|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on June 10, 2020|
As agreed by the two sides, Premier Li Keqiang of the State Council and Chancellor Angela Merkel of the Federal Republic of Germany will have a video conference on June 11.
The Chinese government has decided to send a team of medical experts to Palestine to support its efforts against COVID-19. The team, put together by the National Health Commission with members selected by the Chongqing Municipal Health Commission, left for Palestine on the noon of June 10.
CCTV: Could you give us more information on the video conference between the Chinese premier and German chancellor? How do you comment on the China-Germany relations? What is your expectation for this conference?
Hua Chunying: China and Germany are all-round strategic partners. Leaders of the two sides have been in close communication since the start of the outbreak, even more frequently than before COVID-19. President Xi Jinping had another phone call with Chancellor Merkel last week, and only about a week after that the Chinese premier and German chancellor will have a meeting via videolink, demonstrating mutual political trust and close cooperative ties between the two sides.
China and Germany have been supporting and assisting each other in the joint fight against COVID-19. Domestically, we have both effectively brought this pandemic under control. Internationally, we have also fulfilled our responsibilities, championed international solidarity and cooperation, and firmly supported the WHO. At the moment, we are working to restore normal economic activities and promote economic and social development while sustaining epidemic control measures. All-around cooperation between China and Germany has been restarted and will be fast-forwarded. This serves the common interests of the two sides and helps to keep international industrial and supply chains stable and to pull the world economy out of recession at an early date. During the videoconference, the Chinese premier and German chancellor will focus on China-Germany relations, China-EU relations and international cooperation on fighting COVID-19. The two sides will explore ways to expand practical cooperation in various fields. We hope this conference will deliver more outcomes in China-Germany relations.
Xinhua News Agency: Yesterday Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the 10th China-EU High-Level Strategic Dialogue with Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Could you tell us more about the dialogue and its outcomes?
Hua Chunying: Yesterday State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held the 10th China-EU High-Level Strategic Dialogue with Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. This is the first strategic dialogue between State Councilor Wang Yi and High Representative Josep Borrell. It is also important strategic communication between China and the European Union at a time when the pandemic is deeply impacting the world and the international landscape is undergoing profound changes. The two sides had long, in-depth and candid discussions on China-EU relations, high-level exchanges, China-EU anti-epidemic cooperation and international and regional issues of mutual interest. The strategic dialogue achieved good results as it enhanced mutual understanding and trust and helped to prepare for the next-stage major diplomatic agenda between China and the EU.
During the strategic dialogue, the two sides reiterated that they respect each other's development path, value each other's important role in international affairs and stay committed to strengthening bilateral and multilateral dialogue and cooperation and deepening China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership on the basis of equality and mutual respect. This year is of special significance to China-EU relationship as it marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two sides. Both sides have positive expectations for China-EU relations this year and hope to accelerate investment agreement negotiations, step up cooperation in economy, trade, sustainable development and other areas, and work for more practical outcomes in China-EU major diplomatic agenda this year.
The two sides discussed international anti-epidemic cooperation, including trilateral cooperation with Africa to fight COVID-19. Both sides expressed readiness to help countries in Africa and elsewhere that have vulnerable health systems to better respond to epidemics. The two sides reaffirmed commitment to multilateralism, stronger international cooperation, better global governance and expressed willingness to jointly address global challenges through international cooperation. The two sides also exchanged views on nuclear non-proliferation, the Iranian nuclear issue, the Middle East peace process and other international and regional issues, noting their endeavor to find political solutions to these issues and safeguard world peace and stability.
Shenzhen TV: As we understand, a team of medical experts sent by the Chinese government to Peru returned to China on June 10. Could you tell us more about the expert team's work in Peru?
Hua Chunying: At the invitation of the Peruvian government, the Chinese government recently sent a four-member COVID-19 medical expert team to Peru in support of its anti-epidemic efforts.
During their stay in Peru, the Chinese medical experts conducted over 40 training and interaction sessions. They had in-depth exchange and shared experience on epidemic prevention and control, virus tests, diagnosis and treatment with Peru's national headquarters on COVID-19 response, the health ministry, Peruvian National Institute of Health, authorities of the social security of health and other local medical institutions, as well as the WHO office and the Pan American Health Organization's desk in the country. They also helped to train local medical workers. The medical experts visited cities outside the capital to assess epidemic containment situation and shared experience and know-how with the localities. With the coordination of the Chinese embassy in Peru, the medical expert team offered consultations via videolink to representatives of Chinese businesses and Chinese nationals including students there to share epidemic-related information and answer their questions.
The Peruvian side highly commended the Chinese expert team. The Peruvian foreign ministry published a communiqué thanking the Chinese government for sending the medical team. The Peruvian government awarded medals and certificates of honor to all members of the medical team.
Now the epidemics are still spreading in Latin America. China stands ready to provide anti-epidemic support to Latin American and Caribbean countries to the best of its capacity, discuss strengthening cooperation on medical health and vaccine development, and safeguard people's safety and health.
South China Morning Post: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan hopes to lead the effort in drafting a statement on the Hong Kong-related national security legislation and "one country, two systems" in the upcoming G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting. Do you have any response to that?
Hua Chunying: We noted relevant reports and have expressed grave concerns to the Japanese side. The NPC's decision on establishing and improving a legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR is purely China's internal affair that allows no foreign interference. The said country should abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations.
