|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 28, 2021|
CCTV: On September 27, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed a video conference on China's role at the United Nations. This year marks the 50th anniversary of China's restoration of its lawful seat at the UN. Could you brief us on China's role in upholding the status and role of the UN over the past 50 years?
Hua Chunying: This year is of great significance in China-UN relations as it marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China at the UN. Over the past 50 years, China has honored its solemn commitment to the UN Charter, firmly upheld the international system with the UN at its core, the basic norms governing international relations based on the UN Charter and the UN's central role in international affairs.
Over the past 50 years, China has continued to contribute its strength to the cause of the UN. As the largest troop contributor among the permanent members of the UN Security Council, China has participated in 29 UN peacekeeping missions, sending a total of more than 50,000 personnel. As the largest developing country, China has actively supported the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieved the poverty reduction target set in the 2030 Agenda 10 years ahead of schedule, lifting more than 70 percent of the world's poor population out of poverty. In the face of the sudden outbreak of COVID-19, we launched the largest emergency humanitarian operation in the history of New China, fulfilling our commitment to make COVID-19 vaccines a global public good and supporting the relevant efforts of the UN.
Standing at a new historical starting point, China will actively build a community with shared future for mankind, and continue to do its best to participate in the UN affairs, defend the status of the UN, and promote the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We will uphold the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, adhere to true multilateralism, and remain an advocate of world peace, contributor to global development, defender of international order and provider of public goods. We are ready to work with other countries to make new and greater contributions to peace and development for all mankind.
Xinhua News Agency: The HKSAR Government published the Report on Hong Kong's Business Environment: A Place with Unique Advantages and Unlimited Opportunities on September 27. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: We welcome and support the HKSAR Government's issuance of the Report on Hong Kong's Business Environment. The report gives a systematic review of the negative impact of black-clad violence and the US strategy of suppressing China on the business environment of Hong Kong, makes in-depth explanations of the great significance of the Hong Kong National Security Law and the improvement of Hong Kong's electoral system to the city's socio-economic development, and looks into the broad prospects and precious business opportunities in the future. It has given a convincing response to international concerns over Hong Kong's business environment with accurate and detailed content and objective and unbiased observations. It is worth a careful reading for everyone that is interested in and cares about Hong Kong.
Since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, with the full support of the Central Government, its status as a global financial, shipping and trading hub has been consolidated and enhanced. Hong Kong has been one of the world's freest economies and best locations to do business for international investors, which fully demonstrates the advantage of the One Country, Two Systems. The Law on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR and the new electoral system of the HKSAR have improved the rule of law in Hong Kong, led to a more secure and stable society and more efficient and smoother governance, and foreign enterprises and authoritative international institutions have more confidence in the Hong Kong's business environment. The Central Government has continued to roll out preferential policies to Hong Kong, which has brought great positive influence to Hong Kong's socio-economic development. We believe that with its integration into the general picture of China's development, Hong Kong's unique strength will be given better play with a stronger driving force. This Pearl of the Orient will become even more shiny.
I want to stress again that Hong Kong is China's Special Administrative Region and its affairs are an integral part of China's internal affairs, which brook no external interference. Facts have proven that certain countries' attempts to incite and embolden the anti-China, destabilizing forces, maliciously cast a pall over Hong Kong's business environment and mess up Hong Kong and contain China's development will never succeed. No external disruption and pressuring will hold back the historical trend of Hong Kong moving from chaos to stability and prosperity, nor will they block the steady and sustained implementation of the One Country, Two Systems toward a bright future.
Shenzhen TV: According to reports, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in an interview yesterday that there is no obstacle to direct China-Australia dialogue at the political level on the Australian side, but China is not interested in that opportunity. At the same time, Australian media commented that considering the enough space for turnaround between China and the US, and that Australia has run out of all "bullets" in the name of "principles of democracy" in recent years, Australia may end up in an awkward situation where it has no "card to play" against China. What is China's comment?
Hua Chunying: China always believes that state-to-state relations should and must be built on the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment, and that countries must respect each others' core interests, major concerns and legitimate rights to development. Whether Australia is sincere about improving and developing relations with China, or it does the opposite to what it says, or even goes so far as to blatantly stab China in the back, China has its own judgement.
