|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on August 13, 2020|
Yonhap News: Reports say that Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi is going to visit South Korea next week. Can you confirm that?
Zhao Lijian: China and the ROK are important close neighbors and cooperation partners, and the two sides maintain close communication on exchanges and cooperation in various fields, including at higher levels. We will release information in a timely manner once we have it.
China Review News: The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government has announced on August 12 that it issued notices to the German Consulate General Hong Kong and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau respectively to suspend the implementation of the Agreement between the Government of the HKSAR of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Surrender of Fugitive Offenders (SFO) and to shelve the Agreement between the Government of the HKSAR of the PRC and the Government of the French Republic Concerning Surrender of Accused or Convicted Persons which is pending entry into force. Is this a countermeasure to the suspension of extradition treaties with Hong Kong by Germany and France?
Zhao Lijian: Germany unilaterally announced suspension of the agreement on the surrender of fugitive offenders with Hong Kong and France halted the ratification of the relevant agreement with Hong Kong. Germany and France have politicized judicial cooperation, interfered in China's internal affairs, and violated international law and basic norms governing international relations. The Chinese side firmly opposes such moves.
Under the framework of the agreement on the surrender of fugitive offenders, the HKSAR, with the Central Government's assistance and mandate and in accordance with the Basic Law, has offered assistance to the German side, and it has ratified the agreement on the surrender of fugitive offenders with France. Germany and France, by wrongfully politicizing judicial cooperation with Hong Kong, have damaged the foundation for such cooperation and deviated from its purpose of upholding justice and rule of law. Therefore, China has decided that the HKSAR will suspend the implementation of the SFO agreement between the HKSAR and Germany and shelve the SFO agreement between the HKSAR and France.
CRI: According to USCBC 2020 Member Survey released on August 11, nearly 70 percent of the American companies surveyed are optimistic about the five-year commercial prospects of the Chinese market. As a result of their long-term confidence in the China market, 87 percent of the respondents reported no plans to shift production out of China. Do you have a comment?
Zhao Lijian: We noted the USCBC 2020 Member Survey. The results attest to global confidence in the Chinese market, business environment and economic prospects for foreign businesses.
Amid the huge economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, China's economy withstood the test and demonstrated strong resilience and growth potential. We brought the epidemic under control with timely and effective measures and then went all out with resumption of economic activities to restore life and work back to normalcy. As a result, economic growth turned positive in the second quarter and major indicators resumed growth, bringing the economy steadily onto the path of recovery. China became the first major economy to resume positive growth.
Meanwhile we pressed ahead with opening-up and international trade cooperation, boosting global demand and promoting international trade. During the first half of the year, many foreign companies further expanded their investment in China, with 320 major projects drawing more than $100 million input each. Leading international institutions are optimistic about China's economic prospects, seeing China as a source of confidence and positive energy for world economic recovery.
China boasts a huge market with its 1.4 billion population and full-fledged industrial supporting systems. We will remain committed to opening-up and build an open platform with a better business environment. We believe China's development will provide more opportunities for foreign companies, and our win-win cooperation is bound to deliver greater benefits.
Xinhua News Agency: China and Nepal held the 13th round of China-Nepal diplomatic consultation yesterday. Do you have more details on that? What expectations does China have for China-Nepal relations ahead?
Zhao Lijian: Yesterday the foreign ministries of China and Nepal held the 13th round of China-Nepal diplomatic consultation via video to exchange views on bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest. A press release has been issued and you may refer to that.
China and Nepal are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. The heads of state of our two countries exchanged successful visits last year and elevated bilateral relations to new heights. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between the two sides, and the leaders of China and Nepal sent congratulatory messages to each other on this occasion. The two countries have also stood together and lent mutual assistance to each other during the fight against COVID-19, which further enhanced our mutual trust and friendship.
China stands ready to work with Nepal to implement the consensus of the two leaders, continue to strengthen anti-epidemic cooperation, pursue quality BRI cooperation, deepen cooperation on economy, trade and investment, inter-connectivity, development assistance, defense and law enforcement security and people-to-people exchanges and work for greater progress in bilateral relations.
Shenzhen TV: US Secretary of State Pompeo said in a speech during his visit to the Czech Republic that compared with Russia, "an even greater threat is the threat posed by the Chinese Communist Party and its campaigns of coercion and control", and that "Americans now recognize that the CCP...threatens their values and their way of life". He also criticized China's COVID-19 response and its domestic and foreign policy including on Hong Kong, Xinjiang and the South China Sea. Does China have any comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: Driven by a Cold War mentality and selfish gains, Pompeo has been wantonly criticizing the CPC and China's domestic and foreign policy. China has stated its solemn position on this repeatedly.
Wherever Pompeo goes, he brings political viruses and disinformation with him. The Chinese embassy in the Czech Republic has just published a press release for "disinfection". We don't want to waste more time on refuting Pompeo's lies. Perhaps some of you can do me a favor and ask if he can sleep soundly at night after repeating shameless lies against China like a feverish man day after day?
Pompeo and his like attempt to hijack the international community onto their anti-communism and anti-China chariot and use other countries as their pawns. However, the world can see through this and won't fall for it. Peace-loving people will not allow it. And China will not let it disrupt its pace. The futile attempt of Pompeo and his like is doomed to fail.
I'll end on a Czech saying to the effect that "He who digs a pit for others will fall into it himself".