|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on June 5, 2020|
The Paper: Premier Li Keqiang delivered a speech at a virtual global vaccine summit yesterday. Can you give us more details? What role will China play in international cooperation on vaccines?
Geng Shuang: The virtual global vaccine summit held yesterday aims to raise funds for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, with a view to ensuring vaccine accessibility worldwide. In particular, funds will be directed to accelerating research, development, production and distribution of a vaccine for COVID-19. Leaders from more than 30 countries and heads of international organizations, including the United Nations and WHO, attended the summit. All participants expressed their common desire to strengthen cooperation in vaccine research and development, and conveyed the confidence and determination of the international community to join hands in fighting the virus. China congratulates the summit on its success.
As the challenges remain severe, vaccines represent a strong shield against the virus. Premier Li's speech demonstrated China's positive attitude towards vaccine research and development and international anti-virus cooperation. He emphasized that China will continue to support the core role of WHO in coordinating vaccine research and development, promote clinical trials in multiple centers, and facilitate market entrance as soon as possible, so as to provide the world with a safe, effective and high-quality global public good.
Recently, China has offered its active support to the resolution "International cooperation to ensure global access to medicines, vaccines and medical equipment to face COVID-19" adopted by the UN General Assembly, and actively participated in WHO's Solidarity Trial and its call for global cooperation to accelerate the development and production of vaccines and drugs against COVID-19 and ensure their equitable distribution. China also participated in the recent EU-initiated COVID-19 online pledging conference.
Going forward, guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, China will continue to work closely with all parties to advance vaccine research and development and international cooperation in fighting COVID-19, so as to defeat the virus at an early date.
Reuters: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday gave a speech where he praised Nasdaq's tightened rules and he called that a model for other exchanges around the world specially warning against fraudulent accounting practices from China-based firms. Does China have a response to Pompeo's comments?
Geng Shuang: We note the statement from the US side.
It is the consistent view of the Chinese government that listed companies should strictly abide by laws and rules of where they are listed no matter when they are listed, fulfill their information disclosure obligations faithfully, accurately and fully, and protect investors' legitimate rights and interests. China holds a zero tolerance attitude towards financial fraudulent activities of listed companies. This position is consistent and clear.
The US is sentencing the whole for the behavior of a few in alleging that Chinese companies do not abide by relevant rules in the US. It is true that accounting fraud has recently been reported in certain Chinese companies, but that cannot represent all the Chinese companies listed in the US. Certain remarks and decisions by the US side lately are clearly marred by bias.
As a matter of fact, Chinese and American supervisory authorities have various means of cooperation in auditing oversight of cross-border listings, but what we are seeing now is relevant US supervisory body's reluctance to fix the problem. The US remarks and actions targeting China amount to political manipulation of the oversight issue. Forcing Chinese companies to delist from US stock exchanges will seriously harm US investors' interests. We hope the US will demonstrate its sincerity in solving the problem and following international common practice in cross-border listing oversight, resolve differences through equal cooperation so as to earnestly protect investors' interests.
Xinhua News Agency: Burundi's Constitutional Court on Thursday upheld the May 20 presidential election results which showed Evariste Ndayishimiye of the ruling National Council for the Defense of Democracy-Forces for the Defense of Democracy won 68.7 percent of the votes. What is China's comment?
Geng Shuang: China extends sincere congratulations to Mr. Ndayishimiye on his election as President of Burundi. We believe that under the leadership of President Ndayishimiye, the Government and people of Burundi will make greater achievements in national development.
Burundi is China's "all-weather" partner and friend in Africa. China is ready to work with Burundi to consolidate friendship and mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and strengthen international coordination to elevate bilateral relations to a higher level.
AFP: Indian media reports say that Chinese and Indian military leaders will meet tomorrow to address the border disputes. Do you have any details on this meeting?
Geng Shuang: At present, the overall situation in the China-India border areas is stable and controllable. There are sound mechanisms for border-related matters between China and India. The two sides maintain close communication through diplomatic and military channels and are working to properly resolve relevant issues.
Beijing Youth Daily: The Chinese permanent mission to the UN jointly held a webinar with permanent missions of Russia, Venezuela and other countries. The virtual meeting was entitled "The Impact of Unilateral Coercive Measures (UCMs) on the Global Fight against COVID-19″: Supporting the UN Charter, Promoting International Cooperation and Ensuring that No One is Left Behind in Times of Pandemic". Can you give us more details on the webinar? How does China view the impact of unilateral sanctions on the global fight against the pandemic?
Geng Shuang: As COVID-19 is spreading across the world, the international community is cooperating in fighting the pandemic, while a certain country is still imposing unilateral coercive measures that impede the countries sanctioned from getting anti-epidemic material and financial support, thus aggravating their situation and causing greater humanitarian difficulties.
Against this backdrop, on June 2, the Chinese permanent mission to the UN jointly held a webinar with permanent missions of Russia and other countries, which was chaired by María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly. Remarks were made by representatives of participating countries' permanent missions to the UN and some member states, as well as experts of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNCTAD and Columbia University. All parties believe that UCMs seriously violate the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, run counter to the norms of international law, undermine sanctioned countries' right to development and ability to achieve sustainable development goals, and turn innocent civilians into biggest victims. The international community should stay united to effectively tackle the impact of unilateral sanctions, and help developing countries defeat the virus and achieve inclusive, sustainable development.
