|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on June 10, 2019|
As agreed upon by the two sides, the coordinators' meeting on the implementation of the FOCAC Beijing Summit outcomes will be held on June 24 and 25 in Beijing. Ministerial-level officials from China and 54 African member states will attend the meeting. The event will consist mainly of an opening ceremony, a plenary session, a closing ceremony, a joint press conference, a welcome banquet and a dialogue between heads of Chinese financial institutions and African coordinators. Party and state leaders of China will attend important activities and hold group or bilateral meetings with African delegates. A joint declaration will be released regarding the outcomes and consensus reached during the meeting.
The FOCAC Beijing Summit was held with great success in September 2018, bringing China-Africa relations to a historical high. After the conclusion of the summit, China and African countries worked closely with each other to implement our leaders' consensus and outcomes reached at the summit. We have achieved important progress and reaped early harvests. As the international landscape undergoes profound and complicated changes, the two sides both believe it necessary to have a coordinators' meeting to communicate over implementation and steer China-Africa cooperation along the direction of high-quality and sustainable development. Through this meeting, we will translate outcomes of the summit into more benefits for the people and show our strong will and firm resolve to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, uphold multilateralism and build a closer China-Africa community with a shared future.
Following the principle of consultation and collaboration for shared benefits, China stands ready to work with the African side to make good preparation for a successful meeting and inject new impetus into the China-Africa comprehensive strategic partnership.
Q: Following the rally in Hong Kong yesterday against the amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance, does the Hong Kong government, especially Chief Executive Carrie Lam, still have the support of the Central Government? Does the Chinese government believe that hostile foreign forces are partly to blame for the rally?
A: Regarding the rally and some participants trying to storm the legislative council afterwards, I'd refer you to the written statement issued by the Hong Kong SAR government and the statement made by Chief Executive Carrie Lam to the press.
I'd like to stress two things. First, the Central Government will continue to support the Hong Kong SAR government in advancing the amendment to the two ordinances. Second, we resolutely oppose the wrong words and deeds of any foreign forces that interfere in the SAR's legislation.
Follow-up: When you say "foreign forces", what particular country do you have in mind?
As you may have noticed, some countries have made irresponsible remarks on the amendment to the ordinances. Regarding this question, I'd refer you to what my colleague and I stated in previous press conferences and the statement issued by the MFA Commissioner's Office in Hong Kong.
Q: According to the New York Times, the National Development and Reform Commission recently talked to Samsung, SK, Microsoft and other foreign companies and warned them not to cooperate with the US in banning Huawei. Can you confirm that and what is your response?
A: I'm not aware of what you said. I'd refer you to the competent authority if you are interested.
As the spokesperson of the foreign ministry, I'd like to say that it is entirely normal for Chinese authorities to meet with foreign companies investing and operating in China and exchange views with them. China's door to the world is open and will only be open wider. We are committed to fostering better and more friendly environment for foreign investors and businesses. As always, we welcome foreign companies investing and operating in China to share the opportunities and dividends brought by China's development.
Q: The second China-South Asia Cooperation Forum is reported to be held today and tomorrow in Yunnan. Could you give us more information? What does China expect from the forum?
A: The second China-South Asia Cooperation Forum is held on June 10 and 11 in Yuxi, Yunnan Province. Themed "deepening sub-national cooperation for win-win results", the forum aims to promote the all-round cooperation between China and South Asian countries by consolidating this new platform for policy communication, trade and investment, people-to-people exchange and knowledge-sharing following the principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits. According to the information I have on hand, a vision on sub-national cooperation in economic and social development between China and South Asia will be issued at the forum. Besides, various sub-events such as the China-South Asia governors and mayors forum, economic and trade cooperation meeting, poverty-alleviation sub-national cooperation forum and the BCIM cooperation forum will also be held.
Recent years have seen China and South Asian nations' traditional friendship constantly deepening with fruitful mutually-beneficial cooperation in various fields. Concrete results have been reaped in infrastructure connectivity, trade and people-to-people and cultural exchange. Mechanisms for practical cooperation such as the BCIM Economic Corridor are also growing. As the world faces rising uncertainties and instability with surging unilateralism, protectionism and bullying practices, the forum will help strengthen confidence in openness and win-win cooperation between China and South Asia, and enhance our capabilities to play a part in globalization and handle risks and challenges. It will boost efforts to grow the economy, improve people's well-being and open a new horizon for all-round cooperation between China and South Asia.
Q: Yesterday, besides Hong Kong, there were rallies in some cities in the US, Canada and other countries protesting the amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance. British and Canadian foreign ministers released statements that the amendment affected Hong Kong's business environment and global reputation. What is China's response to those concerns?
A: Like I said, first, the Central Government will continue its firm support to the Hong Kong SAR government in advancing the amendment to the two ordinances. Second, we resolutely oppose the wrong words and deeds of any foreign forces that interfere in the SAR's legislation. The concerns of certain people on Hong Kong's business environment are just unnecessary. Hong Kong is still ranked higher than many others by the World Bank and other authoritative multilateral institutions.
Q: First question, on June 9, Governor of the People's Bank of China Yi Gang met with US Secretary of Treasury Mnuchin on the sidelines of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting. Can you tell us what they talked about during the meeting? Is there any new development in China-US trade talks, especially concerning the future talks? Second question, the General Administration of Customs just released the data of import and export in May, and the export of rare earths dropped by 16 percent compared to that of the month before. Is China tightening up control on rare earths export?
