Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on August 5, 2020
CCTV: Joerg Wuttke, President of European Union Chamber of Commerce in China, told a press conference yesterday that despite the fallout of coronavirus, there have been effective measures taken by the Chinese side. European companies remain fully confident in doing business in China and hope to be part of the story of China’s development. According to a survey by the European Chamber in June, China remains in the top three investment destinations for over 60 percent of respondents. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: We noted the remarks by the head of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China.
As a champion and promoter for an open world economy, China has always kept its door wide open and committed to provide a market-based, legal and international business environment for companies from Europe and other parts of the world. By 2019, the European Union has been China’s top trade partner for 16 consecutive years, with a total trade volume hitting a record high of $700 billion.
I want to stress that be it companies from Europe or other parts of the world, they are optimistic about China’s economic prospect and improving business environment. As a major developing country with a 1.4 billion population, 900 million-strong workforce and 120 million market players, China will as always welcome European investors and companies and those from other countries, continue to firmly deepen reform and expand opening-up, and provide more cooperation opportunities and development dividends for their operations in China. Foreign companies, including those European ones, were part of the story of China’s development, and we believe they will continue to be part of the successful story of China’s development and win-win cooperation.
Al Jazeera: A massive explosion shook Lebanon’s capital Beirut on August 4. At least 100 people were killed and over 4,000 wounded. What is China’s comment? Is China planning to offer assistance to Lebanon?
Wang Wenbin: China is deeply shocked and saddened by the massive explosion in Lebanon which has caused great casualties. We deeply mourn the victims and express sincere condolences to the injured and the bereaved families and wish a speedy recovery to those injured.
China stands ready to provide assistance to help Lebanon properly handle the incident and achieve national development to the best of its capacity.
AFP: According to the Wall Street Journal, the US and China have agreed to high-level trade talks on August 15. Can you confirm that?
Wang Wenbin: I’d like to refer you to the competent authority for the specifics concerning the trade deal.
Phoenix TV: The American Institute in Taiwan said on August 5 that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is going to lead a delegation to visit Taiwan in the coming days. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China firmly opposes any official interactions between the US and Taiwan. This position is consistent and clear. China has made stern representations with the US side both in Beijing and in Washington.
For the China-US relationship, the Taiwan question is one of the utmost importance with the highest level of sensitivity, and the one-China principle is the political foundation. We urge the US to adhere to the one-China principle and the three joint communiques, stop making official interactions of any kind with Taiwan, handle Taiwan-related issues prudently and properly, and not to send any wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” elements to avoid severe damage to China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. I want to stress that the one-China principle is universally recognized by the international community. Any attempt to ignore, deny or challenge that principle is doomed to fail.
Associated Press of Pakistan: Today marks one year completion of India’s unilateral measures to change demography of occupied Kashmir and its continuing massive atrocities on the innocent Kashmiris. This Indian attempt and its escalating ceasefire violations and rhetoric against Pakistan pose a threat to regional and international peace and security. Since then, China in its principled stance, has been calling for resolving the Kashmir issue under the UN Charter and through peaceful means. What is China’s position now?
Wang Wenbin: China follows closely the situation in the Kashmir region. Our position on the Kashmir issue is consistent and clear. First, the Kashmir issue is a dispute left over from history between Pakistan and India, which is an objective fact established by the UN Charter, relevant Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements between Pakistan and India. Second, any unilateral change to the status quo in the Kashmir region is illegal and invalid. Third, the Kashmir region issue should be properly and peacefully resolved through dialogue and consultation between the parties concerned.
Pakistan and India are neighbors that cannot be moved away. Harmony between the two countries serves the fundamental interests of both sides and the common aspiration of the international community. China sincerely hopes that the two sides can properly handle differences through dialogue, improve relations and jointly safeguard peace, stability and development of the two countries and the region.
Shenzhen TV: According to Japanese media reports, by August 3, a total of 270 US troops stationed in Okinawa alone have tested positive for coronavirus. Some commented that US troops in Japan have failed to follow quarantine regulations on entry and become a big loophole in Japan’s anti-epidemic system. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant reports. The US abuse of extraterritorial jurisdiction has added to the risk of the spreading of epidemic worldwide. A major country should behave in a way commensurate to its status. The US should fulfill its special responsibility as a major country, earnestly strengthen the discipline of its troops overseas and cooperate with local authorities in epidemic control.
China Daily: Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Monday said that President Rodrigo Duterte has a standing order to the military and the Philippines would not join navies of other countries in maritime drills in the South China Sea for fear of raising tension in the area. The Philippines stays committed to resolving relevant disputes through peaceful and legal means and hopes to develop friendly relations with China. China and the Philippines have conducted exchanges in epidemic control, people-to-people exchange and military. It is believed that the two countries will gradually resume exchanges in various fields after the pandemic is overcome. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: This statement once again reflects the independent foreign policy of the Philippines and the common aspiration of countries in the region to pursue peace and development. This fully demonstrates that certain non-regional countries’ attempt to stir up trouble and create tension in the South China Sea goes against the will of regional countries and is unpopular.
