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信息量極大 美三巨頭通報川習會(中英文對照)

2017-04-11 來源: 新唐人電視台 Print This Post 简体版 [字號]
   

美國總統川普與到訪的中國國家主席習近平在佛州會談2天,期間美國向敘利亞發射了59枚戰斧導彈,兩國領導人及高級官員代表團更就雙邊貿易、朝鮮問題等進行了廣泛的交談。4月7日,白宮新聞例會上,白宮發言人斯派塞特別邀請到國務卿蒂勒森、財政部長斯蒂文・努欽和商務部長威爾伯・羅斯,向記者通報川習會情況。

 

下文為本次川習會安全紀錄的中文節選翻譯和英文全文。

川習會結束當天白宮新聞會的全部內容中文節選翻譯

肖恩・斯派塞:大家好。本次記者會將在兩地直播:Tideline(佛州棕櫚灘一酒店地址)和白宮。

顯然,總統很滿意今天會議的成果。我想給你們一些重點信息,所以我今天帶來了三位最高的參會者:國務卿蒂勒森(Tillerson)、財政部長斯蒂文・努欽(Steven Mnuchin),以及商務部長威爾伯・羅斯(Wilbur Ross)。

他們將依次發言,之後我們再來回答幾個問題。

下面是國務卿蒂勒森。

蒂勒森:謝謝你,肖恩。

首先,我要說,總統對過去兩天在海湖莊園招待習主席非常高興。正如你們所知,今天天氣很棒,而且對兩國元首及其夫人來說,這是一個真正地了解彼此、共進餐點,並對重要問題展開對話的絕佳機會。

雙方都帶來了高級官員組成的代表團——當然,我們被代表出席了會議——這些人有能力為我們面前的諸多工作建立重要關係。

我十分想讓大家快速了解,兩位領導人之間的氣氛和反應都是積極的。兩人之間的姿態為我們後續高層代表團之間的會議奠定了基調。我想告訴你們的是,他們的交談十分坦誠。他們坦率、開放,並且十分積極。所以我覺得我們大家對此次首腦會談奠定了這樣一種非常有建設性的基調,都感覺非常好。

兩國領導人舉行了積極、富有成效的系列會議。川普總統和習主席同意在相互尊重的基礎上承認差異,拓展合作領域。

兩國首腦回顧了雙邊關係的現狀,並指出協同合作以產生積極結果的重要性,這將造福兩國人民。川普總統指出中國政府干預經濟所帶來的挑戰,提出了對中國工業、農業、科技和網路政策對美國就業和出口的影響的嚴重擔憂。總統強調中國有必要採取堅實的步驟,來平衡與美國工人的競爭環境,總統不斷重複對等市場准入的需求。

雙方指出,朝鮮武器計劃的威脅迫在眉睫,重申他們對朝鮮半島無核化的承諾,並承諾全面執行聯合國安理會的各項決議。他們同意加強合作,與國際社會共同協作,說服朝鮮和平解決這個問題,讓其放棄非法的系列武器項目。

雙方就地區與海域安全進行了坦誠討論。川普總統指出,在東海、南中國海,遵循國際準則、履行非軍事化聲明的重要性。他還指出保護美國人民深信不疑的人權和其它價值觀的重要性。

兩國首腦同意提升現有雙邊會談的等級,以反映兩國在一系列問題上取得進展的重要性。他們建立了一個新的高層談判框架。美中全面對話將由兩國總統監督,它有四個支柱部分:外交和安全對話;全面經濟對話;執法與網路安全對話;社會與文化議題對話。

雙方同意實施一個雄心勃勃的議程與計劃,來展示進展和已取得的有意義的結果。川普總統歡迎習主席邀請他未來對中國進行國事訪問。他們同意在此期間共同努力,以確保有一個成功的且注重結果的訪問。

接下來,我把話筒交給財政部長努欽先生。

努欽部長:謝謝。我想重申,跟中方,我們度過了富有成效的兩天,尤其是我們今天上午的會議,啟動了第一個全面經濟對話。我們十分直接、坦誠地討論了我們將如何共同合作。羅斯部長和我將共同領導,我們將把重點放在公司間和國家間的貿易、投資和其它經濟機會。

(會談中),我們尤其聚焦於一個更加平衡的經濟關係,尤其是在貿易領域。我們重點討論為下次會談的短期具體行動需求,以及我們今年的目標。所以我認為,我們認為,重建對話,擁有一個具體突破口,能包容我們雙方不同機構間的全面經濟機會。我認為,我們都感到富有成效,對我們即將開展的建設是好的開始。強調一下,我們討論了非常具體的事宜,能夠在短期內取得進展。

(商務部)羅斯部長?

