CCP continues to lie about virus timeline and defend National Security Law

The Chinese Communist Party continues to lie about the timeline of the CCP-virus and defend its national security law and global hegemony.

Excerps of CCP’s press conferences from July 2-6

Global Times: US Secretary of State Pompeo said in recent statements that the CPC implemented its national security law on Hong Kong in contravention of Hong Kongers’ human rights and fundamental freedoms, that it’s turning “One Country, Two Systems” into “One Country, One System”, and that it demonstrates once again that Beijing’s commitments to the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration are empty words. I wonder what’s China’s comment on that?

Zhao Lijian: Day after day, Mr. Pompeo’s lies and rumors demonstrate nothing but ignorance and prejudice.

First, his ignorance of the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR. Pulling human rights into this is just fact-distorting. The Law clearly stipulates that “Human rights shall be respected and protected in safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,” and that “The rights and freedoms…which the residents of the Region enjoy under the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as applied to Hong Kong, shall be protected in accordance with the law.” The Law protects the overwhelming majority of people while punishing only a very small number of perpetrators. After it is enacted, Hong Kong will enjoy more stable social order and better business environment, where Hong Kong residents and foreign investors can all benefit.

Second, his ignorance of “one country, two systems”. The Chinese government is determined in implementing “one country, two systems”, a basic state policy. The adoption of this Law is not aimed to alter “one country, two systems”, but to improve and better act on “one country, two systems” and ensure its faithful and steady implementation.

Third, his ignorance of the Sino-British Joint Declaration. After Hong Kong’s return to the motherland, all the provisions concerning the British side in the Joint Declaration were fulfilled. The basic policies regarding Hong Kong declared by China in the Joint Declaration are China’s statement of policies, not commitment to the UK, and they certainly have nothing to do with the US.

Fourth, his ignorance of international law and basic norms governing international relations. It is consistent with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter to respect other countries’ sovereignty and refrain from interfering in other countries’ internal affairs. It’s completely China’s internal affair to formulate a law on safeguarding national security in a subnational administrative region. Is the US in any way qualified to utter wanton comments on that?

The reason why Mr. Pompeo and his like make such a fuss about the Law is that they won’t be able to jeopardize China’s sovereignty and security in as reckless and unchecked ways as before. The Law is like a burglar-proof door for Hong Kong. We have every confidence that it will get Hong Kong back onto the right path of development and help it regain its repute as the “Pearl of the Orient”.

NBC News: Is China concerned about the impact of the Hong Kong national security law on its relations with other countries, in particular the US?

Zhao Lijian: If you have to weigh national security against bilateral relations, it is only too evident which is more important.

This national security law takes into full consideration the realistic needs of safeguarding national security and the specific conditions of the HKSAR and sets out systemic and comprehensive provisions regarding a legal system and enforcement mechanisms at both national and SAR levels. This upholds the constitutional order in the HKSAR established by the Constitution and the Basic Law and demonstrates the inherent requirements of “one country, two systems”. The law applies to four categories of criminal behaviors that gravely undermine national security. It will only target a few criminals but protect the vast majority of Hong Kong people. Its implementation will strengthen Hong Kong’s legal framework, ensure social order, improve business environment, and benefit Hong Kong citizens and international investors. We have every confidence in the bright prospects of Hong Kong.

Nobody and nothing could shake the Chinese government and people’s resolution and will to safeguard national sovereignty and security and uphold Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability. Any attempt seeking to undermine China’s sovereignty, security and development interests is doomed to fail.

ITN&BBC: The Chinese embassy in the UK has said that China will be prepared to take corresponding measures if the UK introduces changes to BNO rules. What exactly will those corresponding measures look like? Can you give us some examples?

Zhao Lijian: I already stated China’s position very clearly.

BBC: The Australian government said today they are planning some form of offer to Hong Kong citizens to have asylum or something like that. The exact plan hasn’t been finalized yet but the Australian prime minister today said they’re definitely considering this. Does the Chinese side have any response to that yet?