At present, China and ASEAN countries, including the Philippines, are focusing on fighting the epidemic and restoring economic growth. What we need is solidarity, coordination, peace and stability. I’m pleased to tell you that, thanks to the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, two-way trade and investment grew in the first half of this year, showing a strong momentum of development despite difficulties. The two sides have opened a fast-track for personnel exchanges and a green channel for flow of goods, which has boosted the resumption of work and production and smooth operation of industrial and supply chains. China is confident in working with countries in the region to overcome the challenge of the epidemic, maintain the sound momentum of development and safeguard the common well-being of the people in the region.
NHK: US Secretary of State Pompeo said in a statement that Chinese authorities have reportedly issued arrest warrants for six residents outside of China, including a US citizen, which is the long arm of Beijing’s authoritarianism. Do you have any response to that?
Wang Wenbin: Peompeo has made so many wrong remarks and groundless accusations on Hong Kong-related issues and on China’s rightful decision to uphold national security in accordance with law. His politically-motivated lies have no facts in them at all. Our solemn position has been made clear many times.
Issuing arrest warrants for crime suspects is part of legitimate law enforcement and what police in every country do to bring offenders to justice. No external forces have any right to comment otherwise.
We urge Pompeo and his likes to abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, immediately stop making irresponsible remarks, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, including Hong Kong affairs, in any way.
AFP: The BBC published a video today showing someone that appears to be a Uighur man. The video apparently was shot in a training facility in Xinjiang and this man was filming himself. What’s your comment?
Wang Wenbin: I’m not aware of what you said. Since you mentioned it was a video clip released by BBC, it reminds me of another BBC video cut claiming that the Chinese government forced sterilization on Uighur women. But it turns out that the video has no facts in it at all and is entirely a fabricated lie.
As a principle, China is a rule-of-law country where the citizens’ legal rights and interests are protected and crimes cracked down on in accordance with law. All are equal before the law.
Xinjiang is enjoying sustained economic development, social stability, better living standards, unprecedented cultural vivacity and a harmonious coexistence of religions. Xinjiang-related issues are never about human rights, ethnicity or religion, but about counter-terrorism, anti-separatism and de-radicalization. The government of Xinjiang Autonomous Region lawfully has fought violent and terrorist crimes while addressing the root causes and advancing de-radicalization. These measures have proven effective. Over the past three years and more, there has not been a single violent terrorist case in Xinjiang. They have safeguarded to the greatest extent possible the fundamental rights of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, including their rights to life, health and development, thus fully supported and endorsed by people in Xinjiang.
As to the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang you mentioned, I would like to say that the rights and freedoms of all trainees are fully and truly safeguarded during their training.
The Global Times: According to ABC News, the National Foundation for Australia-China Relations, a body meant to strengthen engagement between the two countries has been plagued by a scandal recently. Among the advisory board members appointed by the foreign minister, two have been funded by the US Department of State and one is even a member of the anti-China cult Falun Gong. How do you comment on that?
Wang Wenbin: I noted relevant reports. If the Australian side does hope this institution will play a positive role in enhancing mutual trust and expanding exchange and cooperation with China, it shouldn’t allow anti-China elements to be part of it. Such arrangement runs contrary to the original purpose and mission of the Foundation and sends gravely wrong message to the outside world. We hope the Australian side will immediately rectify its wrongdoing, demonstrate sincerity and contribute more to mutual trust and cooperation between the two sides, rather than doing the opposite.
We also noted that a flurry of media reports recently revealed that those Australian institutions and individuals taking the lead in fueling hostility towards China have received funding from the US government. We hope the Australian side will face up to these facts, discard double stands and ideological bias when talking about “counter foreign influence” and “foreign influence transparency” and refrain from political manipulation and acting in a selective and discriminatory way.
South China Morning Post: Pakistani President yesterday showed a new map which identifies the Pakistan-occupied part of Kashmir as a disputed territory. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I just stated China’s position on the Kashmir issue and am not going to repeat that.
AFP: Pompeo said yesterday that he will protect all Hong Kong activists that are currently outside China, including the Hong Kong activists who are wanted by the Chinese authorities. Did China protest to the US side after these Pompeo’s comments?
Wang Wenbin: Pompeo has made so many wrong remarks on Hong Kong-related issues. We urge Pompeo and his likes to abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, immediately stop making irresponsible remarks, and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, including Hong Kong affairs, in any way.