羅斯部長:謝謝你,斯蒂文。我認為,在很多方面,最有意義的莫過於〝百日計劃〞。通常,貿易談判,尤其是中美之間,在過去的很多年都有展示。百日計劃的沿途擁有眾多充滿希望的成績站,這是百日計劃第一個實例的展示。設定的問題範圍、規模可能是雄心勃勃的,但這是談判進程中的巨大改變。我認為,這是兩國發展報告的非常非常重要的符號。

斯派塞:斯蒂文(財政部長),我們來回答一些問題。

現場記者:國務卿蒂勒森先生,我能就朝鮮問題向你提問嗎?(川普)總統是否說過如果中國不制止朝鮮的話,他會用貿易政策來制裁中國嗎?你得到了任何中國針對朝鮮問題的具體承諾嗎?

國務卿蒂勒森:兩國首腦會——川普總統與習主席——就朝鮮問題的討論非常廣泛、非常詳盡,而且更聚焦於雙方之前的實現半島無核化的努力,並沒有解決這個問題的一攬子計劃。

我認為習主席從他們的角度考慮,認同朝鮮目前的核武器能力已經到了一種極其危險的地步。他們討論了這給兩國帶來的挑戰,並承諾,如果這一問題不能以和平方式解決,我們將共同合作(應對)。在(與中美)對話或討論之前,朝鮮必須改變態度,以實現(和平解決)。

川普總統向習主席表明,他歡迎習主席和中國的任何主意。相比我們要採取的其它行動,我們會很高興與他們(中方)合作。但是我們理解,這帶給他們獨一無二的問題,帶給我們挑戰。如果中國無法就此與我們合作,我們會,也已經準備好實施我們的計劃。

記者提問:對蒂勒森國務卿的2個問題,對羅斯部長的1個問題。之前(美國)政府對朝鮮——抱歉——應該是對中國侵犯人權的態度都很堅決。因此,我想知道這是否被提及,以及是否將對中國侵犯人權行為施壓。第二個問題是,既然你在這兒,我是否可以問敘利亞——許多美國人關心,昨天的行動意味着我們將要迎來戰爭。因此,我希望你可以澄清——這只是一個單一的行動,還是對阿薩德政府作戰的一部分?

蒂勒森國務卿:說到中國人權問題的討論,我認為美國的價值觀相當明確,這的確是我們所有討論問題的核心。我不認為你必須單獨談這個話題,不需要從我們的經濟討論,軍方討論,或者外交政策討論中分離出針對人權的我們的核心價值。它們(我們的核心價值)存在於每一個討論中,(我們的核心價值)引導着我們如何合作的觀點。

至於敘利亞,我認為正如昨天晚上我們的聲明,這次針對打擊實施化學武器攻擊的空軍基地,是總統經過深思熟慮做出的決定。我們相信此次回應是有分寸且合宜的。正如我們昨晚所申明的,我們將會監控敘利亞對這次打擊的回應,看他們是否襲擊我們的軍隊或盟軍軍隊,或者是否在考慮流動作戰以再次實施化學武器襲擊。從這一點上,我最好說,未來將視他們如何反應而定。

記者提問:謝謝。羅斯部長,我想知道是否與中國人談到查封任何與朝鮮合作的銀行與公司。

羅斯部長:你知道,商業部最新處罰了中興通訊(ZTE)高達11.7億美元的罰款,該公司是中國第二大生產電信設備的公司。他們認識到這表明了我們杜絕這類活動的堅定決心。

努欽部長:我想強調的是,財政部顯然採取了多種懲罰機制,其中有一些是專門針對朝鮮的,我們已經就此與中國的代表進行了直接對話,請他們與我們合作。

記者提問:協助美國公司向中國出口,中國同意做些什麼呢?

