a new warning from the united nations that time is running out to stop temperatures rising and a climate disaster. the un says global emissions need to fall by more than 7% every year over a decade to stop warming by more than 1.5 degrees. three senior figures in malta's government have stood down and angry crowds have booed the prime minister as police step up their investigation into the murder of the investigative journalist daphne ca ruana galizia. the resignations came from the chief of staff to the prime minister, the tourism minister and the economy minister. president trump has said he is going to designate mexico's drug cartels as terrorist organisations. under american law, individuals linked to terrorist organisations are banned from entering and have their assets in the us seized. the mexican foreign minister has said he doesn't want the us to take that idea any further.
now on bbc news, it's hardtalk. welcome to hardtalk, i'm stephen sackur. the significance of the political unrest in hong kong stretches far beyond the borders of its territory. it poses president xi jinping with the most serious challenge of his presidency. if beijing cannot quell the calls forfreedom in hong kong, what does that tell us about the sustainability of its authoritarian rule elsewhere? my guest today is china's ambassador in london, liu xiaoming. his government faces mounting internal and external pressure. how will it respond?
ambassador liu xiaoming, welcome to hardtalk. thank you, thank you for having me. it's a pleasure to have you here. let us start with hong kong. president xijinping has been in power for seven years. would you accept that the prolonged unrest and instability in hong kong is the greatest challenge he has faced in his presidency? i think our government policy is clear. i think 12 days ago the president made a very authoritative statement when he attended the brics summit. he said the top priority for hong kong is to
end violence and restore order. and also... but with respect, he has been saying that for many months. the violence began in early summer, and the violence continues. and not just the violence, but we also have the massive political expression represented by the results of last sunday's council elections. the people of hong kong have squarely and by an overwhelming majority expressed their grave dissatisfaction with the hong kong and beijing authorities. first things first. i think you have to separate the peaceful demonstrators from the violent rioters. you mentioned about the latest council election. that exactly shows that president xi ‘s message, loud and clear, has been well received. now, you can only exercise the right for
democracy in a peaceful environment. and secondly... well, if i mayjust continue with this thought about what the council elections tell us, they had a choice. they had a lot of pro beijing candidates, and they had a lot of candidates expressing the views of the opposition, and the protesters, the pro—democracy protesters, the pro—democracy protesters, on the streets. when an overwhelming majority, almost 400 out of the 452 seats, went to those opposition figures. the figures are actually extraordinary. 70% turnout, which is unprecedented. i7 actually extraordinary. 70% turnout, which is unprecedented. 17 of the 18 councils now controlled by the pro—democracy political movement. councils now controlled by the pro—democracy political movementlj don't pro—democracy political movement.” don't think you should have an over interpretation of this so—called landslide victory of the opposition. they have 17 versus 18, but in terms of votes, it is 60 versus 40. so 40% of votes, it is 60 versus 40. so 40% of the voters voted against the opposition. secondly, you know, like
in any country, even in western culture, the incumbents tend to lose votes if there is a riot, if there is violence, if there is a slowdown of the economy. exactly that is the causes, by these violent lawbreakers. they caused the big trouble in hong kong. but ifi may say so, hong kong, you and many other chinese officials have been saying to people like me for months that the silent majority of people in hong kong are not with the pro—democracy protesters and demonstrators. they are with beijing. that is not true, and we 110w beijing. that is not true, and we now know that is not true.” beijing. that is not true, and we now know that is not true. i think it is still too early to tell. i said 40%, ok, and according to some reports, a report, that the pro establishment candidates have also
been harassed, interrupted, threatened. you know, some of them even assassinated, you know. so this violent —— these violent radicals, they create terror. i call it terror. so that really prevents people voting. ambassador, you watch events in hong kong from afar, like ido, on events in hong kong from afar, like i do, on television. and you see, just as i do, the brutal crackdown that the hong kong police have been in lamenting on the protesters for months now. the point is it hasn't worked. carrie lam's strategy, she of course the chief executive of hong kong, representing the interests of ageing, ultimately, she began with a strategy which was built on withdrawing the extradition bill, hoping that would quell the protests, the pro—democracy protests. that didn't work. she then clearly instructed the police to get tough. we've seen that that doesn't work. what's beijing going to do now? i think it needs the whole
