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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on April 21, 2023

2023-04-21 20:15

At the invitation of Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang will visit the Philippines from April 21 to 23. 

Yonhap News Agency: The ROK side called in the Chinese Ambassador, made protests and pointed out the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson’s remarks about the ROK yesterday amount to a “diplomatic discourtesy”. What’s your comment?

Wang Wenbin: China has made serious démarches to the ROK side in Beijing and Seoul respectively regarding the ROK side’s wrong remarks on the Taiwan question. We fully outlined China’s position, stressed that the one-China principle is the political foundation of China-ROK relations, and urged the ROK to act according to the spirit of the China-ROK Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations and be prudent about its words and actions when it comes to the Taiwan question. It is legitimate and justified for China to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Our commitment to that is unwavering. We hope the ROK will abide by the one-China principle and work together with China through concrete actions to maintain the sound and steady growth of bilateral relations. 

CCTV: Could you share more about State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s upcoming visit to the Philippines and the Chinese side’s expectations for the trip?

Wang Wenbin: This will be State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s first visit to the Philippines. During the visit, he will pay a courtesy call on President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. and other Philippine leaders and political figures, and hold talks with Secretary of Foreign Affairs Enrique Manalo. We hope this visit will serve as an opportunity for the two sides to increase communication, enhance mutual trust, properly handle differences, deepen cooperation, jointly act on the important common understandings reached by the two heads of state during the visit to China by President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. in January this year, and keep up the momentum of sound and steady development of bilateral ties. 

TASS: US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a speech at the Johns Hopkins University in Washington D.C. yesterday that China’s “no limits” partnership with Russia is an indication that “it is not serious” about its proposal on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. What is your comment?

Wang Wenbin: China and Russia follow the principle of no-alliance, no-confrontation and no-targeting of any third party and are committed to developing a new type of major-country relations featuring mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation. This is entirely different from the US practice of forming exclusive blocs and stoking bloc confrontation. No country has the right to interfere.

On the Ukraine issue, China holds an objective and just position, actively promotes talks for peace, and plays a constructive role in facilitating a political settlement of the crisis through concrete actions. This stands in sharp contrast to certain countries’ double standard and moves to add fuel to the fire. We call on the US to adopt a responsible attitude, stop all actions that might escalate the situation, and work with the international community to facilitate a political settlement.

Bloomberg: US President Biden is said to sign an executive order in the coming weeks that will limit investment in key parts of the Chinese economy by US businesses. These areas include semiconductors, artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Does the foreign ministry have a comment on the expected executive order to limit or curb US investment into China?

Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant reports and are firmly opposed to this. The US habitually politicizes technology and trade issues and uses them as a tool and weapon in the name of national security. The US has been building “small yards with high fences” and pushing for decoupling and fragmenting industrial and supply chains. It even pursues selfish interests at the expense of countries it calls friends by targeting its allies with economic coercion. The true intention of the US is to take away the right to development from China and maintain US supremacy for its selfish interests. Such blatant act of economic coercion and sci-tech bullying is against the principles of market economy and fair competition, undermines the international economic and trading order, disrupts and destabilizes global industrial and supply chains and hurts the interests of the whole world. We will closely follow the developments and firmly safeguard our rights and interests.  

The Paper: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang attended the Lanting Forum on Chinese Modernization and the World this morning in Shanghai. Could you share more information? Why is this forum held in Shanghai?

Wang Wenbin: Today the Lanting Forum on Chinese Modernization and the World opened in Shanghai. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the event. Chen Jining, a member of the CPC Central Committee Political Bureau and Secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee, addressed the opening ceremony. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang read President Xi’s congratulatory letter and delivered a keynote speech. More than 300 prominent Chinese and foreign current and former political figures, experts, scholars, business leaders, China-based foreign diplomatic envoys, representatives of international organizations and international media held in-depth exchanges of views around the theme “Chinese modernization and the world” at the Grand Halls in Shanghai.

