观察者网 08-02
中美没有回头路?对英反制雷声大雨点小?我驻英大使回应
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"中国驻英国大使馆"微信公众号8月2日消息:2020年7月30日,刘晓明大使就当前中英关系举行网上中外记者会。英国广播公司(BBC)、天空新闻台、独立电视台、《金融时报》、《每日电讯报》、《泰晤士报》、泰晤士电台、《卫报》、路透社,新华社、《人民日报》、中央电视台、中国国际电视台(CGTN)、中新社、《中国日报》、《科技日报》、《环球时报》、观察者网,以及美联社、彭博社、美国全国广播公司、今日俄罗斯电视台、《石英》杂志、凤凰卫视资讯台、《欧洲时报》、《苏格兰人报》、《曼彻斯特晚报》等27家中外媒体的30余名记者参加。英国议会跨党派中国小组副主席克利夫顿-布朗爵士、议会跨党派中国小组副主席洛根、议会上院议员戴维森勋爵、英中贸协荣誉主席沙逊勋爵、沃尔布鲁克俱乐部主席帕伦博勋爵、48家集团俱乐部主席佩里、中国英国商会主席毛士真、伦敦国际战略研究所中国防务政策专家温玫雅、皇家三军防务与安全联合研究所亚太及中国问题专家温丽玉等英国政商学界嘉宾出席。韩国、老挝驻英大使,欧盟、俄罗斯、吉尔吉斯斯坦、墨西哥、阿根廷、缅甸、巴西、沙特等国驻英外交官,以及香港驻伦敦经济贸易办事处处长苏婉玲等在线出席。驻英使馆通过刘大使社交媒体账号对记者会进行全程直播。CGTN、路透社、美联社等对记者会进行了直播报道。BBC、天空新闻台等媒体在各自电视台和网站进行了广泛报道。

记者会实录如下:

刘大使:大家上午好!欢迎大家出席今天的中外记者会。

今年是中英关系开启"黄金时代"5周年。年初以来,习近平主席与约翰逊首相两次通电话,就推进中英关系及两国共同抗疫达成重要共识。两国政府各部门认真落实这一重要共识,积极开展多领域合作。中英双方本应珍惜这一良好势头,推动两国关系向前发展,但令人遗憾和痛心的是,近来,中英关系遭遇一系列困难,面临严峻形势。

人们在问;中英关系怎么了?英国媒体也在问,中英关系出现问题原因何在?是中国变了?还是英国变了?今天我就来回答这个问题:中国没有变,变的是英国。中英关系遭遇困难,责任完全在英方。

首先,中方坚定奉行国际关系基本准则没有变。互相尊重主权和领土完整、互不干涉内政和平等互利,是《联合国宪章》确立的国家间关系的基本原则,是国际法与国际关系的基本准则,也是中英关系的基本原则,被写入两国建立大使级外交关系的联合公报。中国从不干涉别国的内政,包括英国的内政,也决不允许别国干涉中国的内政。但是,近期英方却一再违反这些重要原则:在涉港问题上无端指责香港国安法,改变英国国民(海外)(BNO)政策,暂停与香港引渡协定,粗暴干涉香港事务和中国内政,严重干扰香港稳定与繁荣;在涉疆问题上罔顾事实、颠倒黑白,在双边和多边渠道对中国治疆政策大肆抹黑攻击,借所谓新疆人权问题干涉中国内政,严重毒化中英关系氛围。

第二,中方坚持走和平发展道路没有变。走和平发展道路,是中国坚定不移的战略选择和郑重承诺。中国没有侵略扩张的基因,没有也不会输出自己的模式。中国发展是为了让人民过上好日子,而不是要威胁谁、挑战谁、取代谁。历史已经并将继续证明,中国始终是世界和平的建设者、全球发展的贡献者、国际秩序的维护者,中国的发展壮大只能使世界更和平、更稳定、更繁荣。而英国一些政客,抱守"冷战思维",与英内外反华势力遥相呼应,大肆渲染"中国威胁",将中国视为"敌对国家",扬言要与中国全面"脱钩",甚至叫嚣要对中国发动"新冷战"。

第三,中方认真履行自身国际义务没有变。今年是联合国成立75周年,中国是第一个签署《联合国宪章》的国家。中国参加了100多个政府间国际组织,签署了500多个多边条约。中国始终认真履行自身承担的国际责任和义务,从未"退群"、"毁约",从不谋求本国利益优先。英方妄称中方出台香港国安法违反《中英联合声明》、未履行国际义务,这完全是错误的。《联合声明》的核心要义是中国恢复对香港行使主权,而香港国安法正充分体现了中国中央政府对香港的全面管治权。中国政府在《联合声明》中阐述的对港方针政策是中方单方面政策宣示,既不是对英方的承诺,更不是所谓国际义务,"不履行国际义务"的帽子扣不到中国头上。反倒是英方不履行国际义务,违背自身承诺,改变BNO政策,暂停与香港引渡协定,扰乱香港人心,干扰香港国安法实施,干涉中国内政。

第四,中方致力于发展对英伙伴关系的意愿没有变。2015年习近平主席对英国国事访问期间,中英发表联合宣言,决定构建面向21世纪全球全面战略伙伴关系。中国始终将英国看做伙伴,致力于发展健康稳定的中英关系。正如王毅国务委员兼外长前天与拉布外交大臣通话时指出的那样:"对英国而言,中国始终是机遇而不是威胁,是增量而不是减量,是解决方案而不是挑战。"然而,英方近来对华认知和定位发生重大变化,出现严重偏差,"禁用华为"就是最突出例证。这不是英国如何对待一家中国企业的问题,而是关系到英国如何看待中国的问题。英国究竟是把中国看作机遇、伙伴,还是威胁、对手?是把中国看作友好国家,还是"敌对"或"潜在敌对国家"?英方领导人多次表示要发展平衡、积极、建设性的中英关系。我们听其言,观其行。

当前,世界百年未有之大变局正向纵深发展。新冠肺炎疫情仍在全球肆虐,经济全球化遭遇严重冲击,世界经济陷入深度衰退。面对这样的形势,我们需要一个什么样的中英关系?中英都是联合国安理会常任理事国和二十国集团等国际组织重要成员国,都是具有全球影响的大国,都肩负着维护世界和平、促进发展的重要使命。一个健康稳定发展的中英关系,不仅符合中英两国人民的根本利益,也有利于世界的和平与繁荣。我们有一千个理由把中英关系搞好,没有一条理由把中英关系搞坏。如何搞好中英关系?我认为,做到以下三点至关重要:

一是相互尊重。历史告诉我们,只要国际法和国际关系基本准则得到遵守,中英关系就向前发展;反之则遭遇挫折,甚至倒退。中国尊重英国主权,从未做任何干涉英国内政的事。英方也应以同样态度对待中方,尊重中国主权,停止干涉香港事务和中国内政,避免中英关系受到进一步损害。

二是互利共赢。中英经济互补性强,利益深度融合,双方从彼此合作中都获得了巨大收益,不存在谁更依赖谁、谁多占谁便宜的问题。希望英方不要受个别国家的压力和胁迫,为中国企业提供开放、公平、非歧视的投资环境,重塑中国企业对英国的信心。在"后脱欧时代"和"后疫情时代",中英在贸易、金融、科技、教育、医疗卫生领域有广阔合作空间,在维护多边主义、促进自由贸易、应对气候变化等全球性挑战等方面拥有广泛共识。英国要打造"全球化英国",绕不开、离不开中国。与中国"脱钩",就是与机遇脱钩,就是与发展脱钩,就是与未来脱钩。

