Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 2, 2020
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the People's Republic of China
CCTV: November 29 is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. On December 1, the United Nations held a commemorative meeting. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the conference. Secretary-General Guterres urged the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to resume meaningful negotiations to create opportunities for regional cooperation and to find a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. What does China think of the current Palestinian-Israeli situation?
Hua Chunying: President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to a meeting held by the United Nations on December 1 to observe the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
We believe that the Palestinian issue, sitting at the root of the Middle East issue, bears on regional peace and stability, international justice and human conscience. Palestine and Israel living side by side in peace is not only the dream of the Palestinian and Israeli people from generation to generation, but also the ardent expectation of the people in the region and the international community. The international community should adhere to the right direction of a "two-state solution" and strive to promote the Middle East peace process on the basis of the relevant resolutions of the United Nations, the principle of "land for peace" and other international consensus.
China has been following the Palestinian issue closely. Upholding international justice, China supports the just cause of the Palestinian people to restore their legitimate national rights, and supports efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the Palestinian issue. As a permanent member of the Security Council and a responsible country, China is willing to continue to work with the international community to make unremitting efforts for the early realization of a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Palestinian solution and to make positive contributions to the early realization of peace, stability and development in the Middle East.
At the current stage, the international community should also pay more attention to the severe challenges posed by COVID-19 to Palestine and help the Palestinian people fight the pandemic. China will continue to provide anti-epidemic assistance to Palestine.
Bloomberg: U.S. president-elect Joe Biden has told the New York Times that he would not make any immediate moves with regard to the phase one trade deal with China and will conduct a full review of the U.S. policy towards China in consultation with key allies. We wonder if the foreign ministry has any comment on this?
Hua Chunying: Regarding China-U.S. trade, we said on multiple occasions that China-U.S. economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial in essence. It is China's position all along that differences in our trade relations should be properly resolved based on mutual respect and equal-footed consultation.
Phoenix TV: Fauci, director of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said so many U.S. states are at the brink of being overrun with regard to their capability of taking care of people in a proper way, and casualties of the pandemic in the United States may surpass 300,000 by the end of this year. Some media say the looming winter that countries including the United States face could be the "darkest" part of the pandemic yet. What's China's comment on this?
Hua Chunying: I read the news, especially these appalling numbers, with a heavy heart. We feel for the American people and express sympathy to them.
Since the COVID-19 broke out, the Chinese government has put people first, given top priority to saving lives, allocated all resources, made scientific and targeted efforts to prevent and control the pandemic, and become the first one that effectively contained the virus. In the meantime, we actively advanced international anti-epidemic cooperation and carried out global humanitarian actions that were the biggest in the PRC's history, providing assistance to over 150 countries and international organizations and effectively guaranteeing global production and supply of anti-epidemic supplies. As I know, as of November 22, China has exported to the United States about 39.43 billion masks, 800 million pairs of surgical gloves, 650 million protective suits, and 46.762 million pairs of goggles. In the category of masks alone, the total number equals about 120 Chinese-made masks for each American on average. Zhong Nanshan, Zhang Wenhong and other top Chinese experts, medical workers and NGOs had many exchanges with their American counterparts to share their experience, including video conferences, webinars and video talks with infectious disease experts and clinical doctors. Many Chinese localities, businesses and groups provided medical supplies to the United States. Chinese and American pharmaceutical manufacturers and personnel who work in the field of science and technology also kept in communication and cooperation on vaccine and medical R&D.
The COVID-19 pandemic warns the world in its peculiar way that humankind is a community with a shared future, and a major crisis can be addressed only through solidarity and cooperation, where no country can stay immune. The world is safe only when each and every country is safe, and the final victory is achieved only when COVID-19 is eradicated in the last country. China will continue cooperating with other countries including the United States on epidemic prevention and control, and providing as much support and assistance as possible. We will enhance coordination on macroeconomic policies to help resume work and production for an early recovery of the world economy. We will support the WHO in playing a key, leading role in improving global public health governance, so that we can be more prepared once a similar crisis occurs in the future.
