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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on September 19, 2019
2019/09/19

Q: Some reports say that US House Speaker Pelosi and House lawmakers from both parties held a press conference on the "Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019" on September 18. Joshua Wong and Denise Ho were among those invited to attend the event. Pelosi said that the act has bipartisan support in the House and the Senate. I wonder if you have a comment?

A: Recently we have repeatedly stated China's solemn position on US interference in Hong Kong affairs with erroneous words and deeds. Certain politicians like Ms. Pelosi still won't tell right from wrong. They held the press conference threatening to push the Hong Kong-related act and met with separatist forces for "Hong Kong independence". With uninvited comments on Hong Kong affairs, they are grossly interfering in China's domestic affairs. We deplore and strongly oppose that.

I will reiterate that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's domestic affairs and no foreign interference shall be allowed. We strongly urge the US to abide by international law and basic norms governing international relations, earnestly respect China's sovereignty, stop interfering in whatever form in Hong Kong affairs, stop pushing the relevant act on Hong Kong, stop endorsing violent and radical forces in Hong Kong and separatist forces for "Hong Kong independence", and stop instigating words and deeds undermining the stability and prosperity of the Hong Kong SAR.

Q: According to media reports, Myanmar's National Reconciliation and Peace Center (NRPC) held peace talks with four ethnic armed groups, namely the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), the Ta'ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and the Arakan Army (AA) in Kengtung on September 17, reaching many consensus and signing a meeting minutes. I wonder what's your comment?

A: China firmly supports the peace process in Myanmar. We consistently stand for and promote settlement of differences through dialogue and consultation. The progress in peace talks between the NRPC and the four ethnic armed groups is of great significance to easing the situation in northern Myanmar and maintaining peace and stability across the China-Myanmar border. China welcomes this. We hope relevant sides will keep up the momentum for peace talks, consolidate consensus and accumulate mutual trust for new progress. We also hope they will exercise maximum restraint and earnestly maintain peace and stability in northern Myanmar and the China-Myanmar border area. China will continue to play a constructive role in Myanmar's peace process.

Q: Some say that Russia and China have put forward their own draft resolution on a cease-fire in Syria's Idlib region, reaffirming that the cessation of hostilities shall not apply to military operations against terrorist groups. Can you confirm that?

A: We have been following the situation in Syria's Idlib region closely and are concerned about the rallying terrorist groups. We stand for fighting all terrorist groups as designated by the Security Council with a set of unified standards. Under current circumstance, the Security Council should support efforts to maintain stability in the region and work for progress in the political process in Syria. Counter-terrorism efforts should not stop. In light of these considerations, China and Russia have put forward the draft resolution in the Security Council. We hope to get support from other parties.

Q: Some US lawmakers launched recently the "Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2019" in the House of Representatives. Would you like to comment on that?

A: The so-called "Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2019" launched by some US lawmakers in the House of Representatives is a serious breach of basic norms governing international relations and a gross interference in China's internal affairs. It sends out a gravely wrong signal to separatist forces for "Tibet independence". China is firmly opposed to that.

Tibetan affairs are purely China's domestic affairs. No foreign interference shall be allowed. We urge the US to fully recognize the highly sensitive nature of issues relating to Tibet, stop pushing the relevant act and stop meddling in China's domestic affairs with Tibet as a cover.

Q: According to reports, the White House is considering whether President Trump is going to mention Xinjiang-related issues in his speech at the UN General Assembly on September 24. Vice President Pence and Secretary of State Pompeo may talk about Xinjiang, too. The US will also hold a meeting on Xinjiang-related issues. What's your comment?

A: I took a relevant question yesterday. The upcoming general debate of the 74th session of the UNGA offers an important platform and opportunity for the international community to discuss major issues bearing on world peace and development. If any country wants to take this occasion to make wanton comments on other countries in an attempt to interfere in their internal affairs, they will get no support and have no success.

Regarding Xinjiang-related issues, I shall reiterate that Xinjiang affairs are purely China's internal affairs and no foreign country has the right to interfere. Recently US officials have repeatedly criticized China's Xinjiang policy in disregard of facts under the pretext of human rights. China firmly opposes that.

Xinjiang-releated issues are not about ethnicity, religion or human rights, but about fighting separatism, violence and terrorism. The counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts in Xinjiang have achieved remarkable outcomes and there hasn't been a single violent terrorist attack over the past three years. The relevant measures have effectively safeguarded the rights to life, health and development of people of all ethnic groups and made important contributions to the international counter-terrorism cause. Nearly one thousand foreign diplomats, officials from international organizations and journalists have visited Xinjiang. They all recognized and applauded local efforts to fight and prevent terrorism in accordance with law. We urge the US to respect facts and truth and stop interfering in others' internal affairs under the pretext of human rights.

If the US really cares for human rights, it should work in real earnest to address problems at home, such as gun violence, income disparity, gender discrimination and social security. It should attach high importance to the concerns raised in the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and address violence, long-term detention and hindrance of humanitarian aid targeting immigrants and refugees and stop the separation of refugee children from their families. It should stop wantonly violating the human rights of the people of other countries by randomly imposing unilateral sanctions.

Q: Saudi Arabia says it has shown "undeniable evidence" that Iran was behind the recent missile strikes in Saudi Arabia. Does China believe what Saudi Arabia is saying?

A: We noted relevant reports. We hope there will be a comprehensive, objective and impartial investigation into the incident. In the meantime, China calls on relevant parties to refrain from taking actions that will escalate tensions in the region and to jointly uphold regional peace and stability.

Q: Taiwan's ally Tuvalu has elected a new prime minister. I wonder if China is reaching out to that country's government to talk about opening relations?

A: China's position is consistent and clear. We stand ready to develop friendly cooperative relations with countries around the globe on the basis of the one-China principle and the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence.

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