信息量极大 美三巨头通报川习会(中英文对照)

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【新唐人2017年04月11日讯】美国总统川普与到访的中国国家主席习近平在佛州会谈2天,期间美国向叙利亚发射了59枚战斧导弹,两国领导人及高级官员代表团更就双边贸易、朝鲜问题等进行了广泛的交谈。4月7日,白宫新闻例会上,白宫发言人斯派塞特别邀请到国务卿蒂勒森、财政部长斯蒂文·努钦和商务部长威尔伯·罗斯,向记者通报川习会情况。

下文为本次川习会安全纪录的中文节选翻译和英文全文。

川习会结束当天白宫新闻会的全部内容中文节选翻译

肖恩·斯派塞:大家好。本次记者会将在两地直播:Tideline(佛州棕榈滩一酒店地址)和白宫。

显然,总统很满意今天会议的成果。我想给你们一些重点信息,所以我今天带来了三位最高的参会者:国务卿蒂勒森(Tillerson)、财政部长斯蒂文·努钦(Steven Mnuchin),以及商务部长威尔伯·罗斯(Wilbur Ross)。

他们将依次发言,之后我们再来回答几个问题。

下面是国务卿蒂勒森。

蒂勒森:谢谢你,肖恩。

首先,我要说,总统对过去两天在海湖庄园招待习主席非常高兴。正如你们所知,今天天气很棒,而且对两国元首及其夫人来说,这是一个真正地了解彼此、共进餐点,并对重要问题展开对话的绝佳机会。

双方都带来了高级官员组成的代表团——当然,我们被代表出席了会议——这些人有能力为我们面前的诸多工作建立重要关系。

我十分想让大家快速了解,两位领导人之间的气氛和反应都是积极的。两人之间的姿态为我们后续高层代表团之间的会议奠定了基调。我想告诉你们的是,他们的交谈十分坦诚。他们坦率、开放,并且十分积极。所以我觉得我们大家对此次首脑会谈奠定了这样一种非常有建设性的基调,都感觉非常好。

两国领导人举行了积极、富有成效的系列会议。川普总统和习主席同意在相互尊重的基础上承认差异,拓展合作领域。

两国首脑回顾了双边关系的现状,并指出协同合作以产生积极结果的重要性,这将造福两国人民。川普总统指出中国政府干预经济所带来的挑战,提出了对中国工业、农业、科技和网路政策对美国就业和出口的影响的严重担忧。总统强调中国有必要采取坚实的步骤,来平衡与美国工人的竞争环境,总统不断重复对等市场准入的需求。

双方指出,朝鲜武器计划的威胁迫在眉睫,重申他们对朝鲜半岛无核化的承诺,并承诺全面执行联合国安理会的各项决议。他们同意加强合作,与国际社会共同协作,说服朝鲜和平解决这个问题,让其放弃非法的系列武器项目。

双方就地区与海域安全进行了坦诚讨论。川普总统指出,在东海、南中国海,遵循国际准则、履行非军事化声明的重要性。他还指出保护美国人民深信不疑的人权和其它价值观的重要性。

两国首脑同意提升现有双边会谈的等级,以反映两国在一系列问题上取得进展的重要性。他们建立了一个新的高层谈判框架。美中全面对话将由两国总统监督,它有四个支柱部分:外交和安全对话;全面经济对话;执法与网路安全对话;社会与文化议题对话。

双方同意实施一个雄心勃勃的议程与计划,来展示进展和已取得的有意义的结果。川普总统欢迎习主席邀请他未来对中国进行国事访问。他们同意在此期间共同努力,以确保有一个成功的且注重结果的访问。

接下来,我把话筒交给财政部长努钦先生。

努钦部长:谢谢。我想重申,跟中方,我们度过了富有成效的两天,尤其是我们今天上午的会议,启动了第一个全面经济对话。我们十分直接、坦诚地讨论了我们将如何共同合作。罗斯部长和我将共同领导,我们将把重点放在公司间和国家间的贸易、投资和其它经济机会。

(会谈中),我们尤其聚焦于一个更加平衡的经济关系,尤其是在贸易领域。我们重点讨论为下次会谈的短期具体行动需求,以及我们今年的目标。所以我认为,我们认为,重建对话,拥有一个具体突破口,能包容我们双方不同机构间的全面经济机会。我认为,我们都感到富有成效,对我们即将开展的建设是好的开始。强调一下,我们讨论了非常具体的事宜,能够在短期内取得进展。

(商务部)罗斯部长?

