|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on September 17, 2019|
Q: According to reports, on September 16, the Solomon Islands' Caucus Meeting decided to sever "diplomatic ties" with Taiwan and establish diplomatic relationship with China, with 27 votes for shifting ties, zero against and six abstentions. The government's cabinet adopted this decision on the same day. What's your comment on the decision of the Solomon Islands' government? When will China officially establish diplomatic ties with the Solomon Islands?
A: China highly commends the decision of the Solomon Islands' government to recognize the one-China principle and sever the so-called "diplomatic ties" with the Taiwan authorities. We support the Solomon Islands in making such an important decision as a sovereign and independent country.
There is but one China in the world and the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government that represents the whole of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. These are basic facts and the universal consensus of the international community. On the basis of the one-China principle, China has established official diplomatic relationships with 178 countries.
The decision of the Solomon Islands' government made with 27 votes for and zero against to recognize the one-China principle and establish diplomatic ties with China again fully testifies to the fact that the one-China principle meets the shared aspiration of the people and constitutes an irresistible trend of the times.
We welcome the Solomon Islands' integration into the big family of China-Pacific Island countries cooperation on the basis of the one-China principle at an early date by standing on the right side of history and seizing the historical opportunity. We stand ready to work with the Solomon Islands to open up broad prospects for our bilateral relations.
As to when China will officially establish diplomatic ties with the Solomon Islands, I'd like to quote a Chinese proverb, "everything comes naturally at the right time".
Q: Two oil facilities of Saudi Arabia's Aramco suffered serious attacks, leading to suspension of 50% of the country's oil production and causing major fluctuations in the global oil market. What's your comment on that?
A: China condemns the attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. We are against any attack on civilians and civil facilities. We call on relevant sides to refrain from actions leading to escalation of tensions in the region.
Q: First, do you have an exact date for when China and the Solomon Islands will formally sign the agreement to establish diplomatic relations? Second, the Taiwanese authorities had provided "financial support" for the Solomon Islands. The Solomon Islands government had been having discussions with China about replacing that financial support. So the money that came from Taiwan will now come from China's mainland. Could you share more details?
A: Your questions, as I can sense, are so skillful with careful wording.
As to your first question, I understand it represents your good wish that China will establish diplomatic ties with the Solomon Islands at an early date. Like I just said, "everything comes naturally at the right time".
Regarding the economic support you mentioned, I noticed what certain people in Taiwan said at a press conference the other day. The remarks fully reveal how they've presumed others' behavior by their own pattern. Indeed, those used to "dollar diplomacy" may not understand that certain principles cannot be bought with money, neither can trust.
The government of the Solomon Islands decided to recognize the one-China principle and establish diplomatic ties with China. It again fully testifies to the fact that the one-China principle meets the shared aspiration of the people and constitutes an irresistible trend of the times.
We're convinced that the establishment and development of diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, the world's second largest economy with more than 1.4 billion people and a bright future, will surely bring unprecedented development opportunities for the Solomon Islands. We stand ready to work with it to open up broad prospects for our bilateral relations.
Q: China imports a large amount of oil from Saudi Arabia. The recent attacks on the country's oil facilities will surely affect supply to China. How will China deal with the shortage of supply?
A: As I just said, China condemns the attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities. We are against any attack on civilians and civil facilities.
Naturally we are concerned about the attacks' impact on global oil supply security and price stability. As to how China will be affected and what steps it will take, that is not a diplomatic question. In fact, at today's press conference at the State Council Information Office, the spokesperson of the National Bureau of Statistics already addressed a relevant question. You may refer to his answer.
Q: A question about Afghanistan. Diplomats say that China is threatening to veto an Afghanistan resolution at the UN because the resolution does not include language about the Belt and Road Initiative. Is that true?
A: I am not sure what your source is. I can tell you that the Afghanistan situation is at a critical stage. China supports the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in providing continued assistance to the country's peace and reconstruction process and socioeconomic development. At present, Security Council members are holding consultations on a draft resolution on the extension of the UNAMA's mandate. We hope Security Council members will jointly uphold important consensus reached in the past, respect each other's legitimate concerns, continue to conduct constructive cooperation and safeguard the unity of the Security Council.
Q: Yesterday Hong Kong lawmaker Tanya Chan called on the UN Human Rights Council to hold an emergency session and launch an international investigation to uphold justice and human rights in Hong Kong. What does the foreign ministry think of this idea?
A:I noticed this report you mentioned. This lawmaker also said Hong Kong is at the brink of a humanitarian crisis, right?
Hong Kong is indeed at the brink of a crisis now, but not a "humanitarian crisis" as she alleged, but a crisis of the rule of law. Over the last two months or so, we have clearly seen how the situation in Hong Kong evolved. I noted that journalists with CNN recently also turned their camera lens to the violent radicals who hurt ordinary people and passers-by. They waged crazy, heinous attacks and caused severe harm to the rule of law and security of the whole society. I believe that at this moment of crisis, Hong Kong citizens should bravely stand up against violence. The most pressing and overriding task at the moment is to stop violence, end chaos and restore the rule of law and order. What really needs to be investigated are those violent radicals and their criminal behaviors and the backstage manipulators.
Q: According to media reports, South Sudan's President Kiir and opposition leader Machar met in Juba lately. The two reached important consensus on forming a new transitional government by November 12 as scheduled and other issues regarding the peace process in South Sudan. Does the Chinese side have any comment?
