عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on June 12, 2023

2023-06-12 21:25

Shenzhen TV: According to reports, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently stated that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has done an important job to denounce the illegal actions of one state against another and urged everyone to protect Assange. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant reports. It is not Julian Assange who should stand trial for telling people the truth, but the hacking empire who indiscriminately spies on and steals secrets from countries around the world and uses every means possible to cover up the wrongdoing it has committed.

Prensa Latina: Although China and Cuba denied the recent reports, the US government said over the weekend that it had information about this alleged spy center that they say China has been operating in Cuba. What is your comment about it?  

Wang Wenbin: I made clear China’s position on this last week. Over the past few days, we have seen self-conflicting comments from US officials and media on the so-called allegation of China building “spy facilities” in Cuba. This is another example of “the US negating the US.” 

What is true can never be false, and what is false can never be true. No matter how the US tries with slanders and smears, it will not succeed in driving a wedge between two true friends, China and Cuba, nor can it cover up its deplorable track record of indiscriminate mass spying around the world. 

CRI: The Colombian government and the National Liberation Army (ELN) recently agreed to a temporary ceasefire at the end of the third round of peace talks in Havana, Cuba. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: China firmly supports the peace process in Colombia and commends the efforts for peace made by relevant parties. We hope the parties concerned will continue to build consensus for peace and play a positive role in realizing lasting peace, stability and sustainable development in Colombia at an early date.

AFP: New Zealand’s Prime Minister Chris Hipkins announced today that he’ll be leading a major trade delegation to China at the end of this month, and they will make stops in Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai. Do you have any additional details you can share with us about this visit? 

Wang Wenbin: China and New Zealand are important cooperation partners. Last year the two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations and next year marks the 10th anniversary of China-New Zealand comprehensive strategic partnership. China stands ready to work with New Zealand to maintain high-level exchanges, enhance mutual trust and deepen practical cooperation, so as to achieve greater progress in bilateral relations and bring more benefit to the two peoples. As for the visit you asked about, I have nothing to share at the moment. You are welcome to check back for updates.  

Reuters: A US official said Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China on June 18 despite the Biden administration officials saying China has been spying on Cuba for some time. Does China have any comment or any update to share on these points? 

Wang Wenbin: I just stated China’s solemn position on the false allegation of “China’s spying activities in Cuba.”

As to the visit you asked about, I have nothing to share.

KBS: First question, the ROK and China have summoned each other’s ambassadors for the first time since President Yoon Suk Yeol took office. Besides what has been released over the weekend, does the Chinese foreign ministry have anything to add to its position? Second question, Japan began trial operation of a facility that discharges the nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima today. What’s the Chinese government’s position on this and do you have any plan to cope with that?

Wang Wenbin: On your first question, it is part of Ambassador Xing Haiming’s job to engage extensively with people from various walks of life in the ROK with an aim of increasing understanding, promoting cooperation and advancing China-ROK relations. We have stated our position and concerns both in Beijing and Seoul to the ROK side regarding their reaction to Ambassador Xing’s conversation with Lee Jae-myung, leader of the main opposition party in the ROK. On June 10, at our request, ROK Ambassador to China Chung Jae-ho was met by Assistant Foreign Minister Nong Rong for the same purpose. A readout about the meeting has been released and you may refer to that.

Regarding Japan’s decision to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, we’ve stated our opposition on multiple occasions. I want to stress once again that Japan must not act out of its own considerations and let the international community bear the cost of a polluted ocean. This is extremely selfish and irresponsible. Japan’s practice of serving its own selfish interest at the expense of the wellbeing of all humanity will not convince the people at home and abroad. They will only cost Japan its reputation, bring harm to the people of neighboring countries and Pacific island countries, and further chip away at Japan’s credibility with the international community. 

Nikkei: According to data released by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, compared with last year, China increased its number of nuclear warheads by 60 to 410 in January 2023. The institute suggested that “China has started a significant expansion of its nuclear arsenal”. What’s China’s comment? China has been saying that it keeps its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required by national security. Has this belief changed? Does the “required minimum level” change with the changing security environment?

Wang Wenbin: China is committed to a defensive nuclear strategy, keeps its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required by national security and does not target any country. We have honored our pledge to “no first use” of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances and unconditionally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. China is the only nuclear weapon state to have adopted such a policy. China will stay committed to safeguarding its legitimate security interests and upholding world peace and stability.

