|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 13, 2019|
The China-Japan-ROK senior officials' meeting will be held in Chengdu on December 13. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui will chair the meeting and South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Kim Gunn and Japanese Senior Deputy Foreign Minister Takeo Mori will attend the event. The three parties will prepare for the 8th China-Japan-ROK Trilateral Summit and exchange views on issues of mutual interest.
Q: In his speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on December 12, US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific David Stilwell said the US has provided enormous assistance to China's development over the past decades but they are disappointed that China responded to their good faith with aggressive and consistent bad faith. What's your comment?
A: We read Mr. Stilwell's remarks. Frankly we cannot agree with him. What he said was not the truth. And attempting to use it to justify wrong US China policies won't work.
First, the fundamental reason for China's achievements in the past seven decades is that under the leadership of the CPC, the Chinese people found a development path that suits our national condition. Our great achievements were made with our people's diligence and wisdom. They were not charity offered by anyone.
Second, cooperation between China and the US is mutually beneficial instead of benefiting only one side. Since our two countries established diplomatic ties 40 years ago, our bilateral cooperation has been expanding and delivering huge benefits to the two peoples. The US gained a lot from this process, which I believe American people from various sectors can all feel.
Third, Mr. Stilwell talked many times about America's "good faith", but we don't feel "good faith" when the US wantonly restricts and oppresses China in economy, trade, science, technology and people-to-people exchange. We don't feel "good faith" when the US smears and attacks China on Hong Kong, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet, human rights and other issues relating to China's core interests including territorial sovereignty and national dignity. And we don't feel "good faith" when the US slanders China's social system, development path and cooperation with other countries under various pretexts. We should definitely make strong responses to the wrong words and deeds that undermine China's sovereignty, security and development interests.
Fourth, the root cause of serious difficulties and challenges in China-US relations is that the US cannot objectively view and adapt to the fact that China is developing rapidly. Like State Councilor Wang Yi said this morning at the Symposium on the International Situation and China's Foreign Relations in 2019, US erroneous words and deeds originate from its wrong perception of China and its outlook on China has gone astray. If the US truly wants to develop a China-US relationship that is "good, rich and mutually beneficial", it should match its words with deeds instead of being two-faced.
I'd like to reiterate that China's policy on the US is clear and consistent. We are committed to developing a China-US relationship featuring non-confrontation, non-conflict, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, but such a relationship takes efforts from both sides. Once again we urge the US to reject the outdated Cold-War mindset, reflect on and correct its mistakes, return to reason, view and handle China-US relations in a correct manner, stop interfering in China's internal affairs, undermining China's interests or smearing China, so that our bilateral relationship can return to the right track.
Q: Reports say that Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai and the USTR Robert Lighthizer are expected to sign off on a phase one trade deal today. Could you confirm whether such a signing-off ceremony has been planned? And has China agreed to buy US farm goods worth 50 billion dollars in exchange for a reduction in tariffs?
A: I'd refer you to the Commerce Ministry for specific questions regarding trade talks.
I noticed that the three major indexes in the United States and European stock markets soared across the board after the news came out that China and the US are close to a phase one deal. This again shows that negotiating a trade deal is in the fundamental interests of both China and the US and their people. It also serves the interests of the rest of the world and meets the aspiration of the international community.
China's position on trade talks is consistent and clear. We remain committed to resolving and managing differences between China and the US through constructive dialogue. We have always maintained that consultations must be based on the principle of equality and mutual respect, and the deal must be mutually beneficial.
Q: According to New York Times reports, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro cited the fictional expert Ron Vara to defend more US tariffs on Chinese goods in a memo that is circulated to Washington scholars. Navarro confirmed the authenticity of the memo. CNN and other media agencies previously revealed that this fabricated expert was quoted by Navarro to criticize China in his many books, which triggered strong responses and astonishment worldwide. What's your comment?
