|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on June 7, 2018|
Q: Yesterday, we saw on the website of the Foreign Ministry a list of corruption fugitives and their relevant information released by China's Central Anti-Corruption Coordination Group. Could you offer more information as to what the Foreign Ministry and China's diplomatic missions overseas are doing in fighting corruption, catching international fugitives and recovering illicit gains?
A: Tracking down corrupt officials who fled overseas and their illicit gains is an important link in the fight against corruption and a vital part of our diplomatic work. The Foreign Ministry and our diplomatic missions overseas attach high importance to this work and have been actively cooperating and coordinating with competent departments on this front.
Up to now, China has signed bilateral judicial assistance treaties on criminal matters with 61 countries and extradition treaties with 50 countries. We have basically put in place a legal guarantee network covering major countries of all continents to bring back fugitives and their illicit assets. Within the framework of the UN and other mechanisms, we have been participating in formulating international anti-corruption rules, consolidated international consensus on fighting corruption and strengthened all countries' willingness to cooperate on this front. Meanwhile, following the lead of the China-US Joint Liaison Group on Law Enforcement Cooperation (JLG) and China-Canada Consultations on Judicial and Law-enforcement Cooperation, China has established and is also working on long-term communication and cooperation mechanisms with relevant countries so as to facilitate practical cooperation on individual cases. 52 of all the 100 fugitives listed on the Interpol red notice have been arrested.
The Foreign Ministry and our diplomatic missions overseas will continue to promote international anti-corruption cooperation, weave a closely-knit "Sky Net", and make our contributions to China's anti-corruption work and social fairness and justice.
Q: The US Consulate-General in Guangzhou said that several of its staff have just been sent back to the US because they developed unexplained illnesses after hearing strange noises in their residences. Has the US government made representations to you about this and do you have any comment on this incident?
A: After the previous report that a US diplomatic employee stationed in China was allegedly affected by so-called sonic waves, the relevant Chinese authorities have carried out serious investigation and informed the US side of the result. By far, we have found no reason or clue that would lead to the situation reported by the US side. China will ensure the safety of foreign diplomatic staff in China, including those from the US, in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
As to the latest reports, according to my information, the US side has not made any official communication to us on this matter. I myself learnt about the relevant information through media reports, and I am not aware of the specifics. If there is any problem, the US can directly tell us. We will investigate the case and coordinate with the US side in a consistently responsible way.
Q: The Memorandum of Understanding, signed by the Government of Myanmar, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), on June 6, is meant to create conditions conducive to voluntary, safe, dignified, and sustainable return of Rohingya refugees. Do you have any comment on that?
A: There is a complex historical, ethnic and religious background to Myanmar's Rakhine State issue, the settlement of which calls for dialogue and consultation between Bangladesh and Myanmar, coupled with constructive help from the international community. We welcome the memorandum signed between the UNHCR, the UNDP and the government of Myanmar. It shows that all parties are committed to resolving the issue through dialogue and cooperation. We hope that the government of Myanmar could closely cooperate with relevant UN agencies and earnestly implement the memorandum.
As a friendly neighbor to Myanmar and Bangladesh, China has been closely following the evolvement of the situation in the Rakhine State and playing a positive part in seeking a proper settlement. The three-stage solution proposed by China, composed of cessation of violence and maintenance of stability, repatriation and sheltering, and poverty reduction and development, is appreciated and welcomed by both Myanmar and Bangladesh. We stand ready to work with the international community and continue to play a positive role in providing an enabling environment to promote dialogue between Myanmar and Bangladesh, seek a practical solution to the issue, maintain long-term stability in the Rakhine State, and realize prosperity and development for the Rakhine State.
Q: The Australian government has suggested some dates for Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to come to visit China. When will China give a reply to the Australian government and when will this visit happen? And what about the Chinese government's attitude towards receiving a visit by the Australian Prime Minister? Would China welcome a visit by the Australian Prime Minister sometime soon?
A: The timetable for mutual visits between two countries will have to be nailed down through consultations. You asked about a specific date. I have no information on that.
China would like to conduct exchanges and cooperation with all other countries on the basis of equal treatment and mutual respect.
Q: Can you give us some idea as to what kind of probe or investigation China did when the United States made the first notification to China about the problems with the sonic waves in Guangzhou? Do you anticipate doing more of an investigation presumably after the US informs you of the latest development?
A: What I can tell you is that China has very responsibly investigated the issue that a US diplomatic employee in China was allegedly affected by the so-called sonic waves. However, we have found no reason or clue that would lead to the situation reported by the US side. We have made feedback to the US side on this issue.
As to the latest development reported by the media, like I pointed out just now, the US side has not made any request to the Chinese side. If the US side officially informs us of the latest case, China will carry out necessary investigations in the same responsible and earnest manner and remain in close communication and coordination with the US side.