|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on November 28, 2019|
At the invitation of ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit the ROK from December 4 to 5.
China and the ROK are important close neighbors and cooperative partners. Bilateral relations are growing with a sound momentum with close coordination and cooperation on international and regional issues. During the visit, State Councilor Wang will meet with ROK leaders and hold talks with Foreign Minister Kang to exchange in-depth views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual concern.
Q: US President Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on November 27. Could you comment on that?
A: The US side has signed into law the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. This is a severe interference in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs. It is also in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. The Chinese government and people firmly oppose such stark hegemonic acts. We have made stern representations and strong protests to the US side.
Since Hong Kong's return to the motherland, success of the "one country, two systems" principle has been universally recognized. Hong Kong residents enjoy unprecedented democratic rights in accordance with law. The US has been disregarding facts and distorting truth. It openly backed violent criminals who rampantly smashed facilities, set fire, assaulted innocent civilians, trampled on the rule of law, and jeopardized social order. The egregious and malicious nature of its intentions is fully revealed. Its very aim is to undermine Hong Kong's stability and prosperity, sabotage the practice of "one country, two systems", and disrupt the Chinese nation's endeavor to realize the great renewal.
We remind the US that Hong Kong is part of China and Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs where no foreign government or force shall interfere. This Act will only further expose the malicious and hegemonic nature of US intentions to the Chinese people, including our Hong Kong compatriots. And the Chinese people will only stand in greater solidarity. The US attempts are bound to fail.
The Chinese government is determined in opposing foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs. We are determined in implementing the "one country, two systems" principle and safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. We urge the US to not continue going down the wrong path, or China will take countermeasures, and the US must bear all consequences.
Q: Will the US signing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act affect the China-US trade talks?
A: Like I said, the Chinese government and people firmly oppose the signing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law. We strongly urge the US to not implement this Act so as to avoid negative effects on China-US relations and cooperation in important areas.
Q: The European Parliament passed a list of new European Commissioners headed by Ursula von der Leyen on November 27. The new commission will get to work on December 1. I wonder if China would like to comment on this? Also, what are you expecting from the new commission?
A: We note that the European Parliament has passed the list of new European Commissioners. The Chinese government attaches high importance to relations with the EU and the Commission's stature and role. We support European integration and hope to see a united, stable, open and prosperous EU.
China and the EU stand as two major economies and sources for stability in the world. Under current circumstances, staying open, inclusive to each other and expanding cooperation not only serves both sides' interests, but also brings greater stability and positive energy to the world. We hope the EU will work with China, with respect for each other's core interests and concerns as well as the win-win spirit, to bring our comprehensive strategic partnership to a new height and to bring more benefits to our peoples.
Q: The Chinese side said there would be strong countermeasures on the US signing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law. I was wondering if you could give us more details on this? Is this immediate or far?
A: The Chinese government and people firmly oppose the signing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law. This is a severe interference in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs. As a stark hegemonic practice, it is also in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. We have made stern representations and strong protests to the US side.
China will take strong counter-measures in response to the US behavior that interferes in China's internal affairs and undermines China's interests. No one shall underestimate China's determination in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests. Nor shall they misjudge China's resolve in implementing the "one country, two systems" principle and in upholding prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.
Q: Recent media reports claimed that in 2017, Panama's then president Varela received large amounts of assistance from the Chinese government in exchange for establishing ties with China. Taiwan said that the mainland often uses assistance to lure corrupt officials to put personal gains before national interests. Could you comment on that?
A: China and Panama established diplomatic relationship on the basis of the one-China principle, which is consistent with international law and basic norms governing international relations. It is in keeping with the trend of the times and people's aspirations. Last year, the Panama government published the full text of 26 agreements signed with China, including the Joint Communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and Panama. It fully shows that the whole process was open and transparent and the two sides have nothing to hide. The Panama side also stated on many occasions that establishing relations with China was a political decision entirely based on the one-China principle.
Since relations were established, China has provided assistance to Panama's socioeconomic development to the best of our capabilities. We offered support to projects such as the Amador Convention Center and the Colon Secure City project. They are designed to benefit the Panama people, not any political party or individual. There is no secret funneling of funds or backdoor dealing of any kind. It is the Taiwan authority that engages in dollar diplomacy and interests transmission. Its allegation of "assistance for diplomacy", presuming others by Taiwan's own pattern, is pure fabrication to console itself and to fool others.
Q: Pope Francis reportedly said on his way back to the Vatican City State from Japan that he loves China and would like to go to Beijing. I wonder what your response might be and will you invite the Pope to visit China?
A: We saw the reports and appreciate the Pope's friendliness and good will. China and the Vatican City State have good communication, and we are pleased with the improvement in our relations. China is sincere and positive in advancing China-Vatican relationship. We welcome and are open to exchange between the two countries.
Q: Two questions. The French Foreign Ministry on Wednesday criticized China's treatment of minorities in Xinjiang, and called on China to put an end to mass detentions in the region. Do you have any response to this? On a related note, in a speech to German lawmakers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel also condemned China's policy in Xinjiang, and she praised the result of the district council election in Hong Kong. Do you have any response to that as well?
A: Your questions are about Xinjiang and Hong Kong. I'll answer them one by one.
Regarding Xinjiang, we have provided information and stated our position repeatedly. From 1990 to 2016, Xinjiang witnessed thousands of violent and terrorist attacks, which caused massive casualties and property loss. Against such a backdrop, the government in Xinjiang took counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures, which is totally aboveboard and beyond reproach.
Since the end of last year, over 1,000 foreign diplomats, international organization officials and media personnel have visited Xinjiang and got the first-hand knowledge of the effective measures on preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization taken there.
I stress that Xinjiang affairs are China's internal affairs. We oppose the interference in China's internal affairs by anyone or any force under the pretext of Xinjiang-related issues.
On the German remarks about Hong Kong, which is your second question, I want to point out that Hong Kong is part of China and Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs.
Q: When would China launch the countermeasures to the US signing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act? Does its timing have something to do with the trade talks?
A: Like I said, we firmly oppose the signing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law. We strongly urge the US to not implement this Act so as to avoid negative effects on China-US relations and cooperation in important areas. Please stay tuned to see what our counter-measures will be and when they will be rolled out. What should come, will come.
Follow-up: So it sounds like China is going to watch how the US implements the law and then decide whether to take counter-measures. Is that correct?
A: That's just your interpretation. We urge the US to not implement this Act so as to avoid negative effects on China-US relations and cooperation in important areas. As for our counter-measures that you are so interested in, please stay tuned. What should come, will come.
Q: You just announced State Councilor Wang Yi's upcoming visit to the ROK. Will he discuss President Xi's visit to the ROK with the Korean side?
A: As I announced, during the visit, State Councilor Wang will meet with ROK leaders and hold talks with Foreign Minister Kang to exchange in-depth views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual concern.
Regarding President Xi's visit to the ROK, as close neighbors, China and the ROK keep close exchange of high-level visits and communication in diplomatic and political fields. We will update you if we have the information you are interested in.