Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on December 20, 2021
2021-12-20 21:52

CCTV: The US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) chief executive Sarah Hirshland said on December 17 that the United States will send about 230 athletes to the Olympics and another 65 to the Paralympic Games in Beijing. She said the USOPC’s pre-Games briefing for athletes will include ample information on COVID-19 as well as Chinese laws and regulations and the rules of the IOC. The USOPC has “a very high degree of confidence in the safety and security plans” for US Olympians in China. Do you have any comment on that?

Zhao Lijian: With the fast-approaching Beijing Winter Olympic Games, winter sports athletes are looking forward with eager excitement to the grand event. Athletes from all around the world are welcome to compete in the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, including those from the US. The Chinese side will ensure the safety and convenience of all athletes and provide support to each and every one of them in the pursuit of their Olympic dream. We hope that they will be able to excel themselves with their best performance.

There has been a growing chorus from the international community of supporting the Beijing Winter Olympics and rejecting politicizing sports recently. On December 2, the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus the resolution on Olympic Truce for the Beijing Winter Games that was co-sponsored by 173 countries. On December 11, the 10th Olympic Summit held by the IOC again voiced the call from the international sports community for supporting the Beijing Winter Olympics and opposing the politicization of sports. Multilateral mechanisms including the G20, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the China-CELAC Forum and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have expressed firm support to the Beijing Winter Olympics. Dignitaries including UN Secretary-General Guterres and Russian President Putin have confirmed that they will attend the event in Beijing. French President Macron and others explicitly expressed the opposition to politicizing sports. Government officials from countries including the ROK, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka pointed out that the Olympic Games is not a place for ideological confrontation, but a platform for closer friendship and cooperation between countries, and said they believe that the Beijing Winter Olympics will be a spectacular and splendid gathering for sports lovers all over the world. Officials of national Olympic committees in many countries, including the ROK, France, Finland, Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Belarus, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba all said they are looking forward to a successful Winter Olympics in Beijing. 

All the countries and people following the Olympic spirit have confirmed with their real actions that to hold a streamlined, safe and splendid Winter Olympics in Beijing is the shared aspiration of all. Certain countries’ moves to use the event for political stunt and manipulation are doomed to fail.

Hubei Media Group: According to reports, on December 17, an official of Lithuania’s Ministry of Agriculture said that the trade dispute with China may cause Lithuania huge losses. What happened to Lithuania is a warning for other European countries that if they stand by their interests and values and refuse to follow the Chinese government’s rules, similar consequences will follow. Lithuanian manufacturers will attend the Food Taipei exhibition for the first time. If the COVID-19 situation eases next year, Lithuania’s Agriculture Minister Kęstutis Navickas may lead a business delegation to Taiwan. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: Lithuania openly created the false impression of “one China, one Taiwan” in the world, renounced the political commitment it made in the communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Lithuania, and violated the one-China principle, a basic norm governing international relations and consensus of the international community. The move is bound to be disdained and rejected. Speaking of rules, it is right and just that national sovereignty and territorial integrity shall be inviolable. Lithuania broke faith and stood on the opposite side of what is right and just. Nothing good will come out of this. If certain people or forces in Lithuania insist on colluding with “Taiwan independence” separatist forces and going further down the dark path, they will eventually end up in the trashcan of history.

MASTV: In an interview with Fox News on December 17, former US President Trump said that China owes $60 trillion in reparations for COVID-19 damages to the whole world. He also claimed that China has “economically been ripping us off for many years”. Do you have any comment? 

Zhao Lijian: The US registered more than 24 million COVID-19 cases and over 410,000 deaths from COVID-19 during Trump’s tenure of office. No matter how hard some hypocritical politicians try to divert attention and shift blame, they will not change the fact about their disregard for people’s life and health and botched epidemic response. Trumps repeated scapegoating will only remind people who should be the first to blame for all these miseries.