You mentioned the cold, looming winter to come. Well, if winter comes, can spring be far behind? As President Xi Jinping noted at the UN General Assembly this year, with courage, resolve and compassion which lit the dark hour, the virus will be defeated. As long as all countries take sincere actions in joining hands, staying committed to solidarity and coordination, and forging ahead together, we will achieve the final victory.
Beijing Youth Daily: The Chang'e 5 probe successfully landed on the Moon yesterday. Sergey Savelyev, Deputy Director General for International Cooperation of the Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos congratulated China on the successful landing of the Chang'e-5 probe and wished the mission to fulfill its scientific program in full by delivering samples of Moon soil to the Earth. On the same day, the European Space Agency (ESA) also conveyed its congratulations on social media. Do you have any response?
Hua Chunying: Many Chinese people like myself have been closely following the Chang'e-5 probe like having a space travel with it. We appreciate these best wishes made by Roscosmos and the ESA. The Chang'e-5 probe successfully landed on the Moon on December 1 and will start follow-up work. This marks a historic step for China's exploration of outer space, and also a historic step for international cooperation on the peaceful use of outer space.
We noted that from the very beginning, the Chang'e-5 lunar mission has drawn widespread attention and support worldwide. The ESA has liked the mission on social media for three consecutive days and wrote, "Best wishes for a successful mission! See you on the homeward journey!" Institutions, experts, media and internet users in Russia, the US, Canada, France and other countries have been closely following and commending this endeavor, saying it will open up a new chapter for automatic lunar sample collection and return to the Earth. It is revolutionary to mankind's understanding of the Moon's history.
I want to stress that China all along stays committed to peaceful use of outer space and has actively engaged in relevant international exchange and cooperation and shared the progress in space. In the spirit of seeking well being and benefit for the whole mankind, China will continue to advance international cooperation with an open and inclusive attitude for progress in outer space exploration. Let's look forward to the safe return of Chang'e-5!
Prasar Bharati: India for the first time hosted the SCO heads of government meeting on November 30. According to China, what have been India's initiatives in SCO in the last 3 years, in particular for the heads of government meeting just concluded under India's chairmanship?
Hua Chunying: The SCO enlarged its membership in 2017 for the first time with the joining of India and Pakistan. In recent years, the new SCO members have carried forward the Shanghai Spirit, made and substantiated constructive proposals on deepening political, security, economic and trade and cultural and people-to-people exchange, which enhances the organization's positive role in safeguarding regional security and promoting common development. Like you said, recently India hosted the 19th meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government, the first time such a meeting was held under India's chairmanship in a video format. Leaders of participating countries fully exchanged views and reached broad consensus on implementing the outcomes of this year's SCO summit, deepening cooperation on economy, trade, investment and people-to-people exchange amid COVID-19. All parties spoke highly of the outcomes of this meeting and commended India's organization. China stands ready to step up communication and coordination with other SCO members, including India, to consolidate the awareness of a community with a shared future, promote solidarity and coordination, enhance SCO cooperation and open up a new ground for post-COVID SCO development.
Reuters: The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to pass a legislation this week that could prevent some Chinese companies from listing their shares on U.S. stock exchanges unless they adhere to U.S. auditing standards. What's your comment on this?
Hua Chunying: Your question again demonstrates the United States applies discriminatory policies to Chinese companies and launches political oppression against them.
In today's world where the capital market is highly globalized, the right way to solve problems is to enhance dialogue and cooperation among relevant parties in a candid manner on issues such as strengthening cross-border regulatory cooperation and protecting the legitimate rights and interests of investors. We firmly oppose politicizing securities regulation. We hope the US side can provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for foreign companies to invest and operate in the US, instead of trying to set up various barriers.
Prasar Bharati: During Chinese defense minister's visit to Nepal, Nepal has again assured China that Nepalese soil will not be used against China. I would like to have China's views on this.