三是求同存异。中英历史文化、社会制度、发展阶段不同,难免存在分歧。70年前,英国在西方大国中第一个承认新中国。70年来,中英本着求同存异的精神,超越意识形态差异,推动中英关系不断向前发展。70年后的今天,中英关系更加丰富、更加深入,不是你输我赢的"对手关系",更不是非此即彼的"敌对关系",而是平等相待、互利共赢的伙伴关系。我们应当有足够的智慧和能力管控和处理好双方分歧,不让反华势力和"冷战分子""绑架"中英关系。

我常说,只有拥有独立自主的外交政策,"不列颠"才是名符其实的"大不列颠"。无论是1950年英国在西方大国中首个承认中华人民共和国,1954年与中国建立代办级外交关系,还是英国选择加入亚投行、与中国构建面向21世纪全球全面战略伙伴关系,英国在关键历史节点,都顶住外部压力,做出了正确的战略抉择。现在,中英关系再次处于关键历史节点。我希望,英国政治家和各界有识之士,认清国际大势,排除各种干扰,把握时代潮流,做出符合中英两国人民根本利益的战略抉择。

谢谢大家。

下面,我愿回答大家的提问。

英国广播公司记者:刘大使,如你所说,最近几周,英中关系由于香港、华为、新疆问题明显恶化。在这个过程中,上周我们看到,你以及好几位中国政府代表均威胁称英方将承担严重后果、中方将采取反制措施或反击行动。但到目前为止,我们还不清楚到底是什么样的反制措施。你能否具体介绍一下?这些措施是秘而不宣的,还是雷声大、雨点小?

刘大使:首先我要澄清,我们从未威胁任何人。那些认为我的话是威胁的人是在断章取义。正如我所说,中国希望成为英国的朋友和伙伴。但如果不想和中国做伙伴、做朋友,把中国视为"敌对国家",就将付出代价。什么代价?很简单,你将失去把中国视为机遇和朋友所能得到的好处,这也是把中国当作"敌对国家"带来的必然后果。

关于反制措施,我相信你已经看到,英方宣布将改变英国国民(海外)护照(BNO)政策后,中方也作出回应,宣布考虑不再承认BNO护照为合法旅行证件。这完全是因为英方行动违背了其在1984年备忘录中的承诺。当时英方明确承诺不给予BNO护照持有者在英居留权,在此基础上中方承认BNO护照为合法旅行证件。现在英方违约在先,中方必须作出回应。

此外,英方还无限期暂停与香港的引渡协定,损害了英国与香港司法合作的基础。中方作出回应,宣布香港暂停与英国的引渡协定和刑事司法互助协定,这是因为双方司法合作的基础遭到破坏。

天空新闻台记者:关于香港,近几天,根据新的国家安全法,一些人因为在网上发表评论被拘捕。今天,还有些"民主运动人士"被取消参加选举资格。这些情况是否印证了英国关于国家安全法破坏香港自由的担忧?关于新疆,你是否愿意澄清几周前接受BBC采访时所看到视频?据欧洲安全部门消息称,那些带着手铐脚镣、被剃光须发、身着囚服的人是维吾尔族人。他们为什么被押送?为什么受到如此待遇?

刘大使:香港国家安全法是为了堵住维护国家安全的法律漏洞。香港回归23年来,一直没有维护国家安全的法律。我们也看到去年香港遭遇的情况。一些人空谈"一国两制",我们却看到"一国"受到侵蚀、陷入危险之中。中国中央政府和全国人大及时通过并实施香港国安法,堵住漏洞,根本不存在所谓破坏言论自由的问题。

国家安全法明确规定,基本人权将得到充分尊重。该法只针对极少数妄图破坏国家安全的罪犯,明确列出4类犯罪行为。如果你没有这几类犯罪行为,就不会有任何问题,依然享有言论自由、游行自由、示威自由。香港的资本主义制度不会改变,独立的司法体系包括终审权不会改变。国家安全法将确保"一国两制"行稳致远,也因此得到香港民众的广泛支持。有300万香港市民签名支持国安法,因为他们都希望香港能有一个安宁、繁荣、稳定的环境。关于你提到的涉疆问题,我一会儿再回答。

中国国际电视台记者:刘大使早上好。你刚才提到中国将不承认BNO作为有效旅行证件。从实践上看,这对香港居民来英意味着什么?现在中英两国相互间的信任和善意已大幅减少,你认为应该如何重建?

刘大使:中国没有做任何损害中英互信的事。我说过,我们将英国视为伙伴和朋友,想要推进中英关系"黄金时代"。今年是中英关系"黄金时代"五周年,双方本应进行庆祝。但遗憾的是,英方却无端指责香港国家安全法、干扰该法实施、干涉香港事务,损害中英互信。

我在开场白中已经阐明,中英关系的出路在于坚持三个原则:相互尊重、互不干涉内政、平等相待。我们承认存在分歧,但双方应在互相尊重的基础上处理分歧。中国无意改变英国,英国也不应该试图改变中国。我们的合作基础和共同利益远大于分歧。中英都是具有全球影响的大国,我们肩负着维护世界和平、促进发展的重要使命,我们之间有广泛的共同议程。

关于你提到的具体问题,由于英方违背了其关于BNO的承诺,我们不得不采取措施,不承认此护照为有效旅行证件。

路透社记者:谢谢大使。我想问一个比较宏观的问题。美国总统特朗普似乎已将中国作为21世纪最大的地缘政治敌人。你认为中国和西方是否已在进行"新冷战"?有人说,中国近年来更加强硬,引起美国不安,你如何评价?谢谢。

刘大使:我认为你已经回答了你自己的问题。中国并没有变得更强硬,而是太平洋对面的国家想对中国挑起"新冷战",我们不得不做出反应。我们不希望打"冷战",我们不希望打任何战争。当美国对中国掀起"贸易战"的时候,我们就说"贸易战"没有赢家。我们主张接触,双方达成了第一阶段贸易协议。现在我们仍愿与美方进行接触。但是,美国国内情况大家都看到了,新冠肺炎疫情形势不断恶化,美国想把中国当作"替罪羊",把自己的问题都归咎于中国。

大家知道,今年是美国大选年。我在美国常驻两次,5次近距离观察美国大选。人们说,在大选年美国政客为了赢得选票口不择言。我觉得今年他们不仅口不择言,而且不择手段,包括将中国作为敌人。他们认为需要对中国发动"冷战",但中国对此不感兴趣。我们一直向美方表示,中国不是美国的敌人,中国是美国的朋友和伙伴;美国的敌人是病毒。我希望美国政客能将精力放在抗疫和拯救生命上,而不是专注指责中国。

中央电视台记者:大使上午好!我的问题是,英国工商业联合会总干事近日在《金融时报》撰文称,中英合作使英方获益巨大,英国无法承受单方面与中国减少往来的代价。但正如你刚才所说,一些英国政客对此持完全相反的看法。你对此怎么看?如果允许,我还想再问一个问题。你近期接受英国媒体采访时曾看过相关视频和图片,你也曾多次阐明中方在新疆问题上的政策立场。但西方媒体在这个问题上还是不断指责中国。你对此有何评论?