A: China and the US are both major countries in the world. On such a major issue that bears on China-US relations and the global economy, it is absurd and highly irresponsible for Mr. Navarro, a senior US official, to mislead public opinion and formulate hardline China policy by repeatedly quoting a fictional character.
As you said, not long ago, media reports revealed that this fabricated expert Ron Vara was cited in at least six books by Navarro. It's all the more odd that this fictional figure appeared again at this particular point. You know that a lot of attention is on the news that China and the United States may be close to a phase one deal, with US and European stock markets all up. That means a positive response from all. But at this particular moment, Navarro sent out a signal contradicting the US government, what is he up to?
Q: The US confirmed it successfully tested a missile banned by the INF Treaty with Russia. What's China's comment?
A: We note relevant reports. Since the US announced its official withdrawal from the INF Treaty on August 2, the Department of Defense has conducted two land-based intermediate range missile tests. Defense Secretary Esper said proudly that the US had been preparing for the tests since February. I want to draw your attention on this. The US officially withdrew from the INF Treaty on August 2, but the defense secretary said it had been preparing for the tests since February. This once again confirms our judgment that the US withdrawal is a premeditated decision. The real aim is to free itself to develop advanced missiles and seek unilateral military advantage. The US has been highlighting the so-called Russian violations and Chinese missile threat. These tricks are nothing but clumsy distractions.
The international community should be clear-eyed on the malicious intention and negative impact of the US withdrawal and tests. We should work in concert to safeguard the existing international arms control system. We also advise the US to discard its Cold-War and zero-sum game mentality and contribute to global strategic balance and stability and international peace and security.
Q: According to South China Morning Post, a study by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, an independent US media watchdog, reveals that The New York Times and CNN show disproportionate focus on Hong Kong against other places though it's the year of violent protests around the world. The Times' reporters describe seeing the rebels producing "hundreds or thousands of bombs" they were going to use. Despite this, the paper continued to describe the radicals as "pro-democracy activists". US news media have routinely glossed over the more violent and grisly details of the Hong Kong protests and rarely use negative language. We also noted that YouTube is removing CGTN documentaries on terrorism in Xinjiang for so-called rules violation. Previously, Facebook and Twitter shut down tens of thousands of Chinese mainland and Hong Kong accounts which they claimed were government-backed. But they failed to take any measure against those accounts posting illegal violent behaviors of radicals in Hong Kong and spreading misinformation about Hong Kong police. What's your comment?
A: Is there a reporter from the New York Times here today? It is true that the New York Times has been making a lot of news lately, and so has itself been the subject of a lot of news.
I noticed the reports you mentioned. I also saw a piece of news this morning that according to the statistics released by the Innovation and Technology Bureau of the HKSAR, the Hong Kong police have asked relevant social media platforms 621 times in 2019 to remove fake news and unverified information targeting the Hong Kong police. All these clearly show that some media in the United States do not abide by the baseline of news reporting and have lost all their social morality and responsibility. The media should have upheld social justice and fairness by objective, impartial and truthful reporting. But it is very regrettable and sad to see that some of the media in the US have failed to do so. They have apparently gone down a very wrong path. We should be on high alert to such behavior, which must be corrected immediately.
Q: Listening to recent comments from the Chinese side, we feel this is very strong rhetoric. And at the same time there is rumblings in the US that they are very close to reaching a phase one trade deal. How should we understand this in this particular context?
A: In response to a series of US acts that undermine Chinese interests, we laid out our firm opposition right away and made strong responses. At the same time, acting with a sense of responsibility towards the Chinese and American peoples and the international community, we have been seeking constructive dialogue with the US side.
China-US relations in the past four decades have shown that both sides stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Cooperation is the best and only correct choice for the two countries.
Like State Councilor Wang Yi stated in his speech at the Symposium on the International Situation and China's Foreign Relations in 2019 this morning, the US wrong perception of China is the root cause for its erroneous and that the US outlook on China has gone astray. We hope the US will calm down and adopt a rational outlook on China as soon as possible.