Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference on December 10, 2020
CCTV: After the United States announced sanctions on 14 vice chairpersons of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress on December 8, China vowed to take countermeasures. What are these measures specifically?
Hua Chunying: As the U.S. side exploits issues relating to Hong Kong to gravely interfere in China’s internal affairs and harm China’s core interests, the Chinese side decides to impose reciprocal sanctions on U.S. officials of executive branch, people of Congress and NGOs who act egregiously and bear major responsibilities on Hong Kong-related issues and their immediate family members. China also decides to revoke visa exemption treatment for U.S. diplomatic passport holders paying temporary visits to Hong Kong and Macao.
China once again urges the U.S. side to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs and not to go down the dangerous wrong path.
Hubei TV: On December 8, Hubei Province donated a batch of epidemic prevention supplies to Mongolia who is in the midst of a fierce battle against the pandemic. Before that, Mongolia had donated 30,000 sheep to China as a show of support. What is China’s comment?
Hua Chunying: China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors connected by mountains and rivers. Since COVID-19 broke out, the two sides have worked hand in hand to fight the pandemic and achieved positive results. The Mongolian side donating 30,000 sheep is one of the many touching moments in our joint battle against the virus and one the many manifestations of our deep-running friendship.
Mongolia has recently been confronted with rising pressure in epidemic control as the pandemic situation there worsens, and it has an urgent need for anti-epidemic materials. The Chinese nation has the tradition of returning favors. We know Mongolia is having a difficult moment. So, Hubei and Inner Mongolia and other places have jumped into action. They’ve donated money and supplies. The nucleic acid testing equipment and reagents donated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have already arrived in Mongolia and are now put into use. All these are vivid examples of efforts to build a community with a shared future and a community of common health.
We believe that people in Mongolia will defeat the virus. China is willing to offer Mongolia as much help as we can in accordance with its needs.
Hubei TV: According to reports, celebrity panda Xiang Xiang in Japan’s Ueno Zoo will be sent back to China at the end of the month. Upon learning the news, many people in Ueno have been bidding farewell to Xiang Xiang and many Japanese netizens are saying how hard it is to say goodbye. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: Indeed lately Xiang Xiang has been the on the mind of many, especially in Japan. Today Fuji TV asked us about her possible departure. We have contacted relevant department for information. Since its launch in February 2011, the giant panda cooperative research project between the Chinese side and Tokyo has been progressing smoothly, achieving fruitful outcomes in giant panda protection, breeding, scientific research, technology exchange and public education, and bringing much joy to the Japanese people. We fully understand how hard it is for the Japanese people to say goodbye to Xiang Xiang. We would like to thank the Japanese people, in particular, the Ueno Zoo, for taking such good care of her. The cute cuddly pandas have brought so much joy to the Japanese people, especially the children. As ambassadors for friendship, they have made unique contributions to advancing the two people’s friendly ties.
To my knowledge, due to COVID-19, it will be very difficult for Xiang Xiang to be returned to China by the end of this year as originally planned. The cooperating authorities on the two sides, giving full consideration to the cub’s safety and health, are consulting to set the date for her return. I believe good news will be released soon.
FSN: Today marks two years since the two Michaels were arrested in China. Reports have said that the U.S. prosecutors are in the process of making some sort of deal to resolve criminal charges against Meng Wanzhou and that she might be able to return to China. Can you tell us if that happens, will the two Michaels be returned to Canada?
Hua Chunying: You are very concerned about when they can get back home. So are we for Ms. Meng Wanzhou’s safe return. Her case is of a completely different nature from the cases you mentioned. As I said earlier, Meng Wanzhou incident is a political one in and out while the two Canadian citizens were arrested, prosecuted and will be tried for suspected crimes endangering China’s national security. The entire process is completely in accordance with law and the two Canadians’ lawful rights have been guaranteed.
AFP: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged American universities to scrutinize China’s assistance and students. He warns that China wants to steal innovation. Does the foreign ministry have any comments?
Hua Chunying: I’ve noted relevant reports as well as the criticism by the two American universities on Pompeo’s remarks, namely, his attacks were completely wrong, disgraceful and intolerable. I believe you have seen the report.
Pompeo’s speech, filled with ideological bias, brazenly smears China and the CPC and stigmatizes China-U.S. education exchange. It fully exposed his malign intent to deliberately sabotage China-US friendship and cooperation.
I must point out that education exchange has helped enhanced the two peoples’ mutual understanding. Relevant cooperation, mutually beneficial, above-board and beyond reproach, has been welcomed by the American academic community and public. Pompeo’s acts are clearly deeply unpopular.
We once again urge the likes of Pompeo to respect facts and stop fabricating and spreading falsehoods.
