Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying’s Regular Press Conference on January 21, 2021
CCTV: United Nations Secretary General António Guterres officially announced his bid for reelection in a letter to the rotating president of the UN Security Council and the president of the UN General Assembly. Does China support his reelection?
Hua Chunying: As the most universal, representative and authoritative inter-governmental organization, the UN has made important contributions and played an irreplaceable role over the past 70 years and more in upholding world peace and development. As the world undergoes unprecedented changes, the pandemic still wreaks havoc worldwide, and the UN-centered international system comes under severe impact, the international community should uphold more than ever multilateralism, the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the core role of the UN in international affairs.
Mr. Guterres, since assuming the role of Secretary General, has been working actively in leading the UN to protect world peace and security, promote sustainable development, and unite all countries in the global fight against the pandemic. China speaks highly of this and believes he is the right person for the job going forward. Together with the international community, we stand ready to continue to offer our support to the UN and Secretary General Guterres for the common cause of world peace and development and the building of a community with a shared future for all mankind.
HRTN: More than 400,000 Americans have died of COVID-19. A memorial was held in Washington, D.C. on the night of January 19. As we noticed, President Biden said in his inauguration speech that the United States is “entering what may be the darkest and deadliest period of the virus,” and that “we need all our strength to... persevere through this dark winter.” Do you have any comment on this?
Hua Chunying: We note the reports. We also grieve for the lives lost to the pandemic.
The pandemic is a common challenge to all humankind. As President Xi Jinping pointed out on various occasions, solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon to defeat COVID-19. Besides preventing and containing the virus at home, we have launched the largest global humanitarian campaign since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, cooperating with all parties to enhance international anti-epidemic efforts. We have also been supporting and helping the American people as much as we can. According to preliminary statistics from Chinese authorities, from March 1, 2020 to January 10, 2021, through exports, donations and other means, China provided the United States with more than 42.02 billion masks, over 900 million pairs of surgical gloves, 780 million protective suits, 50.66 million pairs of goggles, 15,648 non-invasive ventilators and 257 invasive ones. Chinese provinces, cities, friendly groups, non-governmental organizations and companies also donated lots of medical supplies to the U.S. side.
The pandemic is still spreading across the world, and we noticed the severe situation in the United States. The victory of the global fight against COVID-19 cannot be achieved until the virus is eliminated in the last country. China will continue strengthening anti-epidemic cooperation with the international community including the United States, and supporting the United States in its fight to the best of our capability.
Bloomberg: The U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman called China’s sanctions on Trump officials “unproductive”. She said that President Biden is looking forward to working with leaders in both parties to position America to out-compete China. What is the foreign ministry’s comment?
Hua Chunying: China’s decision to impose sanctions on these U.S. individuals is a legitimate and necessary response to their erroneous behaviors that severely violated China’s sovereignty, security and development interests on China-related issues. It fully demonstrates the Chinese government’s determination to safeguard national interests.
I must stress that in the past few years, out of selfish political agenda and bias and hatred against China, some anti-China politicians in the United States planned, worked on and made a lot of crazy moves that severely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, hurt the Chinese people’s sentiments, and damaged China-U.S. relations. China has pointed out multiple times that these anti-China politicians will pay for their crazy acts.
We hope the new U.S. administration will view China and China-U.S. relations in an objective and rational manner, take into account the well-being of Chinese and American people, meet China halfway, uphold the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, focus on cooperation, manage differences, and bring China-U.S. relations back onto the track of sound and stable development.
Phoenix TV: As President Biden takes office, three Chinese telecom companies submitted written requests demanding a review of NYSE’s decision to delist them. Do you have a comment?
Hua Chunying: Relevant regulatory authorities on the Chinese side already responded to the NYSE’s delisting decision. The three Chinese companies have been issuing ADR and trading on the NYSE for nearly or over 20 years. They’ve been complying with the rules and regulatory requirements of the US securities market, earning recognition from investors worldwide. The NYSE initiating delisting procedures on these companies is a direct result of the Trump administration’s executive order on what it called companies with links to the Chinese military. Such a politically-motivated executive order shows no regard for the real situations regarding the relevant companies and legitimate rights and interests of investors worldwide and seriously undermines normal market rules and order. The Chinese side supports the three companies in protecting their rights and interests in accordance with law.
