Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on August 27, 2020
Xinhua News Agency: The US State Department and Commerce Department imposed sanctions on Chinese companies and citizens “responsible for or complicit in militarization of and illegal activities in the South China Sea”. What is your response?
Zhao Lijian: China’s construction activities on its own territory are entirely within its sovereignty and have nothing to do with militarization. The participation of Chinese companies and individuals in domestic construction activities is legitimate, lawful and beyond reproach.
It is unjustified for the US to impose sanctions on Chinese companies and individuals for their involvement in relevant construction activities in their own country. The move by the US side grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and violates international law and basic norms governing international relations. It is hegemonistic logic and power politics that are at play here. China is firmly opposed to this. We urge the US to correct its mistake and immediately stop meddling in China’s internal affairs.
China will take firm measures to safeguard Chinese businesses and citizens’ lawful interests.
Kyodo News: According to the South China Morning Post, the PLA test fired missiles on August 26. Can you confirm this?
Zhao Lijian: I don’t have anything on this and refer you to the competent authority.
Reuters: The US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said during a visit to Hawaii on Wednesday that China has not lived up to its promises to abide by international law, rules and norms in regard to its military activities. He added that the US has a responsibility to lead in the Pacific and won’t cede an inch to other countries. What’s the ministry’s comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: The US politician’s remarks on China are completely groundless. China firmly upholds the international system with the United Nations at its core and an international order based on international law, including a series of international conventions signed within the UN framework. China actively advocates a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, develops all-round friendship and cooperation with other countries, and establishes a global network of partnerships. China is committed to building a community with a shared future for mankind. It advocates an international order that features fairness and justice and calls for global cooperation through extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits and for upholding justice while pursuing shared interests. It has all along worked to safeguard the norms governing international relations, the multilateral system and stability of the international order.
The United States, however, always applies international law in a selective way. It has withdrawn from more than ten international treaties and organizations, severely undermining international fairness and justice, as well as peace, stability and development in the world.
China Daily: On August 26, Iran and the IAEA issued a joint statement. The two sides reached an agreement on the resolution of the safeguards implementation issues specified by the IAEA, and Iran is voluntarily providing the IAEA with access to two locations. Does China have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: China welcomes and applauds that the IAEA and Iran reached an agreement on the resolution of the safeguards implementation issues after friendly consultations. We hope the two sides will continue working toward the same direction and faithfully implement this agreement. We also call on all relevant sides to make constructive efforts in this regard.
Facts have shown time and again that unilateral bullying only exacerbates confrontation, while differences can only be narrowed through equal-footed dialogue. It is proved to be so on the safeguards implementation issues, and it is the same with other matters related to the Iranian nuclear issue. Under the current circumstances, all pertinent countries should keep to the right direction, staunchly uphold the authority and efficacy of the JCPOA and the UNSCR 2231, and work for the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue.
NHK: Speaker of the upper house of the Czech Parliament will visit Taiwan soon and meet with “President” Tsai Ing-wen. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: First I need to correct you on one point. We only recognize the person you mentioned as the leader of the Taiwan region.
China firmly opposes any form of official exchanges between countries having diplomatic ties with China and the Taiwan region of China. This position is consistent and clear. Despite China’s solemn representation and Czech Republic’s mainstream public opinion and official stance on the one-China policy, this politician, in pursuit of self-interest, insisted on making this so-called “visit” to the Taiwan region, which constitutes a deliberate sabotage of the political basis for bilateral relations. China condemns such despicable behavior and urges the Czech side to abide by the one-China principle and correctly and prudently handle Taiwan-related issues.