A: China appreciates and welcomes the meeting between South Sudan's President Kiir and the opposition leader Machar, which ended up with consensus on the formation of a new transitional government and other issues. We hope the two sides will seize this opportunity, accelerate the implementation of the revitalized peace accord, and restore peace and stability to the country at an early date. China will continue its support and assistance to the peace process.
Q: A question on State Councilor Wang Yi's attendance at the UNGA next week. While State Councilor Wang Yi is at the UN, will he be discussing specific Belt and Road proposals or projects with other member states of the UN?
A: Yesterday we announced that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the general debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly and relevant important multilateral and bilateral meetings. He will attend the Climate Action Summit and the SDG Summit as President Xi Jinping's special representative. He will also host the meeting between the foreign ministers of the permanent members of the Security Council and the UN General-Secretary, the foreign minsters' meeting between China and the African members of the Security Council, foreign ministers' meeting of the Ancient Civilizations Forum and the foreign ministers' dialogue between China and the CELAC Quartet. Besides, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Troika collectively and attend the open debates of the UN Security Council, BRICS foreign ministers' meeting, and commemorative activities for the 70th anniversary of the Geneva Conventions. He will also hold bilateral meetings with the president of the 74th session of the UNGA and heads of delegation or foreign ministers of dozens of countries and attend the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition on the achievements the PRC has achieved since its founding 70 years ago.
As an important initiative for international cooperation, the Belt and Road Initiative has drawn extensive attention and has been incorporated into documents of the UN and other organizations. China is ready to have discussions on it with anyone interested.
Q: The Maldives foreign minister is due to visit China from today. Can you give some details?
A: This visit by Maldivian foreign minister is an important opportunity to enhance mutual trust and expand mutually-beneficial cooperation between our two countries. We will release more information on the visit in due course.
Q: In a recent interview, British former MP George Galloway said that some foreign organizations are behind protests in Hong Kong. Do you have any comment on that?
A: It cannot be more true that foreign forces are interfering in Hong Kong affairs . As we can see from media reports, certain foreign forces have tried to interfere in Hong Kong affairs via various means, including publicly supporting the violent protesters, beautifying the serious criminal behaviors of the violent radicals and vilifying the Hong Kong police's highly restrained actions to uphold the rule of law and order in accordance with law. Certain Western politicians even went so far as to publicly meet with Hong Kong separatist forces and leaders to back them up. In addition, there are also media reports that the US has provided large amounts of money through the National Endowment for Democracy to the so-called oppositions engaging in activities to separate Hong Kong.
We also noticed the BBC Newsnight report on seminars organized by certain US agencies to offer training on street violence. They had sophisticated organization and division of labor, which is all well documented in public reporting. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our position is very clear. We must speak out that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs and no interference from foreign government, force, organization or individual shall be allowed. We advise the foreign forces to grasp the situation as soon as possible and withdraw their hand from Hong Kong. We hope that the violent radicals will grasp the situation, return to reason and realize the highly harmful nature of their behaviors.
We have collected some relevant reports available online. We can share them with you if you are interested.
A journalist asked the following question after the press conference:
Q: According to media reports, the Solomon Islands has decided to establish diplomatic relations with China. We noted that the Taiwan authorities said that China's financing and infrastructure assistance to Pacific Island countries is not often substantiated and may cause heavy debt burdens on the recipients. What's your comment on that?
A: China highly appreciates the Solomon Islands government's decision to recognize the one-China principle, sever the so-called "diplomatic relations" with Taiwan authorities and to establish ties with China. We support this important decision by the Solomon Islands as a sovereign and independent country. It is further proof that the one-China principle is the overriding trend of the times recognized by people all over the world.
China and Pacific Island countries are all developing nations. In conducting cooperation with these countries, China always upholds justice while pursuing shared interests. We have also provided much assistance to the best of our capabilities. Chinese assistance to these countries is an integral part of South-South cooperation. It has four distinct features. First, equality. We fully respect the will of the recipients, offer assistance to their needs, do not interfere in their internal affairs and never attach any political strings. Second, practicality. All projects are scientifically sound, taking into full consideration their actual effects and fiscal sustainability. Third, openness. Our assistance is not against any third party. We aim to make the pie of cooperation bigger instead of engaging in a zero-sum game. Fourth, sustainability. Following the idea of teaching a person to fish rather than simply giving him a fish, we attach importance to helping the recipients enhance their self-reliant sustainable development capabilities.
Guided by these principles, China has helped Pacific Island countries build more than 100 sets of projects such as international conference centers, roads, office buildings, schools and hospitals. We have provided scholarships to more than 5,000 students and trained more than 7,000 professionals. These measures have given a strong boost to these countries' socioeconomic development and people's welfare, gaining unanimous welcome and appreciation of local governments and peoples.
In conducting cooperation, from selection of projects to investment and financing projects, decisions are made prudently with mutual agreement after risk analysis and feasibility studies. China offers loans based on the will of recipient countries to areas where they are most needed. When our cooperative partners face debt difficulties, we always seek proper solutions through friendly consultations. So far, not a single country has fallen into a debt crisis because of cooperation with China.
I must point out that the remarks by Taiwan authorities are fictitious slandering. They are presuming other's behavior by their own pattern. The Pacific Island countries, with eyes wide open, are in the best position to say whether Chinese assistance is good or bad.