The current difficulties in China-Australia relations are entirely of Australia's own making, which is not what China wishes to see and is what Australia knows well. It is imperative that Australia face up to the crux of the setbacks in bilateral relations, and earnestly think about whether China is seen as a partner or a threat. The Australian side should take an objective and correct look at China and its development, earnestly follow the principles of mutual respect and equality when handling the bilateral relations, and do more to enhance mutual trust and promote practical cooperation between the two countries. We hope Australia can redress its wrong remarks and moves on relations with China for some time, and take real actions to create conditions for recovering and improving the bilateral relations.
Global Times: We noticed that some American media said after Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were released, Westerners working in China received notice that they may be arrested with "fabricated" charges and taken as "hostage" by China anytime in the future. This is the message from US humiliating surrender to China in the "hostage diplomacy" over the Meng Wanzhou incident. What is your comment?
Hua Chunying: The statements sound familiar. Just as some in the US and other Western countries are used to making and fanning up sensational and absurd rumors on China-related issues, those making such statements are simply like crying wolf when there is no wolf, and smearing China by spreading disinformation.
We have stated on multiple occasions that Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were suspected of committing crimes of endangering national security with conclusive evidence. The two individuals made confession to their crimes and wrote materials of confession and repentance.
It is a known fact that the US is the inventor of "hostage diplomacy" and "coercive diplomacy", whose birthplace and headquarters are in Washington D.C.. The US, through its own policies and actions, has provided the world with too many classic examples of coercive diplomacy. Alstom, the French company fell to US prey in a similar way, was among the victims.
I noticed that few days ago, Alstom's former executive Frederic Pierucci said in an interview with CGTN,"I didn't have the chance to have my company's support like she had, and I didn't have a chance to have my country's support like she had. [...] What I have seen in the Huawei case is that the whole company was behind her from beginning to the end. And also diplomatically, China probably did a lot of things to come to this kind of agreement. [...] At the end of the day, no European country will say this, but everybody deep down should feel grateful to what is happening here, because it's really one of the first time that a country is really standing up to the United States to stop this craziness of long-arm jurisdiction. In fact, this will benefit a lot of other countries providing they have the courage to do the same thing, stand up and fight back. Let's see what happened, but this is probably going to hopefully going to be a turning point".
TASS: First, overseas media report that the Czech Republic has signed a law that excludes the possibility of participation of companies from Russia and China in the tender for the construction of a new power unit of the Dukovany nuclear power plant. Do you have any comment? Second, on September 28, the French Foreign Minister called for a "P5 summit" to establish a joint action programme "to enable the Security Council to fully exercise its mandate and to embark upon a dialogue on the key issues of arms control and our collective security." Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Hua Chunying: With regard to the first question, we believe that the cooperation between Chinese and Czech enterprises based on commercial and mutually beneficial principles serves the common interests of both sides. We hope that the Czech side will abide by the principle of fair competition and market economy, and provide an open, fair, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment for foreign enterprises to do business in the Czech Republic.
On your second question, China supports the proposal for a P5 summit. We believe that under the current circumstances, strengthening P5 leaders' coordination on the international situation, major issues and anti-epidemic cooperation is of important significance to upholding multilateralism and the post-war international order, maintaining the authority of the UN and the Security Council and safeguarding international peace and stability.
AFP: The NATO Secretary General has raised concerns over China's expanding nuclear arsenal and has called for arms control talks with China. Does the foreign ministry have any response?
Hua Chunying: China is gravely concerned about and firmly opposes the "China nuclear threat theory" NATO has been hyping up lately. China follows a self-defensive nuclear strategy. We are committed to no first use of nuclear weapons at any time or under any circumstances and pledge unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China has never taken part in any form of nuclear arms race, nor has it deployed nuclear weapons overseas. No country will be threatened or should feel threatened by China's national defense capability as long as it does not intend to threaten or undermine China's sovereignty, security and territorial integrity.
What the international community should be really concerned about is NATO's nuclear sharing policy. We hope NATO can urge the US to earnestly fulfill its special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament, and further drastically and substantively reduce its nuclear stockpile, so as to create conditions for realizing comprehensive and complete nuclear disarmament.
