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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on October 18, 2022

2022-10-18 21:04

CCTV: COVID-19 has highlighted the theoretical and practical value of the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that the purpose of practising multilateralism is to build a community with a shared future for mankind. How does China view the significance and relevance of this vision in today’s world?

Wang Wenbin: After the 18th National Congress of the CPC, in response to the question of our times about what kind of a world we want and how to build it, having given deep thought to the future of humanity, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the important vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. The vision calls for building an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity through the fundamental pathway of building a new type of international relations. It is based on the common values of humanity and builds on the fine traditional Chinese culture. It captures the CPC’s global vision and sense of responsibility and identifies with people around the world who aspire to peace, development, cooperation and progress. Building a community with a shared future for mankind is what China’s diplomacy in the new era is all about, and this ideal has been enshrined in China’s Constitution. Our world today is undergoing a pandemic, economic sluggishness and armed fighting and conflicts. This is compounded by the push for decoupling and breakage of the industrial and supply chains and creating exclusive cliques featuring bloc politics against the trend of the times. All this has made the call for building a community with a shared future for mankind all the more valuable. It has become a flag spearheading the trend of the times and charting the course for human development and progress. 

China is both an advocate and practitioner of building a community with a shared future for mankind. 

China is the only country in the world that has pledged to “keep to a path of peaceful development” in its Constitution. It has actively participated in the UN peacekeeping operations and the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process and committed itself to building a world of lasting peace.

China calls on the international community to adhere to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, made full effort to promote and engage in international cooperation against COVID-19, launched the Global Initiative on Data Security, put forward its proposals for tackling challenges in food security and energy security, and committed itself to building a world of universal security. 

China has actively promoted Belt and Road cooperation, maintained the security and stability of global industrial and supply chains, engaged in global governance and South-South cooperation, accelerated the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and committed itself to building a world of common prosperity.

China has worked actively to build a system of high-level opening-up, upheld the common values of humanity, advocated mutual learning among civilizations instead of clash of civilizations, and committed itself to building an open and inclusive world. 

China has prioritized ecological conservation and pursued a green and low-carbon path to development, announced the ambitious carbon peaking and carbon neutrality targets, worked to implement the Paris Agreement and committed itself to building a clean and beautiful world. 

The building of a community with a shared future for mankind has received extensive recognition and warm response from the international community. It has come a long way from a vision proposed by China to a chorus joined by many. In recent years, the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind has been fully reflected in the documents of the UN and other international organizations. Efforts are being made to build China-Africa, China-Arab, China-Latin America and Caribbean, China-ASEAN, and China-Central Asia communities with a shared future. Since last year, President Xi Jinping has put forward the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, which further enriched the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind and underlined the vision’s relevance in today’s world. 

Standing at a new historical starting point, China will continue to promote the call of the times for peace, development and win-win cooperation, work with countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind, and make new, greater contribution to promoting human development and making the world a better place. 

AFP: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that China is determined to take over Taiwan on a much faster timeline than previously considered. What’s the foreign ministry’s response? 

Wang Wenbin: I have noted Secretary Blinken’s remarks. The US has made clear commitments on “one-China”, acknowledging that there is but one China in the world and that Taiwan is a part of China and recognizing the government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal government representing China. These commitments are reflected explicitly in the three China-US Joint Communiqués. However, the US has time and again broken its word.

The US pledged to maintain only non-official ties with Taiwan, but in recent years it has substantially relaxed restrictions on official interactions with the region. The US House Speaker even visited the Taiwan region despite China’s strong opposition.

The US promised to gradually reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time, to a final resolution, but in fact, since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and the US, US arms sales to Taiwan have been increasing in both quantitative and qualitative terms, exceeding $70 billion to date.

In his remarks, Secretary Blinken also linked the US’s one-China policy to China’s commitment to a peaceful resolution of the Taiwan question, saying the latter is at the heart of the former. I need to stress that this is not a reiteration but an alteration of the US’s commitments.

National reunification by peaceful means is the first choice of the CPC and the Chinese government in resolving the Taiwan question, as it best serves the interests of the Chinese nation as a whole, including our Taiwan compatriots, and it works best for the long-term stability and development of China. Resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese, a matter that must be resolved by the Chinese. We are ready to create vast space for peaceful reunification; but we will leave no room for separatist activities in any form. Division of the country for “Taiwan independence” and a peaceful solution are incompatible with each other. The more rampant “Taiwan independence” forces are, the less likely it is for a peaceful solution to the Taiwan question. To truly safeguard peace across the Taiwan Strait, there needs to be unequivocal opposition to all “Taiwan independence” separatist acts and such acts must be stopped.

The US needs to honor its commitments, return to the original meaning of “one China” and reflect its statements of not supporting “Taiwan independence” in concrete actions.

Xinhua News Agency: It is reported recently that all 700 members of the eighth Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion with the UN Mission in South Sudan (Juba) and all 86 peacekeepers of the second Chinese peacekeeping helicopter contingent to Abyei were awarded the UN Peace Medal of Honor for their excellent performance during their missions and contributions to peace in South Sudan. Can you share more details?

