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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on January 5, 2024

2024-01-05 23:23

Reuters: The White House said on Thursday that North Korea recently provided Russia with ballistic missiles and launchers for use in Moscow’s war against Ukraine. Given that China is a member of the Security Council at the United Nations, what is its position on this weapons transfer in light of China’s many calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine?

Wang Wenbin: I do not know of the cooperation you mentioned. China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear. We hope all parties will work on ways for deescalation and create the conditions for working towards a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

AFP: The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) fired artillery shells into waters off the western coast of the Republic of Korea (ROK) today. Residents of Baengnyeong island and Yeonpyeong island were ordered to evacuate. Is China for or against DPRK’s move?

Wang Wenbin: We noted that the ROK and the US have recently conducted large-scale joint drills in the DPRK-ROK border region, and the DPRK conducted artillery drills this morning. We are following the developments on the Korean Peninsula closely. Recently, antagonism between relevant parties has risen, with tensions running high on the Peninsula. As a neighboring country, China stands for keeping the Peninsula peaceful and stable and resolving the issues of the Peninsula through dialogue and consultation. Under the current circumstances, we hope that relevant parties will exercise calm and restraint, refrain from fueling tensions and avoid further escalation to create conditions for the resumption of meaningful dialogue.

Xinhua News Agency: China has announced Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu’s state visit to China. Could you share with us the program and China’s expectation for the visit?

Wang Wenbin: This is President Mohamed Muizzu’s first state visit to a foreign country since he took office. President Xi Jinping will host a welcome ceremony and a welcome banquet for President Mohamed Muizzu. The two heads of state will hold talks and attend the signing ceremony of cooperation documents. Premier Li Qiang and Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhao Leji will meet with President Mohamed Muizzu respectively.

China and the Maldives boast time-honored friendship. In the past 52 years since the establishment of diplomatic ties, the two countries have treated each other with respect and supported each other, setting a fine example of equality and mutual benefits between countries of different sizes. In 2014, President Xi Jinping paid a historic state visit to the Maldives. The two sides agreed to build a future-oriented all-around friendly and cooperative partnership. Over the past decade, the relations between China and the Maldives have deepened and achieved fruitful outcomes of practical cooperation in various fields, including Belt and Road cooperation, and deepening traditional friendship. The relations between China and the Maldives now stand at a new historical starting point. We believe that through this visit, the two heads of state will provide strategic guidance for the bilateral relations to reach a new height.

TRT: The Republic of South Africa filed a lawsuit in the International Court of Justice and requested an interim injunction on the ground that Israel violated the 1948 United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide with the actions it committed in Gaza since October 7. Türkiye also welcomes this application. What’s China’s views regarding this application?

Wang Wenbin: We noted the application. The ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict has killed more than 22,000 people in Gaza already, most of whom were civilians. The daily civilian death toll remains above one hundred. This must not continue. We oppose any action that violates the international law. We urge parties to the conflict to implement the resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council and the UN General Assembly, carry out full ceasefire at once and stop the collective punishment against the people of Gaza. 

AFP: I got a question on Donald Trump. A report by the Democrats in the US Congress was published yesterday. It claims that Chinese entities spent over USD 5.5 million at properties owned by Donald Trump. The report says that all that happened while Donald Trump was the US President. Is that true?

Wang Wenbin: I do not know about those claims. We urge relevant US politicians to stop buzzing about China.

CCTV: In a recent interview, Moiz Farooq, an executive editor of Daily Ittehad Media Group who visited Xinjiang of China along with a delegation of Pakistani media and think tanks last month, said that he saw the Muslims there enjoying happy lives and religious freedom and the so-called human rights atrocity in Xinjiang claimed by the US and some western countries cannot hold water. What is your comment? 

Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant reports. Xinjiang is visited by more and more people from around the world these days, who would then share their trips. We prepared some slides about their experience.

In 2023 alone, Xinjiang received nearly 400 delegations and groups that consist of over 4,300 visitors from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Japan, Egypt, France, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other countries and international organizations. Some of them are government officials, diplomats, religious figures, experts, scholars, journalists and ordinary travelers. They visited many places there. They listened to clergies giving sermons at mosques and the Islamic institutes and visited cultural heritage sites to see how Xinjiang’s traditional culture is protected. They went to local factories, businesses and farms to learn about Xinjiang’s production and development, and visited ordinary households where they saw the happy life of people of various ethnic groups.

Japanese tourists who traveled to Xinjiang said that they witnessed the happy life of Xinjiang people and began to know that many ethnic groups live side by side in the region and they are united like pomegranate seeds. A Pakistani journalist said that everywhere he went in Xinjiang, he could see people living a normal, peaceful and contented life, and what he saw in Xinjiang is different from the horrifying reports he had read about. Maxime Vivas, a French writer who visited Xinjiang for the third time last year, said that tranquility and harmony can be seen everywhere in the region. He questioned where the accusation of religious, language and cultural extinction came from and asked, “if the Chinese government were demolishing mosques and restricting the freedom of religious belief, then why have they trained over 3,000 clergies every year?” A French scholar said that using forced labor does not make sense in a country that owns 40 percent of the world’s invention patents.

Seeing is believing. People are not blind to the truth. For certain countries, they are comfortable telling lies about genocide and forced labor in Xinjiang, but it takes them forever to acknowledge the humanitarian tragedies in places such as Gaza. This is plain hypocrisy. Xinjiang will keep its door open to the world. We sincerely welcome more friends from all countries to visit Xinjiang and see its charm, harmony and prosperity for themselves.

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