努欽部長:我想在貿易問題上他們有明確的認知:我們的確需要擁有一個更加平衡的貿易環境。我們今天的確開始了這些討論,但我還是要強調,今後兩天將發生許多事。此外,儘管我們有一些特殊的對話,如羅斯秘書長提到的,我們的計劃是發展〝百日計劃〞,我們期待看到一些相關非常詳細的條文。

記者提問:你下一步會把中國列為匯率操縱國嗎?

努欽部長:這也正是我計劃說的。我想你很清楚,不久,匯率報告就會出爐,屆時,我們會根據報告內容做出回應。

羅斯部長:關於其他貿易議題,你們不能指望我們在數小時的會議中達成協議。這些議題相當複雜,涉及相當深層的問題。就貿易而言,100天的時間非常非常的短。

記者提問:你們是否討論了環境議題?是否對環保做出承諾?如果中國要求美國對這一問題作更多承諾,你們是如何回應的?

羅斯部長:這不是本次討論的重點。我不記得中方專門提到這個問題。

記者提問:之前人們預期習主席會給川普總統準備一些禮物——基礎設施投資,一些能給美國帶來就業的承諾。(實際)有這些禮物嗎?

羅斯部長:最好的禮物便是他的來訪,以及我們總統與習主席所建立的關係。

記者提問:蒂勒森國務卿,中國媒體報導川普總統應邀於2017年訪華。你能否澄清一下,你們確實同意了?

蒂勒森國務卿:總統確實接受了習主席的邀請。現在訪華定在2017年。總統說他要檢查一下日期,而且我們會與(中方)磋商,具體什麼時候訪華。

記者提問:羅斯部長,你是否能給出百日計劃中人們能看到的成績站的兩個案例?

羅斯部長:成績站就是談判的本身。不過,更定向的說,目標是增加我們的對華出口,減少對華的貿易逆差。

記者提問:你提到,中方意識到,也認識到貿易需要一個更加平衡的環境,他們具體是怎麼說的?聽起來像是對他們的結論性信息。

努欽部長:我完全不認為這是結論性信息。再說一次,我想他們注意到了──我們兩國有相似的經濟利益,我認為在許多領域他們明確的希望與我們合作。像商務部長羅斯說的,我們的目標是增加對華出口。這是一個非常大的市場,就兩國的出口和投資而言,機會將更多。

記者提問:我們被告知──對不起,羅斯部長,你還想說什麼嗎?

羅斯部長:我要說的很簡單,我們討論的產品非常廣泛,沒有局限於某一個。對我來說最有意思的是,他們有興趣減少貿易差額,因為這對(中國的)貨幣供給和通貨膨脹產生了影響。在雙邊會談的場景下,這是我第一次聽到他們這樣說。

記者提問:我們聽說,在昨天晚宴上,習主席被告知了空襲敘利亞的情況,我想知道你是否可以介紹一下中方是如何回應的。他們通常極力反對——至少在聯合國是這樣——制裁敘利亞。

此外,既然你們三個人都在這裡,我們看到你們三個都在公開的白宮戰情室(Situation Room)拍的照片中。我很想聽聽——特別是可能看到財政部長或者商務部長出現在這類場合很不常見。所以如果你們可以說說各自的角色,或許包括事情發生時你們的想法。

蒂勒森國務卿:昨晚的晚宴快要結束時,總統直接告訴習主席,導彈已經發射,正在發揮效應。當時的大約是昨晚8點40分。總統告訴習主席,因為阿薩德的暴力——使用化學武器屠戮他的人民的多重暴力,其中包括殺害婦女、兒童、嬰兒,我們實施對敘利亞的打擊。總統告訴習主席總計發射了多少枚導彈,並解釋了原因。

