عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on March 25, 2024

2024-03-25 22:50

At the invitation of Premier Li Qiang of the State Council, Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte will pay a working visit to China from March 26 to 27.

On March 28, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhao Leji will attend upon invitation the opening plenary of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024 in Hainan and deliver a keynote speech.

CCTV: The China Development Forum 2024 opened in Beijing yesterday. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Chubb Group Evan G. Greenberg noted in the letter from the Co-Chair that a strong and prosperous China that supports and invests in the international system is a force for good in the world and this year’s forum will focus on “The Continuous Development of China.” Amid the rhetoric of “China peak” and “cutting China out” advocated by individual Western politicians and media outlets, how do you view the message from the Forum?

Lin Jian: The China Development Forum 2024 was held in Beijing from March 24 to 25. Premier Li Qiang attended the opening plenary and delivered a keynote speech. President of the World Bank Ajay Banga, Managing Director of the IMF Kristalina Georgieva, and about 400 guests, including Chinese and foreign scholars, entrepreneurs, government officials and representatives from international organizations, attended the opening plenary. 

This year’s Forum sent out several strong and positive messages. Number one, the momentum of China’s economic rebound continues to strengthen. New industries, new models and new driving forces are growing at a faster pace. The fundamentals of China’s long-term economic growth, namely strong resilience, vast potential and ample vitality, remain unchanged. Number two, the Chinese government has always been an advocate and a good companion on the development and growth path of enterprises, and worked to bring efforts together for shared success. Number three, China will take practical and effective actions to promote high-quality development, expand domestic demand, build a modern industrial structure at a faster pace, push forward green transformation and inject more certainty and positive energy into the recovery and stable development of the world economy. Number four, China will continue to foster a world-class business environment that is market-oriented, law-based and internationalized, steadily advance institutional opening up and link with the world at a higher level of openness.

I would like to stress that no matter how the international landscape evolves, China will always seek development by engaging the world and staying connected, and keep generating new opportunities for the world through our development. Opening up will always remain our basic national policy and we will continue to follow the opening-up strategy of win-win cooperation. The global business community is more than welcome to keep investing in China and explore the Chinese market. We look forward to working with all friends from the business community to write a new chapter of open cooperation and mutual benefit.

CCTV: The Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano said yesterday in an interview that the resupply on March 23 is just an ordinary rotation and resupply or provision operation, but China Coast Guard launched water cannon attack to drive away the Filipino resupply vessels. He said the Philippines will not be deterred or intimidated. The Philippine National Task Force West Philippine Sea spokesperson denied that there is an agreement between China and the Philippines on resupply to Ren’ai Jiao. On March 23, the US State Department Spokesperson condemned the dangerous actions by China against lawful Philippine maritime operations in the South China Sea and said that China’s actions obstruct the freedom of navigation, destabilize the region and show clear disregard for international law. The US calls upon China to abide by the ruling of the South China Sea arbitration. The US reaffirms that the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty extends to armed attacks, including those on Philippine Coast Guard. What’s China’s comment? 

Lin Jian: Ren’ai Jiao is part of China’s Nansha Qundao and has always been part of China’s territory. On March 23, the Philippines once again broke its promise by sending a supply vessel and two Coast Guard vessels to illegally intrude into the adjacent waters of Ren’ai Jiao in the name of resupply of necessities. In fact, this Philippine resupply mission is not to send necessities, but to bring construction materials to the military vessel illegally grounded at Ren’ai Jiao for its repair and reinforcement in an attempt to build a permanent outpost on China’s uninhabited reef so as to permanently and illegally occupy Ren’ai Jiao. The Philippines has repeatedly gone back on its own words, refused to fulfill its commitment, seriously violated its promise to China and violated Article 5 of the DOC. In the face of the intrusion by the Philippine vessels, China Coast Guard had to take necessary law enforcement measures. The actions taken on the scene were justified, lawful, professional, restrained, and beyond reproach. China urges the Philippines to immediately stop infringing on China’s sovereignty and rights and stop the provocations. If the Philippines does not change course, China will continue to take resolute steps to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

The relevant US statement is a clear misrepresentation of facts. The US is not a party to the South China Sea issue, yet it keeps meddling in the issue, sowing discord concerning maritime issues between China and the Philippines and falsely accusing China, causing instability in the region. The US has arbitrarily threatened to resort to the US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty and endorsed the Philippines’ acts of infringing on China’s sovereignty. Such moves seriously violate the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and jeopardize regional peace and stability.

