The Paper: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other US officials once again accused China of covering up the epidemic, saying that more people have died in China than in any other country. What is China’s comment?
Hua Chunying: Actions speak louder than words, and justice prevails. What is false can never be made true. As Zhong Nanshan said at the CCTV program “The First Class of the New Term”, the CPC and government have always adhered to the principle of “putting life first and the people first” and carried out epidemic prevention and control with a high sense of solidarity and responsibility and in a science-based manner. Under the strong leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people have united as one and ensured that China was able to achieve major strategic results in epidemic prevention and control within a short period of time, which can stand the test of time and history. China’s achievements in epidemic prevention and control have been further consolidated, important progress has been made in resuming work and production, and the economic and social order has been restored at a faster pace. These are plain facts. As stationed journalists in China, you must have had a good understanding of this during your stay. I have noticed that recently many friends from the media paid attention to the Wuhan Music Festival at a water park and the Qingdao Beer Festival, which are important signs that for the Chinese people, normal life is coming back.
By contrast, the US has been shifting the blame to China, trying to use this as a strategy to cover up its government’s incompetence, but its allegations are entirely groundless. On January 23, when China placed Wuhan under lockdown, the US declared only one confirmed case of COVID-19. On January 31, the United States suspended direct flights between China and the US. On February 2, the US closed its borders to all Chinese citizens, by which time the US announced there were just over 10 confirmed cases. The timeline is crystal clear. After China cut off the transmission path of the epidemic to the world, how did the US, boasting the richest medical resources and the most advanced medical technology, step by step became the most severely affected country in the world in just a few months? I have no intention and it’s inappropriate to comment too much. There have been a lot of American media reports on the US administration’s epidemic responses, and people from all walks of life in the US have let off their pent-up grievances. Yesterday, the US House Select Subcommittee on Coronavirus Crisis released reports obtained from the White House task force, which demonstrate what the administration’s officials told the public are in contradiction with those reports they issued, apparently an effort of cover-up. As Dr. Fauci said, numbers don’t lie. Every number indicates a life taken, and reminds us of his or her loved ones. The blaming tricks can only deceive some people for some time, but ultimately defeating the epidemic depends on science and respect for life. We hope the American politicians can realize this simple truth as soon as possible and fulfill their due responsibilities for their country and people.
Xinhua News Agency: Today marks the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War, and we noticed high-level commemorative events held in both China and Russia today. Have the two sides been coordinating on this?
Hua Chunying: Today marks the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. This morning, President Xi Jinping and other CPC and state leaders, together with representatives of various sectors in Beijing, laid wreaths of flowers to commemorate the martyrs at the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. Today President Xi and President Putin exchanged congratulatory messages. As you may have also known, Chinese and Russian ambassadors to the United States, Cui Tiankai and Anatoly Antonov, published a joint article. Another article was jointly published by Chinese Ambassador Zhang Hanhui to Russia and Russian Ambassador Andrey Denisov to China.
As President Xi Jinping pointed out, exactly 75 years ago, the victory of the Chinese people’s war of resistance against Japanese aggression and the victory of the Soviet Union against Japan demonstrated the final victory of the world anti-Fascist war. In the war that involved Asia, Europe, Africa and Oceania, over 100 million troops and civilians died or injured, the heaviest price the human race has ever paid. China and Russia, as the main theaters in Asia and Europe during the war, made tremendous sacrifices for and indelible contributions to its final victory. The two peoples fought together, forged unbreakable friendship and laid solid foundation for the high-level China-Russia ties.
The great victory 75 years ago is of special significance to China, Russia and the entire human history, and laid a foundation for the post-war international order. The UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law have played an irreplaceable role in peace, human progress and development since the war ended 75 years ago.
The world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. The great changes and the global pandemic affect the human society with wide-ranging impacts. The pandemic proves once again that all countries are closely intertwined. However, the world faces rising unilateralism, blatant bullying, a resurgence of Fascism and McCarthyism, and the deliberate attempts to drag the world back into turbulence, war and chaos. To safeguard the post-war international order which was won by people sacrificing their lives, and to safeguard international fairness and justice, we must uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity, and oppose arbitrary interference in other countries’ internal affairs. We must stick to peaceful settlement of disputes and reject the use or threat of force. We must abide by international law, fulfill international obligations, and oppose unilateralism and bullying practices. We must choose solidarity, cooperation and shared responsibility over division, confrontation and blame-shifting. Under the current circumstances, it is even more important for all sides to promote the correct view on WWII and oppose attempts at misrepresenting history or whitewashing Fascism and militarism.
As major victorious nations of the WWII and permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia share a special duty of safeguarding world peace and security and advancing human progress. China will continue working with Russia and other countries to firmly uphold the outcomes of the victory of the WWII, the status of the UN and multilateralism, and foster a community with a shared future for mankind.
Nihon Keizai Shimbun: The Chinese leader laid wreaths of flowers at the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, but he didn’t make a speech there. Can you tell us why? Is it because China expects improvement in China-Japan relations?
Hua Chunying: Today marks the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. This morning, President Xi Jinping and other CPC and state leaders, together with representatives of various sectors in Beijing, laid wreaths of flowers to commemorate the martyrs at the Museum of the War of Chinese People’s Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. Party and state leaders attend relevant events every year to commemorate this important moment in various ways.
Since China and Japan are neighbors that cannot be moved away, an improving China-Japan relationship certainly meets the aspiration of the two peoples as it will deliver greater benefits to both sides. This aspiration has been there all the time, which shouldn’t be subject to presumptions based on whether there’s a speech or not. Do you agree?
