Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on July 31, 2020
Macau Monthly: China’s BeiDou-3 Satellite Navigation System was officially inaugurated this morning. Some media see this as part of Beijing’s effort to increase hi-tech influence overseas. I wonder if you have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: Today is a day of pride and invigoration for the Chinese people. This morning, President Xi Jinping attended the ceremony marking the completion and launching of the BeiDou-3 Satellite Navigation System (BDS-3), and announced the commissioning of this system that’s independently built and operated by China. This opens a new chapter where the system’s quality service will benefit people all across the world.
As we often say, the BeiDou-3 Satellite Navigation System is not only of China but also for the world; it serves China as well as the whole world. After its completion, it will provide services including basic navigation, global short message communications, worldwide search and rescue, etc. This system now covers over 200 countries and regions, serves more than 100 million users and provides 200 million services daily. Over half of all countries in the world are using this system now.
The UN Office for Outer Space Affairs sent a congratulatory video clip the other day to commend BDS-3’s positive role in global economic and social development and its great contribution to the peaceful use of outer space and the international cooperation on UN space activities.
I said here last week that China’s space endeavor makes an important part of mankind’s peaceful exploration and use of outer space and is entirely designated for peaceful purposes. The universe is vast enough for all countries to conduct joint exploration and cooperation. On the basis of mutual respect, openness and inclusiveness, equality and mutual benefit, China stands ready to enhance aerospace exchange and cooperation and share the outcomes with other countries, and contribute to the progress of human civilization and society as well as the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Reuters: According to a Reuters report, sources from the US security services say a company targeted by two Chinese hackers indicted in the US earlier this month is Moderna, a leading coronavirus vaccine developer. How do you comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: Recently so-called sources from the US government have been accusing China of hacking to steal technology and data of US vaccine research, but there has been no evidence whatsoever. Such allegations are pure slander. The sources are all cited anonymously. The international community can see through such vilifying ploys.
As we’ve repeatedly said, China is leading the world in COVID-19 vaccine research and development. We don’t need to get ahead by theft and we have never done that. On the contrary, we are worried about a certain thieving country stealing our technology by hacking.
We urge certain US government departments and individuals to stop smearing China with rumors. We also call on relevant media to deny such anonymous groundless disinformation platforms and channels for dissemination.
The New York Times: Tomorrow is the one month anniversary of the new national security law in Hong Kong, which has prompted a lot of criticism from overseas. Is China reassessing the implementation of the national security law?
Wang Wenbin: First of all, I need to correct you on one point. You said that many countries have criticized China on the national security law. That is not true. As a matter of fact, at the recent 44th session of the UNHRC, 54 countries spoke in support of China’s formulation of the Law on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong in a joint statement.
As for our position on the Law, Hong Kong is China’s Special Administrative Region, and Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs that allow no interference from foreign countries or organizations. A small number of countries have imposed sanctions on China in violation of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, a basic principle governing international relations, to which China is firmly opposed and has taken countermeasures.
I must stress that China will not be daunted by intimidation from any external forces. Our resolve to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, to implement “one country, two systems”, and to oppose any foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs is steadfast and unshakable.
AFP: Do you have any response to the former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten’s comment yesterday that the national security law has been used by Beijing to carry out an outrageous political purge?
Wang Wenbin: The comment by Chris Patten has no factual basis.
I would like to reiterate that the Law on Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong targets only a very narrow category of criminal offences and protects the overwhelming majority. It will not affect the lawful rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents and will better ensure their exercise in a safe environment. Implementation of the Law means a step forward towards a sound legal framework, greater social stability, and an effective guarantee for lasting peace and security in Hong Kong and the fundamental welfare of Hong Kong residents.
RIA Novosti: Yesterday the European Union sanctioned two Chinese nationals and one company over suspected cyber attack. I wonder if you have any comment on that?
Wang Wenbin: China is a staunch defender of cyber security and also one of the victims of cyber attacks. In accordance with law, we’ve been cracking down on such attacks launched inside China or using China’s cyber infrastructure. Our position on the relevant issue is consistent and clear.