The South China Sea Arbitration violated the basic principle of state consent in international law. The award is illegal, null and void, and has no binding effect whatsoever. Any attempt of citing the illegal award of the South China Sea Arbitration to undermine China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests will not succeed. There has never been any problem with the freedom of navigation in the South China Sea. Over 100,000 merchant vessels now travel in the region annually and not a single ship has ever encountered hurdles. However, the US and certain countries made infringements and provocations in the South China Sea in the name of freedom of navigation, undermining peace and stability in the South China Sea. This is sheer gangster logic.

China is committed to safeguarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, and at the same time working with regional countries to keep the South China Sea peaceful and stable. We hope that relevant parties will see the facts and truth, uphold objectiveness, and fully respect China’s rights and interests and the efforts made by regional countries for a peaceful and stable South China Sea.

Phoenix TV: We noted recent media reports that US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will visit China in April. Can you confirm this?

Lin Jian: China and the US have maintained communication on economic and trade issues. On your specific question, I’d refer you to competent authorities.

I want to stress that sound and steady China-US economic and trade ties would be beneficial for the two countries and the world at large. The US needs to work with China to create favorable conditions for the bilateral economic and trade ties, and provide a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory environment for Chinese companies.

ITV: The British government is thought to be preparing sanctions and a government policy response to cyberattacks against the electoral commission in the UK and more than 40 British members of parliament, which it believes were conducted by what it says are state-sponsored Chinese hackers. What is your response?

Lin Jian: Cybersecurity is a global challenge. China is a major victim of cyberattacks. We have firmly fought and stopped all kinds of malicious cyber activities in accordance with the law, and advocated joint response from all countries through dialogue and cooperation. The origin-tracing of cyberattacks is highly complex and sensitive. When investigating and determining the nature of cyber cases, one needs to have adequate and objective evidence, instead of smearing other countries when facts do not exist, still less politicize cybersecurity issues. We hope relevant parties will stop spreading disinformation, take a responsible attitude and jointly safeguard peace and security in the cyberspace. China opposes illegal and unilateral sanctions and will firmly safeguard its lawful rights and interests.

Beijing Youth Daily: The Third International Forum on Democracy: The Shared Human Values was recently held in Beijing. Democratic Practices and Modernization in China Global Survey 2023 released at the forum mentioned that among respondents from 23 countries in the five continents, 95.7 percent on average agreed that all countries need to choose the democracy and modernization approach that fits their national conditions, and over 90 percent recognized the common values of humanity advocated by Chinese modernization on average in three years straight. What’s your comment? 

Lin Jian: We noted relevant reports. China always believes that democracy is a common value of humanity. As a Chinese saying goes, “language dialects change every ten miles, and folk customs differ every 100 miles.” The ways that countries practice democracy are rooted in their history, culture, tradition and practices, and are thus supposed to be diverse. True democracy means respecting each country’s path of democracy commensurate with its own national conditions.

China is committed to whole-process people’s democracy. We have developed it by integrating all elements of democracy—process and outcome, procedural and substantive, direct and indirect, and upheld people’s democracy that also reflects the will of the state. It is a model of socialist democracy that covers all aspects of the democratic process and all sectors of society. It is a true democracy that works. During the two sessions held earlier this month, close to 5,000 deputies and members from all walks of life across China gathered in Beijing to incorporate people’s ideas and aspirations into the top-level design of national development. The 2024 Report on the Work of the Government pooled wisdom and around 10,000 people directly participated in the report revision. From the deliberation of the work report to discussions through neighborhood committees on carrying out garbage sorting, and to having doorstep consultation to resolve disputes in communities, these examples show that whole-process people’s democracy is vibrant and widely applied across China and has become part and parcel of state governance.

China has explored a democracy path that fits the national conditions and has Chinese characteristics, and greatly enriched humanity’s political civilization. China fully respects the right of people in other countries to independently choose their development paths and opposes stoking division and confrontation in the international community in the name of “democracy”. We stand ready to work with other countries to advocate the common values of humanity featuring peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, and further advance humanity’s democracy in the spirit of mutual respect and seeking common ground while shelving differences.

