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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on January 12, 2022

2022-01-12 19:57

At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Diplomatic Advisor to the President of France Emmanuel Bonne will visit China and hold the 22nd China-France Strategic Dialogue on January 13. 

CCTV: Can you share the arrangement and China’s expectation of the visit by Diplomatic Advisor to the President of France Emmanuel Bonne?

Wang Wenbin: During the visit of Diplomatic Advisor to the President of France Emmanuel Bonne, Chinese leaders will have virtual meetings with him and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold the 22nd China-France Strategic Dialogue with him to have strategic communication on ways to deepen mutual political trust and practical cooperation across the board, develop China-Europe relations under France’s rotating presidency of the EU, jointly uphold and practice multilateralism, and other issues. They will also have in-depth exchange of views of international and regional hotspot issues of common concern. 

With the persistent and unchecked pandemic, accelerating changes unseen in a century and mounting challenges in the world, China expects this visit to further enhance mutual political trust, deepen practical cooperation across the board, contribute to the healthy and stable growth of China-France and China-Europe relations in the long run, and inject more positive energy into efforts to uphold multilateralism, improve global governance and promote world prosperity and development. 

MASTV: Based on preliminary data for 2021, Rhodium Group estimates that the US greenhouse gas emissions increased 6.2% relative to 2020. The rebound is largely due to a jump in coal-fired power generation, which increased 17% from 2020. Some media outlets believed that the US is even further from hitting its 2025 and 2030 climate goals. What is your comment? 

Wang Wenbin: We have noted the report. Other authoritative international researches have reached similar conclusions recently. We regret this. Climate change poses a grave challenge to mankind’s survival and development. As a developed country and a major emitter of greenhouse gases, the US should not get too preoccupied with what’s happening in the neighboring farm to neglect its own crops. It should stop playing the old trick of saying a lot but doing a little or merely paying lip service and instead join the doers with concrete action. The rebound in US emissions reminds us once again that when putting forward and formulating emissions reduction targets, we should be objective and rational, follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and take into consideration different national realities. We should avoid setting unrealistically ambitious targets or even restricting developing countries’ legitimate development rights and interests.

In addressing climate change, President Xi Jinping stresses that “successful governance relies on solid action” and “visions will come true only when we act on them”. China has always been taking earnest actions in climate governance. We take the initiative in assuming international obligations suited to our national condition and have been taking bolder actions to address climate change. Having over-shot the climate action goals of 2020 ahead of schedule, China announced the vision of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality in September 2020, raised the goals of Nationally Determined Contributions, and published the “1+N” policy framework for implementing carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals, all of which are concrete actions to add positive energy to the global climate governance. 

Shenzhen TV: It is reported that Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega held an inauguration ceremony on January 10. The US Department of the Treasury announced economic sanctions on six Nicaraguan officials including the Defense Minister of Nicaragua for “undermining democracy”, and imposed visa restrictions on 116 individuals related to the government. What is China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: China firmly supports the government and people of Nicaragua in choosing independently a development path that suits their national realities. We urge the US side to face squarely its own “democratic deficit”, renounce the misguided old practice of arbitrary sanctions and pressure, stop engaging in hegemonic and bullying acts, adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, lift unilateral sanctions on Nicaragua and stop interfering in Nicaragua’s domestic affairs.

Bloomberg: Taiwan plans to open a $1 billion fund for joint projects between Lithuania and Taiwan. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: The one-China principle is an invincible trend with strong popular support. The Taiwan authorities’ attempts to expand space for “Taiwan independence” activities with “dollar diplomacy” are futile and bound to fail.

RIA Novosti: Afghanistan’s ambassador to China, Javid Ahmad Qaem, left his post earlier in January. Has China received any documents from Afghanistan about Qaem’s successor? Considering that China does not recognize the Taliban’s government, will Beijing allow Taliban’s representative to enter the country and serve as Afghanistan’s ambassador?

Wang Wenbin: I made a response yesterday to Afghan Ambassador Qaem’s leaving his post. China and Afghanistan are staying in touch through smooth channels. China is ready to remain in communication with the Afghan side. As to your specific question, I have no information to offer at the moment. 