AFP: Do you have any comment on India’s decision yesterday to ban 118 Chinese apps citing national security reasons?
Hua Chunying: By banning these hi-tech, easy-to-use and popular apps, the Indian side is sacrificing first and foremost the rights and interests of the Indian users, and damaging those of Chinese companies. Therefore, no one gains from such an action.
I noticed that almost on the same day, the US State Department called on other countries to join India in carrying out the so-called “Clean Network” program. I wonder if there’s connection or coordination between India and the US on this issue. But India, as a country proudly possessing an ancient civilization, is wise enough to have known about Dirtbox, PRISM, Irritant Horn, Muscular and Undersea Cable Tapping. It knows fully well whether the US is clean or dirty when it comes to US policies and practices. Independence is so precious. We hope that the Indian side will stick to it. No short-sighted decisions shall be made to impede the long-term interests of the two countries and two peoples.
I’d like to add a few words. Recently, there have been unfriendly voices in India that raised concern for clear-eyed people in China and India. Both countries are close neighbors and proud of our civilizations. The start of our exchange and mutual learning can date back to over 1,000 years ago. The great Indian poet Tagore is very popular in China. He wrote, “We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us.” Yoga and Indian movies like “Dangal” are also very popular in China. However, it never crossed our mind that India is trying to infiltrate or pose any threat to our country.
We hope that India will attach importance to the two peoples’ friendship and long-term interests, and actively support bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
Kyodo News: First question, according to Japanese media reports, a Japanese press photographer was recently arrested in Hong Kong. It is said the photographer is a Hong Kong resident, and the Japanese government acknowledged this. Can you confirm it and give us more details? Second question, Taiwan “president” Tsai Ing-wen met with the Czech senate president today in Taipei. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: On your first question, I’m not aware of that.
On your second question regarding the Czech senate president’s visit to Taiwan, we have made clear China’s position in the past few days. The Czech senate president, in disregard of opposition from China and the Czech government, insistently visited China’s Taiwan region and outrageously supported the “Taiwan independence” forces, which is an open provocation. The one-China policy is an important political basis of the establishment and development of China-Czech diplomatic ties. We noticed that the Czech government also drew a line between them and the senate president, noting that what he has done doesn’t represent the government’s policy. We hope the Czech side can have a clear understanding of the damage he has caused to bilateral relations, and immediately take measures to eliminate the negative impact.
We solemnly inform the Taiwan authorities and the anti-China forces behind Vystrcil: your acts cannot alter the fact that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and your attempts of political manipulation and “Taiwan independence” separatist activities will never succeed.
I also want to correct you that when you mention Tsai Ing-wen in the future, please don’t refer to her as the Taiwan “president”. She’s merely a leader in China’s Taiwan region.
Prasar Bharati: Regarding the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ virtual meeting, is there any interaction between the foreign ministers of India and China? If there will be any separate conversation between them, will they talk about the ongoing India-China issues?
Hua Chunying: China and India are both members of BRICS, and tomorrow they will both attend the BRICS foreign ministers’ virtual meeting hosted by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov. Tomorrow’s meeting will focus on the current international situation and BRICS cooperation. I haven’t heard of any separate meeting between Chinese and Indian foreign ministers.
Bloomberg: The Trump administration is debating the scope and effective date of its bans on Chinese social media apps WeChat and TikTok and will likely make the decisions known around September 20. We are wondering if the foreign ministry has any comment on this?
Hua Chunying: It is an open secret that the policies and actions taken and may be taken by the US side on TikTok and WeChat have nothing to do with national security. They simply aim to cut open, bully and rob Chinese companies. Deep down, it is coerced transaction by government and public negation of the principles of market economy and fair competition that the US always flaunts. We have noted that TikTok and others have issued statements. We urge the US to correct its mistakes and stop unjustified suppression of Chinese companies.
For a long time, the US has been cracking down in unspeakable ways on specific Chinese companies by overstretching the concept of national security and abusing state power, while presenting no factual evidence to justify its actions. It gives us a good lesson on undisguised bullying. I know some people in the US call this a digital gunboat policy. But we are in a different era now, and China is capable of taking all necessary measures to firmly safeguard the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies.
Global Times: Commander of United States Indo-Pacific Command Phil Davidson said on September 2 that “An emboldened Communist Party of China seeks to change the world to one in which Chinese national power is more important than international law.” On the same day, US Secretary of State Pompeo once again accused China of violating the UNCLOS. We also noted that he announced sanctions against the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor and others investigating US war crimes in Afghanistan. The US government also said that it will not pay some $62 million it owes the World Health Organization in assessed contribution. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: The world has seen so clearly that it is the US that seeks to change the world to one in which its national power is above the international law. What the US has done is hypocrisy, hegemony and double standards at full display.
To uphold its maritime hegemony, the US hasn’t joined the UNCLOS so far, but it keeps accusing China of violating the UNCLOS. In order to prevent the ICC from probing into the US war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan, the US is now sanctioning the personnel of the ICC. The ICC dismissed these coercive measures as unprecedented, serious attacks against the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice, and the rule of law more generally. The US has wantonly walked away from international treaties and organizations. As of today, it has pulled out of over 10 international agreements. The latest example is the US announcement of withdrawal from the WHO and refusal to pay assessed contribution. It also owes more than two billion dollars in its share of the UN budget and peacekeeping funds.
People couldn’t help but wonder if the US in any way behaves like a responsible, normal major country. It is widely believed that the US has become the biggest destabilizing element to world peace and stability, and the biggest threat to international order and international rule of law. Ironically, however, policy makers and implementers in the US are feeling so good about themselves. We hope they can come to their senses as soon as possible.