|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang's Regular Press Conference on May 24, 2019|
At the invitation of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, Vice President Wang Qishan will pay visits to Pakistan, the Netherlands and Germany from May 26 to June 2.
Q: According to reports, on May 23, the Election Commission of India officially announced that the National Democratic Alliance led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won the 17th Lok Sabha election. What's your comment?
A: The 17th Lok Sabha election was smoothly and successfully completed in India, and the National Democratic Alliance led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has won the majority of the seats. China has expressed congratulations on that and President Xi Jinping has sent a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Modi.
China and India are each other's important neighbors. We are both major developing countries and emerging markets. You may still remember that last year President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi met in Wuhan. Their meeting charted the course and opened up new prospects for bilateral relations. One year on, we have made headway in bilateral relations with cooperation advanced at all levels and in various fields. China attaches high importance to its relations with India and stands ready to work with the Indian government in its new term to deepen political mutual trust, conduct mutually beneficial cooperation and continuously move forward a closer partnership for development.
Q: President Trump said yesterday that he was willing to include some of the recent moves the US has taken against Huawei as part of the negotiations. Is China willing to discuss Huawei's situation as part of the trade negotiations? Do you have any information on when the next round of trade talks will be held?
A: Recently we have stated China's position on the Huawei issue repeatedly. We urge the US to correct its wrong act of using state power to bring down foreign businesses, seeking illegitimate interests, disrupting the market and undermining international cooperation.
Regarding the China-US trade talks you mentioned, China has already made clear its position on many occasions. China believes that differences in the trade and economic fields between the two countries should be resolved through friendly dialogue and consultation. But all dialogue and consultation must be based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. It takes such principle to make a dialogue possible, hopeful and meaningful.
Q: You have just announced the visit of Vice President Wang Qishan to Pakistan. Will you share some details of this visit?
A: Yes, Vice President Wang Qishan will pay an official visit to Pakistan at the invitation of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan. According to what I have at hand now, during his visit, Vice President Wang will meet with Pakistani President Arif Alvi and hold talks with Prime Minister Imran Khan. The two sides will exchange views on deepening bilateral relations and other international and regional issues of mutual interest.
As all-weather strategic cooperative partners and iron friends, China and Pakistan firmly support each other on issues concerning each other's core interests. Pakistan has all along been a priority in China's diplomacy. The China-Pakistan relations enjoy sound momentum for development, as evidenced by frequent high-level exchanges, deepened and broadened mutually beneficial and close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs. Last month, Prime Minister Imran Khan attended the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China. President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Vice President Wang Qishan held meetings with him respectively. The two sides signed bilateral cooperation documents.
We believe Vice President Wang Qishan's visit will further deepen China-Pakistan high-level exchange, consolidate friendship and mutual trust, boost the development of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and across-the-board practical cooperation, promote cultural and people-to-people exchange and cooperation and inject new impetus into the efforts to advance the all-weather strategic cooperation and forge a closer China-Pakistan community with a shared future in the new era.
Q: We noticed that Chinese Ambassador to the US Cui Tiankai attended the opening ceremony of the fifth China-US Governors Forum in Lexington, Kentucky on May 22 and delivered a speech. He said that "China-US relationship belongs to our people and its future should be defined by the people". The Lieutenant Governor of Washington State who was also attending the event said in an interview that the US and China, as two major countries, need cities, which are much closer to the people, to engage in dialogue to help better understand each other's needs. The US National Governors Association said in a statement that the number of participants at this forum demonstrates the strong desire of both sides to establish and maintain close ties at the sub-national level. Does China have any comment?
A: Indeed, as you said, the fifth China-US Governors Forum opened in Lexington, Kentucky on May 22. Based on my information at the moment, participants will have in-depth exchange on topics such as education, culture, advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, investment, e-commerce and cross-borer trade.
This gathering, aimed at promoting sub-national cooperation, reflects the confidence in and expectations for China-US relations at the sub-national level. The past four decades since the establishment of China-US diplomatic relations has shown that cooperation, which has brought enormous benefits to our two countries and peoples, is the only correct choice for us. We believe this forum will inject positive energy into the current China-US relationship by deepening friendship and strengthening cooperation. It will also help the two sides to jointly advance a relationship featuring coordination, cooperation and stability.
Q: We noted that after the Election Commission of India officially announced the results of the election, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan sent a congratulatory message to Prime Minister Modi on Twitter, saying that he looks forward to working with him for peace, progress and prosperity in South Asia. Prime Minister Modi expressed his gratitude for his Pakistani counterpart's good wishes, saying that he has always given primacy to peace and development in the region. How do you comment on the interactions between the Indian and Pakistani leaders?