Hua Chunying: The Chinese side has published a press release on State Councilor and Defense Minister Wei Fenghe's visit to Nepal. China and Nepal are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. This year marks the 65th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. China and Nepal have helped each other in the fight against COVID-19, and our friendship and mutual trust have been further enhanced. China is ready to work with Nepal to strengthen all-round cooperation in all fields and seek quality BRI cooperation, and elevate bilateral relations to a new level.
I must stress that the friendly cooperation between China and Nepal is beneficial to the Chinese and Nepalese people. Our relationship will not impact any third party.
Bloomberg: NATO has published a study and says that NATO must devote more time, political resources and action to security challenges posed by China. We also know that on Wednesday the alliance's foreign ministers will be joined by representatives of Asia-Pacific countries including Japan and Australia in an online session devoted to China. We wonder if the foreign ministry has any comment on this?
Hua Chunying: China has taken note of the latest NATO report. Yesterday, I explained China's position on this issue. I would like to stress once again that China always adheres to peaceful development and win-win cooperation, upholds the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and has always pursued a defense strategy which is defensive in nature. China's development has promoted the progress and prosperity of the world, and it does not intend to pose a threat or challenge to any country. We hope that NATO can look at China's development in an objective, positive and open manner. The report says NATO is open to contacts and cooperation with China. China is also willing to engage in dialogue and cooperation with NATO on the basis of equality and mutual respect, so as to make positive contributions to safeguarding world peace and stability.
You mentioned just now that the NATO foreign ministers will hold a video conference with representatives of Japan and Australia. As I said just now, China is committed to the path of peaceful development, and we hope that all parties concerned will do the same. We hope that they will adopt a correct view of China and do more things that are conducive to promoting world peace and development.
Global Times: According to a recent US CDC study, COVID-19 has been circulating in the US perhaps as early as December 2019. It means the finding of the first COVID-19 case in the U.S. is now one month earlier. Many Chinese netizens thus believe that China is the "whistleblower" for the whole world. What is your comment?
Hua Chunying: We've recently read many reports on the virus breaking out in multiple places worldwide last year. It proves again that tracing the origin of the novel coronavirus is a scientific task that must be taken very seriously. It calls for scientists to carry out investigation and research worldwide. China has been in close communication and cooperation with the WHO on this issue. We hope that all countries will do the same as China does and actively cooperate with the WHO so that we can better prevent similar public health crises from occurring, and be better prepared to deal with a similar crisis when it does occur.
The Paper: About the crimes committed by some Australian soldiers in Afghanistan, the Australian leader said their aim was to uphold the country's values. Australia also encouraged those with same values to speak for itself. Couple of hours ago, a deputy spokesperson of the U.S. State Department expressed support for Australia and accused China of "fabricating an image" and "spreading disinformation". This deputy spokesperson also attacked China for "human rights abuses" in Xinjiang, while they always claim to be defenders of human rights. What's China's comment on that?
Hua Chunying: I elaborated on China's stance on this issue yesterday and the day before. Frankly, I wasn't planning to say more about this, but now with the U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson and the Australian side stressing their values again, accusing China of "fabricating an image" and launching false allegations on Xinjiang-related matters, I must emphasize the facts one more time on this occasion.
First of all, what's posted online was not a photo or a "fabricated photo", but a graphic created with computer techniques by a young artist based on facts published in the Australian Defense Department's inquiry report and reported by Australian media. If some in Australia cannot stand this graphic, then the truth depicted in online photos and videos can only be described as even more horrific. Australian media Four Corners also presented photos like this in its reporting. Details in the Defense Department report include: killing many men (and sometimes women and children); when the Special Forces left, the men and boys would be found dead: shot in the head or blindfolded and with throats slit. There were also two 14-year-old boys who throats were slit, and the soldiers "cleaned up the mess" by bagging the bodies and throwing them into a nearby river.
Second, Australia said its aim was to uphold the country's values. So what are these values? Are the disclosed crimes committed by some Australian soldiers in Afghanistan consistent with Australia's values? Is it in line with Australia's values that some of its soldiers killed civilians and children while allowing no comment or criticism? Is it in line with Australia's values that they on the one hand fabricate facts to launch smearing attacks against others while, on the other hand, not allowing other to comment on their erroneous and bad deeds? If you have obviously done something wrong and bad, but refuse to accept any criticism and even try to shift the blame to others, how can you ever convince people that you know what you've done wrong and that you will correct the mistakes?
