|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 4, 2020|
The UN Security Council will hold a high-level videoconference debate on cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union on December 4. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, as the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, will attend the virtual meeting.
As COVID-19 spreads unabated and deeply impacts the economic and social development of African countries, Africa faces new challenges in peace and security. Against such a backdrop, it is of important significance for rotating chair South Africa to hold this high-level videoconference debate on cooperation between the United Nations and the African Union. We hope all parties will take this opportunity to consolidate consensus on solidarity and cooperation, support Africa's anti-epidemic endeavor and help it achieve peace and development.
CCTV: China has announced its achievement of the aim to eradicate absolute poverty by 2020 and shared its experience in poverty alleviation with developing countries. Prime Minister of Thailand Prayut expressed high appreciation for China's experience in targeted poverty eradication. Director-General of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Guy Ryder said China's achievements in eradicating severe poverty serve as an example for other countries. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: The Chinese government attaches high importance to poverty relief. Over the past 70 years or so, 850 million Chinese have risen above poverty, contributing over 70 percent to the world's poverty reduction. In particular, since the 18th National Congress of CPC, the Chinese government has given top priority to the battle against poverty in its governance and organized the world's biggest and toughest poverty-relief battle in human history. After unremitting efforts for eight years, we have won the battle against poverty in the new era and all the impoverished rural population, according to the current poverty standard, has been lifted out of poverty. By the end of last month, China has removed the last 52 remaining counties from the poverty list, which means all 832 registered poor counties in China have shaken off poverty. Almost 100 million people are lifted out of poverty, marking a major victory of the eradication of absolute poverty and region-wide poverty. The Chinese people are very proud of this huge achievement in poverty alleviation, which has also won high acclaim from the international community.
In this tough battle against poverty, the international community has lent substantial support and assistance to China. In turn, China has also made its contributions to international poverty alleviation cause with concrete actions. China has recently released the report of Eradication of Extreme Poverty: China's Practices to share with the international community its experience in poverty reduction. We've set up the China-UN Peace and Development Fund and the South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund, and made solid progress in cooperation projects under such frameworks as the Pilot Project of Poverty Reduction Cooperation in East Asia and the China-Africa Poverty Reduction and People's Welfare Plan. China has helped establish 24 agricultural technology demonstration centers in Africa, benefiting more than 500,000 local people. China has continued to help developing countries to improve capacity building through bilateral and multilateral channels to contribute to international cooperation on poverty alleviation.
Going forward, the Chinese side will earnestly implement President Xi Jinping's major measures to deepen South-South cooperation, continue to support and help developing countries, especially the least developed countries to eliminate poverty, develop economy, build more brand and demonstration poverty alleviation projects, and inject new impetus into the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
On China's path of poverty eradication, we leave no one behind. We also hope the joint efforts by all can lift all countries out of poverty as soon as possible so that people around the world will live a better life.
Xinhua News Agency: Yesterday at the special session of the UN General Assembly in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, UN Secretary-General Guterres said that "From the start, the World Health Organization provided factual information and scientific guidance that should have been the basis for a coordinated global response. Unfortunately, many of these recommendations were not followed. And in some situations, there was a rejection of facts and an ignoring of the guidance." He also noted, "In a global crisis, we must meet the expectations of those we serve with unity, solidarity and coordinated multilateral global action." What's China's comment on his remarks?
Hua Chunying: The special session of the UN General Assembly in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic was held yesterday. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the session as President Xi Jinping's special representative and delivered remarks via videolink. Faced with another round of COVID-19 pandemic, the global fight against it has entered a challenging stage. We sincerely hope all sides can strengthen solidarity, expand consensus and cooperate in this fight so that we can achieve the victory as soon as possible.
Yesterday State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi made some Chinese propositions at the special session. First, we need to act decisively to contain the spread of the virus. Second, we need to enhance solidarity and cooperation. The major countries, in particular, must play an exemplary role in promoting collaboration. Third, we need to coordinate COVID-19 control and economic and social development, pursue a "green recovery" of the economy, and keep global industrial and supply chains stable. Fourth, we need to step up support for developing countries and provide greater humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable communities to lessen the burden of developing countries. Fifth, we need to foster an enabling international environment for the fight against COVID-19. I believe all sides should heed the common call of the international community, eliminate all forms of unilateral sanctions and other unilateral compulsory measures, and foster a sound environment for solidarity against the virus.