Wang Wenbin: The eighth Chinese peacekeeping infantry battalion to South Sudan (Juba) and and the second Chinese peacekeeping helicopter contingent to Abyei were deployed to the mission areas in December and November last year respectively. They have completed over 400 tasks and their role has been highly appreciated by the local communities. Their action is a fulfillment of China’s responsibility to world peace. Every UN Peace Medal of Honor they have received represents the high recognition from the international community of the honor and bravery of Chinese peacekeepers and the efficacy of their work.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of China’s participation in UN peacekeeping operations (UNPKOs) with its first formed military unit of Blue Helmets. Over the past three decades, China has sent over 50,000 peacekeepers to nearly 30 UNPKOs in more than 20 countries and regions. China, a key force in the UNPKOs, has become the largest troop contributor to peacekeeping operations among the five permanent members of the Security Council and the second largest contributor to UN peacekeeping assessments. More and more often, Chinese peacekeepers can be seen in areas where peace and tranquility are needed most. They have brought peace, security, hope and warmth to people in war-torn areas. Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations, praised China for its leading role in UNPKOs and its sense of responsibility as a major country in safeguarding world peace.

To uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, advance world peace, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind is the reason of China’s long-standing commitment to the UNPKOs. China will continue to uphold true multilateralism, be a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a guardian of international order, and contribute China’s vision and effort to reducing the peace deficit and addressing global challenges.

CCTV: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), since its launch nine years ago, has received a warm response worldwide and has seen rapid development. But some people said China promoted the BRI for geopolitical purposes. What is your comment? How does China plan to advance Belt and Road cooperation despite the impacts of COVID-19 and other factors going forward?

Wang Wenbin: In 2013, President Xi Jinping put forward the important Belt and Road Initiative. For nine years, Belt and Road cooperation has upheld the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, stayed committed to the vision of open, green and clean cooperation, and pursued the goal of high-standard, people-centered and sustainable development. With solid and significant outcomes, the BRI has become a popular international public good and a platform for international cooperation.

Under the Belt and Road framework, the physical connectivity of infrastructure made solid progress, the institutional connectivity of rules and standards yielded fruitful results and the people-to-people connectivity featuring mutual help and assistance continued to deepen. Thanks to the BRI, East Africa and Cambodia now have expressways, Kazakhstan is linked to the sea, the Maldives has a cross-sea bridge, and Laos is no longer a land-locked country but a land-linked hub. Despite COVID-19, Belt and Road cooperation has not paused, but demonstrated strong resilience and great vitality. Cooperation via the China-Europe Railway Express has picked up speed despite the economic headwinds. The China-Laos Railway and the Peljesac Bridge in Croatia are completed and open to traffic. Key projects including the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, the Budapest-Belgrade Railway and China-Thailand Railway have made steady progress. By the end of August 2022, trade in goods between China and Belt and Road partners reached about $12 trillion, and non-financial direct investment from China to partner countries exceeded $140 billion. By the end of 2021, Chinese companies invested more than $43 billion in overseas economic and trade cooperation zones in partner countries and created more than 340,000 local jobs.

China has signed Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) mutual recognition agreements with more than 30 partner countries and regions so far. The level of trade and investment liberalization and facilitation has risen steadily. According to recent statistics, more than a third of key infrastructure projects under construction in partner countries and regions have adopted Chinese standards.

Groups of “small yet smart” projects for agriculture, health and poverty reduction have been launched, bringing a tangible sense of gain to the people of partner countries.

The BRI transcends the outdated mentality of geopolitical games, and created a new model of international cooperation. It is not an exclusive group, but a broad, open and inclusive stage for all. It is not China’s solo performance, but a symphony played by all. The emergence of all kinds of initiatives on infrastructure development globally proves the strong vitality and bellwether effect of the BRI. We are open to all parties’ participation in Belt and Road cooperation, and would consider the intermeshing with other countries’ initiatives on infrastructure development to provide more quality public goods for the world.

The BRI goes beyond the traditional model of economic and trade cooperation, and blazed a new path toward sustainable development. The development of a “Silk Road of health”, a green Silk Road and a digital Silk Road is well underway. Just as UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, the BRI and the 2030 Agenda “both have sustainable development as the overarching objective” and the BRI can speed up the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for the benefit of the whole world.

The fruitful outcomes of the past nine years show that Belt and Road cooperation has opened up new space for world economic growth and made new contributions to people’s livelihood in all countries. China looks forward to working with all partners to promote high-quality development of the BRI, keep the world connected, open and inclusive rather than divided, closed-up or exclusive, and make greater contributions to the common development of all countries.

AFP: Germany’s foreign intelligence agency chief warned there is still a lot of naivety among domestic scientists when it comes to contact with Chinese authorities. What’s your response?

Wang Wenbin: China has always followed the principles of mutual respect, win-win cooperation, equality and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs in growing its relations with Germany. We call on the German side to view the bilateral relations in an objective and rational light, stop giving voice to “the threat of Chinese spies”, stop misleading the public and smearing China, and stop politicizing normal cooperation between the two countries.

Reuters: Several people were killed in Kiev on Monday by drone strikes, the city mayor has said. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: I am not aware of what you mentioned. China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear. Under the current circumstances, all parties concerned need to exercise calm and restraint, and encourage and support all diplomatic efforts that are conducive to the peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis to jointly deescalate the situation.

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