罗斯部长:谢谢你,斯蒂文。我认为,在很多方面,最有意义的莫过于“百日计划”。通常,贸易谈判,尤其是中美之间,在过去的很多年都有展示。百日计划的沿途拥有众多充满希望的成绩站,这是百日计划第一个实例的展示。设定的问题范围、规模可能是雄心勃勃的,但这是谈判进程中的巨大改变。我认为,这是两国发展报告的非常非常重要的符号。

斯派塞:斯蒂文(财政部长),我们来回答一些问题。

现场记者:国务卿蒂勒森先生,我能就朝鲜问题向你提问吗?(川普)总统是否说过如果中国不制止朝鲜的话,他会用贸易政策来制裁中国吗?你得到了任何中国针对朝鲜问题的具体承诺吗?

国务卿蒂勒森:两国首脑会——川普总统与习主席——就朝鲜问题的讨论非常广泛、非常详尽,而且更聚焦于双方之前的实现半岛无核化的努力,并没有解决这个问题的一揽子计划。

我认为习主席从他们的角度考虑,认同朝鲜目前的核武器能力已经到了一种极其危险的地步。他们讨论了这给两国带来的挑战,并承诺,如果这一问题不能以和平方式解决,我们将共同合作(应对)。在(与中美)对话或讨论之前,朝鲜必须改变态度,以实现(和平解决)。

川普总统向习主席表明,他欢迎习主席和中国的任何主意。相比我们要采取的其它行动,我们会很高兴与他们(中方)合作。但是我们理解,这带给他们独一无二的问题,带给我们挑战。如果中国无法就此与我们合作,我们会,也已经准备好实施我们的计划。

记者提问:对蒂勒森国务卿的2个问题,对罗斯部长的1个问题。之前(美国)政府对朝鲜——抱歉——应该是对中国侵犯人权的态度都很坚决。因此,我想知道这是否被提及,以及是否将对中国侵犯人权行为施压。第二个问题是,既然你在这儿,我是否可以问叙利亚——许多美国人关心,昨天的行动意味着我们将要迎来战争。因此,我希望你可以澄清——这只是一个单一的行动,还是对阿萨德政府作战的一部分?

蒂勒森国务卿:说到中国人权问题的讨论,我认为美国的价值观相当明确,这的确是我们所有讨论问题的核心。我不认为你必须单独谈这个话题,不需要从我们的经济讨论,军方讨论,或者外交政策讨论中分离出针对人权的我们的核心价值。它们(我们的核心价值)存在于每一个讨论中,(我们的核心价值)引导着我们如何合作的观点。

至于叙利亚,我认为正如昨天晚上我们的声明,这次针对打击实施化学武器攻击的空军基地,是总统经过深思熟虑做出的决定。我们相信此次回应是有分寸且合宜的。正如我们昨晚所申明的,我们将会监控叙利亚对这次打击的回应,看他们是否袭击我们的军队或盟军军队,或者是否在考虑流动作战以再次实施化学武器袭击。从这一点上,我最好说,未来将视他们如何反应而定。

记者提问:谢谢。罗斯部长,我想知道是否与中国人谈到查封任何与朝鲜合作的银行与公司。

罗斯部长:你知道,商业部最新处罚了中兴通讯(ZTE)高达11.7亿美元的罚款,该公司是中国第二大生产电信设备的公司。他们认识到这表明了我们杜绝这类活动的坚定决心。

努钦部长:我想强调的是,财政部显然采取了多种惩罚机制,其中有一些是专门针对朝鲜的,我们已经就此与中国的代表进行了直接对话,请他们与我们合作。

记者提问:协助美国公司向中国出口,中国同意做些什么呢?

努钦部长:我想在贸易问题上他们有明确的认知:我们的确需要拥有一个更加平衡的贸易环境。我们今天的确开始了这些讨论,但我还是要强调,今后两天将发生许多事。此外,尽管我们有一些特殊的对话,如罗斯秘书长提到的,我们的计划是发展“百日计划”,我们期待看到一些相关非常详细的条文。

记者提问:你下一步会把中国列为汇率操纵国吗?

努钦部长:这也正是我计划说的。我想你很清楚,不久,汇率报告就会出炉,届时,我们会根据报告内容做出回应。

罗斯部长:关于其他贸易议题,你们不能指望我们在数小时的会议中达成协议。这些议题相当复杂,涉及相当深层的问题。就贸易而言,100天的时间非常非常的短。

记者提问:你们是否讨论了环境议题?是否对环保做出承诺?如果中国要求美国对这一问题作更多承诺,你们是如何回应的?

