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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on May 9, 2019


Q: Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou reportedly called for the suspension of her extradition process. Will the Meng Wanzhou case be discussed during the China-US trade talks in Washington this week?

China's position on the Meng Wanzhou case is clear-cut and firm. The US and Canada abused their bilateral extradition treaty and took compulsive measures against a Chinese citizen without cause. This is a serious political incident that grossly violates the legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese citizen. Once again we urge the US to immediately withdraw the arrest warrant and extradition request for Ms Meng. We urge the Canadian side to take China's solemn position seriously, release Ms Meng immediately and ensure that she returns to China safe and sound.

As I understand, Huawei has released a statement on the latest developments.

Regarding your question on whether this will be discussed during the trade talks, I'm not aware of that.

Q: Britain's media regulator is investigating state television CCTV for airing the confession of the British businessman Peter Humphrey. Do you have any comment on this issue?

A: I'd refer you to the relevant media for this question.

Here's what I can tell you. First, news agencies are bridges facilitating mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation. We hope the UK will render support and convenience to foreign media in carrying out their work in the country.

Second, regarding the trial then of the Peter Humphrey case and ensuing developments, relevant information is available online.

Q: We know from media reports that the EU published its 2018 annual reports on Hong Kong and Macao on May 8 commenting on the two region's affairs. I wonder what is your response to that?

A: There's no denying that the "one country, two systems" policy has been successfully implemented in Hong Kong and Macao since their return to the motherland. The two regions enjoy prosperity and stability, and residents there have been guaranteed by law with an unprecedented level of democratic rights and various freedoms, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press and freedom of association. We deplore and resolutely object the EU reports for the unwarranted comments on the affairs of Hong Kong and Macao and wanton criticisms on the "one country, two systems" practice in the two regions under the pretext of human rights and freedom, which constitute a gross interference in China's internal affairs and the affairs of the SARs. We have repeatedly made clear our opposition to the EU's releasing of reports on Hong Kong and Macao, and we demand it to stop this wrong practice.

Q: It has been reported that US Secretary Pompeo said during a visit to the UK on the 8th that the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China violates the sovereignty of nations and that the US urges the UK to remain vigilant and voice its opposition. Do you have a comment?

A: Some in the US have been keeping up a barrage of irresponsible comments against the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which reached a crescendo on the eve of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF).

But what was the result? More than 6,000 delegates from 150 countries and 92 international organizations attended the forum, and that included more than 50 delegates from the US. This is the international community taking actual actions to cast a vote of confidence and support in the initiative and the best response to the words and actions of the US.

In the past few days, we have noticed that a few individuals in the US seem to be singing the same old tune, seeking to attack and smear the BRI. They are not fed up with saying it; we are fed up with hearing it. I would like to remind them once again not to overestimate the effects of their rumors or underestimate the informed judgment of others. They can go on talking the talk if they so wish, but we will continue walking the walk. The world will tell plainly who is stirring up trouble and who is trying to make a difference.

Q: President Xi last night spoke with the Saudi King Salman on the phone. I've already seen the statement. Was the timing chosen intentionally? Because yesterday there was an announcement from Iran about the nuclear program. In the statement there is no direct mention of Iran. Are you able to tell us whether President Xi and King Salman discussed the Iran issue?

A: Like you said, a detailed press release on President Xi's phone call with King Salman is available online. I have nothing to update you at the moment.

I'd like to stress that China and Saudi Arabia are comprehensive strategic partners. We will work with the Saudi side to step up practical cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and bring more benefits to our countries and peoples.

Q: The US Navy said in a statement today that the US, Japan, India and the Philippines conducted a joint exercise in the South China Sea from May 2 to 8. According to the Japanese side, the exercise was aimed to advance cooperation in the Indo-Pacific. Do you have any comment on that?

A: I'm not aware of what you said. I'll need to check on it.

I'd like to emphasize that as a principle, relevant countries' policies on and actions in a region should be serving, instead of undermining, the region's peace, stability and development.

Q: According to reports, in the 67th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers held on May 8, it was agreed that the pre-transitional period for South Sudan, which was set to end on May 12, would be extended by six months. I wonder what is your comment?

A: China commends the IGAD's active mediation to bring all parties in South Sudan to reach an important agreement on extending the pre-transitional period. It will help all parties in South Sudan to conduct in-depth consultation and dialogue and fully implement the Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed at the end of 2018. China will continue to work with the international community to help advance the peace process and play a constructive role in restoring peace and stability in South Sudan.

Q: Could you confirm that the Chinese trade delegation will visit the US today as scheduled?

A:Yes, they leave Beijing today for the consultations.

Q: What is China's attitude to the trade talks with the US? Do you have any comment on the US raising tariffs on some Chinese goods to 25%?

A: Yesterday the spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce made comments on this and the Commerce Ministry is holding a press conference this afternoon. I believe relevant information will be easily accessible.

Q: The trade talks to be held between China and the US have captured global attention. There would be wide disappointment if the talks turned out fruitless. What does China expect from the talks?

A: I have been taking similar questions these past few days and the answer could be repeated here. We hope the US can work with China to meet each other halfway, accommodate each other's legitimate concerns and strive for a mutually beneficial agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality. It will serve the interests of both China and the US and is the shared expectation of the international community.

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