Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on August 1, 2019
2019/08/01

Q: The Fijian government recently demanded that the "trade mission"of the Taiwan authority to Fiji change its name into "Taipei Trade Office in Fiji", asked it to remove the plaque with its original name and took back its diplomatic license plates. Now none of Taiwan's "missions" to countries other than its "diplomatic allies" have "the Republic of China" or "Taiwan" in their names. Can you comment on that?

A: I think the Fijian government has done a very right thing. China highly applauds the Fijian government for dealing with Taiwan-related issues according to the one-China principle. This again proves that following the one-China principle is an internationally popular trend.

Q: The US Treasury Department yesterday announced sanctions on Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif. I wonder if you have any comment on that?

A: We note relevant US reports and Foreign Minister Zarif's personal response. China's position is clear. We oppose US unilateral sanctions and "long-arm jurisdictions". They are not helpful at all. The only way to resolve the issue is through dialogue and negotiation. Recently the US has said on many occasions that it would like to have unconditional dialogue with Iran. We hope the US will honor its words, contribute to regional peace and stability instead of adding fuel to the fire. By doing so it will truly serve the common interests of the international community.

Q: Algeria's state-owned company said one of the two vessels that Iran seized on July 19 belonged to Algeria and had been contracted to carry oil for China's government-owned energy company. What's your comment on the seizures of the vessels and potential risks to Chinese crude shipment because of this? Do you have any comment on overall US sanctions on companies that buy crude oil from Iran?

A: I'm not aware of the specifics you said, but China's position is clear. China and Iran have friendly cooperation. Our cooperation under the framework of international law in energy and other areas is reasonable and legal. It should be respected and protected.

Q: Liu Zhongtian, founder of Chinese metal giant Zhongwang Holdings, has been indicted in the US for his alleged role in a scheme to bypass paying tariffs. Liu is believed to be in China. I'm wondering whether the Chinese authority has got in touch with the US counterpart?

A: I'm not aware of that.

Q: France, Germany and Belgium have expressed concerns about the sentence given to activist Huang Qi. Do you have any comment on this?

A: Huang Qi is a Chinese citizen. The Chinese judicial authority deals with cases, including those involving Chinese suspects, according to law. This is China's internal affair. I hope the relevant sides can earnestly respect China's judicial sovereignty.

Q: Yesterday several journalists asked you about the travel restrictions on individual mainland tourists traveling to Taiwan. And you referred them to the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council. Could you let us know why those travel restrictions were put in place?

A: I really appreciate your professionalism and hope I can help you, but I just can't overstep my authority and speak for them. You may still need to ask the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council for cross-strait affairs.

Follow-up: Tsai Ing-wen said that this decision is a strategic mistake. I was wondering whether China has a comment on that?

A: The history will eventually prove who is on the right side and who has done it wrong.

Q: Yesterday a foreign journalist asked about China's PLA troops gathering near the "boundary" between Hong Kong and the mainland. Last night, China's Hong Kong PLA garrison released a video clip with scenes of maintaining stability in Hong Kong. Does it suggest China's military will maintain stability in response to other countries' concern about Hong Hong affairs?

A: I'm not aware of the PLA's deployment or operation you mentioned.

Yesterday, the PLA Hong Kong Garrison held a reception to celebrate the 92nd anniversary of the PLA's founding. Major General Chen Daoxiang, Commander of the PLA Hong Kong Garrison, made impressive and encouraging remarks. The position of China's central government remains consistent and clear. Just as Major General Chen said, the central government firmly supports Chief Executive Carrie Lam in leading the SAR government to administer the SAR in accordance with law. The central government firmly supports the Hong Kong police in strictly enforcing law and firmly supports the SAR departments and judiciary in punishing violent criminals. We firmly support the patriots who truly love China and the Hong Kong SAR in upholding rule of law in Hong Kong. We resolutely safeguard China's national sovereignty and security and Hong Kong's prosperity and stability.

We believe the PLA Hong Kong Garrison will continue to be the anchor for Hong Kong's long-term prosperity and stability.

The following question was raised after the press conference: Can you tell us more about Chinese companies' purchase of American agricultural products?

A: The spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce just briefed on this. After July 19, some Chinese companies, including state-owned and private ones, asked American suppliers about the purchasing prices of soybeans, cotton, pork, sorghum and other agricultural products. Some deals were already made based on market conditions. Relevant companies have applied for the removal of additional tariffs on those agricultural products imported from the US. The Tariff Policy Commission of the State Council is reviewing it. This matter will be dealt with following relevant procedures.

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