In his speech, Ambassador Zhang Jun of China's permanent mission to the UN said that the international community should respond positively to Secretary-General's appeals, make every effort to tackle the impact of unilateral coercive measures, and help sanctioned countries overcome the difficulties. The UN and other international organizations should provide sanctioned countries with timely and effective support to help them address the economic and social impact of the pandemic, and ease people's difficulties. China has provided a large amount of assistance to countries in need and will continue to do so.
Once again we urge the certain country to immediately lift UCMs and work together with the international community to combat the pandemic. China will continue making concerted efforts with others to practice multilateralism, uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and foster a favorable international environment for all countries to defeat the virus and realize rapid recovery and sustainable development.
Beijing Daily: Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zakharova said at a press conference yesterday that the Hong Kong issue is purely an internal affair of China. The US and UK's manipulation of the Hong Kong issue at the UN Security Council seriously violates not only China's sovereignty but also basic norms of international law and is unacceptable. What is China's comment?
Geng Shuang: China highly appreciates Ms. Zakharova's remarks. Recently, Foreign Minister Lavrov, Ms. Zakharova and other Russian officials have voiced their support for China's just position on issues related to Hong Kong and urged external forces to not interfere in China's internal affairs. This reflects not only the high level of China-Russia relations, but also the unanimous voice of people with a sense of justice in the international community.
The national security legislation for the HKSAR is China's internal affair, and no foreign country has the right to interfere. If someone persists in harming Chinese interests, China will resolutely respond with all necessary measures.
CRI: It is reported that the Venezuelan government and opposition signed an agreement on COVID-19 cooperation and agreed to coordinate efforts to secure funds and implement anti-epidemic assistance with the support of the Pan American Health Organization. What is China's comment?
Geng Shuang: China believes that the consensus reached by the Venezuelan government and opposition on COVID-19 cooperation is conducive to curbing the spread of the virus in the country, safeguarding life and health of the Venezuelan people, and promoting the political settlement of the Venezuelan issue, which is the shared expectation of the international community.
China will continue to firmly support a settlement of Venezuela's domestic issues by all Venezuelan parties within the constitutional framework through inclusive dialogue and consultation. We stand ready to deepen cooperation with Venezuela and offer it assistance within our capacity. We once again call on relevant country to lift unilateral sanctions on Venezuela to help create enabling conditions for the Venezuelan people to overcome the epidemic.
Reuters: Facebook said Thursday that it is going to start labeling Chinese and Russian state-controlled media and generally state-controlled media as such and will block advertising from state-controlled media organizations to US audiences. Does China have any comment on this decision?
Geng Shuang: Media works as an important bridge and bond for people of all countries to enhance communication and understanding. Foreign media agencies should be treated equally, not differently, as long as they abide by host countries' laws and regulations and adhere to professional ethics.
We hope the social media platform concerned will rise above its ideological bias and look at the roles of all countries' media in promoting international exchange and cooperation in an open and inclusive manner. It should not place barriers selectively, even less politicize issues.
South China Morning Post: A group of MPs from Australia, the US, Canada and elsewhere have announced a new international coalition of legislators called Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China. They hope that through this alliance, their governments will take a collective stance against the immense challenges posed by China. What is your response?
Geng Shuang: We urge this handful of politicians to respect facts and basic norms of international relations, discard their Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, and stop exploiting various issues to interfere in China's internal affairs and political manipulation for selfish gains. We hope that they will find ways to contribute constructively to international solidarity and cooperation.
Shenzhen TV: Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, announced on June 3 that the next WEF summit will be held in January next year themed "the Great Reset". He said that the pandemic crisis will "leave the world even less sustainable, less equal", but it also brings the opportunity to work for a reset. I wonder if you have any comment?
Geng Shuang: The World Economic Forum announced that the theme for its 2021 summit is "the Great Reset", a positive tone that reflects the urgent aspiration of all countries to address the pandemic challenge together and work to stabilize and resume world economic growth.
As the biggest global crisis after the WWII, this pandemic has dragged the world economy into the most severe recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s. But just as Professor Schwab said, this crisis represents a "window of opportunity to reflect, reimagine, and reset our world to create a healthier, more equitable, and more prosperous future". It is up to the concerted efforts of all countries to turn the crisis into an opportunity, defeat the virus at an early date and realize greater world economic development at a new starting point.
The pandemic has vividly demonstrated that all countries and all mankind are a close-knit community with a shared future. Faced with the dual crisis in terms of global public health and world economy, it takes partnership, solidarity and collaboration to secure the final victory. China is ready to step up cooperation with all parties including the WEF to uphold multilateralism and the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, conduct close coordination in macro-economic policies, foster an open world economy, facilitate trade and investment liberation and facilitation, safeguard stable and unimpeded global industrial and supply chains, and work for the strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the world economy.
Due to work arrangement, I will be leaving for a new post. Today is my last press conference as the MFA Spokesperson. I would like to take this occasion to thank all of you for your care, assistance, support and encouragement during the past almost four years.
As a Chinese diplomat, wherever I am, I will always do my best to tell the Chinese story, let the voice of China be heard and contribute to promoting mutual understanding between China and the world and deepening the friendship between the Chinese people and people across the world.
Farewell. Someday we will meet again. Thank you all.