The so-called allegation of China ripping off the US is just nonsense. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, cooperation between China and the US has brought enormous benefits to both peoples. The China-US economic and trade relations are mutually beneficial in nature. In fact, the US’ oppression of Chinese enterprises amounts to exploitation that undermines the market economy principles and international economic and trade rules.

TASS: At the virtual meeting with President Putin the other day, President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). A Chinese representative will assume the rotating SCO Secretary-General from January 1 next year. How does the foreign ministry comment on the role and influence of this organization?

Zhao Lijian: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Over the course, the SCO has been following the Shanghai Spirit, deepened all-round cooperation and created a new model of cooperation among countries with different social systems and development paths for solidarity, coordination and mutual learning. It has played a vital role in safeguarding regional security and stability, promoting countries’ development and revitalization, and actively exploring ways to build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. It has thus become a key constructive force in regional and international affairs.

In line with SCO regulations and with the approval of the Council of Heads of State, a Chinese representative will assume the SCO Secretary-General from January 1, 2022. China will continue to support the work of the SCO Secretary-General and the Secretariat, and work with all parties to uphold the Shanghai Spirit, deepen cooperation in political, security, economic and trade and people-to-people areas, forge a closer SCO community with a shared future and make SCO’s contribution to peace and development in the region and even the whole world.

China News Service: In response to a question on December 17, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the US position on Taiwan is clear because it is a position that the US has sustained to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait for decades. It is rooted in the one-China policy, the Taiwan Relations Act, the three communiqués. The whole purpose of American policy toward Taiwan and toward cross-Strait relations is fundamentally designed to ensure that the US never faces a circumstance in which it needs to directly answer the question of whether the US will come to Taiwan’s aid in case of potential attack. He added that “we believe there is a formula that works to maintain the status quo” and “to not have unilateral changes to the status quo”. Do you have any response to that?

Zhao Lijian: We have noted relevant reports. China’s position on the Taiwan question is consistent and clear-cut. Here I would like to stress the following three points.

First, there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China. This is not only a historical and legal fact that cannot be changed, but also a status quo that cannot be challenged. The DPP authorities refuse to recognize the 1992 Consensus that embodies the one-China principle, constantly provoke confrontation across the Taiwan Strait, and solicit US support for the purpose of seeking Taiwan independence. This is what changes the status quo and is also the source of tensions across the Taiwan Strait. Some forces in the US have obstinately manipulated the Taiwan question to contain China. They have emboldened the Taiwan independence forces and increased tensions across the Taiwan Strait.

Second, the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués are the political foundation for the establishment of diplomatic ties and the steady development of bilateral relations between China and the US. The Taiwan Relations Act unilaterally fabricated by the US runs counter to its commitments made in the three joint communiqués, violates basic norms governing international relations, and places US domestic law above international obligations. It is illegal, null and void. What the US should earnestly abide by is the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués, rather than something cooked up unilaterally by itself.

Third, China’s complete reunification is unstoppable. The historical trend will not be changed by anyone, any force or any country. We urge the US side to take seriously China’s position and concerns, be cautious in words and deeds on Taiwan-related issues, stop military contacts with Taiwan, stop developing ties with Taiwan in essence, and stop sending any wrong signal to the Taiwan independence forces.

Shenzhen TV: We noticed that the US Senate and House of Representatives passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act recently. At a special press conference held by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region yesterday, cotton farmers and enterprise employees from Xinjiang dismissed the lies concerning the so-called US Act by telling their own stories of getting employed on a voluntary basis and becoming better off through hard work. Do you have any comment on that?

Zhao Lijian: I noted that press conference held by the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The experiences shared by the cotton farmers and enterprise employees in Xinjiang have debunked the outrageous lie of “forced labor” fabricated by the US. To serve the scheme of containing China with the Xinjiang issue, some US politicians have stopped at nothing to smear and slander Xinjiang. This is another example of the attempt, which will further reveal the true face of these people. Regardless of all the clamors of these US politicians, Xinjiang will only make faster progress in its prosperity and development.