刘大使:我在开场白中讲过,中英关系是互利共赢的伙伴关系。我非常赞同英国工商业联合会总干事的观点。有人说中国从双边关系中获益更多,我认为这有违事实。

我可以用一系列数字来说明:1999至2020年,英国对华出口增长约20倍;自我担任中国驻英大使以来,中英双边贸易额翻了一番;在过去十年,中国对英投资增长约20倍。这两个"20倍"很能说明问题。

中英经贸关系为英国创造了大量就业。此外,中国游客每年赴英旅游,也为英国带来1.1万个就业岗位。英国还是接收中国留学生最多的欧洲国家,这些学生在英求学获益匪浅,同时他们也为英国发展做出了贡献。剑桥大学研究表明,中国赴英留学人员在英各种开支,仅在2018年就给英国创造1.7万个就业岗位,更不要说华为公司为英国电信产业发展做出的巨大贡献。中国企业还参与中英法三方共同建设的英国核电项目,我认为这一项目符合英国自身利益,能帮助英国实现2050年"零排放"的目标。但在那些"冷战斗士"眼中,这个项目却是下一个攻击目标。我希望这些英国政客能客观看待中英关系,认识到它是一个互利共赢的关系。

关于新疆问题,现在有太多的谬论和谎言,可谓"世纪谎言"。不仅如此,一些西方国家利用新疆问题大肆抹黑攻击中国、干涉中国内政。很遗憾,英国也难辞其咎。因此,我愿借今天的机会揭穿谎言、澄清事实,向大家介绍一个真实的新疆。

首先,所谓新疆问题根本不是什么人权、民族、宗教问题,而是反暴恐、反分裂、去极端化问题。上世纪90年代以来,特别是"9·11"事件之后,"三股势力"在中国新疆地区制造了数千起暴恐案件,造成大量无辜群众生命和财产损失。其中,震惊世界的新疆"7·5"事件(2009年)造成197人死亡,1700多人受伤。面对严峻形势,新疆自治区政府依法打击暴恐活动,同时重视源头治理,积极推进去极端化工作。这些措施十分有成效,确保新疆3年多未发生一起恐袭事件,最大限度保障了各族人民的生命权、健康权、发展权等基本权利,得到新疆各族人民广泛支持和衷心拥护。

这些措施为全球反恐事业作出积极贡献,得到国际社会积极评价。2018年底以来,联合国官员、外国驻华使节、有关国家常驻日内瓦代表、媒体记者和宗教团体等70多批团组、90多个国家的1000多人赴疆参访,他们纷纷称赞新疆反恐、去极端化做法符合联合国打击恐怖主义、维护基本人权的宗旨和原则,值得充分肯定和学习借鉴。2019年10月,60多个国家代表在第74届联大三委会议期间发言称赞新疆人权进步。今年7月,46个国家代表在人权理事会第44届会议上作共同发言,支持中方在涉疆问题上的立场和举措。

为帮助大家认清恐怖主义、分裂主义、极端主义在新疆造成的危害以及开展反恐、反分裂、去极端化活动的必要性和重要性,我们现在播放一段视频。

第二,新疆"教培中心"根本不是什么"集中营"或"再教育营",而是预防性反恐和去极端化的有益尝试和积极探索。这一举措旨在根除极端主义、防止暴力恐怖活动升级,符合《联合国全球反恐战略》等一系列反恐决议的原则和精神,本质上这与英国设立的转化和脱离项目(DDP)、美国推行的"社区矫正"和法国成立的去极端化中心没有什么区别。受极端主义思想影响以及有轻微违法犯罪行为的人员参加教培中心培训,通过学习国家通用语言文字、法律知识、职业技能教育培训,去除极端化思想,掌握劳动技能,不仅使这些学员结业后重返社会,做守法公民,而且自食其力,有了稳定的工作和收入,生活水平明显提高。

教培中心严格贯彻落实中国宪法和法律关于尊重和保障人权的基本原则,充分保障学员的人格尊严不受侵犯,严禁以任何方式对学员进行人格侮辱和虐待;充分保障学员人身自由,实行寄宿制管理,学员可以回家,有事可以请假;充分保障学员使用本民族语言文字的权利,各项规章制度、课程表、食谱等均同时使用国家通用语言文字和少数民族语言文字;充分尊重和保护不同民族学员的风俗习惯,为少数民族学员免费提供各种清真饮食;充分尊重和保护学员宗教信仰自由,信教学员回家时可自主决定是否参与合法宗教活动。

现在我们播放一段教培中心学员的视频,听听他们讲述教培中心的真实情况。

第三,在新疆问题上,不能让谎言与污蔑横行,不能让傲慢与偏见充斥头脑,而要用事实与真相说话,用客观与理性评判。下面,我愿用事实揭穿西方媒体"广为流传"的四大谎言:

一是谎称"新疆近百万维吾尔人被拘押"。事实上,这是两个反华机构或人员炮制的谣言。幕后黑手之一是美国政府支持的"中国人权捍卫者网络(Chinese Human Rights Defenders,CHRD)",它仅仅通过对8名维吾尔人的采访和粗略估算,就得出"新疆地区2000多万人口中,10%的人被拘押在‘再教育营’的荒谬结论"。幕后黑手之二是受美国政府资助的极右翼原教旨主义基督徒郑国恩,他在《中亚调查》杂志上发文称,"据估计,新疆在押人员总数超过100万"。据美国独立新闻网站"灰色地带"披露,郑得出这一数字,依据的是总部位于土耳其的一家维吾尔流亡媒体组织——Istiqlal TV的一篇报道,而Istiqlal TV根本不是一家新闻组织,而是推进分离主义、极端主义的组织。郑本人则自认"受上帝的引领",肩负着反对中国的"使命"。

最近,我在接受BBC"安德鲁·马尔访谈"节目时,马尔先生播放了一段经所谓西方情报机关和澳大利亚专家确认的视频,以此说明大批维吾尔人被拘押。现在让我们来看看这段视频的真相到底是什么。

事实上,这是新疆喀什看守所(Kashi Detention House)集中转运服刑犯人的场景,根本不存在所谓大批拘押维吾尔人的问题。中方打击犯罪从不与任何民族、宗教挂钩。司法机关押送服刑人员属于正常司法活动,不容歪曲和抹黑。

二是谎称"新疆强拆清真寺"。事实是,目前新疆共有清真寺2.44万座,平均每530位穆斯林就拥有一座清真寺,比例高于一些穆斯林国家,也高于英格兰地区人均拥有教堂数量。被诬称"拆除"的叶城县加米清真寺、和田艾提卡尔清真寺等根本未被拆除,而是被修缮后重新使用,编造谎言的人用清真寺危房的图片来支撑其谎言,但不会展示清真寺修葺一新的照片。现在,让我们用修葺一新的清真寺的照片来揭穿谎言。

三是谎称"新疆强制绝育"。事实是,新疆维吾尔自治区是中国五个少数民族自治区之一,是一个多民族聚居区,拥有13个世居民族,2500万各族人民和睦共处。中国政府始终一视同仁地保护包括少数民族在内的各族人民合法权益,人口政策长期以来对包括维吾尔族在内的少数民族更为优待。1978年至2018年,新疆地区维吾尔族人口从555万增长到1168万,整整翻了一番。

关于网上那些宣称维族人"受迫害"的视频,新疆方面已经多次揭穿了这些人的身份,他们有的是从事反华分裂活动的"东突"分子,有的是美西方反华势力培植的"演员"。他们的说法根本站不住脚。他们中有些人在疆内的亲友已经直接站出来辟谣,驳斥了他们的谎言。

我接受BBC"安德鲁·马尔访谈"节目采访时,马尔先生播放了一段"诉苦者"的视频,真实情况是:这位女性名叫早木热·达吾提(Zumrat Dawut),谎称"被强制绝育"。但她的姐姐和哥哥去年11月公开揭穿其谎言,她从来没有进过教培中心;她生第三个孩子时被查出患有子宫肌瘤,因此做了手术,根本没有"被强制绝育"。让我们看一下她姐姐和哥哥接受采访的视频。