A: On your first question, the People's Bank of China has issued a press release on its website regarding Governor Yi Gang's meeting with Secretary Mnuchin on the sidelines of the G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors Meeting. I don't have anything to update you at the moment. On China-US trade talks, as we repeatedly stated, we hope the US can grasp the situation, come back to reason and meet China half way. The US is fully responsible for the current setbacks in trade talks, and it needs to demonstrate more sincerity before resuming consultations.
Regarding the rare earths, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Commerce have made responses to this issue on many occasions. I don't have any updates for now.
Q: US Secretary Mnuchin confirmed over the weekend that President Xi Jinping and President Trump would meet later this month at the G20 Osaka Summit. Can the Chinese side confirm this too?
A: We note the US public statements that it looks forward to a meeting between the two heads of state during the G20 Osaka Summit. We will release information on this when we have it.
We also noticed US remarks that it will decide its next steps on trade based on how the summit in Osaka turns out. I'd like to reiterate that China's position on trade frictions and consultations is clear and firm. We do not want a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting one. If the US is ready to have equal consultations, our door is wide open. But if it insists on escalating trade frictions, we will respond to it with resolution and perseverance.
Follow-up: Is there a reason why the Chinese side cannot confirm this meeting?
A: As I just said, we note the US public statements that it looks forward to a meeting between the two heads of state during the G20 Osaka Summit. We will release information on this when we have it.
Q: Is there, in China's view, still a possibility of further amendments to the two ordinances in Hong Kong? Or does China believe those amendments should be passed as they are currently written?
A: Your question seems to go beyond the scope of MFA press conferences. I'd refer you to the SAR government.
I can tell that first, the Central Government will continue its firm support to the Hong Kong SAR government in advancing the amendment to the two ordinances. Second, we resolutely oppose the wrong words and deeds of any foreign forces that interfere in the SAR's legislation.
Q: Regarding the protest of Hong Kong people on the amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance, how does the Chinese government view the will of the people participating in the rally? Do you think they were expressing their reasonable demand?
A: You seem to be very interested in Hong Kong affairs.
The Hong Kong SAR government and the Chief Executive made statements on this issue. There is something worth mentioning. Since February this year, the SAR government has been gathering opinions on the amendment from all sectors in Hong Kong. In response to the views and suggestions, the draft has been modified twice. As far as I know, over 800,000 Hong Kong citizens participated in activities supporting the amendment to safeguard Hong Kong's security. It fully demonstrates that the endorsement of the amendment by the SAR government is the mainstream opinion in Hong Kong.
I'd like to reaffirm the Central Government's resolute support of the SAR government in advancing the amendment of the two ordinances.
Q: You referred to the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) cooperation forum. This corridor was not figured in the list of corridors that have been mentioned by the second BRF. So it seemed to have been dropped by China because it had not made any progress. Can we presume that it is still on board?
A: I have not heard of anything about China dropping the BCIM Economic Corridor. To my knowledge, discussions and cooperation on it are still ongoing. Like I said, the BCIM cooperation forum will be on the agenda of the second China-South Asia Cooperation Forum to be held in Yuxi, Yunnan Province.
Q: According to media reports, US Secretary of State Pompeo repeated in a recent interview with Swiss media that Chinese enterprises cannot ensure information security. Working with Chinese companies means working with the Chinese government. As long as Huawei communication technology is adopted, privacy and data protection cannot be guaranteed. Do you have any comment?
A: For some time, Mr Pompeo has been talking about China wherever he goes. Unfortunately his remarks are filled with lies and fallacies.
We may take Huawei for example. The US has alleged that Huawei and other Chinese companies pose security risks, but it has never produced any convincing evidence.
As we repeatedly said, it is disgraceful and immoral for the US to employ state power to target a private Chinese company on trumped-up charges. Such behavior is beneath the country's status as a major power.
I would like to remind Mr Pompeo that other countries do not seem to buy his rhetoric. Despite the fierce crackdown by the US, Chinese companies seem to be doing very well. According to information Huawei posted on its website, the company has won 46 5G commercial contracts in 30 countries all over the world as of June 6. Among them are some US allies and European nations that the US has been working hard to persuade out of these contracts. I will spare certain people the heartache by not mentioning any country names here.
Facts have shown that justice will prevail. Indeed, more and more countries are adopting an objective and just attitude towards Chinese tech companies' participation in their 5G network development. More and more countries are making independent policy decisions based on their own interests.
Mr. Pompeo should understand a plain truth. That is, every smear campaign with rumor-mongering and discord-sowing will only whittle down further the credibility of his own and his country, the United States.
Q: President Xi concluded his visit to Russia last week. He also participated in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum. The Russian side said this visit was very successful. How does the Chinese side see the result of this visit? Is China satisfied or not?
A: My answer can be very brief: China is very satisfied with the visit. I believe Russia feels the same.
The visit witnessed the upgrading of bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era. President Xi elaborated at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum on China's proposals on sustainable development, which was warmly responded to by President Putin and other delegates.
President Xi's visit and attendance at the forum shows again that China-Russia relations are at their best in history and have broad prospects. Faced with uncertainties and instability, China and Russia, by strengthening comprehensive strategic coordination, will contribute greater stability and positive energy to the world.
Q: The National Reform and Development Commission (NDRC) has been tasked with developing a national technological security management list system. Is this move linked with the trade war?
A: You may have noticed the press release that the NDRC is leading the efforts to establish a national technological security management list system. Specific measures will be rolled out soon. I would refer you to the NDRC for more information.