Zhao Lijian: We note relevant reports. We advise the Australian side to look at the national security legislation in Hong Kong in a correct and objective light, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs with Hong Kong as a pretext, and refrain from going further down the wrong path.

AFP: According to some reports, US diplomats have not been able to return to China because Washington and Beijing cannot agree on testing and quarantine procedures for diplomats and their families. So what’s the latest progress in these negotiations?

Zhao Lijian: China and the US have been in close communication on the return of American diplomats to China. We already helped the US to arrange a charter flight to bring back their diplomats after bilateral consultations.

As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps spreading outside our country, China is still under the pressure of preventing imported cases. Our quarantine measures apply equally to all foreign diplomatic missions to China. We are committed to safeguarding the hard-won progress in fighting the virus with foreign diplomats posted in China, and will endeavor to provide enabling conditions for their life and work.

BBC: Hong Kong’s Bar Association has said today in a statement that it is gravely concerned about the national security law in Hong Kong and the manner in which it was introduced. They’re saying for example that there was an “absence of meaningful consultation, lawyers, judges, police and Hong Kong residents were given no opportunity to familiarie themselves with the contents of the new law, including the serious criminal offences it creates, before it came into force”. Does the Chinese government have any response to this?

Zhao Lijian: I see no factual basis to this statement. The NPC Standing Committee, during the drafting of the law, solicited opinions from various sectors, in particular from relevant groups in the HKSAR, including the Chief Executive and other officials, the President of the Legislative Council, Hong Kong deputies to the NPC and CPPCC members at all levels. Suggestions from representatives of Hong Kong’s legal, business, financial, educational, technological, cultural, religious, youth, labor and trade union communities, as well as social organizations and regional groups, were taken into account.

The NPC Standing Committee and relevant departments held 12 seminars in Hong Kong. Nearly three million Hong Kong residents signed up in support of the law. An online signing campaign against external interference garnered support from 1.5 million people, which speaks volumes about the aspiration of the people. The statement by the Hong Kong’s Bar Association alleging absence of meaningful consultation is absolutely untenable. 

***

As you may have noticed, today in Lanting the AC is lower and the lighting is slightly dimmed, and there are video clips and e-posters on saving energy, which you may see on the electronic screen outside. These special arrangements are part of the foreign ministry’s participation in the national energy-saving week.

This week is the 30th national energy-saving week under the theme of “green mountains and clear water: save energy and increase efficiency”. Today is the national low-carbon day featuring “low carbon actions for a a moderately prosperous society in all respects”. Championing energy conservation and a green lifestyle and raising public awareness on this front are important steps towards achieving low-carbon development, advancing ecological conservation and building a beautiful China.

In the MFA, we keep our thrifty tradition alive while advocating and practicing the new concept of innovative, coordinated, green, open and shared development. We have been promoting the idea of low-carbon offices to help save energy and cut emissions. Human civilization cannot thrive without a livable environment. Building a green world is the shared hope of people in all countries. We hope you will join us in this effort. Start with small habits to save energy and reduce our carbon footprint. Let’s look after the planet we all call home and ensure its sustainable development.

BBC: It’s another follow-up question on Britain, Hong Kong and the BNO passport. I think you said that this move by Britain was a breach of promises made in certain memorandum. Can you just tell us what memorandum you are referring to?

Zhao Lijian: In the 1980s, China and the UK exchanged memoranda on relevant issues, where the British side made the explicit commitment that it will not confer the right of abode to Chinese citizens in Hong Kong who hold BNO travel documents. You may refer to the document.

CCTV: Following WHO’s last update on the timeline of its response to COVID-19, chairman of the China Task Force in the US House of Representatives Michael McCaul said that the Chinese Communist Party is finally admitting to the world th e truth – the CCP never reported the virus outbreak to the WHO. Do you have any comment? Has China reported the outbreak to the WHO? 

Zhao Lijian: The allegation by the US side is totally untrue. 

