|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on July 24, 2019|
Q: There was a Bloomberg report yesterday that a US trade delegation led by USTR Lighthizer is going to Shanghai next Monday for trade negotiations. Can you confirm it?
A: Last week, heads of the Chinese and US trade consultation teams had a phone conversation. They discussed the implementation of the consensus made by the two presidents during their summit in Osaka. They also exchanged views on further consultations. I believe the two teams stay in communication with each other. I'd refer you to the competent authority for detailed arrangements.
Q: There's a report saying that four Chinese nationals of Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Company have been indicted in the US for financial dealings with DPRK companies that were sanctioned. I was wondering if you had a comment on this case?
A: I would like to make clear three points. First, China opposes US "long-arm jurisdiction" on Chinese entities and individuals based on its domestic law. Our position is consistent and clear.
Second, Dandong Hongxiang Industrial Development Company and its chief executive are suspected of economic crimes. The Chinese judicial organ is handling this case according to law.
Third, I'd like to stress that China earnestly implements the DPRK-related UN Security Council resolutions. We earnestly honor our international obligation in non-proliferation export control and other areas.
Q: On July 23, FBI Director Wray said to the Judiciary Committee of the Senate yesterday that China poses a more serious counterintelligence threat to the US than any other country. The FBI has conducted investigations involving intellectual property theft. According to him, almost all those concerning economic espionage and non-proliferation lead back to China. China is fighting a fight with the US. I wonder if you have any comment on that?
A: This is not the first time Mr. Wray says such things. His accusations are just baseless. They can fool no one other than themselves. Like I said yesterday, in his public speech in April this year, Mr. Pompeo, incumbent US Secretary of State and former head of the biggest US intelligence agency, said blatantly that "We lied, we cheated, we stole. It is the glory of American experiment." But China is different. We don't steal, rob or lie. We made all those major development achievements through our wisdom and diligence. If you say China is fighting a fight, I believe it's a fight of justice to safeguard our own legitimate rights and interests.
Q: Recently people in the US are celebrating the 50th anniversary of landing on the Moon. Countries are speeding up their lunar landing missions. How do you view the competition between various countries? What is your view on China's outer space exploration?
A: Human exploration of the universe has no end. Landing on the Moon is an important step in this process. As we all recall, astronaut Armstrong became the first man on the Moon 50 years ago. He said, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." The past fifty years saw rapid development in science and technology. But I think we should never forget our initial goal. That is, our exploration of the outer space aims to deliver benefits to mankind. We should step up international communication and cooperation, devote more efforts to the peaceful use of outer space and make greater contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind.
Q: First, former British governor of Hong Kong Chris Patten said he was concerned about the attack at Yuen Long last Sunday, calling it the severest violent incident after the return of Hong Kong. What's your response? Second, several countries have issued travel alerts on Hong Kong and Macao, including Japan's consulate-general in Hong Kong and Ireland's foreign ministry. What's your comment?
A: On your first question about Mr. Chris Patten calling what happened at Yuen Long the severest violent incident after the return of Hong Kong 22 years ago, I wonder how would he think about the storming of the Legislative Council and the besiegement of Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong SAR? Things happened in Hong Kong recently, but Mr. Chris Patten selectively talked about some of them and didn't even mention those incidents that undermined the foundation of Hong Kong's rule of law. In other words, he turned a blind eye to them. What is his true intention? I believe we all see it so clearly. China's position on this issue is rock-firm. We resolutely oppose any foreign forces' interference in Hong Kong's internal affairs and we advise them to stop doing so immediately.
Regarding your second question, we closely follow what happened in Hong Kong recently. We are opposed to all violent, illegal actions and firmly support the Hong Kong SAR government and police in handling that in accordance with law to uphold the rule of law and social order in Hong Kong. You said Ireland and other countries issued travel alerts on Hong Kong and Macao. I was wondering how you feel as a Hong Kong journalist? I believe those who truly love Hong Kong must be heartbroken. All Hong Kong-loving people with a sense of justice should stand together to safeguard security and order in Hong Kong and make this "Pearl of the Orient" shine again. I believe this is the shared aspiration of every Hong Kong resident. Am I right?
Q: In its World Economic Outlook released on July 23, the IMF cut the global forecast for this year and next by 0.1 percentage point, and downgraded Chinese growth by a tenth of a percentage point this year and next, to 6.2 percent and 6.0 percent. The report said the first quarter GDP in China was stronger than forecast, but indicators for the second quarter suggest a weakening of activity with growing economic pressure. What's your comment?
