|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 16, 2019|
The 74th session of the UN General Assembly will open at the UN Headquarters in New York on September 17 and the General Debate will be held from September 24, along with high-level events including the Climate Action Summit and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will head a delegation to attend the General Debate and the Climate Action Summit and the UN SDG Summit as President Xi Jinping's special representative, and hold a series of multilateral and bilateral activities. He will expound on what China has gone through and achieved over the past 70 years since the founding of the new China, elaborate on China's stance and proposition on the current international landscape and major international and regional issues, demonstrate China's staunch support for multilateralism and the UN with the aim of promoting exchange and cooperation between China and the rest of the world, including with international organizations.
Q: Further to your announcement, could you share with us more details, especially on the multilateral events and bilateral meetings State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be attending on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly?
A: The General Debate of this session of the UN General Assembly provides an important opportunity for discussions on major issues that concern world peace and development. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the biggest developing country and the second largest contributor to the United Nations regular budget, China will continue to steadfastly uphold multilateralism and support the UN's positive role in international affairs.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will deliver a speech during the General Debate and attend the Climate Action Summit and the SDG Summit as President Xi Jinping's special representative. He will also host the meeting between the foreign ministers of the permanent members of the Security Council and the UN General-Secretary, the foreign minsters' meeting between China and the African members of the Security Council, foreign ministers' meeting of the Ancient Civilizations Forum and the foreign ministers' dialogue between China and the CELAC Quartet. Besides, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Troika collectively and attend the open debates of the UN Security Council, BRICS foreign ministers' meeting, and commemorative activities for the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. He will also attend bilateral meetings along with the president of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly and heads of delegations or foreign ministers of dozens of countries and attend the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition on the achievements the PRC has achieved since its founding 70 years ago. We hope the above-mentioned events will strengthen exchange, dialogue and cooperation between China and other countries and international organizations, boost the joint efforts to resolve international and regional hotspot issues and global issues of mutual interest and make new contributions to world peace and common development.
Q: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced his intention to apply with the formation of the next government Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea immediately after the elections if he receives a clear mandate to do so from citizens of Israel. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed to cancel any previous agreements with Israel if it went ahead with the move. Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the UAE and the Arab League all condemned that move and the international community is widely concerned about that. What's your comment?
A: China opposes any unilateral action that may escalate the conflict between Israel and Palestine. We call on Israel to exercise prudence, avoid escalating tensions and instability in the region and earnestly uphold the foundation for the Middle East peace process.
Q: US officials are saying that Iran is responsible for the attack on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. I'm wondering if China thinks that is a possibility?
A: We note relevant reports. We don't think it is responsible to assert who is responsible before a conclusive investigation. China is against any move that will aggravate conflict. We call on relevant sides to refrain from actions leading to escalation of the tensions in the region. We hope all parties will exercise restraint and jointly safeguard the peace and stability in the Middle East.
Q: US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Ashley Ford said in a recent speech that the US government is developing a "whole-of-government" response to cope with security challenges China brought to it and its allies. What's your comment?
A: We noted relevant reports. The speech you mentioned arbitrarily smears and distorts China's internal and foreign policies in disregard of facts and paints China as a threat, which fully reveals that certain people in the US are clinging to the Cold War and zero-sum mindset. This cannot be more dangerous.
Facts speak louder than words and people can tell right from wrong. History has proven and will continue to prove that China's development is an opportunity for the world and China is always an architect of world peace, contributor to global development and champion of international order. This cannot be vilified by any country or individual.
We urge relevant people in the US to discard the Cold War and zero-sum thinking, look at China and China-US relations in an objective and rational manner, focus more on mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the US and bring more benefits to the people of the two countries and the rest of the world.
Q: On September 12, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov said during an interview with the Russian newspaper Trud that the Russian and the Chinese foreign ministries have long established constructive, trust-based and comradely relations, allowing them to implement the two presidents' visions in a high-quality and efficient manner. He also said that the two countries have established such a close and tight international strategic coordination architecture that no third party could drive a wedge between the two no matter how hard they try. What's your comment?
A: We highly appreciate Foreign Minister Lavrov's positive remarks on China-Russia relations.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. This relationship has shown strong vitality and broad prospects after weathering the changing international landscape throughout the past seven decades.
From the "21st-century strategic partnership of coordination" to the "comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination based on equality, mutual trust, mutual support, common prosperity and lasting friendship" and then to the "comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era", the China-Russia relationship has maintained high-standard development, constantly reaching new heights. It has become the one and only example for a new type of state-to-state relations featuring dialogue instead of confrontation, partnership instead of alliance, and not targeting any third party. It has also become a major-country relationship featuring the highest degree of mutual trust, the highest level of coordination and the highest strategic value.
Some who don't wish to see China and Russia on such good terms are doing all they can to sow discord. But I am afraid they will be disappointed. Just as Foreign Minister Lavrov said, China and Russia have established a very close and tight comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era. No attempts to drive a wedge in between to sabotage this relationship will succeed.
