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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on April 16, 2024

2024-04-16 23:24

From April 18 to 23, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Indonesia, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea upon invitation and will chair the Fourth Meeting of the China-Indonesia High-Level Dialogue Cooperation Mechanism and the Seventh Meeting of the China-Cambodia Intergovernmental Coordination Committee.

CCTV: Today, President Xi Jinping met with visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. We noted that the two leaders exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Can you share more information on this?

Lin Jian: President Xi Jinping met with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Beijing this morning. The two leaders exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual interest. The two sides agreed to send the following joint messages on the Ukraine crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

On the Ukraine crisis, China and Germany are committed to observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, including upholding states’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. This is the essential foundation of a sustainable security architecture, and must be respected. China and Germany encourage and support efforts to seek a political settlement for peace in Ukraine, and are ready to continue to maintain close communication on the convening of a high-level conference in Switzerland and other future relevant international peace conferences. China and Germany jointly call for: opposing the use or threat of nuclear weapons; opposing attacks on nuclear facilities for peaceful purposes, including nuclear power plants; addressing global food security issues properly and contributing to global food security—the production and export of food must not be hindered; observing international humanitarian law, protecting civilians, releasing prisoners of war on both sides as soon as possible and respecting their basic rights.

On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, China and Germany are concerned about the grave humanitarian situation facing people in Gaza and the risk of further escalation of regional situation. China and Germany jointly call for: ensuring unimpeded and sustainable humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip and supporting the coordinating role of the UN and UNRWA in humanitarian aid; implementing UN Security Council Resolution 2728; implementing the two-State solution as the only way to achieve lasting peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians; jointly maintaining the safety of commercial shipping in line with international law, particularly in the Red Sea.

Xinhua News Agency: I want to follow up on Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Indonesia, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea. What’s China’s consideration and expectation for the visit?

Lin Jian: China, Indonesia, Cambodia and Papua New Guinea are all situated in the Asia-Pacific. We are all developing countries, and each other’s good friends and partners enjoying mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit, and common development. Under the strategic guidance of head-of-state diplomacy, China’s relations with the three countries have maintained robust momentum of growth. China has worked with Indonesia and Cambodia to build China-Indonesia and China-Cambodia community with a shared future, worked with Papua New Guinea to advance comprehensive strategic partnership, and deepened Belt and Road cooperation.

Through this visit, China looks forward to implementing the important common understandings reached between President Xi Jinping and the leaders of the three countries, conducting high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, pursuing deeper and more substantive progress in the building of China-Indonesia and China-Cambodia community with a shared future, and injecting new impetus into the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Papua New Guinea. We look to elevating China’s bilateral relations with the three countries to a new level. China stands ready to work with the three countries and other countries in the region to advance solidarity and cooperation, maintain peace and tranquility, and contribute to the regional and global peace, stability and development.

Reuters: How does China view the Myanmar junta’s loss of control over a key border town called Myawaddy last week and will continuing loss of territory for the junta mean that China will now be more open to engaging with anti-junta resistance groups that are gaining ground in Myanmar?

Lin Jian: We’ve noted the reports. China calls on all parties to stop the fighting, resolve disputes through dialogue and consultation and in peaceful means, and avoid any escalation of the situation.

AFP: China’s official media reported that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian yesterday. Could you share more details on what they discussed during the phone call?

Lin Jian: On April 15, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone call with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian at Iran’s request. We have released a readout on the phone call. I would like to share some information with you.

During the phone call, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China strongly condemns and opposes the attack on Iran’s embassy in Syria and that the attack is a serious and unacceptable violation of international law. China noted Iran’s statement that its action was restrained and was an act of self-defense in response to the attack on its embassy. China appreciated Iran’s emphasis on not targeting regional and neighboring countries and its reiteration of its continuing commitment to a good-neighborly and friendly policy. China believed that Iran is fully cognizant of the situation and will avoid causing further turbulence while defending its sovereignty and dignity.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that the ongoing situation is a spillover of the escalating Gaza conflict. There should be no more delays in implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 2728, achieving a ceasefire in Gaza, truly protecting civilians, and avoiding further deterioration of the humanitarian disaster. China will maintain communication with Iran, and work together toward a full, just and lasting settlement of the question of Palestine. China and Iran are comprehensive strategic partners. China is ready to steadily advance practical cooperation in various fields with Iran to make greater progress in China-Iran relations.