Beijing Youth Daily: Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Manasseh Damukana Sogavare said in a statement at the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on September 26 that Solomon Islands is a party to the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty. He said, "we therefore would like to keep our region nuclear free and put the region's nuclear legacy behind us. The ocean remains the life blood for our survival." This reminds us of the recent nuclear submarine cooperation agreement struck by the US, UK and Australia, which may pose similar risks to the South Pacific. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: The South Pacific is a victim and the worst inflicted region of nuclear pollution. Many of you may not know that between 1946 and 1958, the US conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, causing irretrievable, irreversible and enormous damage to the life, health and safety of the local people and biological environment. The US has dumped nuclear waste into the Pacific for 63 times, the fallout of which takes a toll on people of the Marshall Islands, leading to hikes in the incidence rate of cancer, leukemia, birth defects and other diseases. The levels of plutonium-239 and -240 in the soil samples from the Bikini Atoll are more than 1,000 times higher than those of Fukushima and Chernobyl.
The nuclear submarine cooperation among the US, the UK and Australia undermines the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty and again casts a shadow of nuclear proliferation over the South Pacific, thus inevitably inviting concerns and doubts from countries in the region and beyond. The people of the South Pacific region should never be sacrificed again for the pursuit of bloc politics and military confrontation by a handful of countries. The US, UK and Australia should discard the outdated Cold War mentality, act with a sense of responsibility and revoke their wrong decision, and avoid scourging the innocent people of the South Pacific island countries.
Beijing Daily: According to reports, Kim Yo-jong, Deputy Department Director of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, said on September 25 that the DPRK and the ROK could have smooth communication and a leaders' summit could take place, if impartiality and mutual respect are guaranteed. What is China's comment?
Hua Chunying: The DPRK and the ROK share the same ethnic origin and kinship. As a close neighbor, China supports the DPRK and the ROK in improving relations through dialogue and consultation, and promoting reconciliation and cooperation. We hope the two sides can demonstrate goodwill to each other and work in joint hands, so as to create an atmosphere and conditions for advancing political settlement of the Peninsular issue.
CCTV: The Japanese government on September 27 adopted a draft cyber security strategy for the next three years, naming China, Russia and the DPRK as cyber-attack threats for the first time. The draft states the three countries are suspected of engaging in aggressive cyber activity, and that Japan will take firm countermeasures, including a diplomatic response and criminal prosecution. Do you have any response?
Hua Chunying: In disregard of basic facts, the Japanese side slandered and attacked China on the cyber security issue and maliciously played up the so-called threats from neighbors. China is firmly opposed to this.
I believe we are all very clear about which country is engaged in "cyber espionage", and which country is the biggest "hacking empire" that engages in all kinds of espionage and wiretapping, even targeting its own allies. In fact, the Japanese side also has a clear idea about this. Is Japan trying to help deflect attention by maliciously slamming China on the issue of cyber attacks at someone's behest?
We hope that the Japanese side could do some soul-searching, act in its own interests and do more to enhance political mutual trust with its neighbors, and contribute to regional peace and stability. China will continue to take necessary measures to safeguard its own cyber security and firmly respond to all kinds of wrong actions that politicize cyber security.
Associated Press of Pakistan: In a tweet Prime Minister Imran Khan has termed inclusion of Karachi coastal zone in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as a game changer and hoped it will put Karachi at par with developed port cities. What is your comment?
Hua Chunying: At the recently-held 10th Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) meeting of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China and Pakistan agreed to include the Karachi Comprehensive Coastal Development Zone in CPEC and list it as an outcome of the JCC meeting.
China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners of cooperation. CPEC is a flagship program under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China is ready to work with Pakistan to earnestly follow through on the common understanding of the leaders on the two sides and the outcomes of the JCC meeting, ensure sound construction and operation of existing projects, highlight cooperation in health, green economy and digitization, step up cooperation in industries, science and technology, agriculture and people's livelihood, and forge high-quality CPEC cooperation, so as to provide new impetus to the growth of bilateral ties, economic and social development of the two countries and the improvement of people's livelihood.
Prasar Bharati: Yesterday, Indian medical students gathered at the Chinese Embassy in New Delhi. These students are studying in Chinese universities and they are waiting for the return to China. Is there any consideration for the request?
Hua Chunying: I answered your question in details yesterday.
Given the ongoing spread of the coronavirus across the globe, the Chinese government has to adopt a series of management measures, which is timely adjusted in accordance with the evolving situation, in order to ensure the safe, healthy and orderly flow of Chinese and foreign travelers. I want to stress that China's entry prevention and control measures are applied to all inbound travelers, including its own citizens.
