|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on December 8, 2020|
On December 8, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement made groundless accusations against China's promulgation and implementation of the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in accordance with law and announced that the U.S. side will impose so-called sanctions on Vice Chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress. The above-mentioned move by the U.S. side severely violates basic norms governing international relations, interferes in China's internal affairs and harms China-U.S. relations. The Chinese government and people express strong indignation to and strongly condemn the outrageous, unscrupulous, crazy and vile act of the U.S. side.
Hong Kong is part of China, and its affairs are purely China's internal affairs, and the United States is in no position to interfere. The NPC Standing Committee's legislation on safeguarding national security in Hong Kong in accordance with the Constitution to improve governance on Hong Kong and crack down on criminals is totally within China's sovereignty. For some time, the U.S. side has been meddling in Hong Kong affairs in every way under the pretext of upholding democracy, human rights and autonomy in Hong Kong and supporting violent activities that split the nation and disrupt social order. Now, the U.S. side is blatantly imposing the so-called sanctions on Vice Chairpersons of the NPC Standing Committee. This fully exposed the vicious intent of the United States to interfere in China's internal affairs, mess up Hong Kong and undermine China's stability and development. The retrogressive behavior of the United States will only trigger greater indignation among the 1.4 billion Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots. We have this solemn message for the United States: The Chinese government is firmly determined to oppose U.S. interference in Hong Kong affairs, to uphold China's sovereignty, security and development interests, and to implement "one country, two systems".
China strongly urges the U.S. side to immediately withdraw this erroneous decision, stop interfering in China's internal affairs, and stop going down the dangerous and wrong path. In response to the egregious act by the U.S. side, China will take firm and strong countermeasures to defend its sovereignty, security and development interests.
CCTV: On December 4, Robert Destro, US Assistant Secretary of Sate and so-called Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, called on US allies to pass their own versions of the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. He also accused China of ramping up its efforts to eliminate the languages, cultures and religions of Tibetans, Uyghurs and Kazakhs. He said that the United States is committed to helping Tibetans safeguard their way of life. What is your comment?
Hua Chunying: Tibet affairs are purely internal affairs of China and no external forces have the right to interfere. The U.S. setting up the so-called "Special Coordinator for Tibet Issues" is just a move of political manipulation, meant to interfere in China's internal affairs and undermine Tibet's development and stability. China has always been firmly opposed to this and has never recognized it.
With regard to the so-called the US Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act, China has repeatedly stated its position. This Act seriously violates the basic norms governing international relations and grossly interferes in China's internal affairs. China pursues the policy of opening up to the outside world. Tibet is an open region and no provisions have ever been made on restricting the entry of foreigners into Tibet. China welcomes friends from afar to visit and do business in the Tibet Autonomous Region. This policy will not change. But the prerequisite is that necessary procedures are duly observed in accordance with Chinese laws and regulations. Recently, diplomatic envoys from more than 20 countries have visited Tibet. They all spoke highly of the economic and social progress the Tibet Autonomous Region has made over the years.
With regard to the so-called elimination of minority languages, cultures and religions, I would like to stress that the Chinese Government guarantees the freedom of ethnic minorities in using and developing their own languages and characters in accordance with the law, and guarantees the freedom of religious belief of the people of all ethnic groups in accordance with the law. At present, China has nearly 200 million religious believer of all ethnic groups, more than 380,000 religious clerks and more than 140,000 legally registered places for religious activities. The classics of various religions such as Islam, Buddhism, Christianity and so on are published in various languages.
Recently a young man of the Tibetan ethnic group from Litang county, China's Sichuan province, took the internet by storm. He has been appointed to promote tourism in the county. In the promotional short clips which he shot for his hometown of Garze Tibetan autonomous prefecture in Sichuan, he also teaches some simple Tibetan language to his followers. We also have many Uyghur stars in many fields. They are very popular artists, performers, TV hosts and so on, well liked by young people. Facts are that the life of the ethnic minorities is getting better and better. Their hometown is getting more developed and their culture is flourishing.
We urge the US side to stop using Tibet-related issues to interfere in China's internal affairs, destroy Tibet's development and stability, and offer no stage to the "Tibetan independence" forces to engage in anti-China separatist activities. China will take all necessary measures to defend its own interests. We also believe that the international community will not be deceived by the lies of some anti-China politicians.
You mentioned that the United States said that the US is committed to helping Tibetans safeguard their way of life. Well. First things first. They'd better do more to protect the American people's lives in this pandemic situation.
Bloomberg: First of all, I'd like you to clarify, if possible, on what sort of countermeasures will China be taking in response to the US sanctions on the Vice Chairpersons of the NPC Standing Committee. And secondly, I wanted to talk a little bit about the nature of the people that have been targeted by the U.S. side. The people are basically vice chairpersons of the NPC, which would suggest that the Trump administration is gradually targeting more and more senior Chinese officials with sanctions. I'd like to ask if you have any comment on this trend and how might that be reflected in the countermeasures that China will take?
Hua Chunying: I have just made clear China's position on the egregious acts of the U.S. side. We strongly urge the US side to immediately rescind its wrong decision and stop interfering in our internal affairs. In response, China will take resolute and forceful countermeasures. As for what these countermeasures will be, just know that whatever should come will come.
As you mentioned