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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on February 21, 2022

2022-02-21 19:49

Xinhua News Agency: The Beijing Winter Olympics came to a successful conclusion last night. International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach described it as a truly exceptional Olympic Winter Games. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: Following more than six years of preparation and 16 days of exciting competition, the Beijing Winter Olympics was rounded off. This is a success for China, for the Olympic cause and for the world. 

China has fulfilled its commitment of delivering a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympics to the world. A green, inclusive, open and clean approach has been followed throughout the organizing and hosting of the Games. Beijing made history as the first city to host both the Summer and Winter Olympic Games. The professional and fair competition environment has impressed the world. The strong and effective COVID-19 protocols have set a successful example for the hosting of major international events, and the green, low-carbon and sustainable approach will be cherished as part of the rich legacy of Beijing 2022.

The Olympic spirit has been fully upheld during the Beijing Winter Olympics. Nearly 3,000 winter sports Olympians from 91 countries and regions have striven to excel themselves and go beyond their limits, setting two world records and 17 Olympic records and living up to the Olympic motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”. Beijing 2022 has become a Winter Olympics with the most events and gold medals and the biggest viewership, opening up a new era for ice and snow sports globally. 

The Olympics not only brings warmth and hope to people of all countries who are caught in the chilly winter of the pandemic, but also injects the strength of peace and unity into this volatile world. Athletes from different countries respect and cheer for each other, wish their competitors the best and send comforting words when the performance is less than ideal. These heartwarming scenes at the Games show us that the force of unity is much stronger than the force of division.

We would like to thank the IOC and friends from all walks of life in all countries who have been following and participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics. The snowflake-shaped cauldron for the Olympic flame has fulfilled its mission, but the Olympics has brought the message of spring to the world. China stands ready to continue working hand in hand with the international community to promote the robust development of the Olympic Movement and create a brighter future for mankind together.

Associated Press: Today marks the 50th anniversary of Richard Nixon’s ice-breaking meeting in 1972 with Mao Zedong, not too far from us here right now. What lessons from Nixon’s visit can be useful for our current time of disagreement and distrust?

Wang Wenbin: With President Richard Nixon’s visit to China 50 years ago, China and the US had a historic handshake and ended the long estrangement between the two countries. The Shanghai Communiqué issued during the visit is the first joint communiqué between China and the US. It affirmed the one-China principle, which, along with the principles of respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all states, non-aggression against other states, non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence, constitutes the political foundation of normalization of relations and the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The root cause of the current problems in China-US relations is that some people in the US, based on seriously misguided perception of China, regard China as a major strategic competitor or even an “imaginary enemy” and want to contain China in all dimensions. I want to stress that China’s development only aims to provide a better life for the Chinese people, not to challenge or replace the US. The US side should not seek to change or even suppress China. The two countries have far more common interests than differences. Both countries stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. It is inevitable that there will be differences between us. The key is to conduct candid communication to effectively manage those differences, prevent strategic miscalculation and avoid conflict and confrontation. 

An important inspiration from the Shanghai Communiqué and the 50th anniversary of President Nixon’s visit to China is that countries with different social systems and development paths can well expand common interests and coexist peacefully as long as they adhere to mutual respect, seek common ground while shelving differences and pursue win-win cooperation. We hope that the US side will work with China to draw experience and wisdom from the history of the past 50 years, carry forward the spirit of the Shanghai Communiqué and bring China-US relations back onto the track of sound and steady development.

Global Times: On the evening of February 19, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, upon invitation, attended and delivered a keynote speech at a special event on China during the 58th Munich Security Conference via videolink in Beijing. Can you share more details?

Wang Wenbin: At a time when the world faces the danger of division and confrontation, and nations are confused about the current state of the world and concerned about its future, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi elaborated on China’s observations and proposals on how to make the world a better place, overcome the current challenges and sail into a bright future. 

State Councilor Wang Yi said that to make the world a better place, major countries must lead by example. All major countries need to take the lead in supporting multilateralism, living up to their international commitments, acting on the purposes of the UN Charter, and contributing to world peace and development. China has all along honored its international responsibilities and obligations with real actions. China, with higher quality development and better capability to deliver, will provide stronger impetus for global recovery beyond COVID and make greater contribution to international peace and stability.

State Councilor Wang Yi pointed out that to make the world a better place, countries must work in sync. We need to work together to build a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation, to champion and act on true multilateralism, to promote balanced and robust recovery of the world economy, and to safeguard global peace and tranquility.

State Councilor Wang Yi stressed that to make the world a better place, China and Europe must play their part. China and Europe are two major forces and great civilizations. We can, and we must, provide more stability and positive energy for the world. China will continue to support European integration, support an EU with greater unity and prosperity, and support European strategic autonomy. At the same time, we hope that Europe could move beyond the “partner-competitor-rival” characterization of its relations with China, and view the China-Europe relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective to ensure the overall direction of a healthy relationship. The two sides need to respect each other’s core interests, adhere to the basic international norm of non-interference in internal affairs, expand mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, and give substance to our partnerships for green and digital cooperation, so as to bring about greater possibilities and sustained momentum for China-Europe relations.

State Councilor Wang Yi answered questions on China’s position regarding the security of Europe and the situation concerning Ukraine. He stated China’s consistent view that the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and safeguarded. The only viable way to resolve the Ukraine issue is to return to the Minsk-2 agreement, the starting point of this matter, as soon as possible. Relevant parties should sit down together to work out a roadmap and timetable for the implementation of the agreement and work for peace, instead of increasing tensions, stoking panic, or hyping up war. Ukraine should be a bridge for communication between the East and the West, not a frontier for confrontation between major powers. China hopes all parties will pursue dialogue and consultation to find a solution that is truly conducive to safeguarding the security of Europe.