As President Xi pointed out in his congratulatory letter, realizing modernization is a relentless pursuit of the Chinese people since modern times began. It is also the common aspiration of people of all countries. In pursuing modernization, a country needs to follow certain general patterns. More importantly, it should proceed from its own realities and develop its own features. After a long and arduous quest, the Communist Party of China has led the entire Chinese nation in finding a development path that suits China’s conditions. We are now building a strong country and advancing national rejuvenation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. China will provide new opportunities for global development with new accomplishments in Chinese modernization, lend new impetus to humanity’s search for paths toward modernization and better social systems, and work with all countries to advance the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Chinese modernization is an important theoretical innovation of the 20th National Congress of the CPC. It holds the key to the success of the Chinese path and reflects the broad common interests of all humanity. As such, it has received strong interest from the international community. Modernization of China means modernization for more people than the combined population of all developed countries in the world today. This is an unprecedented cause with global significance. As State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang noted in his speech, as the biggest developing country, China always keeps in mind the greater good of the whole world. The Chinese path to modernization is not a one-flower show, still less for self-interest. It is a path toward development of China, through which more positive energy will be added to global peace and new opportunities created for global development. While Chinese modernization is conceived in China, the opportunities it brings belong to the world. We welcome countries in the world to continue following, supporting and participating in Chinese modernization. We are ready to work together with all parties to promote diverse ways of modernization and create an even brighter future for our planet.

You asked why this forum is held in Shanghai. Indeed, this is the first time the Lanting Forum is held outside Beijing, giving it special significance. Shanghai has witnessed China’s transformation over the past century and the profound change in its relations with the world, making it the ideal place for discussions on what Chinese modernization means to the world. This forum in Shanghai is yet another action to serve high-quality development and high-level opening up for regions in China through diplomacy. We believe this world-class forum will build a bridge of even closer interaction between Shanghai and the world.

NHK: Reports say that an agreement has been made on a 72-hour ceasefire in Sudan. Several countries have announced measures to protect their citizens. Can you share with us China’s specific measures to protect Chinese nationals?

Wang Wenbin: China is closely following the developments of the situation in Sudan. We call on the two sides to stop fighting as soon as possible and prevent further escalation. We hope parties in Sudan will increase dialogue and jointly move forward the political transition process. We are in close communication and coordination with relevant parties and will do everything possible to protect the safety and security of Chinese nationals and institutions in Sudan.

Xinhua News Agency: One year ago today, President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Security Initiative. Since the inception of the initiative, what measures has China taken to implement the initiative and promote world peace and security? Also, could you share some details on the outcomes that have been achieved?

Wang Wenbin: In a world of change and disorder on the security front, President Xi Jinping put forward the important Global Security Initiative (GSI), calling on countries to adapt to the profoundly changing international landscape in the spirit of solidarity, and address the complex and intertwined security challenges with a win-win mindset. The GSI aims to eliminate the root causes of international conflicts, improve global security governance, encourage joint international efforts to bring more stability and certainty to a volatile and changing era, and promote durable peace and development in the world. This major initiative has been widely commended and warmly received by the international community, among which more than 80 countries and a number of international organizations have expressed appreciation and support.

As the initiator of the GSI, China has taken real actions to implement it. We are committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We have had in-depth exchanges and communication on security concepts and policies with other parties to beat swords into plowshares and work for shared security. Not long ago, China issued the Global Security Initiative Concept Paper to further elaborate on the initiative’s core ideas and principles as well as the priorities, platforms and mechanisms of cooperation.

China has actively engaged in mediation diplomacy and made unremitting efforts for the political settlement of hotspot issues including the Iranian nuclear issue, the issues on the Korean Peninsula, the Syrian issue and the Palestinian question. We’ve issued China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis and China’s Position on the Afghan Issue, and stood firm on the side of peace. Not long ago, Saudi Arabia and Iran held talks in Beijing and achieved major outcomes. The two countries announced their decision to resume diplomatic relations, which is a successful practice of the GSI and sets a good example of how countries in the region can resolve disputes and differences and achieve good neighborliness and friendship through dialogue and consultation. 

China has actively advanced international security dialogue and exchanges. We facilitated the convening of the first China-Horn of Africa peace conference among African countries in the region, which reached important common understandings on regional peace, development and governance and injected positive energy into the efforts to uphold Africa’s security and stability. China successfully held the second Middle East Security Forum and made a four-point proposal for fostering a new security architecture in the Middle East. We have also vigorously promoted exchanges and cooperation in the field of security on multiple platforms including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building measures in Asia and East Asia cooperation mechanisms to build consensus and synergy for tackling security challenges among the international community.

