|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on November 19, 2020|
Xinhua News Agency: President Ramaphosa of South Africa said at the BRICS Summit that "restoring our economies to good health is a goal common to us all," and that "we call on the international community and our BRICS partners to support a comprehensive stimulus package for African countries. This will enable African countries to contain the disease and rebuild our damaged economies." Does China have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: African countries were severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. China and Africa have been voicing support for each other and tidying over difficulties together. Despite domestic anti-epidemic pressure, in a timely manner, China has provided a lot of high-demand medical supplies for the African Union and African countries through multiple channels and shared experience with them.
China holds that while preventing and containing the virus, we should proactively advance economic recovery, strengthen coordination on macroeconomic policy, promote the implementation of the initiative on facilitating cross-border flow of people and goods, ensure the security and smoothness of industrial and supply chains, and help countries resume work and production and recover the economy. We believe the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development should be at the center of international cooperation on development, poverty elimination should be the primary goal, and resources should be allocatedto areas like poverty alleviation, education, health and infrastructure as a matter of priority. We support the UN's coordinating role in bringing more development benefits to developing countries and better meeting the need of the vulnerable groups.
China is committed to building a China-Africa community of health for all. China will continue to work with Africa to fully deliver on the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19, with greater focus on public health, economic reopening and improvement of livelihoods, while supporting the development of the African Continental Free Trade Area. China earnestly acts on our firm commitment to making our vaccines a global public good. When the development of the vaccines is completed and they are available for use, China will actively consider providing them to African countries in need to help secure an early victory against the virus.
CNR: We understand that people of all sectors in Libya held a political dialogue forum in Tunisia, during which they agreed on holding general election by the end of 2021 and had consultations on forming a new national sovereign institution and other issues. Does China have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: Conflicts in Libya have lasted for years. China hopes that relevant parties in Libya will earnestly implement the ceasefire agreement and resume the political settlement process at an early date. This not only conforms to the fundamental interests of Libya, but also is conducive to peace and stability to the neighboring region.
Shenzhen TV: Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa presented the government budget of the new fiscal year to the parliament on November 17th. He said the government would formulate a legal framework of special economic zone for the Colombo Port City offering tax concessions and providing a sound business environment, so as to attract foreign investment. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: China appreciates Sri Lanka's willingness to provide legal support and preferential policies for the Colombo Port City. The Port City is a major project in our cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, which will inject strong impetus into Sri Lanka's economic development and contribute to its vision of building a financial and commercial hub of the Indian Ocean. China stands ready to support Chinese enterprises in strengthening the cooperation with Sri Lanka, steadily advancing the building of projects and contribute to the economic and social development of Sri Lanka.
Beijing Daily: According to reports, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently forecast that only four of the world's 50 biggest economies will achieve an increase in GDP per capita, including China. It is projected that China's GDP per capita would redoubled in 2024 and jump to the70th place in 2025. What is China's comment on that?
Zhao Lijian: I have also taken notice of relevant reports. This fully indicates that the international community is sanguine about China's economic prospects and recognizes the achievements of China's economic and social development. At present, China has realized major strategic achievements in maintaining epidemic control and social-economic development. In the first three quarters of this year, China's economic growth turned positive, with its GDP hitting 72 trillion yuan, up by 4.9 percent year on year. The fourth quarter is set to witness much faster growth. China's economy demonstrates strong resilience and enormous vitality, and that is why the international institutions generally forecast that China would become the only economy maintaining positive growth this year.
The recovery and stabilization of China's economy is no doubt good news to the world economy. At the 12th BRICS Summit and APEC CEO Dialogues, President Xi Jinping expounded on the connotation of China's new development paradigm and its international significance. He also stressed that, under the new development paradigm, the potential of the Chinese market will be fully tapped, China's door to the outside world will become more open, and China's cooperation with the rest of the world will be deepened. We will be more integrated into the global market and act more actively to deepen cooperation with other parties to create more opportunities and room for world economic recovery and development.
Bloomberg: In a joint statement, the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK called on the Chinese government to reconsider actions against Hong Kong's elected legislature and immediately reinstate the Legislative Council members. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: You mean the Five Eyes Alliance, right?
The Chinese people will not provoke troubles, but we never flinch when trouble comes our way. No matter how many eyes they have, five or ten or whatever, should anyone dare to undermine China's sovereignty, security and development interests, be careful not to get poked in the eye.
We deplore and firmly oppose relevant country's finger-pointing over China's Hong Kong affairs, which is a flagrant violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations.