As a State Party to the International Health Regulations (2005), China has been acting in an open, transparent and responsible manner, earnestly implementing its duties and obligations under the IHR, and timely sharing COVID-19 information with the WHO, relevant countries, regional organizations, and China’s Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan regions. The timelines published by the Chinese government and the WHO have clearly shown that China shared information with the international community in a timely and transparent fashion. On December 31, 2019, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released a statement on the situation of pneumonia in the city on its official website. China reported to the WHO at the earliest time possible. This fact cannot be clearer. 

By telling lies and disinformation, certain US politicians aim to frame China and the WHO for their own political agenda. We urge them to respect facts and stop political maneuvering.

Macao Monthly: It is reported that China recently carried out military exercises in the South China Sea. The United States also sent two aircraft carriers to the South China Sea for drills on July 4. What is China’s comment? 

Zhao Lijian: Last week, I answered questions about China’s military training in the relevant waters off the Xisha Islands. I want to stress once again that the Xisha Islands are indisputably China’s territory. China’s military training in the waters surrounding the Xisha Islands is within China’s sovereignty and beyond reproach. 

At present, thanks to the joint efforts by China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable and witnessing sound development. Under such circumstances, it is completely out of ulterior motives that the US flexes its muscles by purposely sending powerful military force to the relevant waters for large-scale exercises. The US intends to drive a wedge between regional countries, promote militarization of the South China Sea and undermine peace and stability in the region. The international community, especially the regional countries, have seen this very clearly. 

China Review News: Canadian Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne said in a statement that Canada will not permit the export of sensitive military items to Hong Kong and is suspending the Canada-Hong Kong extradition treaty. Canada has also updated its travel advice for Hong Kong. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country was considering immigration and other measures. What is China’s comment? 

Zhao Lijian: By making such statements and announcing those measures, the Canadian side has turned a blind eye to the basic fact that the law on safeguarding national security in the Hong Kong SAR is conducive to the steady implementation of the “one country, two systems” principle. The Canadian side has seriously violated international law and basic norms governing international relations, and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs. China strongly condemns that and reserves the right to further react. Canada side will bear all the consequences arising therefrom. 

Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs, and other countries have no right to interfere. The Chinese government is firm in its resolve to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and to oppose interference in Hong Kong affairs by external forces. The attempt to pressure China will never succeed. 

China urges the Canadian side to immediately correct its mistakes and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs in any way so as to avoid further damage to China-Canada relations.

China News Service: Somalia reaffirmed its commitment to the one-China principle and condemned Taiwan for undermining Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in a statement issued by its presidential office. Earlier reports said the Taiwan authorities and Somaliland in northwest Somalia had decided to set up “representative offices” for each other and had appointed representatives for each other. What is China’s comment? 

Zhao Lijian: We noticed and appreciate that the Somali government reaffirmed its adherence to the One-China principle and condemned Taiwan for undermining Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The one-China principle is a universally recognized norm governing international relations and an international consensus. China firmly opposes the establishment of official institutions or any form of official exchange between the Taiwan authorities and Somaliland. The Democratic Progressive Party has gone frantic in search of whatever support it could get, but it will never succeed in trying to stage separatist activities on the international stage. 

The Globe and Mail: Canada does not have an extradition treaty with China’s mainland. It is now suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong. Why is China unhappy that Canada is now treating Hong Kong as part of China in this way? 

Zhao Lijian: What a sophistry in this! Don’t you know this constitutes interference in China’s internal affairs?

The Paper: According to reports, White House Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro said in a recent interview that China produced the coronavirus in a biological lab and used it as a weapon. He added, “They deliberately allowed Chinese nationals to come to the United States, Italy, and everywhere in between, who were infected, while they were locking down their own transportation network.” Do you have any comment? 

Zhao Lijian: Mr. Navarro is a habitual liar and rumor-monger who has been spreading a “political virus” to stigmatize China under the pretext of the pandemic. 