picture. it's not the... the problem is not the hong kong police. i think hong kong police is the most disciplined, professional, civilised police force in the world. if you compare what is going on in hong kong and also what is going on in the united kingdom, do you think a similar situation would go on and on in the uk? have you seen the pictures? the pictures of the policemen opening fire on the protesters ? policemen opening fire on the protesters? opening fire because they do it in self defence. the problem with the british media is that you only focus on police reaction. you do not focus on the violent rioters. and you still call these rioters, when they torch the flammable... to onlookers who disagree with the protesters? they disapprove their vandalism and set fire on him. you still say these
other protesters. ambassador, if i may say so, with interviewed leaders of the protest movement as well, and we have asked them about the violent tactics that they have employed, including the use of petrol—bombs and other missiles. so we have to question them precisely on that basis. but the point for you is that your government is now in a very big hole. violence continues. the instability continues. carrie lam's strategy has failed. is the next realistic move you to make to get rid of the chief executive, carrie lam? first, i would rid of the chief executive, carrie lam? first, iwould say rid of the chief executive, carrie lam? first, i would say chief carrie lam? first, i would say chief carrie lam did a good job. her team, they enjoy full support. but she has failed. for six months she has failed. for six months she has failed. no, she has failed... i wouldn't say she has failed. there's many reasons. if there were no foreign forces behind it, if there is no radical violent rioters who block, who sabotaged the competition. you know, carrie lam, her team made many efforts to
communicate, to reach out to the public. you know, since this happened in the past five months, carrie lam and her team conducted more than 100, you know, events to communicate with the local people. ambassador... but they did not give them the chance, the opportunities. you are an ambassador, you know how diplomacy works. she has got to make some concessions, that is establish a truly independent enquiry into the police actions of recent months, and make moves towards universal suffrage for the election of the next chief executive. she can either choose to do that, what is going to have to be a much more serious crackdown. and that crackdown, if i may say so, is going to have to come not from the hong kong police, who are not from the hong kong police, who a re clearly not not from the hong kong police, who are clearly not capable of restoring order, but it's going to have to come from the military, from the chinese military, 12,000 of whom are currently based in barix in hong kong. is that something that you could contemplate? i think carrie lam and herteam could contemplate? i think carrie lam and her team made efforts to
address the problem. first, she suspended the extradition bill, then she has withdrawn its, and she also, you know, made what she called four major actions, you know, made what she called four majoractions, including more you know, made what she called four major actions, including more than 100 engagements with the local people. but the universal suffrage, it's not, you know, something to welcome in the blink of an eye. you know, you have to go through a legal process. the central government is committed to universal suffrage. if it were not for the opposition to veto the political reform plan in 2015, there is already universal suffrage by 2017. with respect, there isn't anything like universal suffrage. for the key post of chief executive, there is ultimately a thatis executive, there is ultimately a that is based upon nominees selected from ageing and ultimately voted
upon by about 1000 people. that is very farfrom upon by about 1000 people. that is very far from universal suffrage. what it seems to me is that, in the end, beijing is scared about what is happening in hong kong because you fear that the rest of your population in the rest of your nation is watching very carefully to see what happens to this call for genuine— genuine — freedom and democracy in hong kong.” genuine— genuine — freedom and democracy in hong kong. i think you miss another big picture. you know, you read so many topics, so many issues. let's go one by one. first about universal suffrage. as i said, if it were not for the veto of the opposition to the clinical reform programme in 2015, by 2017, i mean, two years ago, the chief executive, yes, it is not 100% universal suffrage, but it goes step—by—step. ambassador, you are a skilled diplomat, but you cannot dress up...