AFP: I’d like to ask about the Friday attack at a concert hall in Moscow in which at least 137 people were killed. Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that the gunmen had attempted to escape to Ukraine, which he claimed had prepared a window for them at the border. But many officials in the United States say that there is no evidence of Ukrainian involvement, instead saying that the Islamic State also known as ISIS is solely responsible. So my question is, who does the Chinese government believe is responsible for this attack?

Lin Jian: China is deeply shocked at the deadly terrorist attack in Moscow region, Russia, which resulted in numerous fatalities. We express our deep condolences over the deceased and sincere sympathies to the injured and those who lost their loved ones. China opposes all forms of terrorism, strongly condemns terrorist attacks and firmly supports all parties’ efforts to safeguard national security and stability.

China Daily: It was reported that Russia and China vetoed on March 22 a draft resolution on the Palestinian-Israeli situation proposed by the US at the UN Security Council. Algeria also voted against it. Can you elaborate on China’s position?

Lin Jian: China’s Permanent Representative to the UN has fully elaborated on China’s position in his remarks after the vote at the Security Council. The draft proposed by the US has undergone several iterations, but it has always evaded and dodged the most essential issue, that is, a ceasefire. The final text does not call for an immediate ceasefire. This falls far short of the expectations of the international community. With a responsible attitude of safeguarding fairness and justice, the UN Charter, and the dignity of the Council, and also based on the concerns and strong opposition from the Arab states regarding this draft resolution, China has voted against the draft resolution.

The raging conflict in Gaza has caused a grave humanitarian crisis. There is an urgent need for the Security Council to promote the immediate realization of a ceasefire that is unconditional and durable. This is a prevailing aspiration of the international community. Any action taken by the Security Council should stand the test of history and the questioning of morality and conscience. China will continue supporting the Security Council in taking further actions that are responsible and meaningful as soon as possible and making relentless effort for an early ceasefire in Gaza, alleviation of the humanitarian situation and realization of the two-State solution.

Bloomberg: What is the assessment of the Chinese government on the origins of the terrorist attack in Moscow? You just said now that you condemn all terrorist attacks. So obviously you considered it as a terrorist attack. Is this a terrorist attack from a non-state actor? Would you see this state-sponsored terrorism?

Lin Jian: I stated China’s position just now. China opposes all forms of terrorism and strongly condemns terrorist attacks.

Hubei Media Group: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement, saying that Hong Kong’s Safeguarding National Security Ordinance will have broad implications for the people in Hong Kong as well as US citizens and companies operating there and threatens to further undermine the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong; It includes vaguely defined provisions regarding “sedition,” “state secrets,” and interactions with foreign entities that could be used to curb dissent; Implementing the new law could further violate the PRC’s international commitment to maintain Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, undermine the “One Country, Two Systems” framework, and damage the city’s reputation as an international business hub. What is China’s comment on this?

Lin Jian: China strongly deplores and firmly opposes the US once and again discrediting and smearing Hong Kong’s Safeguarding National Security Ordinance.

The publication in the gazette and coming into force of the Ordinance marks that the Hong Kong SAR has effectively fulfilled its constitutional responsibility stipulated in Article 23 of the Basic Law. It will further consolidate the security foundation for Hong Kong’s development, and enable Hong Kong to achieve stability and prosperity at a faster pace. All sectors of Hong Kong have lent high support to this Ordinance.

The Ordinance strikes a balance between safeguarding national security and ensuring rights, freedoms and economic growth, fully made reference to the legislation experience of other countries, especially common law jurisdictions, fully respects and protects human rights, clearly defines elements of crime, and clearly distinguishes between crime and non-crime. It provides effective protection for the normal business activities of foreign institutions, organizations and personnel in Hong Kong and their need for international exchanges. It does not at all undermine the high degree of autonomy in Hong Kong, nor does it change the current capitalist system and way of life in Hong Kong. It will enable Hong Kong to better leverage its unique status and strengths, better deepen exchanges and cooperation with various countries and regions, and better consolidate its status as an international financial, shipping and trade center.

