|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 4, 2020|
China Daily: The Times carried a report saying that "the number of Chinese diplomats in the UK has risen by almost a quarter in the past decade, prompting renewed concerns over the country's political influence in Britain". What is your comment?
Hua Chunying: The Chinese Embassy in the UK is committed to enhancing mutual understanding and win-win cooperation between the two sides. The past 10 years have seen remarkable increases in bilateral trade and investment, personnel exchanges, and cultural and educational interactions. Over the 10 years, trade between the two countries doubled; Chinese investment in the UK grew by almost 20 times; and the number of Chinese students in the UK increased by 100,000. Tangible benefits have been delivered to the two peoples. As the workload of the Chinese Embassy has risen, it is entirely normal, necessary and reasonable to have more staff in the Embassy. In fact, during the same period, the number of Chinese diplomats in the UK is still smaller than that of British diplomats in China.
Some people have racked their brains to think of something that may sabotage China-UK relations, but their patch-up work makes no sense at all. I believe their ill intention is already seen through by all.
China News Service: US Secretary of State Pompeo and some other US politicians have been viciously attacking the CPC on multiple occasions. But we also noticed President Xi Jinping mentioned the phrase "the Chinese people will never allow" five times during his speech yesterday at a symposium in Beijing as China marked the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. His speech drew wide domestic and international attention. Do you have any comment on that?
Hua Chunying: I'd like to advise Pompeo and other US politicians to carefully read the transcript of President Xi's speech at the symposium to mark the 75th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.
The victory of the Chinese people's war of resistance against Japanese aggression 75 years ago was the victory of our national spirit to which patriotism is central, the victory of the CPC's crucial role, the victory of all Chinese people uniting together, and the victory of the people of China, anti-fascist allies and other countries fighting side by side.
For 75 years there have been flesh and blood ties between the CPC and the Chinese people. The original aspiration and the mission of Chinese Communists is to seek happiness for the Chinese people and great renewal for the Chinese nation. The CPC started with only dozens of members, and today it has grown into a major party with 92 million members and has long been the ruling party in the world's most populous country. The reason for it is that the CPC represents the fundamental interests of the greatest possible majority of the Chinese people, serves the people wholeheartedly, and keeps being a party by the people and for the people. According to surveys conducted by a worldly famous research center, for years the Chinese people's satisfaction and support with the CPC have been ranking first in the world.
During the 75 years, the CPC has united and led all Chinese people in making strenuous efforts that yielded remarkable outcomes. By this year, altogether over 850 million people will be out of absolute poverty, the first time in China's history to eliminate absolute poverty. All 1.4 billion Chinese people are blazing a path to modernization. It is unprecedentedly tremendous progress in human history.
President Xi stressed at the symposium that to achieve the great renewal of the Chinese nation, the country must stick to the leadership of the CPC, the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the people-centric approach, a fighting spirit, and peaceful development. The Chinese people will never allow attempts by anyone or any forces to distort the history of the CPC and vilify its nature and mission. The Chinese people will never allow attempts by anyone or any forces to distort and change the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, deny and vilify the great achievements of the Chinese people in building socialism. The Chinese people will never allow attempts by anyone or any forces to separate the CPC from the Chinese people and set them against each other. The Chinese people will never allow attempts by anyone or any forces to impose their will on China, change its direction of development, and obstruct Chinese people's efforts in building a better life for themselves. The Chinese people will never allow attempts by anyone or any forces to jeopardize their peaceful life and right to development, obstruct their exchanges and cooperation with other peoples, or undermine the noble cause of peace and development for humanity.
The phrase of "the Chinese people will never allow" repeated five times is the best answer to the deliberate smears against the CPC and the attempt to drive a wedge between the CPC and the Chinese people by some extremist, anti-China forces in the United States.
