Invited by Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi and Nepali Foreign Minister Gyawali, from September 7 to 10, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the third China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral foreign ministers' dialogue in Islamabad, Pakistan and visit Pakistan and Nepal.
Q: Member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee Yang Jiechi met with Nigerian President Buhari this week. Reports say that China promised to fund the Nigerian President of the 74th UN General Assembly for the year to come. Can you confirm that and tell us how much money China will give to Nigeria for it?
A: The Chinese side has issued a press release about Director Yang Jiechi's visit to Nigeria. He met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari. Have you seen that?
As to the contributions you mentioned, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution setting up the Office of the President of the UNGA Trust Fund and calling on countries to offer funds. Over the years, member states including China have funded the Office of the President of the UNGA to support the work of the President. The information of contributions by all countries is published on the UN website and readily available to everyone.
Q: Taiwan has warned the Solomon Islands that it should not switch its diplomatic ties to China because if it did so, it risks a debt trap by relying on China. I wonder if you have a response to that?
A: I responded to similar questions these two days repeatedly. Let me reiterate that there is but one China in the world. The Chinese government stands ready to develop friendly and cooperative relations with countries around the world on the basis of the one-China principle.
As to this nonsense of certain individual or department in Taiwan, I would advise you to ask the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council for comments.
Q: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Vice Foreign Minister Morgulov and Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zakharova made positive comments relating to China and Russia yesterday. They said that China-Russia relationship has reached an unprecedented level, and that the two countries are developing all-dimensional cooperation and strategic coordination. They believe Hong Kong affairs are China's internal affairs. Both Russia and China should stick to principles and oppose foreign interference. I wonder if you have any comment?
A: We note and agree with the positive statements by the Russian side. For China and Russia, this year is particularly auspicious as it marks both the 70th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties and the beginning of a new era for bilateral relations. The two presidents maintain close interactions and provide strategic guidance for China-Russia relations. The two sides recently have had frequent high-level exchanges and robust cooperation in various fields.
This is something I'd like to emphasize. The China-Russia relationship is based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. It does not target any third party and it cannot be undermined by any third party that tries to sow discord.
Faced with the complex and volatile international situation, especially attempted interference by certain countries in the affairs of others, China and Russia will act on the consensus between the two presidents, enhance mutual support and back-to-back strategic coordination, protect common interests and safeguard peace, stability, equity and justice of the region and beyond.
Q: Yesterday Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau made several critical remarks about China. He said using arbitrary detention as a tool to achieve political goals, international or domestic, is something that is of concern not just to Canada, but to all our allies. We also have to be clear-eyed about it, that China plays by a very different set of rules than we do in the West. What is China's response?
A: What the Canadian side said is distorting facts and putting the blame on the innocent. In order to pander to the US political purposes, Canada has arbitrarily detained a citizen of a third country who didn't violate any Canadian law at all. It has acted as the cat's paw for the US and collaborated with it in orchestrating the Meng Wanzhou case. Is this the rule Canada plays by?
China acts in accordance with law and doesn't hold double standard. This is also the principle the majority of the international community follows. Judging from what Canada has done, it does follow a very different set of rules from that of the international community.
Q: During his visit to Iceland, US Vice President Pence said to the press that the two countries will discuss US concerns on 5G network building. He calls on Iceland and all other US allies to reject Huawei technology. Do you have any response to this?
A: Certain American leader has been criticizing and obstructing normal business cooperation between China and other countries wherever he goes. This is a typical act of hegemony attempting to politicize trade and economic matters. China is firmly against that.
As I said on previous occasions, 5G technology is an innovation by all members of the international community, and the development opportunities it brings should be shared by all. Politicizing 5G-related issues with discrimination does not serve the common interests of the international community. The Chinese government asks Chinese enterprises to observe market principles, international rules and local laws while doing business overseas. In the meantime, we firmly oppose the US stretching the concept of national security and abusing national power to oppress certain Chinese companies. We urge the US to stop making such mistakes and to provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies to invest and operate in the US.
Q: Besides this trilateral meeting, will State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi hold bilateral meetings with Pakistani leadership? Could you give some details about it?
A: I just announced that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Pakistan besides attending the third China-Afghanistan-Pakistan trilateral foreign ministers' dialogue in Islamabad.
China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. The China-Pakistan relations now enjoy good momentum of development as evidenced by frequent high-level exchanges, deepening and growing mutually beneficial cooperation and close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. State Councilor Wang Yi's visit aims to implement the consensus between the leaders of the two countries, consolidate friendship and mutual trust between the two sides, advance high-quality development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, deepen practical cooperation across the board and forge the closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era. During the visit, State Councilor Wang will meet with Pakistani leaders and hold talks with Foreign Minister Qureshi. We will release information in due course.