習主席,我覺得他表達了對總統讓他了解這一情況及提供解釋的感謝,並說,這是告訴我的,表示他理解,當人們在屠殺兒童的時候,如此一個反應是必要的。

現在,中方已經發布了聲明。我確定你們可以獲得。我也已經從通訊社那裡讀到。

至於戰情室問題,在兩位部長向你們解釋他們對發生事件的看法前,我認為讓所有人意識到有關敘利亞襲擊的兩件事是重要的。第一,取得了壓倒性的勝利。我認為我們軍隊和專家的表現,和美軍可以在如此短的時間段內執行的力量,是卓越的。我覺得所有的美國人,真的,我覺得所有我們自由世界的盟軍,應該從昨晚的襲擊中得到極大安慰。美國人應該為自己的軍人們感到非常驕傲。

努欽部長:我就不再重複國務卿蒂勒森說過的了。但我認為,如你所知,財政部在制裁與情報——我個人參與的金融情報功能方面,起着非常重要的職能。所以,國家情報委員會裡,財政部是參與其中的。

為制止(敘利亞的)這類行為,強調我們對此的看重,我們將宣布對敘利亞實施的其它制裁。我們期望,這些(制裁措施)將有效阻止人們繼續跟他們做生意。

美國國務卿蒂勒森(右一)和財政部長斯蒂文・努欽(右二)參加了川習會,並介紹了詳細情況。圖為兩人今年2月28日與川普內閣其他成員的合影。(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

川習會結束當天白宮新聞會的英文原文
轉自白宮網站(原文請點此處 )

Briefing by Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mnuchin, and Secretary Ross on President Trump’s Meetings with President Xi of China

Tideline Resort and Spa
Palm Beach, Florida

3:58 P.M. EDT

MR. SPICER: Hi, guys. So this is being streamed back to both the Tideline, as well as the White House.

Obviously, today the President was very pleased with the outcomes of today’s meeting. I wanted to give you guys a quick readout, so today I’ve brought three of the top participants in this: Secretary of State Tillerson, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and Secretary Commerce Wilbur Ross.

They’ll go in that order, and then we’ll take a few questions.

With that, Secretary of State Tillerson.

SECRETARY TILLERSON: Well, thank you, Sean.

I would open by saying the President was very happy to host President Xi at Mar-a-Lago these last two days. As those of you that have been here know, it was obviously a perfect weather day today, and it was a great opportunity for both the Presidents and their wives to really get to know one another and enjoy, share meals together, and work on important issues.

Each side did bring along senior delegations of officials
— so, of course, we’re represented here — who also were able to build important relationships for a lot of work that’s still ahead of us.

I think what I would really want you to get a grasp of is that both the atmosphere, the chemistry between the two leaders was positive. The posture between the two really set the tone for our subsequent meetings between our high-level delegations. And I would tell you the exchanges were very frank. They were candid, they were open, and they were very positive. So I think all of us are feeling very good about the results of this summit in terms of what it did for setting a very constructive tone going forward.

The two leaders had positive, productive meetings. President Trump and President Xi agreed to work in concert to expand areas of cooperation while managing differences based on mutual respect.

The two Presidents reviewed the current state of the bilateral relationship and noted the importance of working together to generate positive outcomes that would benefit the citizens of both of our countries. President Trump noted the challenges caused by Chinese government intervention in its economy and raised serious concerns about the impact of China’s industrial, agricultural, technology, and cyber policies on U.S. jobs and exports. The President underscored the need for China to take concrete steps to level the playing field for American workers, stressing repeatedly the need for reciprocal market access.

The two sides noted the urgency of the threat of North Korea’s weapons program, reaffirmed their commitment to a denuclearized Korean Peninsula, and committed to fully implement U.N. Security Council resolutions. They agreed to increase cooperation and work with the international community to convince the DPRK to peacefully resolve the issue and abandon its illicit weapons programs.

The two sides had candid discussions on regional and maritime security. President Trump noted the importance of adherence to international norms in the East and South China Seas and to previous statements on non-militarization. He also noted the importance of protecting human rights and other values deeply held by Americans.

The two Presidents agreed to elevate existing bilateral talks to reflect the importance of making progress on issues. They established a new high-level framework for negotiations. The U.S.-China Comprehensive Dialogue will be overseen by the two Presidents, and it will have four pillars: the diplomatic and security dialogue; the comprehensive economic dialogue; the law enforcement and cybersecurity dialogue; and the social and cultures issues dialogue.

