عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on June 15, 2023

2023-06-15 21:00

At the invitation of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the French government, Premier of the State Council Li Qiang will pay an official visit to Germany and hold the seventh China-Germany inter-governmental consultation, and pay an official visit to France and attend the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact from June 18 to 23.

CCTV: China has just announced that Premier Li Qiang will visit Germany and hold the seventh China-Germany inter-governmental consultation. How does China view the current China-Germany relations? What is China’s expectation for this visit and the new round of inter-governmental consultation?

Wang Wenbin: In recent years, the China-Germany all-round strategic partnership has grown at a high level. With close exchanges between the two countries’ leaders and practical cooperation being deepened in various areas, the partnership has shown strong resilience and vitality. Premier Li Qiang has chosen Germany as the first stop of his first overseas visit since taking office. This fully shows the importance China attaches to its relations with Germany. The mechanism of inter-governmental consultation, with the Chinese Premier and the German Chancellor as its co-chairs, is a “supermotor” of cooperation between the two countries. Premier Li and his delegation will fully review and advance practical cooperation in various areas at the seventh China-Germany inter-governmental consultation. Premier Li will also attend the 11th China-Germany Economic and Technical Cooperation Forum and have in-depth exchanges of views with representatives from the economic communities of the two countries. In a world facing more turbulence, sluggish economic recovery and more global challenges, China hopes to deepen and expand its relations with Germany and together send a positive message of enhancing dialogue and cooperation, pursuing mutual benefit, jointly responding to challenges and contributing to world economic prosperity, peace and stability.

Xinhua News Agency: There have been close high-level exchanges in recent months between China and France. What’s China’s expectation for the future growth of its relations with France and what does China hope to achieve through Premier Li Qiang’s visit to France? What are the considerations for Premier Li Qiang to attend the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact?

Wang Wenbin: Under the shared guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Emmanuel Macron, China-France relations have sustained sound momentum of growth in recent years. Premier Li Qiang chose to visit France for his first overseas trip since he came into office, which speaks to the high importance we attach to China-France relations. This visit aims to enhance communication and coordination, advance the development of the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership and contribute to the sound and steady growth of China-Europe relationship. During the visit, Premier Li will follow through on the common understandings between the two leaders and have in-depth communication with the French side on fully deepening exchanges and cooperation in various fields as China and France will celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties next year. Premier Li will have extensive engagement with the business community of both countries and it is believed that the visit will reinvigorate practical cooperation between China and France in the post-pandemic era.

Attending the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact, initiated by President Macron, at the invitation of the French side is an important part of the agenda of Premier Li’s visit. In today’s world, countries are increasingly connected and interdependent. Emerging crises and challenges require joint response. As permanent members of the UN Security Council and responsible major countries, China and France play a significant role in safeguarding multilateralism and promoting international cooperation to address global challenges. China looks forward to working with all sides, including France, to make positive contribution to more equitable and sustainable global development.

TASS: The federal government of Germany yesterday announced its first national security strategy, which shows that Germany sees China as a partner without whom many global security crises cannot be resolved. Meanwhile, Germany also calls China a systemic rival and says elements of competition have increased in recent years. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: China has always been a force for world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order. Over the past few decades, it was on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit that China-Germany relations have come a long way and delivered fruitful results. In a complex and fluid world, it is all the more important that China, Germany and all other countries and actors engage in mutually beneficial cooperation with an open and inclusive mindset and work together for world peace and development. To view and build international relations by viewing others as competitors, rivals or even adversaries and turn normal cooperation into security or political issues will only push our world towards a vortex of division and confrontation.

CCTV: This year marks the 10th anniversary of both the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the vision of building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future. How do you assess the role of the BRI in building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future?

Wang Wenbin: A decade on since the BRI was announced, it has galvanized nearly USD 1 trillion of investment globally and created more than 3,000 projects and 420,000 jobs for participating countries. According to World Bank data, the BRI will help lift nearly 40 million people out of poverty globally in the mid- to long-term. Situated at the intersection between the land and maritime Silk Roads, ASEAN countries are the priority and play a key role in high-quality BRI cooperation. The China-ASEAN Belt and Road cooperation has been going full steam and delivering fruitful results.

In January this year, the number of vehicles passing through Cambodia’s Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway hit the one million mark. Thanks to the expressway, the travel time between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville was cut from more than five hours to within two hours. Passenger and freight services have been booming on the China-Laos Railway since it was open to traffic 18 months ago. The railway has carried 16.4 million passengers and 21 million tonnes of cargo. It plays an increasingly important role as a golden route for transportation. The Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway in Indonesia will soon be up and running. Major projects are well underway, including the new international land-sea corridor, China-Thailand Railway and the East Coast Rail Link in Malaysia. People in China and Southeast Asian countries are more closely connected than ever by these roads and ports.