Q: Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University, published in the Washington Post a signed article entitled "No, I Won't Start Spying on My Foreign-born Students", questioning the US government's policies on international students and scholars. According to the article, law enforcement and intelligence agencies are asking US universities to develop more robust protocols for monitoring Chinese and other foreign-born students and visiting scholars, which severely runs counter to the universities' commitment to openness and diversity. I wonder if you have any comment?
A: Heads of a number of renowned American universities recently voiced support for people-to-people exchange and international cooperation in scientific research, and expressed opposition against wanton restrictions by US law enforcement and intelligence agencies in normal scientific and educational exchange between China and the US. This shows that greater people-to-people exchange between the two countries is welcomed by the two peoples and good for both countries.
Law enforcement and intelligence agencies of the American government have been monitoring and harassing Chinese students and scholars in the US. Such a move, immoral and unjust, reveals nothing but their nasty intentions.
The leader of the US said on many occasions that the country welcomes Chinese students. We hope the relevant authorities can heed the rational calls by people in the US and beyond, stop imposing wanton restrictions on and harassing Chinese students and scholars, protect their legitimate rights and interests, and enhance rather than undermine people-to-people exchange between China and the US.
Q: I am sure you saw reports that the former Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe just died. I wonder if China has any comment on his passing considering that you had very good relations with him?
A: Mr. Robert Mugabe was an exceptional leader of the national liberation movement and statesman of Zimbabwe, who spent his lifetime safeguarding national sovereignty and independence, opposing external interferences and promoting China-Zimbabwe and China-Africa friendly cooperative relations. We deeply mourn his passing and extend sincere condolences to the Zimbabwean government and people as well as his family.
Q: The Italian government approved the "golden powers" yesterday, which means there will be closer scrutiny over 5G supply deals and big 5G suppliers like Huawei. Do you have any comment on this?
A: As world-leading network equipment suppliers, Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE enjoy good reputations. There is simply no evidence of any security risk of its products and services. For years Huawei, ZTE and other Chinese companies have been cooperating with the Italian side. They have set up local branches and R&D centers, made massive investments and created over 1,000 jobs. They have contributed to Italy's economic growth, specifically IT upgrading. The obvious fact is, there was not a single case of security problems between Chinese and Italian companies.
We hope the Italian government will stick to a strategy of win-win cooperation with mutual trust and mutual benefit and continue to foster an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies in Italy. We hope our friendly cooperation will continue to deepen and deliver greater tangible benefits to both sides.
Q: US Senators have said they will make Hong Kong-related legislation a top priority in their legislative efforts when Congress returns to work after a recess next week. If the US Senate does something like that, will China take any countermeasures?
A: China has made clear its position on Hong Kong affairs on many occasions. However, some in the US are still so obstinately sticking to a wrong course. They've threatened to push the relevant Hong Kong-related legislation, wantonly criticized Hong Kong affairs, and grossly interfered in China's internal affairs. China deplores and firmly opposes that.
Since the return of Hong Kong, policies including "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people governing Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy have been earnestly and effectively carried out. Hong Kong residents' rights and freedoms have been fully guaranteed. Any unbiased person will recognize this plain fact.
The future of Hong Kong must and can only be determined by all Chinese people, including our Hong Kong compatriots. We are not afraid of any threat or intimidation. Any attempt to undermine "one country, two systems" and prosperity and stability in Hong Kong will surely be rejected by Hong Kong residents and all other Chinese people. Any attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs, including Hong Kong affairs, is doomed to fail.
Once again I advise certain US politicians to immediately stop pushing Hong Kong-related legislation, cease interfering Hong Kong affairs at once, and make efforts to enhance mutual trust and cooperation between China and the US.
Q: Can you provide some details for State Councilor Wang Yi's visit to Nepal?
A: China and Nepal are comprehensive cooperative partnership featuring ever-lasting friendship. In recent years, taking the building of the Belt and Road as an opportunity, the two countries have accelerated the build-out of the multi-dimensional connectivity network through the Himalayas and our mutually beneficial cooperation across the board has developed rapidly. In April this year, Nepalese President Bhandari paid a successful state visit to China and the leaders of the two countries reached important new consensus on advancing China-Nepal relations. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit aims to implement the consensus between the leaders of the two countries, advance exchange and cooperation across the board and promote comprehensive development of our bilateral relations. During the visit, State Councilor will meet with Nepali leaders and hold talks with Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali. We will release information in due course.