四是谎称"新疆存在大规模强迫劳动"。事实上,这是另一黑手凭空捏造出来的。长期接受美国政府和军火商资助的"澳大利亚战略政策研究所"(ASPI)今年3月炮制所谓《出售维吾尔族人》报告,将南疆贫困民众前往内地务工就业、脱贫增收的自发性行为,歪曲为"强迫劳动"。此后,"美国国会—行政部门中国委员会"将这一谬论作为"依据",炮制《全球供应链,强迫劳动和新疆维吾尔自治区》报告,进行大肆污蔑和诽谤。现在让我们放一段视频揭穿他们的谎言。

我们中国人常说,不到新疆,不知道中国之大;不到新疆,不知道中国之美。当前,新疆经济持续发展,社会和谐稳定,民生不断改善,文化空前繁荣。新疆各族人民安居乐业,和睦相处,享受着充分的生存权、发展权,宗教信仰自由依法得到保障,正常宗教活动受到法律保护,新疆处于历史最好发展时期。任何谣言都不能抹杀新疆人权事业发展进步的事实,任何图谋都不能干扰新疆发展繁荣的进程。希望大家不要听信反华分子的谣言,不要听信反华政客的蛊惑。我们敦促英国政府全面客观看待新疆发展成就,停止在新疆问题上发表不负责任的言论,停止利用新疆问题干涉中国内政。我们也希望英国媒体摒弃傲慢与偏见,客观、公正地报道新疆,让英国民众了解一个真实的新疆。

独立电视台记者:请问刘大使,中国是否允许联合国人权高专署派团,在不受中国共产党干扰的情况下,独立访问新疆,到刚才视频里展示的那些地方,亲眼看看发生了什么?

刘大使:自2018年以来,已经有几十个国家和国际组织的1000多名外交官、记者和代表访问了新疆。我们欢迎人权高专访问新疆,这个邀请长期有效。

我们反对的是别有用心的所谓"独立调查",这实际是企图借新疆问题干涉中国内政。新疆的大门是敞开的,每年迎接成千上万的游客来新疆旅游、参观。我们欢迎所有善意、客观、不持偏见的人士访问新疆。

美联社记者:刘大使,你曾经在美国长期工作过,请问从特朗普政府的一系列言论和威胁来看,你是否认为中美关系已经"没有回头路"可走?

刘大使:我希望不是这样。中国仍然相信不冲突、不对抗、互相尊重、合作共赢的中美关系符合两国利益。中国无意破坏中美关系,中方将继续努力与美方保持接触。

但我也在很多场合说过,探戈需要两个人跳,一个巴掌拍不响。我认为,支持中美关系的民意基础仍然十分广泛。1972年尼克松总统访华以来,中美双方始终致力于建立基于共同利益的中美关系。这种共同利益基础仍在,中美关系在美国民众中的民意基础仍在。当美国国务卿发表反对中国共产党的"新冷战"宣言后,我们看到很多美国人站出来批评这种论调,他们对美国政府将中美关系引入歧途忧心忡忡。

所以,我不认为中美关系已经"没有回头路",将中美两国联系在一起的根本利益仍在,很多美国有识之士仍在努力维护中美关系的基本盘。我希望人们最终能回归理性。

新华社记者:华为一直声称自己是一家独立的私人控股公司,与中国政府没有隶属关系,那为什么中国政府不遗余力地维护华为?如果中英关系持续恶化,两国会否像当年的中日关系一样,陷入"政冷经热"的局面?

刘大使:关于华为,我刚刚在《南华早报》发表了一篇文章。我不是为自己的文章作广告,而是希望大家能花些时间读一下。英国政府决定禁用华为后,我努力向英国主流媒体投书,因为这个问题对英国很重要。英国公众需要了解问题的全貌。但不幸的是,英国主流报纸都表示不能刊登我的文章。我已在英国工作10多年,算是领教了什么是英国标榜的"新闻自由"。他们非常直白地告诉我,只愿刊登有利于报纸销量的文章。因此他们不愿刊登我关于香港的文章,不愿刊登我关于华为的文章。我不得不让我的文章"飞越"万里到香港《南华早报》发表,当然《南华早报》在英国也有不少读者。我的文章主要观点是,拒绝华为就是拒绝机遇,就是拒绝增长,就是拒绝未来。

关于华为与中国政府的关系,首先,正如我在开场白中所说,华为问题不是一家中国公司的问题,而是关乎英国如何对待中国的问题:是将中国视为机遇,还是威胁?是把中国作为伙伴,还是竞争对手?这是一个必须做出选择的根本问题。

第二,任何政府都应维护本国企业的合法权益。这一点不仅中国政府如此,英国政府也一样。我在英工作10年间,清楚记得英国领导人和政要是如何为英国企业说项的。我记得英国首相在接待中国领导人访问时,不忘推销帝亚吉欧项目,坚持访问期间能够签署有关项目。我记得英国财政大臣努力向中方推销罗尔斯罗伊斯公司的发动机,坚称罗尔斯罗伊斯公司生产的发动机比包括美国通用电气在内的其他任何国家的产品都好。我还记得英国商业大臣为了推销英国钢铁公司专程访华,最终促成中国敬业集团收购英钢,并同意在未来10年投资12亿英镑实现英钢转型升级。

我认为,一国政府维护本国企业权益无可厚非。一些"冷战斗士"借中国政府努力维护本国企业权益来证明华为与中国政府关系密切,并以此作为攻击华为的理由,这是非常荒谬的。中国政府对每一家中国企业都一视同仁。我们希望华为在英国取得成功,实现双赢。所以,在英方宣布禁用华为那天,我说,这一天对华为是黑暗的一天,对中英关系也是黑暗的一天,对英国则更是黑暗的一天,因为英国将错失成为5G领军者的机会。

关于中英关系会否"政冷经热",我认为政治和经济密切相关、很难完全分开。我们需要一个良好的氛围和条件才能进行合作。我说英方关于华为的决定对中英关系是黑暗的一天,是因为这一决定破坏了中英互信,损害了英国信誉。在英国宣布"禁用华为"后,我与在英中资企业举行了网上座谈,中资企业都表达了他们的担忧和关切,因为这不仅涉及安全风险,也包括投资风险。我们无意将经贸问题政治化,但是信任和信誉在国与国关系中至关重要。

记者会英文实录:

Ambassador Liu Xiaoming Holds On-line Press Conference on China–UK Relations

On 30 July 2020, Ambassador Liu Xiaoming held an on-line press conference on China-UK relationship at the Chinese Embassy. Around 30 journalists from 27 media agencies joined the conference, including the BBC, Sky News, ITV, Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Times Radio, The Guardian, Reuters, Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, CCTV, CGTN, China News Service, China Daily, Science and Technology Daily, Global Times, Guancha.cn, AP, Bloomberg, NBC, Russia Today, Quartz, Phoenix Infonews, European Times, The Scotsman, and The Manchester Evening News. Guests from UK's political and business sectors also attended the conference, including Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Deputy-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on China (APPCG), Mark Logan, Vice Chair of APPCG, Lord Davidson, Stephen Perry, Chairman of the 48 Group Club, Lord Sassoon, President of China-Britain Business Council, Lord Palumbo of Walbrook Club, St. John Moore, Chairman of British Chamber of Commerce in China, Meia Nouwens, Research Fellow for Chinese Defense Policy at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Veerle Nouwens, Research Fellow at the International Security Studies Department of the Royal United Services Institute on geopolitical relations in the Asia-Pacific region and China. Foreign diplomats in the UK from South Korea, Laos, the EU, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Argentina, Myanmar, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia, and So Yuen Ling, Director-General of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office London, also joined the event. The press conference was broadcast live via Ambassador Liu's Twitter account. CGTN, Reuters and AP also broadcast the conference live. The event was also covered by the BBC and Sky News in their programs and on their websites.

The following is the transcript of the press conference.