Facts have laid bare each and every lie he has ever made. Since the epidemics broke out, the Chinese government has taken the most comprehensive, rigorous and through prevention and control measures to contain the spread of the epidemics and effectively cut off the transmission routes of the virus. On January 23, Wuhan temporarily suspended outbound transportation. Back then there was only one confirmed case in the US. On January 31, three major American airlines suspended direct flights between the US and China. On February 2, the US closed borders to China when there were only more than 10 confirmed cases reported in the US. From January 24 to April 8, a period during which Wuhan was under lockdown, there were no commercial flights or trains leaving Wuhan for other Chinese cities or foreign countries. On April 8, the number of confirmed cases in the US soared to over 400,000 from a two-digit figure. Now the number of confirmed cases in the US has reached more than 2.87 million with the death toll hitting nearly 130,000. Dr. Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Program, recently warned that the COVID-19 pandemic will not magically go away and numbers don’t lie. The relevant countries should wake up to the situation on the ground. China has achieved major strategic progress and brought the virus under control within a short period of time. Then when we look at the US, we couldn’t help but ask what and how the US has done, and when it will stop shifting the blame to others. 

Mr. Navarro fabricated an expert “Ron Vara”, an anagram of his own name, to tarnish China’s image, but the world has already seen through his nature of lying, blame-shifting and anti-China sentiment. He should first answer the MSNBC host’s question why the new disease count in the US is so much higher than anywhere else in the world. He should also do some soul-searching and answer the following questions from the international community: what is the true reason behind the shutdown of the Fort Detrick biolab by the US government? Does this have something to do with the EVALI, the seasonal flu and the COVID-19 pandemic? When will the US invite experts of the WHO or other international institutions to investigate the origin of COVID-19 in the US? 

We urge Mr. Navarro and his like to respect facts and science, have at least some sense of responsibility, put domestic anti-epidemic efforts and saving lives first, reject the wrong practice of putting political gains above people’s wellbeing, and refrain from deceiving the world by telling lies and rumors. 

Reuters: Indian media reported that China has pulled back their tents and equipment from the flashpoint where the battle occurred in Galwan Valley. Can you confirm if that’s indeed the case? 

Zhao Lijian: Chinese and Indian troops held the third round of commander-level talks on June 30. Both sides agreed to continue implementing previous consensus reached at the last two rounds of commander-level talks and made progress in taking effective measures on disengagement and easing tensions in the border areas by frontline troops. We hope India will meet China halfway, implement our consensus by taking concrete actions, keep in close contact with China via military and diplomatic channels, and work with China to deescalate tensions in the border areas. 

China Daily: On July 3, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif sent a letter to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy David Borelli, announcing the decision to launch a dispute settlement mechanism in accordance with the JCPOA in response to the failures of France, Germany and the UK to fulfill their obligations under the JCPOA. What is China’s comment? 

Zhao Lijian: The JCPOA is an important outcome of multilateral diplomacy endorsed by the UN Security Council resolution. It is an important pillar for the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East, and an important part of the international order based on international law. The US withdrawal from the JCPOA and its maximum pressure on Iran is the root cause for the tension in the current Iranian nuclear situation. China hopes that all parties concerned can adopt an overall and long-term perspective, make efforts to meet each other halfway, resolve differences on the implementation of the JCPOA through dialogue and consultation within the framework of the JCPOA Joint Commission, restore the balance of rights and obligations under the JCPOA, and do their best to safeguard and implement the JCPOA. China will maintain close communication with relevant parties, facilitate peace, promote talks and continue working for the political and diplomatic resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue.

Global Times: According to reports, Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a press conference on July 3 that regarding Chinese Coast Guard vessels’ patrol in China’s territorial waters near Diaoyu Dao, the Japanese side has lodged strong protest to the China through diplomatic channels. He said, “We have been strongly urging China to stop trying to approach the Japanese fishing boat and leave our territorial waters immediately.” He added that Japan’s coast guard patrol ships have been deployed to ensure the safety of the Japanese fishing boat. Reports also say that recently the Chinese coast guard ships patrolled and performing duties in the territorial seas off Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands many times. Do you have any comment? 

