|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on October 24, 2019|
Q: US House Speaker Pelosi tweeted on October 22 a photo with Jimmy Lai and Martin Lee and said that her "full support and admiration goes to those who have taken to the streets week after week in non-violent protest to fight for democracy and the rule of law in Hong Kong". What's your response?
A: I don't know if you have noticed that a few days ago, an American living in HK wrote an open letter to US Senators, saying that the Western world is not seeing the truth of Hong Kong. Some US Senators claim they see no violence. Shame on them for lying. Most people in Hong Kong are living now in fear not because of anything China has done, but the bad deeds of the protesters who have been emboldened by those in the US. And now, the lie is going on.
These are the views of an ordinary American. Regrettably, however, politicians like Ms. Pelosi are distorting facts and confusing right and wrong by whitewashing violent criminal offenses in Hong Kong as non-violent struggle and bolstering violent protesters who want to disrupt Hong Kong and China. Their hypocrisy and maliciousness are simply despicable and infuriating. The violent radicals in Hong Kong have been emboldened by the assurances of the likes of Ms. Pelosi through such stark conniving, aiding and abetting.
I believe you all see that what is happening in Hong Kong is street violence and criminal offenses, period. The mobsters smashed shops, vandalized public facilities, beat innocent citizens and openly assaulted police officers, including by extremely cruel life-threatening means such as acid attacks and slashing throats. These are plain facts. I wonder how much more police blood, how many innocent tears and sufferings Ms. Pelosi and her like want to see before their conscience can be awakened? I would like to say this to Ms. Pelosi: please keep the "beautiful sight" to yourselves because we want nothing of it.
I would like to remind Ms. Pelosi and her like that no matter how blinded you are by prejudice, no matter how your heart is filled with evil, do know this: Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong; attempts to interfere in Hong Kong affairs or separate Hong Kong will never succeed. Such tricks might have worked elsewhere, but they will not work on Chinese soil, including in Hong Kong. At the end of the day, all they will get is a bitter result as they wake up from a pipe dream.
Q: There are industrial reports that the DPRK is now negotiating with China to provide rare earth extraction rights in exchange for China providing investment in construction of solar power plants for electricity in the DPRK. Is that true? How is this plan expected to work given current UN sanctions specifically against the DPRK excavating its rare earth minerals?
A: I'm not aware of the matter you asked about.
Q: The CSIS report, Research Collaboration in an Era of Strategic Competition, says that the restrictions that the US imposed on China-US scientific research collaboration for national security reasons can be traced back to similar concerns during the Cold War, and that the US government should step up cooperation with the private sector and academia and strike a balance between openness in scientific research and national security. I wonder if you have any comment?
A: We noted media reports on this, too. In fact, this is not the first time American scientists express concerns on the US government's restrictions on the country's scientific and technological cooperation with China. Not long ago, 60 American scientific institutions published an open letter calling for the US government to stop oppressing foreign researchers and obstructing international scientific cooperation. According to US National Science Foundation statistics, China and the US are each other's biggest international peers in co-authored papers, and such inter-dependence is way greater than that between other countries. These facts all demonstrate a simple truth that stronger cooperation between China and the US meets the aspiration and common interests of the two peoples.
In today's world of the 21st century, international cooperation is necessary for scientific and technological development, and people-to-people exchange is an unstoppable trend of the times. We have seen for some time the attempts of certain people and institutions in the US to contain China by tightening scientific exchange and cooperation out of a zero-sum game mindset and ulterior intentions, which is extremely absurd. Heed different views and one will be enlightened, while hearing only one side of the story makes one benighted. We hope the US government and policy makers will listen to the rational voices by people from the US and abroad, stop obstructing its scientific exchange and cooperation with China, and work with the Chinese side for greater progress that benefits all mankind.
Q: According to the World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report, China ranks the 31st place this year, another leap from the 46th place last year and the 78th place the year before, and it is again among the top ten economies that enjoy the biggest improvement in their business environment, the second year in a row. Do you have any comment on that?
A: China welcomes the World Bank's Doing Business 2020 report that moves China's place much higher again. It endorses China's dedication to deepening reforms, opening up wider and improving its business environment, and that China's remarkable achievements are recognized by the world. That is indeed a vote of confidence in our country's reform and opening up as well as China's economic prospect, and it clearly boosts market confidence as the world is facing economic slowdown and greater uncertainties.
China actively advocates and advances an open world economy. We will continue to be open to the world, improving our business environment, and implementing new measures for opening up of higher quality, so that we will have a world-class, market-oriented business environment governed by a sound legal framework. Those measures include the regulation on improving the business environment that will come into effect on January 1, 2020. We welcome more foreign companies that invest in China, operate in China and share China's development opportunities.
Q: This is a question about the South China Sea. Vietnam said that a Chinese oil vessel and its escorts left the waters in the South China Sea on Thursday. Vietnam has said this violates their sovereignty. Does China have a response? Can you confirm if the oil vessel has left the waters?
A: I think you mean China's survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8, right? Following the arrangements of the Chinese side, our survey ship Haiyang Dizhi 8 started its scientific exploration in early July this year in the waters under China's jurisdiction in the South China Sea, and now the exploration has finished.