Since the COVID-19 broke out, the Chinese government has put people first, given top priority to saving lives, made scientific and targeted efforts to prevent and control the pandemic, and become the first one that effectively contained the virus. China has carried out global humanitarian actions that were the biggest in the PRC's history, and shouldered our responsibility as the world's biggest provider of medical supplies. China is ready to stay in close communication and cooperation with the WHO and other countries, support the WHO's key leading role in global anti-epidemic efforts, and contribute to an early victory of the fight against virus and the building of a global community of health for all.
Bloomberg: There have been news reports that the U.S. Justice Department is in talks with Meng Wanzhou's legal team about a possible resolution in the legal case against the chief financial officer of Huawei. The deal, if signed, could allow her to return home from Canada in exchange for admitting criminal wrongdoing. Does the foreign ministry have any further information or comments on it?
Hua Chunying: I don't know where this information came from. But frankly speaking, the report reminds me of the 2013 book American Trap by former Alstrom executive Frédéric Pierucci, in which he described what he had gone through in a very detailed manner. What you've just mentioned is almost the same with his experience.
China has an explicit position on this issue. Ms. Meng Wanzhou is innocent. The nature of the Meng Wanzhou incident is very clear. It is entirely out of the U.S. government's political agenda to suppress Chinese hi-tech enterprises, and Canada played a very disgraceful role in this process. This is in every way a grave political incident.
China once again urges the US side to immediately withdraw the arrest warrant and extradition request for Ms. Meng Wanzhou, and urges the Canadian side to immediately release Ms. Meng Wanzhou so that she can return to China safely at an early date.
Shenzhen TV: According to reports, Canadian prosecutors will ask a court to disregard a former U.S. government lawyer's affidavit submitted by Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou's legal team in her U.S. extradition case. The affidavit was submitted in July in which Michael Gottlieb, who was a White House lawyer under President Barack Obama, testified that U.S. President Donald Trump said he was willing to use Meng as a bargaining chip in trade talks with China. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: Facts have fully proved that the Meng Wanzhou case is a serious political incident. The U.S. Government's actions on it are not for any legal reasons, but out of the true purpose to suppress Chinese hi-tech enterprises and obstruct China's science and technology development. The government of Canada acted as the U.S. government's accomplice in this process. It arbitrarily detained an innocent Chinese citizen who didn't violate any Canadian law, arousing strong indignation of the Chinese people and leading to the nosedive of China-Canada relations over the past two years. Once again, we urge the Canadian government to own up to the problem and make a correct decision that is consistent with justice, rule of law and the fundamental interests of the Canadian people.
CRI: On December 2, Guo Wei, Head of the Office of the People's Republic of China to the State of Palestine and UNRWA Commissioner-General Phillipe Lazzarini held a virtual signing ceremony for the delivery of Chinese anti-epidemic materials to UNRWA. UNRWA Commissioner-General Phillipe Lazzarini expressed his appreciation to the Chinese side on Twitter. What is your comment?
Hua Chunying: The signing ceremony between Director Guo Wei and Commissioner-General Phillipe Lazzarini means that all the anti-epidemic assistance China has promised to countries including Palestine and UNRWA has been delivered. As I noticed, Commissioner-General Phillipe Lazzarini thanked China's long-term firm support, commended China's assistance which has effectively alleviated anti-epidemic shortages of UNRWA, spoke highly of the sound relationship between UNRWA and China, and expressed his hope to strengthen cooperation with China.
As you may know, on December 1, President Xi Jinping sent a message of congratulations to a meeting held by the UN to observe the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. China supports the just cause of the Palestinian people and sympathizes with the grave sufferings of the refugees in and outside Palestine. The COVID-19 is still spreading unchecked, and the Palestinian issue is as complex and difficult to resolve as ever. China will continue to help countries including Palestine to fight the pandemic to the best of our capacity and continue to support the UN agencies and multilateralism to make unremitting efforts for an early settlement of the Palestinian issue with a comprehensive and just solution, and make positive contributions to lasting peace in the Middle East.