Speaking of “forced labor”, this label fits the US better than anyone else. There are approximately 500,000 child farmworkers in the US. Roughly 240,000 to 325,000 women and children in the US are victims of sexual slavery. Up to 100,000 people were trafficked into the US for forced labor annually over the past five years. We advise these so-called “public representatives” to focus more on what’s happening at home. They should show some care for those children subjected to forced labor in their own constituencies, save the women and children victims of sexual slavery that they should serve, and hold in remembrance those African Americans who died from forced labor in cotton plantations.

China Daily: We noticed that large shipments of Afghan pine nuts have recently arrived in Shanghai via the “air corridor”, marking the gradual resumption of China-Afghanistan trade in agriculture products. Popular among Chinese consumers, Afghan pine nuts have triggered a shopping spree and become a trending topic on social media. Can you share more information?

Zhao Lijian: I used to work in the Chinese embassy in Pakistan. Back then, many Afghan pine nuts were sold to Pakistan, where they gained great popularity among Pakistanis, Chinese and people from other countries. Afghan pine nuts are well-known for their quality. With an annual output of about 20,000 metric tons, the pine nuts can bring in US$800 million every year through export and create job opportunities for more than 100,000 local people. It is an important source of fiscal revenue for the country, and the only source of income for many Afghan farmers. But the landlocked location, inconvenient traffic and persisting wars have made a large volume of nuts unsalable every year.

The small pine nuts bear on the livelihood of tens of thousands of Afghan people. To help Afghans enjoy the tangible profits from the pine nuts and thanks to the efforts from both sides, China opened a direct flight in 2018 dedicated to pine nuts imports, generating a revenue of US$15 million for the locals within just four months. According to statistics, 3,000 to 5,000 metric tons of pine nuts are directly shipped to China every year, delivering benefits to pine nut pickers in Afghanistan and consumers in China. The “air corridor of pine nuts” has indeed become an important bond of China-Afghanistan friendship and cooperation. 

Fundamental changes took place in Afghanistan in August 2021. The US imposes financial controls on the country and the 39 million Afghan people are facing a humanitarian crisis. As Afghanistan’s friendly neighbor and sincere friend, China attaches great importance to the Afghan people’s livelihood. Apart from humanitarian assistance, China has worked in various ways to help Afghanistan overcome difficulties in the economy and livelihood, and improve its capability of independent development. In October this year, at the request of the interim Afghan government, China made special arrangements to update permissions for chartered flights and reopened the China-Afghanistan “air corridor of pine nuts”. On November 1, the first chartered flight carrying 45 metric tons of pine nuts landed in Shanghai. Once put on display at the China International Import Expo, the 120,000 cans of pine nuts were sold out within minutes. So far, 1,170 metric tons of pine nuts have reached China on 26 chartered fights, generating more than 100 million RMB or more than US$16 million for the Afghan people.

Going forward, China will strengthen contact and communication with Afghanistan under the liaison mechanism and framework at the working level for economic reconstruction. We will promote the export of agricultural specialties including saffrons to China, and take concrete actions to play an even bigger role in helping Afghanistan in economic reconstruction.

Dragon TV: Speaking at an event on December 17, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the Biden administration would be looking at more ambitious targets on climate change. He said, after COP26, the focus will shift and the pressure will grow on China to come to the table with something fundamentally more ambitious than what has been proposed so far. This is said not in a competitive, challenging or threatening way, he added. For China and the rest of the world, the only way to address climate change is to step up more. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: China has always been advancing ecological endeavors and climate governance with concrete actions, actively taking on international responsibilities commensurate with its national conditions and stepping up its climate action. Since September last year, having over-fulfilled the climate action goals of 2020 ahead of schedule, China announced the objective and vision of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, set new goals of Nationally Determined Contributions, and introduced a series of policy measures including on domestic coal plants, coal consumption and no new coal-fired power projects abroad. To this end, China will undertake extensive and profound socioeconomic transformations, which require strenuous efforts. China’s firm determination and practical actions to address climate change have won recognition and acclaim from the international community.