I noticed some people across the world have said: what's the real reason behind their anger? Is it triggered by the photo? Of course not. This is what really irritates them: how can the Chinese have the right to point out their bad deeds or make comments about them? They have been trying their best to promote their values of "democracy, human rights and freedom", but what they have done either tramples on democracy, human rights and freedom, or reflects typical "double standard" and hypocrisy.
You mentioned the U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson accused China of "human rights abuses" in Xinjiang. We made clear the truth many times. Here I'll just briefly stress it again. So-called "human rights abuses" in Xinjiang or "persecution of ethnic minorities" are centenary lies made by extremist anti-China forces, and Australia and the United States played disgraceful roles in this. A case in point is that the Australian Strategic Policy Institute fabricated "proof" and made various sensational lies time and again, which were all exposed by facts. A press conference was recently held by Xinjiang authorities where they revealed how ridiculous ASPI's allegations on "concentration camps" are. ASPI identified all buildings with outer walls as "detention centers" in its report Documenting Xinjiang's Detention System while they are in fact civil institutions. For example, the "detention center" of Turpan city mentioned in the report is actually a local administrative building; the "detention center" of Kashi is, in fact, local high school buildings and nursing homes. They are all marked on Google Maps and Baidu Maps. Besides, according to Australian media reports, the U.S. Department of State offered ASPI a funding of as high as AU$1.37 million over the previous fiscal year, representing a 367 percent increase year on year, and all the funds were directed to research projects attacking China.
Such apparent lies and slanders are still being cited by some U.S. and Australian officials when they hurl accusations against China, which is an absurd act beneath them. We hope all parties can steadily enhance mutual understanding of each other, view each other correctly and try the best to view others as cooperation partners rather than rivals. But the bottom line is: no rumors and slanders. When they talk about rejecting disinformation, they should set an example by proving to the world that they haven't spread any disinformation about China.
Reuters: The details you read out are from page 120 of the report. Am I right? After I heard it on Monday, I went to check it out in the report. I found that they are scenarios and details that had been described to a sociologist of an Australian university by anonymous soldiers. Then the Australian Defense Department conducted an investigation. The conclusion made public documented those who were killed and when they got killed, but didn't specify the above-mentioned details. What is your response to that?
Hua Chunying: I see that you have read this report through. The report was released by the Australian Defense Department, made public by the Australian defense chief in a special press conference, and many Australian media reported this. It is an affirmed fact that more than 20 Australian soldiers have killed 39 civilians in Afghanistan. You may find pictures and videos about this on the Internet. I also saw an Australian soldier on TV, confessing and hoping to make amends for the murder of Afghan civilians by his mates in the Australian troops. As for the details, I believe you also noticed the report has undisclosed parts. You may ask the Australian military if you are keenly interested. It is reported that the person who exposed the whole thing is now under the pressure of the Australian government and faced with a lot of troubles. I also noticed some Australian netizens calling for protection for him. These facts are clear enough.
Bloomberg: The US China Economic and Security Review Commission has published a nearly 600-page report. It called on the US to strengthen its demands of China to include equal access for companies and media, stricter monitoring of Beijing's activities at the UN, and preventive action to safeguard American interests in technology and finance. We wonder if the foreign ministry has any comment on this new report?
Hua Chunying: The so-called commission you mentioned has always been ideologically biased against China. There is no factual basis for the vilification and smear of China in various reports it has fabricated. Some people in the United States cannot extricate themselves from the Cold War and zero-sum game thinking. All that meet their eyes are conspiracies, pitfalls and threats. This will do no good for the United States itself, the China-US relations and the world. We hope that the relevant people in the United States will abandon the Cold War and the zero-sum game thinking and ideological prejudice, stop making unprovoked accusations against China, and stop doing or saying anything that harm China's interests and China-US relations.
