عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on May 10, 2023

2023-05-10 20:18

Bloomberg: According to Bloomberg, the Italian Prime Minister told US House Speaker Kevin McCarthy in Rome last week that while the final decision hasn’t been made, her government may consider an exit from its role in the Belt and Road Initiative. Does the foreign ministry have any comment? 

Wang Wenbin: Since China and Italy signed a cooperation document on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) between the two governments, fruitful outcomes have been achieved in our cooperation in such fields as economy and trade, industrial manufacturing, clean energy and the third market. There is a need for both sides to further tap into the potential of our Belt and Road cooperation, step up mutually beneficial cooperation across the board and strive to make sure that the outcomes of growing China-Italy relations will bring more benefits to the two countries and peoples. 

AFP: Yesterday, Germany’s Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock urged Beijing to take a clear stance against Russian aggression in Ukraine. These comments were on the same day that an AFP journalist tragically lost his life during a rocket fire in Donetsk. Does the Chinese foreign ministry have any reaction?

Wang Wenbin: You mentioned the remarks of the German Foreign Minister during State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s visit to Germany. I would like to take this opportunity to share some details about the visit.

On May 9 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang held talks and jointly met the press with German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock in Berlin. The main purpose of this visit is to prepare for the upcoming seventh round of China-Germany intergovernmental consultation.

State Councilor Qin noted that China and Germany are both major countries with global influence and need to step up dialogue and cooperation in a rapidly changing and turbulent world. The two sides need to make good preparations for the seventh round of China-Germany intergovernmental consultation and draw up a comprehensive plan for practical cooperation going forward. China and Germany need to follow the right path, stand together against a new Cold War, decoupling and severing of supply chains, and be a source of confidence and strength for world peace and prosperity. China is a key partner for Europe in the face of risks and challenges. We welcome Europe to share China’s market opportunities and development dividends and hope to see the mutual success of Chinese modernization and European integration. 

State Councilor Qin noted that while China appreciates Germany and the EU’s statements of not aiming for decoupling from China, China is, however, concerned about what the EU said about “de-risking”. What China brings to the world are opportunities, cooperation, stability and reassurance, not crises, confrontation, turmoil or risks. To shut out China in the name of “de-risking” is to throw away opportunities, cooperation, stability and development. It is essential that China, Germany and the EU all abide by international trade rules and honor the spirit of contract, stay open to each other, refrain from politicizing normal economic, trade and investment cooperation and do not interfere in market mechanisms.

State Councilor Qin stressed that Taiwan’s return to China is an inherent component of the post-war international order. Anyone who truly hopes for cross-Strait peace and stability and upholds the international order needs to adhere to the one-China principle and oppose any act of “Taiwan independence”. 

China and Germany agreed to lay a solid ground for the seventh round of China-Germany intergovernmental consultation and make a comprehensive plan for practical cooperation in various fields. The two sides agreed to step up coordination in multilateral fields and strengthen cooperation on COP28 and biodiversity.

China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear. As State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang made clear during his visit to Germany, the Ukraine issue is highly complex. An over simplified or emotionally driven approach clearly would not be the right way forward. The only viable approach is to stay calm and rational and create conditions for a political settlement. China is neither the one that created the conflict nor a party to it. We advocate peace and promote talks for peace. We hope that Germany will play a leading role and offer concrete proposals for building a balanced, effective and durable European security architecture.

Al Jazeera: One year ago on this day, my colleague, a journalist with Al Jazeera, Shireen Abu Aqleh, was shot by Israeli troops while reporting in occupied Palestinian territory. The tragedy has yet to be handled in a just manner and the perpetrators have yet to be held accountable. On the one-year mark of her death, can the foreign ministry say something on the protection of journalists? Though stationed in different countries, we are all like Shireen. Does the Chinese side still remember her? Does the spokesperson have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: China supports a thorough, transparent, fair and impartial investigation into this incident and hopes it will be handled justly in accordance with the law.

I would also stress that China is deeply concerned over the recent worsening of the Palestine-Israel conflict. We call on all parties, Israel in particular, to show maximum calm and restraint, avoid taking any action that may heighten the tensions, and prevent further escalation of the situation. 

China Review News: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement on May 9 saying that the US strongly encourages the WHO to invite Taiwan to participate as an observer at this year’s World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting. Taiwan has participated as an observer in previous WHA meetings. The US will continue to advocate for Taiwan’s return as an observer at the WHA and participation throughout the UN system. It is in line with the US’s one-China policy. Do you have any response?

Wang Wenbin: China firmly opposes the US statement.

There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Taiwan region’s participation in the activities of international organizations, including the WHO, must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle. This is an important principle affirmed in the UNGA Resolution 2758 and the WHA Resolution 25.1. With the DPP authorities refusing to recognize the 1992 Consensus that embodies the one-China principle and headstrong on “Taiwan independence”, the political foundation for cross-Strait consultation has been thrown into jeopardy, and the political foundation for the Taiwan region to participate in the WHA no longer exists. The US statement is misguided and misleading. It is intended to connive at and support separatist acts for “Taiwan independence”.

