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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on June 24, 2019
2019-06-24

Q: According to reports, Chinese candidate Qu Dongyu was elected the new director-general of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) yesterday, becoming the first Chinese to assume this role. Do you have any comment?

A: On June 23, Vice Minister Qu Dongyu of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China was elected with a wide margin to be the new director-general at the 41st session of FAO's Conference in Rome, Italy.

Vice Minister Qu's election reflects a recognition of his capabilities, an endorsement of China's commitment to multilateralism and global development, and an acknowledgement of China's progress in agriculture and rural development. China appreciates that deeply.

Sustainable agriculture and rural development is a top priority with the Chinese government. While ensuring grain security at home, China has also been promoting South-South cooperation in food and agriculture. We look forward to a greater role by the FAO under the leadership of Director-General Qu in safeguarding global food security and realizing a Zero Hunger world. China will continue to work with other countries to make greater contributions to advancing the global food and agriculture cause, implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Q: According to media reports, PC Magazine's UK office sent a Huawei P30 to its US office for testing, but the cellphone was returned by FedEx for violating the US government's ban on Huawei. Some say FedEx may be added to the Chinese government's unreliable entity list for this. Do you have a comment?

A: If my memory serves me right, this is not the first time FedEx has made an "operational error" relating to Huawei. About a month ago, it failed to deliver Huawei packages to their designated destinations. The recurring "error" over such a short period of time has once again become a focus of public attention. I wonder how FedEx feels about it.

I believe as a major multinational corporation, it should provide a reasonable explanation and take responsibility for its actions. As to whether it will be added to the unreliable entity list, I have no information and would refer you to the competent authority.

As an MFA spokesperson, I would like to point out that the root cause of the chaos lies with the US government, who has been trumping up charges and abusing the label of national security to use state power in clamping down on a Chinese business. Its bullying practice not only hurts Chinese businesses, but also American ones. It is affecting their normal operation and cooperation. We urge it to stop and correct its wrong practice and create enabling conditions for the normal exchange and cooperation between companies.

Q: The "Peace to Prosperity" economic and investment workshop on Palestine will be held in Bahrain from June 25 to 26. Will China participate?

A: China's position on the Palestinian issue is consistent and clear. We firmly support Palestinian people's just cause to regain legitimate national rights and an independent Palestinian state. We have been assisting the Palestinian side to the best of our capabilities. A diplomat from our embassy in Bahrain will sit in on the opening ceremony of this event.

Q: According to reports, US President Trump is considering requiring that 5G cellular equipment used domestically be manufactured outside China. What's your comment?

A: Is this information accurate? Is it the idea of President Trump?

Journalist: Some reports said it that way.

A: The reports I saw said that relevant persons in the US put forward such a proposal. As to whether this is what President Trump is considering, I would refer you to the US side.

In response to such ideas of certain people in the US, I would like to say that they have been living in self-created panic, reaching a state of hysteria and extreme nervousness. In today's world of globalization, there is international division of labor and large-scale industrial production like never before. Under such circumstances, it's silly talk if one tries to seek its so-called absolute "security" and "control" through "isolation" or "separation".

Q: A White House spokesperson confirmed on Sunday that President Donald Trump had sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and the two had been keeping correspondence. Before that, the Korean Central News Agency also released relevant information. What's your comment?

A: We noted relevant reports as well as the positive remarks by the DPRK and the US. China always believes that dialogue and consultation is the fundamental way out for the Korean Peninsula issue. We hope the positive interactions between the DPRK and US leaders will help consolidate the momentum of engagement and provide driving force for continued talks.

President Xi Jinping just paid a successful state visit to the DPRK, during which he had an in-depth and candid exchange of views with Chairman Kim on the Korean Peninsula situation and how to uphold the dialogue process. Just as President Xi pointed out, the situation on the Peninsula concerns regional peace and stability. We saw once again the bright prospect of settlement through dialogue over the past year, which is recognized and aspired for by the international community. We all hope to see progress achieved in continued talks between the DPRK and the US.

As a close neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, China stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination with the DPRK, the US and other parties to jointly work for progress in dialogue and consultation on the Korean Peninsula issue and make positive contributions to regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.

Q: Recently the US Department of State released the 2018 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom, continuing to attack the situation of religious freedom in China and the vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said at the release of the report that history will not be silent about these abuses. What's your comment?

A: In disregard of facts and full of ideological biases, the China-related content of this so-called report and the remarks of Secretary of State Pompeo wantonly slander China's policy on religion and Xinjiang and constitute a blatant interference in China's internal affairs. China deplores and firmly opposes that and has lodged stern representations with the US side.

The Chinese government protects its citizens' freedom of religious belief and people of all ethnic groups enjoy full religious freedom in accordance with law. There is a total of nearly 200 million believers, including 20 million Muslims, more than 380,000 clerical personnel, approximately 5,500 religious groups and about 140,000 places of worship registered for religious activities in China. There are 24,400 mosques in Xinjiang, which means a mosque for 530 Muslims on average. People of all ethnic groups enjoy full freedom of religious belief. China's ethnic and religious policies are open and transparent. The relevant facts are there for all to see.

In sharp contrast, the religious and human rights situation in the US is disturbing. According to poll results released by Gallup and Pew Research Center, 42% of Americans say that they are very concerned about race relations and 75% of Muslims believe there is serious discrimination against them. According to publicly available statistics, the number of mosques in the US is even less than one tenth of that in Xinjiang.

Xinjiang affairs are purely China's internal affairs and brook no foreign interference. The vocational education and training centers legally operated in Xinjiang are a preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measure, with the aim to better protect the life and property, freedom of religious belief and human rights of people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. It is in no way a religious issue. Facts have proven that such measures have achieved remarkable results and contributed a lot to the social stability and sustained economic development in Xinjiang. This can in no way be denied or smeared by a certain report or individual in the US.

We urge the US side and Mr. Pompeo to respect facts and abandon prejudices, stop releasing such reports year after year to vilify China's  policy on religion and Xinjiang, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs using religious and Xinjiang-related issues.  

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