Ambassador Liu: Good morning! Welcome to today's press conference.

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the China-UK "Golden Era". Since early this year, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Boris Johnson have had two telephone conversations, during which they reached important agreements on advancing China-UK relations and enhancing joint response to Covid-19. The departments of the two governments have been working hard to implement these agreements and carry out cooperation in various areas.

This was a positive momentum in China-UK relationship that should be cherished so that further progress could be achieved. To our regret however, this relationship has recently run into a series of difficulties and faced a grave situation.

People are asking: What is happening to China-UK relationship? The British media are also asking: What has caused the current difficulties in China-UK relationship? Has China changed or has the UK changed?

Today, I am going to give you my answer to these questions. My answer is loud and clear: China has not changed. It is the UK that has changed. The UK side should take full responsibility for the current difficulties in China-UK relationship.

First, China's determination to follow the basic norms governing international relations has not changed.

These basic norms include:

mutual respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity,

non-interference in each other's internal affairs,

equality,

and mutual benefit.

These are the fundamental principles that are enshrined in the UN Charter. They are the basic norms of the international law and state-to-state relations. They are also the basic guidelines that have been written into the Joint Communiqué of China and the UK on exchange of ambassadors and hence form the bedrock for China-UK relationship.

China has never interfered in the internal affairs of other countries, including the UK, and we ask the same from other countries.

Recently, however, the above-mentioned important principles have been violated time and again.

On Hong Kong:

There has been blatant interference from the UK in Hong Kong affairs, which are internal affairs of China, including

groundless accusations against the National Security Law for Hong Kong SAR,

change to the policy involving BNO passport holders,

and suspension of the extradition treaty with Hong Kong.

These moves have severely disrupted the stability and prosperity in Hong Kong.

On Xinjiang:

The UK disregarded the facts,

confused right and wrong,

flung slanders recklessly at China's Xinjiang-related policies

and interfered in China's internal affairs by raising the so-called "human rights issue" in Xinjiang, bilaterally and multilaterally.

These actions have seriously poisoned atmosphere of China-UK relationship.

Second, China's commitment to the path of peaceful development has not changed.

Pursuing peaceful development is the unwavering strategic choice and solemn pledge of China. China has never invaded other countries or sought expansion. China has never and will not export its system or model. China seeks development because we want better life for our people. We do not want to threaten, challenge or replace anyone.

History has proved and will continue to prove that China is always a defender of world peace, a contributor to global development and an upholder of international order. A stronger China will make the world a more peaceful, stable and prosperous place.

However, some British politicians cling to the "Cold War" mentality and echo the remarks of anti-China forces in and outside the UK. They

play up the so-called "China threat",

see China as a "hostile state",

threaten a "complete decoupling" from China,

and even clamour for a "new Cold War" against China.

Third, China's resolve to fulfill its international obligations has not changed.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. China was the first country to put its signature on the UN Charter. It is now a member of more than 100 inter-governmental international organisations and has signed over 500 multilateral treaties.

It has faithfully fulfilled its international responsibilities and obligations.

It has never withdrawn from international organisations or treaties.

Nor does it believe in "us first" at the expense of others.

It is completely wrong to see the National Security Law for Hong Kong SAR as a violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration or a failure to honour international obligations.

The core content of the Joint Declaration is about China's resumption of exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. The National Security Law for Hong Kong SAR fully embodies the comprehensive jurisdiction of the Central Government of China over Hong Kong.

The policies regarding Hong Kong laid out in the Joint Declaration were proposed by China on our own initiative. They are not China's commitments to the UK or international obligations. The label of "failure to fulfill international obligations" should not be stuck on China.

It is the UK side that has failed to fulfill its international obligations and went against its own pledges by changing the policy on BNO passport holders and suspending the extradition treaty with Hong Kong to create public confusion in Hong Kong, disrupt the implementation of the National Security Law and interfere in China's internal affairs.

Fourth, China's willingness to develop partnership with the UK has not changed.

During President Xi Jinping's state visit to the UK in 2015, China and the UK issued a joint declaration on building a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century.

China has always seen the UK as a partner and it has been committed to developing a sound and stable relationship with the UK. As State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said two days ago in his telephone conversation with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, for the UK, China is an opportunity rather than a threat, a factor for growth rather than a cause for decline, a solution rather than a challenge or a risk. However, there have been major changes and serious deviations in UK's perception and definition of China. This is particularly evidenced by the recent ban on Huawei.

The issue of Huawei is not about how the UK sees and deals with a Chinese company. It is about how the UK sees and deals with China. Does it see China as an opportunity and a partner, or a threat and a rival? Does it see China as a friendly country, or a "hostile" or "potentially hostile" state?

The UK leaders have said on many occasions that they want to build a balanced, positive and constructive China-UK relationship. We hope they will match their words with actions.

The world is undergoing increasingly profound changes unseen in a century. Covid-19 is still ravaging, dealing a heavy blow to economic globalization and resulting in a deep recession of the world economy. What kind of China-UK relationship do we need in face of such a situation?

China and the UK are both permanent members of the UN Security Council and important members of the G20 and other international organizations. Both are countries of global influence. Both shoulder the important mission of safeguarding world peace and promoting development.

A sound and stable China-UK relationship is not only in the fundamental interests of the peoples of the two countries but also conducive to world peace and prosperity. We have a thousand reasons to make this relationship successful, and not one reason to let it fail.

How can we make it successful? I think it is critically important to follow three principles:

First, respect each other.

History tells us that when international law and the basic norms governing international relations are observed, China-UK relationship will move forward; otherwise, it will suffer setbacks or even retrogression.

China respects the UK's sovereignty and has never interfered in the UK's internal affairs. It is important that the UK do the same, namely, respect China's sovereignty and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, which are China's internal affairs, so as to avoid further harm to China-UK relationship.

The second principle is: engage in mutually-beneficial cooperation.

China and the UK have highly complementary economies and deeply integrated interests. The two sides have both benefited tremendously from cooperation. Such mutual benefit should not be gauged by an over-simplified comparison of who is more dependent on the other or who has been "taken advantage of".

It is our hope that the UK would resist the pressure and coercion of a certain country, and provide an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese investment, so as to bring back the confidence of Chinese businesses in the UK.

China and the UK already share broad consensus on safeguarding multilateralism, promoting free trade and addressing global challenges such as climate change. When Brexit is completed and Covid-19 is over, there will be unlimited prospects for China-UK cooperation in the areas of trade, financial services, science and technology, education and health care.

It is hard to imagine a "global Britain" that bypasses or excludes China. "Decoupling" from China means decoupling from opportunities, decoupling from growth, and decoupling from the future.

The third principle is: seek common ground despite differences.

China and the UK differ in history, culture, social system and development stage. It is natural that we do not always see eye to eye.

Seventy years ago, the UK was the first major Western country to recognize New China. For the past 70 years, China and the UK have found common ground despite differences and went beyond ideological differences to achieve continuous progress in their bilateral relationship.

Today, after 70 years, this relationship has been more substantial and profound. It is not a relationship between rivals, where one side's gain is the other's loss. Still less is it a relationship of "either-or" that exists between hostile states. China-UK relationship is one of partnership, which is defined by equal treatment and mutual benefit.

China and the UK should have enough wisdom and capability to manage and deal with differences, rather than allowing anti-China forces and "Cold-War" warriors to "kidnap" China-UK relationship.

I often say "Great Britain" cannot be "Great" without independent foreign policies. The UK has withstood the pressure from others and made the right strategic choices at many critical historical junctures,

from becoming the first major Western country to recognize the People's Republic of China in 1950, to establishing diplomatic relationship with China at the chargé d'affaires level in 1954;

from taking part in the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to building a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century with China.

Now, China-UK relationship is once again standing at a critical historical juncture. It is my hope that political leaders and visionary people from all sectors in the UK would keep in mind the big picture of the international trend, prevent various disruptions and make the strategic choice that serves the fundamental interests of the peoples of our two countries.

Thank you.

Now I would like to take your questions.

BBC: Ambassador, good morning. As you say, relations between the United Kingdom and China have deteriorated significantly in recent weeks over Hong Kong, Huawei and Xinjiang. Throughout that process, you and various other government representatives have threatened consequences, counter-measures, even counter-attacks, to use the language of last week. And yet it's still not entirely clear to me what those counter-measures are. So could you elaborate a little bit more? Is China retaliating in secret, or is its bark worse than its bite?

Ambassador Liu: I want to set the record straight. We made no threats. We threaten nobody, as I said. We just let you know the consequences. People regard some of my remarks as threatening words. I think they quote my remarks out of context. As I said, China wants to be friends of the UK. China wants to be the UK's partners. But if you do not want to be our friend, you want to treat China as a hostile country, you will pay the price. That's simple. It's very clear. That means you will lose the benefits of treating China as opportunities and as a friend. And you will bear the consequences of treating China as a hostile country. So that's very clear.

And you're talking about the counter-measures. I think you have already seen that after the UK announced that they are going to change the policy on BNO, we have made a response by saying, we are considering not to recognize the BNO passports as legal travel documents. That is because the UK takes the measure that is a departure from their commitments under the MOU of 1984. At that time, they said they were not going to give right of abode to the BNO holders. And we also agreed to regard the BNO passport as a legal travel document. Now since they have violated their commitments, we have to make a response.

Again, with regard to extradition treaty, the UK suspends it indefinitely. I think it will undermine the basis for legal collaboration between the UK and Hong Kong. China has to make a response to that and we announced that Hong Kong government also suspends the extradition treaty with the UK. And they also suspend the mutual legal assistance agreement with the UK because the basis and the foundations of the legal collaboration between the two sides have been undermined.

Sky News: Thank you, Ambassador. On Hong Kong, in the last couple of days, we've seen a small number of people being arrested under these new security laws, seemingly just for posting comments on the internet, and also a number of pro-democracy activists today being disqualified from running in the elections. Doesn't this really prove the concerns that the UK have about the national security law undermining Hong Kong's freedoms? If I may, as you mentioned Xinjiang, have you had any more clarity about those images that you were shown a couple of weeks ago on the BBC? European security sources say they believe those men who are shackled and shaven, and in those suits, were members of the Uighur minority. Why were they being transported and treated in such a way?

Ambassador Liu: First, on Hong Kong, the National Security Law is about plugging the legal loopholes for safeguarding national security. You know, since handover, for the past 23 years, there has been no law taking care of the national security. We've seen what happened last year. People talk about "One Country, Two Systems". But we all witnessed how "One Country" has been eroded, how "One Country" has been put at risk. It's timely for the Central Government and the National People's Congress to enact the law to plug the loopholes.

It has nothing to do with freedom of speech or freedom of expression. It has been clearly stipulated in the National Security Law that the basic human rights will be fully respected. This law is only targeted at a very few criminals who intend to endanger the national security. The law is very clear with four categories of crimes. If you stay away from these categories of crimes, you will have no problem with regard to a freedom of expression, freedom of procession, freedom of demonstrations. So the capitalist system will not change, and Hong Kong would continue to enjoy independent judicial system, including power of final adjudication. So I think this law will only make "One Country, Two Systems" more sustainable. And so that's why it's overwhelmingly supported by the Hong Kong people. About three million Hong Kong people have signed up a petition to show their support for this law because they want to have a peaceful, prosperous and stable environment for Hong Kong.

With regard to Xinjiang, I will respond a little later but I will certainly respond to your question.

CGTN: Good morning, Ambassador. So you just mentioned that China might stop recognizing BNO passports as valid travel documents. What would that mean in practice for Hong Kong residents who want to travel to the UK? And also, how do you see a path forward for restoring trust and goodwill between China and the UK which has diminished so much on both sides?

Ambassador Liu: China has done nothing to weaken the mutual trust between the two countries. As I said, we see the UK as a partner, as a friendly country. We want to advance this relationship and the "golden era" between our two countries. As I said on many occasions, we are about to celebrate its fifth anniversary. It's a time for celebration. But unfortunately, it's the UK side that has done things to undermine the mutual trust by making unwarranted accusation of the National Security Law, to interrupt the implementation of this law and to interfere in Hong Kong internal affairs.

So I think, as I already said in my presentation, the way out for China-UK relations are the three basic principles: mutual respect, non interference into each other's internal affairs, and treat each other as equals and partners. And we do recognize we have differences. But we need to address these differences on equal basis and recognize differences. China has no intention to change the UK. I think the UK should have no intention to change China. I think we have more common grounds and common interests to unite our two countries than differences that divide us. China and the UK, as countries of global influence, have enormous duties to live up to our responsibility to promote world peace and world prosperity. There are so many common agenda in front of us.

With regard to the specific question you mentioned. Since the UK violated its commitment with regard to BNO, we have to let them know that we have to take our measures not to recognize the BNO passport as a valid travel document.

Reuters: Thank you very much, Ambassador. I just wanted to sort of take a slightly bigger picture. My apology if this is a stupid question, but it seems clear that US president Donald Trump sees China as the major geopolitical foe of the 21st century. So, do you see a new cold war between the west and China? How do you react to the view that President Xi has been too assertive over recent years, and this has upset the Americans.

Ambassador Liu: I think you have already answered your own questions. It's not China that has become assertive. It's the other side of the Pacific Ocean, who wants to start a new cold war on China. So we have to make response to that. We have no interest in any cold war. We have no interest in any wars. When the United States started this trade war against China, we said there would be no winner in a trade war and we wanted to engage with them. Then we had a phase one agreement. We are still keeping engaging with them. But I think this coronavirus really worsened the situation, because we have all seen what is happening in United States. They tried to find a scapegoat in China. They want to blame China for their problems.

We all know this is the election year. I've been posted twice in Washington. I witnessed five elections, on the ground, in person, not from a distance. People say, US politicians will say anything in order to get elected in the election years. It seems to me this year, it is likely that they are going to not only say anything but also do anything, including treating China as an enemy. Probably they think they need an enemy. They think they need a cold war. But we have no interest. We keep telling Americans: China is not your enemy. China is your friend and your partner. Your enemy is the virus. I hope that the US politicians will focus on fighting the virus and saving lives instead of blaming China.

CCTV: Good morning, Ambassador. My question is: the Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry shared her opinions in Financial Times a few days ago. She said that the UK cannot afford to self-isolate from China because of the huge benefits from the collaboration between the two countries. But I think as you just mentioned, some of the British politicians hold the opposite opinion. So what's your comment on that? And also, if it's allowed, can I ask another question: I think you have watched many videos and pictures in the previous interview with the local media. And also you have stated and clarified many times on the Chinese policy on the Xinjiang issue. But I think probably my western colleagues are still keen on the similar topics. Personally I think they probably like to blame China for this issue a lot. So what's your comment on this kind of communication? Thank you.

Ambassador Liu: As I said in my opening remarks, I think China-UK relations are really mutually beneficial. I quite agree with the Director-General of CBI.

Let me give you a few figures. Some people say that China gains more from this relationship. I don't think this is true. In the past 20 years, from 1999 to 2020, UK exports to China increased twenty times. Since I became Chinese Ambassador, trade between our two countries has doubled. In the past 10 years Chinese investment increased twenty times. So these two "twenty times" are really self evident.