China Review News: On April 15, the UK government issued “Six-monthly Report on Hong Kong: July to December 2023” to criticize Hong Kong affairs. What’s China’s comments?

Lin Jian: The UK’s so-called report ignores facts and calls white black. It is a blatant interference in Hong Kong affairs which are China’s internal affairs and violation of the principles of international law and basic norms in international relations. China deplores and firmly opposes it.

Since the return of Hong Kong, the central government has fully, faithfully and firmly implemented the principles of One Country, Two Systems, Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and a high degree of autonomy. The Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and Safeguarding National Security Ordinance have given Hong Kong a strong shield for national security. Thanks to the national security legislation, Hong Kong residents’ rights and freedoms granted by law are under better protection. They also enjoy a stronger sense of gain, happiness and security. Hong Kong is better positioned than ever to fully focus on economic growth, its stature as an international financial, shipping and trade center will be further consolidated and its development outlook will be even brighter.

Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s domestic affair. It’s been 27 years since Hong Kong’s return and the UK must respect that fact. The UK also needs to stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs and stop being a haven to the people who sought to undermine China’s national security and stability in Hong Kong.

Reuters: The top US diplomat for East Asia Mr. Kritenbrink met with Chinese officials from the Foreign Ministry as well as the Taiwan Affairs Office this week. The US State Department said that they discussed Middle East developments, the South China Sea and Taiwan issues, but did not provide a lot of details. Could we understand what were the key discussions at the meetings, especially on the Middle East, given the phone calls that Minister Wang Yi had with the Iranian and Saudi Arabian counterparts this week as well, where China has said it will maintain communications with Iran over the Gaza crisis, while Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister said it highly expects China’s active role?

Lin Jian: On April 15, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ma Zhaoxu met with US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Daniel Kritenbrink and National Security Council Senior Director for China and Taiwan Affairs Sarah Beran. We have released a readout which you may refer to.

At the meeting, the two sides, in line with the common understandings reached by the two presidents at the San Francisco meeting and the recent phone call, had candid, in-depth and constructive communication on promoting China-US dialogue and cooperation in various fields and properly managing differences, and exchanged views on the Middle East, Ukraine, the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and other international and regional hotspots. The two sides agreed to continue implementing the San Francisco vision, maintain exchanges at various levels and further stabilize and grow China-US relations.

You also mentioned Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s phone calls with foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Let me briefly go over China’s principled positions which were made clear by Foreign Minister Wang Yi. He said that China firmly opposes the attack on Iran’s embassy in Syria and that the attack is a serious violation of international law. In the meantime, we noted that Iran said its counterattack is not targeted at any neighboring country and Iran is willing to continue taking a good-neighborly and friendly policy.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that the ongoing escalation in the Middle East is the latest spillover of the Gaza conflict. There should be no more delays in implementing the UN Security Council Resolution 2728, realizing an unconditional and durable ceasefire, truly protecting civilians and ensuring humanitarian aid. Palestinians have long been denied their legitimate national rights. This has been the most persisting injustice in modern-day world, the root cause of the Palestinian-Israeli question and the crux of the Middle East issue. The right way forward is to implement the two-State solution as soon as possible, establish an independent State of Palestine, and restore the legitimate national rights of Palestine so that the two states of Palestine and Israel will live side by side in peace. The international community needs to show more initiative, support full UN membership for Palestine, and call for a more broad-based, more authoritative, and more effective international peace conference to work out a timetable and roadmap for the two-State solution. China also stands ready to step up communication and coordination with all parties to that end.

NHK: Japan released its Diplomatic Bluebook 2024 today where it described China-Japan relations as “a strategic relationship of mutual benefit” for the first time in five years. What’s your comment? 

Lin Jian: During their meeting in San Francisco last November, the leaders of China and Japan reaffirmed commitment to comprehensively promoting a strategic relationship of mutual benefit and provided crucial political guidance to the improvement of bilateral relations. Japan has resorted to the same old false accusations against China and hype of “China threat” in its 2024 Diplomatic Bluebook. We firmly oppose this and Japan’s meddling in China’s domestic affairs. We urge Japan to change its wrong course of actions, stop stoking bloc confrontation, truly commit itself to advancing a strategic relationship of mutual benefit with China and work to build a constructive and stable China-Japan relationship fit for the new era.

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