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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference on February 18, 2021

2021-02-18

At the invitation of the governments of Qatar, Uganda, Zambia and Kuwait, Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee will pay official visits to the four countries from February 19 to 23.

During his visits, Director Yang will have in-depth exchanges of views with the four countries on issues such as bilateral relations, regional situation, international landscape and global governance. We hope the visits will serve to implement the important consensus President Xi Jinping reached with the four countries' leaders, consolidate friendship, promote coordination of development strategies, and deepen cooperation in various areas including the BRI. We stand ready to work with these countries to make greater efforts towards and contribution to upholding multilateralism and regional and international security and stability and to building a community with a shared future for mankind.

CCTV: We noticed State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended a virtual UN Security Council Ministerial Open Briefing on COVID-19 Vaccine Issue yesterday, where Secretary-General Guterres said "vaccine equity is the biggest moral test before the global community." He also proposed that the G20 establish an emergency task force to prepare a global vaccination plan. Do you have any comment? Also, China has been providing vaccines to other countries even during the Spring Festival holiday. I wonder if you have any comment on that, too?

Hua Chunying: China applauds Secretary-General Guterres' proposal of a global vaccination plan, and supports the Secretary-General's efforts to realize vaccine equity and accessibility. Under the current circumstances, China holds an open attitude to any proposal conducive to the realization of fair vaccine distribution, and we are ready to keep in contact and coordination with all sides.

As State Councilor Wang Yi noted at the UN Security Council Ministerial Open Briefing on COVID-19 Vaccine Issue yesterday, there is no principle more important than putting people first, and no other consideration that is given higher priority to than putting people's lives first. As a country that always honors its commitments, China has been acting on President Xi's important pledge to make vaccines a global public good that contributes to vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.

China was among the first to join the WHO-sponsored Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator initiative. We actively cooperate with 10-plus countries on vaccine R&D involving over 100,000 volunteers of more than 100 nationalities. China has joined and supported COVAX. At the request of the WHO, China has decided to provide 10 million doses of Chinese-made vaccines to meet the urgent demand of developing countries. China has given vaccine assistance to 53 developing countries. We support companies in exporting vaccines to countries that are in urgent need, have certified Chinese vaccines, and authorized their emergency use. We have exported and are exporting vaccine doses to 22 countries. In the meantime, by leveraging the strength of our industrial chains, China supports and assists others in manufacturing vaccine products in China or their own countries in a bid to boost global production capacity. China also decides to participate in the UN's Group of Friends initiative to donate COVID-19 vaccines to UN peacekeepers.

As you said and as many noticed, during the Spring Festival holiday, our provision and aid of vaccines to others continued as always. Chinese COVID-19 doses were delivered to Zimbabwe, Turkey, Peru, Morocco, Senegal, Hungary and the UAE, altogether seven countries. Leaders of Hungary and other countries welcomed the vaccines at the airport and expressed gratitude for China's provision and assistance.

With the efforts of governments, businesses and scientists of various countries, the R&D and production of COVID-19 vaccines are at a record-breaking pace, but there's still deficit in production capacity and distribution that needs to be addressed quickly. We believe the world should come together to reject vaccine nationalism, promote fair and equitable distribution of vaccines, and in particular, make them accessible and affordable for developing countries, including those caught in conflicts.

In carrying out international cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines, China seeks to make the vaccines truly a global public good. We will continue cooperating with all sides in such areas as vaccines and epidemic prevention and control, and making our contributions to fostering a global community of health for all and to the final victory of the global fight against COVID-19.

Beijing Youth Daily: The Arab public view China more favorably, according to a recent survey conducted by the Arab Barometer research network. The survey polled citizens in Algeria and other five countries in the Middle East. China's foreign policy also enjoys more popularity, as shown by opinion polls. Why do you think is China so popular in the Arab world?

Hua Chunying: I'm delighted to see the survey, which, I believe, reflects the considerable public support for China-Arab friendship.