Hubei TV: The "fast track" between China and Japan officially was officially launched on November 30. Could you please brief us on the specific arrangements?
Hua Chunying: About the Japanese travelers to China through the "fast track", the government organizations or companies on the Chinese side that are responsible to receive travelers from Japan need to file for application first. After the applications are approved by the competent authority, those in Japan can start to apply for visas according to regulations. They also need to obtain the certificates of negative results of nucleic acid test and IgM antibody test before boarding their flight. They will also be subject to relevant tests and closed-loop management once landing in China.
As for the Chinese people traveling to Japan, they need to apply for visas accordingly and leave for Japan with relevant test certificates. Materials needed for visa application and the specific requirements by the Japanese side can be found on the websites of the Japanese Embassy and Consulates in China.
Reuters: The Trump administration on Thursday officially added China's top chip maker SMIC and oil giant CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies. What's the foreign ministry's comment?
Hua Chunying: China firmly opposes the U.S. wanton oppression against Chinese companies. We expressed our solemn position on multiple occasions. The U.S. practices severely violate the principle of market competition and international trade rules, of which it is a self-claimed champion. It will inevitably damage the country's own interests and image.
Chinese companies have been operating according to law and regulation. When running international business, they strictly follow the local laws and regulations of the host countries. The United States should stop its erroneous practice of overstretching the concept of national security and abusing the national power to oppress foreign companies.
NHK: On Wednesday the U.S. government announced sanctions on visas of the CPC members and their immediate family members. What's your comment on this? It says the policy aims to counter the "malign" influence of the CPC. Do you agree with them?
Hua Chunying: Do you think I'd agree? How ridiculous this is! When I read these comments by some extremist anti-China individuals in the United States, I see before my eyes Don Quixote holding his lance. It is ludicrous and pathetic.
I briefed China's principled position yesterday. This morning, I read the U.S. State Department spokesperson's statement. As a diplomat, you need to know your own country and the countries you are dealing with. You need to at least keep in mind equality and mutual respect.
The leadership of the CPC is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which is enshrined in our country's Constitution. It is the Chinese people's common belief that "there would be no New China without the CPC." Thanks to the CPC leadership, the Chinese people have achieved independence, freedom, liberation and steady progress in national development. The past 99 years saw the number of CPC members growing from over 50 to more than 92 million. The CPC and the Chinese people are inseparable, and the Party always relies on the people, serves the people and is deeply rooted in the people. That's why the Chinese people's support rate with the CPC and the Party-led Chinese government has been above 90 percent for years.
When the United States established diplomatic ties with China over 40 years ago, it knew China is a socialist country led by the CPC, and the China-U.S. relationship is based on the consensus that both sides acknowledge and respect each other's different social system. Over the past four decades or so, with the joint efforts made by China, the United States and people in the two countries, China-U.S. relations have achieved huge progress, which has delivered enormous benefits to both peoples and contributed greatly to handling global challenges and safeguarding world peace, stability and development.
However, for some time, some U.S. politicians have been wantonly demonizing China and viciously attacking the CPC in an attempt to drive a wedge between the Party and the Chinese people and cut off our inherent bond. By hyping up "red scare" and "white horror" in the United States, their true aim is to politicize and weaponize ideological differences and hijack China-U.S. relations and American public opinions in order to serve their selfish agenda.
I deeply hope they can listen to the views of the Chinese people, especially our lovely young people, on the practice of a very small number of anti-China politicians in the United States. As proven time and again by facts, every time the U.S. politicians smear China, the Chinese people become more united, patriotic and sincere in endorsing the CPC leadership. The more those politicians do to maliciously attack the CPC and suppress and persecute Party members, to a larger extent they make themselves enemy to all 1.4 billion Chinese. Their attempt to decouple with the CPC is in fact an act to decouple with China, a country that has one fifth of the world's population, to decouple with the world, and to decouple with the future. It is apparently against the trend of the times and against the Chinese and American people's aspiration of having friendly exchanges. In the end, it will only inevitably, deeply damage the interests of the United States itself.