Xinhua News Agency: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a video conference meeting of the Russian International Affairs Council on December 8 that western powers refuse to accept the objective reality that a multi-polar world is taking shape and are trying to pull countries except for China and Russia into a unipolar world order under the leadership of the United States, but China and Russia, as poles themselves, will not succumb to this attempt. Do you have a comment?
Hua Chunying: Foreign Minister Lavrov’s view on not succumbing to a unipolar world order represents the will of many countries. At present, unilateralism is disrupting international order, bullying practices are challenging norms of international relations, and world peace, stability, international fairness and justice are faced with realistic threats and severe challenges. Solidarity and win-win cooperation instead of division and zero-sum confrontation, and a more just and reasonable international order is the shared aspiration of the vast majority of countries in the world including China and Russia, especially developing countries.
As President Xi Jinping once stated, there is only one system in the world, and it is the UN-centered international order; there is only one set of rules, and it is the basic norms governing international relations with the UN Charter as its cornerstone. We believe that countries are all equal regardless of size, which is the primary principle of the UN Charter. No country has the right to singlehandedly handle international affairs, control others’ destiny and monopolize development edges. Bullies seeking supremacy will only end up friendless. Inciting confrontation and stoking division is a counter current bound to fail.
Today, with rising global challenges, international affairs should be addressed through consultation and countries should work together to safeguard common security, share development outcomes and jointly take the world’s future in our hands. China always believes that all countries are in one community sharing weal and woe. We stand ready to work with Russia and other countries to jointly safeguard multilateralism, international fairness and justice.
AFP: Hong Kong activist Nathan Law held his first meeting with the British minister yesterday. He said the British National Overseas passports scheme means a lot to Hong Kong people for gradually losing their freedoms. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?
Hua Chunying: This individual you mentioned can hardly speak for the people of Hong Kong. Since the national security law was implemented in Hong Kong, the local legal system has been improved, social order stabilized, and the sense of security of residents, including foreign nationals, increased. Stability, security, solidarity and development have become the consensus of the whole society. Recent poll results show that over 80 percent of Hong Kong residents believe their daily life remains unaffected after the law was enacted, and about 70 percent think it is conducive to restoring social stability. The positive effects of the law have been witnessed by all and cannot be denied. There is every confidence in the future development of Hong Kong.
A few claim their freedom has been affected, but I think the freedom they are talking about is the freedom to do whatever they want to undermine Hong Kong’s rule of law and stability. I stress that Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs where no country, organization or individual has any right to interfere. we hope certain external elements will give up their attempts to meddle in Hong Kong affairs through political manipulation.
The Paper: Today is the World Human Rights Day. A few western countries raised concerns about China’s human rights conditions. Do you have a response?
Hua Chunying: One must stick to facts and be objective in assessing a country’s human rights conditions.
The Chinese government, committed to a people-centered human rights concept, attaches high importance to protecting and promoting human rights, which has been enshrined in the CPC’s constitution, the country’s constitution and national development plans. We take the right to subsistence and development as the primary human right and take a coordinated approach to advance political, economic, cultural and environmental rights, blazing a successful path of human rights development in keeping with our national realities.
We have ensured subsistence for 1.4 billion people, lifted more than 850 million out of poverty, provided employment for 770 million, woven a basic security net for 250 million elderly people, 85 million disabled and 43 million low-income residents in urban and rural areas, and put in place the world’s biggest systems of education, social security, medical care and community-based institutions of democracy. In the face of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, the Chinese government puts people and life front and center, makes the best effort possible to protect people’s safety and health, and safeguard every life’s value and dignity. The recently concluded fifth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China reviewed and adopted proposals for the formulation of the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025) for National Economic and Social Development and the Long-Range Objectives Through the Year 2035. As we begin a new journey toward building a modern socialist country in all respects, the Chinese people’s human rights will be better protected.
CNR: The 60th anniversary of Chinese-African People’s Friendship Association (CAPFA) was held yesterday. What is the special significance of friendly interaction between China and Africa in the context of the pandemic situation?
Hua Chunying: First of all, thank you for your interests in CAPFA news. I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate CAPFA again on its 60th anniversary. In China we say everything is smooth sailing after the 60th threshold. In the same vein, China-Africa friendship and cooperation have entered a mature stage.
CAPFA was the first national non-governmental organization established by China to specialize in people-to-people diplomacy regarding Africa. Its establishment coincided with the critical moment of national independence for the people of all countries in Africa. It stands as a reflection of the Chinese and African people sharing their weal and woe and helping each other with solidarity. Over the past 60 years, CAPFA, as a witness and contributor to the friendship between the Chinese and African people, has served as a backbone to develop amicable feelings between the two sides.
