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Transcript of Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang's Regular Press Conference on the Erroneous Comments on Hong Kong by General Manager of the Houston Rockets
2019/10/09

Oct 8, 2019, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang held regular press conference, answered questions relating to the erroneous comments on Hong Kong by general manager of the Houston Rockets. Transcript is as blow:

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Q1:Not long ago, the general manager of the Houston Rockets made wrong remarks on Hong Kong, and just now, CCTV announced its decision to hold off on broadcasting NBA games. Some in the US, on the other hand, oppose the NBA's apology. Is China using its influence in business to threaten profits and threaten the bottom line in order to manipulate free speech?

A1: As you see from the media, the Chinese Consulate-General in Houston has lodged solemn representations to the Houston Rockets for the erroneous remarks made by the relevant person. The Chinese Basketball Association and the Chinese cooperation partners to the Houston Rockets made statements on this matter. I believe China's position on it couldn't be clearer. I also suggest you pay attention to the reaction of the ordinary Chinese people.

Conducting exchange and cooperation with China while having no knowledge whatsoever of its people's opinion? This will not work.

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Q2: First question, a follow-up on the question of the NBA. In the last few days, we've had the general manager of the Houston Rockets apologized to China and Chinese fans, we've had other Houston Rockets executives apologized to China and Chinese fans, we've had NBA offering explanations, and today we see CCTV's temporarily suspending broadcast of the NBA. I'd like to ask, as far as China's concerned, what kind of future does the NBA have in China and, if it wants to go back to normal as it were, what needs to happen? ……

A2: On your first question, I already responded just now. There is one thing I would like to emphasize. For those engaging in exchange and cooperation with China, how can you make it work without understanding the public opinion in China? The NBA has been working with China for a long while. It knows very well what it should say and do next.……

Q3: A follow-up on the NBA question. Could you clarify who do you see as responsible? Is it an individual person's opinion, or the team's responsibility or NBA? And what do you see as the proper punishment from China's perspective?

A3: As I just said, the NBA has been working with China for a long while. It should know the Chinese market very well. The precondition to engaging in exchange and cooperation with China is to understand the public opinion in China. Otherwise it would be impossible to achieve certain things.

As to what the NBA should say and do next, I believe it knows better than anyone else.

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Q4: On the NBA. Should the managers of foreign sports teams be allowed to express their own political opinions in their own countries without fear of consequence?

A4: It is one thing to express their opinions. But like I said, when conducting exchange and cooperation with China, they ought to know the public opinion in our country, otherwise how can such exchange and cooperation go on?

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