In fact, we are hearing more and more rational voices of criticism and rejection in the United States. Some say the country's current practice is no other than self-mutilation.
AFP: Yesterday the top U.S. intelligence chief branded China as the greatest threat to democracy and freedom of the world since WWII. He also accused China of stealing U.S. business secrets and defense technologies. I want to know if you have any comment on that?
Hua Chunying: Now, the United States is in the midst of a fierce fight against COVID-19. In fact, many Chinese people like me are closely following that and feel sorry for the American people. But we don't understand why some politicians in America do not seem to care. They are still seeking and creating enemies for themselves worldwide.
The NDI Director said China is the No.1 threat in his article. With such an eye-catching headline but unsubstantiated claims all over it, this so-called article serves no purpose at all other than repeating lies and rumors, making China look as ugly as possible and trumpeting "China threat" as loud as possible. It is just another miscellany of lies patched up by this agency of the US administration in recent days.
Over the past 70 years and more, China has grown from a poor and weak country into the world's second largest economy through peaceful development rather than colonization, expansion and aggression. Over the past 70 years and more, 850 million Chinese have been lifted out of poverty, contributing over 70% to global poverty reduction. China has also been playing an important role in promoting the world economic development. According to the latest OECD report, China's economic growth will contribute to more than one third of global growth in 2021. Since 1990, China has participated in 26 UN peace-keeping operations, sent more than 40,000-strong peacekeepers, making us the largest peace-keeping troops contributor among the P5. Wherever they go, the Chinese peacekeepers are recognized and welcomed for their contributions to regional peace and stability. China has never initiated a war, nor has it ever violated an inch of territory of any other country. Facts have proven time and again that China has always been a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order.
Some in the United States accused China of being No.1 threat. Then let's take a look at the United States. We all know that in recent years, the United States has been championing unilateralism, quitting international organizations and treaties, and destroying multilateralism and international cooperation. It has been warming itself up to the Cold War mentality, advocating great power competition, and upgrading its nuclear arsenals which further disrupts global strategic balance. As to who is protecting peace and who is destroying order, the international community, including U.S. allies, knows the answer clearly. Many in the United States also have begun to seriously think about this. The United States has fought no war for only 16 of its nearly 250 years of history, making it the most belligerent nation in the history of the world. Of the more than 190 members of the United Nations, only three have never been at war with or interfered with by the United States. Authoritative international opinion poll found that 45% of respondents believe the United States is a major threat to the world. A 10-nation poll involving Germany, Japan and ROK suggests that about half or more of respondents think the United States poses a significant threat to their country. Recently there are some American scholars and media that publicly said that the biggest threat to the United States is no other but itself.
We urge certain US politicians to respect facts, stop making and spreading disinformation, political virus and political lies, and stop undermining China-US relations, mutual trust and cooperation. Otherwise, they will gain nothing but become the laughingstock of the international community.
On whether China threatens global freedom and democracy, I wonder what he means when he says "democracy and freedom". A recent case has laid bare the true nature of the United States and its few allies on the values of democracy and human rights. If he says that China is undermining the country's freedom, he means that China is undermining the freedom of the US to do whatever it wants to others, to interfere in others' internal affairs, and to trample on others' sovereignty, security and development interests. And I believe that more and more countries will stand on the right side of history and on the side of fairness and justice.
CNR: China surpassed the US in the third quarter to become the EU's biggest trade partner, according to a recent Eurostat report. Over the first nine months of this year, trade between the EU and China totaled 425.5 billion euros, while trade between the EU and the US was 412.5 billion euros. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: We noted relevant reports. As important trade partners to each other, China and the EU are highly complementary in economies and boast huge potential in broad cooperation areas. The EU has been China's biggest trading partner for many consecutive years. Amid COVID-19, China has become the EU's top trading partner for the first time in the third quarter of this year, which fully demonstrates the resilience and potential of the trade between China and the EU. The fast growth of China-EU trade has strongly boosted the socio-economic development and improved the well-being of the people on both sides.
