improve business environment and pursue higher-level opening-up, and reform to global economic governance. Premier Li and heads of international economic organizations will hold a joint press conference after the meeting.

Since 2016, the "1+6" Round Table Dialogue has been successfully held three times. It has helped the Chinese government and major international economic organizations to strengthen policy communication. At present, world economic growth is slowing down, the international landscape is undergoing complicated and profound changes, and there is a marked increase in destabilizing and uncertain factors. Against such a backdrop, China looks forward to an in-depth exchange on major issues of shared interest with other parties attending the dialogue. We hope to send out a positive message on supporting multilateralism, improving global economic governance, and promoting strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive world economic growth. We also hope to get suggestions on China's economy from international organizations. We will also continue to improve business environment and pursue higher-level opening-up to realize high-quality development.

Q: The BRICS Brasilia Summit was concluded yesterday. China previously noted that countries hoped the BRICS countries would point the way forward in a fast-changing world and boost the confidence of the concerned international community. Do you think this BRICS summit has already fulfilled this goal?

A: The 11th BRICS Summit was successfully concluded in Brasilia yesterday. The leaders of the BRICS countries exchanged views on BRICS cooperation and other major international issues of mutual interest, reaching broad consensus and positive outcomes. To summarize, this summit sent out four clear messages.

First, support to multilateralism. International issues must be addressed by all stakeholders through consultation, not by one or a few countries alone. This is what multilateralism is all about. During this summit, parties undertake to demonstrate BRICS countries' sense of responsibility, take a lead in championing and practicing multilateralism, uphold the UN-centered international system, increase the representation and say of emerging markets and developing countries in global governance, and be pacesetters in reforming global governance system and making the international order more equitable and reasonable.

Second, opposition to protectionism. Parties reiterated that they will uphold the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime and maintain a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment and call on all WTO members to refrain from taking unilateral and protectionist measures. All parties are committed to making development a core priority in global macro policy framework, helping developing countries to better integrate into the global value chain and industrial chain, and to building an open world economy.

Third, objection to foreign intervention. All parties reaffirmed their commitment to the UN purposes and principles and the international order based on international law, support for countries' independent choice of development path, mutual respect for sovereignty, and opposition to foreign interference and violation of international law. They underscored that disputes should be addressed through dialogue and that they will play a greater role in safeguarding international strategic security and stability.

Fourth, greater solidarity and cooperation within BRICS. All parties demonstrated their resolve to seek common development through joint efforts, reiterated their readiness to build on the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, enhance the five countries' traditional bonds of friendship, strengthen BRICS cooperation mechanisms, deepen cooperation in the three pillar areas, namely economic, trade and financial cooperation, political and security cooperation, and people-to-people exchange, and work for new progress in the BRICS Partnership on New Industrial Revolution and boost the quality economic development of BRICS countries.

This summit adds stability to the international landscape at a critical juncture, points the way forward for the international system undergoing profound transformation, injects positive energy into the concerned international community and provides new impetus to deepening practical BRICS cooperation. We hope BRICS countries will join hands and embark on a second "Golden Decade", making greater contributions to world peace and development and to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Q: A US congressional advisory body yesterday made some suggestions that Congress should suspend the special economic status of Hong Kong if China decides to send troops in. There were also recommendations for the United States to offer more support to Taiwan. What is your reaction to this congressional report?

A: The committee you mentioned is deeply entrenched in prejudice against China. Its reports are rarely based on facts. I have no interest in commenting.

Q: According to media reports, the Hokkaido University professor Nobu Iwatani detained in China has been released and returned to Japan. Could you disclose more details?

A: Based on my information, China's national security authorities seized materials containing China's state secrets gathered by the professor named Nobu Iwatani you mentioned in his hotel during an operation on September 8. A legal investigation was then conducted, during which he confessed how he gathered a large amount of materials containing state secrets on China, including those seized in the operation and others obtained earlier. The facts are clear and the evidence beyond doubt. His behavior has violated China's Criminal Law and Counter-espionage Law. He has pleaded guilty to his criminal acts, expressed remorse and was willing to get punishment.

Pursuant to relevant legal provisions, the Chinese side admonished him, ordered him to repent in writing and decided to release him on bail. He has left China for Japan today.

