|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on July 17, 2019|
Q: Yesterday there was a question about the potential talks between the US and China trade negotiators over the phone this week. I want to follow up to see if you have any update on it?
A: I have nothing to update you at the moment. I'd refer you to the competent authority for the details.
Q: Switzerland said on Tuesday that it launched the extradition of a Chinese national to the US. He is wanted by the US on charges of stealing trade secrets. Does China support the extradition? Or do you think it's a political case?
A: I'm not aware of the specifics you talked about. I only read about this in media reports.
Judging from those reports, this is only an ordinary business case. We don't want it to be over-interpreted or, even worse, politicized.
Q: Is there a reason why China has been reluctant to disclose progress on China-US trade talks? What does China feel the US needs to do in order for the talks to progress and for there to be a face-to-face meeting?
A: I don't understand how you come up with the conclusion that China is "reluctant". The Chinese and US teams are in communication with each other on this issue. Information related to this has been released. As I know, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce also took questions on this matter in a press conference last week. If there is any update, we will release the information in due course.
Q: I have two questions relating to Australia. First, Australian foreign minister said in a statement today that the Australian embassy in Beijing has formally asked China to allow the wife and son of an Uyghur Australian man to leave China for Australia. What's your comment on that? My second question is about a Chinese Australian writer Yang Jun. Do you have anything to update us about him?
A: On your first question, I haven't read the relevant statement from the Australian side. I will check on that after the press conference. If the Australian side has provided detailed information for us via the bilateral channel, we will offer necessary assistance. In fact, this is what we have been doing all along.
Now come to your second question. The case of Yang Jun is still under investigation. The Chinese national security authority handles the case in strict accordance with the law and fully protects his legal rights. As I know, Yang Jun's physical condition is sound.
Q: In an interview on July 17, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dispelled the "China threat" myth and said that the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has entered a new era. The policy of good-neighborliness between Russia and China covers a whole range of areas and will last long. It will not be easily affected. The Russia-China cooperation is not targeting any third party. It aims to boost social development and economic prosperity for people in both countries. Do you have any comment on his remarks?
A: China highly applauds Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's positive and unequivocal remarks on China-Russia relations. In recent years, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Putin, the China-Russia relationship has made unprecedented progress and achieved fruitful outcomes. Last month, President Xi paid a historic state visit to Russia, ushering in a new era for the China-Russia relations on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic ties.
I would like to specifically point out that exactly 18 years ago, on July 16, 2001, China and Russia signed the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, which established the idea of "ever-lasting friendship and never becoming enemies" in legal terms. Over the past years, we are committed to the four-point agreement between us on showing firm support for each other's efforts. We established unbreakable political mutual trust. Facts have proven that such new type of major country relationship boasts strong internal impetus and unlimited potential. What we have gone through in the past 70 years gives us more confidence and persistence to jointly address difficulties and challenges. Attempt to sow discord between China and Russia will never succeed.
We are confident that the China-Russia relations in the new era will grow even stronger, more resilient and dynamic. We will continue to consolidate and deepen strategic coordination across the board, work for common development and revitalization, safeguard international fairness and justice and inject more positive energy into the world.
Q: First question, US senators and House representatives introduced a bill that will continue the tight restrictions on Huawei. If it gets passed, the Department of Commerce will not be able to remove Huawei from the Entity List without an act of Congress. How do you respond to that? Second question, TIME published a list of "The 25 Most Influential People on the Internet", and "Hong Kong protesters" are in the list. I wonder if you have any comment on that?
A: First question first. China has made clear its stern position many times on US arbitrary oppression against Chinese companies. With a Cold-War mentality and a zero-sum game mindset, the relevant US senators and House representatives have long been seeing China through tinted glasses. They proposed various bills that have negative contents on China to contain China's development and damage its relationship with the US. Their ill intentions are very explicit.
The US has been using its national power to wantonly sanction and oppress Chinese companies. This has severely undermined its own image, its companies' interests and the global industrial chain and supply chain. Such moves have been and will continue to be opposed by all countries.
The economic and trade cooperation between Chinese and American companies benefit both sides. President Trump said during his meeting with President Xi that he will allow US companies to continue supplying Huawei. How and when will the US act on its commitment? It concerns the country's reputation and credibility. The world is watching.
We hope the US can immediately stop oppressing or imposing sanctions on Huawei and other Chinese companies for no valid reason. It should treat them in a fair, objective and non-discriminatory manner. It needs to create more conditions for sound and stable trade cooperation with China instead of setting more obstacles.
On your second question, I believe you know that we generally do not comment on such lists. As for the recent situation in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong SAR government has made responses many times.
Q: Czech media reported that China has taken countermeasures against the anti-China actions of the municipal government and mayor of Prague. Can you confirm that and what's your comment?
A: Recently the municipal government and mayor of Prague have behaved very badly on Taiwan- and Tibet-related issues that concern China's sovereignty and core interests. What they did has severely hurt the sentiments of the Chinese people and undermined the good atmosphere for bilateral relations, in particular sub-national communication and cooperation. This is why the relevant parties and individual in Prague are unwelcome to the Chinese people. We advise the Prague municipal government and certain politician to correct their wrongdoing as soon as possible and not to recklessly damage the overall China-Czech relations. Otherwise, their own interests will be harmed at the end of the day.
Q: Teresa Cheng, a veteran lawyer in Hong Kong, will arrive in Beijing today. She is going to meet with representatives of the foreign ministry. Can you tell us the purpose of her visit and why she will meet with MFA representatives?
A: I'm not aware of that. I will check on it.
Q: Can you verify reports that Vietnamese and Chinese ships have been embroiled in stand-off in the South China Sea? And what's China's comment on this?
A: If I recall correctly, I made clear China's position on this issue a few days ago. We hope the Vietnamese side can earnestly respect China's sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the relevant waters, and do not take any move that may complicate matters.
Q: US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday the United States still has a long way to go before it concludes a trade deal with China, but it could impose additional tariffs on over $300 billion worth of Chinese goods if necessary. What's your comment?
A: China believes that trade frictions between China and the US should be resolved through dialogue and consultation. We have sincerity for that all along.
The US thinks there is still a long way to go before a deal is concluded. Well, as the Chinese saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. No matter how long the way is, as long as you step forward, you will eventually reach the destination.
We hope the US will show more sincerity and perseverance. It needs to join China's efforts for a mutually beneficial trade agreement based on mutual respect and equality.
As to the US threat of imposing new tariffs on $325 billion worth of Chinese goods, China will firmly defend its own interests. We made clear this position on many occasions before, so I will not go into details. But if the US does impose new tariffs, that will indeed set new obstacles for the trade talks. There will be a even longer way to go before reaching a deal.