CCTV: Panelists of the Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response, which is appointed by the World Health Organization to review its coordination of COVID-19 response, were named by the panel's co-chairs during a media briefing on September 3. The panelists include Dr. Zhong Nanshan, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: Dr. Zhong Nanshan enjoys high prestige as an authoritative expert in infectious disease prevention and control. We believe his professionalism and experience will contribute to the WHO panel's work.
The COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc around the globe and fighting the virus remains the top priority for all countries. To fight COVID-19, we need to make concerted efforts at the national, regional and global levels and give full play to WHO's central role in coordinating anti-epidemic efforts.
The Paper: US State Department Spokesperson Ortagus issued a statement, announcing the next steps with respect to US withdrawal from the WHO and the redirection of American resources. This redirection includes reprogramming the remaining balance of its planned Fiscal Year 2020 assessed WHO contributions to partially pay other UN assessments and scaling down its engagement with the WHO. The WHO has failed badly not only in its response to COVID-19, but also to other health crises in recent decades. In addition, WHO has declined to adopt urgently needed reforms, starting with demonstrating its independence from China. What is your response?
Hua Chunying: The US has been shifting the blame to China and WHO for its own failure in handling the epidemic. We have said many times that the timeline and facts of China's fight against COVID-19 are clear. Some people in the US keep saying that "China had the chance to contain the virus". But in the face of this ferocious and unknown virus, China shared with the rest of the world what it has learned about the virus at the earliest time possible, and contained its spread with the firmest measures within the shortest period of time. China has obtained satisfying scores in this unprecedented test. On February 2, the US closed its borders to all Chinese citizens when it reported only more than 10 confirmed cases. The US could have had every opportunity to prevent the epidemic from spreading domestically. But as of yesterday, there were more than 6.11 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 185,000 deaths in the US. One has to ask: when the US had the chance to do better, what was it doing at that time? This deserves some reflection and has been widely discussed by many American media, experts and people from various sectors. Some in the US should do some self-reflection, take up their responsibility towards the people, respect science and facts, and take effective actions to save as many American lives as possible.
As for the US dumping blames on WHO, we all know WHO is an international body composed of 194 sovereign states. It cannot serve only one country, let alone bend to the will of the one that pays more money than others. As the epidemic continues to spread around the world, the fight against the epidemic remains a top priority for all countries and requires concerted efforts at the national, regional and global levels. At present, any attempt to oppress or even blackmail WHO is a disregard for human life, a challenge to humanitarianism and a breach of international cooperation against the epidemic, and thus will not be accepted by the international community.
As the most authoritative and professional international organization in the field of global public health security, the WHO plays an indispensable, central role in coordinating the global response to COVID-19. We hope the US will stop blaming others for its own failures, as it helps neither its own anti-epidemic efforts nor the international anti-epidemic efforts. What's worse, it will have a serious, negative impact on developing countries in urgent need of international support. We urge the US to fulfill its due international responsibilities and obligations, and call on the international community to build more multilateral consensus, increase support and input to the WHO, and jointly safeguard global public health security.
Shenzhen TV: In response to US Secretary of State Pompeo's announcement of sanctions on the ICC personnel for probing into the US war crimes in Afghanistan, the ICC said the other day that these coercive acts are unprecedented and constitute serious attacks against the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice and the rule of law. Yesterday, EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Josep Borrell said in a statement that the sanctions are "unacceptable and unprecedented measures that attempt to obstruct the court's investigations and judicial proceedings". French foreign minister Le Drian said the measures announced "represent a serious attack on the Court and the States Parties to the Rome Statute, and beyond that, a challenge to multilateralism and the independence of the judiciary." The spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General also said that Secretary-General Guterres is concerned about the US decision. Do you have any comment on this?
Hua Chunying: We noticed relevant reports. This proves once again that the US diplomacy today has stooped to sanction, coercion and intimidation. It also shows that the US puts its interests above international law and has become a "destroyer" of multilateralism and a "terminator" of international rules and order. Such unilateral bullying acts are encountering stronger opposition from more and more members of the international community.
CNR: The US State Department published some latest information on Xinjiang, accusing China on issues including Xinjiang's human rights, religion, forced labor and sterilization. What is your response to this?
