|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Remarks on August 8, 2019|
Q: During his visit to Japan, US Secretary of Defense Esper said that China's military activity and calculated strategy of predatory economics violate the international rules-based order that Japan and the United States are trying to uphold. I wonder what your response might be?
A: Some people in the US are attaching various labels to China out of the Cold-War mentality and zero-sum game mindset while turning a blind eye to the basic facts. Such move is unfair, immoral and ill-intentioned.
First, China is committed to peaceful development and a defense policy that is defensive in nature. China is a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and an upholder of the international order. In contrast, the US owns hundreds of military bases worldwide, deploys hundreds of thousands of troops outside its own territory and has fought many wars in other countries. Being such a country that deploys troops and shows off force all over the world, the US has absolutely no reason or right to criticize other countries.
Second, China pursues the greater good and shared interests when conducting mutually beneficial cooperation with other developing countries. We do our best to provide assistance to them with no political strings attached. Our cooperation has effectively advanced local economic and social development and improved people's lives. It is warmly welcomed by developing countries.
As the Chinese saying goes, "Stand upright and your shadow will not be crooked." The world knows clearly who is breaking international rules and who is upholding them. The more efforts the US makes to smear China, the more its malicious intentions are revealed to the international community.
Q: US Vice President Pence attended the so-called International Religious Freedom Roundtable, during which he met certain people including representatives of anti-China forces like the so-called "pro-democracy movement", the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) and Falun Gong. He urged China to respect human rights enshrined in the Chinese constitution and allow believers to freely participate in religious activities. What's your comment?
A: These people of the so-called "pro-democracy" movement, the ETIM and Falun Gong that Vice President Pence met are not religious personnel at all but anti-China forces, among whom are even cult members. The true intention behind this is so obvious, that is, to interfere in other country's internal affairs under the pretext of religious freedom. China firmly opposes that.
The Chinese government protects its citizens' freedom of religious belief and relevant rights in accordance with law. At the same time, we will never allow anyone to engage in illegal and criminal activities under the pretext of religion. We demand the US exercise prudence in its words and deeds and stop interfering in China's internal affairs under the cloak of religious freedom.
Q: The Mozambican government and the opposition party recently signed a peace and reconciliation agreement. What's your comment?
A: China welcomes and supports the signing of the peace agreement between the Mozambican government and the opposition party. As a member of the International Contact Group, China has been making positive efforts to promote the peace process in Mozambique. We believe the Mozambican government and the opposition party will earnestly fulfill their commitment under the agreement, translate their political will into concrete actions, promote Mozambique's peace process and achieve long-term peace and stability in that country.
China highly values its comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with Mozambique and stands ready to work with the international community to play a constructive role in achieving peace, stability and development in Mozambique.
Q: US General Services Administration on Wednesday released an interim rule for a ban on federal purchases of telecommunications equipment from five Chinese companies, including Huawei, ZTE, Hikvision, Dahua and Hytera. The ban is based on the National Defense Authorization Act for 2019 and will come into effect on August 13. I wonder what is China's comment on it?
A: China deplores and firmly opposes the US practice of taking discriminatory and unfair measures on certain Chinese companies based on China-related negative content of its 2019 National Defense Authorization Act. We note the legal actions taken by relevant Chinese companies in the US.
The US has abused its state power and used every possible means to smear and oppress certain Chinese companies. This has seriously undermined its image as a country and its own interests. What's worse, it has severely damaged global industrial chain and supply chain. This has been and will continue to be opposed by all countries. We firmly support the relevant Chinese companies in safeguarding their legitimate rights and interests through legal means, and we will take all necessary measures to do so.
We urge the US side to abandon its Cold-War mentality and zero-sum game mindset, stop politicizing trade issues and oppressing Chinese companies for no reason, and contribute to China-US cooperation by making it more sound and stable.
Q: On August 7 Kyrgyzstan's national security committee special forces undertook an operation to detain former president Almazbek Atambayev, and there were clashes between government forces and the ex-president's supporters. What's your comment? I wonder if China took additional security measures on China-Kyrgyzstan border? Are the border check points functioning normally?
A: China noted the incident that took place in Kyrgyzstan from the night of August 7 to the early morning of August 8. As its friendly neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner, China sincerely hopes that the situation in Kyrgyzstan will maintain stability and believes that the Kyrgyz people have full capability and wisdom to manage their country.
