|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on August 10, 2020|
China Daily: William Evanina, the director of the US National Counterintelligence and Security Center, said in a statement on August 7 that Russia, China and Iran are trying to interfere in the 2020 US election. The US believes that China does not want Trump to win reelection because it views him as "unpredictable". He added "China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of election to shape the policy environment in the US, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China's interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China," pointing to Beijing's criticisms on the US administration's response to the COVID-19, its closure of the Chinese consulate general in Houston, and its stances on issues like Hong Kong, South China Sea, Huawei and TikTok. China believed that it could influence the US election in this way. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: The general election of the United States is its internal affair and China has never interfered in it and has no interest to do that in the future. At the same time, we have repeatedly said that those in the US should immediately stop the trick of dragging China into their domestic politics.
As for the specific content of the statement you mentioned, I must point out that some US politicians always measure others by their own yardsticks and repeatedly use hypothetical or future tenses such as "could" and "try" to smear China without any real evidence. These people should talk and act professionally and responsibly, as they need to think about their credibility and their country's reputation, and stop making slanderous remarks about China.
As for the US claim that China's increased public criticism of the US government is to influence the US election, its logic is simply absurd and ridiculous. It was the US side that interfered in China's internal affairs and undermined China's interests first. China only reacted with just and necessary responses.
I would like to stress that China's policy towards the US is consistent. We are committed to achieving non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation with the United States. That said, we will firmly safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests. This policy has not changed.
Macau Monthly: On August 9, Former Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa has been sworn in as the country's prime minister in the capital Colombo. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: China congratulates Mr. Rajapaksa on his swearing-in. Premier Li Keqiang has sent a congratulatory message to him.
The friendly ties between China and Sri Lanka go back a long way. In recent years, the China-Sri Lanka strategic cooperative partnership based on sincere mutual assistance and ever-lasting friendship has made great strides, and bilateral cooperation in various fields has been expanded and deepened. In particular, in the face of the COVID-19, the two governments and the two peoples have been supporting and assisting each other. Our friendship has been consolidated and elevated amid our joint efforts against the pandemic.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa has long been committed to promoting friendly ties with China. China sets great store by its relationship with Sri Lanka. We stand ready to strengthen our traditional friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with Sri Lanka and move forward bilateral relations to deliver greater benefit of the two countries and the two peoples.
People's Daily: China said it will take necessary measures to facilitate foreign nationals' entry to China for essential economic, trade, scientific and technological activities. What steps has China specifically taken in terms of visa issuance?
Zhao Lijian: The Chinese government has suspended entry for most foreigners holding valid visa or residence permit starting from March 28, but at the same time we've facilitated visa applications of foreign nationals seeking entry for essential economic, trade, scientific and technological activities or out of emergency humanitarian needs. Recently, as the situation has been brought under control in many countries, people are looking forward to making foreign trips. Thus, China is relaxing in an orderly and gradual manner visa restrictions for foreigners entering China to resume economic activities and for other essential purposes. One more point to highlight is that for those who hold valid visa or residence permit but need visa renewal, Chinese embassies and consulates will provide them visa service for free.
APP: According to reports, Afghanistan's grand assembly of elders, the consultative Loya Jirga, has approved the release of the last batch of 400 Taliban prisoners, paving the way for intra-Afghan dialogues. Do you have any comment on that?
Zhao Lijian: The release of prisoners is an important step for the Afghan government and Taliban to establish mutual trust and initiate intra-Afghan talks. The Afghan government and people deliberated and agreed on this important decision through the consultative Loya Jirga in accordance with their rules of procedure. China welcomes that and believes it follows the principle for the Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace and reconciliation process and will contribute to realizing intra-Afghan talks.
The Afghan situation has come to a crucial juncture. All relevant parties should follow through on their promises and agreements with Afghanistan to ensure the situation there remains stable and orderly. China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Afghan issue and the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
Shenzhen TV: Alex Azar, the United States Health and Human Services Secretary, arrived in Taiwan and kicked off his visit yesterday. He met with Tsai Ing-wen this morning and plans to meet more officials. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: China consistently and firmly opposes any official interactions between the US and Taiwan and has made stern representations with the US side over this issue.
I'd like to reiterate that for the China-US relationship, the Taiwan question is one of the utmost importance with the highest level of sensitivity, and the one-China principle is its political foundation. What the US has done contravened its own promises on the question. We urge the US to adhere to the one-China principle and the three joint communiques, stop having official interactions of any kind with Taiwan, make no attempts to change the nature of its relationship with Taiwan, and handle Taiwan-related issues prudently and properly to avoid severe damage to China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
CCTV: On August 6, many Russians received phone messages about the US Department of State offering a reward of $10 million for information on in