With RCEP having entered into force, trade between China and ASEAN countries exceeded RMB 6.52 trillion last year, up by 15 percent year-on-year. China and ASEAN have been each other’s biggest trading partners for three consecutive years. In the first five months this year, ASEAN remained China’s biggest trading partner with two-way trade reaching RMB 2.59 trillion, up 9.9 percent year-on-year. China-ASEAN trade has shown strong resilience and momentum of growth, which effectively enhanced regional economic integration, kept global industrial and supply chains stable and sound and injected new impetus for regional and global economic recovery.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of President Xi Jinping’s proposal of building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future. We stand ready to further synergize the BRI and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025, cement the good momentum of cooperation, promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, realize connectivity at a higher level and make the pie of China-ASEAN cooperation even bigger. We will continue to deepen our comprehensive strategic partnership and build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.

Reuters: Canada is investigating allegations that the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is "dominated by the Chinese Communist Party" and the country is freezing ties with the bank during this probe. What is the ministry’s comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: Since its inception over seven years ago, with the joint efforts of its members, the AIIB has acted as a truly international, rule-based and high-standard institution and has achieved important progress in institution building, development of strategies and policies, and investment portfolio, which has been recognized by the world. On your specific question about the resignation of a certain employee, I would refer you to the AIIB. It is understood that the AIIB recruits and manages its staff in accordance with the principles of openness, merit-based selection and transparency. Its staff come from 65 countries and economies, who generally consider the AIIB as a fine employer. China, as the largest shareholder of the AIIB, will continue to work with all parties to uphold multilateralism, support the AIIB, make it a success, and contribute to the infrastructure and sustainable development in Asia and the wider world.

Yonhap: According to reports, lawmakers from the ROK opposition Democratic Party visited China recently and held talks with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Sun Weidong. Can the foreign ministry share what has been covered during the talks?

Wang Wenbin: Having exchanges at various levels and in various fields helps increase communication, friendship, trust and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the ROK. The governments of both countries have been positive towards that. As far as I know, during the ROK parliamentarians’ stay in China, they engaged with relevant Chinese departments, institutions and think-tanks to exchange views on China-ROK relations and issues of mutual interest. China believes that communication between the two countries’ governments and people from across the sectors is all the more necessary when bilateral relations come across difficulty so that people can together play a positive role in the sound and steady growth of China-ROK relations.

AFP: Firstly, Russian media have reported that Putin sent President Xi a congratulatory birthday message. Can you give us any details of the message and was there any further exchange between the two leaders? The second question is regarding a visit by Bill Gates to China this week. Can you tell us if he will be meeting with any government officials while he is here?

Wang Wenbin: On your first question, it is a usual international practice to exchange birthday or festive greetings between world leaders. It is also a sign of friendly ties between relevant leaders. 

On your second question, I have nothing to share.

TASS: People’s Daily yesterday published an article written by the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs Li Hui, in which he wrote that China does not have selfish interests and does not seek to put up exclusive blocs. China did not add fuel to the fire, nor did China exploit the situation for selfish gain. Can you elaborate on this statement? What does it mean for Mr. Li Hui to mention that China did not exploit the situation for selfish gain?

Wang Wenbin: On the Ukraine issue, China’s position is consistent and clear. China is committed to promoting talks for peace and bringing about a political settlement of the crisis through dialogue and negotiation.

Bloomberg: The foreign ministry has announced that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China from June 18 to 19. Do you have any comments or details on the visit?

Wang Wenbin: As agreed between China and the US, Secretary Blinken will visit China from June 18 to 19. The two sides are in touch on the arrangements for the visit. We will provide timely updates.

Reuters: Palau, a Pacific island nation, has asked the United States to step up patrols of its waters after several recent incursions by Chinese vessels into its exclusive economic zone. Its president also said he would welcome a bigger United States military presence in the country, with troops stationed alongside existing Coast Guard as well as civil action teams. What is the ministry’s comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: As we have learned from relevant authorities, the Chinese vessels were taking shelter from the wind at relevant waters and they did not conduct any maritime exploration or survey activities. China has notified the relevant country about this. China always abides by international law and the basic norms governing international relations, and has asked Chinese vessels to exercise their right to freedom of navigation and carry out scientific research activities in strict accordance with the law.

China believes that relevant parties need to contribute to the peace, development and stability in the Pacific island countries. We also believe that security cooperation between states should not target any third party.

Suggest to a friend