Though geographically distant, China and the Arab countries are close at heart. The ancient Silk Road bore witness to our booming trade. We've fought by each other's side for national independence and liberation. We helped and supported each other in our respective national development causes. China-Arab cooperation stands as a shining example for mutual understanding and common development between developing countries. China has provided a lot of anti-epidemic supplies to the Arab states to help them deal with the sudden onslaught of COVID-19, sent medical teams to eight Arab countries and held more than 40 video conferences of experts. Since last year, vaccine cooperation between China and Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco have been making smooth progress. Standing together with mutual support, China and the Arab world conducted exemplary cooperation in supply assistance, information-sharing and vaccines R&D, which stands as vivid manifestations of our commitment to standing by each other through good times and bad.

To answer your question about why China's foreign policy enjoys more popularity in the Arab states, I believe it is because the Chinese side adheres to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, mutual respect and win-win cooperation for mutual benefit. We firmly believe that all countries are equal, regardless of their sizes or strengths, and we support the efforts made by the Arab states in upholding their national sovereignty and national dignity. We trust each other totally because we've been treating each other with nothing but sincerity and we've been sharing weal and woe along the way. Such invaluable trust does not come with a price tag. In the future, China and our Arab brothers will continue to support each other's national development and rejuvenation efforts, advance cooperation in epidemic control and other fields, and contributing more positive energy to safeguarding multilateralism and international fairness and justice while benefiting the Chinese and Arab people.

Bloomberg: Critics say that China has been fueling a global arms race in military drones. They say that China has less constraints in terms of which customer they can sell the drones to, and how those customers may deploy those drones, this is in comparison with the United States. I'd like to ask what the foreign ministry's comment is on the view that China is fueling global arms race in military drones?

Hua Chunying: Such allegation is totally baseless and unjustifiable. China always pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. We have no intention of engaging in any form of arms race with any other country. In terms of military articles export, the Chinese government adopts a responsible and prudent attitude and strictly follows the three principles for arms export: it should be conducive to the legitimate self-defense capability of the recipient country; it should not undermine peace, security and stability of the region concerned and the world as a whole; and it should not be used to interfere in the internal affairs of the recipient country. In particular, China does not sell weapons to non-state entities or individuals, which marks a substantive difference from the practices of the Untied States and a few others.

Global Times: According to reports, the IAEA said on February 16 that Iran informed it on February 15 that the country will stop implementing voluntary transparency measures under the JCPOA as of 23 February, including the Additional Protocol. It also listed seven other "transparency measures" that Iran plans to stop implementing. AP also reported that IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi will visit Tehran on Saturday for discussions "to find a mutually agreeable solution for the IAEA to continue essential verification activities in the country." Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: Currently the Iranian nuclear issue is at a critical stage with both opportunities and challenges. China holds that the return of the United States to the JCPOA is the only correct approach to resolve the impasse on this issue. All parties should act with greater urgency, work together to implement consensus reached at the foreign ministers' meeting last December, and push for the unconditional return of the United States to the JCPOA as soon as possible and the lifting of all sanctions on Iran. On its part, Iran should resume full compliance with the JCPOA. In the meantime, we call on all sides to remain calm and exercise restraint, avoid taking actions that will escalate the situation and reserve space for diplomatic efforts.

China supports the IAEA and Iran in properly handling issues related to safeguards through dialogue and consultation. We hope all parties will play a constructive role in this regard.

Shenzhen TV: According to a Eurostat report released on February 15, China surpassed the United States and became the EU's biggest trading partner, registering total trade of €586 billion. What's China's comment on this?

Hua Chunying: It's great news for both sides.

The year 2020 saw China-EU economic and trade ties growing stronger against the COVID-19 pandemic which was wreaking havoc all over the world and driving the world economy into deep recession. China has become the EU's biggest trading partner. Over 60 percent of EU companies in China are ready to increase investment, according to the latest survey by the EU Chamber of Commerce in China, demonstrating great resilience, vitality and prospects of China-EU trade and economic cooperation.

At the end of last year, President Xi Jinping and European leaders jointly announced the conclusion of negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement, elevating China-EU relations and practical cooperation to a new level. For mutual investment, the agreement means wider market access, better business environment, stronger institutional guarantee and brighter prospect of cooperation.

As China is working to foster a new development paradigm, we will offer more market opportunities and broader cooperation space for Europe and the world. We are ready to continue joining hands with the EU to work for the early ratification and implementation of the investment agreement, deliver early benefits to Chinese and EU companies, jointly foster an open environment for trade and investment, and contribute both sides' strengths to upholding multilateralism and economic recovery.