We have stated China's solemn position on the relevant issue on many occasions. Today I would like to say a few more words regarding this. The NPC Standing Committee's decision on the eligibility of the HKSAR Legislative Council's members in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Constitution, the Basic Law and the Hong Kong-related national security law is an inherent requirement of upholding and improving the system of "one country, two systems" and a necessary step to maintain the rule of law and constitutional order in the HKSAR. This is legal, reasonable and unchallengeable.
There is a saying in English that "the proof of the pudding is in the eating". In China, there is a similar saying that "only the wearer of the shoes knows if they fit or not. " Since the implementation of the Law of the PRC on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR, there have been no more so-called "beautiful sight to behold' in Hong Kong. Isn't that telling enough?
Civil servants must uphold their country's constitutional laws and honor the pledge of allegiance to the motherland, which is the basic political ethics in all countries, right? The Hong Kong SAR is an inalienable part of China. All the Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots, will never allow anyone that advocates or supports the idea of Hong Kong independence, refuses to recognize the state's sovereignty and exercise of it over Hong Kong, and seeks external interference in Hong Kong affairs and endanger national security to manage or govern Hong Kong. It is only natural that those who love the country and Hong Kong should govern Hong Kong, while those anti-China disrupters who stir up troubles in Hong Kong should be knocked out.
Since the return of Hong Kong to the motherland, the Chinese government has governed Hong Kong in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law, and the rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents have been fully guaranteed in accordance with the law. This is an undeniable fact. Relevant countries should face up to the fact that Hong Kong has returned to China, abandon double standards, earnestly respect China's sovereignty, and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and China's other internal affairs in any form. Any attempt to pressure China and undermine China's sovereignty, security and development interests will not succeed.
Reuters: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, after complaints from China's Embassy there, said that tensions in the relationship were caused by Australia just being Australia, and that Australia acted in its own interests and values and would not change its policy. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: We have said many times that the root cause for the deteriorating China-Australia relations is Australia's repeated wrong acts and remarks on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns as well as its provocative and confrontational actions. The Australian side should own up to the crux of the matter, take China's concerns seriously and adopt concrete actions to correct their mistakes. I also want to stress that with mutual respect serving as the basis for state-to-state relations, China firmly opposes the act of hurting other country's interests in the name of protecting one's own and imposing one's will on others under the excuse of protecting its own values.
South China Morning Post: The U.S. State Department's Office of Policy Planning released a paper called "The Elements of the China Challenge" which lays out "ten tasks" for the U.S. to accomplish to deal with China's rise. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: This paper is just another collection of lies piled up by the those "living fossils of the Cold War " from the U.S. State Department. It only serves to lay bare the entrenched Cold War mindset and ideological prejudice of some people on the US side and their fear, anxiety and unhealthy mentality towards a growing China. Their vile attempts to bring back the Cold War will be mercilessly rejected by the Chinese people and all peace-lovers around the world. They and their doomed attempts will end up in nowhere but the dustbin of history.
Phoenix TV: U.S. Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite has called for the Navy to establish a new fleet at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. He said that U.S. 7th Fleet alone, which is forward-deployed in Japan, not enough to deal with China's military ambitions. What is your response?
Zhao Lijian: China is committed to the path of peaceful development. We are and will always be a builder of world peace, contributor to global development and guardian of international order. China's development is an opportunity, not a threat, as it will add to the world's strength for peace. Some people in the US have got into the habit of hyping up the so-called "China threat", because they need excuses for their expanding military prowess and budget so as to seek regional and global hegemony.
It must be pointed out that the US, who has the largest military expenditure, set up military bases all over the world, and had only 16 years not at war over its 240-plus years of history, has frequently claimed being threatened by others. Can anyone think up a more ridiculous logic? We urge the US to discard the outdated Cold War and zero-sum game mindset, view China's development in an objective and rational way, and play a constructive role for peace and stability in Asia Pacific.
Reuters: Canada recent identified state-sponsored programs in China, Russia, Iran and North Korea as major cyber crime threat, saying that the country's power supply could be attacked. Do you have a comment?
Zhao Lijian: The Canadian side's remarks are quite absurd and have no factual basis at all.
We noted that in addition to the naming China and other countries as major cyber crime threats in the relevant Canadian report, the opposition party in Canada called on the Canadian government to make a decision on Huawei's participation in 5G rollout.
China's position on issues related to cyber security and Huawei 5G is consistent and clear. China is a staunch defender of cyber security and one of the biggest victims of hacker attacks. China firmly opposes and cracks down on cyber attacks of any form in accordance with law. Canada should adopt an objective and fair attitude, stop making irresponsible remarks and provide a fair, just, open and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies.