|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on April 1, 2021|
China Daily: On March 31,British trade minister Liz Truss hosted a meeting with her G7 counterparts and the new head of the WTO. She said: "This is the time to get tough on China and their behaviour in the global trading system"; If "the big players feel they get to set the rules" and we end up in the winner-takes-all future, it "would ultimately leave people across the world worse off"; "We need to reform the dispute settlement system, stamp out unfair industrial subsidies and make sure everybody - large or small - is following the rules and being transparent". I wonder if you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: China categorically rejects the wanton accusation by the British official.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the WTO. During the two decades, we have always fulfilled our obligations and honored our commitment. We comply with WTO rules and firmly safeguard the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime. China has become the world's second largest economy, largest trading country in goods and top destination of foreign investment, contributing nearly 30% annually to global economic growth. With a population of 1.4 billion people and a 400 million strong middle income population, the Chinese market holds the greatest potential. It is the largest trading partner of over 120 countries and regions. China is also the UK's top source of import outside Europe. More than one million foreign enterprises have been set up in China. According to the latest report by the competent Chinese authorities, despite the grim background with the fallout of COVID-19 and deep global economic recession, foreign investment in China increased by 81% year-on-year in 2020. If this British official's allegation of China were true, would there be so many countries and regions who want to trade with China? Would there be so many foreign companies who want to invest and seek cooperation in China?
As to which country has been manipulating and maliciously circumventing WTO rules, cherry-picking international rules, and paralyzing the DSM by thwarting selection of Appellate Body judges, the UK knows the answer very well.
As is well known, major Western countries formulate most of the rules of world trade. It is their customary practice to maintain their hegemony and contain developing countries' development. During negotiations over China's accession, they wouldn't allow lowering the WTO rules for China. Today, when China fully assumes its commitment made upon accession and takes the lead in upholding WTO rules, these countries are calling for tailor-made new rules for China. Trying to manipulate the rules of the game to ensure they always win, this is as unfair as it can get. It calls for true reform.
AFP: The Chinese television CGTN recently published an article of a French journalist called Laurene Beaumond. This journalist is criticizing what she is calling Western fake news about Xinjiang. But according to the French newspaper Le Monde, this journalist actually doesn't exist, at least no journalist is called Laurene Beaumond in France. Can you give us maybe some details about who she is and does she really exist?
Hua Chunying: Your comments are full of misgivings, which reflects a habitual thinking that a Western journalist will never speak well of China. If a foreign journalist reports about China in a way that is different from many Western media, he or she must not be a Western journalist, and may even be part of China's false propaganda. This kind of thinking is very unhealthy.
After you raised this question to the Spokesperson's Office this morning, my colleagues specifically asked CGTN about the situation. The fact is that this French national you refer to is an independent writer. She has lived in China for many years and visited Xinjiang many times. The article she wrote is a record of what she saw and heard in Xinjiang and the truth and reality on the ground, which is very objective and fair.
Le Monde claimed, without stringent verification, that this person "doesn't exist" and has been "invented" by the French channel of CGTN. Who I wonder is really making fake news? As I said just now, the question itself reflects the unhealthy thinking of some countries and media, who believe that anything that does not conform to their imaginations as well as so-called values and ideologies must be false. It is nothing but groundless accusations and label-pinning, and it is no good doing that.
Follow-up: Is the name an alias or a real name, or does the person not exist at all?
As I just told you, we have checked with CGTN and this person does exist. She is a French citizen who has lived in China for many years with a close observation of the country. As for the details about her, I'm not in a position to reveal them. Now in some European countries and the US, whenever anyone speaks a fair word for China, he or she will be attacked viciously. I think you can understand what I mean.
Phoenix TV: US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said on Wednesday he has certified to congress that Hong Kong does not warrant differential treatment under US law. He cited "arbitrary arrests and politically-motivated prosecutions of opposition politicians and activists", "postponement of elections", and "pressure on judicial independence and academic and press freedoms." He also urged the Chinese government to fulfill international obligations and commitments. Do you have any response?
Hua Chunying: The US report seriously interferes in China's internal affairs by making irresponsible remarks on Hong Kong affairs and groundless accusations against the Chinese central government and the Hong Kong SAR government in disregard of basic facts. China deplores and firmly rejects this.
