|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on July 27, 2020|
The Paper: The US Consulate General in Chengdu was closed this morning. Do you have more information to offer on that?
Wang Wenbin: On July 21, the US launched a unilateral provocation by abruptly demanding that China close its Consulate General in Houston. China lodged stern representations over this with the US side, asking it to immediately revoke the erroneous decision, otherwise China would make a legitimate and necessary response. On July 24, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China told the US side to close its Consulate General in Chengdu.
This morning, the US personnel vacated the compound and the US Consulate General in Chengdu was closed as required by China. Competent Chinese authorities then entered through the front entrance and took over the premises. Demanding the closure of the US Consulate General in Chengdu and taking over the premises is China's legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified US act of closing China's Consulate General in Houston and breaking into the compound. What China has done conforms with international law, the basic norms of international relations, and customary diplomatic practices.
The current situation in China-US relations is not what China desires to see, and the US is responsible for all this. We once again urge the US to immediately retract its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track.
Kyodo News: The Chinese leadership often talks about the bottom line mentality, which I understand to mean preparing for the worst case scenario. So what is your bottom line in China-US relations?
Wang Wenbin: As I just said, we urge the US to immediately retract its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track.
The Straits Times: Last Friday, we saw reports that a Singaporean man was convicted in the United States of spying for China. What is China's response to this?
Wang Wenbin: I'm not aware of what you just mentioned. But I would like to point out that lately US law enforcement has been busy hyping up the so-called China infiltration and espionage issues to the point of paranoia. It is open knowledge that the US runs an aggressive espionage and theft program all across the globe, sparing not even its allies. There's solid evidence for this.
The world has seen the act of the real thief crying "stop the thief" too many times. We urge the US to stop using the so-called espionage issue to smear China.
AFP: On the Chengdu consulate, do the US consulate employees have to leave China and what about the Chinese consulate staff in Houston? Have they also been ordered to leave the US?
Wang Wenbin: I'm sure you have already seen from media reports the conditions of our Houston Consulate General staff. I will just say that the Chinese side will make proper arrangements for them.
BBC: I think you referred to the US side breaking into the compound in Houston. Could you explain a bit more about that?
Wang Wenbin: China's Consulate General in Houston is China's diplomatic and consular premises and state property. According to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the China-US Consular Convention, the US side shall not infringe upon the premises in any way. The Chinese side deplores and firmly opposes the US forcible entry into the compound and has lodged solemn representations.
Australian Broadcasting Corporation: The Australian government wrote to the United Nations last week, saying China's territorial claim in the South China Sea has no legal basis. What's China's comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: China's territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea were developed throughout the long course of history. They are upheld by successive Chinese governments and in conformity with international law including the UNCLOS, which won't be altered by certain countries' wanton accusations.
China firmly opposes the Australian side's comments which run counter to facts, international law and basic norms governing international relations.
Reuters: Chinese state media said this morning that Chinese officials were able to enter the Consulate General in Chengdu via the front door. If I may ask, why was the door of the Consulate General in Houston locked?
Wang Wenbin: As I just said, China's Consulate General in Houston is China's diplomatic and consular premises and state property. According to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the China-US Consular Convention, the US side shall not infringe upon the premises in any way. The Chinese side deplores and firmly opposes the US forcible entry into the compound and has lodged solemn representations.
This morning the US Consulate General in Chengdu was closed as required by China. Competent Chinese authorities then entered through the front entrance and took over the premises. This is China's legitimate and necessary response to the erroneous US act.
CGTN: Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, recently cited his article in Washington Post titled "What Mike Pompeo doesn't understand about China, Richard Nixon and U.S. foreign policy" on Twitter to criticize Secretary of State Pompeo's speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library. In his words, "Pompeo's China speech Thursday not only misrepresented history but advocated a policy for the most important relationship of this era that is neither viable nor coherent. That he delivered it at the Nixon Library only added insult to injury." I wonder what is your comment on his words?
Wang Wenbin: Pompeo negated every aspect of China-US relations over the past 40 years, flagrantly attacked the CPC and called on countries to gang up on China. His outrageously deranged words have been criticized and condemned by all people who love peace and have a sense of justice, including those in the US.
Pompeo's accusation of "CPC's designs for hegemony" is out of not only ignorance but also bias. The CPC started with only dozens of members, and today it has grown into a major party with over 91 million members and has long been the ruling party in the world's most populous country. The reason for it, w