Q: US President Trump said yesterday during an interview with CNBC that he expects to meet President Xi. When asked if the US will raise tariffs on $300 billion Chinese products if he couldn't meet with President Xi at the G20 Osaka Summit, President Trump said "yes". Are the two leaders going to meet on the sidelines of the G20 Summit? What is your response to President Trump's remarks?
A: I responded to this yesterday. We note that recently the US has repeatedly stated in public that it looks forward to a meeting between Chinese and US leaders on the sidelines of the G20 Osaka Summit. If we have relevant information, we will release it in due course.
Our position on China-US trade issues is clear and firm. China does not want a trade war, but we are not afraid of fighting one. If the US is ready for equal-footed consultations, our door is wide open. But if the US insists on escalating frictions, we will fight to the end with firm resolve.
Q: On Monday, the US expressed concerns on the Hong Kong SAR government's amendment to the Fugitive Offenders Ordinance and the Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Ordinance, saying that such a move could jeopardize the special status of Hong Kong. I wonder if you have any comment?
A: We have made clear our position on this issue on many occasions. The SAR government has been gathering opinions on the amendment from all sectors in Hong Kong. In response to the views and suggestions, the draft has been modified twice. The Central Government will continue to support the SAR government in advancing the amendment to the two ordinances.
I'd like to bring to your attention that since the return of Hong Kong, policies including "one country, two systems", "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" and a high degree of autonomy have been earnestly implemented. Hong Kong people's rights and freedoms have been fully guaranteed. Hong Kong has been consistently rated by many international institutions as one of the freest economies and most competitive regions in the world.
I'd like to stress once again that Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs. No other country, organization or individual has the right to interfere. China deplores and firmly opposes the irresponsible and erroneous comments on the amendments and other Hong Kong affairs made by the US side. We urge the US to view the relevant amendments in a fair and just manner, exercise caution in its words and deeds, and stop in whatever form interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's domestic affairs.
Q: A New Zealand court says the New Zealand government needs to reconsider a decision to extradite a suspect named Kyung Yup Kim, who is wanted for murder in China. They fear that the suspect could be tortured in China. Do you have a response to that announcement?
A: I saw relevant reports. This person sought to be extradited, Kyung Yup Kim, is suspected of murder and has fled to New Zealand. In order to punish crimes and uphold justice, the Chinese competent authorities have made an extradition request to New Zealand. The two sides are cooperating on this case.
This case took place nearly one decade ago. We hope the New Zealand side can handle it impartially and extradite Kyung Yup Kim to China as soon as possible, so that justice can be upheld for the victim.
China attaches high importance to protecting and promoting human rights. The Chinese judicial system effectively safeguards the legal rights of criminal suspects. Our achievements in human rights protection in the judicial field are there for all to see. China has extradited over 260 criminal suspects from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America, which fully shows the international community's confidence in our judicial system.
Q: For some time, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been making remarks on Xinjiang, saying that the Chinese government has detained at least one million Muslim minorities in "re-education camps", devastated the religious freedom of local Muslim communities and tried to eliminate Uyghur culture and Islamic belief. What's your comment?
A: There is a saying in both China and the US, "seeing is believing". I wonder whether Mr. Pompeo has been to Xinjiang ever, but judging from those baseless remarks, he lacks the basic knowledge and understanding of Xinjiang.
In response to his wrong remarks, let me share with you some basic facts about Xinjiang. First, there is no so-called "re-education camps" in Xinjiang at all. The vocational education and training centers legally operated in Xinjiang aim to help a small number of people affected by terrorist and extremist ideologies and equip them with skills, so that they can be self-reliant and re-integrate into society. Since the establishment of the vocational education and training centers, Xinjiang has not witnessed any violent terrorist incidents in the past three years or so. The security situation there has been greatly improved.
Second, people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang fully enjoy freedom of religious belief in accordance with law and the fact is there for all to see. There are 24,400 mosques in Xinjiang, which means on average 530 Muslims share one mosque. According to readily available statistics, the number of mosques in the US is even less than one tenth of that in Xinjiang.
Third, Uyghur culture has been effectively protected and promoted. People of Uyghur ethnicity in Xinjiang have the right to use their own spoken and written languages in accordance with the law. In Xinjiang, multiple languages including Chinese and Uyghur are used in press, publishing, on air and on television. The art of Xinjiang Uygur Muqam has been included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
I just said that Mr. Pompeo lacks the basic knowledge and understanding of Xinjiang, but that's not the whole point. What really matters is whether he is willing to know about the real Xinjiang. It will be a totally different matter if he chooses to ignore the facts, becomes obsessed in telling lies and fallacies and attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and religion.
I would like to remind Mr. Pompeo that the more he puts such drama on stage, the more his true colors will be exposed. Any attempt to interfere in China's internal affairs is doomed to fail.
Q: South Korea's biggest search engine Naver cannot be accessed in China these two days. And the websites of Washington Post and the Guardian have also been blocked. Why does China do this?
A: I am not aware of the specifics and I'd like to refer you to the Chinese competent authorities. What I can tell you is that China regulates the Internet-related affairs in accordance with the law.
Q: Recently Chinese PLA Navy warship Liaoning sailed from the East China Sea into the Pacific through the Miyako Strait between the Okinawa Island and the Miyako Island. Would you like to comment on that?
A: I'd refer you to the Ministry of National Defense.