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Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Remarks on November 26, 2019

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China

Q: We've seen reports that the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) called on the President to sign into law the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act to demonstrate that the US stands in solidarity with the Hong Kong people. House Speaker Pelosi and Congress members including Rubio, Gardner and Warren also tweeted their support for the result of district council elections in Hong Kong. I wonder if you'd like to make a comment?

A: We have stated China's position repeatedly over the past few days. China condemns and strongly opposes the US Congress passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, for which we lodged stern representations with the US side. We urge the US to grasp the situation and step back from the edge of the cliff. It should take immediate measures to prevent the bill from becoming law and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs. If the US side insists on going down the wrong path, China will take strong countermeasures.

I stress once again that the most pressing task for Hong Kong at the moment is ending violence and restoring order. Hong Kong is part of China, and its affairs are China's domestic affairs. The Chinese government is determined in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. We are determined in implementing the "one country, two systems" principle and opposing foreign interference.

Certain members of the US Congress seem to be over-zealous about commenting on other countries' affairs while leaving piles of domestic issues unattended and their voters underserved. They style themselves as "mentors" and "guardians" to catch attention with uninvited remarks. This kind of hype-up is typical speculation by politicians. They are not only failing domestic voters but also triggering international aversion. We advise them to stop wasting taxpayers' money on making trouble out of nothing.

Q: In response to ICIJ reports on Xinjiang, the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China said that the international community should demand accountability for the "internment camps" in Xinjiang. The German Federal Foreign Office and the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office urged China to give UN officials access to Xinjiang. The European Commission said in a statement that it opposes "reeducation camps", widespread surveillance and restrictions of freedom of religion or belief in Xinjiang. I wonder if you could comment on that?

A: Some Western media have been enthusiastic in making rumors about Xinjiang, and certain politicians in some countries have been enjoying the pleasure of accusing China whenever there's hotspot news at hand. Those behaviors show clearly how they play double standards on counter-terrorism and de-radicalization issues, and how vicious their intentions are when using Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs. Here I'd like to stress the following points.

First, there are no so-called "issues" related to ethnicity, religion or human rights in Xinjiang. What the Western media accuse are in fact local government's efforts in counter-terrorism and de-radicalization. From 1990 to 2016, thousands of violent and terrorist incidents occurred in Xinjiang, which caused heavy casualties and property losses. Under such circumstances, Xinjiang lawfully fought violent and terrorist crimes while addressing the root causes, and it hasn't seen a single violent, terrorist incident over the past three years. The region now enjoys stability, ethnic solidarity and its people live a happy life. Is it certain people's belief that residents in Xinjiang should oppose our positive measures and live in the shadows of extremism, violence and terrorism instead?

Second, the Chinese government protects the freedom of religious belief of all Chinese nationals, including Xinjiang Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities. There are nearly 200 million religious believers in China. Among them are more than 20 million Muslims and over 380 thousand clerics. There are approximately 5,500 religious groups and over 140,000 places of worship registered for religious activities. In Xinjiang, there are 24,400 mosques, which means there is a mosque for every 530 Muslims on average. Those are all facts that you can find in the seven white papers on Xinjiang published since 2015. Apparently what some people in Western countries lack is not means to get the correct information, but the courage and conscience to admit the truth.

Third, China welcomes foreigners with an objective and fair mind to visit Xinjiang. Since the end of last year, thousands of foreign diplomats, international organization officials and media personnel have visited Xinjiang and seen with their own eyes the remarkable achievements in preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization. China also extended invitations to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and her office for visiting Xinjiang and other places in China. But in the meantime I must emphasize that Xinjiang affairs are China's internal affairs that allow no foreign interference under the pretext of access to Xinjiang or other Xinjiang-related issues.

Finally, we will continue to handle our domestic affairs well. We will continue to implement our Xinjiang policy and ensure the region's sound development. The most powerful response to certain media and individuals is Xinjiang's lasting prosperity, stability, ethnic solidarity and social harmony. Here is some advice to certain Western media and people: instead of hyping up Xinjiang-related issues with despicable lies, why don't you give up bias and do some real things to help your people know more about Xinjiang?

Q: According to reports, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mousavi said on November 23 that the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) will hold a meeting on December 6 and the venue might be Vienna. Who from the Chinese side will attend this meeting and what do you expect from it?

A: The Iranian nuclear issue has come to a critical stage. China maintains close communication with other parties to the JCPOA on upholding and implementing the deal. We will attend the upcoming Joint Commission meeting.

China holds that full and effective implementation of the JCPOA is the only viable way to ease tensions over the Iranian nuclear issue. We hope this meeting will help all parties consolidate the political consensus of upholding the JCPOA, work out fulfillment issues through consultation, and explore effective means of implementation, in particular with regards to restoring the balance of rights and obligations of all parties.

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