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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on September 26, 2022

2022-09-26 19:06

CCTV: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a statement at the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 24. Could you share more information on that?

Wang Wenbin: On September 24 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended and addressed the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly at the UN headquarters in New York. He put forward a series of propositions on the current international landscape and joint efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind, which can be summarized as the following “six dos and six don’ts”:

First, we must uphold peace and oppose war and turbulence. We should remain committed to addressing differences through peaceful means and resolving disputes through dialogue and consultation.

Second, we must pursue development and eliminate poverty. We should place development at the center of the international agenda and see that everyone in every country benefits more from the fruits of development in a more equitable way.

Third, we must remain open and oppose exclusion. We should stay true to openness and inclusiveness, uphold the multilateral trading system with the WTO at its core and endeavor to build an open world economy.

Fourth, we must stay engaged in cooperation and oppose confrontation. We should engage in dialogue, consultation and win-win cooperation, and reject conflict, coercion and zero-sum game. We should jointly oppose group politics and bloc confrontation.

Fifth, we must strengthen solidarity and oppose division. We should stand against drawing lines on ideological grounds and work together to expand common ground and convergence of interests to promote world peace and development.

Sixth, we must uphold equity and oppose bullying. We should promote and practice true multilateralism, promote equality of all countries in terms of rights, rules and opportunities, and build a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, equity and justice, and win-win cooperation.

State Councilor Wang Yi said that in response to various challenges, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative, which is a rallying call to refocus attention on development and build a global community of development. President Xi Jinping also proposed the Global Security Initiative, contributing China’s vision to reducing the peace deficit and providing China’s input to meeting global security challenges.

State Councilor Wang Yi stressed that the one-China principle has become a basic norm in international relations and a general consensus of the international community. China will continue to endeavor to achieve peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and greatest efforts. To realize this goal, we must combat “Taiwan independence” separatist activities with the firmest resolve and take the most forceful steps to repulse interference by external groups. Only by resolutely forestalling in accordance with the law separatist activities can we forge a true foundation for peaceful reunification. Only when China is completely reunified can there be enduring peace across the Taiwan Strait. Any scheme to interfere in China’s internal affairs is bound to meet the strong opposition of all us Chinese, and any move to obstruct China’s cause of reunification is bound to be crushed by the wheels of history.

State Councilor Wang Yi pointed out that as China has one-fifth of the global population, its march toward modernization has important, far-reaching significance for the world. The upcoming 20th National Congress of the CPC will, in response to the expectation of all the Chinese people, set well-conceived goals and tasks for China’s development in the next five years and beyond, and it will draw an overarching plan for China’s future development. Having reached a new historical starting point, China will follow the Chinese path to modernization to achieve the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. China will work with other countries to make every effort for peace and development, shoulder the responsibility for solidarity and progress, build a community with a shared future for mankind, and embrace an even better world.

Bloomberg: President Zelenskyy of Ukraine has claimed that there are fewer communication channels between Ukraine and China compared to before. Specifically, he’s talking about leader-to-leader level communication. Could you tell us the reasons for that? 

Wang Wenbin: China and Ukraine are strategic partners. Since the two countries established diplomatic ties 30 years ago, cooperation in various fields between China and Ukraine has made good progress and exchanges at all levels have been smooth. Our two countries have also conducted active cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative. Last year, bilateral trade hit $19.3 billion, up by 29.7% year-on-year. Cooperation in such areas as agriculture, infrastructure and COVID-19 response has proceeded smoothly. China stands ready to work with Ukraine to maintain the momentum in our cooperation and continue to enrich the China-Ukraine strategic partnership.

China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear. We always follow an objective and fair approach, stand for peace and will continue to play a constructive part in deescalation efforts in our own way. 

MASTV: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced when addressing the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly on September 24 that China has decided to launch its domestic procedure to ratify the UN’s Firearms Protocol. Can you share the consideration behind this?

Wang Wenbin: The Firearms Protocol is one of the important protocols supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and an important legal instrument in the field of small arms and light weapons. On September 24, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced when addressing the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly that China has decided to launch its domestic procedure to ratify the UN’s Firearms Protocol. This is an important step taken by China to actively implement the Global Security Initiative and uphold international and regional peace and stability. It embodies China’s determination to support multilateralism and build a community with a shared future for mankind. China is fulfilling the domestic legal procedure in accordance with relevant provisions and will endeavor to ratify the Protocol at an early date.

Gun proliferation is a global threat. The illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms not only causes massive civilian casualties, but also leads to significant spillovers that exacerbate regional instability and fuel terrorism and transnational organized crime. The global gun control deficit calls for prompt resolution, which particularly calls for global cooperation and joint response. 