Since Hong Kong's return to China, the policy of One Country, Two Systems, Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and a high degree of autonomy has been earnestly implemented. The rights and freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong residents in accordance with the law have been fully protected. Hong Kong has scored world-recognized achievements in its development. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that Hong Kong's development achievements today are the result of the hard work of several generations of Hong Kong people with the support of its motherland. They are never alms-giving or charity of any foreign country. The cancellation of so-called differential treatment or any threat to do so by the United States will not stop Hong Kong's prosperity, nor will it stop Hong Kong from continuing to integrate into and contribute to the motherland and gain greater room for development.
Hong Kong is China's Hong Kong. Hong Kong affairs fall entirely within China's internal affairs, where no foreign country has the right to interfere. The Chinese side urges the US to respect the facts, stop interfering in China's internal affairs including Hong Kong affairs in any way and create favorable conditions for China-US relations to return to the track of sound and steady development, rather than creating obstacles.
China Arab TV: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi just wrapped up visits to six Middle East countries. China's voice was heard in the Middle East, with the five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East receiving positive responses from regional countries. How would you evaluate the visits?
Hua Chunying: Thank you for your interest in the visits. Indeed, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visits to the six Middle East countries have been very successful and well-received.
During the visits, State Councilor Wang held meetings and talks with leaders of the six countries as well as his counterparts. They talked about how to implement the important consensus reached at the highest level of leadership and held exchanges over governance and development philosophies. China proposed for the first time a five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East and conveyed the following key messages. First, China supports regional countries in ruling out external pressure and disruption, maintaining independence, and seeking a social system and governance model with their own characteristics. Second, we support regional countries in stepping out of the shadow of major power geographical rivalry and take it into their own hands to resolve regional differences and disputes. Third, China is not in the Middle East to pursue selfish gains, engage in geographical jostling, or seek a sphere of influence. Instead, we uphold the spirit of equal and friendly partnership, respect regional countries' independent choices, and hope to contribute to regional peace and development through sincere cooperation.
We all agree that all countries' sovereign independence and national dignity should be respected, that independent and diverse development models can help offer more options to developing countries in their drive to achieve modernization and promote the harmonious co-existence of different civilizations. We should reject imposing one's ideology upon others, and oppose wanton interference in other countries' domestic affairs and attacks and smears targeting other countries in the name of human rights. We also agree that we should safeguard the international system with the United Nations as the core and the international order based on international law, uphold multilateralism, and defend international equity and justice. China and the six countries will continue to offer each other firm mutual support on matters of core interests, which is the most important outcome of these visits.
We agreed on the high quality development of BRI and strengthening COVID-19 cooperation. We agree that political settlement should be the way to resolve regional hotspot issues. We call for inclusive dialogue featuring persuasion instead of coercion. We should work for the early equitable and reasonable resolution of the Palestine question by keeping to the two-state solution as the core and pooling peace-facilitating efforts of the international community. On the Iranian nuclear issue, we all agree that illegal unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction should be removed as soon as possible based on the merit of the issue itself. In a synchronized and reciprocal manner, compliance should be resumed in an orderly way to bring the JCPOA back on track. At the same time, efforts should be made to explore the establishment of a regional dialogue platform to safeguard Gulf security and stability through communication and consultation. The six countries welcome a greater role played by China in Middle East affairs.
State Councilor Wang's successful Middle East trip has brought China's relations with Middle East countries forward by one big step. China's circle of friends in the Middle East has been consolidated. Going forward, we will forge ahead hand in hand, further enhance our relations and contribute more to regional and global peace and stability.
Shenzhen TV: The foreign and defense ministers of Japan and Indonesia met in Tokyo for the so-called two-plus-two talks. Japanese media including Kyodo News reported that the two sides strongly oppose any actions from China that may increase tensions in the East and South China Sea and shared serious concerns about China's promulgation of the coast guard law. More recently, Indonesian foreign minister Retno gave a online briefing to the media, but she didn't said anything targeting China. Do you have any comment?
Hua Chunying: China has noted relevant reports by the Japanese media. As a matter of fact, the Indonesian side has had internal communication with the Chinese side and clarified the situation immediately after the Japanese side released relevant information.
What I want to stress is that the development of state-to-state relations should not only serve the interests of the two countries, but also play a constructive role in and contribute positive energy to regional and world peace and development. It should not target a third party. We are gravely concerned about Japan's recent negative moves concerning China. We urge the Japanese side to stop sowing discord, abide by the basic norms of international relations, stop slandering China and take concrete actions to safeguard the overall interests of China-Japan relations. We also hope relevant Japanese media can uphold their social responsibility and professional ethics, stop fabricating disinformation, and refrain from inciting confrontation and creating tensions between regional countries.
South China Morning Post: The Office of the President of the Philippines said in a statement yesterday that more than 200 Chinese vessels are still around the Whitsun Reef, some of which have dispersed to other areas, and called for their immediate removal. Do you have a comment? Will Foreign Minister Wang Yi talk about this in his upcoming meeting with his Philippines counterpart? Second question is about the statement from US President Biden, in which he invited more than 40 world leaders to attend the climate summit to be held between April 22 and 23. I wonder if China has received an invitation and will China attend the event?
Hua Chunying: On your first question, with the concerted efforts of regional countries, the overall situation in the South China Sea is stable at present. The Niu'e Reef is part of China's Nansha Islands. It is an important shelter from the wind for Chinese fishing boats traditionally. So it is completely normal for Chinese fishing ships to take shelter near the reef from rough sea conditions. Some forces never miss any chance in their attempt to drive a wedge between China and the Philippines. We are sure the Philippines can tell facts from fallacy and won't fall for their tricks.
As to Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin's visit to China, we already announced the information. At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin will visit China from March 31 to April 2. I'd like to stress that China and the Philippines enjoy traditional friendship. Recent years in particular witnessed major progress in bilateral ties with the attention and guidance of leaders on both sides. The two countries have also maintained close communication, properly handled differences, and moved forward practical cooperation in various fields steadily. Noticeably, after COVID-19 broke out, the two governments and peoples have been standing together with mutual assistance, which has deepened our mutual trust and friendship. China stands ready to work together with the Philippines to follow through on our presidents' important consensus, take anti-epidemic and development cooperation as the main theme in advancing the sound and steady development of our comprehensive strategic cooperative relationship.
As to your second question, China has received the invitation and is looking at it. We have made positive efforts and contributions to dealing with climate change. Going forward, we will continue to enhance communication and cooperation with the international community in this regard.
Bloomberg: A question about the Hong Kong electoral system. Based on calculations by Bloomberg, it seems that the Hong Kong property tycoons will have a smaller role on the committee that chooses the city's leader. This comes after state media criticized property tycoons and say more must be done to improve people's lives. Can you offer some insight as to why the role of the property tycoons in Hong Kong will be smaller under the new election rules?
Hua Chunying: As for the NPC's decision to improve Hong Kong's electoral system, the Chinese side already made clear the relevant situation.
I want to reiterate that the NPC's decision will provide strong institutional safeguards for the full and faithful implementation of the policy of One Country, Two Systems and the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong", and ensure the stability of Hong Kong in the long run. It embodies the common aspiration of the Chinese people, including the Hong Kong compatriots. In fact, before the decision was announced, opinions have been solicited from all walks of life in Hong Kong. In only 13 days, over 2.38 million Hong Kong residents signed their names at street booths or online to support the decision. It shows that the improvement of the Hong Kong electoral system has met the aspirations of the general public in Hong Kong for good governance and long-term stability, increases the room and ways for Hong Kong residents to participate in politics, ensures greater democracy in a balanced way, which serves the overall, fundamental and long-term interest of the Hong Kong society.
Beijing Youth Daily: The French newspaper Le Monde and some other media recently reported on the practice of "paid labor" in a prison in Bas-Rhin province in eastern France, and spoke highly of the prison's efforts to help prisoners improve their ability to get back to work. In comparison, when the government of Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region tries to improve local employment, it is attacked and smeared by the western media. What is your comment on that?
Hua Chunying: That's a very good question.
I have also seen the report you mentioned. According to Le Monde, in addition to the prison you mentioned, there are another six prisons in France that have brought in external partner companies to provide prisoners with skills training and paid work opportunities. It's referred to as a "one-stop" work support for prisoners till they get re-employed after release. In February this year, the French Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Labor also announced that the "work support" model for prisoners would be introduced to all other French prisons by 2022. That sounds quite good to me. But how is that French prisoners can enjoy the right to improve their re-employment ability and pursue a happy life through paid labor, while Xinjiang residents are to be denied the right to choose a profession of their own free will, get equal treatment in seeking employment, and create a better life with their own hands? Why can't Xinjiang residents have the same rights even as French prisoners? Why is the Xinjiang local government's efforts to lift people out of poverty and find jobs labeled as "forced labor"?
The Chinese side has repeatedly stated the truth with facts. Xinjiang's employment policy and practices in Xinjiang are in line with China's Constitution and laws, up to international standards for labor and human rights, and meet the strong desire of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang for a better life. They have stood the test of times and won the support of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. We the Chinese believe in not doing to others what you don't want others to do to you. We hope that some Western countries will abandon double standards, respect the right to subsistence and development of the people of Xinjiang, and respect the Chinese government's tremendous endeavors to promote employment and improve the living standards of the people of Xinjiang.
BBC: You're comparing the prison labor in France to the camps in Xinjiang. Does that mean essentially they're like prisons? Is that the analogy that should be taken from that?
Hua Chunying: This is a typical logic of BBC. What I said was: why is it that the rights given to French prisoners cannot be enjoyed by ordinary people from all ethnic groups in Xinjiang? Do you get my message? This comparison reveals the deep-seated, noticeable double-standards and ideological bias of some people in Western countries. It makes no sense that ordinary Chinese people cannot have the rights that even French prisoners have.
The Paper: BBC said on Twitter yesterday that John Sudworth has relocated to Taiwan and he remains their China correspondent. Sudworth also took an interview with BBC. The FCCC criticized China's "worsening working conditions" in a statement. Do you have any response?
Hua Chunying: After the abnormal departure of John Sudworth from China's mainland, some people came together to put on a farce, a textbook example of how to shift the blame to the innocent party by distortion of facts and fallacy of composition.
First, John Sudworth left unceremoniously without notifying the competent Chinese officials or fulfilling any departure procedures required of foreign resident journalists in China. If he was worried about being sued by people in Xinjiang, he should have stayed to face the litigation if he knew for sure he hadn't produced any fake news or rumors. In China, a place with rule of law, no innocent people will be wronged. If he was concerned about his safety, he could have called the police. Relevant Chinese departments protect the safety of foreigners in China. People with a clear conscience have nothing to fear at night. But he chose to run. Why? Why did he leave in such a hurry? What's he worried about? What's he afraid of? There is only one explanation: a guilty conscience.
Although Mr. Sudworth departed without fulfilling the required procedures, we could have left it there. But then he tried to deflect the blame. And he's not doing it alone by posing as a victim, but has also rallied the BBC and the so-called FCCC to issue statements. All this is utterly unacceptable. We must point out that China is the victim when it comes to BBC's disinformation targeting China. In recent years, BBC has fabricated a large amount of immoral fake news and disinformation, especially on COVID-19 and Xinjiang, which has not only caused direct damages to the interests of some people in Xinjiang, but has also cast a severe negative influence on China's national image. China lodged solemn representations over this repeatedly with the BBC, asking it to correct its mistakes and uphold press ethnics to cover China in an objective and just manner. However, John Sudworth, instead of mending his ways and changing course, went from bad to worse. Now they are trying to extort and threaten China with the abrupt departure of Sudworth. Nothing could be more absurd. This only serves to show the character of Mr. Sudworth and how pathetic the time-honored BBC is.
Besides, according to Article 13 of the Regulations of the People's Republic of China on News Coverage by Permanent Offices of Foreign Media Organizations and Foreign Journalists (Decree of the State Council No. 537) and Section G, Part 1 of the Handbook for Foreign Journalists in China, resident journalists should go through relevant procedures before terminating their posts in China. Mr. Sudworth didn't notify the relevant department or fulfill any due procedure. His Press Card has now expired and he no longer retains the status of a resident journalist.
Second, the FCCC statement is a perfect example of giving a one-sided story that distorts facts and blames the innocent party for what one is guilty of.
First of all, the FCCC is an illegal organization, which China has never acknowledged.
Second, fewer than half of all foreign correspondents in China are members of the FCCC, which has basically become a small circle of Western correspondents from the US and Europe. And even within this small circle, so far as I know, FCCC statements are always crafted by several board members, while other journalists are kept in the dark.
Third, the FCCC says nothing about the large amount of assistance and support that China provides to foreign journalists working and reporting in China, but makes complaints from time to time, claiming that the reporting environment in China is deteriorating. Instead of advising against the many false reports by BBC correspondent John Sudworth, FCCC endorses his erroneous acts. It has no sense of right and wrong, and follows no principles.
Fourth, the FCCC statement said that John Sudworth had endured a long period of uncertainty about his ability to raise his family in Beijing, after spending the past two years being kept on a series of short visas valid for only a few months, which the organization claims to reflect the deteriorating environment for foreign journalists. But the fact is that the majority (over 98%) of nearly 500 foreign journalists in China, including the FCCC board members, are granted press cards with one-year duration. Many foreign journalists have been working in China for more than 10 or even 30 years. According to the FCCC statement, John Sudworth and his family had been in China for nine years. His wife, who is also a journalist, also has a press card valid for one year. How is that possible for the family to have stayed in China for nine years if he was under threat? Besides, do they know that all Chinese journalists in the US have their visa limited to a maximum 90-day stay, which means they have to apply for visa renewal every three months and pay an extra $455 for each application? By contrast, foreign journalists in China should feel lucky. The FCCC is well aware of this. It just doesn't want to admit it.
Fifth, the statement mentioned the "departure of Sudworth...on top of at least 18 correspondents last year". The merits of the issue concerning journalists between China and the US are very clear. The US side, out of political oppression of China, the US denied or delayed visa issuance for more than 20 Chinese journalists and expelled over 60 with no good reason. China is forced to make justifiable and necessary reactions. As correspondents, members of the FCCC are fully aware of that, aren't they? The statement on the one hand said Sudworth left China's mainland on his won will, but on the other hand mentioned it in the same breath with the expulsion of those US journalists last year. What a shoddy lie!
Sixth, the statement claimed the attacks against Sudworth and the BBC escalated after Britain's broadcasting regulator Ofcom revoked the license of CGTN in accordance with law. I must point out that as an international, professional media agency, CGTN has been making objective and honest reports following ethics of journalism. It has played an active role in enhancing communication and understanding between China and the UK but suffered political oppression from the British side. China reserves the right to make necessary, legitimate reactions.
Seventh, the FCCC statement said the departure of Sudworth is a loss for anyone committed to understanding China. This is far from the truth. Without his malicious rumor-mongering and disinformation, the outside world will get to know China in a more objective, true and unbiased manner.
Finally, I want to emphasize that the life of journalism lies in truth. You may not like China, but you are not allowed to spread rumors and engage in smearing campaign in China. If some Western media continue to put ideology above truth, it will only lead to shattered credibility. China has always been and will continue to be committed to facilitating and helping foreign journalists in their reporting work in China. However, we are firmly opposed to strong ideological bias against China, acts that violate the professional ethics and morality. We also firmly reject manufacturing fake news and disinformation to malign and attack China in the name of so-called freedom of the press.
BBC: A follow-up on that last answer. There is one part of your answer I didn't quite catch. Could you just explain again the section about the court matter in Xinjiang. Is it you understanding there was to be court action definitely? Can you just clarify a bit more on that part of your answer?
Hua Chunying: It is only through media reports that I've come to know about it. I'm not aware of all the details, but John Sudworth did say that he was very nervous and afraid, didn't he? He told BBC so himself, and both the FCCC and the BBC statements say that he felt under threat in China. He even went so far as to say that the Chinese government threatened him. In what way did the Chinese government threaten him? You've been in China for years yourself, do you feel threatened? Even though you (BBC people) have produced so much news that is not friendly to China, we still provide convenience and support for your work in the same way as we support other foreign journalists.
As for John Sudworth, it is understandable that he feels nervous about media reports that some Xinjiang residents want to sue him. By producing a large amount of fake news, John Sudworth has not only hurt China's image, but also caused direct losses to the people in Xinjiang. As China is advancing the rule of law in an all-round way, there is stronger awareness among the Chinese citizens to safeguard their rights through the law. If John Sudworth deems his report to be fair and objective, what is he afraid of, and what is he running away from? There is only one explanation- he has got a guilty conscience for what he has done.
We have already refuted many times the BBC's false reporting, and we can go through some together.
The BBC journalist John Sudworth, with preconception and over-generalization, repeatedly concocted patchwork of far-fetched pieces that seriously deviate from facts, and claimed to have met with obstructions in every report. To give you a few latest examples. In making reports about the COVID-19 epidemic, John Sudworth made baseless allegation that the epidemic originated from China. He posted a footage of the police using nets to cover the heads of rioters in an anti-terrorism drill, and said it was proof of law enforcement brutality and human rights abuses by Chinese anti-epidemic authorities. In his Xinjiang reports, John Sudworth filmed footage without the permission of the interviewees. He alleged to have found solid evidence of mass "forced labor" in Xinjiang, when indeed what he had were no more than a few non-photorealistic satellite photos and a few so-called "witness" accounts, without even speaking to local Uyghur residents. He even went so far as to openly try to pressure foreign investors into removing their factories in Xinjiang, calling the vocational education and training centers as "re-education camps", technical schools as "places to conduct Uyghur cultural isolation and family separation", and efforts to renovate mosques as attempt to demolish mosques.
In May 2019, he went to Xinjiang with a pre-written script, filming footage of iron gates, walls, traffic cameras and even toilets all the way through, accumulating what he called "news materials", and then painstakingly editing them together. In November 2020, he questioned Volkswagen China CEO in an almost interrogation manner. After the interviewee said there was no such thing as "forced labor", John Sudworth came up with a very bizarre idea. He said that as long as one has a factory in Xinjiang, no matter where the workers are from, they are helping the Chinese government persecute the Uyghurs. He even employed moral hijack to compare hard-working Uyghur workers with free will to Jews subjected to forced labor by the Nazis during the World War II, and pressed company executives on why they hadn't left Xinjiang yet.
Not surprisingly, such false information and libel by John Sudworth triggered public outrage in Xinjiang. It is understandable that those who suffered losses in reputation and interests due to his false reports would protect their legitimate rights and interests through legal means. John Sudworth might have felt that as a veteran Western journalist, he would be able to walk away from any consequence of whatever he fabricated. But China is a country under the rule of law. There is a price to pay for those who make rumor and defamation.
I'd like to ask my colleagues to play two video clips. One is a CGTN video showing how the BBC produces fake news, and the other is Sudworth's interview with CEO of Volkswagen Group China. (Two videos played)
In order to save time, we just played a small part of the video, but there's a lot more. Many Chinese people now ridicule BBC as "Biased Broadcasting Corporation" because it reports so much malicious and false news about China. Of course we also note that Sudworth is not the only journalist with the BBC. We noticed that in many cases, you have reported on China in a relatively honest and objective manner. For example, when you interviewed a middle-aged Chinese man and asked him how China was doing with recovery from the epidemic, he laughed and said, "It's much better than your country anyway." This video of your interview has brought joy to a lot of people.
We hope that the BBC will truly abide by professional ethics and morality, report on China in an objective and fair way, and make positive efforts to promote mutual understanding between China, the UK and the world. Only in this way can you live up to your reputation as a century-old corporation. I would also like to ask you to get the message across to your colleagues that some of them may have different views with us, and they may not like China, but they must report the truth rather than fabricate rumors.
Bloomberg: Biden administration raised concerns about some of the policy tools that China is using to spur its economy, saying that they crowd out international companies and skew markets. I'd like to ask about the foreign ministry's view on the comments from the Biden administration. If you don't mind, I'd like to ask a second question. According to François-Philippe Champagne, Canada needs to adopt a united front with its Five Eyes allies. This is according to Mr. Champagne who is in charge of industry in Canada. Does the foreign ministry have any comments on his statement that Canada needs to adopt a united front with its Five Eyes allies?
Hua Chunying: Your first question was about what the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said about China in its National Trade Estimate Report, right?
The accusations and slanders made by the US against China's industrial policies are groundless. The Made-in-China 2025 strategy follows the basic principle of market playing the leading role and government providing guidance. Our goals and measures are open and transparent. Relevant policies and measures are applicable to all companies operating in China, with foreign and domestic companies treated as equals. It is the Buy American Act adopted by the US that reeks of protectionism. China is committed to providing an open, fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for companies from other countries to invest and operate in China. We hope the US will do the same.
On your second question of Canadian's minister for industry calling for a united front of Five Eyes allies against China, I don't think that's something you'd expect to hear from a broadminded leader. I want to remind him that the UN has more than 190 member states. It doesn't make any sense if he wants to unite with the "Five Eyes" to deal with China. We live in an era of globalization, where the interests of countries are increasingly intertwined. It is the shared aspiration of the vast majority of countries in the world to pursue cooperation rather than confrontation and unity rather than division. Certain individual in Canada's attempt to form enclosed small cliques with ideology as the yardstick. It will gain no support and will end up nowhere. People in the West are also beginning to question the wrong practices that go against the trend of times by certain countries to cling to the zero-sum game, antagonism and confrontation. I hope that some people from the Canadian side will follow the trend of the times and improve their standing with a broad mind.
BBC: Just sort of clarification. When you said, "some of your coverage" has been unfriendly towards China, did you mean me personally?
Hua Chunying: I wasn't referring to you. I just spoke highly of your work actually.
BBC: So do you mean BBC reports are unfriendly?
Hua Chunying: You may also search your memory. Have you done unfriendly reporting on China? I hope you can cover China in an objective and just manner. Some of your reports have been well received among the Chinese public. I remember a footage showing you asking a middle-aged man how China's post-epidemic recovery was, to which he gave a hearty laugh and said, "much better than your country anyway". You showed the dialogue as it is and brought much joy to us all. I think such reporting helps to bring people closer and clear misunderstandings. We hope to see more objective and just reports by BBC. But the same cannot be said for some of your reports on Hong Kong some time ago, I'm afraid. (Journalists laugh)
BBC: Unfortunately, things happened that the government doesn't like. We have to report on it. But anyway.
Hua Chunying: We hope to see more objective and just reports by BBC.
BBC: Sure. I don't think any of my report...
Hua Chunying: You will keep your word, right? You said sure. You must try to match your words with actions.
BBC: No, I do. Anyway, just one more question. We've seen quite a few of this sort of, what we call editorial attack jobs on the BBC from the state media here. Anyone who is seeing state media is seeing the frequency of them. I'm wondering if you think it's reasonable. For example, when we interview somebody whoever it is, we give them a right to reply. Not once has any of those state media organizations first contacted us for the right to reply. Never. Not once. Is that OK? Do you think that's reasonable when they're going to do stories like this?
Hua Chunying: You mean for example CGTN didn't approach you for verification?
BBC: Yes, if you're going to do a story about somebody, you give them the right of reply, no matter who they are. It's just basic principle of journalism. But we don't see that. If you're gonna be doing this sort of hit jobs on us, at least the state media organizations could have contacted us with some sort of reply.
Hua Chunying: I can get your feelings and logic, but I believe relevant Chinese media's reports on how BBC produced disinformation are based on what BBC already produced and aired.
But what you just said reminded me of an idea that I would like to share with you. Don't do to others what you don't want others do to yourself. When BBC produces programs, did it ever occur to it to get the facts from relevant Chinese authorities or individuals?
On Xinjiang-related issues, for example, to date, BBC's allegations against China are all based on what Adrian Zenz gave it, right? And also the false testimonies of a few fake actors. However, the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region has held more than 30 press briefings, China has published a series of white papers on Xinjiang and we've also talked so much about it here on this podium, and yet how much of all this did you cite in your reports? As I've stated, with regard to the video clip we played here last Friday, we noted that several mainstream Western media didn't even mention it. What does this show? It shows how you choose to look the other way and refuse to report on them when facts and truth are staring you right in the face. This choice itself betrays your political leaning. This is not right. Verity is the very life of journalism. You may not like something, but you cannot lie or slander, or even go looking for answers to your liking with preexisting bias and presumption of guilt, or even go to Xinjiang and other places to find "actors" and "props" to make up a play. The people approached have the right to say no to such ludicrous farces, don't they? So BBC should think about this seriously, how to produce real news, how to rebuild your credibility so that people would want to be interviewed by your journalists. Only by doing this can you make sure your reports will be more objective, just, balanced and neutral.
You used the term "state media" in your question, which reflects the bias against Chinese media in the UK, the US and some other countries. Whenever you talk about Chinese media, you refer to them as "state media". Chinese media serve the interests of the Chinese people, but can BBC represent the British people? Are you not one of those corporate media? You only serve the interests of a small minority, don't you?
BBC: It doesn't matter who controls the media, whether it's state owned media, private media, any media, you should ask the other side for comment and give somebody the right to reply. It's a basic principle of journalism. Is that something that you think Chinese media should do, asking the other side for comment?
Hua Chunying: Actually I believe you are right. Be it a state or corporate media outlet, it is first and foremost a media agency. So you should tell your colleagues not to have bias against Chinese media just because China is a socialist country under the leadership of the Communist Party of China. All media should uphold impartiality and objectivity. Just as you put it, verify the information before reporting on it and listen to all relevant sides. I hope BBC can do this. When reporting on China, verify first and present the facts and materials we provide in a balanced way in your reports. The last thing you should do is trust the lines of the few fake actors, because that will only lead you down a very dark path.