Zhao Lijian: Recently, in its routine patrol in the waters off Diaoyu Dao, Chinese coast guard found a Japanese fishing boat illegally trespassing into the territorial waters off Diaoyu Dao. The Chinese coast guard vessels followed and monitored this ship in accordance with law and demanded it immediately leave China’s waters. China has lodged solemn representations with the Japanese side through diplomatic channels, urging it to immediately stop violating China’s sovereignty. 

Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands are China’s inherent territory. China enjoys the inherent right to patrol and enforce law in the waters off Diaoyu Dao. We demand Japan abide by the four-principled consensus and uphold stability in the East China Sea with concrete actions. 

AFP: Iran has been reportedly negotiating a 25-year accord with China, according to their foreign minister. I wonder if you could confirm that? 

Zhao Lijian: China and Iran enjoy traditional friendship and the two sides have been in communication on the development of bilateral relations. We stand ready to work with Iran to steadily advance practical cooperation. 

Beijing Daily: China and New Zealand recently held a video conference of experts on COVID-19. Could you give us more details?

Zhao Lijian: On July 3, experts from China and New Zealand held a video conference on COVID-19. The National Health Commission has released relevant information. 

During the video conference, regarding COVID-19 prevention and control, experts from both sides talked about the latest development of the COVID-19 situation, experience in prevention and control, and measures to resume work and production. The experts also discussed COVID-19 testing methods, clinical diagnosis and treatment, and exchanged opinions on expanding cooperation areas, building technology-sharing platforms and strengthening communication under multilateral mechanisms. 

The virus is a common enemy to all human beings, and all countries have a shared future. Only through solidarity can we overcome the difficulties. Guided by the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, China will continue working with other countries to support each other in times of difficulties and defeat the virus together. China will continue contributing our wisdom, experience and proposals to the global fight against the pandemic.

China News Service: The American Chamber of Commerce said in a recent statement that for more than 50 years, it has been committed to preserving Hong Kong’s stature as an international business center, and has worked with and supported the Hong Kong SAR government in the development of a world class business hub incorporating the shared values of rule of law, free flow of information and connectivity across the globe. The statement also said that AmCham remains “committed to Hong Kong as a home base for international business”. I wonder if you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: Since its return to the motherland, Hong Kong has given full play to its unique advantage as a global hub backed by the mainland. Its status as an international financial, shipping and trading center has been consolidated. It has been known as one of the most free, open, prosperous and vibrant places in the world. It ranked second in this year’s Index of Economic Freedom released by an American institution.

For a while, anti-China forces seeking to disrupt Hong Kong engaged in mass illegal violent activities, vandalizing facilities and harassing residents. They seriously affected Hong Kong’s law and order, threatened people’s life and property, and jeopardized the normal operation of businesses from all countries. The national security law in Hong Kong will provide a stronger institutional guarantee for the steady and sustained implementation of “one country, two systems”. It will help ensure Hong Kong’s lasting security, stability and prosperity, safeguard residents’ lawful rights and freedoms, and protect investors’ rights and interests.

Looking forward, as China’s reform and opening-up unleashes greater economic vitality and as Hong Kong grows closer ties of cooperation with the mainland and the rest of the world, Hong Kong will definitely enjoy an even better future and foreign businesses there will surely embrace brighter prospects. 

We welcome foreign businesses including American companies to continue operating in Hong Kong and wish them greater success. We also hope the American business community will work with all those supporting Hong Kong’s development and prosperity to make sure this “Pearl of the Orient” will shine with more brilliant luster. 

RIA Novosti: According to the State Security Service, Belgium’s intelligence agency, Chinese students in Belgium may be spying for China and sharing knowledge obtained in universities with Chinese armed forces. The deputy head of the agency said Belgiums Intelligence service is trying to identify potentially dangerous students. I wonder what is your comment on this report?