China Daily: On June 9, Burundi's government said in a statement that President Pierre Nkurunziza passed away due to an illness. Does the Chinese side express its condolences?
Hua Chunying: We are saddened to learn the sudden passing of President Nkurunziza. China expresses its deep condolences and sincere sympathies to the government and people of Burundi and the family of President Nkurunziza.
President Nkurunziza was a strong champion of national sovereignty and independence against foreign interference. He played an active role in helping his country find a development path that suits its national conditions. He was deeply respected and adored by his people. President Nkurunziza was also a good friend to the Chinese people as he was devoted to the cause of China-Burundi friendship and contributed greatly to deepening bilateral all-weather partnership. At this moment of grief, the Chinese people's hearts are with our friends in Burundi.
Global Times: As you announced, a medical team is sent to Palestine by the Chinese government. Can you give us more details on that? What else will China do to assist and support Palestine in fighting COVID-19?
Hua Chunying: China and Palestine share a deep, traditional friendship. Now COVID-19 is spreading in Palestine. At the request of the Palestinian government and in light of the country's practical needs, the Chinese government has decided to send a medical expert team to help its fight against COVID-19. The team will stay there for one week. During their stay, the medical professionals will discuss and share experience and know-how with the locals on epidemic control, clinical diagnosis and treatment and lab tests, addressing the challenges together with the Palestinian government and people. They will also provide COVID-19 prevention and control guidance to Chinese nationals in Palestine.
In the meantime, China will contribute an annual donation of $1 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), donate supplies to its affiliated medical institutions and provide help through UNRWA to Palestine refugees in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
China's above-mentioned approaches are a concrete step to act on the important speech delivered by President Xi Jinping at the opening ceremony of the 73rd World Health Assembly, demonstrating deep friendship between Chinese and Palestinian people. Upholding the vision of a shared future for mankind, China will continue contributing to public health security in the Middle East by helping Palestine and other regional countries to the best of our ability based on their needs.
Beijing Daily: According to a report by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), a unit in China engages thousands of organizations to collect intelligence, making efforts to influence Chinese communities around the world and foreign elites to advance Beijing's interests, which requires heightened vigilance from democratic countries. Do you have any comment on that report?
Hua Chunying: I don't know what is the basis of this ASPI report, but I do know that some in Australia revealed in an article that this institute has long been receiving funds from the US government and arms dealers, and has been enthusiastic about cooking up and sensationalizing anti-China topics. It is so imbued with ideological prejudice that it becomes an anti-China "vanguard", which leads to serious doubt on its academic integrity. It has also fabricated a fallacious report on so-called "Xinjiang-related issues", making it a laughing stock in the world.
China has been developing foreign relations based on principles of mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs. Intervention has never been in the "genes" of China's diplomacy, and has never been the type of thing we are good at. We hope external forces will stop hyping up such matters.
TASS: According to media reports, NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg made a statement that NATO cannot ignore the rise of China but doesn't see China as a rival. He also said that China is coming closer to NATO borders in the Arctic and in the cyberspace. I wonder if China has any comment on this?
Hua Chunying: We also noticed Secretary General Stoltenberg's remarks that NATO doesn't see China as a rival. In today's world, there is turbulence and instability in some regions, but on the whole, the trend of the times is still peace, development and cooperation. China has always been committed to peaceful development. We have made and will continue making contributions to world peace and development. China pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature. Our per capita defense budget is significantly lower than that of other major countries. China's development brings opportunities to the entire world; it doesn't pose any threat to any country or people.
We hope NATO can continue viewing China in the correct way, regarding China's development in a rational manner, and contributing to upholding international and regional security and stability. China is ready to enhance dialogue with NATO on the basis of equality and mutual respect.
AFP: Indian media reported that Chinese and Indian border troops are disengaging and moving back from three locations in the west section of China-India boundary. Can you confirm this?
Hua Chunying: Through diplomatic and military channels, China and India have recently had effective communication and reached agreement on properly handling the situation in the west section of the China-India boundary. At present, the two sides are taking actions in line with the agreement to ameliorate the border situation.
The Paper: In response to HSBC backing the national security legislation for Hong Kong, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on June 9 that the show of fealty seems to have earned HSBC little respect in Beijing, which continues to use the bank's business in China as political leverage against London. He said that the "browbeating" of HSBC "should serve as a cautionary tale" and it proved that countries needed to avoid economic overreliance on China due to its "aggressive behavior" and "coercive bullying tactics". What is your comment?
Hua Chunying: For some people in the US, there are only two types of people: those who take order from the US and join it in its attacks against China, and those who don't do so because they are coerced by China. Such a view is simply narrow-minded and hilarious. As is known to all, "All living things should grow in harmony without hurting one another; and all the ways should move forward without interfering with one another." Every nation, every party and every individual has the right to make decisions on their own based on the merits of the matter and act out of their fundamental interests.
As for the national security legislation for Hong Kong, we have said many times that it serves the fundamental interests of the Hong Kong SAR and the legitimate rights and interests of foreign institutions and personnel in Hong Kong to establish and improve the legal system and enforcement mechanisms for safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR to ensure Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability. After the NPC made the decision, stakeholders including the business communities, have given objective and unbiased responses in light of the facts and their fundamental interests.
Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs which allow no foreign interference. We urge the US to correctly view this legislation, stop stoking discord and using Hong Kong-related matters to interfere in China's internal affairs, and do things that are conducive to Hong Kong's prosperity and stability instead of working for the opposite effect.