Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei's Regular Press Conference on December 11, 2014

I have an announcement at the top. Tomorrow, a press briefing will be held in the Blue Room on Premier Li Keqiang's official visit to Kazakhstan, Serbia, his attendance at the 2nd China-Kazakhstan Regular Prime Ministers' Meeting, the 13th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Member States, the 3rd Meeting of Heads of Government of Central and Eastern European Countries and China and the 5th Summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program. Welcome to the briefing.

Q: US Secretary of State John Kerry and US Ambassador to China Max Baucus expressed their concerns about China's human rights conditions on the International Human Rights Day. What is China's comment on that?

A: The people of a country is best positioned to speak about a country's human rights conditions. The US has no right to pose as referee and willfully hurl irresponsible remarks at other countries' human rights records. It is a well-known fact that there are racial discrimination, torture of prisoners and other issues that gravely violate human rights inside the US.

Since the founding of the new China, especially since the policy of reform and opening-up was announced more than 30 years ago, China has achieved enormous progress in its human rights cause, a basic fact that will be acknowledged by anyone without political bias. By turning a blind eye to the fact and intentionally smearing China's image, the US only further exposes its hypocrisy and double standards on human rights issue. Our piece of advice for the US side is to earnestly reflect upon and address its own human rights issue, and stop making groundless accusation against China.

Q: The Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK House of Commons issued a statement on December 10, saying that the British government should react more strongly to the Chinese government's refusal to allow an inquiry group of the committee to enter Hong Kong. What is China's comment on that?

A: Hong Kong affairs fall completely within China's domestic affairs. China firmly opposes interference in any way by any foreign country, institution, and individual. I would like to reiterate that the central government of China and the government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region have every right to deal with relevant issues in accordance with law. We hope some British parliamentarian can stop such meaningless hype.

Q: Will China provide support to the Iraqi government to fight the Islamic State (IS), especially support in air strikes?

A: China supports the efforts made by the Iraqi government in restoring national stability and combating terrorism, and has been supporting and assisting the Iraqi side, including the Kurdish region, in its own way. Going forward, we will continue to help to the best of our capabilities.

Q: What is China's expectations for the Meeting of Heads of Government of Central and Eastern European Countries and China? How does China see its role in the region in the coming years?

A: Recent years have seen the cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries getting deeper. Premier Li Keqiang will soon embark on his trip to Serbia to attend the 3rd Meeting of Heads of Government of Central and Eastern European Countries and China. It will further enhance mutual trust, cooperation, and exchanges between China and Central and Eastern European Countries. Tomorrow, at the press briefing on Premier Li Keqiang's visit to be held here, you can get more specifics.

Q: The US Congress recently passed a bill authorizing the sale of 4 decommissioned frigates to Taiwan which will come into effect once the US president signs on it. What is China's response to that?

A: We have already expressed our grave concerns over this issue.

The US military sales to Taiwan goes against the explicit commitments the US made in the three China-US joint communiques, the August 17 communique in particular. It constitutes an interference in China's domestic affairs. China is firmly opposed to that and has lodged solemn representations with the US side.

We urge the US Congress to stop pushing forward relevant bill, and the US executive branch to take effective measures to prevent it from being legislated so as to avoid damages to the China-US relations.

Q: Fidel Castro has been awarded "Confucius Peace Prize". What is China's comment on that? Is the Chinese government related to the awarding of this prize?

A: A civil organization in China set up this prize and organized relevant activities.

Q: The Occupy Central Movement in Hong Kong has been going on for two and a half months. Hong Kong police have begun to clear the protest site. What is China's view on the movement?

A: We have repeatedly elaborated on our position regarding relevant issue recently. The Occupy Central Movement in Hong Kong is an utterly illegal activity. The government of Hong Kong Special Administrative region has the right to deal with it in accordance with law, and restore Hong Kong's social stability and order.