Zhao Lijian: The Chinese embassy in Belgium has responded to this. The report you mentioned is groundless and maliciously smears China. As we have repeatedly stated, China always develops relations with other countries on the basis of mutual respect and non-interference. In recent years, with concerted efforts, China-Belgium exchange and cooperation in the education sector made steady progress, benefiting both sides. We urge relevant sides in Belgium can look at student exchange with China in an objective and rational light, refrain from making irresponsible comments, and work to promote mutual trust and cooperation with China.

CNR: US Secretary of State Pompeo issued a statement on July 1 that the US Department of State, along with the US Department of the Treasury, the US Department of Commerce, and the US Department of Homeland Security, is issuing an advisory to caution businesses about the risks of supply chain links to entities that engage in human rights abuses, including forced labor in Xinjiang and elsewhere in China. I wonder if China has any response to this?

Zhao Lijian: US politicians including Mr. Pompeo have been spreading fallacies on Xinjiang, creating “fake news”, wantonly criticizing China’s Xinjiang policy, and interfering in China’s internal affairs non-stop. China deplores and firmly rejects that.

The so-called “forced labor” is just a concoction by some US and Western institutions and personnel. Nothing could be further from the truth. The rights and interests of workers from ethnic minority groups in Xinjiang as part of China’s large workforce are protected by law. They are free to choose a profession and can decide on where to work of their own free will. There is no restriction whatsoever on their personal freedom. Their customs, religious beliefs and spoken and written language are all protected by law. Relevant enterprises provide good living and working conditions for ethnic minority workers and make sure all their needs are attended to. The government of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region takes active measures to guarantee to the maximum the right to work and employment of people from all ethnic groups based on their own will. According to statistics on hand, since 2018, altogether 151,000 people from impoverished households in southern Xinjiang found employment away from home, with many earning an annual income of 45,000 RMB. Thanks to the income, all their families got out of poverty. How can anyone call this “forced labor”?

Some in the US profess they care about ethnic minorities in Xinjiang, but at the same time they are taking all sorts of measures to repress Xinjiang enterprises. This inconsistency exposes their hypocrisy and malicious intention to contain Xinjiang’s development and sow discord between different ethnic groups in China. We urge the US side to respect facts, overcome bias, stop political manipulation, stop erroneous words and deeds detrimental to others and itself, stop using Xinjiang as a pretext to disrupt normal cooperation between Chinese and American companies, and work to promote mutual trust and cooperation with China. China has unwavering resolution to defend its sovereignty, security and development interests. Those attempting to undermine stability and prosperity in Xinjiang and contain China’s development will not and cannot succeed.

Phoenix TV: According to reports, India’s transport minister said Chinese companies will be barred from constructing the country’s roads and highways. In the last few days, we also witnessed a lag in customs clearance for shipments originating from China. Previously, India announced a ban on over 50 Chinese apps. Does China have any comment on these measures taken by the Indian side? Does China believe they will affect China-India cooperation? Are China and India in any consultation on these matters?

Zhao Lijian: In recent days some politicians in India have kept issuing irresponsible remarks that are detrimental to China-India relations. It calls for concerted efforts on both sides to maintain China-India relations. India should work with China for the same goal and uphold the overall interests of our bilateral relations.

China-India practical cooperation is mutually beneficial and win-win in nature. Artificially setting up barriers for such cooperation not only violates WTO rules, but also hurts India’s interests. China will take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights of Chinese businesses.

China Daily: APAC News, a comprehensive independent news website in Australia, published an article titled “ASPI Strategy Pays Off” on July 1. According to the article, the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) is actually an anti-China lobbying group despite its claim of independence. Its analysts are always forthcoming with research pointing to the strategic threat of China, promoting China as Australia’s “No. 1 strategic threat”. The Australian Department of Defense is its biggest funding source, while the US, British, and some other governments and major weapons makers are generous supporters. Besides the 4 million Australian dollars annual grant from the Australian Department of Defense, ASPI also acquired contracts that amounted to more about 2.133 million Australian dollars from the Australian government from July 2019 to June 2020. However, ASPI deliberately makes the Australian and US governments’ funding figures opaque. I wonder if China has any comment?