I want to point out that during the investigation, in strict accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the Consular Agreement on Consular Relations between China and Japan, and relevant legal provisions, the Chinese side notified the Japanese embassy in China timely and arranged consular visits, fully guaranteeing his lawful rights as a criminal suspect.

Q: According to media reports, Indian Defense Minister Singh visited Tawang in "Arunachal Pradesh" yesterday. Do you have a comment?

A: The Chinese government never ever recognizes the so-called "Arunachal Pradesh". We firmly oppose Indian leaders and senior officials' activities there.

We urge the Indian side to respect China's interests and concerns, stop actions that may complicate the boundary issue, and maintain peace and tranquility in the border region with concrete actions.

Q: Is the Chinese president going to make a stopover in Spain and meet any Spanish authorities there?

A: We have released information on President Xi's visit. I don't have anything to update you at this moment.

As to China-Spain relations, there is a good momentum with frequent high-level exchange and strong political mutual trust. President Xi's state visit to Spain at the end of last year opened a new chapter in bilateral relations. China attaches high importance to relations with Spain and stands ready to work together with Spain to carry out our leaders' important consensus, strengthen coordination of development strategies and practical cooperation under the BRI framework, and realize greater progress in the China-Spain comprehensive strategic partnership.

Q: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has expressed worries of a coup in his country with a main opposition leader Sam Rainsy threatening to return home after years of exile. Many countries have called on Cambodia to allow Sam Rainsy back into the country to restore democracy. What is China's response to this?

A: We note relevant reports. This is an internal affair of Cambodia. China is committed to the principle of non-interference in other country's internal affairs. We believe the Cambodian government and people have the wisdom and capability to properly handle domestic issues. As a good friend to Cambodia, China hopes to see a peaceful and stable Cambodia with ethnic unity, economic progress and improved livelihood. We believe this also serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the Cambodian people.

Q: Hong Kong Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng was attacked by a group of masked men when attending an event in London on November 14. She sustained injury after being pushed and falling to the ground. Do you have any comment?

A: We deplore and condemn the attack against Hong Kong SAR Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng in London by a group of anti-China elements seeking to disrupt Hong Kong. The Chinese embassy in the UK immediately sent personnel to the scene to provide assistance and asked the British side to immediately arrange for security measures for Secretary Cheng. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming will be visiting her in the hospital where she is receiving treatment for the injuries.

The facts have proven that the anti-China elements seeking to disrupt Hong Kong are nothing but a group of violent criminals who have crossed the line of law and society. Such blatant attacks against Hong Kong SAR government officials must be stopped and severely punished. If allowed to have their way, they would seriously undermine Hong Kong's stability and prosperity and cause severe disruption and damage to the international community, the UK included.

I need to point out that this appalling attack happening in London is an immediate result of some UK politicians' behavior for a while. They confuse right and wrong, endorse the anti-China elements seeking to destabilize Hong Kong and support their violent and criminal actions overtly or covertly. If the UK doesn't change its wrong course and continues to add fuel to the flames, it will end up getting burned itself.

We demand that the UK immediately launch a thorough investigation into this incident, spare no effort to apprehend the culprits and bring them to justice, and ensure the safety and dignity of all Chinese in the UK. We urge the UK to exercise prudence on Hong Kong-related issues, stop sending wrong messages, stop discord-sowing and instigation, and stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs which are China's internal affairs.

I must stress once again that ending violence and restoring order is the most pressing task, the broadest consensus and the strongest appeal in Hong Kong at this point. The central government firmly supports the Hong Kong SAR government led by the Chief Executive in governing Hong Kong in accordance with law, the Hong Kong police in strictly enforcing law, and the Hong Kong judiciary in bringing violent criminals to justice according to law.

Q: Afghan media citing sources from the Afghan government said that intra-Afghan peace talks will be held in Beijing next week. Could you confirm this?

A: We have addressed this repeatedly.

China firmly supports the broad and inclusive peace and reconciliation process that is "Afghan-led, Afghan-owned". We support all parties in the country, including the government and the Taliban, in holding constructive dialogue. We are ready to provide a platform for such dialogue and exchange and to facilitate the peace and reconciliation process on the basis of respecting the will of all parties in the country.

At present we are in communication with all Afghan parties on holding the intra-Afghan meeting in China.

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