when we talk about universal suffrage, its two areas. one is chief executive. the other is the legislative council. right? so, if it were not for the block of the opposition, next year, legco's election would be universal suffrage. 0ne election would be universal suffrage. one man, one vote, in hong kong. for 70% of the people. it's not going to be, there isn't universal suffrage. hang on, we've just seen the communist party in beijing declared that a decision taken by the high court in hong kong to disregard carrie lam's ban on facemasks, according to beijing, according to your party, is now null and void. so you are now intruding on the fundamental principle of one country, two systems. no, no, no. not at all. i think you... you give me no opportunity to answer all of your questions. you talk about the governmental question about the situation in china. you said people
are concerned about what is going on, it might spill over into china. that is not the case. we just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the people's republic of china. so you have to realise what an achievement, china have achieved in the past 70 years. people are living better, living happier, living longer. you paint a fascinating picture of the context. ididn't paint fascinating picture of the context. i didn't paint a picture, fascinating picture of the context. i didn't painta picture, it fascinating picture of the context. i didn't paint a picture, it is a fa ct. i didn't paint a picture, it is a fact. hang on, let us now explore what you've just said, because you are taking it beyond hong kong to what is happening in china. you have taken me beyond hong kong, so i talk about this. i want to take it beyond hong kong, and a body without the incredible economic achievements of the chinese government over decades. why, if you are so insistent, if the people of your country are so very happy, why is your government a p pa re ntly happy, why is your government apparently so frightened of descent inside your country? we are not frightened about any descent. how many political prisoners either in
china? there is no political prisoners in china. ambassador, that's not true. the people would be put behind barsjust that's not true. the people would be put behind bars just because they are thinking thoughts. they are put behind bars because they have violated the law in china. 0ne but your laws preclude genuine political opposition. no, no, no. if people are descending from the party line, very quickly they find themselves contravening your laws. not only that, we have seen in the last two or three years the creation of a surveillance society in china, where every thought and every move made by your population is surveilled, in a way that is not true of any other country. can i ask you a question? how many civilian cctv cameras in your country? not as many as your country. element no, not per capita. so how would you explain the situation? i would explain the situation? i would explain the situation by pointing out that in
china... no, i am asking you, cctv in china 2022 there will be one cctv camera in china for every two people. you have 1.4 billion people. that is an unimaginable surveillance society. what is it for? have you been to china? i have been to china. when was your last visit to china? i think it was about three years ago. i think think it was about three years ago. ithink in think it was about three years ago. i think in china you will find that people are very free, very happy. you can't feel it? people are harassment, are threatened, they have a lot of complaints? no, you can see smiling faces on the chinese people. yes, people have some complaints, in any society there are complaints. but people have their channel, you know, to make their complaints known. we have the national people's congress, we have the political congress, you know, if china did not have politics, is a people have no democracy, but china's democracy is chinese democracy with chinese characteristics. you can't use your
standard tojudge characteristics. you can't use your standard to judge other countries. just like we will notjudge you based on our standard. let's talk about xinjiang, one of the provinces in western china which sees the greatest repression. now, you will know as well as i do, in recent days we've seen a new slew of leagues of official document party documents which show the extent of the repression of the uighur muslim people of xinjiang. we know the hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people over the last two years have been interned in camps. camps which look to the outside i like prisons. why? first, let me tell you that there is no such a leaked document. i said that there is no such a leaked document. isaid in that there is no such a leaked document. i said in a very clear—cut term in my press conference this is big news, this is a make—up story
