|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on October 10, 2019|
Q: On the afternoon of October 9 local time, Turkey took military action in northeast Syria. Turkish President Erdogan said in a tweet that the Turkish Armed Forces, together with the Syrian National Army, launched Operation Peace Spring against PKK/YPG and Daesh terrorists to prevent the creation of a terror corridor across Turkey's southern border. The operation will lead to the establishment of a safe zone and neutralize terror threats against Turkey. I wonder if you have a comment?
A: China holds that Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity must be respected and upheld. We have noted that various sides have expressed concerns over possible consequences of Turkey's military action and urged the Turkish side to exercise restraint.
Recently there has been positive momentum for political settlement of the Syrian issue. Relevant parties in the international community should work in concert to create enabling conditions for a political settlement and refrain from further complicating the situation.
Q: The US leader commented on the dispute between NBA and China that this should be dealt with by themselves. But he also criticized the coaches of the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs that they were pandering to China and that they could talk very badly about the US but not about China. I wonder if you have any response to these remarks?
A: I will not repeat my response the other day, but I'd like to stress one thing. Whether it is in China, the US or anywhere else, mutual respect is a prerequisite for exchange and cooperation.
Q: Yesterday Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan concluded his visit to China, during which he held meetings with top Chinese leadership in a very cordial atmosphere. He also met with Chinese entrepreneurs and offered them incentives for investment under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is a demonstrative project of the Belt and Road Initiative. Do you have any comment on the outcome of the visit?
A: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the closing ceremony of the International Horticultural Exhibition in Beijing and paid a working visit to China from October 8 to 9. China attaches high importance to his visit. President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and NPC Chairman Li Zhanshu met and held talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan respectively for in-depth exchange of views over bilateral relations and matters of mutual interest.
Both sides agree to keep frequent high-level exchange, conduct closer strategic communication and coordinate with each other on major issues in a timely manner. They agree to advance CPEC building and make it an exemplary quality project under the Belt and Road Initiative. There will be greater cooperation in infrastructure, trade, finance, industrial capacity and other areas. Effective measures will be taken to boost more balanced growth of bilateral trade for win-win results. Both sides also agree to enhance dialogue and cooperation in multilateral organizations such as the UN and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the region.
During the visit, many bilateral cooperation documents were signed, covering infrastructure, law enforcement, security, culture, education, media and other areas.
Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit has yielded fruitful outcomes, injecting new impetus into China-Pakistan all-weather strategic cooperative partnership.
Q: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday that the Chinese government is responsible for what they call "abuses" that China committed in Xinjiang. I'm wondering if you have any comment on his remarks?
A: For some time, under the pretext of religion and human rights, the US has time and again smeared China's Xinjiang-related policies and made baseless comments, which China deplores and firmly opposes.
As we repeated stated, Xinjiang affairs are China's internal affairs. Xinjiang-related issues are about countering violence, terrorism and separatism rather than human rights. Nearly a thousand foreign diplomats, officials of international organizations and media personnel visited Xinjiang. As they witnessed, the preventive measures for counter-terrorism and deradicalization in Xinjiang have achieved remarkable results. They haven't affected local people's freedoms of religion and belief at all. Rather, they are a contribution to the global counter-terrorism cause.
Xinjiang now enjoys stability, prosperity, solidarity and harmony. The lies of American politicians, instead of fooling the world, will only reveal their hidden political agenda. We advise them to reject bias and Cold-War mindset, stop slandering and accusing China, and stop using Xinjiang as a pretext to interfere in our internal affairs.
Q: Yesterday Beijing announced its decision to end sister-city relations with Prague, Czech. Do you have a comment on this?
A: Since November 2018, major officials from the new Prague city government, disregarding basic norms governing international relations, international consensus and China's solemn position and strong opposition, repeatedly made erroneous moves and inappropriate remarks on major issues concerning China's core interests such as topics regarding Taiwan and Tibet. They were grossly interfering in China's internal affairs, openly challenging Prague's sister-city relations with Beijing, and seriously undermining the political precondition and foundation for exchanges between the two cities. In light of the negative impact produced by the above, Beijing has announced its decision to end the sister-city relationship with Prague and suspend all official interactions.
We have noted that people with insight from all sectors in Czech, including political leaders such as President Zeman, have condemned the wrong moves of the Prague city government. I would like to stress that continued progress in the China-Czech strategic partnership on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit serves the interests of both sides. We hope the Prague city government will recognize and correct its mistake as soon as possible and work to create conditions for resumption of exchange and cooperation.
