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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on October 28, 2019

At the invitation of Han Zheng, Member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee, Vice Premier of the State Council and the Chinese chair of the China-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee, Alikhan Smailov, First Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan and the Kazakh chair of the committee, will co-chair with Vice Premier Han the ninth meeting of the China-Kazakhstan Cooperation Committee in China on November 4.

At the invitation of Vice President Wang Qishan, Deputy President David Mabuza of the Republic of South Africa will pay an official visit to China from October 30 to November 3 and co-chair with Vice President Wang the seventh plenary meeting of the China-South Africa Bi-National Commission.

At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility of the Republic of Ecuador José Valencia will pay an official visit to China from October 30 to November 4.

Q: President Trump announced that the head of the Islamic State has been killed by US special forces. The Islamic State has, in the past, made direct threats against China. Chinese citizens were also killed by the Islamic State. What is the Chinese government's reaction to his death?

A: We are following very closely the latest developments. Terrorism is a common scourge for the international community. China is also a victim of it. We consistently oppose all forms of terrorism and take an active part in the global counter-terrorism cause. We believe the international community should strengthen cooperation to jointly fight terrorism. It is our belief that both the symptoms and the root causes should be treated to eliminate the breeding ground for terrorism.

Q: According to media reports, DPRK Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea said in a statement on October 27 that the US, in disregard of the DPRK's call for a new strategy, chose to apply pressure. We have also seen multiple statements from the DPRK side on the Peninsula issue, the year-end deadline for DPRK-US negotiations, and UN sanctions on the DPRK. I wonder if you have any comment?

A: We have been following closely the situation on the Korean Peninsula and have taken note of the recent statements.

It is China's consistent position that the Korean Peninsula issue can only be resolved peacefully through political dialogue. We hope the US and the DPRK will maintain dialogue and engagement, work to meet each other halfway and look actively for effective solutions to address each other's concerns.

We also hold that pressure and sanctions cannot solve any problem. The Security Council should, pursuant to provisions of relevant resolutions and taking into account the positive progress on the Peninsula, begin discussing invoking relevant provisions to modify sanctions at an appropriate time.

The situation on the Peninsula is at an important stage. Relevant parties should jointly cherish the hard-won amelioration and momentum for dialogue, work towards a political settlement of the issue and make active efforts for denuclearization at an early date and lasting peace and stability in the region. China will continue to play a constructive role towards this end.

Q: You announced the visit of Foreign Minister Valencia of Ecuador. Could you tell us more of his visit?

A: Foreign Minister Valencia's visit to China is an important event in China-Ecuador exchange this year. During the visit, there will be a courtesy call with Vice President Wang Qishan. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold with him the eighth political consultation between the two foreign ministries. The two sides will take stock of bilateral relations, explore ways to implement the two heads of state's important consensus, and exchange ideas on other issues of mutual interest. We believe this visit will bring our comprehensive strategic partnership and practical cooperation to a new height. Apart from Beijing, Foreign Minister Valencia will also visit Shanghai and Xi'an.

Q: Do you have any updates on the 39 bodies that were found in a truck in the UK?

A: So far the British police are still investigating this case and have released some updates. At this point they have yet to confirm the identity of the victims. The Chinese Embassy in the UK has been in touch with the British side, asking them to provide more valid information for further verification of the identity of the victims.

I have to stress once again that no matter where these victims came from, it is indeed a great tragedy and we are deeply saddened by it.

Illegal migration and human trafficking are international problems that need to be tackled by all countries with concerted efforts. China stands ready to make vigorous efforts to address the problems with the rest of the international community.

Q: On October 25 local time, Bolivia's Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE) released the final count of nearly 100 percent of ballots. The candidate of the Movement Towards Socialism (MAS) party and incumbent President Evo Morales got 47.08 percent of the ballots and the candidate of the opposition Conservative Citizen Community party Carlos Mesa got 36.51 percent of the vote. President Evo Morales declared victory while the opposition alleged fraud, demanded another round of vote and called on the people to demonstrate and protest. What's your comment?

A: China respects the choice of the Bolivian people as well as the results of the general election in Bolivia. We hope that all parties in the country will peacefully resolve the differences in accordance with law and maintain social stability. We also hope the international community will respect Bolivia's sovereignty and its people's independent choice, and refrain from interfering in Bolivia's internal affairs.

Q: There has been some speculation - I stress it's just speculation - that perhaps some of those found dead were Vietnamese people and that maybe they had fake Chinese documents and had gone to Europe via China. Does the Chinese government have any evidence to suggest that is true? Is this an issue that you have been discussing directly with the Vietnamese government, or has the Vietnamese government asked the Chinese government for more information on this?

A: Like I just said, at this moment, the British police are still investigating the case and cannot confirm the identity of the victims. We have nothing more than that from them.

Regarding the so-called speculation you cited, I wonder on what basis such speculation is made. Also, we hope that relevant parties will base their observations on facts instead of making preconceived and subjective conjectures.

I would like to point out that the Chinese Embassy in Vietnam is also in close communication with relevant Vietnamese departments.

Q: On October 27 local time, Alberto Fernández of the Peronist party was elected as Argentina's new president. Do you have any comment?

A: China congratulates Mr. Alberto Fernández on his election as the next president of Argentina. We believe that under his leadership, Argentina will score new achievements in its national development.

China and Argentina are comprehensive strategic partners. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 47 years ago, the relations between our two countries have continued to develop in an in-depth manner with fruitful outcomes. China attaches high importance to its relationship with Argentina and stands ready to work with Argentina to advance the sound and steady development of our comprehensive strategic partnership to deliver greater benefits to the two peoples.



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