Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying held a press briefing on Aug 3, 2022, and fielded a wide range of issues of concern.
CGTN: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a statement on the night of August 2 that “Our congressional delegation’s visit to Taiwan honours America’s unwavering commitment to supporting Taiwan’s vibrant democracy. America’s solidarity with the 23 million people of Taiwan is more important today than ever, as the world faces a choice between autocracy and democracy.” Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: The issue of her visit is not about democracy, but China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. What she has done is definitely not about upholding or defending democracy, but a provocation and infringement on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.?
Many people have hit the nail in their comments about the visit. They pointed out that Pelosi’s dangerous provocation is all?about?making?personal political gains. It is a sheer?ugly political farce. In this ugly stunt, democracy has been reduced to?nothing?more?than?a cheap tool and a pretext constantly?used?by?the US. While Pelosi is the one staging this grandstanding act, it is the China-US relationship and the peace and stability in the region that are taking the toll.?
The kind of democracy Pelosi?refers to is like nothing but an?ornate robe with lice crawling all over it. It might look magnificent from a distance, but couldn’t stand up?to?close scrutiny. From the Capitol riot, the death of George Floyd, the Robb Elementary School shooting and America’s over a million COVID deaths, we see the hypocrisy and cold-bloodedness of the kind of democracy Pelosi refers to. We see the empty pledge and so-called strength of this type of democracy from what the US military has done in Iraq and Syria and from its retreat from Kabul.
Being the number three figure in the US government, Pelosi?has?been?spending?taxpayer money and flying to Taiwan on US military aircraft to pull a political stunt,?while?problems?with?US?democracy?keep?piling?up. Her?behavior?of?violating the international law and basic norm in international relations and jeopardizing other countries’ internal affairs, sovereignty and territorial integrity?would only open up people’s eyes about the hypocrisy and ugliness of the US and further bankrupt the US’s credibility as a country. As US?Republican Congresswoman Majorie Greene has tweeted, Pelosi is “not staying in America and solving problems afflicting our people” and she is “obsessed with her own power she’s held for decades while our entire country crumbles … enough with this fake ‘courage’ defending democracy.”
I would also like to remind Pelosi that she is pitting herself against a?nation?with?one-fifth of the world’s population and making a provocation to the more than 1.4 billion Chinese people. People will not be fooled. Public opinion cannot be defied. Will Pelosi go down in history with a favourable or foul reputation for her stunt? I’m sure history will give a fair answer.
AFP: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said today that China will punish those who provoke China. Can you tell us what further punishment is planned?
Hua Chunying: China will do everything necessary to firmly uphold its sovereignty and territorial integrity. All consequences arising therefrom shall be borne by the US side and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. We mean what we say. I would like to kindly ask you for some additional patience and confidence.
Phoenix TV: We have seen a Washington Post Op-Ed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, saying that the US cannot stand by in the face of violation of the rights of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: Pelosi says that the US cannot stand by.?Then why has she been standing by when it comes to the domestic problems in her own country??
She is being oblivious to the plethora of problems within her country. She does not care about the livelihoods and wellbeing of her fellow Americans. But she has been pulling political stunts and repeating what has been proven countless times to be the lie of the century. This is a typical example of “you can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep”. It puts the hypocrisy and ugliness of some US politicians on?full?display?and reveals?their sinister motive of using human rights as a pretext to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, undermine China’s stability and contain China’s development.
Bloomberg: Just to follow up on the possible countermeasures that you mentioned. Can you elaborate a little bit on whether there will be sanctions directly on Taiwan? Will there be sanctions on Nancy Pelosi as an individual and on other US officials??
Hua Chunying: ….Vice Foreign Minister Xie Feng summoned US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns at once. Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang immediately made serious representations to the White House National Security Council and also the State Department. This morning, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued remarks on this.?
China will do everything necessary to firmly defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity. All consequences arising therefrom shall be borne by the US side and “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. We mean what we say. As for the specific countermeasures that you are interested to know, what I can say is that what needs to be done will be done and these measures will be resolute, strong and effective. They will be continuously felt by the US side and “Taiwan independence” forces.??
And also, I wish to stress that if we look back at each provocation the US has made against China, we can see that they have invariably disgraced and backfired on the US itself. The most?recent example is when Pelosi and some others incited riots?and?violence in Hong Kong,?calling?them a?“beautiful sight to behold”. That, however, gave more?reason to expeditiously end chaos, and restore order and prosperity in Hong Kong. The city, known as the Pearl of the Orient, regained its vigor and charm. This visit?by?Pelosi?to?Taiwan is no exception. For people like Pelosi, their futile attempt to collude with the “Taiwan independence” forces and use the Taiwan question to contain China and undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity will not stop, but only accelerate the historic process of China’s reunification.
As State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said, the US has reneged on its commitments on the Taiwan question, openly played with fire and pitted itself against the 1.4 billion Chinese people.?None of this will end well.
