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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on November 30, 2023

2023-11-30 20:21

At the invitation of Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister Tran Luu Quang, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be in Viet Nam from December 1 to 2 to hold the 15th Meeting of the China-Viet Nam Steering Committee for Bilateral Cooperation.

CCTV: Yesterday marks the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. Under China’s initiation as this month’s rotating president, the UN Security Council held the High-Level Meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli Issue. Can you give us more information about the meeting and outcomes?

Wang Wenbin: Since the latest round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict, China has all along devoted its efforts to realizing peace and saving lives. President Xi Jinping made clear China’s principled position on the current Palestinian-Israeli situation on a number of occasions. China is this month’s rotating president of the Security Council. On November 15, the first resolution since this round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict broke out was adopted under China’s presidency, beginning initial steps toward a ceasefire. On November 29 local time, the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, under China’s initiation, the Security Council held a High-Level Meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli Issue. Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chaired the meeting. Foreign Ministers and high-level representatives of nearly 20 countries, including Brazil, Palestine, Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Indonesia, Türkiye, Slovenia and Malaysia, and all members of the Security Council attended the meeting. Foreign Ministers of many countries traveled to New York for the meeting. UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland made briefings to the meeting.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that dialogue and negotiation is the best way to save lives and the fundamental way to settle disagreements. We should work for a comprehensive and lasting ceasefire with the greatest urgency. There is no safe area under gunfire and no firewall in Gaza. China strongly hopes that the temporary ceasefire will not be a pause before a new round of offensives but the beginning of new efforts for realizing comprehensive and lasting ceasefire. A comprehensive and lasting ceasefire should be the overriding priority. We should protect civilians with more practical and robust efforts. Any violence and attack against civilians is unacceptable and any violation of the international humanitarian law needs to be condemned. It is imperative to fully deliver on the Security Council’s Resolution 2712. The Chinese government will provide another batch of emergency humanitarian supplies to Gaza. We should be more determined to revitalize the political prospect of the two-state solution. The justice of the Palestinian issue lies in the two-state solution, which is irreplaceable. Only when the two-state solution is truly and fully implemented, can peace in the Middle East be realized. China calls for an international peace conference that is more broad-based and effective. China supports Palestine in becoming a full member of the United Nations. We should galvanize more responsible and meaningful actions in the Security Council. China submitted the Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China on Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. We will continue to enhance coordination with relevant parties to pool consensus and make sure that the Security Council will undertake its due responsibility to work for peace and speak up for justice.

After the meeting is closed, Foreign Minister Wang Yi made remarks to the media, pointing out that on the Palestinian issue, China remains on the side of peace, justice and conscience and will continue to work with relevant parties to enhance coordination, pool consensus and work relentlessly for restoring stability in the region and a peaceful life for the people.

All sides commended China’s initiation of holding the High-Level Meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli Issue and recognized the meeting as the first event to deliver on the Security Council’s Resolution 2712. The meeting is of important significance for promoting a ceasefire and easing the humanitarian crisis and helps parties to pool insights, consensus and synergy. It is widely supported to extend the temporary ceasefire until a lasting ceasefire is realized, release those held captive, protect civilians, reinforce humanitarian assistance and ensure unimpeded access for supplies. We hope that the Security Council can earnestly fulfill its responsibility in safeguarding international peace and security, play a bigger role to ease the tensions, resume peace process as soon as possible and realize peaceful co-existence between Palestine and Israel.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held meetings with UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Slovenia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Tanja Fajon, Brazil’s Foreign Minister Mauro Vieira and Malaysia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Zambry Abd Kadir respectively, and had a group meeting with foreign ministers of Arab and Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, Türkiye and Indonesia.

China Daily: Recently, the EU is preparing the EU-China Summit. We have also noticed that the EU raises concerns to China over its economic slowdown, poor business environment, overcapacity, imbalance in trade, and its pursuit of a China-centered international order and emphasized no decoupling from but “de-risking” with China. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: The concerns raised by the EU are inconsistent with the facts.

Despite difficulties in global economic recovery, China maintains a good momentum toward stabilizing and improving its economy, which is not easy. In the first three quarters, China’s GDP has gone up by 5.2 percent year on year, making China a leader among the major economies. Many international organizations have revised up the expectations for China’s economy recently. China is pursuing high-quality development and actively building a market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment. According to the survey for the third quarter by the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, more than 80 percent of participating foreign companies are satisfied with the business environment, and close to 90 percent of the companies expect their return on investment to remain flat or increase in next five years.

China has never sought trade surplus. China has actively held the China International Import Expo (CIIE) and the China International Supply Chain Expo (CISCE), working for the opening up with more market opportunities and consolidating and advancing global cooperation on industrial and supply chains. China’s new development will create new opportunities for Europe and the rest of the world.

The rapid development of China’s green industry and clean technology is the result of painstaking efforts in pursuing technological innovation and building complete industrial and supply chains and is the legitimate advantage won by strenuous efforts and fair competition. This is welcomed by EU consumers and global users and has made tremendous contribution to global efforts in addressing climate change and promoting green transition.

The Chinese modernization is the modernization on the path of peaceful development. China has been committed to the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and advanced a global governance vision featuring wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. The experience of the past two decades has shown that staying committed to the comprehensive strategic partnership will charter China-EU relations forward. From curbing inflation to promoting economic recovery, from realizing green transition and digital transformation to strengthening strategic independence, from safeguarding multilateralism to addressing global challenges, China is a reliable partner to the EU. “De-risking” and “reducing dependence” should not evolve into throwing away and weakening cooperation. It is hoped that the EU will observe China’s development and domestic and foreign policies in a comprehensive and objective way, adopts a rational and pragmatic China policy, and promotes the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two sides, so as to jointly resolve global challenges.