The Chinese government takes the issue of gun control seriously and firmly opposes the illicit manufacturing of and trafficking in firearms. After years of hard work, China has become one of the safest countries in the world with the fewest violent gun crimes. China strictly implements military export control, earnestly fulfills its international obligations, and actively conducts international exchanges and cooperation, which is internationally recognized. China is ready to take the ratification of the Firearms Protocol as an opportunity to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation with all parties, work together to address the issue of global gun proliferation, and make contributions to international and regional peace and security. 

Yonhap News Agency: According to reports, the DPRK fired a ballistic missile off the east coast of the Korean Peninsula on September 25. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: We have noted relevant foreign media reports. We have also taken note that the US and others have conducted multiple joint military exercises in this region recently. The crux of the current situation on the Korean Peninsula is that the legitimate and reasonable security concerns of the DPRK have not been duly responded to. We hope that all parties concerned on the issue of the Korean Peninsula will keep to the direction of seeking political settlement and address each other’s concerns in a balanced way through dialogue and consultation. The US needs to step up to its own responsibility, stop confrontational and pressuring moves, and create conditions for resuming meaningful dialogue. 

Xinhua News Agency: In an address at the General Debate of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly on September 23, Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare said that Solomon Islands has been subjected to a barrage of unwarranted and misplaced criticisms in the media since formalizing diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China. He also called on all countries not to inflame tensions in the Taiwan Strait and its neighboring areas. “Any miscalculation could threaten international peace and security and could have disastrous consequences on global trade,” he said. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: Prime Minister Sogavare’s compelling statement is a firm rejection of the groundless criticisms and accusations against the relations between China and Solomon Islands. He defended the two countries’ legitimate right to normal exchanges and cooperation and spoke out for justice regarding the situation in the Taiwan Strait and the situation in the region and around the world. China highly commends his statement. 

During the General Debate of the 77th Session of the UN General Assembly, many countries reaffirmed their commitment to the one-China principle. This once again shows that the one-China principle is a prevailing consensus of the international community and a basic norm in international relations.

China is committed to growing friendly cooperative ties with Solomon Islands in line with the principles of mutual respect, equality, win-win results and openness and inclusiveness. We will always remain a good friend and partner whom Solomon Islands can trust and support the country as always in pursuing an independent development path that suits its national reality.

Associated Press of Pakistan: According to reports, a ceremony of the donation for flood relief titled “Chinese People for Pakistani Brothers and Sisters” was held in Beijing on Sunday. Can you share some information about it here?

Wang Wenbin: The event was co-hosted by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC), the China-Pakistan Friendship Association, and the China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development. The event raised 125 million yuan worth of donations and flood-relief supplies. Some of the supplies have been delivered to the flood-stricken areas.

China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners and ironclad brothers that have always stood with each other in trying times. Since Pakistan was hit by the floods, the Chinese side, feeling deeply for our Pakistani brothers and sisters, has taken prompt actions to help. The Chinese government has provided 400 million yuan worth of humanitarian assistance to Pakistan. The civil society in China has also extended a helping hand. The CPAFFC worked immediately to encourage and organize the friendship associations of Chinese cities with sister city relationships with Pakistani cities and Chinese enterprises, institutions and philanthropists, among others, to take part in the fundraiser. The event received broad support from the civil society, with the participation of 18 cities with sister city relationships with Pakistani cities, 24 friendship organizations and subnational friendship associations, 13 companies and several hundred charitable individuals from 15 Chinese provinces and municipalities. Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque said at the event that the exceptional amount of donation indeed is very generous and timely and would be immensely helpful in reinforcing Pakistan’s ongoing flood-relief efforts.

The Chinese government and people will continue to stand with Pakistan. We believe that our brotherly Pakistan will surely prevail over the disaster and rebuild their homes at an early date.

Reuters: Voting in referendums in Ukraine aimed at annexing territory to Russia enters the 4th day on Monday. Does China recognize these referendums in the four eastern Ukraine regions?

Wang Wenbin: I replied to a related question last week. Let me refer you to that.

Phoenix TV: According to reports, leaders of many countries including Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Bolivian President Luis Arce and Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla have all condemned the US’s hegemonic acts of imposing unilateral sanctions in their statements at the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: We have noted relevant reports. The US is no doubt the superpower of sanctions. Figures show an increase of 933% in sanctions imposed by the US from 2000 to 2021. To date, the US has imposed economic sanctions on nearly 40 countries, which have affected almost half of the global population and caused serious humanitarian disasters. The previous US administration issued a total of over 3,900 sanction measures, which means the US wields its sanctions stick three times a day on average. According to US media, sanctions have become the US’s foreign policy weapon of choice. 

