|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on December 25, 2019|
Q: There has been much attention and wide, positive coverage especially from Japanese and ROK media on the eighth China-Japan-ROK leaders' meeting that has just concluded. What does China think of the outcomes?
A: The eighth China-Japan-ROK Summit Meeting was held in Chengdu, Sichuan yesterday. Leaders of the three countries had an in-depth exchange of views on trilateral cooperation as well as regional and international issues. They spoke highly of the fruitful outcomes of expanding and deepening trilateral cooperation in the past two decades and its contribution to peace and development in Northeast Asia. A document titled "Trilateral Cooperation Vision for the Next Decade" and another one on the "China-Japan-ROK plus X" early achievement outcomes were released during the meeting.
Premier Li Keqiang already talked about the outcomes of this meeting yesterday at a joint press conference with President Moon Jae-in and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. I'd just stress that this is a strategic meeting of vision that has charted the course and set the tone for trilateral cooperation in the next decade.
First, deepen cooperation. We three countries agreed to strengthen political mutual trust, adopt a strategic and long-term perspective to face the past and open up the future, and see each other's development as opportunities. we will enhance cooperation in such fields as environmental protection, climate change, health, aging, innovation, sports and youth to make a bigger pie of common interests. We will also step up China-Japan-ROK plus X cooperation to achieve shared development with more countries.
Second, stay committed to openness. We three countries agreed to remain open and inclusive and work together to uphold multilateralism and free trade. We will work for the early signing of RCEP and accelerate negotiation of a trilateral free trade area to advance regional integration.
Third, spearhead regional efforts together. Shouldering important responsibility for peace and stability in Asia, we three East Asia-based countries agreed to focus on Asia-Pacific, strengthen communication and coordination in regional and international affairs, jointly spearhead regional cooperation and build an architecture for East Asia cooperation that serves the needs of regional countries, thus contributing to peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region and beyond.
At a commemorative event to mark the 20th anniversary of China-Japan-ROK cooperation at Du Fu Thatched Cottage in Chengdu yesterday, the three leaders planted an osmanthus tree together. In ten years' time, a sapling can grow into a towering tree. It is our hope that the trilateral cooperation will bear more fruits in its 30s to contribute more to regional and world stability and prosperity.
Q: US President Donald Trump said yesterday that he and the Chinese leader will have a signing ceremony for the phase-one trade deal. Can you give us details on this? Where and when will it be? Have China and the US had discussions on this?
A: Last week, the Chinese and US heads of state talked over telephone about the phase-one trade deal among other things. You may refer to our press release on this.
As to your question about the signing, I can tell you that the two teams are in close communication regarding the follow-up matters including the signing of the deal.
Q: Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a presidential decree on December 23, designating the year of 2020 and 2021 the "Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation" in Russia and China with a view to further developing bilateral relations and expanding cooperation in scientific and technological innovation. Can you give us more details?
A: In June, President Xi and President Putin jointly decided to designate the year of 2020 and 2021 the "Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation" in each other's countries. This is another national theme year after previous programs featuring national exchange, languages, tourism, youth exchange, media and sub-national exchange. It outlines the priority area in bilateral relations and practical cooperation in the next stage and demonstrates the two sides' aspiration and resolution to boost cooperation and elevate bilateral relations.
Scientific and technological innovation has always been a key area of China-Russia pragmatic cooperation. Russia has a unique advantage in basic research and original innovation, while China has gradually become a front runner in information and telecommunications, satellite navigation, drones and supercomputers. The two countries can draw on each other's strengths to enhance their technological capabilities and global competitiveness. In recent years, bilateral cooperation in hi-tech sectors including demonstration fast reactor, long-range wide-body passenger aircraft has yielded fruitful results. Research and development cooperation in such areas as ICT, AI and Internet of things holds great promise.
At present, relevant departments in the two countries are in close communication to formulate a priority task list and specific measures. We believe the two sides will take the "Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation" as an opportunity to make new progress, promote shared development and revitalization and make greater contributions to advances in science and technology for all mankind.
Q: On December 23, Riyadh's criminal court sentenced five people to death and three to jail over the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi. I wonder if you could comment on that?
A: We noted the Saudi ruling on the Khashoggi case. We support Saudi Arabia in dealing with it according to law and believe it will be properly handled under the country's judicial framework. As this case is Saudi Arabia's internal affair, it should not be politicized or internationalized.
Q: We have learned about a meeting between the Chinese and Japanese foreign ministers today. Could you offer more information?
A: I have no specific information to offer at this moment. Please wait for our press release which will come out soon.