De Telegraaf: In Myanmar, the anti-China sentiment is growing because of rumors that Beijing supports the military in a political change. People have been protesting in front of the Chinese embassy in Yangon, demanding that Beijing stop supporting Myanmar's military and have called for boycotting Chinese goods. Do you have any comment? Is China concerned about the safety of Chinese people living in Myanmar?

Hua Chunying: You question actually contains the answer, which is, these are rumors. Chinese Ambassador to Myanmar Chen Hai already rebuked such rumors in an interview and elaborated on China's principled position. Today I would like to take this opportunity to once again state solemnly that the rumors circulating online are completely false and their aim is to sabotage friendly ties between China and Myanmar.

As to the situation in Myanmar, we've repeatedly stated our position. China is Myanmar's good neighbor having friendly ties with both the National League for Democracy (NLD) and the military. The current situation is not something we wish to see. We hope that parties in Myanmar will put the aspiration and interests of the people first, properly handle differences through dialogue within the constitutional and legal framework and safeguard political and social stability.

Chinese businesses and citizens in Myanmar have contributed to the country's development and China-Myanmar cooperation and friendship. We hope relevant sides in Myanmar will take effective measures to guarantee their safety.

Asahi Shimbun: Yoshiro Mori resigned as the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee following sexist comments, and Seiko Hashimoto was named as the new president. Do you have any comment on that?

Hua Chunying: I think the personnel change concerning the president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee is Japan's internal affair, and I won't comment on that. We hope and believe that with Japan's efforts, we will see a successful, safe, and smooth Tokyo Olympic Games. We also stand ready to have close cooperation with Japan to make this happen.

China Daily: According to reports, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab speaking about the WHO mission to China said that "We do share concerns that they get full cooperation and they get the answers they need," adding that he hopes to see full cooperation from China. U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said "It is imperative that this report be independent," and called on China to "make available its data from the earliest days of the outbreak". Would you like to respond to this?

Hua Chunying: I'm sure you've noted the response from WHO experts and researchers involved. They said clearly that the report claiming "Chinese scientists refused to share raw data that might bring the world closer to understanding the origins of the coronavirus pandemic" was not their experience in China. They expressed disappointment in seeing their colleagues "selectively misquoted" by the Western media outlet and cried shame on it.

Certain Western politicians keep talking about an "independent" report, but I think we all agree being independent doesn't mean bowing to the Western approach towards China based on presumption of guilt. An independent report with science-based conclusions can only come from a fact-based mission with respect for science. You mentioned a call for China to have full cooperation with WHO experts. That is exactly what China has been doing. The WHO mission to China is part of the global origin-tracing scientific cooperation. Upholding the meticulous spirit of science and sticking strictly to facts, the WHO experts and their Chinese colleagues overcame difficulties brought by the pandemic and had their first face-to-face exchange in a candid, in-depth and friendly manner. Members of the WHO mission spoke highly of the high degree of collaboration from the Chinese side, saying that they were granted full access to every place they asked to see, everyone they wanted to meet, and felt their Chinese colleagues' candor and trustworthiness, obtained important new data and learned more about possible transmission routes of the virus. Here we see the science-based professional attitude. In contrast, the remarks by certain politicians you mentioned are just fresh examples of political interference in science.

As we've pointed out repeatedly, there have been more reports worldwide on the coronavirus appearing in various places around the world in the latter half of 2019. I want to cite research by French scientists, published recently in the European Journal of Epidemiology, which suggests that SARS-CoV-2 infection may have occurred as early as November 2019 in France. The findings are based on retrospective studies. A research-lead professor said that "these results suggest that, from November to December, the rate of contamination in the French population is already of the order of one case per thousand." These cases did not appear in clusters in any particular regions but sporadically spread over France. Another expert also raised the question whether SARS-CoV-2 was already present in France in September 2019.

Another well-known fact is that back in June and July 2019, American media started to write reports on the Fort Detrick Biological Base. In July 2019, there were reports on the unexplained outbreaks of respiratory disease in northern Virginia and on the subsequent EVALI outbreaks in Wisconsin. Also in July, the US CDC issued a "cease and desist order" to halt most research at Fort Detrick. By the end of July 2019, two retirement communities near the base experienced unexplained pneumonia outbreaks. The US CDC refused to release critical information regarding the base's closure for "national security reasons". In September 2019, vaping-related lung illness cases doubled in Maryland where Fort Detrick is based.

