President Xi Jinping’s special envoy and Minister of Science and Technology Wang Zhigang will travel to Oman on January 14 to offer condolences over the passing of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said.
Q: Tomorrow Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza will start his visit to China. Could you provide any details of his visit? Are there any plans to meet with representatives of Chinese energy companies?
A: At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza will pay an official visit to China from January 15 to 19. It is a major event in China-Venezuela exchange in 2020. There will be a courtesy call with Vice President Wang Qishan and talks with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. The two sides will exchange views on how to resolve the Venezuela issue as well as advancing the two sides’ comprehensive strategic partnership and other issues of common interest.
We believe this visit will help find a political solution to the Venezuela issue at an early date, deepen political mutual trust and practical cooperation between China and Venezuela, and maintain stability and development in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Q: Some sources say China will buy an additional $80 billion of manufactured goods, $50 billion more in energy supplies, and services by $35 billion from the United States over the next two years under the phase one trade deal. Does China have any comment on it?
A: I would refer you to the Ministry of Commerce for specifics regarding China-US trade consultations and the phase one trade deal. Please stay patient for a little longer as more information may come out in a couple of days.
Q: Two questions. On Monday US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned US tech companies against China’s so-called “Orwellian surveillance state”. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on that? And how does China view the US Treasury decision to remove the currency manipulator label for China?
A: On your first question, I haven’t seen the latest remarks from the US and will need to check for more information. However, this won’t be the first time the US has made such remarks. Certain people in America keep attacking and smearing China by force of habit. This has not only tarnished America’s international credibility, but also been questioned and rejected by more and more countries. We urge the US to give up its consistent prejudice against China and work to create an enabling atmosphere for the development of China-US relations.
On your second question, to begin with, China is never a currency manipulator. The latest US conclusion is consistent with facts and international consensus. The IMF concludes in a most recent report that the RMB exchange rate level is broadly in line with fundamentals, essentially dismissing the view that China is a currency manipulator.
Second, as a responsible major power, China has stated repeatedly that it will not resort to competitive currency devaluation or use the exchange rate as a tool in dealing with external disturbances such as trade disputes.
Third, China will resolutely deepen market reform of the exchange rate regime, continue to improve the managed, floating regime based on market supply and demand and with reference to a basket of currencies, and keep the RMB exchange rate basically stable at an adaptive and equilibrium level.
Q: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has wrapped up his visit to Africa and will soon be back to Beijing. How do you comment on his first visit in the new year?
A: Africa has been the destination for Chinese foreign ministers’ first overseas visits each year, and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang’s visit this time marks the 30th consecutive year of this practice. The unique tradition fully reflects the special friendship China and Africa have long cherished through weal and woe. It also shows that developing friendly and cooperative relations with African countries has been China’s basic policy and unswerving strategic choice in foreign affairs.
The profound friendship between China and Africa has been and will remain unbreakable no matter how the international landscape changes or what others say. China will always stand firmly with our African brothers.
During his visit, State Councilor Wang Yi exchanged views and reached broad consensus with African leaders and foreign ministers on consolidating bilateral relations and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation. Both sides noted the need to speed up the implementation of the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit, promote high quality BRI development and deepen practical cooperation in various fields. Both sides agreed that China-Africa relationship is at its historical best with promising cooperation in the future. The China-Africa cooperation will continue to take the lead in international cooperation with Africa.
Facing the complex and fluid international landscape, both sides vowed to continue to strengthen strategic communication and cooperation, jointly uphold multilateralism and basic norms governing international relations, oppose unilateralism and bullying behavior, reject foreign interference, firmly stand on the right side of history and justice, and stand for the common interests of developing countries. The two sides reaffirmed that they will continue to firmly support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests. African leaders and foreign ministers clearly reiterated their commitment to the one-China principle and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.
Taking State Councilor Wang Yi’s visit as an opportunity, China stands ready to work with Africa to cement our traditional friendship, enhance the quality and efficiency of our practical cooperation, strengthen international coordination and cooperation and jointly build a closer community with a shared future for China and Africa.
Q: Reports say State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Sri Lanka today and met with the Sri Lankan foreign minister. Can you confirm this? Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov may also meet with the Sri Lankan foreign minister today. Will there be a meeting between State Councilor Wang and Foreign Minister Lavrov?
A: After concluding his visit to Africa, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a stopover in Sri Lanka from the 13th to the 14th, during which he met with Sri Lanka leaders and discussed bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of common interest.
China and Sri Lanka are strategic cooperative partners with sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship built upon a long tradition of friendly exchanges. Recent years has seen fruitful cooperation under the Belt and Road framework. China stands ready to work with Sri Lanka’s new administration to carry forward the traditional friendship, strengthen political mutual trust, dovetail development strategies and bring bilateral relations to new heights.
We will release more information in a timely manner. As to whether there will a meeting between the Chinese and Russian foreign ministers, I have nothing to update you at the moment.