with ulterior motives. there is no such a leaked document. just because you call them fake news doesn't mean they are made up news. let's talk about the document, 0k? they are made up news. let's talk about the document, ok? i double checked with the relevant department or authority, there is no such a lea ked or authority, there is no such a leaked document. secondly, let's talk about what is happening in xinjiang. have you been to xinjiang yourself? let i would love to go, if yourself? let i would love to go, if you are prepared to invite me. evidently. in xinjiang, we have does make if you have not gone, you don't know how the stone is. this pace is to be very peaceful, very prosperous, but between 1999 and 2016 this is not the saying that our scene we would like to see. it has become a battleground. there are thousands of terrorist attacks, thousands of terrorist attacks, thousands of terrorist attacks, thousands of innocent people got killed. in 2014 alone, there were two terrorist attack cases her three
days. so, you know, you cannot walk safely in the street in those days. so people call for the government to ta ke so people call for the government to take actions. so, you know, the government according to law, set up training education centres. the purposeis training education centres. the purpose is to de— radicalise the young people. these are camps. we know from official leagues that you have used police baton is, electric cattle prods comic does my cattle prods, pepper spray, and we have seen prods, pepper spray, and we have seen the procurement orders for all of these things. you have a problem with leagues. does not true. of these things. you have a problem with leagues. does not truem of these things. you have a problem with leagues. does not true. it is. you keep telling me these leagues are true but it is clear these are genuine documents. and the united states government, amongst many others said and this is the quote from mike p "the communist party has
imprisoned as many as 1 from mike p "the communist party has imprisoned as many as1 million muslim uighurs in camps where they injure around—the—clock brainwashing." ok. i do not believe in michael pence. he's a china basher, call him vice president, but he isa basher, call him vice president, but he is a cold war warrior. let's not talk about michael pence let's talk about what is going on in xinjiang you have your views about him, but he happens to be the vice president of the united states. he is the vice president, but i can't agree. he is demonising china. you have a problem here, and we have talked about what you are doing to the uighur muslims in the west of your country, the united states congress has passed a new round of targeted sanctions against officials in hong kong who are leading the crackdown against the protesters. your diplomatic position, and you know it well yourself because you have been holed over the calls by dominic raab, the foreign secretary in london, you
know that your diplomatic position as the chinese government defending what is happening, is coming under enormous pressure. | what is happening, is coming under enormous pressure. i don't think so. i think the western countries, you, are under enormous pressure for interfering in china's internal affairs. let me say this. what if china's national people's congress passed a law concerning a region, i do not name it, in the united kingdom to express concern, to impose sanctions, on your politicians if they do not follow the law stop what do they think about that? it's totally against the international norms governing the international norms governing the international relations. we are on the 21st century. we are not in gunboat diplomacy. the chinese people — stone is not a country you can kick around. do you really think that governments in the west are trying to kick you around? it's not so long ago, you are a long serving
ambassador, is not so long ago you in the british government were talking about a golden era in relations. now you've just come back from the foreign office where the foreign secretary described himself as shocked and appalled by the arrest of a former employee in the uk consulate in hong kong, who was tortured in china. the british government is serious about it. they are criticising and condemning your actions in hong kong and in xinjiang as well. the united states... i haven't even finished. the united states is now quoting the head of the fbi, china's goal, it seems is to replace the us as the well‘s leading superpower and they are prepared to break the law to get there. this golden era has collapsed into recrimination and rivalry. so, it's my turn to talk? it is. i hope you won't drop me. i know hardtalk is about hard subjects, it's not about you sorting the time. first, about you sorting the time. first, about the meeting with me with raab
was that he did raise this case with meet me. he didn't mention about xinjiang, and it is me who is pressed of opposition to uk's interference in china's internal affairs that is hong kong. with regards to simon, he violated the law in china for soliciting prostitution. and he confessed all his wrongdoings. i'm sure he did. you took him... usual chinese torture tactics. will you give me time to explain without interrupting me? you cover so many subjects. i need to come back to them one by one, yep? h|s need to come back to them one by one, yep? his so—called charges against china's police have been totally rejected. we already made our response to the foreign office. we cannot accept the so—called daughter, there is no torture at