Bloomberg: Two questions. The first is a follow-up on Blinken’s visit.  We’re wondering whether the White House acknowledging the existence of an alleged Chinese spy facility in Cuba will affect Secretary Blinken’s planned visit starting from June 18? And the second question is that Bloomberg has reported that the last Indian journalist working for an Indian media outlet has been asked to leave China. And does the foreign ministry have any comments? And last month, the foreign ministry said that there was one Chinese journalist left in India. Is this journalist still in India and any update on this visa situation?

Wang Wenbin: I have answered your first question.

We have previously answered questions about Chinese and Indian journalists. Since 2020, the Indian side has refused to review and approve Chinese journalists’ applications for stationing in India and limited the period of validity of visas held by Chinese journalists in India to only three months or even one month. As a result, the number of Chinese journalists stationed in India has plummeted from 14 to just one. As we speak, the Indian side still has not agreed to renew the visa of the last Chinese journalist in the country. For Indian media outlets, four have been stationed in China in recent years and one is still working and living normally in China.

What I want to say is that in recent years, India has treated Chinese media outlets in an unfair and discriminatory manner. Some Chinese journalists waited as long as three years for their visas. Some got visas valid for less than one month, or merely 15 days, for seven consecutive times during their five-year posting in India. As a result, many Chinese journalists received visas with expiration date just around the corner and their residence permits, bank cards, driving licenses and phone cards were always in an “expired” state and could not be renewed. Even worse, some Chinese journalists could not apply for local bank cards for four and a half years in their five years of stationing in India. A few days ago, Mr. Hu Xiaoming, Xinhua’s former bureau chief in New Delhi, wrote an article about his experience in India. You may read that article for yourself.

In contrast, China has treated Indian journalists as friends and like family.  We have communicated with the Indian side with restraint and goodwill. Regrettably, India has yet to take any action to address the problem. The current situation is not what we had hoped to see.

Media outlets are important bridges for mutual understanding and friendly relations. China stands ready to maintain communication with India under the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. We hope India will work in the same direction with China, take concrete steps and effectively review and approve visas for Chinese journalists as soon as possible, scrap undue restrictions on Chinese journalists, and create conditions for resuming normal exchange between Chinese and Indian media.

Reuters: The US Department of Homeland Security banned imports from two Chinese companies for working with the government of Xinjiang to recruit, transport or receive forced labor of Uyghurs, Kazakhs or Kyrgyz out of Xinjiang. Does the Chinese side have any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: The so-called “forced labor” in Xinjiang is just an egregious lie propagated by anti-China forces. It is the complete opposite of the fact that the rights and interests at work of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang are effectively protected.

The Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act is based on lies. It is yet another piece of evidence that the US violates international trade rules and destabilizes international industrial and supply chains. By adding Chinese entities to relevant sanction list and going after more Chinese companies, the US is creating “forced unemployment” in Xinjiang under the pretext of “forced labor”, and the ultimate goal is to undermine prosperity and stability in Xinjiang and contain China’s development. This has become quite clear to the world. China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this, and will take action to safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies.

Ukrinform News Agency: The head of Russian Chechnya, Kadyrov, said that Chechnya received from China eight armored vehicles produced by a Chinese company, and these vehicles will be sent for Russia’s war against Ukraine. It’s the first public evidence of the supply of military equipment from China for the benefit of the Russian army. However, China has repeatedly stated that it will not add fuel to the fire and will not sell military equipment to the parties involved in the conflict in Ukraine. Do you have any comments on this?

Wang Wenbin: I don’t know where this so-called publicly available evidence comes from. Our long-standing principle on the Ukraine issue is to always uphold an objective and fair position and be committed to promoting talks for peace rather than fueling the fight or pouring weapons into the battlefield, as witnessed by the world. We believe that for a truly responsible media outlet, reporting should always be based on facts and conducted in an objective, fair and professional manner.  

Yonhap: Relevant official from the Office of the President of the ROK commented on the Chinese Ambassador to the ROK Xing Haiming’s statement by saying that if the ambassador cannot serve as a bridge, it will harm the national interests of both his country and the host country. What’s your comment?

Wang Wenbin: I’ve answered the question just now and would like to stress again that it is part of Ambassador Xing’s job to have extensive engagement and exchanges with people from all walks of life in the ROK, which aims to enhance understanding, promote cooperation and safeguard and advance the development of China-ROK relations.

Reuters: South Africa said its President Cyril Ramaphosa discussed with the Chinese leader the August BRICS Summit. As Putin is subject to an arrest warrant from the ICC, that would mean South Africa would have to arrest him on the arrival in the territory, but at the moment it is considering legal changes to avoid this. The Chinese side has said they support South Africa’s decision to host the event. So my question is, has the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa asked if China could host the summit instead?