The Taiwan question is at the core of China’s core interests. It is the number one red line that must not be crossed between China and the US. We once again urge the US to adhere to the one-China principle and the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués, observe international law and the basic norms governing international relations, act on the US leader’s assurances of not supporting “Taiwan independence” and not supporting “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”, stop hyping up issues related to Taiwan using the WHA. The one-China principle has the overwhelming support of the international community and represents the trend of the world. This is not to be denied, nor can it be held back. Any attempt of playing the Taiwan card and using Taiwan to contain China will be rejected by the international community and not succeed.

The Paper: A spokesperson of the US State Department said a few days ago that “Syria does not merit readmission into the Arab League, and we continue to believe that we will not normalize our relations with the Assad regime and we don’t support our allies and partners doing so either”. In the meanwhile, the US announced the decision to extend the regime of unilateral sanctions against Syria for one year more, starting from May 11, 2023. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: The Middle East belongs to the people of the Middle East, and its affairs should be decided by the people of the Middle East independently. Syria’s return to the Arab League meets the aspiration of the Arab people, and is conducive to the strength and unity of Arab states as well as peace and stability in the region. The US needs to respect the aspiration of the people of Middle East countries, stop coercive diplomacy, stop disrupting the dialogue and reconciliation process among Middle East countries, and stop manufacturing tension to divide the Middle East.

Phoenix TV: On May 9, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused China of collecting human genomic data against ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet as an additional form of control and surveillance. He also said that the US is concerned over this. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: These claims do not hold water and mean nothing except manufacturing sensational news items. 

China is a country governed by law. The privacy of all Chinese citizens, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds, are protected by law. 

The US widely collects and uses genomic information. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon has formulated R&D plans for hitting opponents with genetically engineered weapons. Those involved disclosed that the genomic data of Asian Chinese, European Aryans and Middle Eastern Arabs are all being collected by the US military. According to the website of Russia-based RT, the US Air Education and Training Command (AETC) once issued a tender seeking to acquire samples of ribonucleic acid (RNA) and synovial fluid from Russians. It’s pretty clear who exactly is using genomic information for secret purposes. 

Shenzhen TV: Some scholars at the Jeju Research Institute recently wrote an article saying that the Japanese government will make a big mistake by choosing the worst way to dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water, which may cause humanitarian disasters, instead of other options suggested by experts, for so-called economic reasons. What’s your comment? 

Wang Wenbin: I have noted relevant reports. Many people may wonder why Japan won’t discharge the nuclear-contaminated water, which it claims to be safe and harmless, into Japan’s inland rivers or use it for agricultural and industrial purposes and instead insists on dumping it into the ocean? It is extremely irresponsible of Japan to selfishly put the world at risk.

One would expect Japan to show more sense of responsibility in addressing international concerns as the G7 presidency puts it in the spotlight this year. Disappointingly and disturbingly, despite the concerns of its Asian neighbors and the international community, Japan has kept pushing the ocean discharge plan, dramatically increased its defense spending, developed offensive weapons, repeatedly sought to break away from the pacifist constitution and commitments to an exclusively defense-oriented policy, and often sought to honor the militarists and justify their war crimes during World War II.

Japan keeps saying that it is a responsible member of the international community. We would like to remind Japan that to be a responsible country, it can’t rely on empty talk. Japan needs to take the concerns of the international community seriously and take real actions to earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the rest of the world.

Xinhua News Agency: We noted that a joint statement was reached at the fifth China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue. This is the first international document that has the participation of the Afghan interim government since its establishment. In this document, the three sides noted explicitly that terrorism is not allowed, naming specifically the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM). Do you think the pledge of the Afghan side to fight terrorist groups in the country, especially the ETIM, will help it receive recognition from the world?

Wang Wenbin: Yesterday we shared the outcomes of the fifth China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue. I would like to take this opportunity to share more on the Dialogue.

The fifth China-Afghanistan-Pakistan Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue successfully held a few days ago is the first formal dialogue among the foreign ministers of the three countries since the major change in the situation in Afghanistan in August 2021. It has played a leading role in continuing the good neighborliness, friendship and practical cooperation among the three parties, contributing to the political settlement of the Afghan issue, and galvanizing international efforts to stabilize the situation and provide help to Afghanistan under the new situation. Thanks to the vigorous efforts of China, a joint statement was issued at the Dialogue, laying out common understandings and charting the course for deeper cooperation between the three countries in political, development and security domains.

As you said, the joint statement is the first multilateral document that has the participation of the Afghan interim government, and also the first time that Afghan Taliban made a written pledge of not allowing the ETIM and other forces to conduct terrorist actions and activities. This is of great significance to the future development of China-Afghanistan relations and to counter-terrorism and security cooperation in the region.

As a traditionally friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, China always believes that Afghanistan should not be excluded from the international community, the interests and wellbeing of the Afghan people should be given attention, the peaceful reconstruction of the country should be encouraged, and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Afghanistan should be respected. In the meanwhile, we also noted that there are quite some concerns and expectations about the Afghan interim government from the rest of the world. Specifically, it is hoped that the Afghan side will make more progress in adopting moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, and protecting the rights and interests of women and children. It is also hoped that the Afghan side will take a firmer stance on countering terrorism and strive for more tangible outcomes in this regard. We hope the Afghan interim government will take concrete steps in the right direction to win the understanding and trust of the international community. This will create favorable conditions for Afghanistan to further develop its good-neighborly and friendly relations with its neighbors and better integrate into the international community.

Suggest to a friend