عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on July 6, 2023

2023-07-06 19:27

At the invitation of Premier of the State Council Li Qiang, Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare will pay an official visit to China from July 9 to 15.

Xinhua News Agency: Following up on the official visit by Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare to China, can you share more on the schedule of the visit and China’s expectation?

Wang Wenbin: The relations between China and the Solomon Islands have grown rapidly since the two countries established diplomatic relations, producing fruitful results that have benefited the two peoples and contributed to peace, stability and development in the region. Prime Minister Sogavare’s visit to China, the second one in four years, will provide new impetus for further growth of the bilateral relations. China stands ready to work with the Solomon Islands and take this visit as an opportunity to deepen political mutual trust, expand practical cooperation and enhance cultural and people-to-people exchange, so as to bring the bilateral relations to a new level.

During the visit, the leaders of the two countries will have in-depth exchanges of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. Besides Beijing, Prime Minister Sogavare will also visit Jiangsu and Guangdong.

CCTV: Since the release of a Comprehensive Report by the IAEA on Japan’s disposal of nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, opposition to the discharge plan in Japan and the world has been growing unabated. Japan’s fisheries cooperative and other associations will submit another petition signed by 33,000 people to the Tokyo Electric Power Company in opposition to the discharge plan. The ROK Democratic Party of Korea decided to consider legislative moves to ban all seafood import from Japan. Over 1.05 million people in the ROK have signed in support of the campaign sponsored by the party against the discharge plan. Former Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, a Pacific Island country, said that the people are not convinced by the report, and efforts will continue to ask international agencies including the United Nations to attend to the concerns of people in the region. What is your comment on that?

Wang Wenbin: China has stated its position on Japan’s pushing through the ocean discharge plan on several occasions, and I would like to reiterate three points:

First, Japan focuses more on saving cost instead of safeguarding marine environment and protecting people’s life and health. On the disposal of nuclear-contaminated water, there are options including long-term storage, hydrogen release, geosphere injection, underground burial, and vapor release. Japan has chosen the discharge plan with minimum cost among all options, shifting the risks of nuclear contamination to the rest of the world. The act of putting money ahead of people’s life and health is doomed to be opposed by the international community.

Second, Japan did not have full consultation with the international community especially with stakeholders. In April 2021, the Japanese government unilaterally announced that it will discharge the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea, and it officially approved the discharge plan in July of 2022 in disregard of strong opposition from the international community especially from neighboring countries and other stakeholders and declared multiple times that it will not postpone the implementation of the plan. All of this fully reveals the selfishness and arrogance of Japan. Although Japan requested review and assessment from the IAEA out of domestic and international pressure, the discharge plan was preconceived and the request was nothing but a charade.

Third, the discharge plan is a gamble with no precedent and it is full of uncertainties. Japan’s discharge of the nuclear-contaminated water will last as long as 30 years or even longer. According to data released by Japan, nearly 70 percent of ALPS-treated nuclear-contaminated water failed to meet the discharge standards, and the efficiency and reliability of the system will be weakened due to corrosion and aging of the treatment equipment when put into long-term operation. In light of these uncertainties, the international community has every reason to express concerns and disapproval.

China once again urges Japan to act responsibly for marine environment and people’s life and health and stop pushing through the ocean discharge plan and imposing unpredictable risks on the international community.

Associated Press of Pakistan: On July 5, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif while addressing a ceremony to mark a decade of signing of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), said that CPEC has been playing a key role in transforming Pakistan’s economic landscape. He also said that the mega project helped Pakistan progress in the region and beyond. What is your response?

Wang Wenbin: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a signature project of China-Pakistan cooperation in the new era, and an important project under the Belt and Road Initiative. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of CPEC. After ten years of development, a “1+4” cooperation layout has been formed, with the CPEC at the center and Gwadar Port, transport infrastructure, energy and industrial cooperation being the four key areas. Projects under CPEC are flourishing all across Pakistan, attracting USD 25.4 billion of direct investment, creating 192,000 jobs, producing 6,000 megawatts of electric power, building 510 kilometers of highways and adding 886 kilometers to the core national transmission network. CPEC has made tangible contribution to the national development of Pakistan and connectivity in the region. China and Pakistan have also explored new areas for cooperation under the framework of CPEC, creating new highlights in cooperation on agriculture, science and technology, telecommunication and people’s wellbeing.

China stands ready to work with Pakistan to build on the past achievements and follow the guidance of the important common understandings between the leaders of the two countries on promoting high-quality development of CPEC to boost the development of China and Pakistan and the region and bring more benefits to the people of all countries.

AFP: I have two questions. The first one is, can you confirm if Japan and China’s foreign ministers will meet in Indonesia next week on the sidelines of ASEAN talks? And the second question is regarding the US biotech company Moderna. Moderna said yesterday that it had signed a memorandum of understanding to produce medicine in China for the domestic market. Can you tell us if this means that China will approve Moderna’s mRNA COVID vaccine for domestic use?

Wang Wenbin: As for your first question, I have no information to offer at present. 

As for your second question, I would refer you to the competent authorities.

The Paper: It was reported that the 17th EU-China Business and Technology Cooperation Fair (EU-China Fair) was successfully held in Chengdu. Can you share more with us? How do you see the recent growth momentum of China-EU cooperation?