It created enormous jobs. And Chinese tourists to this country each year supported 11,000 jobs. And the UK is the largest recipient of Chinese students in Europe. Of course, Chinese students benefit from studying here. But they have also made contribution to this country. The students' expenditure alone, according to a Cambridge study, supported 17,000 jobs in 2018, not to mention the contribution made by Huawei. They have helped build the telecommunications industry in this country. And also, some "cold war warriors" as Chinese people call them are trying to find another target in the nuclear project where Chinese companies are working together with their French and British partners. I think this project will serve the interests of the UK, and also help the UK to achieve its goal of realising zero-emission by 2050. I really hope that the politicians will look at this from an objective perspective. This is a win-win relationship.

Since two journalists asked questions about Xinjiang, I want to make a response.

On issues relating to Xinjiang, there are so many fallacies and lies that permeate the Western media. They can well be called "the lies of the century". Moreover, some Western countries have been using Xinjiang-related issues to discredit China and interfere in China's internal affairs. Regrettably, the UK is one of them. I would like to take this opportunity to debunk the lies and let facts be known, so as to show you the real Xinjiang.

First, Xinjiang-related issues have nothing to do with human rights, ethnic groups or religions, but everything to do with fighting violent terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Since 1990s, especially after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, terrorist, separatist and religious extremist forces have launched thousands of violent attacks in Xinjiang, resulting in devastating casualties of innocent people and huge loss of property. During the riots on July 5th, 2009, which shocked Xinjiang and the whole world, 197 lives were lost and more than 1,700 people injured.

In face of such grave situations, the Government of Xinjiang Autonomous Region has struck down upon violent terrorist activities in accordance with law and adopted de-radicalisation measures to address the root causes. These measures have been very effective: there has not been a single terrorist attack for more than three years in a row in Xinjiang, and the basic rights of all ethnic groups, especially the rights to life, health and development, are fully safeguarded. Therefore, these measures have won extensive and heartfelt support from people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang.

These measures have also been an important contribution to the global fight against terrorism, and thus won positive response from the international community. Since the end of 2018, more than 1,000 people in over 70 groups, including officials from the United Nations, members of foreign diplomatic corps in China, permanent representatives to the UN and other international organisations in Geneva, journalists and representatives of faith groups, have visited Xinjiang. They represent over 90 countries. They spoke highly of the counter-terrorism and de-radicalisation measures in Xinjiang, saying that these measures are in line with the purposes and principles of the United Nations in striking down upon terrorism and safeguarding basic human rights, and should be fully recognized and shared with other countries.

In October 2019, representatives from more than 60 countries spoke at the 74th session of the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly in recognition of the human rights progress in Xinjiang. In July this year, representatives from 46 countries made a joint statement at the 44th session of the Human Rights Council in support of China's position and the counter-terrorism measures in Xinjiang.

Now I would like to play a video to help you see the harm caused by terrorist, separatist and extremist attacks in Xinjiang, so that you will understand why the measures taken in Xinjiang against terrorism, separatism and extremism are necessary and important.

Second, there are many rumours and lies about the vocational education and training centres in Xinjiang, calling them "concentration camps" or "re-education camps". The truth is they are none of these. They are useful and positive explorations of preventative and de-radicalisation measures.

The centres were established to address the root causes for extremism and prevent further escalation of violent terrorist activities. They are in line with the principles and the spirit embodied in a number of international documents on counter-terrorism, such as the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In nature, they are no different from the Desistance and Disengagement Programme (DDP) of the UK, the community corrections in the United States, or the de-radicalisation centres in France.

At the vocational education and training centres, those who have been led astray by extremist ideas or who have committed minor crimes could learn the common language, legal knowledge and vocational skills. Such education and training will strengthen their ability to break away and stay away from extremist ideas and master vocational skills, and help them to not only become law-abiding citizens but also find stable jobs, earn their own living and live a better life.

At the centres,

The Constitutional and legal principles on respecting and safeguarding human rights are strictly followed, the dignity of the trainees is fully respected, and insults and abuse of all forms are strictly prohibited.

The freedom of trainees is guaranteed. The centres are managed as boarding schools. Trainees can have home visits or ask for leave to attend to private affairs.

Meanwhile, the right of the trainees to use languages of ethnic groups is also fully guaranteed. All rules and regulations, school timetables and menus are written in both the common language and languages of ethnic groups.

The customs and habits of different ethnic groups are fully respected and protected. A variety of Halal food are provided for free.

The freedom of religious belief is also fully respected and protected. Religious believers have the freedom to attend lawful religious activities while on home leave.

Now I would like to show you a video in which the trainees of the vocational education and training centres tell the stories of their life in the centres.

Third, let me turn to four lies and slanders widely spread in Western media about Xinjiang. I think it is wrong to allow the lies and slanders to run amok, or to let arrogance and prejudice prevent people from seeing the facts and truth. So it is important to get the facts and truth out there, so that people could make up their own minds from an objective and reasonable perspective.

The first lie is that "nearly a million Uygurs in Xinjiang are detained".

This is a lie cooked up by an anti-China organization and an anti-China individual.

The organization is the so-called "Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD)" backed by the government of the United States. Armed with interviews with only eight people who are ethnic Uygurs and based on an extremely rough estimation, CHRD reached an absurd conclusion that 10% of the more than 20 million people in Xinjiang are detained at so-called "re-education camps".

The anti-China individual is called Adrian Zenz, a far-right fundamentalist funded by the government of the United States. He published an article on the journal Central Asian Survey, claiming that "Xinjiang's total re-education internment figure may be estimated at just over one million." According to The Grayzone, an independent news website, Zenz's conclusion is based on a single report by Istiqlal TV. This so-called "Uygur exile media organization" based in Turkey is far from being a media organization. Istiqlal TV is an organization that advocates separatism and extremism. And Zenz himself believes that he is "led by God" on a "mission" against China.

A few days ago when I gave an interview on BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Mr. Marr showed me a footage which he said has "been authenticated by Western intelligence agencies and by Australian experts" to prove that a large number of Uygurs are detained. Now let's see what is really happening.

The video shows transfer of a group of prisoners by the Kashgar Detention House. It has nothing to do with the so-called "detainment of a large number of Uygurs". China's criminal law does not target specific ethnic group or religion. Everyone is equal before the law. The transfer of prisoners by judicial authorities is a normal judicial practice and brooks no distortion or defamation.

The second lie is that "Xinjiang has demolished a large number of mosques".

The fact is, there are 24,400 mosques in Xinjiang, which means there is on average one mosque for every 530 Muslims. This ratio is higher than that in some Muslim countries and also higher than the number of churches per Christian in England.

The Jiami Mosque of Yecheng County and the Id Kah Mosque in Hotan prefecture, which were claimed to have been "dismantled", were in fact renovated and put to use again. Those who cooked up the lies used the photo of the old, dilapidated mosques to support their lies. But I will refute their lies with photos of the new, renovated mosques.

The third lie is that "forced sterilization is carried out in Xinjiang".

The fact is, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is one of the five ethnic autonomous regions in China. It is home to many ethnic groups, including 13 ethnic groups who have been living there for generations. It is a place where 25 million people of all ethnic groups call home and live together in harmony.

The Chinese Government protects the lawful rights and interests of people of all ethnic groups, big or small in population. Over the years, the Uygur people and other ethnic minorities have enjoyed a preferential population policy. Between 1978 and 2018, the Uygur population in Xinjiang doubled, from 5.55 million to 11.68 million.