all. and before he came into the... before, when he was arrested and after he was released, he had a physical examination. his condition is perfect. no problems at all. but ambassador... you made your point on out. but the bigger point i was making was in the us as... you have bias against china. we are out of time almost was that the us and uk appear convinced now, as i quoted a senior us official, china's goal is to is the world leading's superpower. is that lee ultimately the strategy in beijing? yeah no, not at all. we're not interested in replacing anybody. you know, we're still a developing country. although we are are the second largest economy. per capita income, where are we behind. we are just less than 10,000 usa are we behind. we are just less than 10,000 us a year? this is my third
ambassadorship. after egypt, i worked in one of the poorest provinces in china. the people didn't have access to drinkable water. they had to find and purify their own water. both living beings and livestock have to depend on this water. it is a challenge, how to feed the chinese population, how to make chinese people happier, living longer. we are not... and china, for its foreign policy, we want peaceful development. things are being said china's strategy was hide the strength, bide your time, china's strategy was hide the strength, bide yourtime, nevertake the lead. that clearly is not the strategy of xijinping. the lead. that clearly is not the strategy of xi jinping. his development is still our strategy. people talk about the 40—year miracle in china. we can achieve
this because we are a peaceful environment. we only have more success by having continuing to build a peaceful environment. that is how xijinping cold ford to build a shared future for mankind. that is our goal. ambassador liu xiaoming, i thank you very much for being on hardtalk. thank you, thank you. thank you. hello, once again. i don't know about you, but i'm struggling to remember the last time i saw any meaningful sunshine and there's not a great deal of difference as we lose tuesday and move on into wednesday, with that low pressure very much
the dominant feature, a number of attendant fronts. so, really quite wet conditions right from the word go across parts of eastern england, gradually migrating towards the borders. north of it, we've got this ribbon of cloud and rain stretching from the northern to the western isles, fringing into north of the great glen and, at the same time, some blustery showers just running along the channel coasts. still relatively mild, 9 to about 12 degrees or so. 0n into the evening commute, still a lot of rain to come across eastern scotland to the north—east of england. somewhat brighter skies in south—western scotland. maybe some western fringes of britain. even as far ahead as thursday, it is still that low pressure that's really driving our weather, but beginning to cede ground and that's allowing the first signs of a change in our weather type, certainly into the northern parts of britain but for the greater part of england and wales, you've still have the relatively mild air, enough cloud across northern and eastern parts of britain for there to be bits and pieces of rain. as the weather front comes south, heralding the change to brighter but colder conditions, initially on thursday across the greater part of scotland, but eventually, as the low
pressure finally moves off towards scandinavia. so the high pressure comes in to dominate and it's the combination of the high to the west, the low to the east that generates quite a strong northerly wind and the clue there is in the wind direction. it is a northerly, it's going to be a cold day but a much, much brighter day for the greater part of the british isles. but forget all about double—figure temperatures, bar the very far south—west. 3, 4, 5, 6 degrees for the north of britain, 7 or 8 in the south. and that's the way we start the weekend, a cold and frosty start to the day but yet another set of weather fronts wrapped around an area of low pressure just moving towards the south—western quarter. some really wet conditions there, but away from that south—western part of england, the southern part of wales, it's another cold and bright day. a lot of dry weather around as well, but again, maximum temperature somewhere between about 3 and 7 degrees. now, that weather system really dominates southern parts of britain as we get on into sunday. the flow around its northern flank quite a noticeable easterly
or north—easterly wind, a lot of cloud associated with those weather fronts. but elsewhere, until quite late in the day when we bring another little weather front to the north of scotland, again, it's a cold and frosty start followed by a bright, dry, sunny sort of day, but those temperatures again locked into single figures.
this is the briefing. i'm sally bundock. our top stories: in malta, a police investigation into the murder of a journalist is becoming as political crisis, as three senior figures step down in one day. security on the us—mexico border — president trump says he plans to treat mexico's drug cartels as terrorist organisations. arrested when they were teenagers — three men in the us state of maryland have been freed after spending 36 years in prison for a crime they didn't commit. us prosecutors open a criminal investigation into opioid makers and their distributors.