The recent 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has produced positive outcomes. It reaffirmed the goals, objectives and basic framework of the Paris Agreement, especially the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and completed the negotiations on the outstanding issues of implementation guidelines of the Paris Agreement, which has laid the foundation for the full and effective implementation of the Agreement. We want to stress that what was concluded at COP26 is a “mobilization order” for the international community to move from negotiating the rules to implementing the actions. It is not an “immunity license” for developed countries to shirk responsibilities and shifting blames. The focus of negotiations after the Glasgow meeting remains the same, that is, to urge developed countries to face up to historical responsibilities, take the lead in significantly increasing their ambitions to reduce emissions, and responding to the core concerns of developing countries about financial, technological and capacity building, among other areas.

The US has the largest cumulative greenhouse gas emissions and the largest cumulative historical emissions per capita. It is still a major emitter today. Following the return to the Paris Agreement, the US should reflect on its mistakes, make up for the past and regain trust from the international community with concrete actions. China welcomes the US back to the team that addresses climate change with actions. In the meantime, we will follow closely what the US says and does together with other countries. The US may find it hard to muddle through simply by shouting slogans.          

CRI: The seventh round of talks to resume the compliance of the Iranian nuclear deal concluded on December 17. US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that talks for Iran to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal are “not going well,” and they “do not yet have a pathway back into” the JCPOA. The US, in unity with European partners, seeks greater alignment with China and Russia, he added. The UK, France and Germany said in a joint statement that there has been some technical progress, but that just brings them a little closer to where they were in June. The three countries were disappointed by Iran’s decision to request a pause in the nuclear talks and called for a faster pace in the negotiations. Do you have any comment on that?

Zhao Lijian: With the concerted efforts of all sides, the seventh round of negotiations on the resumption of compliance with the JCPOA has made positive progress. All parties agreed to advance negotiations on the basis of previous talks, had an in-depth exchange of views on issues relating to lifting sanctions, and came up with new document drafts on issues in the nuclear sector. It was also decided that the next round of talks will be held before the end of this year.

The Iranian nuclear issue is now at a critical crossroads. China recognizes the serious attitude shown by all parties in this round of talks and welcomes the consensus reached between Iran and the IAEA on monitoring nuclear facilities. We hope all sides will adhere to the correct direction of dialogue and consultation, strive to preserve the negotiating progress, focus on unresolved issues, foster necessary atmosphere for talks and work for early results. As the culprit for the current Iranian nuclear crisis, the US should correct its wrong Iran policy and lift all relevant sanctions on Iran as well as “long-arm jurisdiction” on third parties. On this basis, Iran should resume full compliance.

China has all along taken a constructive part in the Iranian nuclear talks. We maintain close communication and coordination with the US, Iran and other sides and have made active efforts to advance the negotiation. We will firmly uphold the political and diplomatic settlement process, continue to constructively participate in follow-up talks, and work with all sides for early results. In the meantime, we will firmly defend our own legitimate rights and interests.

Beijing TV: The opening ceremony for this year’s “Love Knows No Borders” International Charity Sale was held in Beijing last Saturday. Could you share more information on the event as well as follow-up arrangements?

Zhao Lijian: With the care and support of people from various sectors in China and abroad, the annual “Love Knows No Borders” International Charity Sale has been held for 13 consecutive years. Observing COVID-19 protocols, this year’s sale was held online and offline like last year’s.

On the morning of December 18, the opening ceremony of the 13th “Love Knows No Borders - Rural Revitalization, Health Care First” International Charity Sale was successfully held in Beijing. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Madame Qian Wei, Party Secretary of the CPC Committee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Qi Yu, Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng and other officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with representatives of foreign embassies, offices of international organizations in China and relevant companies, attended the ceremony online and offline.