Over the past decades, the US has imposed unilateral sanctions on countries including Cuba, Belarus, Syria and Zimbabwe and ratcheted up “maximum pressure” on countries like the DPRK, Iran and Venezuela. Such action is against the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and norms of international law. It deals a heavy blow to the international political and economic order and the global governance system, and seriously disrupts the sanctioned countries’ efforts to mobilize resources, grow the economy and improve people’s wellbeing. It endangers the right to life, challenges the right to self-determination, undermines the right to development, and constitutes a persistent, systemic and large-scale violation of human rights.

The US is now experiencing the highest inflation rate in four decades. Soaring domestic prices have placed a heavy burden on the American people. In today’s globalized world, US policymakers need to seriously reflect on how indiscriminate unilateral sanctions are backfiring on the US itself and stop doing things that harm others and oneself alike.

To embrace cooperation, not confrontation, pursue multilateralism, not unilateralism, and uphold solidarity, not division, is the prevailing consensus of the international community. The US needs to listen to the just call of the international community, stop its hegemonic act of wantonly slapping unilateral sanctions and play a constructive role in promoting world peace and development.

Kyodo News: Reports said that China and the DPRK have resumed cross-border freight train services. Can you confirm that?

Wang Wenbin: In accordance with relevant border-related agreements and after friendly consultations, China and the DPRK have recently decided to resume the cross-border rail freight transport between Dandong and Sinuiju. The two sides will continue to step up coordination and cooperation, actively ensure the safe and stable operation of the freight train and contribute to the growth of China-DPRK friendly relations. 

ANZA: Italy just held its general elections last weekend. The center-right coalition is going to get a solid majority. The leader of Brothers of Italy Giorgia Meloni, who is expected to be the next Italian Prime Minister, criticized China a few days ago on some kind of policies, for example, the ones related to Taiwan. What are the Chinese expectations about bilateral relations?

Wang Wenbin: We have noted what came of Italy’s parliamentary election. China and Italy are comprehensive strategic partners. A sound and steady development of bilateral relations meets the shared interest of both sides. We hope the new Italian government will continue to follow a positive and practical China policy, work with China, uphold the spirit of mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit and keep deepening bilateral cooperation and people-to-people exchange in various areas for the benefit of the two countries and the two peoples.

The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair, which brooks no foreign interference. The one-China principle is an established international consensus and a basic norm of international relations. It is the political prerequisite and foundation for Italy and other countries to establish and develop diplomatic relations with China. China urges certain individuals in Italy to fully recognize the highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question, earnestly abide by the one-China principle, and avoid sending wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. 

The Paper: The Stanford Internet Observatory recently released a report disclosing how the US spreads disinformation targeting specific countries and regions including China on social media platforms to sway international public opinion and manipulate people’s perceptions and narratives. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: I noted the report revealed that over the years, the US has put in place a huge propaganda network targeting countries including China, Russia and Iran on social media platforms. Through this network, the US has launched political propaganda and rumor-mongering campaigns by creating fake personas, sharing similar contents and hyping up specific topics. I have also noted that multiple US media outlets have recently revealed that these sham accounts are suspected to be managed and run by the US military with the aim of staging covert information wars. 

From Operation Mockingbird which bribed and manipulated news media for propaganda purposes in the Cold War era, to a vial with white powder and a staged video of the “White Helmets” cited as evidence to wage wars in Iraq and Syria earlier this century, and then to the false allegations of “genocide” and “forced labor” in Xinjiang in recent years, the US keeps fabricating and spreading disinformation to glorify aggression and interference as promoting democracy, plundering as upholding justice, and devastation and killing as protecting human rights.

What is particularly ironic is that the US, being the largest disinformation propagator, has constantly labeled other countries and slung mud at them. The US is the one who has created a colossal number of sham accounts, yet it keeps asking social media platforms to remove the accounts of Chinese users. The US is the one who has manipulated public opinion, yet it keeps labeling Chinese media outlets as “state-affiliated” accounts. The US is the one who has applied a gloomy filter to paint China in a negative light, yet it keeps accusing China of turning public sentiment against the US.  

Perhaps some in the US believe that if they spread enough rumors, they will win the information war. However, people of the world are clear-eyed and will not be fooled. Be it alleged WMDs in Iraq, the “White Helmets” in Syria or “genocide” in Xinjiang, they have all become synonyms for the US’s failing credibility. The various disinformation spread by the US is being seen through by more and more people around the world and will only be rejected by the world just like US hegemony. 

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