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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on July 2, 2019

2019-07-02

At the invitation of the Chinese side, President-elect of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly Tijjani Muhammad Bande will pay a visit to China from July 3 to 7.

Q: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said yesterday that Moscow supports the US stance on the feasibility to increase the number of participants under agreements on the nuclear weapons disarmament. He also said that Russia proposed to involve France and the United Kingdom in this process. How do you comment on this?

A: As we repeatedly said, the US and Russia, with the largest nuclear arsenals in the world, have an obligation to earnestly fulfill their special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament following international consensus including UNGA resolutions and other UN documents. They should continue to drastically reduce their nuclear weapons in a verifiable, irreversible and legally-binding manner. It will help create conditions for realizing final and full nuclear disarmament.

We also note that President Putin said recently that Russia and the US, as the world's top nuclear powers, should first advance bilateral nuclear disarmament.

As to whether the UK and France would like to join nuclear disarmament negotiations between Russia and the US, I could not answer in their stead.

Q: First, President Trump said that the Chinese side and the US side are speaking on the phone and meeting each other, and the trade talks have already begun. I wonder what's your response to that? Second, the US side said that protesters ramming the Legislative Council in Hong Kong yesterday are seeking democracy and many people want democracy. What is your response?

A: To answer your first question, the Chinese and US heads of state held a successful meeting in Osaka. You may have seen the press release. The two leaders agree in the meeting to relaunch economic and trade consultations on the basis of equality and mutual respect. The US side said it decided not to add new tariffs on Chinese goods. The two teams will discuss the specifics. I would refer you to the competent authority for the details you are interested in.

Regarding the violent incident where protesters stormed into the Legislative Council building in Hong Kong, you may have noted the response from the SAR government. Spokesperson of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council has also released a statement. Our attitude has been most clear.

Violent behaviors, including ramming the Legislative Council building and vandalizing facilities, are grave illegal activities that trample on the rule of law and undermine social order. We strongly condemn such behaviors. The Central Government firmly supports the SAR government and police in handling the incident according to law.

I will reiterate that Hong Kong is China's special administrative region and its affairs are purely China's internal affairs. We deplore and resolutely oppose certain countries' flagrant interference in them. Once again we urge relevant countries to act prudently and not interfere in Hong Kong's internal affairs in any form. They should not bolster violent illegal activities in any way or send any misleading signals with erroneous actions.

Q: The report by the IAEA Director General shows that Iran's enriched uranium stockpile has exceeded the limit set by the JCPOA. Do you have a comment?

A: China regrets the measure taken by Iran. At the same time, as we have repeatedly stressed, the US maximum pressure is the root cause of the current tensions on the Iranian nuclear issue. Parties to the JCPOA have all along worked relentlessly to uphold it. At the Joint Commission meeting on June 28, they reiterated commitment to full and effective implementation of the deal. Iran has stated repeatedly its willingness to stay within the deal, emphasizing that all its measures are reversible. We call on all parties to take an overall and long-term perspective, exercise restraint and jointly uphold the JCPOA to prevent a spiral of escalation.

Q: A follow-up question on Hong Kong. The US, the UK and the EU stated that Hong Kong people are entitled to enjoy the right to peaceful protest. At the same time, violence should be avoided, and the most important thing at the moment is to exercise restraint. Do you have any further comment?

A: Just now I have made clear our position and attitude.

If the storming of legislature happened in the US or Europe instead of Hong Kong, how would it have been dealt with? You have seen on TV how American and European police handle violent scenes. Do you think they will let the protesters have their way? However, when the same violence occurred in Hong Kong, those countries, instead of rightfully condemning it, are lecturing all about "right to peaceful protest" and "no violence" while painting themselves as unbiased critics. This is stark double standards and reveals the ugly face of hypocrisy itself.

Here I would like to reiterate that Hong Kong is China's special administrative region and its affairs are purely China's internal affairs. We deplore and strongly oppose the gross interference in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs by relevant countries. We again urge them to exercise prudence in words and deeds, do not interfere in Hong Kong affairs in whatever form or back up the violent law breakers, and refrain from sending any misleading signals or making any wrong moves.

Q: British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt tweeted on Hong Kong protesters' storming the Legislative Council, stressing the UK's unwavering support for Hong Kong and its freedoms. He also said that no violence is acceptable, but Hong Kong people must preserve the legal right to peaceful protest. Would you like to comment on that?

A: Lately China has made clear its position to the UK on the Hong Kong SAR government's legislative amendment. We repeatedly lodged stern representations with the British side. However, in total disregard of China's concerns, the UK has frequently and flagrantly interfered in China's internal affairs with wanton criticism. We deplore and firmly oppose that.

Hong Kong is China's special administrative region and its affairs are purely China's internal affairs that brook no interference from any country, organization or individual. China's determined to safeguard sovereignty, national security and development interests. We are determined to uphold prosperity and stability in Hong Kong. We are determined to reject foreign interference. We urge the UK to reflect upon its erroneous words and deeds and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's domestic affairs in any form.

Q: US officials say that China has been conducting a series of anti-ship ballistic missile tests in the South China Sea. Can China confirm that? What is China's comment on that?

A: I would refer you to the military for that.

***

The Foreign Ministry and the People's Government of Fujian Province will hold a promotion event in the MFA South Building at 2:30pm on July 5. The theme is "China in the New Era: Eco-Friendly Fujian, Gateway for the Maritime Silk Road". State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend and address the event. Secretary of the CPC Fujian Provincial Committee Yu Weiguo and Governor Tang Dengjie will also deliver speeches to promote the province. Representatives of foreign diplomats in China are invited to make remarks and interact with the audience.

Embraced by mountains and the sea, Fujian is a beautiful place with an excellent environment. It serves as an important window and base for China's exchanges with foreign countries. In the new era, Fujian, following the new development visions, is implementing an eco-friendly strategy and making progress in ecological improvement and high-quality development. This event will showcase Fujian's socio-economic achievements over the past 70 years since the founding of the New China and the main outcomes Fujian has achieved in opening up while leveraging its multiple strengths as the Core Area of the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, a special economic zone and a pilot free trade zone. It will also demonstrate the important role Fujian has played in exploring the integrated development across the Taiwan Strait and offer a platform for people to get a better understanding of and expand cooperation with Fujian. You are most welcomed to attend and cover this event.

The foreign ministry spokesperson's regular press conference will be adjourned on Friday (July 5)  and resumed on next Monday (July 8). You may still reach us via phone, email, fax and WeChat.

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