According to the agreement on the opening of border passes and the management system between the Chinese and Kyrgyz governments, the two sides have opened the passes of Torugart and Erkeshtam and they are in normal operation.
Q: Kyrgyzstan's government suspended the operation of Zhong Ji Mining Company in that country because the substances the company used in detonation reportedly killed local livestock. Clashes took place between workers and local villagers on August 6. Dozens of people were injured. Do you have any comment?
A: I note the relevant media reports. The spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan has made remarks on it. The relevant reports about the cause of the incident are not true.
After this incident, China and Kyrgyzstan have paid great attention to it and worked closely to put things under effective control and properly settle the injured. The Kyrgyzstani side is investigating into this case. China asks the Kyrgyzstani side to deal with this case fairly and properly, take concrete measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, and ensure that such things won't happen again.
China and Kyrgyzstan are friendly neighbors and comprehensive strategic partners. Chinese companies have long been investing and operating in Kyrgyzstan, which has improved local people's lives and enhanced traditional friendship between the two countries. This is fully recognized by the government and society of Kyrgyzstan. China will work with Kyrgyzstan to continue advancing bilateral cooperation in a sound and stable manner.
Q: Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Marape said recently that he hopes China will refinance the government's debt, and that his country is ready to cooperate with China in the building of ports, airport runways and other projects. Can you confirm that? If it is true, will China accept this request?
A: Papua New Guinea (PNG) is China's good friend and partner in the Pacific island region. China has been developing friendly cooperative relations with PNG on the basis of equality and mutual respect. We have taken into full consideration of PNG's actual need and provided assistance and support to it to the best of our ability with no political strings attached. China and PNG have conducted effective and mutually beneficial cooperation in economic and trade, investment, infrastructure and other areas. This has effectively contributed to PNG's national development and people's livelihood, which is sincerely welcomed by the government and people of PNG.
Pursuing the greater good and shared interests and upholding the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, China will continue to deepen practical cooperation with PNG and elevate our comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level.
Q: According to reports, the New Zealand government told Chinese officials that it would protect freedom of speech on campuses. This is a response to the Chinese Consulate-General's statement on the "Hong Kong independence" movement in Auckland. What's your comment? As we understand, Chinese officials met with New Zealand diplomats on Monday. Can you confirm that? If it is true, what topics were talked about?
A: Recently a very small number of people with ulterior motives peddled "Hong Kong independence" and stirred troubles for anti-China purposes at Auckland University. This has triggered strong indignation and firm opposition from Chinese students on campus. The Chinese Consulate-General in Auckland has clarified the facts and stated our stern position, and called on Chinese students to appropriately express their appeal following laws of New Zealand and regulations of the university. It is fulfilling its duty and this is beyond reproach. We advise certain people in New Zealand to take off their tinted glasses, discard double standards and stop condoning the anti-China separatist activities by "Hong Kong independence" forces under the cloak of "freedom of speech".
Q: A Chinese diplomat from the Chinese Consulate-General in Brisbane today described the conflict between the Chinese students from mainland and Hong Kong at Queensland University as "patriotism". Do you think what he said is appropriate? Do you believe such remarks constitute interference in Australia's internal affairs and incite campus violence there?
A: On July 24, a very small number of people with ulterior motives conducted anti-China separatist activities at Queensland University, which caused indignation and protests by Chinese overseas students, including those from the mainland and Hong Kong. The Chinese Consulate-General in Brisbane, following international law and international practice, stated our position on matters concerning China's sovereignty and the Chinese students' safety and legal rights and interests. The relevant statement is comprehensive, accurate and beyond reproach. The so-called allegation of "interfering in Australia's internal affairs" and "inciting campus violence" is nothing but fabrications and slanders.
Your question is strongly misleading. Why not ask the relevant party this question: were they grossly interfering in China's domestic affairs when bolstering those who made inflammatory remarks of "Hong Kong independence" at Queensland University? Do you think that making anti-China separatist remarks means freedom of speech while expression of patriotism is not?
Q: According to reports, the visa issuance of two groups of Indian pilgrims planning to travel to Tibet has been delayed. Is this China's retaliatory measure in response to India's announcement of turning Ladakh into an administrative territory directly ruled by New Delhi?
A: As we understand, the visas for official Indian pilgrim groups are issued as usual.