Yesterday, the 60th anniversary celebration was attended by Li Bin, vice chairman of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and CAPFA chairman who also delivered a speech. diplomatic envoys and representatives of African countries, or about 200 people, attended the event. The vice president of Uganda and the former prime minister of Tanzania and many other African friends have sent congratulatory messages to the event, praising the important contribution made by CAPFA to promoting the traditional friendship between China and Africa and promoting mutual benefit and win-win results, and all thanked the Chinese people for working together with the African people to fight the pandemic.
Last month, we just celebrated the 20th anniversary of the founding of FOCAC. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi put forward four proposals on how to adapt to the current situation and how China-Africa cooperation can continue to upgrade. Today, the 14th meeting of FOCAC senior officials was held in Beijing. China will work with African friends to implement outcomes reached at the Beijing Summit and the China-Africa Extraordinary Summit on Solidarity against COVID-19 and strengthen BRI cooperation to better benefit the Chinese and African people.
Beijing Daily: Der Tagesspiegel criticized China’s “wolf-warrior diplomacy” in an article titled “China’s Wolf-warrior” on December 8, using an image of Chinese character “杈(pitchfork)”, apparently a misspelling of “权(power)”. The report said that the German parliament’s human rights committee held a so-called hearing on China’s human rights on November 18, which was denounced by the Chinese embassy. It slammed China’s “strong reaction”, citing Green Party’s anti-China lawmaker Margarete Bause’s words that Chinese diplomats become more aggressive and China is pursuing “wolf-warrior diplomacy”. What’s your response?
Hua Chunying: I noted that German newspaper misspelled “权(power)” as “杈(pitchfork)”, which was ridiculed by the Chinese media. But such goof doesn’t surprise me at all, because there are some people who like to harp at China and criticize China as if they were China experts, when in fact, they know nothing about China.
As for “wolf-warrior diplomacy”, I would like to ask those who accuse China of “wolf-warrior diplomacy”: have they ever watched Disney’s animated film The Lion King? What do they think of that lovely little lion, Simba, who has grown up with all the suspicion, blame, and hardships as company?
If you may recall those things that happened between China and some other countries in recent period of time, which time and which one was caused by China’s provocation in the first place? Which time and in which case was China interfering in other countries’ internal affairs? Which time and in which case was China threatening or damaging the interests of other countries?
Whether it is labeling the virus, politicizing the epidemic, stigmatizing China, or abusing the concept of national security to arbitrarily suppress Chinese enterprises and undermine normal people-to-people and cultural exchanges, economic, trade and scientific cooperation; whether it is interfering in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of the so-called human rights, democracy, freedom, or defying basic norms of international relations, viciously attacking China’s political system and imposing wantonly unilateral sanctions, how can anyone think China has no right to speak the truth while they have every right to slander, attack, smear and hurt China? Do they think that China, as a sovereign state, doesn’t have the right to safeguard its own sovereignty, security, development interests and national dignity and honor, while every citizen has the right to exercise justifiable defense in accordance with the law? Do they think that China has no choice but the silence of the lambs while they are unscrupulously lashing out at the country with trumped-up charges?
When I was a kid, there was a very popular TV show in China, Huo Yuanjia, and its theme song had a line that said, “Cowardliness and forbearance only emboldens their arrogance”. In essence, the criticism of “wolf-warrior diplomacy” is just another version of the “China threat theory” and a discourse trap tailor-made for China. Those critics have been habitually lecturing on China in a condescending manner, and still can’t take any refutation. Their aim is to preempt China from fighting back. By putting this label on China, they are threatening and blackmailing China into giving up its right to tell the truth.
But these people should understand that China is not the same as it was 100 years ago. China is never a bully, and the Chinese people have principles and backbone. China’s diplomacy represents and defends the interests and dignity of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, or one fifth of the world’s population. On major issues of principle that bear on China’s sovereignty, security, development interests and international fairness and justice, China’s diplomacy must resolutely and forcefully fight back all malicious provocations, vigorously defend national interests and dignity, and safeguard international fairness and justice.
I would like to stress that China has always adhered to an independent foreign policy of peace. Aggressiveness is not our tradition, neither is bending our knee. In the face of hegemony and bullying, Mao Zedong once said, “We will not attack unless we are attacked, if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack.” China does not provoke trouble, but will never flinch when trouble comes their way. We will not yield to coercion and blackmailing. If some people call China’s diplomacy “wolf-warrior diplomacy” just because we fight back and speak the truth in the face of unscrupulous attacks, slanders and denigration, I don’t see any problem in living with that “wolf-warrior” title, as long as we are fighting for China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, national dignity and honor, and international fairness and justice.