A: I noted this IMF report. The National Bureau of Statistics released China's macroeconomic data for the first half of this year the other day, and the international community gives a positive evaluation of the momentum of China's economy. Now the world economy is slowing down as protectionism is raising its ugly head. However, as an economy of $13.6 trillion GDP, China maintains an annual growth rate of over 6 percent, which means the growth is equivalent to the size of a major economy. This is something we are proud of. In recent years, China has contributed to over 30 percent of world economic growth, remaining the largest source of growth for global economy.
Stability is a word the international community would use when describing China's economic development. China's economy has a stable momentum for development and stable link with the world economy. What's most important is that we Chinese people have a stable mind. Through further innovation in macroeconomic regulation, China will improve business environment, drastically cut taxes and administrative fees, stimulate the vitality of market players, build a stronger economy and continue to spur global economic growth.
Q: According to Bloomberg, China and the US are going to have trade talks in Shanghai next week. Minister of Commerce Zhong Shan will join the talks for the first time. Can you confirm that? Besides, Der Spiegel reported that FDP leader Christian Lindner was "rudely treated" in Beijing after he and his delegation met with the Hong Kong pan-democratic lawmakers. Can you confirm that?
A: Regarding the specific schedule of the trade talks, I would like to refer you to the competent authority.
You mentioned that the delegation of Germany's Free Democratic Party (FDP) was "treated rudely". But I guess that's not the truth? China is a state of ceremonies, and we treat our guests with courtesy, equality and mutual respect.
Indeed, FDP leader Christian Lindner recently led a delegation to China. This is a normal exchange between the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the FDP. Officials from the International Liaison Department of the CPC exchanged views on the party-to-party and state-to-state relations with the FDP delegation and made clear China's position on Hong Kong-related issues. The China-Germany comprehensive strategic partnership now stands at a crucial juncture of development. We hope the main political parties in Germany, including the FDP, will do more to enhance our mutual trust and friendly cooperation in a good and constructive way.
Q: Former UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is expected to take over the Prime Minister today. I wonder what is China's comment on his new position and if China has sent a congratulatory letter already?
A: We congratulate Boris Johnson on becoming the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. China attaches importance to the China-UK relations and hopes that the UK will continue to work with China to ensure the sustained, steady and sound development of China-UK relations in the spirit of mutual respect and win-win cooperation.
Regarding the congratulatory message, China will handle that in accordance with diplomatic practice.
Q: Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez announced that he is coming to China at the end of this month, and that he will meet President Xi Jinping and they will discuss topics such as Venezuela and so on. Could you confirm this and offer more details on his visit to China?
A: We announced yesterday that Colombian President Iván Duque Márquez will pay a state visit to China from July 28 to 31.
President Iván Duque Márquez's visit is the most important bilateral interaction between China and Colombia this year and also the first meeting between the two heads of state after the new Colombian administration took office. Just like you said, President Xi Jinping will hold a welcoming ceremony and banquet for President Iván Duque Márquez and have talks with him. They will jointly attend the signing ceremony of cooperation documents. Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman Li Zhanshu will meet with him respectively. The two sides will exchange views on China-Colombia relations, China-Latin America cooperation, the situation in Latin America and other issues of mutual interest.
As I understand, the two countries are discussing the signing of agreements on cooperation in such fields as education, judiciary, agriculture, export of agricultural products to China, e-commerce and finance. I believe President Iván Duque Márquez's visit will be conducive to enhancing our political mutual trust, expanding practical cooperation and scaling the bilateral relations onto new heights.
Q: Could you tell us why the China-US trade talks next week will take place in Shanghai? Is there any symbolic significance in it?
A: Like I just said, I would like to refer you to relevant competent authority for the specific arrangement of the trade talks.
Q: Hong Kong media just reported that some Hong Kong students were disrupted by mainland students when they tried to voice their opinion in campus in Australia, and Australian police has intervened in this. Do you think this incident will affect China's image overseas?
A: First of all, I'm not aware of what you mentioned.
Second, you asked whether it will affect China's image overseas. I think your words are highly misleading. You should first ask the following questions. Do things that certain people in Hong Kong did affect Hong Kong's image in the world? Are those things good or bad for Hong Kong's image as a peaceful and prosperous place?