Hua Chunying: On Xinjiang, the US has been repeating its malicious, baseless lies, which have been refuted time and again by China as we presented facts. I'd like to stress one more time that Xinjiang-related issues are by no means about ethnicity, religion or human rights, but about the fight against violence, terrorism and separatism. Xinjiang once suffered deeply from terrorism and religious extremism that posed great threats to people's safety. Through vocational education and training, Xinjiang has taken preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures, effectively contained the once frequent terrorist activities, and protected the right to life, health and development of all ethnic groups to the best extent. Over the past four years there hasn't been a single terrorist attack in Xinjiang.
The US made a lot of vicious claims like "forced labor" and "forced sterilization". However, facts are all too clear. The rights and interests of workers from Xinjiang, who are part of China's large workforce, are protected by China's Labor Law and Labor Contract Law. Is there any "forced labor"? Over the past 40 years, the population of Uyghurs in Xinjiang grew from 5.55 million to more than 12 million. From 2010 to 2018, the population of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang increased by 22 percent, much higher than 13.9 percent, the growth rate of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang over the same period of time. Is there any "forced sterilization"? There is one mosque for every 530 Muslims in Xinjiang, a number higher than that in many Muslim countries. Is there any "suppression of religious freedom"? The intention of the US making one vicious lie after another is to contain China's development and undermine China's stability.
Those who have been to Xinjiang or with some sense of rationality and independent judgment can easily see through the hostile lies fabricated by some US politicians and their hidden agenda. We urge the US to stop making political maneuvers, cooking up lies about Xinjiang or taking them as pretexts to interfere in China's internal affairs. No matter how they make up lies, China is determined to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests. The US attempt to obstruct Xinjiang's prosperity and stability and suppress China's growth will never succeed.
Beijing Daily: In an interview with Fox News on September 2, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said again that China is ripping off the US and destroying jobs in the US, and demanded that China be held accountable for the COVID-19 pandemic. He talked about restrictions imposed on Chinese diplomats' activities in the US, adding that the US bent a knee to China over the past four decades and it's enough. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: In disregard of basic facts and moral integrity, Pompeo, as a habitual liar, has tried every possible means to smear China day after day, and his intention to serve his own political gains is all too clear. As Secretary of State, Pompeo's actions have not only eroded his credibility, but also stained the image and reputation of the United States, which has become a notorious example in international relations.
Pompeo's claim about China ripping off the United States and destroying American jobs is totally nonsense. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties more than 40 years ago, China-US relations have brought tremendous benefits to both peoples. Statistics show that China-US economic and trade cooperation supports 2.6 million jobs in the United States and trade between the two countries saves every American household $850 a year in their cost of living. China-US economic and trade relations are mutually beneficial in nature. Does anyone believe the United States, as such a major country, can ever allow another country to exploit it for decades? The answer is a big no.
On COVID-19 response, the Chinese government has put people and their lives front and center, and our epidemic response can stand the test of time and history. The United States has the best health care resources in the world, but tens of thousands of newly confirmed cases and hundreds or even thousands of deaths are reported every day. In the face of such a severe situation, Pompeo and some other US politicians still keep blaming China in an attempt to divert the attention of the US public. If they still have the slightest sense of responsibility, they should respect facts and science, stop political manipulation, and focus on fighting the epidemics.
Yesterday, I made clear China's solemn position on the restrictions imposed by the US side on Chinese diplomats' performance of duties. The US action is illegal, illegitimate and unreasonable. We urge the US side to immediately rescind the wrong decision, stop obstructing the normal people-to-people exchange between the two countries, and stop undermining bilateral relations. China will make legitimate and necessary reactions in light of the development of the situation.
With regard to the claim that the US bent a knee to China over the past four decades, I don't know why Pompeo has portrayed the US as so subservient to China, but that's indeed not the case. China is a country of ceremony and propriety. We always believe that all countries, regardless of their sizes, should treat each other as equals. However, by contrast, the United States has long been bullying others with arrogance and willfully resorting to the use of force, the threat of force or the imposition of sanctions against other countries, on which the international community can tell right from wrong.