Shenzhen TV: At the UN Third Cycle of Universal Periodic Review of Human Rights on Australia, China’s representative submitted five recommendations. Can you confirm it? What prompted China to raise these recommendations?
Hua Chunying: Representatives from various countries including China made criticism or recommendations at the deliberation of the UPR Working Group of the UN Human Rights Council on the human rights situation in Australia. China’s representative proposed that Australia should take actions to combat racial discrimination, hate speech and violence and protect the rights of ethnic minorities; protect the rights of migrants and close offshore detention centers for migrants; carry out a thorough investigation into alleged war crimes by Australian special forces operating overseas, bring perpetrators to justice, end impunity and prevent recurrence of these crimes; eliminate systemic discrimination and violent actions against indigenous Australians; and stop using disinformation and making politically-motivated and groundless accusations against other countries. We hope that Australia will take the opinions of the international community seriously, face its human rights issues squarely, and take concrete measures to improve its human rights situation and contribute to the sound development of the global human rights cause.
Reuters: Was the Chinese ambassador invited to President Biden’s inauguration ceremony? “Taiwan’s representative to the United States” attended the ceremony. I wonder what’s your comment?
Hua Chunying: The Chinese embassy has received invitation to attend President Biden’s inauguration ceremony. The Chinese side has extended congratulations to President Biden.
China’s position is very clear and consistent. We are firmly against official interactions between the United States and the Taiwan region. We urge the United States to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, prudently and properly handle issues relating to Taiwan and avoid undermining bilateral relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
CRI: The Constitutional Court of the Central African Republic announced the official result of the presidential election. Candidate of the ruling United Hearts Movement (MCU) and incumbent President Faustin-Archange Touadera won the election with 53.16 percent of the vote. What is China’s comment?
Hua Chunying: The Chinese side has noted the recently-announced official result of the general election in CAR. We congratulates President Touadera on his re-election and believe that under his leadership, the CAR government and people will score new achievements on its path of peaceful rebuilding and national development.
CAR is China’s good friend, good partner and good brother in Africa. China stands ready to work with CAR to further consolidate friendship and mutual trust, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, and elevate bilateral relations to a higher level.
Reuters: Twitter has reportedly banned the account of the Chinese Embassy in the United States for violating its policy on dehumanization in relation to a tweet where the embassy said that in the process of eradicating extremism, the minds of Uyghur women in Xinjiang were emancipated and they are no longer baby-making machines. What’s the ministry’s position on this policy move by Twitter?
Hua Chunying: We noted the restriction Twitter has placed on the account of the Chinese embassy in the US. Its regulatory rules has come under much public attention. We also have concerns over this.
I’m sure you’ve all noticed how the United States is suffering under the severe impact of swarming conspiracy theories and disinformation on social media. China is also a major victim. As there is so much ugly disinformation on China’s Xinjiang, the Chinese embassy in the US naturally has the responsibility and obligation to clarify things and present the truth.
We find Twitter’s restriction on the embassy account baffling and hope it will uphold the principle of objectivity and impartiality instead of applying double standard. Greater efforts should be made to distinguish between disinformation, rumors and lies from facts and truth.
Lianhe Zaobao: China has announced sanctions on 28 persons on the U.S. side, but your press release only listed 10 names, so I wonder if you tell us the other names?
Hua Chunying: We have announced sanctions on U.S. persons who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such U.S. moves on China-related issues. Those who are guilty know it only too well.
NHK: US President Joe Biden was sworn in today. What is China’s expectation for the development of China-US relations? President Biden has also signed a number of executive orders, including on the US return to the Paris Agreement and World Health Organization (WHO). What is China’s comment on this?
Hua Chunying: We congratulate President Biden on taking office. I’ve noticed that the American media say this turns a new page in American history. This morning, as I watched the fireworks display and heard the crowd cheering at the inauguration party, I did feel somewhat emotional. Indeed, it has been a very rough patch. After going though the trying days, the people of China and the United States deserve a better future, and we wish President Biden every success in state governance.