The two sides agreed to undertake an ambitious agenda and schedule to show progress and achieve meaningful results. President Trump welcomed President Xi’s invitation to visit China for a state visit at a future date. They agreed to work together in the interim to ensure successful and results-focused visits.
With that, I’d like to turn it to Treasury Secretary Mnuchin.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN: Thank you. I would just like to reiterate that we had a very productive two days with our counterparts. And specifically we had a meeting this morning that was a breakout of the first comprehensive economic dialogue. We had very direct and frank conversations about how we would work together. Secretary Ross and I will be leading that jointly, and we will be focused on trade, investment, and other economic opportunities between both companies — countries.

We focused specifically on a more balanced economic relationship, specifically on trade. And we focused on the desire to have very specific action items both in the short term for the next time we get together, as well as what the goals are over the year. So I think we think the restructuring of the dialogue and having specifically a breakout that will address comprehensive economic opportunities across our different agencies both here and within China I think we felt was very productive, very good start in how we’re going to structure it, and again, very specific things that we talked about to look forward on making progress in the short term on.

Secretary Ross?

SECRETARY ROSS: Thank you, Steven. I think in many ways, the most significant thing was a 100-day plan. Normally, trade discussions, especially between China and ourselves, are denominated in multiple years. This was denominated in the first instance in 100 days with hopefully way stations of accomplishment along the way. Given the range of issues and the magnitude, that may be ambitious, but it’s a very big sea change in the pace of discussions. And I think that’s a very very important symbolization of the growing rapport between the two countries.

MR. SPICER: We’ll take a few questions. Steve.

Q Secretary of State Tillerson, can I ask you about North Korea? Did the President say that he might use trade against China if they do not rein in North Korea? And did you get any specific commitments from China to do something about the North Korea problem?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: The Presidents’ discussions — President Trump and President Xi — on North Korea were very wide-ranging, very comprehensive, and more focused entirely on both countries’ previous commitments to denuclearize the peninsula. There was no kind of a package arrangement discussed to resolve this.

I think President Xi, from their part, shared the view that this has reached a very serious stage in terms of the advancement of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities. They discussed the challenges that introduces for both countries, but there’s a real commitment that we work together to see if this cannot be resolved in a peaceful way. But in order for that to happen, North Korea’s posture has to change before there’s any basis for dialogue or discussions.

President Trump indicated to President Xi that he welcomed any ideas that President Xi and China might have as to other actions we could take and that we would be happy to work with them, but we understand it creates unique problems for them and challenges and that we would, and are, prepared to chart our own course if this is something China is just unable to coordinate with us.

Q Two quick questions for Secretary Tillerson, and one for Secretary Ross. Previous administrations have been very tough on North Korea — sorry — tough on China in terms of human rights violations. And I was wondering if that came up and if this administration plans to pressure the Chinese on human rights violations. And the second question, if I may have the opportunity to ask since you’re here on Syria — a lot of the American people are concerned that yesterday’s actions mean we’re going to war. And I was hoping if you could just clarify — is this just a one-fit situation, or is this going to be part of a — campaign to try to the Assad government?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: As to the discussions around human rights in China, I think America’s values are quite clear and they really occupied a core of all of our discussions. I don’t think you have to have a separate conversation, somehow separate our core values around human rights from our economic discussions, our military-to-military discussions, or our foreign policy discussions. They’re really embedded in every discussion, that that is really what guides much of our view around how we’re going to work together.

As to Syria, I think as was indicated in our statements last night, this particular strike that was carried out on the airbase from which the chemical weapons attack was launched was very deliberately considered by the President. It is a response that we believe is both proportional and appropriate. And as we said last night, we will monitor Syria’s response to that strike in terms of whether they attack our own forces or coalition forces, or whether we detect that they are considering mobilizing to take additional chemical weapons attacks. And I’d say at this point the future will be guided by how we see their reaction.

Q Thank you. And for you, Secretary Roth, I was wondering if talked to the Chinese about cracking down on any banks or companies that may be working with North Korea.