罗斯部长:这不是本次讨论的重点。我不记得中方专门提到这个问题。

记者提问:之前人们预期习主席会给川普总统准备一些礼物——基础设施投资,一些能给美国带来就业的承诺。(实际)有这些礼物吗?

罗斯部长:最好的礼物便是他的来访,以及我们总统与习主席所建立的关系。

记者提问:蒂勒森国务卿,中国媒体报导川普总统应邀于2017年访华。你能否澄清一下,你们确实同意了?

蒂勒森国务卿:总统确实接受了习主席的邀请。现在访华定在2017年。总统说他要检查一下日期,而且我们会与(中方)磋商,具体什么时候访华。

记者提问:罗斯部长,你是否能给出百日计划中人们能看到的成绩站的两个案例?

罗斯部长:成绩站就是谈判的本身。不过,更定向的说,目标是增加我们的对华出口,减少对华的贸易逆差。

记者提问:你提到,中方意识到,也认识到贸易需要一个更加平衡的环境,他们具体是怎么说的?听起来像是对他们的结论性信息。

努钦部长:我完全不认为这是结论性信息。再说一次,我想他们注意到了──我们两国有相似的经济利益,我认为在许多领域他们明确的希望与我们合作。像商务部长罗斯说的,我们的目标是增加对华出口。这是一个非常大的市场,就两国的出口和投资而言,机会将更多。

记者提问:我们被告知──对不起,罗斯部长,你还想说什么吗?

罗斯部长:我要说的很简单,我们讨论的产品非常广泛,没有局限于某一个。对我来说最有意思的是,他们有兴趣减少贸易差额,因为这对(中国的)货币供给和通货膨胀产生了影响。在双边会谈的场景下,这是我第一次听到他们这样说。

记者提问:我们听说,在昨天晚宴上,习主席被告知了空袭叙利亚的情况,我想知道你是否可以介绍一下中方是如何回应的。他们通常极力反对——至少在联合国是这样——制裁叙利亚。

此外,既然你们三个人都在这里,我们看到你们三个都在公开的白宫战情室(Situation Room)拍的照片中。我很想听听——特别是可能看到财政部长或者商务部长出现在这类场合很不常见。所以如果你们可以说说各自的角色,或许包括事情发生时你们的想法。

蒂勒森国务卿:昨晚的晚宴快要结束时,总统直接告诉习主席,导弹已经发射,正在发挥效应。当时的大约是昨晚8点40分。总统告诉习主席,因为阿萨德的暴力——使用化学武器屠戮他的人民的多重暴力,其中包括杀害妇女、儿童、婴儿,我们实施对叙利亚的打击。总统告诉习主席总计发射了多少枚导弹,并解释了原因。

习主席,我觉得他表达了对总统让他了解这一情况及提供解释的感谢,并说,这是告诉我的,表示他理解,当人们在屠杀儿童的时候,如此一个反应是必要的。

现在,中方已经发布了声明。我确定你们可以获得。我也已经从通讯社那里读到。

至于战情室问题,在两位部长向你们解释他们对发生事件的看法前,我认为让所有人意识到有关叙利亚袭击的两件事是重要的。第一,取得了压倒性的胜利。我认为我们军队和专家的表现,和美军可以在如此短的时间段内执行的力量,是卓越的。我觉得所有的美国人,真的,我觉得所有我们自由世界的盟军,应该从昨晚的袭击中得到极大安慰。美国人应该为自己的军人们感到非常骄傲。

努钦部长:我就不再重复国务卿蒂勒森说过的了。但我认为,如你所知,财政部在制裁与情报——我个人参与的金融情报功能方面,起著非常重要的职能。所以,国家情报委员会里,财政部是参与其中的。

为制止(叙利亚的)这类行为,强调我们对此的看重,我们将宣布对叙利亚实施的其它制裁。我们期望,这些(制裁措施)将有效阻止人们继续跟他们做生意。


美国国务卿蒂勒森(右一)和财政部长斯蒂文·努钦(右二)参加了川习会,并介绍了详细情况。图为两人今年2月28日与川普内阁其他成员的合影。(Alex Wong/Getty Images)

川习会结束当天白宫新闻会的英文原文
转自白宫网站(原文请点此处

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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