Q: According to media reports, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday that American companies comply to US laws when they cooperate with the government, but that's very different in China. He said that Huawei is an instrument of the Chinese government and they're deeply connected. As we note, the spokesperson of the US Department of State said yesterday during a press briefing that the US National Defense Authorization Act, passed to ban public procurement of Huawei technologies, was based on quite a bit of evidence. I wonder if you have any comment on that?
A: We note the remarks from the US side. It is the first time it mentioned "evidence". For quite a while, in order to oppress Huawei, the US has been wracking its brains to make up stories in an attempt to convince people from the US and other countries that Huawei poses a security risk. First it was ideology, and now Huawei's relationship with the Chinese government. I guess there will be more to come. However, it has been shying away from the one thing everyone truly cares about: evidence.
A vivid contrast to it is the PRISM incident. The facts are more than clear as to what role the US government played and whether it differentiated its targets based on ideology. There is no shortage of evidence for the international community to define the behavior of the US.
Q: According to reports, the US has warned Hong Kong that it could face penalties if it does business with ships carrying Iranian oil. What's China's comment?
A: We have answered many similar questions here. China is consistently against the so-called "long-arm jurisdiction" and unilateral sanctions based on domestic laws, which the US, in particular, frequently resorts to. China maintains normal relations and economic and trade exchange with Iran, which is legal and legitimate and should be respected and not disrupted.
Q: The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China recently released its Business Confidence Survey 2019, saying that European companies in China are still confident in China's market, and many hope China's further opening-up will translate into real opportunities. This seems contradictory to the view of the US side that many foreign companies are considering leaving China. Do you have any comment on that?
A: We have read the report and note the part that 62 percent of the surveyed companies see China as a current and future top three investment destination, and that 56 percent are considering business expansion in China this year. This again proves that despite additional US tariffs, foreign investors and business owners are still enthusiastic about the Chinese market. We have shared information in this regard and so have the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade. You may refer to the detailed data and specific cases, including the growing investment by Tesla and other major US companies in the past year.
When choosing investment destinations and business partners, companies make decisions based on their own interests and market principles rather than empty words from certain persons in other countries. I'd like to stress again that China's door to the world is open and will only open wider. Foreign companies are welcome to invest and operate in China for mutual benefits. In the meantime, we remain committed to providing a fair, transparent, stable and non-discriminatory market environment for foreign investors.
Q: United States Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency General Robert Ashley yesterday said that China has conducted more ballistic missile tests than the rest of the world combined in 2018. He also said that it is on pace to double its nuclear arsenal over the coming decade. I wonder if China has any comment?
A: We wonder why the US has been trying to drag China in when it comes to the issue of strategic equilibrium and reduction of its nuclear capabilities, which is a global concern. As I said here earlier, we wonder whether the US is trying to have China's nuclear arsenal increased to its level or reduce its own nuclear arms to China's.
The vast majority of the international community has reiterated in the UN and at the Conference on Disarmament that the US and Russia, as countries with the biggest nuclear arsenals, shoulder special, primary and obligatory responsibilities to reducing strategic capabilities. Against this backdrop, we believe the US should first fulfill its own nuclear disarmament obligations instead of trying to draw unrelated matters into this issue.
Q: Earlier today at the MFA briefing Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui accused the US of "economic terrorism". I was wondering what China means by that?
A: I could not agree more with Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui and don't see anything hard to comprehend.
The US unilateralism and bullying practices in the international arena, including in economic and trade relations with other countries, show clearly that it is undermining the existing international rules and the multilateral trading regime that is based on WTO rules and recognized by the international community. It has indeed inflicted serious harm on other countries as well as the US itself.
Q: In his speech at the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said that his country will use Huawei technology as much as possible, and that instead of threatening business rivals, the US and other Western countries need to accept the fact that Asian countries are capable of making competitive products. Do you have any response to that?
A: Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's statement is both candid and unbiased. Developing countries including China and Malaysia are entitled to the right of enhancing developing capabilities and science and technology. In an era of economic globalization, countries, by pursuing shared development through win-win cooperation, are in fact creating broader development space and making the pie of common interests bigger for all to share. We hope certain country will heed the advice from Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, adopt a fair attitude towards the progress of developing countries and see more opportunities in their development.
Q: Where will President Xi Jinping and President Putin hold talks, in Moscow or St. Petersburg?
A: Detailed information was provided at our press briefing this morning. President Xi will first travel to Moscow for the state visit to Russia. Large-scale and small-scale talks with President Putin as well as important state events will be held in Moscow, as can be assumed. Afterwards he will travel to St. Petersburg for the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. As President Putin will also be attending the forum, the two heads of state will have more interactions there.
Q: I'm wondering if during the trip to St. Petersburg, President Xi will meet with leaders or officials from other countries who are going to be there?
A: President Xi's state visit is a bilateral event. I am not sure if you have information on other guests to Moscow on overlapping dates. I myself have no information on that.
The St. Petersburg International Economic Forum is Russia's most important multilateral forum. High importance has been attached to it by many countries over the past years. This year, it will also be attended by many leaders. Regarding possible bilateral meetings on the sidelines of it, I have no information to offer at the moment and will update you on further news.
Q: Did you follow the Chinese and American TV anchors' debate this morning? Would you like to comment on that?
A: Like you all, I am very interested and I did watch it. I think it is more of a dialogue than a debate.
Just like I said the other day, truth will emerge clearer from debates. Against the backdrop of the current China-US relations, we are glad to see candid, honest and rational thinking and discussion between people in various sectors in our two countries.