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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on August 28, 2020

Associated Press: First, according to Japanese media, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will soon announce his resignation due to health reasons. What is China's comment? The second question is about Xinjiang's epidemic prevention and control. Some Xinjiang residents reported that they were quarantined for longer than usual. Why has the Xinjiang government taken such strict measures?

Zhao Lijian: On your first question, we have noted relevant reports. This is an internal matter of Japan and we have no comment on it. China and Japan are close neighbors. China is ready to work with Japan to continue to improve and develop bilateral relations.

On your second question, this is not a diplomatic issue. With regard to the specific prevention and control measures taken in Xinjiang, relevant authorities already released information, which have also been covered by the media. You may ask them if you are interested.

But I can tell you that back in July, after clusters of cases were reported in Xinjiang, China's relevant departments and the government of the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, in line with the principle of putting people and life first, have taken effective prevention and control measures in time. Patients of all ethnic groups have received all medical treatment as needed, and concrete efforts have been made to ensure the safety and health of people of all ethnic groups. Their needs have been best attended to and they returned with their understanding, support and cooperation. At present, the epidemic situation in Xinjiang has greatly improved and the positive momentum is further strengthening.

Macau Monthly: The US Defense Department said on August 27 that the Chinese military firing ballistic missiles to the South China Sea threatens regional peace and security. What is your comment?

Zhao Lijian: Relevant training activities near the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea are routine arrangements conducted by the Chinese military off China's coast. They are not targeted at any country and have nothing to do with the South China Sea disputes. There is no basis or reason for the relevant party to make that accusation.

I would like to point out that for quite some time, the US has frequently dispatched in large numbers advanced warships, fighter jets and reconnaissance aircraft all the way to the South China Sea to project its power and engage in military provocations, undermining China's sovereignty and security interests as well as the normal order of navigation in the South China Sea. The US has become the saboteur and troublemaker of peace and stability in the South China Sea. The international community bears witness to these all. The US side should stop stirring up trouble and causing discord in the South China Sea and play a constructive role in safeguarding regional peace and stability.

Reuters: China has suspended beef import from an Australian beef producer called John Dee Warwick. What's the foreign ministry's comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: The relevant department has issued a notice on the specific case. You can check on that.

Bloomberg: President Trump just delivered a speech at the Republican convention. He said among other things that China would own America if Joe Biden got elected, but if he himself was re-elected, America would no longer rely on China, and American businesses would leave China. Does the ministry have any comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: We have no comment on the US presidential election, which is an internal affair. At the same time, we urge the US not to make an issue out of China in its election.

Regarding what he said about China, I'd like to reiterate China's consistent and clear policy towards the US. We believe both stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. We are committed to develop a bilateral relationship featuring no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. At the same time, we are firmly determined to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests. We urge the US to look at China and bilateral relations in an objective and rational light, work with us towards the same goal, manage differences, promote cooperation and bring China-US relations back onto the right track of coordination, cooperation and stability.

As to the so-called relocation of production capacity you mentioned, it is political manipulation that puts partisan and personal interests above US national interests. It's neither viable nor realistic. In the globalized era, the perverse practice of going against the voluntary will of the vast business community, forcibly scrapping existing cooperation between countries, and coercing companies with regard to their normal investment and operation runs counter to the law of market economy and will eventually lead to self-harm. Such unpopular moves have been and will continue to be rejected and resisted by visionary people in China and the US.

Shenzhen TV: The RCEP Ministerial Meeting was held via videolink on August 27. Can you give us details about the meeting?

Zhao Lijian: The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial Meeting was held via videolink on August 27. A Joint Media Statement was issued after the meeting. It underscores the significant role that the RCEP Agreement could play in post-pandemic recovery efforts as well as in contributing to the growth and stability of the regional and global economy. It notes that the signing of the RCEP Agreement would enhance business confidence, contribute to trade and investment in the Asia-Pacific, strengthen the regional economic architecture and maintain the stability of the regional and global industrial and supply chains, as well as demonstrate the region's support for an open, inclusive, and rules-based multilateral trading system. The Ministers were pleased with the significant progress made towards finalizing the RCEP Agreement for signing this year as planned.

China will continue supporting ASEAN centrality, working with all parties for the signing of the RCEP Agreement within this year, and playing an important role in maintaining stable regional and global economic development.

AFP: The American Institute in Taiwan today released a photo of a Taiwanese fighter jet refueling midair from an American Air Force tanker. I wonder if you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: I haven't read reports on that. Our position is consistent and clear: we firmly oppose military ties and cooperation between the US and the Taiwan region. We urge the US to fully recognize the highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question, strictly observe the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, properly handle Taiwan-related matters and stop sending erroneous signals to "Taiwan independence" separatists.

TASS News Agency: On August 26, Kazakhstan's First President Nazarbayev suggested that Russia, China, the United States and the European Union participate in a quadrilateral summit where one of the main topics on the agenda should be the development of a multilateral agreement on a phased reduction in nuclear weapons. I wonder if China has any comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: We appreciate the efforts by Kazakhstan and its First President Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev towards the goal of a world free of nuclear weapons. China stands consistently for the comprehensive prohibition and complete elimination of nuclear weapons. We hold that nuclear disarmament should follow the principle of maintaining global strategic stability and undiminished security for all and proceed in a pragmatic manner. Countries with the largest nuclear arsenal shoulder special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament. Currently the international nuclear arms control system is faced with grave challenges. The US should act in a responsible attitude and respond to Russia's positive call for New START extension, and on that basis, further drastically reduce its nuclear stockpile to create conditions for other countries' participation in nuclear disarmament talks.

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