In March 2020, the US CDC director acknowledged openly that some flu patients in the autumn of 2019 may have been misdiagnosed and actually had coronavirus. There are also reports showing that blood samples from December 2019 tested positive for antibodies against the virus.

These are reported by American media. People are curious whether the US will make public relevant raw data, offer the WHO its unreserved and full cooperation, and invite WHO experts on an independent origin-tracing mission in the country?

As experts point out, the global origin-tracing work would not be bound to any location and may evolve geographically as evidence is generated and science-based hypotheses evolve. In an open and transparent manner, China has conducted a very thorough, professional, science-based study with the WHO experts. We hope that when science leads origin-tracing work to other locations, relevant countries will also be cooperative in an active and science-based manner, take part in the global origin-tracing work, conduct exchanges and share study results, and fulfill their due responsibilities and duties in the global efforts against the pandemic and in the building of a community of health for mankind.

CCTV: Soon after Ofcom announced that it would revoke CGTN's license to broadcast in the UK, China's National Radio and Television Administration banned BBC World News from broadcasting in China, and BBC's request to broadcast for another year will not be accepted. Media say this is China's countermeasure against the British side. UK Foreign Secretary Raab called this "an unacceptable curtailing of media freedom." What's your comment on this?

Hua Chunying: The National Radio and Television Administration has announced its decision. It has found that the contents of BBC World News' China-related reports are in serious violation of the Regulations on Broadcasting and Television and the Measures for the Administration of Landing of Foreign Satellite Television Channels, and inconsistent with authenticity and justice that journalism should promote. They undermine China's national interests and solidarity among ethnic groups. As such, BBC World News doesn't meet the criteria for a foreign television channel to broadcast in China. The National Radio and Television Administration banned BBC World News from broadcasting in China, and BBC's request to broadcast for another year will not be accepted.

I'd like to stress the following three points.

First, as you see, BBC has repeatedly produced and broadcast fake news with strong ideological bias against China, and spread disinformation on Xinjiang, Hong Kong and the COVID-19 pandemic to smear and attack China.

Since 2019, on Hong Kong-related matters, BBC has been neglecting the rioters' violent behaviors and accusing Hong Kong police of brutality that allegedly brought more violent protests. On Xinjiang, based only on several non-photorealistic satellite images and reports written by anti-China personnel, BBC journalists stationed in Beijing made "lies of the century" to slander Xinjiang. On the pandemic, BBC even used a counter-terrorism drill video as "proof" of China's violence in epidemic prevention.

Second, the UK's decision to revoke the license of CGTN to broadcast in the country is political oppression.

As China repeatedly stressed, as an international, professional media agency, CGTN has strictly observed British laws, regulations, professional ethics, and the principles of objectivity, impartiality, authenticity and accuracy when broadcasting in Britain. With its internationally recognized professionalism, CGTN has had good cooperation with the UK over the past 18 years of broadcasting. Its operation conforms to the law of communication and has played a positive role in enhancing mutual understanding and cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the Chinese and British people. Nevertheless, in February 2020, Ofcom suddenly cited CGTN's "editorial control" and "political nature" and started investigation of revoking its English-language satellite news channel in the UK. Although the allegations are groundless, CGTN still cooperated fully with Ofcom to meet all its demands and sought to resolve the problem in a constructive manner, demonstrating great sincerity.

However, to our indignation, Ofcom has time and again negated the Chinese side's proposals and blatantly revoked CGTN's license on February 4 this year. As facts have proven, this was never about any technical problems. It has all along been political oppression out of strong ideological bias.

Third, it is very hypocritical for the UK to preach press freedom on the one hand while making a fuss of a media agency's political nature on the other.

It must be pointed out that when you give your opinion on a media agency, the most important thing you need to consider is whether its reports are consistent with professional ethics, objectivity and impartiality. China is a country under the CPC leadership. It was so when China and the UK established diplomatic relations, and it was so when CGTN began broadcasting in Britain. The British people didn't cut their ties with the Chinese people because of the CPC leadership, the British companies didn't stop doing business with Chinese ones because of the CPC leadership, and the British government didn't give up cooperating with China on major regional and international issues because of the CPC leadership. What makes it a problem now in the media sector?

