|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on August 27, 2019|
Q: The G7 joint statement "reaffirms the existence and the importance of the 1984 Sino-British agreement on Hong Kong and calls for avoiding violence". Do you have a comment on this report?
A: We deplore and firmly oppose such wanton comment in the G7 joint statement. As we've emphasized time and again, Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs. No foreign governments, organizations or individuals have any right to interfere.
The marches, demonstrations and violent activities have been going on for more than two months, which have severely undermined Hong Kong's rule of law, social order, economic well-being and international image. No one cherishes the SAR's prosperity and stability more than the Chinese people, including Hong Kong citizens. We will manage our own affairs properly. I would like to say this to the G7 members: no more meddling with ill intentions.
With respect to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, I would like to reiterate that its ultimate purpose and core content is to affirm China's recovering of Hong Kong and resumption of exercise of sovereignty over it. With the return of Hong Kong to the motherland, the Chinese government exercises jurisdiction over it in accordance with the Constitution and the Basic Law. Under international law and basic norms governing international relations, no country or organization has any right to use the declaration as a pretext to meddle in Hong Kong affairs.
Q: The Australian government said today that the Australian writer Yang Jun has been formally arrested in China on espionage charges. It also said that he is being held in "harsh conditions". Do you see the Australian government's view as an attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs?
A: As authorized by the procuratorial organ, the National Security Bureau of Beijing arrested Australian national Yang Jun on espionage charges on August 23. The case is still being handled. The national security organ handles the case in accordance with law and fully guarantees Yang's rights. He is in good physical condition.
China deplores the Australian statement on this case. I would like to reiterate that China is a country with rule of law. Australia should respect China's judicial sovereignty and not interfere in any way in China's lawful handling of the case.
Q: The Australian foreign minister today said to the media that there is no basis for any allegation that Yang Jun was spying for the Australian government. Can you explain why he has been arrested in this case?
A: As I just said, as authorized by the procuratorial organ, the National Security Bureau of Beijing arrested Australian national Yang Jun on espionage charges on August 23. China is a country with rule of law. The national security organ handles the case in accordance with law. Australia should respect China's judicial sovereignty and not interfere in any way in China's lawful handling of the case.
Q: Yesterday you said you were not aware of the phone calls that President Trump mentioned between Chinese and US trade negotiating teams over the weekend. Do you have anything to update us today?
A: I already responded to a similar question yesterday.
First, I'm not aware of the two phone calls over the weekend that the US side talked about.
Second, trade disputes between China and the US should be resolved through dialogue and consultation. In fact, the two sides have held 12 rounds of high-level consultations and the two teams have remained in contact. Regrettably, however, the US recently decided to add new tariffs on Chinese goods as a measure to impose maximum pressure, which is not constructive at all as it serves no one's interests.
Third, we hope the US will remain calm, return to reason, and immediately stop its wrong approach so as to create conditions for bilateral consultations based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
Q: The G7 summit closed yesterday with a joint statement. On the Iranian nuclear issue, it agrees on two goals, namely to ensure Iran will never obtain a nuclear weapon and to promote peace and stability in the region. French President Macron said that Iranian President Rouhani said he is open to meet with President Trump. President Trump said that he will certainly agree to such a meeting "under the right circumstances". What's China's comment?
A: We note relevant reports and the latest remarks on holding talks. China has been stressing all along that dialogue and consultation is the only right approach while confrontation and conflict will lead nowhere. On the Iranian nuclear issue, China always stands for deescalation through dialogue and communication. We have made great efforts towards salvaging the JCPOA.
Yesterday, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif in Beijing. State Councilor Wang stated China's support for all efforts conducive to upholding the JCPOA. He said that China understands Iran's legitimate demands and believes that its continued fulfillment of the deal should be properly rewarded.
China is committed to continue working with relevant parties to uphold and implement the JCPOA to facilitate the political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue and play a constructive role in reducing tensions in the Gulf region.
Q: The Pentagon said yesterday that China has been carrying out coercive interference in oil and gas activities in waters claimed by Vietnam in the South China Sea, and accused Beijing of bullying tactics. Can you give us any further explanation for what the Chinese survey ship is doing and why it is so close to the Vietnamese coast in the South China Sea?
A: China has always been staunchly upholding and practicing international law and order. It has been exercising its legitimate rights under international law in the region and safeguarding regional peace, stability and order.
The truth on the maritime issue between China and Vietnam is very clear. However, the US has repeatedly made wanton and fact-distorting criticism on China. We firmly oppose that and urge the US to stop the malicious hyping and to play a positive and constructive role in regional and international affairs instead.
Q: According to media reports, a 20-year-old Chinese student studying in Sydney was abducted last week and ransom was demanded in bitcoin. Could you confirm and respond?
A: I am not aware of that and will try to get more information for you.
Q: President Trump at the G7 press conference yesterday said he believes China is sincere and would like to have a trade deal with the US. Is that a good sign? And do you have any information as to when the next round of negotiations will take place?
A: As I just said, China always holds that trade disputes with the US should be resolved through dialogue and consultation. In fact, the two sides have held 12 rounds of high-level consultations and the two teams have remained in contact. Regrettably, however, the US recently decided to add new tariffs on Chinese goods as a measure to impose maximum pressure, which is not constructive at all as it serves no one's interests.
We hope the US will remain calm, return to reason, and immediately stop its wrong approach so as to create conditions for bilateral consultations based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.