You may have noticed that today Premier Li Keqiang has left for Russia for an official visit. He will also co-chair with Prime Minister Medvedev the 24th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government. Premier Li's visit will be another important high-level exchange after President Xi Jinping's successful state visit in June and an important meeting on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. Just as Premier Li stated in a written interview with the Russian news agency TASS ahead of his visit, the 70th anniversary is a milestone and a new starting point. We believe with the concerted efforts of both sides, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era will achieve greater progress and contribute even more to the two countries' development and rejuvenation as well as world peace and prosperity.
Q: Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong has urged the US to include a human rights clause in any trade agreement with China and has sought Washington's backing for the city's democracy movement. Does the foreign ministry have a comment on this?
A: The individual you mentioned is a Chinese citizen, but he has been traveling all over the places begging for foreign interference in China's domestic affairs. The spokesperson of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council has pointed out the nature of his actions. He is in no position to make wanton comments on China-US relations. China's position on issues regarding Hong Kong and China-US trade consultations is consistent and clear. I will reiterate that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs. No foreign government, organization or individual has any right to interfere. Those who are anti-China, who attempt to disrupt Hong Kong, and who try to add to their self-importance by soliciting foreign support, are bound to fail.
Q: The US Department of State said in a statement on September 11 that at the request of Venezuela's interim government, it invoked the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) along with the Venezuelan interim government and other 10 countries in response to what happened in Venezuela. Media analyses say this move provides the possibility of military options. What's your comment?
A: On the Venezuela issue, China adheres to the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations and believes that the issue should be resolved through inclusive political dialogue and negotiation within the framework of constitution by the Venezuelan government and opposition party. We oppose interference in its domestic affairs in whatever form, including military intervention. We strongly call on relevant parties to bear in mind the stability and development of the region and the fundamental interests of the Venezuelan people. We hope they will play a constructive role, promote peace talks within the framework of international law and help find a political solution at an early date.
Q: For some time many US officials have been lobbying against Huawei all over the world. On September 12, the US State Department's deputy assistant secretary Strayer said that during his visit with the Federal Communications Commission chair to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, they talked about security risks of using Huawei in 5G networks. He said that the US must exclude Huawei from deployments of 5G to ensure security of the framework. The South China Morning Post just quoted a report by Bloomberg about a letter sent by the US Semiconductor Industry Association to Secretary Ross of the Commerce Department, asking for prompt actions to clear sales to Huawei. Do you have a comment?
A: For some time, the US has not only been abusing national power to target certain Chinese enterprises itself, but has also kept up a global campaign to smear Chinese businesses. Such behavior runs counter to the basic market principle and international rules. It is neither decent nor moral.
As the US fabricates and spreads rumor about the security threat posed by Huawei 5G network, it has never provided any evidence. Just recently, when CNBC asked a US official if there is any clear evidence on Huawei, the reply was, "This is a wrong question." So far not a single country, organization, company or individual has produced any evidence showing that Huawei poses a threat. In May, Der Tagesspiegel stated that after years of review, the UK government, Germany's Federal Office for Information Security and the European Commission all failed to find any backdoor in Huawei. Security loopholes, however, have been detected in US company Cisco's equipment, with 10 backdoor cases revealed since 2013. Back in 2014, Apple admitted in a statement that it could access users' personal data such as text messages, contacts and photos via iPhone backdoor. In 2018, Facebook's backdoor was exposed. According to PRISM expositions, US citizens have no privacy at all, from their telephone calls, correspondence, files to voice data, in front of US intelligence agencies. The surveillance program also covered telephone calls of leaders of 35 foreign countries including closest allies of the US, in some cases for as long as ten years. And those who helped carrying out the program are, as revealed by reports available to the public, US businesses such as Cisco and Apple.
Given these open records, any fair-minded person will come to the conclusion that if countries want to ensure cyber security, they should be on alert not against Huawei, but Cisco and Apple. Huawei has offered clarifications and pledges on security issues on many occasions. Can the US side do the same?
I would like to point out that supply chain security is a constant issue throughout the development and evolution of information and communications technology (ICT). It is nothing new exclusive to 5G or any company. We are firmly against any deliberately fabricated "Huawei 5G security" issue and firmly against abusing the national security concept to restrict Chinese ICT enterprises' normal operation and cooperation. We believe countries should hold in-depth discussions on the real issue of supply chain security on a fair, just and non-discriminatory basis and try to put forward feasible suggestions to jointly safeguard the security of information technology products and services.
Q: On Sunday Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters rallied around the British consulate, with many calling on Britain to do more to protect Hong Kongers, such as offering them British citizenship. What's your comment?
A: The SAR government already responded to what happened in Hong Kong the other day. I shall say that, for those who demanded British citizenship outside the British Consulate-General in Hong Kong, I wondered whether they can be counted as true Chinese. These Chinese are begging for foreign interference in such a manner. It is simply despicable and by no means anything to be proud of.
My colleague also stated China's position on relevant issue previously. In accordance with the Interpretation by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on Some Questions Concerning Implementation of the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, any Hong Kong resident of Chinese descent who was born in the territory of China (including Hong Kong), or any other person who meets the requirements for Chinese nationality as prescribed by the Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China is a Chinese national. All Chinese compatriots residing in Hong Kong, whether they are holders of the British Dependent Territories Citizens' Passport or the British National (Overseas) Passport, are Chinese nationals. The Nationality Law of the People's Republic of China stipulates that the PRC does not recognize dual nationality for any Chinese national.