We urge Pompeo to respect basic facts and stop his incessant anti-China remarks.
Global Times: US Attorney General William Barr said in an interview on September 2 that China poses a greater threat than Russia and Iran in interfering in the upcoming US presidential election. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: This is another proof of the US "diplomacy of lies".
We hope the US will stop measuring others by their own yardsticks. Unlike the US, China doesn't have the meme of interfering in others' domestic affairs, nor is it interested or willing to do so.
Certain politicians seem so obsessed with making an issue out of China. They've churned out various lies but they're probably still busy seeking and fabricating evidence.
The dazzling dramas around the US presidential election have been going on for quite some time. They can by all means save this game for themselves. We don't ever want to be part of it.
AFP: A question about the Australian writer Yang Jun who was detained in China last year. His lawyer said that they were allowed to meet each other. Could you tell us why Yang was not allowed to see his lawyer until this week?
Hua Chunying: As we learn from relevant department, the case of Yang Jun is still is the process of handling. China is a country ruled by law. The relevant authorities handle cases in strict accordance with law and fully protect the legal rights of relevant personnel. As I understand, the Chinese side and the Australian side have unimpeded channels for consular communication, and we provide necessary assistance for the Australian side to perform consular duties.
CCTV: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres wrote to member States recently, saying that the UN is facing serious financial difficulties and the arrears amount to US$1.52 billion. The Secretary-General called on Member States to pay their dues in full and on time to support the UN in completing its work this year. What is China's comment on this?
Hua Chunying: As the second largest contributor to the UN, China has always fulfilled its financial obligations to the UN and already paid its membership dues in full this year. We support the UN with concrete actions, and we will continue to earnestly fulfill our financial obligations to the UN as a developing country.
China is paying close attention to the current financial difficulties facing the UN, and is concerned that the huge gap in contributions may affect the normal functioning of the United Nations. As the country with the largest cumulative arrears, the United States owes more than 2/3 of the total arrears, which is the main cause of the UN's financial difficulties.
This year marks the 75th anniversary of the UN. It serves the common interests of all parties to stick to multilateralism, uphold the UN's central role in international affairs and jointly meet global challenges through solidarity and cooperation. We are ready to work with other countries to actively support the work of the United Nations and its greater role in promoting world peace and development.
AFP: Do you have any response to the letter published by UN experts calling the Hong Kong national security law a serious risk to fundamental freedoms?
Hua Chunying: I'd like to stress that the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR is not a human rights issue at all. Its purpose is to plug the loopholes in the HKSAR in the field of national security, and to prevent, stop and punish the four categories of criminal acts that seriously endanger national security. It punishes a very few but protects the vast majority. With the lawful rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents not affected in any way, the Law is universally supported and welcomed by Hong Kong residents.
In disregard of the facts, some people have maliciously slandered China's human rights situation, blatantly politicized the human rights issue and grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, which seriously violates the mandate and code of conduct of the Special Procedures of the UN Human Rights Council. China is firmly opposed to this. We urge them to earnestly respect the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, discard ignorance, prejudice and double standards, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs.
Tass News Agency: There's some news that Indian defense minister Singh will meet today with his Chinese counterpart Wei Fenghe in Moscow during some SCO events. Reportedly they will discuss the situation in the Indian-Chinese border. Can you confirm the news and give us some details of this meeting?
Hua Chunying: I am not aware of that. I would refer you to China's Ministry of National Defense.
On issues left over from history and existing problems regarding the China-India boundary, we always believe that a fair and reasonable solution acceptable to both sides should be found through peaceful and friendly consultations. China and India are in close communication through diplomatic and military channels over the recent developments in the border areas. We hope to properly resolve relevant issues with India through consultations, so as to jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border areas. It will meet the interests of both peoples.