I noticed that President Biden has repeatedly stressed the term “unity” in his inaugural address, which is precisely what’s needed in current China-US relations. Because over the past four years, a small number of anti-China politicians in the United States have lied too much out of their own political interests and incited too much hatred and division, and the people of both countries have all suffered because of it. Many people of insight from China, the United States, and the international community, all hope China-US relations will get back to the right track at an early date, and the two sides can work together to meet the major pressing challenges facing the world today.
Due to differences in social system, stage of development, history and culture, it is normal for China and the United States to have some differences. But as President Biden said in his inaugural address, democracy allows disagreement gg “Disagreement must not lead to disunion”. I think this should also be reflected in international relations. Countries with different social systems, cultural backgrounds and ideologies should and are fully able to coexist in harmony, engage in dialogue and cooperation, and jointly work for world peace, stability and development.
President Biden also mentioned that the United States “has too much to heal, much to restore”. The same is true of China-US relations. In the past few years, the Trump administration, especially Pompeo, has laid too many mines, burned too many bridges and destroyed too many roads in China-US relations, which are waiting to be cleared, rebuilt and repaired. I think both China and the United States need to show courage and wisdom, truly hear, see and show respect to one another. This is what we should do as two major powers. This is also what the international community wishes to see. “We believe anything’s possible if we set our mind to it.” I believe that with the joint efforts of both sides, the “better angels” in China-US relations can overcome forces for evil.
China welcomes the return of the United States to the Paris Agreement, and we look forward to its positive contributions to combating climate change. The Paris Agreement is a result of multilateralism, which brings together countries around the world, strengthens the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and is an important legal instrument to guide post-2020 international cooperation on climate change. China is willing to work with the US side and the international community to meet common challenges, jointly promote the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement, work together to build a win-win, fair and reasonable climate governance system, and contribute to the global low-carbon transformation and green post-pandemic recovery.
With regard to the retraction of the U.S. withdrawal from WHO, we all know that WHO is a specialized institution in the field of international health and plays an important leading and coordinating role in international anti-epidemic cooperation. China always maintains that all countries should actively support WHO’s work and jointly safeguard international public health security. In particular, against the grim situation of the raging COVID-19 pandemic, we welcome the return of the United States to WHO, and we are willing to strengthen cooperation with the United States and other countries.
Reuters: That was a very positive summary of China-U.S. relationship, though it’s impossible to ignore that on Biden’s first day in office, his administration did several things that are potential warnings in the relationship. You’ve mentioned Taiwanese attendance at his inauguration as well as condemnation of the sanctions. Is there anything that the Chinese side is concerned about in the upcoming administration?
Hua Chunying: The importance of China-U.S. relations is self-evident. In the past few years, as you witnessed, some extremely anti-China and anti-Communist politicians of the Trump administration, represented by Pompeo, caused severe difficulties in China-U.S. relations by meddling in China’s internal affairs and undermining China’s sovereignty, security and development interests. It doesn’t serve the interests and or meet the aspirations of Chinese and American people at all. In fact, many countries don’t want to see that either. They hope China and the United States, the two largest economies and UNSC permanent members, can cooperate and contribute to world peace and development, which will be great news for many. I think this point is shared by all.
China’s position on China-U.S. relations is consistent and clear. We have been stressing that China would like to strengthen dialogue and cooperation and properly manage differences following the spirit of non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. China hopes the United States will meet us halfway. There’s boundless potential in China-U.S. relations as long as we both demonstrate good faith and wisdom, truly hear what each other says, respect facts, and manage differences properly. That said, it is also our clear position that China will take firm reactions to all moves undermining our sovereignty, security and development interests.
Kyodo News: According to NDTV, satellite photos show China has constructed a new village in Arunachal Pradesh at the China-India border area. Is this true? Some analysts say this area has been under China’s actual control for a long time. Can you tell us something about this?
Hua Chunying: First, I’d like to tell you that China’s position on the east sector of the China-India boundary, or Zangnan (the southern part of China’s Tibet), is consistent and clear. We have never recognized the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh” illegally established on the Chinese territory.
China’s normal construction on its own territory is entirely a matter of sovereignty.
Bloomberg: We’re wondering if China plans to send a delegation to the US to meet with the Biden administration? Thank you.
Hua Chunying: I have no information to offer at this moment.