The true identities or stories of the so-called "victims" in the on-line videos about Uygurs being "prosecuted" are not what they claim. These self-claimed "victims" are either the so-called "East Turkistan" elements engaged in anti-China and separatist activities, or "actors" trained by anti-China forces in the US and other Western countries to spread rumours about China. Their claims have no factual ground. The relatives and friends of some of these people in Xinjiang have stood up to refute these rumours and lies.

At the Andrew Marr Show I mentioned earlier, Mr. Marr showed me another video of a so-called "victim". This woman in the video, whose name is Zumrat Dawut, claimed that she went through "forced sterilization". But her sister and brother publicly refuted her lies last November. It turns out that she has never been to any vocational education and training centre, she had an operation because she was diagnosed with myoma of uterus when she had her third child, and she has never been "forced to get sterilized". Now let's watch a video interview given by her sister and brother.

The fourth lie is that "mass forced labour is taking place in Xinjiang".

In fact, this is yet another story fabricated by a hidden hand. This hidden hand is called the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), which is funded by the US government and arms dealers. This institute made up the so-called "Uyghurs for sale" report last March, which is a distorted description of people from the southern Xinjiang seeking job opportunities in central and eastern China and trying to make a living and get rid of poverty. The report refers to stories of these people as "forced labour".

After that, this absurd report was used as "evidence" by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China to make up the so-called "Global Supply Chains, Forced Labor, and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region" report to fling slanders at China.

Now I would like to show you another video to lay bare their lies.

The Chinese people often say, "One does not know how vast and beautiful China is until one visits Xinjiang." This vast and beautiful region is now witnessing sustained economic growth, social harmony and stability, improved wellbeing, and unprecedented cultural prosperity. People of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are leading a secure life, getting along with each other in harmony, and enjoying full rights to life and development. Their freedom of religious belief and normal religious activities are protected by law. Now is the best time in history for Xinjiang to achieve development.

Rumours will not write off China's progress in safeguarding human rights in Xinjiang. Attempts to disrupt Xinjiang's development and prosperity will never succeed. It is my hope that you will not believe the rumours or the deceptive words of anti-China elements and politicians.

We urge the UK Government to view the progress and achievements in Xinjiang from a comprehensive and objective perspective, stop making irresponsible remarks on Xinjiang, and stop using Xinjiang to interfere in China's internal affairs. We also hope that British media will discard their arrogance and prejudice, and report and cover Xinjiang in an objective and fair manner so as to help the British public see the real Xinjiang.

ITV: Thank you, Ambassador. Will China agree to allow a team from the United Nations Human Rights Council to visit Xinjiang and the facilities that you have just shown us to carry out an independent investigation, unfettered, without any interference of the Chinese Communist Party to see for themselves what is going on there?

Ambassador Liu: As I told you, since 2018 there have been about 1000 diplomats, journalists and representatives from various countries, and international organisations who have been to Xinjiang. We also welcome the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to visit Xinjiang. The invitation is always there.

What we are opposed to is the so-called "independent investigation" that has ulterior motives, which is trying to use Xinjiang issue to interfere into China's internal affairs. Xinjiang's door is always open. Each year there are hundreds of thousands of tourists visiting Xinjiang. People who go there with good intention, objective and not biased, will be welcomed.

Associated Press: Ambassador, thank you for taking my question. I would like to draw upon your long history in the United States to ask you whether or not you believe relations with the US are at "a point of no return", given the statements from the Trump Administration and the continuing threats that they could make against China?

Ambassador Liu: I certainly hope not. China still believes that good relations based on mutual respect, non-confrontation, cooperation and coordination are in the best interests of the two countries. We have no intention to undermine this relationship. And we'll try our best to engage the US side.

But as I said on many occasions, you need two to tango. You need two hands to make a clap.

I also believe that there is a broad-based public support for the relations. Since Nixon's visit to China in 1972, both countries have worked to build a relationship based on common interests. I think the common interests of the two countries are still there. The foundations, especially among the American people, are still there. American people still support engagement with China. When we heard US Secretary of State make this anti-Chinese Communist Party remarks, I would call it a declaration of cold war, we've seen many criticism of his statement by American people. People are concerned where this administration will take this relationship.

So I don't think we have passed the "point of no return". I think the fundamental interests that tie the two countries together should be there. And I think the people with a vision, with farsightedness, still work to maintain the fundamentals of this relationship. I hope that common sense will prevail at the end of the day.

Xinhua News Agency: On Huawei, Huawei has been saying that it is an independent and privately-held company, not affiliated with the Chinese government. So why has the Chinese government spared no effort to defend Huawei in the ongoing row? And also if the China-UK relations continue to sour, is there any possibility that the two countries will find themselves in a relationship that is characterized by "hot economically" and "cold politically"(zheng leng jing re), which once happened between China and Japan? Thank you.

Ambassador Liu: On Huawei, I've just published an article in the South China Morning Post. I'm not trying to advertise my article, but I really hope you could take some time to read this article.

As a matter of fact, I have tried my very best to contribute my article to major British newspapers, because it's really relevant. I think British public needs to hear the other side of the story right after the UK government's decision to ban Huawei. Unfortunately, no major newspaper would like to carry my article.

I've been here for 10 years. Now I really have a taste of what the "freedom of press" is about in the UK. One of your colleagues earlier told me that they only want to carry articles which they believe will sell better. So they do not carry my article on Hong Kong. They do not carry my article on Huawei. So I really have to let my article to fly thousands of miles to Hong Kong, to the South China Morning Post. They told me they still have some readers in the UK. So I decided, okay, that's good. I encourage you to read my article in which I said, to refuse Huawei is to refuse opportunities, refuse growth and refuse the future. I do not need to elaborate on my main points.

I just want to answer your question about China-UK relationship. As I said in my opening remarks, this issue of Huawei is not about one Chinese company. It's about how the UK treats and deals with China. It is about the big picture. Do you treat China as an opportunity or do you treat China as a threat? Do you treat China as a partner, or you treat China as a rival? That is a fundamental issue. You have to make a choice.

Secondly, governments have to provide protection for the legitimate rights and interests of the business people. It's true not only for the Chinese government, but also true for the UK government. I've been here for 10 years. I remember vividly how British leaders and politicians worked very hard for your businesses. I still remember even your Prime Minister tried to promote the sale of Diageo while our Premier was here, in a hope that there should be a signing ceremony for the Diageo project in China. I still remember that your Chancellor of Exchequer pushed very hard for the Chinese side to buy the engines of Rolls-Royce. They told us Rolls-Royce produces much better engines than any other countries, including GE from the United States. I still remembered that your Business Secretary even went to China to promote the sale of British steel, asked Chinese companies to buy British Steel. And they ended up with a buyer called JINGYE who agreed to invest for the next 10 years 1.2 billion pounds.

I think there's no question about the government working for the business interests of the country. So I think you can't regard China's efforts to raise the Huawei issue as an example of what some "cold war warriors" claim -- that this shows that Huawei is close to the Chinese government. We treat Chinese businesses as equals. We hope Huawei is succeeding in this country. It's a win-win. So that's why I said on the day of the decision made by the British government that the day was a dark day for Huawei, a dark day for China-UK relations, and an even darker day for the United Kingdom because it will miss the opportunity to be a leading country in 5G infrastructure.

You also mentioned the relationship being "cold politically and warm economically". I think the two are related. You need to have a good atmosphere to engage each other. When I said it was a dark day for China-UK relations, it's because the decision really undermines the trust between the two countries and the credibility of the UK government. So that's why there are quite some concerns from Chinese businesses. I had a webinar with Chinese businesses right after the UK's ban on Huawei. They all expressed their concerns because there's a security risk, there's an investment risk. So I think you can't separate the two. We have no intention to politicize economic affairs. But you have to realize that trust and credibility are important for countries to engage each other.

Thank you for your questions.

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