NHK: The Australian government claims that a Chinese navy vessel pointed a laser at an Australian surveillance aircraft on February 17. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he will protest to China about this. Does the Chinese side have any comment? 

Wang Wenbin: According to what we have checked and verified with relevant department on the Chinese side, the information released by the Australian side is untrue. The normal navigation of Chinese vessels on the high seas is in line with relevant international law and international practice and is completely legal and legitimate. We urge Australia to respect the lawful rights that China’s vessels are entitled to in relevant waters under international law and stop maliciously disseminating China-related disinformation.

Kyodo News: On the 50th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s visit to China, China’s foreign ministry earlier said that the two countries will hold a series of commemorative activities. Do you have more information on that?

Wang Wenbin: China and the US will hold a series of commemorative activities in the near future. Please stay tuned as we will release more information in a timely manner.

AFP: At the Munich Security Conference last weekend, several Western leaders said that China’s support of Russia’s position on NATO showed that Beijing and Moscow were trying to replace existing international rules with their own global order. My question is, why has China chosen a path with Russia that has evidently worried so many European nations, including many that don’t favor confrontation with Beijing?

Wang Wenbin: I have shared with you State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s observations with regard to China’s position on European security and the situation in Ukraine at the Munich Security Conference. He also made clear China’s position on NATO’s eastward expansion. He noted that since the Cold War is long gone, NATO, a product of the Cold War, needs to adapt itself to the changing circumstances. If NATO keeps expanding eastward, will this be conducive to peace and stability in Europe, and will this contribute to lasting stability in Europe? This is a question that merits serious consideration by European friends.

As to China-Russia relations, not long ago, President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin met in Beijing and released a joint statement between China and Russia on international relations in the new era and global sustainable development, which spelled out the two sides’ common position on how they view democracy, development, security and order, demonstrated the two sides’ resolve to jointly safeguard international equity and justice, and will have an important and far-reaching influence on improving global governance in new circumstances.

I would like to stress that as permanent members of the UN Security Council and responsible major countries, China and Russia are both committed to forging a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. Both champion equity, good faith, cooperation and rule of law. Both stand for non-alliance, non-confrontation and non-targeting any third party. The international community speaks highly of this.

It is hoped that relevant sides will remove their tinted glasses, discard the Cold War mentality, and look at China-Russia relations and cooperation in an objective light. They should grasp the overriding trend of the times and do more things to safeguard world peace and development instead of labeling other countries and inciting antagonism and confrontation.

CCTV: After the US announced a plan to sell $100 million worth of arms to Taiwan on February 7, China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson said in response that China will take legitimate and strong measures to resolutely defend its sovereignty and security interests and people may wait and see what measures China will take. Do you have more information to offer at the moment?

Wang Wenbin: The US arms sales to the Taiwan region of China seriously violate the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués, especially the August 17 Communiqué, gravely undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, and severely harm China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this.

To safeguard China’s sovereignty and security interests, the Chinese government has decided to take countermeasures in accordance with relevant stipulations in China’s Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law on the infringing acts of Raytheon Technologies Corporation and Lockheed Martin Corporation, both of which are military industrial enterprises that have long participated in the US’ arms sales to China’s Taiwan region. 

China once again urges the US government and relevant sides to abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués, and stop arms sales to and military ties with Taiwan. China will continue to take all necessary measures to resolutely uphold its sovereignty and security interests in light of the situation’s development. 

Associated Press: On March 4th, a rocket booster will crash onto the far side of the moon. An analysis led by NASA indicates the large object is likely from a lunar mission launched from China in 2014. Could you confirm and provide any more details?

Wang Wenbin: The Chinese side has noted experts’ analysis and media reports on the matter recently. According to China’s monitoring, the upper stage of the Chang’e-5 mission rocket has fallen through the Earth’s atmosphere in a safe manner and burnt up completely. China’s aerospace endeavors are always in keeping with international law. We are committed to earnestly safeguarding the long-term sustainability of outer space activities and are ready to have extensive exchanges and cooperation with all sides.

Kyodo News: Media reports in Taiwan say that former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Taiwan on March 3 and meet with Tsai Ing-wen. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: Mike Pompeo has long been sanctioned by China for his anti-China remarks and actions. The DPP authorities in Taiwan, in seeking independence by soliciting US support, is playing with fire and will end up being consumed by it.

The Paper: According to reports, on February 19, US Secretary of State, UK Foreign Secretary and Australian Foreign Minister held a trilateral meeting on the margins of the Munich Security Conference, where they discussed progress made in implementing initiatives within the AUKUS trilateral security partnership, including Australia’s acquisition of nuclear-powered submarines. Do you have any comment? 

Wang Wenbin: The US, the UK and Australia have been blatantly advancing nuclear submarine cooperation in disregard of their non-proliferation obligations and the shared concerns and opposition of regional countries and the international community. This is provocation against regional security and defiance of international rules. The AUKUS trilateral security partnership is further evidence that the rules-based international order championed by the three countries is based on the interests of a small clique and does not represent the the will of the majority of the international community. The three countries’ willful behavior of doing whatever they want to serve their needs guided by the doctrine of “might makes right” is nothing short of the law of the jungle in the 21st century.

Once again China urges the three countries to treat the concerns of regional countries and the international community with a responsible attitude, earnestly respect regional countries’ efforts to establish a Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone and a South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone, conscientiously fulfill their nuclear non-proliferation obligations, and stop the dangerous moves that undermine regional peace and stability.

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