Zhao Lijian: Given the fact that some in Australia keep hyping up the co-called China influence and Chinese interference and infiltration in Australia, and that some in the US and Australia randomly blame China for spreading disinformation, I suggest you ask these people for their comments on this.

It is not the first time that the background of this “think tank” is revealed by Chinese and foreign media. Now we are even seeing exact numbers. ASPI has been widely criticized by many, including those with vision in Australia, for what it has done. When truth and facts emerge, an institution maliciously smearing China by creating disinformation will only end up in humiliation. 

PTI: In response to what you just said about the ban by India of some of the apps as well as the minister’s comment, you know the context in which India has done this, purely on the security-related issues. And there is also the issues related at the border. So against the background of all this, you think Indians are not justified in taking this particular action?

Zhao Lijian: I already stated China’s position very clearly just now.

I would like to stress that China hopes that India will work with us, follow faithfully the important consensus reached between the two leaders, abide by the agreements reach between the two governments, strengthen communication and coordination on properly managing the current situation through diplomatic and military channels, and jointly uphold peace and stability in the border areas.

At the same time, we need to see that China and India, both major developing countries, bear the historic mission of accelerating national development and rejuvenation. Hence, acts of mutual respect and mutual support represent the right track and also conform to the long-term interests of both countries, whereas those of mutual distrust and friction belong to an evil path and go against the fundamental aspirations of the two peoples. China and India should follow the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries and uphold overall bilateral relations. India should avoid a strategic miscalculation with regard to China.

Kyodo News: First question, reports say Indian Prime Minister Modi visited China-India border areas today. Can you comment on that? Second question, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party adopted a resolution today expressing serious concerns that many were arrested after the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR was promulgated, and they asked the Japanese government to reconsider Chinese leaders visit. What’s your comment?

Zhao Lijian: On your first question, China and India are in communication with each other through military and diplomatic channels. Neither side should make any move that may complicate the border situation.

On your second question, China has lodged stern representations with Japan for its negative comments on Hong Kong-related matters. China hasn’t been discussing major bilateral agenda with Japan for a while. The hyping-up of this matter by some forces in Japan is just meaningless.

Some in Japan have long been politicizing and making unwarranted comments on other countries’ internal affairs. I’d like to point out that their anti-China “performance” means nothing to us. We have neither the time nor the interest to comment on that.

AFP: The US Pentagon recently said it was concerned about Chinese military exercises in the South China Sea near the Paracel islands. And Vietnam’s foreign ministry has rejected it. Official from the government of the Philippines also made a statement. What is China’s response?

Zhao Lijian: Xisha Islands are indisputably China’s inherent territory. China’s military exercises in the seas off Xisha Islands are within our sovereignty and beyond reproach. The fundamental cause of instability in the South China Sea is the large-scale military activities and flexing of muscles by some non-regional country that lies tens of thousands of miles away.

The following question is raised after the press conference.

Q: In response to Chinese Coast Guard vessels found near Diaoyu Dao for 80 consecutive days by Japan’s Maritime Safety Agency, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said to the press on July 2 that Japan will firmly safeguard its territorial land, seas and space. The Japanese patrol vessels warned the Chinese vessels multiple times, and the Japanese government made stern protests with China more than once through diplomatic channels. What is China’s response?

Zhao Lijian: Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands are China’s inherent territory. China is determined in safeguarding our sovereignty. Patrolling and law-enforcement in the waters off Diaoyu Dao is our inherent right, and Japan has no right to make unwarranted comments. We don’t accept its so-called “protests”, and we ask Japan to immediately withdraw from Chinese waters, stop hyping up Diaoyu Dao-related issues, and refrain from stirring up new trouble.

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