The US itself has an airtight national security system, with a large number of laws and unparalleled extraterritoriality. However, it keeps pointing fingers at Hong Kong’s Safeguarding National Security Ordinance. This is sheer political manipulation and hypocritical double standards.

I would like to stress that Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs, on which no foreign country has the right to make irresponsible remarks. The Chinese government remains unwavering in its determination to safeguard the nation’s sovereignty, security and development interests and to implement One Country, Two Systems. We urge the US to earnestly respect China’s sovereignty and rule of law in Hong Kong, adhere to the principles of international law and the basic norms governing international relations, and immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs.

CRI: Following the violence that has erupted across the capital of Haiti, some countries and international organizations have evacuated local nationals and staff. Is China planning such evacuation or is it already underway?  

Lin Jian: With ongoing tensions in Haiti, local Chinese nationals and institutions are facing threat to their safety and security. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs activated the emergency consular protection mechanism and is working closely with other government agencies and relevant local governments in China. We have instructed our missions overseas to closely follow the situation on the ground, keep issuing security alerts and do everything possible to protect the safety of Chinese personnel in Haiti and help them safely relocate or evacuate. With concerted, relentless efforts, the 24 Chinese nationals who are willing to leave Haiti have been safely evacuated to the Dominican Republic.

We would like to thank the government of the Dominican Republic, the World Food Programme, the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti and relevant parties in Haiti for their valuable assistance in this process.

Associated Press of Pakistan: On March 23, a contingent of Chinese People’s Liberation Army participated in Pakistan Day military parade in Islamabad. Do you have any comment on that?

Lin Jian: China’s Ministry of National Defense has released relevant information. At the invitation of the Pakistani military, the Guard of Honor delegation of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army participated in a military parade in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad on March 23 in celebration of the 84th Pakistan Day. This fully demonstrates the unique and profound friendship between China and Pakistan, and adds a new story to the reservoir of interactions between the two countries and two militaries.

As an all-weather strategic cooperative partner and iron-clad friend, China sincerely wishes that Pakistan will make new, greater achievements in the cause of national development and progress.

China News Service: It’s reported that in response to China’s recent statement on “Arunachal Pradesh” (Zangnan of China), India’s External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar said at an academic research activity on March 23 that “Arunachal Pradesh” is a natural part of India and that is something which will be part of the boundary discussions which are taking place between China and India. What’s your comments?

Lin Jian: The China-India boundary has never been delimited and is divided into the eastern sector, the middle sector, the western sector, and Sikkim sector. Zangnan in the eastern sector has always been China’s territory. China had all along exercised effective administrative jurisdiction over Zangnan until India’s illegal occupation. This is a basic fact that cannot be denied.

In 1987, India formed the so-called “Arunachal Pradesh” on China’s territory under India’s illegal occupation. China issued a statement right then to firmly oppose it and stress that India’s move was illegal and null and void. China’s position remains unchanged. 

AFP: Over the weekend, there was an attack on a Chinese vessel in the Red Sea. The Huang Pu oil tanker was fired by the Houthis and was damaged by a missile. There were no casualties, but does the Chinese government have any comment on this, especially considering the reports of an agreement last week between China and the Houthis not to attack Chinese-flagged vessels and will the PLA in the region be escorting Chinese vessels in the future?  

Lin Jian: China always opposes harassment against civilian ships and stands for keeping the shipping lanes in the Red Sea safe in accordance with international law. Meanwhile, China believes that the international community needs to work for an early end to the fighting in Gaza and create necessary conditions for the deescalation of the situation in the Red Sea. China will continue to play a constructive role and strive for the early restoration of peace and tranquility in the Red Sea. 

Dragon TV: It was reported that there is new development in the case in which US accused the Indian side for suspicion of orchestrating a murder-for-hire scheme to assassin a US Sikh leader. The Indian side found after investigation that at least one Indian agent was suspected of involving in the case but the suspect was no longer working for India’s intelligence agency at that time. US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu recently noted that the US government takes this incredibly seriously and has raised it at the highest levels with India, and the US encourages India to hold accountable those responsible for this terrible crime. Some reports questioned why the suspect carried out the operation without government authorization. What is China’s comment?

Lin Jian: China noted the reports. We hope relevant countries will earnestly observe international law and the basic norms governing international relations.