The UK claims to champion press freedom on the one hand while launching political oppression against CGTN and obstructing its broadcasting on the other. The UK indulges British media in making fake news on the one hand while making a fuss of CGTN's nature on the other. The UK on the one hand boasts about objectivity and impartiality, while on the other makes political maneuvers and its media take stances and choose angles in reporting all based on ideology, sometimes even fabricating fake news. It is blatant double standard out of typical political motives.

China has been open to, welcoming and providing convenience for foreign journalists covering news in China, including those with British media agencies. What we oppose is ideological bias against China, fake news in the name of press freedom, and behaviors that breach professional ethics. As we made clear when Ofcom revoked CGTN's license, we reserve the right to make necessary reactions to safeguard Chinese media's legitimate rights and interests.

Lastly I'd like to stress that it is entirely reasonable and legal for China to make legitimate responses after the UK flagrantly oppressed CGTN. We urge the UK to immediately stop making political maneuvers and correct its mistakes. China reserves the right to make further legitimate and necessary reactions.

The Paper: Canada launched the Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention in State-to-State Relations on February 15 and claimed to have the endorsement of many countries as well as the EU. Head of the Human Rights Watch accused China of arbitrarily detaining Canadian citizens Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor at the launch. I wonder if you have a comment?

Hua Chunying: The Canadian side issued the so-called Declaration Against Arbitrary Detention with some other countries, and deliberately staged the accusation of "arbitrary detention" in China concerning the cases of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor. Like a thief posing as judge, it is distorting facts driven typically by a guilty conscience. We deplore and reject this and has lodged stern representations with the Canadian side.

It must be pointed out that Ms. Meng Wanzhou has been arbitrarily detained for over two years despite the fact that she hasn't violated any Canadian law. This is a most accurate illustration of arbitrary arrest or detention of foreign nationals. The Declaration looks rather like Canada's confession in the Meng Wanzhou case. On the one hand, the Canadian side claims that it upholds the rule of law, but on the other hand, it acts as an accomplice of the US in detaining a Chinese citizen. How hypocritical and despicable! If it truly opposes arbitrary detention, then it's time to match words with actions, release Ms. Meng without further delay and ensure her safe return to China.

Canada claims to have the backing of some countries, but that is purely a victory in fantasy. To our knowledge, some countries had been coaxed by Canada and later retracted their endorsement. Some unwary "founding endorsers" didn't even know they were put on the list!

As to the cases of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, China has made clear its position on many occasions. They have been prosecuted for suspected crimes undermining China's national security. China's judicial organs handle the cases independently in accordance with law and fully guarantee their lawful rights. In fact, China stands firmly opposed to arbitrary detention through concrete deeds. It has signed over 500 multilateral treaties and has been actively fulfilling its obligations under the 26 international human rights conventions it has joined. The Canadian side tries to draw parallels between the Meng Wanzhou case and the cases of the two Canadian nationals in an attempt to confuse right and wrong with ulterior motives. It is seeking to resort to megaphone diplomacy and gang up on China. This hasn't worked in the past, and will never work in the future. The rock it's lifting will end up hitting its own foot.

China Review News: The Associated Press reported that an investigation it had conducted in collaboration with the Atlantic Council found "China launched what may be its first global digital disinformation campaign" "to seed and spread stories suggesting the U.S. created COVID-19 as a bioweapon". It also claims that "The number of Chinese diplomatic accounts on Twitter has more than tripled since mid-2019, while on Facebook they've more than doubled". I wonder if you have any comment on this?

Hua Chunying: The word "may" sticks out in your question. I've no idea how the investigation was conducted. But what is disinformation and who is really spreading it? As we have seen, since COVID-19 broke out, social media in the West including the United States has been awash with conspiracy theories about the virus. Some U.S. officials, members of Congress, media and institutions have been seeding and spreading a large amount of disinformation against China without producing any evidence. In total disregard of basic facts, they blatantly malign and smear China, or proceed with biased presumption of guilt. I'll give you a simple example. They have been spreading such rumors and lies as "the virus was leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology" even after such claims have been openly dismissed by almost all leading scientists and disease control experts in the world. We can all see this clearly.

