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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on February 13, 2019
2019/02/13

Q: The US Treasury Secretary Mnuchin and the Trade Representative Lighthizer arrived in Beijing yesterday. Do you have any details about their meetings today, what their agenda is, who they are seeing from the Chinese government? Will they meet Chinese leaders?

A: Regarding arrangements for the high-level trade consultation between China and the US, we will release information in a timely manner.

Q: Firstly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said yesterday that Russia and China have expressed their willingness to join the international contact group to support Venezuelan settlement, but so far there has been no constructive reaction from the European Union. What is your comment? Secondly, reports say that China has been holding talks with Venezuelan political opposition to safeguard its investment in the country. Can you confirm that?

A: On your first question, in recent days, in order to promote the peaceful settlement of the Venezuelan issue, China has been in close contact and communication with all parties. We have been supportive of the efforts made by the international community to encourage Venezuela's government and opposition parties to seek out a political solution through dialogues under the framework of their Constitution. China stands ready to work with all parties and continue to play a constructive role for the peaceful settlement of the Venezuelan issue.

On your second question, I believe the reports you cited were made by the Wall Street Journal. I want to point out that some media has been churning out false information lately. I wonder why it has been acting like this. We hope that it could make media coverage in an objective and unbiased way. As for the Venezuelan issue, China believes that a political solution should be sought out through dialogue and consultation.

Q: We have noticed that after warning in Hungary that installing Huawei equipment will cause difficulties for US cooperation with Hungary, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo talked in Slovakia of the "need to guard against China's economic and other efforts to create dependence and manipulate your political system". The US wants to make sure its friends and partners are aware of the security risks associated with the procurement of China's goods. Besides, Pompeo also said in Poland that it would be conducive to the US deploying a military base in Poland if Poland were to give up its cooperation with China. Would you like to comment on that?

A: Just like you, we have been following Secretary Pompeo's visits to Central and Eastern Europe and are concerned about some of his remarks. I would like to point out that China and the US are fundamentally different: China never makes it its policy to interfere in other country's internal affairs, and manipulating other country's political affairs is neither interest nor forte of China. Who on earth has long been interfering in other country's internal affairs and sparing no efforts in manipulating other country's politics? The international community knows the answer very well and has its own clear judgment.

The US has been fabricating various unwarranted charges and cooking up all sorts of threat theories without any firm evidence. It all boils down to using state power to suppress the legitimate development rights and interests of Chinese enterprises and resorting to political intervention in economic behaviors. This is extremely hypocritical, unjust and immoral.

We hope the US will earnestly commit itself to the market principle of free and fair competition, and safeguard a fair, just and non-discriminatory market environment.

The US might find some wisdom in an ancient Chinese adage: An act of kindness, no matter how trivial, is worth performing, while an act of evil, no matter how small, must be shunned. I hope the US will do more to contribute to world peace and stability.

Q: An exhibition with the theme "Chinese People's Liberation Army (CPLA): A Force for World Peace" was launched at the UN headquarters in New York. UN Under-Secretary-General Atul Khare visited the exhibition and extolled China's unique and key role in the UN peacekeeping missions. He said that the progress made by UN peacekeeping operations would not be possible without the support from member states like China. Also according to the UN News, since 1990, China has sent over 39,000 peacekeepers, built over 13,000 kilometers of roads in the peacekeeping operation areas, provided medical treatments for more than 170,000 patients, and completed more than 300 armed escorts and patrols. The Peace Ark hospital ship of the Chinese Navy has visited 43 countries and provided medical service to over 230,000 local people. What is your comment?

A: Indeed, the "CPLA: A Force for World Peace" exhibition is now showing at the UN headquarters in New York. China's Permanent Mission to the UN has already issued a press release. We appreciate Under-Secretary-General Khare's positive remarks on the important role China has played for world peace and security.

China has always been a supporter and active participant of the UN peacekeeping operations. Devoted to be a builder and steady champion of world peace, China has been fully implementing the major measures announced by President Xi Jinping at the UN Leaders' Summit on Peacekeeping in September 2015. As a major contributor of troops and funding to UN peacekeeping missions, China has made outstanding contributions and fulfilled its international obligations in helping relevant countries and regions restore peace and stability and ensuring the safety of local people's life and property.

China will continue to actively support and participate in the UN peacekeeping operations and together with other countries, make greater contributions to upholding the spirit of the UN Charter and maintaining world peace and security.

Q: I have two questions. First, President Donald Trump said he would consider extending the deadline for the trade talks. What is your comment on this? Second, there's report that the US is set to use an executive order to essentially let the government stop US companies from doing business with foreign suppliers like Huawei. Do you have a comment?

A: On your first question, I'd refer you to the Ministry of Commerce for information of the China-US trade consultation.

On your second question, there have been quite a few similar reports recently. The US seems to try , by all means it can, mobilizing and lobbying so as to pressurize and smear Chinese companies for the reason that Chinese companies are not a secure option. I just saw questions from The Wall Street Journal, which mentioned Australian officials' concerns that participation of Chinese companies in the submarine cable business may enable China to transfer or monitor communication data. So far, the US and a few of its allies haven't found any proof of threat posed by Chinese companies to their countries' security. They only cited some clauses of China's National Intelligence Law. But when surrounded by nothing but slanders, have you really thought about this: it is an internationally accepted practice to protect national security through legislation and ask organizations and individuals to coordinate with a country's intelligence service. For example, Australia ratified the Australian Security Intelligence Organization Act early in 1979 and the Intelligence Services Act in 2001, both stipulating that in accordance with the government's requirements, the intelligence service can use force to obtain data and information of people and organizations under investigation. There are similar laws in the Five Eyes Alliance, namely the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and other western countries including France and Germany, which you can all look up for .

Groundless accusations of security risks posed by Chinese equipment by the US and its few allies are wrong and biased interpretation of relevant Chinese laws. China's National Intelligence Law stipulates not only the obligations of organizations and citizens to lawfully support, assist and coordinate with the country's intelligence service, but also the obligations of national intelligence service to carry out its work according to law, respect and protect human rights, and uphold the lawful rights and interests of individuals and organizations. Besides, there are many provisions in other Chinese laws to protect the lawful rights and interests of organizations and citizens, including data security and privacy right. All sides should view this issue in a comprehensive and objective manner instead of making one-sided and wrong interpretation that is out of context.

The Chinese government has all along required Chinese companies to abide by local laws and regulations when doing business overseas. Countries should not apply double standards and need to view and handle this issue in an objective, comprehensive, reasonable and correct way instead of making all kinds of excuses to suppress foreign enterprises' legitimate development rights for their own benefit.



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