A: The Chinese side noted the positive interactions between the Indian and Pakistani leaders and welcomes that. India and Pakistan are both important countries in South Asia. The good neighborliness between the two countries serves the fundamental interests of the two sides and meet the shared aspirations of the international community. We hope the two sides will continue to send goodwill and meet each other halfway, properly resolve differences through dialogue, make efforts to improve their relations and jointly uphold regional peace and stability.
Q: US President Trump announced the decision to deliver $16 billion more in aid to farmers yesterday. But in a letter to US Agriculture Secretary, a Senator wrote that the relevant aids program of the Department of Agriculture could only make up for about one thirds of the farmers' losses. Net income in the agricultural sector has fallen by 50 percent since 2013, and many farmers are on the verge of financial collapse. He strongly advises President Trump to immediately resolve the trade conflicts with China. What's your comment?
A: Normally we do not comment on the internal issues of other countries. But now that you mentioned China, I could say a few words.
Over the years China and the US have carried out sound mutually beneficial cooperation in extensive fields including agriculture, which brings tangible benefits to the businesses and consumers of both countries. To be frank, the businesses in the farming and other relevant industries between the two countries have maintained friendly relations. As to the problems now faced by US farmers and ranchers, their Chinese counterparts are deeply sympathetic to that.
We also noted that US industrial organizations in the agricultural sector have explicitly asked the US government to correct its wrongdoing. This shows that they know two things very well. First, the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the US is undermined, the differences cannot be resolved through friendly consultations for shared interests like in the old days, and China is not the one to blame. Second, just like all other governments, the Chinese government will have to take measures to safeguard its own legitimate rights and interests when they are undermined.
Q: Today is the third day of Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao's visit to China. I believe he will meet with President Xi. I'd like to know if you could tell us how the visit has gone so far?
A: Indeed, Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao is now in China for a visit. As far as I know, he had good talks with Vice President Wang Qishan and the readout was already released yesterday. Just as you said, President Xi Jinping is going to meet with him, and so is Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Wang Yang. Please be patient and the information will be released soon.
Q: During a press interview yesterday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Huawei is deeply tied to the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government, which puts American information that crosses its networks at risk. When asked if he had any evidence, Secretary Pompeo said that putting the information in the hands of the CPC is de facto a real risk, and that the US is explaining to other countries and companies about Huawei's risks. I wonder if you have any comment about that?
A: We have noted the relevant reports. For some time, certain US politicians have been fabricating rumors on Huawei without providing any convincing evidence as required by other countries. There have been growing criticism at home in the US over the market fluctuations and disruptions to industrial cooperation caused by the trade war and science and technology war initiated by the US. Under such circumstances, those US politicians, who have been trying to mislead the public by willful lies, are now attempting to incite an ideological conflict. This is totally illogical, to be frank. Take a look around the world and you will find that ideological differences do not necessarily obstruct economic, trade, industrial, scientific and technological cooperation between countries. If you look back at the past 40 years since China and the US established diplomatic ties, the fact is crystal clear: the US government, led by either the Democrats or the Republicans, has been all along working with the CPC-led Chinese government in advancing, expanding and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, which has brought tangible benefits to the business sector and consumers in both countries. In fact, among the first batch of agreements signed after the establishment of diplomatic ties was the China-US Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement.
The cases of the PRISM program and Alstom vividly tell the world that even similar ideologies do not prevent the US from taking unjustifiable measures against its allies.
Q: I just want to ask a follow-up question on Secretary Pompeo's remarks about Huawei. He said that Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei of Huawei was not telling the truth, and he's basically calling him a liar. I wonder if you have any comment about that?
A: As I noted, what Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei said in the recent interview, the full text of which is about 20,000 words, is widely acclaimed at home and abroad. It is only certain politician, I'm afraid, that still makes a criticism of him.
After the press conference, the following question was raised: According to media reports, Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau claimed that China has randomly detained two Canadian citizens out of political motives. Canada is keeping contact with China through diplomatic means and working for their release. Do you have any comment?
A: As we have repeatedly pointed out, Michael Kovrig was lawfully arrested by relevant authorities for suspected crimes in secretly gathering state secrets and intelligence for foreign forces, and Michael Spavor for suspected crimes in stealing and illegally providing state secrets to foreign forces.
I need to emphasize that China is a country ruled by law. The Chinese judicial authorities handle the case independently and guarantee the rights of relevant Canadian citizens according to law. We urge the Canadian side to respect the rule of law and China's judicial sovereignty and stop making irresponsible comments.