SECRETARY ROSS: As you know, Commerce fined ZTE, the second largest telecom company for making equipment in China, $1.170 billion recently. So they recognize that that shows our clear determination to crack down on that sort of activity.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN: And I would just also emphasize Treasury obviously manages multiple sanctions programs, some specifically towards North Korea, and we have had direct conversations with our counterparts in China about working with us on those.

Q Did the Chinese agree to do anything that will make it easier for American companies to export to China?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN: I think there was definitely an acknowledgement by them on the trade issue that we do need to get to a more balanced trade environment. We did begin those discussions today, but I would just emphasize there was a lot going on in two days. And although we had some specific conversations, as Secretary Ross, mentioned, the plan is for us to develop a 100-day plan, and we would expect to see some very specific items on that.

Q Will you move forward with a plan to label China a currency manipulator?
SECRETARY MNUCHIN: I would just comment on, I think as you know, the currency report is going to come out in the near future, and we will address that when it comes out.

SECRETARY ROSS: As other trade issues, you would not have expected us to reach agreement in a few hours of meetings. The issues are far more complex and far more deep rooted. But 100-days is a very, very short time for trade.

Q Did you discuss the environment and environmental commitments? And what was your response if China asked for more commitments from the United States on that issue?

SECRETARY ROSS: That was not a major part of the discussion, nor do I recall the Chinese specifically raising it.

Q There was anticipation that President Xi would come with some sort of gift for President Trump — infrastructure investment, something that would demonstrate a Chinese commitment to having more jobs in the U.S. Was there anything like that?

SECRETARY ROSS: The best gift was his presence and the relationship what was built up between our President and President Xi.

Q Secretary Tillerson, Chinese media is reporting that President Trump was invited to visit China in 2017. Can you clarify just if that was the year that you’ve agreed to do this?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: The President did accept the invitation of President Xi to visit China. Now, the invitation was for a 2107 visit. The President said that he would look at the dates, and we would work with them to see when that visit might occur.

Q Secretary Ross, could you give a couple of examples of the kind of way stations that people might see in the 100-day time?

SECRETARY ROSS: The exact way stations are a matter of negotiation itself. But, directionally, the objective is to increase our exports to China and to reduce the trade deficit that we have with them.

Q When you say that there was a recognition by the Chinese and acknowledgement of the trade issue that it needs to be a more balanced environment, what did they say exactly? That seems like that’s sort of off message for them.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN: I don’t think it was off message at all. Again, I think they look at — we have very similar economic interests, and I think there are areas that they clearly want to work with us. And as Secretary Ross said the objective is for us to increase our exports to them. It’s a very big market, and there will be more opportunities for both exports as well as investments.

Q We were told — sorry, did you want to say something, Secretary Ross?

SECRETARY ROSS: What I was going to say was simply that it was a very wide range of products that we discussed, not a particularly limited one. And the most interesting thing to me was they expressed an interest in reducing their net trade balance because of the impact it’s having on money supply and inflation. That’s the first time I’ve heard them say that in a bilateral context.

Q We were informed that President Xi was informed of the Syria strikes during dinner yesterday, and so I was wondering if you could maybe explain what the reaction was from the Chinese as to this. They’ve usually been very opposed — in the U.N. at least — on acts against Syria.

And so since the three of you are here, we saw that all three of you were in the photo in the Situation Room, as this was playing out. So I’d be very interested to hear — especially it’s not common to see maybe the Treasury Secretary or the Commerce Secretary in those situations. So if you can say what role you were playing and maybe what your thoughts were while this was unfolding.

SECRETARY TILLERSON: The President did directly inform President Xi near the end of the dinner yesterday evening as the missiles that are launched were impacting, which was about 8:40 p.m. last night. The President told President Xi that we had launched a strike against Syria as a result of Assad’s violation — multiple violations of the use of chemical weapons against his own citizens, including the killing of women, children, and babies. The President provided President Xi the number of missiles that were launched and explained the rationale behind it.

President Xi I think expressed an appreciation for the President letting him know and providing the rationale and said, as it was told to me, indicated that he understood that such a response is necessary when people are killing children.

Now, China has issued its own statements. I’m sure those are available to you. I have read them on them on the wire service, as well.