Wang Wenbin: The EU-China Fair is one of the largest business, technology and innovation cooperation platforms between China and the EU, with the most extensive participation from both EU member states and EU businesses. Over the years, a total of 17 fairs have been held, attracting the participation of over 12,000 Chinese and EU businesses, and reaching over 3,200 intent purchase deals. This year’s EU-China Fair brought together over 2,000 Chinese and European officials, experts, scholars and entrepreneurs from various quarters to explore the prospects and create new opportunities for China-EU business cooperation.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. Recently, China and the EU have engaged in frequent high-level interactions, which has charted the course and created new impetus for bilateral trade and economic cooperation. According to statistics from the General Administration of Customs of China, the EU was China’s second biggest trading partner in the first five months of this year, and trade between China and the EU grew by 3.6 percent year-on-year to RMB 2.28 trillion. In particular, since the operation of the China-Europe Railway Express, the trips it makes have surged, playing a positive role in boosting China-EU trade and underpinning the stability of the industrial and supply chains. From January to June this year, the China-Europe Railway Express ran 8,641  trips and shipped 936,000 TEUs of cargo, up 16 percent and 30 percent year-on-year respectively. Up to now, more than 73,000 trains carrying a total of 6.9 million TEUs of cargo have been operated between China and Europe, reaching 216 cities in 25 European countries. The China-Europe Railway Express has become a stabilizer and accelerator for the smooth trade between China and the EU.

We stand ready to work with the EU to act upon the common understandings of our leaders, consolidate the sound momentum of growth in China-EU relations, continue to expand the dimensions of China-EU cooperation and add more certainty and stability to a world of change and disorder.

NHK: Yesterday, the Philippine Coast Guard said that two Philippine patrol ships were illegally thwarted by a China Coast Guard ship in the South China Sea. The move was extremely dangerous. What is China’s comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: The Ren’ai Reef is part of China’s Nansha Islands. On June 30, the Philippine Coast Guard vessels intruded into the waters off the Ren’ai Reef without Chinese permission. In accordance with the law, the Chinese Coast Guard vessel carried out law enforcement activities to uphold China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime order. The Chinese side’s maneuvers were professional and restrained. 

China Daily: US Department of Defense spokesperson recently said that the US will send a strategic nuclear submarine to the ROK. According to reports, the ROK and the US are discussing to hold the first meeting of the ROK-US Nuclear Consultative Group in late July in Seoul to reinforce the enforcement of US’s extended deterrence. What’s China’s comment? 

Wang Wenbin: China is concerned over the developments that you mentioned. The issues on the Korean Peninsula are essentially political and security issues. If the right path of establishing a peace mechanism on the Peninsula is abandoned while the wrong path of military deterrence and pressure is embraced, the Korean Peninsula can hardly get rid of the security trap of tension and antagonism. We urge the US and the ROK to grasp the crux of the issues and play a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Peninsula issues.

Bloomberg: According to a former Japanese official, Premier Li Qiang told Yohei Kono that he hoped countries would not mix politics with economics. This was during a meeting yesterday. Can you confirm that this conversation took place and do you have anything to add to it?

Wang Wenbin: If you are talking about Chinese Premier Li Qiang’s meeting yesterday with a delegation led by Yohei Kono, president of the Japanese Association for the Promotion of International Trade (JAPIT), I would like to share more information on this with you.

Premier Li Qiang met with a delegation led by Yohei Kono, president of JAPIT, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing yesterday afternoon.

Premier Li noted that China and Japan are close neighbors separated by a narrow strip of water. The two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of the normalization of relations last year, and this year marks the 45th anniversary of the signature of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship. The China-Japan relations are at an important juncture of taking stock of the past and envisioning the future. The two countries should always abide by the principles set out in the four political documents between China and Japan, safeguard the foundations for the growth of bilateral relations, view each other’s development objectively and rationally, and implement the political consensus that they should be cooperative partners rather than threats to each other. More needs to be done to meet the aspiration of the two peoples and follow the trend of today’s world. The two sides should live on friendly terms and support each other and engage in win-win cooperation, and provide more stability and positive energy for the building of a China-Japan relationship that meets the demands of the new era. 

Premier Li said that the pragmatic cooperation between China and Japan has a solid foundation, strong complementarity and great potential, and the two countries share extensive common interests. China is pursuing high-quality development in a comprehensive way, firmly advancing high-level opening-up, and actively building a market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment. China will, as always, support Japanese companies in expanding investment in and cooperation with China. Politicizing economic and trade issues is not conducive to the healthy development of China-Japan cooperation. The two sides can always handle specific issues in cooperation through dialogue and communication.

Premier Li noted that the foundation of public support for China-Japan relations is profound. It is hoped that JAPIT will further play a leading role in the mutually beneficial cooperation and friendly people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. We welcome more exchanges and cooperation between Japanese and Chinese localities in such areas as economy, culture, sports and youth.

President Yohei Kono said that JAPIT is committed to promoting Japan-China economic and trade exchanges, enhancing the Japan-China friendship and supporting China’s development, and is willing to uphold the spirit of mutual respect and trust with the Chinese side and continue to move forward friendly Japan-China cooperation.

Suggest to a friend