CCTV: We noticed China and the Pacific island countries held the second Vice Foreign Ministers' Special Meeting on COVID-19. Can you talk about the outcomes of the meeting and the steps China and the Pacific island countries will take on COVID-19?
Hua Chunying: On November 30, China and the Pacific island countries held the second Vice Foreign Ministers' Special Meeting on COVID-19 via videoconference. Co-chaired by Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang and Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade of the Solomon Islands Jeremiah Manele, the meeting was attended and addressed by Niue's Premier and Foreign Minister Dalton Tagelagi. Representatives from China and 10 Pacific Island Countries which have established diplomatic ties with China participated in the meeting.
After the first Vice Foreign Ministers' Special Meeting on COVID-19 was held by China and the Pacific island countries in May this year, both side closely collaborated with each other, achieved new progress in anti-epidemic cooperation and friendly exchange, and effectively safeguarded the safety and health of people in China and the Pacific island countries. Six months have passed, and countries believe it's necessary to hold another meeting to review bilateral cooperation and make plans for practical cooperation, epidemic prevention and control in the next phase. At this meeting, all parties talked about their respective results and experience in containing the virus and resuming work and production, exchanged views on bilateral anti-epidemic cooperation, practical cooperation across the board, people-to-people and sub-national exchange and multilateral coordination, and reached new, important consensus, with a joint press release published which you may read.
All participants reaffirmed that the pandemic is a common threat to humankind, and response to it requires strengthened international cooperation. We need to continue to support the leading role of the World Health Organization in coordinating the global response to COVID-19, and explicitly oppose any words and deeds of politicization, stigmatization or label-pinning practice regarding the pandemic. All sides agreed to strengthen coordination on regional and international affairs, jointly uphold international justice, and safeguard multilateralism and the interests of developing countries. The Pacific island countries reaffirmed their commitment to the one-China principle.
The Chinese side made propositions to the Pacific island countries on stronger cooperation in the fields of vaccine supply, Joint COVID-19 Response Fund, debt service suspension, e-commerce, personnel training and local cooperation in the next stage. The Pacific island countries highly commended China's propositions on cooperation and believed they will play an important role in the countries' effort to fight the pandemic and protect people's livelihoods.
China will earnestly implement the outcomes of this meeting, coordinate efforts to advance cooperation with the Pacific island countries in virus containment and practical cooperation, and steadily move forward our comprehensive strategic partnership.
NHK: This afternoon, Joshua Wong were sentenced to jail for 13.5 months, and Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam received seven months behind bars. What's your response?
Hua Chunying: This is not a diplomatic matter.
Reuters: The United States on Tuesday accused China of "flagrant violation" of its obligation to enforce international sanctions on the DPRK and offered rewards of up to $5 million for information about sanctions evasions. What's your comment on this?
Hua Chunying: China has stated its position on Security Council's DPRK-related resolutions on multiple occasions. The objective of relevant Security Council resolutions on the DPRK is to realize denuclearization and maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula. Sanctions are only the means; the means serve the end. Under the current circumstances, all parties should devote more energy to the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue and pay more attention to the negative impact of sanctions on the DPRK's humanitarian situation and people's livelihood. As the COVID-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc, we once again call on the Security Council to start discussions on rolling back sanctions as stipulated in relevant resolutions as soon as possible and make necessary adjustments to the sanctions, especially on people's livelihood, so as to create conditions for the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a responsible major country, China has always earnestly implemented Security Council resolutions and fulfilled its international obligations. We have been actively promoting the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue, and not let up in our effort even amid the COVID-19 epidemic. By contrast, while leaving the epidemic unchecked at home, the US has spent so much time and energy on surveillance and spying, falsely accusing other countries of failing to implement the resolutions, and even offering rewards for intelligence. We really want to ask the US side: what have you done to implement the political provisions of the resolutions? What have you done to meet the humanitarian need and people's livelihood in the DPRK? What have you done in implementing the relevant resolution provisions on modifying sanctions? We urge the US side to do more to help advance the political process of the Korean Peninsula issue instead of being obsessed with grandstanding.
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