|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on July 21, 2020|
CCTV: Addressing the China Business Summit on July 20 in Auckland, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that "China is New Zealand's largest trading partner and one of our most important relationships". In the face of COVID-19, the two sides should continue strengthening cooperation in such areas as free trade, business environment, climate change and public health. At the same time, she said that the New Zealand government expressed concerns on issues concerning Hong Kong, Xinjiang and human rights. Would you like to comment on her remarks?
Wang Wenbin: We note relevant reports and appreciate the remarks which show that the New Zealand government attaches importance to developing relations with China. China and New are each other's important partners for cooperation. Sound and steady development of bilateral relations serves the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples. Under current circumstances, China stands ready to work together with New Zealand under the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit to strengthen mutual trust and cooperation, contribute to global efforts to fight the pandemic and promote economic recovery, and realize new progress in our comprehensive strategic partnership.
I need to stress that we stand firmly against foreign interference in China's domestic affairs under the pretext of Hong Kong, Xinjiang or human rights. China is resolutely determined to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interests.
AFP: A Malawi court on Monday jailed 7 Chinese nationals for illegal possession of ivory and pangolin scales. Does China have any comment? Did China collaborate with Malawi on this case?
Wang Wenbin: I noted relevant reports.
As a principle, the Chinese government always asks Chinese citizens abroad to comply with local laws and regulations. It will never shelter any Chinese citizen who breaks the law in other countries, but at the same time requires relevant country to enforce law fairly and ensure the safety and legal rights of Chinese citizens.
China attaches great importance to the protection of endangered wild fauna and flora and has been strictly fulfilling its international obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The Chinese government has zero tolerance for illegal trade in endangered wild fauna and flora and their products and is resolute in punishing relevant offenders in accordance with law. China stands ready to continue its work with other members of the international community to protect endangered wildlife and crack down on illegal trading.
New York Times: Do the Central People's Government and the HKSAR government intend to use Article 38 of the national security law to prosecute residents of other countries for activities taking place in other countries that affect China's national security? If so, how does it differ from the US long-arm jurisdiction that the Foreign Ministry criticized?
Wang Wenbin: Article 38 of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region stipulates the principle of protective jurisdiction, which is necessary for effectively cracking down on crimes that endanger national security and safeguarding China's national security and the security of the HKSAR. This is also a common practice of many countries, including the US. It has fundamental difference from the US long-arm jurisdiction which oppresses foreign entities and individuals without cause.
ITV: The British Government went ahead with the suspension of the extradition treaty between the UK and Hong Kong and introduced a ban on arms sales. What is your response on that? There has been suggestion that by doing that, Britain has breached international law. Can you explain how they've done that?
Wang Wenbin: The UK's erroneous remarks and moves on Hong Kong are a serious breach of international law and basic norms governing international relations and gross violation of China's internal affairs. We firmly oppose them and reserve the right to react further.
Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs that allow no foreign interference. The Chinese government is determined to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests, to implement "one country, two systems" comprehensively and faithfully, and to oppose foreign interference in Hong Kong affairs. Intervening and pressuring tactics will never work on China. We urge the UK to wake up from its colonial dream, correct its mistake immediately and stop interfering in China's internal affairs to avoid further damage to China-UK relations.
CRI: China and Cambodia yesterday announced the conclusion of China-Cambodia free trade agreement talks. How do you view the significance of the FTA in China-Cambodia relations? What will it bring to the people in both countries?
Wang Wenbin: China and Cambodia are friendly neighbors and iron-clad friends. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China-Cambodia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and the one-year anniversary of the signing of the action plan for building a community with a shared future for the two sides. Following the consensus reached by leaders in both countries, we conducted FTA talks and soon reached agreement, demonstrating high-level political mutual trust and deep foundation for cooperation. The FTA covers BRI cooperation, trade in goods and services, investment, economic and technological cooperation and e-commerce. It will help the two countries further open up bilateral trade and investment, bringing greater tangible benefits and development opportunities for the two peoples.
China and Cambodia have all along been supporting free trade and multilateralism while opposing protectionism and unilateralism. We believe that this FTA, after its official signing, will inject new impetus into the quality building of the BRI and the China-Cambodia community with a shared future, and contribute to a stabilized supply and industrial chain, regional economic recovery and an open world economy.
BBC: A follow-up on the UK decision regarding the Hong Kong extradition, you said that it is a breach of inter