AFP: I believe you just spoke about the resolution submitted to the United Nations Security Council by the United States calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. This resolution was vetoed by China and Russia on Friday. But today there will be another vote on a new ceasefire proposal that is being put forward by non-permanent members of the UN Security Council. So I’d like to ask specifically what is China’s view of today’s proposal and how does it intend to vote?

Lin Jian: The raging conflict in Gaza inflicted a severe humanitarian crisis. The international community expects the Council to fulfill its mandate. We’ve learned that Algeria and other non-permanent members of the Council put forward the relevant draft resolution. The draft unequivocally calls for a ceasefire and an increase in humanitarian assistance in Gaza. This is the right direction for the Council to take action. China supports the draft resolution and commends the efforts made by Algeria and other Arab countries. We hope that the Council will adopt it as soon as possible to send a strong call for ceasefire.

Reuters: The Philippine foreign ministry said on Monday that China had no right to be in Ren’ai Jiao and its moves to “interfere” with routine resupply missions there were unacceptable. Has China exhausted its diplomatic efforts in trying to resolve the situation? What is in China’s toolbox that can “fix” this?

Lin Jian: We have made our solemn position clear on the Philippines’ March 23 resupply mission to Ren’ai Jiao.

China’s position on the Ren’ai Jiao issue is consistent and clear. Ren’ai Jiao is part of Nansha Qundao and is China’s territory. We stay committed to handling disputes through dialogue and consultation and our door to dialogue and contact is always open to the Philippines. We urge the Philippines to immediately stop hyping up the bilateral maritime disputes, stop infringing on China’s sovereignty and rights, stop making provocations, start honoring its promise, and refrain from any move that may complicate the situation at sea. The Philippines needs to return to the right track of properly handling maritime disputes through negotiation and consultation as soon as possible and work with China to keep the South China Sea peaceful and stable. China will continue to take resolute measures to safeguard its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

Bloomberg: Just now you said you urge the Philippines to work in the same direction as China and you urge the Philippines to honor its word. I presume your statement that they should honor their word is in reference to the promise that China says that the Philippines has made on the situation in the Ren’ai Shoal. Can you release the details of this promise? China has repeatedly said that the Philippines has promised certain things on this, but neither side has ever released the details of that promise and the current Philippine government says it doesn’t exist. So it would be very useful for us trying to understand the situation if you would actually tell us what was promised and when.

Lin Jian: The Philippines illegally grounded a warship at Ren’ai Jiao in grave violation of China’s territorial sovereignty. In May 1999, the Philippines illegally grounded a tank landing ship, Sierra Madre (LT-57), at Ren’ai Jiao. China made stern representations at once and asked the Philippines to immediately tow away the warship. The Philippines promised several times to tow it away as soon as possible, but over 20 years have passed and the Philippines’ warship is still sitting there. The two sides reached understandings several times on managing the situation at Ren’ai Jiao. The Philippines has gone back on its own words, refused to fulfill its commitment, repeatedly broken its promise made to China and severely violated Article 5 of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.  

AFP: The Prime Minister of Sri Lanka has arrived in China today. Can the spokesperson provide any further details on this visit, including whether the issue of Sri Lankan debt will be discussed? 

Lin Jian: We will release relevant information on Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister’s visit to China. Please check back for updates.

Shenzhen TV: It’s reported that on March 23, Paraguay’s President Santiago Peña wrote on Platform X that the 66-year “diplomatic ties” between Paraguay and Taiwan run deep, which does not affect Paraguay’s trade with China. Paraguay continues to export soybeans to China. Both Taiwan and Paraguay are surrounded by major powers. What’s China’s comment?

Lin Jian: There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. The one-China principle is a universally recognized norm in international relations and a prevailing consensus among the international community. Standing up for the one-China principle is the right thing to do and is where global opinion trends and the arc of history bends. 

Despite the fact that China is the world’s top importer of soybean, our official data shows that China’s soybean imports from Paraguay have been zero in recent years. If the government of Paraguay truly puts national development and its people’s wellbeing close to its heart, the desirable thing to do is to see the prevailing trend and stand on the right side of history, instead of relying on petty tricks and looking for chances to exploit.

Suggest to a friend