As to the Situation Room, before I turn it to the two Secretaries to give you kind of their color on what was going on, I think it is important for everyone to recognize a couple of things on the Syrian attack. First, it was an overwhelming success. I think the performance our military and the expertise and the power of what the U.S. military is able to execute on a fairly short planning window was extraordinary. And I think all Americans, and, indeed, I think all our allies in the free world should take great comfort in what occurred with that strike last night. And Americans should be very proud of their men and women in uniform.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN: I would just not only echo what Secretary Tillerson said, but I think, as you know, the Treasury Department has very important functions in terms of sanctions and other intelligence — financial intelligence functions that I have been participating in. So on the National Security Council, the Treasury Department does participate in that.

We will be announcing additional sanctions on Syria as part of our ongoing effort to stop this type of activity and emphasize how significant we view this. And we expect that those will continue to have an important effect on preventing people from doing business with them.

Q Can you elaborate on the sanctions a little bit?

SECRETARY MNUCHIN: Again, they will be coming out in the near future. But I would just say we view sanctions as being a very important tool, whether it’s North Korea or whether it’s Syria. These sanctions are very important and we will use them to the maximum effect.

SECRETARY ROSS: To me, the most dramatic thing about being in the Situation Room as he was making the decision was the thoroughness of the support and information that went into it, the consultation he did with a wide range of military and diplomatic and economic advisors, and the utter seriousness and thoughtfulness with which he made this very grave decision.

In terms of the strikes themselves, it’s my understanding that they took out something like 20 percent of the entire Syrian air force. So it was huge not just in terms of number of planes but relative to the scale of their air force.
Q Secretary Tillerson, you talked about the great success. The AFP is reporting that the runway is still operational and is actually being used. Is that accurate? And can you comment on whether that was your intent, and if that puts a damper on the success of the operation?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: The runways were not the target due to the nature of the construction of those runways. Our military estimate was that we could not do serious damage to the runways. They are very thick and they’re constructed in a way that the ordnance that were used, while would have damaged them — the damage would have been easily repaired in a matter of hours.

So the targeting was selected very deliberately to render the airbase essentially inoperable as an operating base, and that means taking out all the infrastructure, the fueling capability, all the support infrastructure, hangars. And, indeed, there were a number of Syrian aircraft that were destroyed on the ground. Those were the targets that were selected for that very specific reason.

So the fact that planes may be landing in and out of there, they’re not refueling and they’re not able to certainly initiate any activity from that airfield today.

Q Can I also ask you a follow-up on reports that the United States is investigating Russia’s role in the gas attacks themselves? How far are you in this investigation, and what’s your confidence level and the direction on that, please?

SECRETARY TILLERSON: I don’t have any particular information I think that it would be appropriate to share with you at this point. Obviously we continue to gather the information that we can through our intelligence sources, as well as shared sources from other countries as well. And so I don’t think it would be appropriate for me to comment on that at this time.

Q Russia has come out very strongly against the attack, calling it an “act of aggression.” Do you have a message for the Russians or a response to that?
SECRETARY TILLERSON: I’m disappointed in that response from the Russians because it indicates their continued support for the Assad regime and, in particular, their continued support for a regime that carries out these type of horrendous attacks on their own people. So I find it very disappointing, but, sadly, I have to tell you, not all that surprising.

Q There were reports prior to today that President Trump was planning to sign an executive order that would target countries that dump steel into the United States. Was that correct, and is he still planning to do so, if so?
SECRETARY ROSS: The practice is to announce executive orders and executive memoranda when they’re issued, not in response to rumors.

Q Can you just if Westinghouse was talked about at all, and the scale of the bankruptcy of Westinghouse — was that even a topic?

SECRETARY ROSS: That was not a topic in today’s session, but we have been looking very carefully at that and the alternatives, both from an economic, from an energy generation and from a national security point of view.

SECRETARY MNUCHIN: And I would just comment that it — obviously, any such transaction that involved foreign investment would go through the normal CFIUS process.

Thank you.

MR. SPICER: Thank you guys very much. Have a great weekend.
END
4:22 P.M. EDT

 

   

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