Q: Is it fair to say that China believes its success in Xinjiang are accredited to the Chinese government's Xinjiang policies?
A: Like I said, Xinjiang now enjoys stability, prosperity, solidarity and harmony. The counter-terrorism and deradicalization measures are welcomed by the 25 million people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. Facts have shown that they are effective. This contributes to both stability in Xinjiang and the global counter-terrorism cause.
Q: Recently some US officials, lawmakers and media commented on the aftermath of Houston Rockets general manager's Hong Kong remarks, saying that China is increasingly using market prospects and commercial means to manipulate US businesses and force them to renounce their values. US companies should make a choice on this. What's your comment?
A: Recent years have seen continued improvement in China's investment and business environment for foreign companies. For many consecutive years China has been one of the most favored investment destinations for businesses across the world. Specifically, according to the latest statistics I have seen, 97% of US companies surveyed say they are making profits in the Chinese market, and 74% of AmCham China members plan to further expand investment in China. Is it possible that all these US companies have been forced to renounce their values due to China's manipulation, as may be seen through the lenses of certain people in the US?
I would like to stress that China will, as always, welcome foreign businesses including those from the US to invest and operate in China. We will stay committed to our policy of creating favorable conditions for foreign investment and protecting foreign businesses' lawful rights and interests.
We will also actively engage in exchange and interaction with the international community with an open and inclusive mind on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. Foreign institutions and individuals are welcome to China for exchange and cooperation.
Q: Apple made a statement that it decided to remove an app that might help Hong Kong protesters to identify the location of police. Do you have a comment?
A: I made a principled response to this matter yesterday, and I have noted the latest developments today. I need to reiterate that the recent extremist, violent and criminal activities in Hong Kong have challenged Hong Kong's rule of law and social order, threatened the life and property of Hong Kong citizens, and undermined the SAR's prosperity and stability. People should oppose such criminal activities instead of supporting or condoning them.
Q: According to reports, China is planning tighter visa restriction for US citizens with ties to anti-China groups. Can you confirm it?
A: You may refer to my answer to this question yesterday.
Q: As the new round of high-level trade consultations will soon be held in Washington, D.C., there are reports and analysis that China may be willing to take some concrete measures on non-core issues, such as purchasing a large amount of US agricultural products, so that the two sides could at least reach a framework agreement. And the two sides could hold further consultations during the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting next month to reach a final agreement. Could you comment on this?
A: I already offered a principled response the other day on the new round of high-level economic and trade consultations between China and the US. I'd refer you to the competent authority for more specifics.
Q: There have been reports that President Trump had approved some sales to Huawei ahead of the trade talks. I'm wondering if China would welcome such a move if it is true?
A: China has repeatedly stated its position on the US using national power to oppress Huawei and other Chinese enterprises. I would like to reiterate that the US behavior is neither decent nor moral. It also goes against the market economy principles the US claims to champion. China urges the US side to stop the unjustified oppression and sanctions against Huawei and other Chinese enterprises, treat them in a fair, just and non-discriminatory manner and work to promote the sound and steady development of China-US economic and trade cooperation instead of doing the opposite.
Q: The Chinese leader will be in India tomorrow. Do you think the Kashmir issue will be discussed during President Xi's meeting with Prime Minister Modi? Second question, Huawei has been accepted for a trial yesterday by the Indian government, and one of the Indian companies has already supported Huawei. What do you think about this development?
A: China's position on the Kashmir issue is consistent and clear. We will release information on the second informal meeting between the Chinese and Indian leaders in a timely manner. Please follow up on that.
On your question about 5G, Huawei's long-term presence in India has made well-recognized contribution to the country's socioeconomic development. When it comes to Chinese companies' participation in India's 5G development, we believe the Indian side will make independent and objective judgment and decisions based on its national interests, and provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies investing and operating there.
Q: Another question about Apple. Apple said that it removed the Quartz news app from the AppStore, because this app did not comply with the law. I'm wondering if you could give us more information on how or why it breached the law?
A: I haven't heard of that.
I would like to stress though that we welcome foreign businesses to invest and operate in China. But undoubtedly, the precondition is that they comply with Chinese laws and regulations and respect Chinese people's feelings.