Wang Wenbin: China supports the rotating president South Africa in hosting this year’s BRICS events.

CCTV: It was reported that at an interview with the BBC a few days ago, head of Taiwan’s foreign affairs office expressed thanks to the US for providing weapons and helping train military personnel in Taiwan. What is your comment?

Wang Wenbin: For some time now, US politicians have openly said that every family in Taiwan should own AR-15 rifles and the US needs to send Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to arm the island into a “porcupine”. They have also clamored for “destroying TSMC” and making up a “plan for the destruction of Taiwan”. No matter how the US says it “supports” Taiwan, all it really thinks about is how to make use of or even sacrifice Taiwan to advance US interests.

The DPP authorities have awarded a US politician who openly advocated the “destruction of Taiwan.” They are willing to serve as pawns and cannon fodder for the US strategy of using Taiwan to contain China. This will only bring deep troubles to Taiwan and push the people of Taiwan to the abyss of disasters.

We believe that our Taiwan compatriots will see through the US’s malignant moves that would harm Taiwan and the fact that the DPP authorities are selling Taiwan away. And we believe that our Taiwan compatriots will stand on the side of what is most sacred for the Chinese nation and for historic justice. Taiwan is a dear and inalienable part of China’s territory. We will firmly safeguard our nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, and resolutely push back at all moves that would harm Taiwan and sell Taiwan away.

China Daily: It was reported that on June 9, the UN reached a Global Framework for conventional ammunition management. The Framework, known as a life-saving document, provides comprehensive arrangements for the global governance on ammunition issues. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: Recent years have seen frequent accidents related to ammunition stockpile management and increasing irresponsible export of ammunition, which not only caused huge casualties, but also instigated armed conflicts, terrorism and transnational organized crime.

Against this backdrop, the 76th session of the UN General Assembly authorized the establishment of the open-ended working group on conventional ammunition. After close to two years of intensive negotiations, A Global Framework for Through-life Conventional Ammunition Management was reached, which will effectively bridge the gap in international mechanisms for ammunition management and become a milestone in conventional arms control. 

China has taken a constructive part in the discussions of the working group and played an important coordinating role in promoting the conclusion of the Framework. Under China’s initiation, the Framework incorporated ideas such as to “deny making transfers to unauthorized recipients, including non-state actors”, which fully demonstrates the world’s determination to step up ammunition management and control.

Going forward, China will act on the vision of a community with a shared future for humanity, enhance exchanges and cooperation with all parties on ammunition management and make greater contribution to building a world of lasting peace and universal security.

People’s Daily: According to reports, on June 9, the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan jointly released a statement, emphasizing their concern that trade-related economic coercion and non-market-oriented policies and practices threaten the multilateral trading system and harm relations between countries. They also expressed concern about pervasive subsidization, anti-competitive practices by state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfer, and government interference with corporate decision-making. The six countries also said that they are seriously concerned about the use of forced labor, including state-sponsored forced labor, in global supply chains. The statement did not single out any country but appeared to be aimed at China. What’s your comment?

Wang Wenbin: The statement is made by the US together with its Five Eyes allies and Japan, but every sentence in it reads like a description of the US itself.

The US CHIPS and Science Act prohibits companies that receive federal funding from expanding advanced semiconductor production capacity in China for a decade. It also cajoles and coerces US allies into restricting export of semiconductors to China. Isn’t this typical economic coercion? The US has overstretched the concept of national security and abused state power to suppress companies like Huawei and TikTok. Isn’t this clearly a non-market practice? For many years running, the US has been the only one impeding the appointment of new judges to the WTO’s Appellate Body, thus paralyzing the dispute settlement mechanism. The US also refuses to comply with WTO rulings in effect. Isn’t this the biggest threat to the multilateral trade system? The US has adopted the Inflation Reduction Act, resorted to discriminatory subsidies, and triggered a subsidy race. Isn’t this a textbook example of market-distorting illegal subsidies? As to forced labor, it is a persistent problem in the US as old as the country itself. Even today, more than 500,000 people in the US still live under the yoke of modern slavery and forced labor.

As the US attempts to project its deplorable image onto others, the world gets a chance to see clearly what the US really is—a country that tramples on market economy principles and international trade rules. We suggest the UK and the other countries use this statement as a checklist and call on the US to correct its economic coercion, unilateral sanctions, long-arm jurisdiction, and other non-market practices.

Suggest to a friend