China has actively participated in cooperation in the field of non-traditional security including COVID, counterterrorism, biosecurity, cyberspace, food and climate change. China has put forward an initiative on international food security cooperation at the G20, and promoted the adoption of the BRICS Strategy on Food Security Cooperation, offering China’s solution for the global food security challenge. The launch of the center for disaster prevention and mitigation cooperation between China and Pacific Island countries in February this year is China’s another robust effort to help fellow developing countries cope with non-traditional security challenges.

The GSI is an international public good and guardian of tranquility and wellbeing for people around the world. China stands ready to work with other parties to act on the vision of a community of shared security for mankind, practice true multilateralism, jointly address traditional and non-traditional security challenges and advance the lofty cause of peace and development for humanity. 

Kyodo News: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida made a ritual offering to the Yasukuni Shrine today. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: The Yasukuni Shrine is a spiritual tool and symbol of Japanese militarists’ war of aggression. It honors 14 convicted Class-A war criminals with grave responsibilities for the war crimes committed during that war of aggression. China firmly rejects Japan’s negative moves concerning the Yasukuni Shrine and has lodged démarches to the Japanese side. China urges Japan to credibly honor the statement and pledge of facing up to and reflecting on the history of aggression, make a clean break with militarism and earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community.

CCTV: According to reports, the US intelligence community has spied on drug cartels and may have spied on the Mexican military as well. Mexico has accused the US of conducting spying activities in Mexico in the name of fighting drug trafficking and says such intrusion should not be accepted. What’s China’s comment? 

Wang Wenbin: We have noted relevant reports. From PRISM to eavesdropping and espionage targeting Mexico, the US has been indiscriminately stealing secrets, and spying and eavesdropping on countries in the world, including its neighbors and allies. This is no secret. The US has long been the champion of hacking in the world. Using cutting-edge technology, it spies on its own citizens and people around the world in every way possible to steal all kinds of data in violation of the sovereignty of other countries. The US is no doubt the leading power in terms of eavesdropping.

If the US truly wants to resolve the drug problem at home, it needs to respect facts, reflect on itself, correct its mistakes and stop shifting blame. China firmly supports Mexico’s efforts to defend independence and oppose foreign interference.

Bloomberg: The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York this week revealed two criminal complaints against 44 defendants related to crimes by Chinese national police. Does the foreign ministry have any comment about this?

Wang Wenbin: I stated China’s serious position on this earlier this week and you may refer to that.

I need to stress that China always respects the sovereignty of other countries and conducts law enforcement and judicial cooperation with other countries in accordance with the law. China should be the last one to be accused of “transnational repression”. The US accusation has no hard evidence or legal basis. It is entirely politically motivated. China firmly opposes the US habitual abuse of extraterritorial and long-arm jurisdiction and interference in other countries’ internal affairs, which constitutes “transnational repression” in real sense. The US should reflect on what it has done and immediately stop and correct its wrongdoing.

Global Times: Lately several countries have claimed that they oppose changing the status quo with force in the Taiwan Strait. What’s your comment?

Wang Wenbin: The notion of “opposing the use of force to change the status quo in the Taiwan Strait”, uttered by certain individual countries, does not reflect the facts and reality on the Taiwan question. It is a narrative trap designed with a malign purpose.

What is the status quo in the Taiwan Strait? It is that both sides of the Strait belong to one and the same China. Taiwan is part of China’s territory. China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity have never been divided. 

And who is trying to change this status quo? Certainly not the mainland, but the “Taiwan independence” separatists who have been promoting “incremental independence”, pushing for “de-sinicization”, and seeking to create the false impression of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”, and the external forces who have been meddling in the Taiwan question by fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle, selling arms to Taiwan, and peddling the narrative of “Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrow”. They are the ones responsible for disrupting the status quo across the Taiwan Strait.

“Taiwan independence” and cross-Strait peace and stability are as irreconcilable as fire and water. To keep the Taiwan Strait peaceful and stable, it is essential to unequivocally uphold the one-China principle and oppose “Taiwan independence” and foreign interference. Those who talk about peace in the Taiwan Strait but refuse to oppose “Taiwan independence” are in effect conniving at and supporting separatist activities, which is bound to have a serious impact on cross-Strait peace and stability. China firmly opposes it. We will work together with the rest of the world to uphold the one-China principle, defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity, forestall any attempt to use the Taiwan question to contain China, and work for true peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

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