Q: The Brazilian president will start a state visit to Beijing today. He was elected with a promise to reset Brazilian foreign policy. How do you evaluate the current relations between the two countries? Do you think President Bolsonaro's election has brought any change to relations between China and Brazil?
A: We announced President Bolsonaro's visit to China the other day. Invited by President Xi Jinping, President Bolsonaro will pay a state visit to China from October 24 to 26, which is his first state visit here after taking office.
China and Brazil are both major developing countries, important emerging markets and each other's comprehensive strategic partner. In the past 45 years after establishing diplomatic ties, China-Brazil relations have been sound and stable with fruitful cooperation in various fields. In fact, our relationship has become an example of solidarity, cooperation and common development between major developing countries. Since President Bolsonaro was sworn in, he has been committed to bilateral relations with China. He noted that the new Brazilian government values China as a major country, and expressed the country's readiness to become China's sincere friend. Brazil will carry out cooperation with China in various fields instead of just in the economic and trade sector. He hopes high-level exchange will bring more win-win outcomes to both and open up new prospects in bilateral relations. It is fair to say that our relationship enjoys great potentials and a bright prospect.
China views its relations with Brazil from a strategic and long-term perspective. Taking President Bolsonaro's visit and the 45th anniversary of our diplomatic ties as an opportunity, we would like to work with Brazil for closer high-level exchange, greater cooperation in multiple fields and more progress in our comprehensive strategic partnership.
As the chair this year, Brazil will hold the BRICS Leaders' Summit from November 13 to 14 in Brasilia. China attaches great importance to BRICS cooperation and is ready to provide full support for Brazil in holding a successful summit.
Q: Chile has seen ongoing protests and unrest in the last several days. I was wondering if China has any particular concerns about the unrest? Has China taken any special measures to ensure the security of the Chinese delegation in the country?
A: As an important country in Latin America and the Asia-Pacific, Chile has successfully held many large-scale international conferences. China supports Chile in hosting a successful APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in November. As we are following the situation in Chile, we believe the Chilean government can properly handle it and ensure a smooth and safe meeting.
Q: Yesterday Prime Minister Abe asked Vice President Wang Qishan to provide assistance to the case of the detained Japanese professor in China. I wonder if you have any specific information on that?
A: I can share some information on Vice President Wang Qishan's meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. As President Xi Jinping's special envoy, Vice President Wang Qishan paid a friendly visit to Japan and met with Prime Minister Abe yesterday.
Vice President Wang said that in June this year, President Xi and Prime Minister Abe reached important consensus on fostering a China-Japan relationship in keeping with the need of the new era, ushering in new development opportunities to bilateral relations. The two sides need to abide by principles set by the four political documents between China and Japan and properly handle historical issues and the question of Taiwan, so that our bilateral relations can progress along the track of peace, friendship and cooperation.
Prime Minister Abe said that Japan and China are deepening economic and trade cooperation, and that both countries are shouldering major responsibilities to peace and prosperity in Asia and the world. Both Japan and China are stepping into their new eras. The Osaka summit between two leaders brought bilateral relations fully back to normal, promising immense potential for future cooperation. The Japanese side looks forward to President Xi's state visit in spring next year. Japan will properly handle sensitive issues including those relating to Taiwan. The Japanese side stands ready to work with China for a future-oriented, vibrant relationship.
As to the case you mentioned, I commented a few days ago. The Japanese side knows that very well. The Chinese side lawfully handles the case involving a foreign citizen who has broken Chinese law. Pursuant to the Agreement on Consular Relations Between China and Japan, the Chinese side has offered necessary assistance to the Japanese side in fulfilling consular duties.
Q: A recent report released by the Australian think tank Lowy Institute pointed out that China is not pursuing a "debt trap" policy in the Pacific island region. Its grants and loans are for roads, bridges and modern buildings which are urgently needed to improve people's livelihood. They are not "white elephants" or "roads to nowhere"as some accused of. The report also mentioned that Chinese loans are more responsive to local needs. Would you like to comment?
A: I have also taken note of this report and find many of its findings consistent with reality. China pursues cooperation with Pacific island countries based on the principles of equality, mutual benefit, openness and sustainability. From project selection to investment and financing cooperation, all decisions are made with mutual consent. China provides loans based on recipients' will to areas with funding shortfalls in urgent need of development.
Just a few days ago the third China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum was held in the capital of Samoa. Many Pacific island countries' leaders spoke highly of Chinese assistance to their economic development. The Prime Minister of Samoa said that a comprehensive strategic partnership with mutual respect and shared development as well as BRI cooperation will provide development platforms for both sides. The Prime Minister of Vanuatu said that his country will strengthen cooperation with China, enhance long-term friendship and cooperative partnership and bring more benefits to the two peoples.
These facts attest to the welcome that China enjoys, extended by the island governments and peoples, for the tangible benefits brought by cooperation between China and Pacific island countries. China stands ready to continue such win-win cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and equality to help island countries grow their economy and improve people's lives.