Shenzhen TV: According to reports, the Kosovo authorities recently decided to issue RKS license plates for Serbs in Kosovo, and to grant temporary documents to people entering Kosovo holding Serbian IDs. This move has ramped up regional tension. What is China’s comment?
Hua Chunying: On the Kosovo issue, our consistent view is that the best way is for parties concerned to have dialogue and reach a mutually acceptable political solution within the framework of the UN Security Council Resolutions. The sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Serbia should be fully respected, and the parties concerned should continue with practical and constructive dialogue to actively seek a lasting solution to the Kosovo issue.
Reuters: Chinese military said it will carry out targeted military operations in a few areas around Taiwan. Some of these areas encroached into the “internal waters” of Taiwan, which according to UNCLOS is not allowed. Taiwan said that this endangers their “national security”?and hinders the freedom of navigation protected under international law. What’s your comment on this?
Hua Chunying: On the actions taken by the Chinese military, I’m sure you have seen the statements made by the spokespersons of the Ministry of National Defense and the PLA Eastern Theater Command. The actions are aimed at deterring the “Taiwan independence” forces, so they are legitimate and necessary.?
We have never seen any problems with the freedom of navigation in relevant waters. I think what truly needs our attention is how the US military vessels and aircraft would fly thousands of miles all the way from their homeland just to flex muscles at the doorstep of China. And also for the US side, maybe it is better not to mention UNCLOS. If the US wants to mention it, please join UNCLOS now first. Taiwan, being a part of China, has no right to claim “internal waters”.
CNR: According to reports, with regard to the disposal of nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said in his speech at the General Debate at the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) that, “In close cooperation with the international community, including the IAEA, Japan will continue to advance its efforts in a transparent manner in accordance with domestic and international safety standards.” What’s your comment?
Hua Chunying: I have noticed relevant reports on this issue. China has made its position very clear many times. We are seriously concerned and firmly opposed to the unilateral decision of the Japanese government to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean. The Chinese delegation made this position abundantly clear again at the Review Conference of the NPT. …..We urge Japan to seriously respond to the legitimate concerns of its people and international community, fully honour its due international obligations to have full consultation with stakeholders and relevant international agencies, and find a proper way to treat the nuclear-contaminated water in a scientific, open, transparent and safe way. Until then, Japan should not unilaterally go ahead with the discharge plan.?
The Wall Street Journal: Earlier today Speaker Pelosi met with Tsai Chi-chang, who is the “Vice President of Taiwan’s legislature”. She spoke about how the US could learn from Taiwan on COVID response. There she said “how you address the COVID crisis, how we advance respect for all of the people in our countries as we go forward”, appearing to refer to Taiwan as a country. Does China have any response on that?
Hua Chunying: I think?you?knew?full?well?what?the?answer?would?be. Taiwan has never been a country. Both?historically and legally, Taiwan has?always been a province of China.?
AFP: Another question on China’s military exercises around Taiwan. Japan has said that some of the military drills are taking place in the Japanese exclusive economic zone (EEZ). In holding these exercises so close to Taiwan, including to the east of Taiwan, is China prepared for the situation to escalate if there’s a misfiring or a close encounter with other vessels or aircraft?
Hua Chunying: The Chinese military drills in the waters off China’s Taiwan island?are necessary and legitimate?both as a response to the major provocation of the US side and the “Taiwan independence” separatist?forces and as a step to firmly uphold China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The relevant Chinese authorities issued safety alerts and navigation warnings?before?the?start?of?the?drills. Since China and Japan have not yet carried out maritime delimitation in relevant waters, China does not accept the notion of so-called “Japanese EEZ”. The Chinese side urges Japan to uphold the one-China principle and the spirit of the four political documents between the two countries and be prudent on the Taiwan question.
Just?now,?some of you just mentioned the actions taken by China’s military, and we’ve also noted the remarks of the US side on these drills. I’d like to say a bit more about this.
Over the past few days, through multiple channels and at various levels, China?has?been?making?clear time?and?again?our firm opposition to Pelosi’s visit to the US side, but apparently the US side and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces have not taken the message to heart. In that case, the Chinese side is left with one option only, which is to “speak” to them in a way that they can understand.
The important thing is, while expressing our serious opposition to Pelosi’s visit, we need to be absolutely?clear that it is the US who is the provocateur, and China the victim. The US side colluded with those?in?Taiwan and made provocations first, whereas China has been compelled to act in self-defense. The root cause of the tensions in the Taiwan Strait is that the Taiwan authorities have been soliciting US support to seek “Taiwan independence”, and certain individuals in the US intend to use the Taiwan question to contain China. History and reality have proved time and again that the one-China principle is what underpins peace?and?stability across the Taiwan Strait. When the one-China principle is fully recognized and earnestly followed, the Taiwan Strait would remain calm?and tranquil. However, when the one-China principle is willfully challenged or even sabotaged, there would be dark clouds or even violent storms across the Taiwan Strait.