The Paper: On August 26, the American Chamber (AmCham) in Shanghai said nearly 90% of the respondents to a survey it conducted of firms subject to US jurisdiction this week expected negative impact on operations stemming from Washington’s planned ban on Chinese messaging app WeChat. AmCham Shanghai said over a third of respondents to its survey said the WeChat ban could lead to a loss of global revenue. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: I have taken note of the survey results. Many Chinese people are saying they may stop using iPhone if WeChat is banned in the US. Under the guise of “national security”, some US politicians have abused state power to unjustifiably suppress non-US companies. Such act of piracy has done harm to the rights and interests of consumers and businesses in the US and other countries, and it is bound to be opposed and resisted by the international community.
I would like to stress that some US politicians hunting down WeChat and non-US companies is in essence an attempt to pin an ideological label on them and is organized and systematic economic bullying of non-US companies that take the lead in a certain field. This is a denial of the principle of market economy and fair competition that the US has always flaunted. It tramples on international rules and undermines the exchanges and cooperation in science, technology and innovation among countries riding the tide of globalization. In their eyes, the so-called “Internet liberalization” is nothing but the “Americanization of the Internet”. The term “national security” is simply a byword for “American double standards”.
The international community has long been acutely aware of the actions of some US politicians who put the normal operation of the Internet at risk by putting their own political interests above market principles and international rules.
China News Service: In his speech via videolink to the Republican National Congress on August 25, US Secretary of State Pompeo said that President Trump “has pulled back the curtain on the predatory aggression of the CPC... held China accountable for covering up the China virus and allowing it to spread around the world”. He will not rest until justice is done. What is China’s comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: “Until justice is done”, really? As a person who arbitrarily smears other countries, lies and steals with a stubborn Cold-War and zero-sum game mindset, is he in any way qualified to talk about “justice”?
Every time Pompeo opens his mouth, the international community sees with greater clarity who is peddling lies, disinformation and Cold-War mentality and who is upholding world peace, global development and international order. Every time Pompeo opens his mouth, the Chinese people support the Communist Party of China more and love the motherland more. The CPC and the Chinese people are always there for each other. No one can cut off the flesh and blood ties between the CPC and the Chinese people. And no one can break the CPC without breaking the Chinese people!
I have something to say to Pompeo: Your arrogance and prejudice, your lies and rumors are more than enough. Show your respect for facts and truth, otherwise you will find yourself spurned by everyone.
Reuters: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has proposed new legislation that would give the Australian federal government the authority to regulate all agreements the state and territory governments make with foreign governments. If the proposal passes, a controversial Belt and Road trade agreement with the Australian state of Victoria and the Chinese government will almost certainly be scrapped. What’s the ministry’s comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: I have noted relevant reports. I must point out that the Belt and Road Initiative offers a platform for economic cooperation, follows the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and upholds the values of openness, inclusiveness and transparency. It has delivered tangible benefits to peoples along the route. The successful practices between China and the Victoria State on BRI cooperation have greatly improved the well-being of the two peoples. We hope that the Australian side will view China-Australia cooperation and BRI in an objective and rational way, place no man-made hurdles for normal exchanges and cooperation and work for, not against, mutual trust and mutual benefit between the two sides.
Shenzhen TV: Jacob Blake, an African-American man, was shot by the police in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Demonstrations over the shooting have swept many cities and towns in the US. At least one person was killed and two were wounded during the protests in the city of Kenosha. Eleven were arrested by the police. Wisconsin has declared a state of emergency. I wonder what is China’s comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: Similar incidents that recently took place in the US have caught wider attention from the international community. In June, the UN Human Rights Council held an urgent debate and adopted a resolution that strongly condemned the killing of George Floyd on May 25 and called on the US to take measures to protect the human rights and basic freedoms of African descendants.
We hope the US can heed the call for equality and justice from ethnic minorities in the country and the international community’s concerns over its human rights conditions, take the severe racial discrimination issue seriously and address it properly.
Reuters: China’s maritime police reported on their Weibo account last night that over ten people were arrested on a boat for attempting to leave China illegally. Can the ministry provide any clarity on this?
Zhao Lijian: I’m not aware of it and refer you to competent authorities.