Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference on July 13, 2020
CRI: The New York Times reported on a draft agreement on China and Iran establishing comprehensive economic and security partnership, which will expand China’s influence in relevant sectors in Iran. Can you confirm this?
Hua Chunying: China attaches importance to developing friendly cooperative relations with other countries. Iran is a friendly nation enjoying normal exchange and cooperation with China. I don’t have any information on your specific question.
Global Times: In response to the July 9 announcements by the US State Department and Treasury which impose sanctions on a Chinese government department and four officials in Xinjiang based on US domestic laws, the Chinese side said it will take reciprocal measures against relevant US institution and individuals with egregious records on Xinjiang-related matters. Do you have any update on these measures?
Hua Chunying: The US practice severely interferes in China’s internal affairs, violates basic norms governing international relations and damages China-US relations. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this.
In response to the US wrong moves, the Chinese government has decided to impose corresponding sanctions on the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, US Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz and Representative Chris Smith, effective today.
It must be stressed that Xinjiang affairs are purely China’s internal affairs. The US has no right and no cause to interfere in them. The Chinese government is absolutely determined in its resolve to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests, to combat violent terrorist, separatist and religious extremist forces, and to oppose any external interference in Xinjiang affairs and China’s internal affairs.
We urge the US to immediately revoke the wrong decision and stop any words and deeds that interfere in China’s internal affairs and harm China’s interests. China will make further reaction as the situation develops.
Asahi Shimbun: Two WHO experts have arrived at Beijing and talked with the Chinese side. Have the two sides determined when and where to conduct virus tracing work?
Hua Chunying: After consultation between the two sides, the Chinese government has agreed that WHO will send experts to Beijing to exchange ideas with Chinese scientists and medical experts on science-based cooperation to trace the origin of the COVID-19 virus. Two WHO experts have already arrived in China.
A basic consensus between China and WHO is that virus tracing is a scientific issue that should be studied by scientists through international research and cooperation across the globe. It is also the view of WHO that it is an ongoing process probably concerning many countries and localities, and WHO will conduct similar trips to other countries and regions in light of the actual need.
China Daily: In an interview, White House trade adviser Navarro argued that “what the American people have to understand is all of the data that goes into those mobile apps that kids have so much fun with... goes right to servers in China, right to the Chinese military, the Chinese Communist Party… So expect strong actions on that by Trump.” Navarro warned that the US may ban these apps. What is your comment?
Hua Chunying: Who was speaking this time, Peter Navarro the White House official, or Ron Vara the fictional expert? He claimed that those data went directly to servers in China, to the Chinese military, to the Chinese Communist Party. Then prove it. If he cannot, then it is just the latest entry into his book of shameless lies.
The “PRISM” incident has long revealed that the US is the true global headquarters of hackers. It is the United States that has long been engaging in indiscriminate cyberattacks, eavesdropping and espionage around the world. The US prides itself on values unrivalled by others, but why is it so scared of a popular video-sharing app that young people have so much fun with? Is it really so vulnerable now? We need to give some thoughts to this issue. We hope that Navarro and relevant US officials will truly talk to and listen to their youngsters, otherwise what they do will only make themselves a laughing stock.
China Review News: US Secretary of State tweeted the other day that “The Chinese Communist Party has a credibility problem”. Do you have a comment?
Hua Chunying: Pompeo, notoriously proud of lying and cheating, has lost all credibility. How hilarious that such a person should talk about credibility problems.
Recently the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government released a policy brief titled Understanding CCP Resilience: Surveying Chinese Public Opinion Through Time. Three experts at the Ash Center compiled the report based on their eight waves of survey in China spanning 13 years from 2003 to 2016 and face-to-face interviews with over 30,000 Chinese citizens in both urban and rural settings. The research brief finds that “the Party appears to be as strong as ever” and that “A deeper resilience is founded on popular support”. The Chinese government enjoys the highest rate of satisfaction in two decades. “Chinese citizens rate the government as more capable and effective than ever before”. The Chinese people’s overall satisfaction towards the Central Government exceeds 93%. I believe that such high approval ratings, so wildly chased by some American politicians, will only happen in their best dreams. They stand as a resounding refutation to the vile attacks on the CPC by certain US politicians such as Pompeo.
We have just celebrated the CPC’s 99th birthday not long ago and will be marking its centenary next year. The party is in its prime, with 1.4 billion Chinese people rallying as one behind it. The Party and the Chinese people share one dream: to realize the great renewal of the Chinese nation. It is a dream that will surely come true.
A handful of US politicians, out of ideological bias and Cold War mentality, have been vilifying the CPC with lies and to sever the flesh-and-blood bond between the Party and the people. They are just deluded day-dreamers, out of touch with reality, bent on an impossible and senseless mission.