If people truly care about peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, particularly friends from the press, it would?be?critical for you to send a clear message to the US officials and to “Taiwan independence” forces about the need to strictly abide by the one-China principle in both words and deeds. That is how we can truly see the?peace and stability?that?people?want?in the Taiwan Strait.
Reuters: Many Chinese people were disappointed when China did not and could not take more concrete actions to prevent Pelosi from making this visit to Taiwan. On hindsight, should China have done more to guide the public to understand more rationally what is best for the development of US-China relations?
Hua Chunying: The Chinese side has made its serious position clear through statements and actions. Once again, people have seen that certain US politicians would pull self-serving political stunts at the expense of regional peace and stability?and?the?overall?interest?of?China-US?relations, whereas China’s behavior shows its commitment to regional peace and stability as well as its resoluteness?in?upholding?its sovereignty and security interests.?
The Chinese side has unwavering resolve and will to uphold China’s sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. There should be no questions about our strong capability to do so. Our countermeasures will be strong, effective and resolute, which will be felt steadily and continuously by the US side and the “Taiwan independence” separatists.?
The Chinese people are rational patriots. We have full confidence in the ability of our country and our government to firmly defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity. I recommend that you take?some?time?to?learn?about?the century-long history of the Communist Party of China. We?have been through?all?kinds?of?challenges,?haven’t?we? And look how far we have come. We are fully confident in the future?ahead?of?us.
Associated Press of Pakistan: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a recent meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to Islamabad said his government was committed to unlock full economic and connectivity potential of CPEC. What is your response?
Hua Chunying: We highly appreciate Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s statements. He values Pakistan’s relations with China. And he has reaffirmed many times that Pakistan will push ahead the building of CPEC with “new Pakistan speed”. After he took office, he has been to the Gwadar port twice, and he has personally chaired meetings with Chinese companies. He has done so much for our practical cooperation. With the guidance of the leaders of both countries and with our concerted efforts, CPEC has taken on a fresh look and many positive progresses has been made in advancing the various working groups and projects. China is ready to further implement the understandings between the leaders of our two countries and building on what we have achieved in building and running current projects. We will further focus on industrial development, people’s livelihoods, agriculture, science and technology, and information technology, et cetera, to build CPEC into a demonstration project for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. This will go a long way in strengthening China-Pakistan relations, building the China-Pakistan community with a shared future, and bringing benefits to the people of the two countries.?
AFP: China’s Customs Administration said today that it would suspend certain imports from Taiwan over health and safety issues. A number of other Taiwan imports were also blocked earlier this week despite having the required documentation. Can you clarify if these suspensions are intended also to punish Taiwan for Pelosi’s visit?
Hua Chunying: I would like to refer you to the competent authorities about your specific questions. But one thing is for sure: the US side and the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces must take the responsibility and pay the price for their wrong actions.?
CCTV: Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune said in an interview that his country could join BRICS and it meets “a good part” of the criteria for joining the bloc. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: Since the inception of the BRICS mechanism, it has been closely tied with the future of the emerging markets and developing countries. Today, as the world faces a complex situation, including once-in-a-century changes, an ongoing pandemic and international hotspots, it is important for BRICS countries to strengthen cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries so that we can be united and work together to address the difficulties and challenges that we face. And this will help us achieve development and prosperity together.
In recent years, Algeria and some other countries have expressed their willingness to join BRICS. China is this year’s BRICS chair and we actively support the launch of the expansion process of BRICS countries and efforts to expand BRICS-plus cooperation. At the 14th BRICS Summit held at the end of June, the leaders of the five BRICS countries unanimously spoke on this issue and expressed support for discussions on expansion criteria and procedures. We will work with other BRICS countries to steadily advance this process so that more partners can join in the BRICS family at an early date.?
TASS: Germany’s Foreign Minister reportedly said at a UN meeting that if the mainland invades Taiwan, Germany will give support to Taiwan. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?
Hua Chunying: I assume you are referring to the remarks made by the German Foreign Minister Annalena?Baerbock?at the Review Conference of the NPT. Her indication that China broke international law and attacked its smaller neighbor lacks basic knowledge of history and does not square with facts……
The Taiwan question is China’s internal affair. Some people compare Ukraine to Taiwan in order to twist?the?logic?and mislead public perceptions. This constitutes interference in China’s domestic affair and we will definitely not accept that.?
The one-China principle is a universally recognized norm in international relations and the political foundation and fundamental prerequisite for China’s relations with other countries. Violating that principle will undermine bilateral relations. We hope Germany will have an objective and accurate understanding of the Taiwan question and be careful with getting swayed by the US. We hope Germany will keep its commitment to the one-China policy with concrete action and act prudently on Taiwan-related issues.