In September, China and the EU officially signed the China-EU agreement on geographical indications, which will help high-quality agricultural products of both sides to gain better access to each other's market and bring new benefits to the people. China and the EU are also accelerating bilateral investment treaty talks, and we hope the two sides will work together to attain the goal of concluding the treaty within this year and scale China-EU economic and trade cooperation to new heights. Going forward, while fostering a new development paradigm, China will expand opening-up and provide more opportunities to the EU and other countries. We also hope the EU will keep its trade and investment market open, and work with China to uphold economic globalization and the open and free environment for trade and investment.
South China Morning Post: Reports say former Hong Kong lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung may have gone into exile and fled to Denmark with the help of a Danish lawmaker. Do you have a response?
Hua Chunying: I have noticed relevant reports. Relevant Danish politicians' behavior violates the basic norms of international relations and damages the image of Denmark as a rule-of-law country as it has touted. China is a country under the rule of law, and Hong Kong is a law-based society. Laws must be followed and lawbreakers must be brought to justice. We oppose any interference in Hong Kong's affairs, including in Hong Kong's judicial sovereignty and sheltering of criminals from Hong Kong by any person, organization or country in any way.
NHK: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday issued a statement condemning the Hong Kong government's "political persecution" against "democratic activists". International critics have also called Joshua Wong's sentence a suppression of political freedoms in Hong Kong. What is China's comment?
Hua Chunying: In recent period of time, we've repeatedly made clear our principled position on external forces' intervention in Hong Kong's affairs. I also noticed that some people who love Hong Kong and love their country asked, what Pompeo and his like would think if some besieged and attacked the US consulate general in Hong Kong?
As I said just now, China is a country under the rule of law, and Hong Kong is a law-based society. Laws must be followed and lawbreakers must be brought to justice. The judiciary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region is holding offenders accountable in accordance with law and upholding the authority of the law, which allows no smear and slander.
We urge certain US politicians to stop meddling in China's Hong Kong affairs and deliberately smearing and blaming China in the name of so-called freedom and democracy. In fact, the more they did so, the more people will see through their double standards and hypocrisy.
Bloomberg: Another question on Hong Kong. We're looking at the statistics and over 200,000 Hong Kong residents have received British National Overseas (BNO) passport during the first 10 months of the year. We are wondering if the foreign ministry has a comment on this?
Hua Chunying: China has made clear its position on the BNO passport issue. It is the British side that has been violating its commitments and repeatedly exploiting the BNO passport issue to interfere in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs. The British side broke its promise first. China will consider not recognizing BNO passport as valid traveling document, and China reserves the right to take further measures.
Shenzhen TV: The Press Secretary for Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister said he's shocked to see the "fabricated image" describing Australian soldiers' crimes in Afghanistan posted by the Chinese side. Do you have a comment?
Hua Chunying: The merits of this incident are so clear, and yet still there are people alleging it's a fake photo and saying they are shocked. Their words are what I am shocked by.
The serious crimes some Australian soldiers committed in Afghanistan have been affirmed in the report by the Australian defense department. Major General Brereton and his team interviewed more than 400 witnesses, reviewed over 20,000 documents and 25,000 images. The report in several places states there is credible information that some Australian soldiers committed crimes in grave violation of international humanitarian law, and the released version of the report has been "redacted for security, privacy and other reasons" with some facts undisclosed. It has been covered by Australian media and The Guardian. More and more media outlets from many countries have been coming up with more and more details.
Brutal killing of innocent lives and crimes trampling upon human conscience, no matter committed by whom or which country, should be rejected and condemned by everyone in the world that has a conscience. This is human rights. This is equity. This is justice. Australia and its a few allies, instead of repenting on themselves, accused China of disinformation. I wonder if they can explain what disinformation is, who should be the one to define disinformation, and what they mean by human rights? Aren't the crimes by some Australian soldiers in Afghanistan true? Doesn't the CG comic that made Australia fly into a rage reflect what really happened? Is fact distortion the value they uphold? Is it their proud value that other people's lives don't matter so long as they can save their own face? Is it their shared value to pin the blame to others just to whitewash themselves? In this sense, the caricature is a mirror showing the hypocrisy and double standards of a few people in these few countries.
It is my hope that they can distinguish right from wrong, take concrete actions to practice all the values they have been chanting, and truly respect and protect human rights.