After the opening ceremony, the “Cloud Charity Sale” event was officially launched, which is scheduled to last until December 25 on a special webpage “Offering Assistance through Consuming Products of Poverty Alleviation Flagship Store” of China’s e-commerce platform Tmall. At eight o’clock in the evening, some foreign diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations in China, as well as representatives of the counties with which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs pairs up for poverty alleviation or has supportive and cooperative relations, promoted their own culture and recommended charity goods with hosts on the CCTV News App and the live streaming booth of “CCTV News” on Taobao. More than six million people tuned in for the charity sale on the opening day.

This year’s charity sale also saw a series of short videos entitled “Me and the Charity Sale” being filmed and produced for the first time. More than 20 diplomatic envoys and their wives were invited to recount moving stories about the charity sale in the short videos. The videos were widely welcomed and given “thumbs-up”.

The proceeds of this year’s charity sale will be used for upgrading the medical facilities in Jinping County and Malipo County of Yunnan Province. We are truly grateful to the kind-hearted people from all walks of life for their active participation and strong support for “Love Knows No Borders” International Charity Sale initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and welcome your continued attention to follow-up activities.

MASTV: The State Council Information Office released a white paper titled “Hong Kong: Democratic Progress Under the Framework of One Country, Two Systems” this morning. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: The white paper titled “Hong Kong: Democratic Progress Under the Framework of One Country, Two Systems” is an important document released at a critical moment in Hong Kong’s democratic progress. It will prove a good read for any one that cares about Hong Kong and democracy. An official from the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council has already answered relevant questions from the press.

Since Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, the Central Government of China has firmly implemented the principle of One Country, Two Systems and the Basic Law, and supported the HKSAR in developing democracy in an orderly manner in accordance with law. Hong Kong residents enjoy unprecedented democratic rights and the SAR’s all-round democratic progress has been witnessed by all. Just yesterday, the election for the seventh-term Legislative Council (LegCo) of the HKSAR was held in a smooth and orderly fashion in accordance with law. It was the latest successful practice of Hong Kong implementing the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” and developing sound democracy, applying meritocracy and advancing good governance. The facts have fully proven that the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government designed, created, safeguarded and advanced Hong Kong’s system of democracy.

As is known to all, the over 150-year-long British colonial rule did not bring any genuine democracy to Hong Kong. It is only after Hong Kong’s return to the motherland that the epoch of democracy was ushered in. Over recent years, external forces spared no effort to instigate and support attacks on the SAR’s constitutional order by anti-China disrupting forces in Hong Kong. They distorted the connotations of democracy, thwarted Hong Kong’s democratic progress, and caused serious setbacks to the development of Hong Kong’s democracy. The Central Government took a host of decisive measures to address both the symptoms and the root causes and steered the SAR’s democratic development back onto the right track. We are convinced that under the framework of One Country, Two Systems, the path of democracy in Hong Kong will be wider, leading to brighter prospects. 

I’d like to stress that Hong Kong is part of China. How to develop democracy in the SAR is purely China’s domestic affair. Whether Hong Kong’s democratic system is good or not should be judged by the Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots. The Central Government is committed to fully and faithfully implementing the principle of One Country, Two Systems and to supporting Hong Kong in developing a democratic system that conforms to its constitutional status and realities on the ground. Attempts to interfere in China’s domestic affairs and mess up Hong Kong are all doomed to failure.

Follow-up: The election for the seventh-term Legislative Council (LegCo) of the HKSAR kicked off on December 19. Certain Western countries have made irresponsible remarks about the election. What is China’s comment?

Zhao Lijian: The election for the seventh-term Legislative Council (LegCo) of the HKSAR was successfully held on December 19. This election is a successful practice to comprehensively implement the new electoral system in Hong Kong, which is broadly representative and politically inclusive, and ensures balanced participation and fair competition. It has a far-reaching significance to developing democracy suited to Hong Kong’s realities, shaping a new structure for good governance in Hong Kong, and promoting the steady and sustained implementation of One Country, Two Systems. 

Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong. How Hong Kong’s electoral system is designed, improved and operated is purely China’s internal affair, which allows no foreign interference. Whether Hong Kong’s electoral system is good or not should be judged by whether it suits Hong Kong’s realities and whether it serves Hong Kong’s long-term security, stability and prosperity. Whether the LegCo election is successful or not should be judged by whether the electoral process is legal, fair and orderly, and whether the result benefits Hong Kong’s overall interest and long-term development.

There are always some people in the world that deliberately attack Hong Kong’s electoral system and smear the LegCo election. In the name of caring about Hong Kong’s democracy, they are meddling in Hong Kong’s politics, interfering in China’s internal affairs and obstructing China’s development. If countries form a class, the US is by no means a “straight-A student” in the “democracy course”, still less is it in a position to be a “lecturer”. What it needs to do the most is reflect on its botched COVID-19 response, political polarization and racial discrimination, and set its own house in order first.

Kyodo News: According to reports, turnout in the Hong Kong Legislative Council election hit a record low. Some European organizations criticized China for this. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: All sectors in Hong Kong believe that the turnout for geographical constituencies in this election is within the normal and reasonable range. Here are some facts. More than 1.35 million voters cast their ballots. The Election Committee constituency elected 40 members with turnout at 98.48 percent. The functional constituencies elected 30 members with average turnout at 32.22 percent. The geographical constituencies elected 20 members with turnout at 30.2 percent. Voters in Hong Kong have fought back against the smears and slanders targeting the legitimacy of the new electoral system with their actions. There are several reasons for the lower voter turnout in the geographical constituencies this year, including the impact of the pandemic and the interference and sabotage by anti-China, destabilizing forces and external forces. This also proves the importance and necessity of enacting the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and improving the electoral system in the HKSAR.

CRI: The White House issued a statement on December 17 which read, the AUKUS Trilateral Joint Steering Groups met on December 9 and 14 in the US. The delegations agreed on the next steps over the 18-month consultation period to define the optimal pathway for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines and to bring the Australian capability into service at the earliest possible date. They will work to ensure that the submarine program upholds their longstanding leadership in global non-proliferation, including through continued close consultation with the International Atomic Energy Agency. What is China’s comment?

Zhao Lijian: China has made its position clear on the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation on multiple occasions.

China believes that the nuclear submarine cooperation between the US, the UK and Australia under the framework of the trilateral security partnership poses serious risks of nuclear proliferation and violates the object and purpose of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT). An increasing number of countries are vigilant about and reject this. However, the US, the UK and Australia insisted on advancing nuclear submarine cooperation in disregard of international concerns, which again accentuates their double standards on non-proliferation issues, and makes their self-claimed “longstanding leadership in global non-proliferation” even more hypocritical. 

The Board of Governors Meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in November added issues related to the trilateral nuclear submarine cooperation to the meeting’s official agenda and had discussions on them, which reflects the board members’ grave concerns about this issue. There is nothing in the IAEA safeguards mechanism that can effectively monitor the power reactors of nuclear submarines. Therefore, there is no way to ensure that Australia won’t use these nuclear materials for building nuclear weapons. The three countries, however, are knowingly bent on having consultation with the IAEA on non-proliferation arrangements, which is a blatant attempt to seek IAEA’S endorsement for the trilateral cooperation. The three countries should stop such trick of deception. 

China has made it clear that the safeguards issue regarding the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation bears on the integrity and efficacy of the NPT and concerns the interests of all IAEA member states. As such, it should be jointly discussed by all member states. China has suggested that the IAEA launch a special committee open to all member states to focus on discussing the political, legal and technical issues concerned to properly seek a solution acceptable to all parties. The US, the UK and Australia should not proceed with relevant cooperation, and the IAEA Secretariat should not have consultation with the three countries on the so-called safeguards arrangement for their nuclear submarine cooperation until consensus is reached by all parties.

Bloomberg: China has reached 56 percent of its purchase targets as part of the trade deal as of October. Will China be able to meet the targets before the trade deal expires in January? Will China step up purchases after the deal expires? 

Zhao Lijian: I would refer you to competent authorities.