Xinhua News: The Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reportedly adopted on July 9 a draft resolution on the Syrian chemical weapons issue, which says the Syrian government conducted the chemical weapons attack in northern Syria in March 2017 and asks the Syrian government to resolve relevant issues in 90 days. I wonder if China has a comment on this?
Hua Chunying: China voted against this draft resolution. Delegation of China’s Permanent Mission to the OPCW elaborated on China’s position in explanation of its vote. I would like to stress that China has serious concerns over the content of the draft resolution and certain countries’ practice of forcing the vote in the absence of full consultation.
The draft resolution is based on the report submitted by the “Investigation and Identification Team” (IIT) of the Technical Secretariat of the OPCW in April this year. As a matter of fact, the IIT and the report are both fraught with controversies. Many States Parties, China included, hold that the establishment of the IIT and its work do not conform with CWC provisions and there are quite a few question marks and loopholes in the report. Under such circumstances, some countries, driven by geopolitical agenda, forced the vote at the Executive Council. That is not helpful to resolving the issue, and will further undermine the authority of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) as well as unity at the OPCW.
I would like to reiterate that China consistently opposes the use of chemical weapons by any country or anyone under any circumstances. We stand for carrying out full, impartial and objective investigation into any possible use of chemical weapons according to the CWC and reaching conclusions that can withstand the test of time and truth. China will continue working in a responsible manner for a proper resolution of the Syrian chemical weapons issue within the CWC framework.
Beijing Daily: The official account of US diplomatic missions in China retweeted in Chinese the post that “Many products made in China are made by slave labor. Every business should scrub its supply chain to ensure it’s not profiting from the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuse of Uyghurs in Xinjiang”. The words came with a picture showing a fabric label that reads “made by slave labor in China”. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: I noticed this tweet. It was posted first by the spokesperson of the US State Department and retweeted by the US Embassy and Consulates in China. The US unscrupulously jumped at this shoddily-made photoshopped picture to discredit China. I have no problem with them insulting their own intelligence, but we firmly oppose them using this to tarnish China’s name. The US should be condemned and held accountable for such egregious acts. It once again proves that for some people in the US, nothing is not up for use in its fanatic bid to attack and smear China.
As we all know, the false accusations made by the US on Xinjiang are among the biggest lies of this century. In the past 40 years, the Uighur population in Xinjiang has increased from 5.55 million to 11.68 million, more than doubling in the past four decades. Is this “genocide” claimed by the US? There is one mosque for every 530 Muslims in Xinjiang, and the total number of mosques in China is more than ten times that in the United States. Is this “religious oppression” claimed by the US? I also have some Uighur friends who I know are very happy in Xinjiang, breathing freely and enjoying their life, live in a completely different way than African Americans like George Floyd. We sincerely hope that those American politicians will really care about the serious racial issues in their own country and make efforts to protect the human rights of their ethnic minorities.
Phoenix TV: First, EU foreign ministers will discuss the Hong Kong national security law’s impact on the bloc’s relations with China today. The rotating president Germany said that the EU believes that the imposition of the law will have a long-term negative impact on China-EU relations. Some are proposing not to export anti-riot equipment to Hong Kong. What’s your response? Second, at the fourth anniversary of the South China Sea arbitration on July 12, the Philippines in a statement said that “the arbitration award conclusively settled the issue of historic rights and maritime entitlements in the South China Sea”. This seems to be somewhat different from the Philippines’ earlier position. How does China take this and how will you respond?
Hua Chunying: On your first question regarding the national security legislation for Hong Kong, we have repeatedly stated our position. The overwhelming majority of Hong Kong residents and foreign businesses believe that the implementation of the law will better protect freedoms, human rights and democracy in the SAR and ensure its sustained prosperity and stability. We have every confidence in this. We hope the EU, as China’s comprehensive strategic partner, will fully understand and respect China’s position on this. We are firmly opposed to interference in Hong Kong affairs by any country or anyone under any pretext.
I have noted reports that some in Europe propose banning sales of anti-riot equipment to Hong Kong. As you know, during last year’s disturbance over proposed legislative amendments in Hong Kong, there was no death because of law enforcement by the police. However, nearly 600 police officers suffered injuries in the line of duty. Not long ago, a police officer was stabbed and seriously wounded. Then look at the US, during the mass protests triggered by the death of George Floyd, how many were arrested? How many lost their lives? We all bear witness to that. If they are considering imposing sanctions by banning sales of anti-riot gear, I suggest they find the right target.
On your second question, we noticed relevant reports. China and the Philippines have already reached consensus on properly handling the arbitration case. That is the basis for a turnaround in bilateral relations. The two sides have put in place consultation mechanisms on maritime issues and got back on the right track of resolving relevant issues through negotiation and consultation. As for the arbitration case and the award, China’s position is consistent, clear and firm. I won’t repeat it here.