Beijing Daily: On January 10, Gabit Koishibayev, Kazakh Ambassador to China, said at an embassy press briefing that he thanks and highly appreciates China’s support for his country and people at this difficult hour. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: After a large-scale riot occurred in Kazakhstan, President Xi Jinping sent a verbal message to Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to openly show his support. He said in the message that China is ready to provide necessary support to the best of its capacity to help Kazakhstan tide over the difficulties. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tileuberdi and reiterated China’s firm support for Kazakhstan in maintaining stability and curbing violence. China also joined other SCO member states in releasing a statement on the situation in Kazakhstan at the earliest time possible to voice support for the measures taken by the Kazakh leadership to restore stability at home, demonstrating strong support for Kazakhstan.

President Tokayev has expressed thanks for President Xi’s verbal message at a critical moment for Kazakhstan. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tileuberdi said that the Chinese Foreign Minister’s call on the National Day of Mourning in Kazakhstan once again demonstrates China’s firm support for and brotherly friendship with Kazakhstan. These interactions fully embody the high level of the two countries’ permanent comprehensive strategic partnership and deep bond of friendship through weal and woe.

I also noted that Ambassador Koishibayev said at the press conference that the Kazakh authorities have taken effective measures to maintain stability and curb violence and the security situation is stabilizing. I would like to reiterate that China firmly supports all measures conducive to restoring stability in Kazakhstan and will continue to provide every necessary assistance to help Kazakhstan maintain steady and sound development.

Yonhap News Agency: The DPRK said it successfully test fired a hyper-sonic missile on January 11. What is your comment?

Wang Wenbin: We have noted relevant reports. China’s position is consistent and clear. We hope all relevant parties can advance the political settlement process of the Korean Peninsula issue following the dual-track approach and the phased and synchronized principle.

The Paper: Yesterday, January 11, marks the 20th anniversary since the Guantánamo Bay prison was opened. An expert group appointed by the UN Human Rights Council issued a statement on January 10 that condemned the prison’s continued operation in violation of human rights. It said, “Twenty years of practicing arbitrary detention without trial accompanied by torture or ill treatment is simply unacceptable”. What is China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: The Guantánamo Bay prison is a dark chapter in the world history of human rights. If there is a “detention camp” that holds Muslims, then it must be the Guantánamo Bay.

Since the arrival of the first prisoners 20 years ago, the US’ torture of the detainees has been frequently reported, evoking outrage in the international community. The US has promised more than once that it would shut down the prison. However, 20 years on, 39 people are still kept there, and few of them have been charged with or convicted of crimes.

In fact, secret prisons set up by the US can be found across the world. The Guantánamo Bay prison is like a tip of the iceberg. According to reports, the US built many secret prisons in Afghanistan and US allies after waging the war in Afghanistan. The US military committed atrocities, torture and murder against civilians in Iraq after its invasion, and prisoner abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison shocked the world. 

Lately, Lithuania finally paid a compensation to the “forever prisoner” Abu Zubaydah jailed in a US secret prison in the suburb of Vilnius, which came more than three years after the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Lithuania should give him compensation and 20 years after he was detained in the prison by the US without charge. 

The “black sites” of the US such as the Guantánamo Bay prison reminds people of US’ dark track records against human rights. The US should earnestly reflect on itself, immediately close the Guantánamo Bay and all other secret prisons across the world. It should stop atrocities including arbitrary detention and torture of prisoners, deliver apologies and compensations to the victims and bring to justice those who authorized and committed the torture.

Associated Press of Pakistan: Recently, a Pakistani student at a university in Tianjin fell seriously ill and remained hospitalized for over two months. The Chinese authorities paid heavy expenses for his medical treatment and also sent him back home in coordination with Pakistan Embassy Beijing. Now his father and other family member through a letter have expressed their gratitude and high respect to the Chinese authorities for their all-out support. I wonder if you have any comment on that.

Wang Wenbin: This is another example showing vividly that the bond of friendship and mutual assistance between the Chinese and Pakistani people is stronger than gold and the two countries’ iron-clad friendship is deeply rooted in the people and boasts strong vitality.

Since COVID-19 broke out, many foreign students including some from Pakistan have persevered with their studies in China. The Chinese government and their schools care about their safety and health and will continue to provide them with every possible assistance.

Bloomberg: Sri Lanka’s central bank governor told reporters today the country may negotiate a new loan from China in order to help ease its debt obligations. Does the foreign ministry have any details on this potential new loan?

Wang Wenbin: I am not aware of the situation you mentioned. I want to stress that since the establishment of diplomatic ties, China and Sri Lanka have been showing each other mutual understanding and support. China has always been doing its utmost to provide help for Sri Lanka’s economic and social development and will continue to do so in the future. 

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