Turning to the number of Twitter users, I wonder if they have also looked into the number of foreign media and diplomats using WeChat or Weibo? Why cannot Chinese people use Twitter or Facebook when foreigners can use Chinese social media platforms? We are just adding an extra channel to share information and communicate with people in other countries.

The fundamental reason for this sort of hype-up is that some in the West including the US don't want to hear the objective true voice from China on the issue of origin-tracing. They fear that once more people get to know the facts and truth, they can no longer spread disinformation or monopolize information and mislead the public at will.

AFP: The US announced it would be renewing its quad alliance with Australia, India and Japan. Do you have any comment on this? Secondly, the head of Taiwan's health department Chen Shih-chung said in a radio interview that a deal to acquire five million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine failed at the last minute due to what he believed was political pressure. Do you have any comment?

Hua Chunying: On your first question, peace and development is the mainstream of our era. It is our hope that cooperation between relevant countries will be open, inclusive and win-win, benefit the world and regional peace and stability and act as a force for good, instead of being used to target any specific country. Only this will receive support.

On your second question, the central government of China always attaches great importance to the health and well-being of our compatriots in the Taiwan region. We are always ready to provide necessary assistance to their fight against the virus. The DPP authorities should stop using the pandemic as an excuse to serve their political manipulation and hyping purposes, and do something real to promote the health and well-being of the people in the Taiwan region.

RIA Novosti: Earlier this week, Russia's special presidential representative for Afghanistan Zamir Kabulov said in an interview that the new international meeting to promote the Afghan crisis settlement could be held by the end of the month in the Russian capital. He also said that he hopes that China will take part in this meeting, because this issue will be very difficult to resolve without China's participation. I'd like to know if China will participate in this meeting. If so, who will represent China?

Hua Chunying: Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation process has reached a crucial juncture. If Afghanistan wants to embrace peace and stability at an early date, support and assistance from the international community is indispensable. China attaches great importance to the role of multilateral mechanisms on the Afghan issue, and constantly maintains contact with relevant sides on meetings and consultations.

Follow-up: Do you mean that China will take part in the meeting, but it just hasn't decided who will represent China at the meeting?

Hua Chunying: China attaches great importance to the role of multilateral mechanisms on the Afghan issue. We are in constant communication with relevant sides on meetings and consultations. As for who will represent China, at what level or in which format, I do not have exact information at this moment. I will keep you updated once I get specific information.

TASS: Yesterday NATO's Secretary-General said that NATO's strategic concept requires update. According to him, it does not take into account the rise of China and the deterioration of relations with Russia. The videoconference of the NATO defense ministers is conducted this week. One of the main issues on the agenda is development of a new strategic concept of the alliance where Russia and China will be proclaimed NATO's major adversaries. Do you have any comments on this?

Hua Chunying: The remarks reveal a Cold-War mentality. China is committed to peaceful development and win-win cooperation, a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept, and a defense strategy that is defensive in nature. China upholds world peace and international order and have contributed its share to world peace and development. Our development also brings opportunities for the world. We will continue to move forward on the correct path of peace and cooperation. We hope NATO will look at China's development in an objective, positive and open light and do more things conducive to maintaining regional and international security and stability. Cold-War mentality has no future.

PTI: It's over a week since China has announced the disengagement process at the Pangong Lake area along its border with India. How do you see the disengagement process going on? Can you give an update on this?

Hua Chunying: Based on the consensus reached by the Chinese and Indian sides in rounds of consultations through diplomatic and military channels, frontline troops of both sides in the Pangong Lake area started on February 10 to organize disengagement in a synchronized and planned manner. To my knowledge, things are progressing smoothly in general. We hope both sides will continue to move towards each other, strictly comply with the consensus reached and agreements signed, and ensure the smooth completion of the disengagement process.

Follow-up: When is it going to be completed, this particular disengagement process? Perhaps you can update us a little later if you don't have it.

Hua Chunying: As I just said, to my knowledge, things are progressing smoothly in general. We hope both sides will continue to move towards each other and ensure the smooth completion of the disengagement process. As for further details, I don't have any at the moment and refer you to the military.

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