The Paper: The Security Council will hold a meeting today to mark the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT). All parties will call for continued efforts to push for an early entry into force of the treaty and move toward the goal of a nuclear-weapon-free world at an early date. Meanwhile, the nuclear submarine agreement struck by the US, the UK and Australia does the opposite. What is your comment on that?
Hua Chunying: This year marks the 25th anniversary of the conclusion of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), which has become a key pillar of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime and has played an important role in curbing arms race and maintaining global strategic stability. Banning nuclear tests has become an international consensus.
China firmly supports the purposes and objectives of the CTBT and was among the first countries to sign the treaty. Over the past 25 years, we have been committed to a moratorium on nuclear tests. China supports the treaty's early entry into force and will continue to contribute to that and make unremitting efforts to achieve the lofty goal of complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons.
The CTBT and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) are important pillars of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. While pushing for the early entry into force of the CTBT, the international community should earnestly uphold the authority, universality and effectiveness of the NPT. The nuclear cooperation among the US, UK and Australia has a serious risk of nuclear proliferation and violates the spirit of the NPT. It will create a bad precedent and encourage other nations to follow suit, thus damaging the international non-proliferation regime and accelerate regional arms race. The international community should stand together against the trilateral nuclear submarines cooperation and never sits idly by.
NHK: The DPRK fired another missile this morning. The DPRK successfully test fired a long-range cruise missile around September 10, and fired additional two missiles on September 15. We wonder if China has any comment on such developments?
Hua Chunying: China has noted relevant reports. China calls on all parties to meet each other half way, follow the "dual-track" approach, and take phased and synchronized actions to discuss effective ways to address the concerns of all parties in a balanced manner, and jointly promote the political resolution of the Peninsula issue.
Beijing Youth Daily: White House spokesperson Psaki said yesterday that the presidents of China and the US raised the Meng Wanzhou incident in the phone call in early September. She said, there is not a change in its China policy. "We're not seeking conflict. It is a relationship of competition." What is China's response?
Hua Chunying: The Party and the Chinese government attach high importance to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of every Chinese citizen. Since Ms. Meng Wanzhou was groundlessly detained in early December, 2018, President Xi Jinping gave personal attention to this. The Chinese government has worked at various levels and on multiple occasions, provided consular protection and assistance to Ms. Meng Wanzhou, and lodged solemn representations with the US and Canada, asking them to drop the erroneous charges against Meng and ensure her safe return to China as early as possible. During the meeting in Tianjin not long ago, China put forward two lists to the US. One is a list of wrongdoings that the US must stop and the second is a list of key individual cases that China has concerns with. Both lists clearly request the US to drop the erroneous charges against Meng and ensure her safe return to China as soon as possible. During the leaders' phone call, the presidents of China and the US had candid, in-depth and extensive strategic communication and exchanges on China-US relations and issues of common concern. President Xi Jinping made the case of the Meng Wanzhou incident, expounded on China's position and asked the US to properly resolve it as soon as possible.
The proper resolution of the Meng Wanzhou incident is of positive significance. I noticed that some media commented that the resolution removed a thorn deeply inserted in China-US relations. But due to the wrong China policy the US has adopted for some time, other thorns that vary in length still remain in China-US relations. We hope the US can attach high importance and take concrete actions to empty the two lists. As President Xi Jinping pointed out, when China and the US cooperate, the two countries and the world will benefit; when China and the United States are in confrontation, the two countries and the world will suffer. We hope the US can work with China in the same direction, follow the spirit of the leaders' phone call, strengthen dialogue and cooperation, properly handle differences and bring China-US relations back onto the right track of steady development as soon as possible.
I also noted that in the recent videoconference, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres exchanged views on China-US relations. State Councilor Wang Yi briefed on the ins and outs of the current state of the relations and noted what the relations have gone through is plain to see. Facing unwarranted suppression, rumors and smears from the US, China has no choice but to make resolute response confidently to defend national sovereignty and dignity and safeguard people's legitimate rights to development. The US side recently said it does not want confrontation or Cold War, and hopes China-US relations can come back onto the right track. We hope the US can translate their words into actions, and bring its China policy back to a reasonable and pragmatic track. If the US follows through its commitments, then China is ready to work with it to provide a good answer to where China-US relations are heading, the question of the century, and get the relationship right, a must-answer question, to satisfy both Chinese and American people.