Reuters: What has been done by WHO experts since their arrival in China? Where have they been and whom they met? How long will they stay in China?
Hua Chunying: I have no information at hand to share at this moment since these are very specific matters. What I can tell you is that WHO experts are indeed in China now after consultations between the two sides. Considering quarantine rules and regulations still in place, the competent Chinese departments have stayed in close communication with relevant experts and provided all convenience to them. We will release further information once we have it.
The Paper: The Australian government says it will offer around 10,000 Hong Kong passport holders currently living in Australia a chance to apply for permanent residency once their current visas expire. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: With regard to the erroneous remarks and measures announced by the Australian side concerning Hong Kong, China has already stated its solemn position on the matter. I would like to point out once again that the Australian side, with its latest move, ignores the basic fact that the Hong Kong-related national security legislation is conducive to the steady and sustained implementation of “one country, two systems”. What they have done violates international law and the basic norms of international relations and grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs, which China will never accept. We can see that the Australian side keeps talking about rejecting “foreign interference” and even abuses its counter foreign interference laws to intimidate Chinese nationals in Australia, while repeatedly interfering in the Chinese government’s lawful handling of Hong Kong-related issues. On the one hand, it opposes the Hong Kong-related national security legislation; on the other hand, it requires Hong Kong residents coming to Australia to pass Australia’s national security tests. The Australian side’s undisguised hypocrisy and blatant double standards are really eye-opening.
Acting as a cat’s paw will eventually bring harm to oneself. I would like to emphasize that the Chinese government is firmly determined to safeguard its national sovereignty, security and development interests and oppose interference in Hong Kong’s affairs by external forces. Any attempts to exert pressure on China will never succeed. China urges the Australian side to immediately change its course and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs in any form so as to avoid further harm to China-Australia relations.
AFP: We have two questions. The first is about a French court that sentenced two former agents from the foreign intelligence service to jail after convicting them of sharing secrets with China. Does China have any comment on this? We also have a second question on France’s decision to limit flights between France and China by Chinese airlines. So, instead of three flights per week, this is a change to one flight per week in the name of reciprocity as Air France only have one connection between both countries. Does China have any plans to increase the number of flights that Air France is allowed to operate?
Hua Chunying: Regarding the first question, I’m not aware of the matter.
As for your second question, I’m not aware of the situation, either. As we all know, the pandemic does impact fights between countries. China stays in communication with relevant countries on providing convenience for personnel exchange in a stepwise manner while maintaining anti-epidemic measures. I’d like to refer you to the competent authorities for more specifics.
Shenzhen TV: US Embassy and Consulates in China issued a security alert on July 11 asking US citizens to “exercise increased caution in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) due to arbitrary enforcement of local laws for purposes other than maintaining law and order. This arbitrary enforcement may include detention and the use of exit bans. US citizens may be detained without access to US consular services or information about their alleged crime. US citizens may be subjected to prolonged interrogations and extended detention for reasons related to ‘state security’. Security personnel may detain or deport US citizens for sending private electronic messages critical of the PRC government.” Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: Are they sure that this security alert was meant for the US citizens in China?
The US alleged that US citizens may be subjected to arbitrary detention and the use of exit bans, but can they name anyone with this experience? Instead, I can give you many examples of such egregious treatment experienced by the Chinese citizens in the US. For quite some time, out of strong ideological prejudices, cold-war mindset and the malicious intention to contain and oppress China’s development, the US has been arbitrarily monitoring, harassing, interrogating and even arresting Chinese students and scholars in the US. They wantonly seized the electronic devices of Chinese citizens intending to return to their motherland and even absurdly cooked up espionage charges against them with presumption of guilt. The US malicious harassment, interrogation and intimidation have severely undermined the legitimate and legal rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the US and disrupted regular cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two sides, so much so that it has become blatant political persecution, which is not only morally wrong, but also self-destructive move on its own reputation. There is now a widespread concern in the US that the notorious McCarthyism is creeping back and gathering strength. The US side issuing the security alert against such a backdrop gives away its guilty conscience as it is scrambling for an excuse to arbitrarily violate Chinese citizens’ legitimate and lawful rights and interests in the US.
China is a country ruled by law. We protect the safety and legal rights and interests of foreign citizens in China in accordance with law and encourage and support normal exchange and cooperation with other countries. No foreign citizens, as long as they abide by Chinese laws and regulations, have any cause to worry about their security. The truth is that we have been trying our best to make it as convenient and comfortable as possible for foreign citizens living and working in China. We demand the US stop erroneous behaviors that restrict and oppress the normal people-to-people exchange between the two countries lest it should further harm China-US relations.