We express deep concern over the EU statement and will follow relevant developments closely. Meanwhile, we also note that the EU said that the relevant measure targets no specific country. Tracing the origin of cyber attacks is a highly complicated and sensitive issue. The international community should address cyber-related disputes through dialogue and cooperation. We hope that the EU and its member states will take facts as the basis to form their independent and rational judgments, instead of resorting to punitive or adversarial measures. Otherwise, tension and confrontation will be heightened to the detriment of security and stability in cyberspace.
CRI: Yesterday, the 2020 Shanghai Cooperation Organization Forum on Traditional Medicine was successfully held via video link. This is the first time for the SCO to hold a conference on traditional medicine. What is the significance of this meeting, in terms of SCO members working together to fight COVID-19?
Wang Wenbin: As you said, this is the first time for the SCO to hold a meeting on traditional medicine. The theme of the meeting is making full use of the unique advantages of traditional medicine to fight COVID-19 with solidarity and cooperation. Shen Yue-yue, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of China and Chairman of the Committee of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation of the SCO attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech. Senior officials and health departments of the SCO member states, representatives of the SCO Secretariat and WHO, experts and scholars from relevant countries and diplomatic envoys to China attended the meeting.
In the fight against COVID-19, traditional Chinese medicine has made outstanding contributions, and traditional medicine in various countries has also played a unique and positive role. In recent years, China and the SCO countries have conducted exchanges and cooperation in the field of traditional medicine at various levels. Departments in charge of health or traditional medicine in China, Kyrgyzstan, India and others signed cooperation MOUs. Construction of traditional Chinese medicine centers is underway in Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Nepal. China has also held various forms of academic exchanges with these countries and effectively promoted mutual learning in the field of traditional medicine.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still spreading globally. China is ready to work with all parties to keep international cooperation on COVID-19 moving in the right direction, continue to hold high the banner of the “Shanghai Spirit”, give full play to the advantages of our traditional medicine, deepen SCO cooperation on health and epidemic prevention, and jointly build a community of health for the SCO.
Global Times: On July 30, US Secretary of State Pompeo attacked the CPC at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing and criticized China on issues relating to the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, human rights and religion. Does China have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: As the American people grapple with a dual crisis in terms of public health and economic difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Pompeo, in his position as Secretary of State, has been busy spreading falsehoods attacking and smearing China, instead of focusing on conducting international cooperation and safeguarding the American people’s health and jobs. His intention of deflecting attention in pursuit of selfish political gains is fully revealed.
Pompeo’s remarks are a patchwork of political lies against China that disregard facts and distort truth. China has repeatedly stated its solemn position and the world has a fair judgment on this. According to a recent survey by a US institute, 95 percent of the Chinese people trust the government led by the CPC, ranking the top of all countries surveyed. Leaders of some countries have openly stated that they will formulate China polices based on national interests instead of blindly following the US and that they have no intention to pick sides between China and the US.
Spurred by the Cold War mentality and selfish gains, Pompeo and his likes attempt to bind the international community to the anti-China, anti-CPC chariot. However, they are doomed to fail because the world won’t buy what they are selling; peace-loving people won’t allow it; and the Chinese people won’t be intimidated. I want to stress that ignorance, arrogance, myopia and hatred cannot be the basis for foreign policy. In response to the hostile words and acts of some US politicians, the Chinese people will only rally more closely around the CPC, strive to achieve the great revitalization of the Chinese nation, and work together with other countries for the bright future of a community with a shared future for mankind.
NHK: US Secretary of State Pompeo released a statement yesterday offering condolences on the passing of Lee Teng-hui on behalf of the American people. Do you have a response to that?
Wang Wenbin: I noticed the news. Taiwan independence is a dead end. No individual or force could hold back the historical trend of reunification and revitalization of the Chinese nation. We urge the relevant country to adhere to the one-China principle, prudently handle Taiwan-related issues, and avoid sending out any wrong signal to Taiwan independence forces.