Reuters: Taiwan “president” Tsai Ing-wen has told The New York Times in an interview that China’s leadership is too “overwhelmed” with its internal problems to consider an invasion of Taiwan. She said this was not a time to consider a major invasion largely because of China’s internal economic, financial and political challenges, and also because the international community has been clear that war is not an option. Would the ministry comment on this interview?

Wang Wenbin: I need to correct you first. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and there is no such thing as “Taiwanese president”. This is not a question about foreign affairs.

Let me stress that there is only one China in the world. The Taiwan question is China’s internal affair and standing up for the one-China principle is a prevailing consensus among the international community. To ensure cross-Strait peace and stability, it is essential to unequivocally uphold the one-China principle and oppose “Taiwan independence” and foreign interference. The DPP authorities’ obsession with the separatist position of “Taiwan independence” and provocations to pursue “Taiwan independence” will only end in a shameful failure. 

Xinhua News Agency: The UN held a Special Commemorative Meeting for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People on November 29. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the meeting. Can you share more about this and the role China will play in resolving the Palestinian question?

Wang Wenbin: China has always been a sincere friend of Palestine and stood together with the Palestinian people. On November 29, President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the UN Special Commemorative Meeting for the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. This is the 11th time that President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the annual meeting. This speaks to China’s firm support for the Palestinian people’s just cause of restoring the nation’s legitimate rights and interests. It also shows China’s commitment to our responsibility of upholding fairness and justice in international affairs.

Given the current situation, this year’s commemorative meeting is of special significance. As President Xi Jinping noted in the congratulatory message, the question of Palestine lies at the heart of the Middle East issue. It is a matter of international fairness and justice. The international community must act now and urgently. The UN Security Council must take on its responsibility and do all it can to push for ceasefire, protect civilians, and end the humanitarian disaster. Palestinian-Israeli peace talks should be resumed on that basis as soon as possible. The Palestinians’ right to statehood, right to existence, and right of return must be realized at the earliest date. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to work with the rest of the international community to build consensus for peace, get the question of Palestine back on the right track of the two-state solution, and seek an early resolution that is comprehensive, just and durable.

CRI: We noted that China has released the Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China on Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict. Could you share more information on that?

Wang Wenbin: The current Palestinian-Israeli conflict has caused heavy civilian casualties and a serious humanitarian disaster. China always stands on the side of peace, justice and human conscience. As this month’s president of the Security Council, China has actively promoted talks for peace and galvanized responsible and meaningful actions in the Security Council. In the Position Paper of the People’s Republic of China on Resolving the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict, China offers proposals in five respects, including implementing a comprehensive ceasefire and ending the fighting, protecting civilians effectively, ensuring humanitarian assistance, enhancing diplomatic mediation and seeking political settlement through the two-state solution. China will continue to strengthen coordination with parties concerned, further build consensus and make unremitting effort for ending the conflict, resuming peace talks and facilitating a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine. 

AFP: Former US Secretary Kissinger passed away. What’s China’s comment on this? What will the Chinese government remember about him and miss the most?

Wang Wenbin: Dr. Henry Kissinger was a dear old friend of the Chinese people and a trail-blazer and contributor to China-US relations. Dr. Kissinger, who has long been showing care and support for the growth of China-US relations, visited China more than 100 times and has made historical contribution to the normalization of China-US relations. He will be greatly missed and fondly remembered by the people of China for his personal commitment and extraordinary contribution to China-US relations.

Chinese President Xi Jinping has sent a message of condolences to President Biden to express deep sorrow over the passing of Dr. Kissinger and extend sympathies to Dr. Kissinger’s family. Premier Li Qiang sent a message of condolences to the family of Dr. Kissinger. Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs and Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent a message of condolences to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Dr. Kissinger attached high importance to China-US relations and stated that this bilateral relationship is of vital significance to both China and the US and global peace and prosperity. Both sides in China and the US need to carry forward Dr. Kissinger’s strategic vision, political courage and diplomatic wisdom and, as President Xi and President Biden agreed in San Francisco, uphold the principle of mutual respect, peaceful co-existence and win-win cooperation and work to deliver a healthy, stable and sustainable China-US relationship.

Antara: Based on a report, Taiwan’s health department today urged the elderly, the very young and those with poor immunity to avoid traveling to China due to the recent increase in respiratory illness in Chinese mainland. Does the ministry have any comment about it?

Wang Wenbin: This is not a question about foreign affairs. 

China’s National Health Commission (NHC) has held a press conference to share information on relevant matter. It is safe to travel, do business and study here in China and there’s no need to worry.

Dragon TV: Recently China Railway rolled out an online identity verification service for foreign passport holders. The railway’s website 12306.cn and its app have also launched English versions and provided a number of facilitation measures for foreign passengers traveling by rail. Do you have any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: China is committed to enhancing people-to-people exchange with other countries and has worked to facilitate foreigners traveling, working, studying and living in China. The measures that China Railway rolled out recently are aimed at providing better services for foreign passengers. China will open its door wider. We welcome more foreign friends to visit China and travel around, perhaps by high-speed rail, to experience first-hand China’s high-quality development and high-level opening up.

Reuters: Lithuania’s foreign minister said on Tuesday that China had lifted trade measures restricting Lithuania’s exports to China. Can you confirm that normal trade relations between China and Lithuania have been restored? What triggered this decision?

Wang Wenbin: China always follows WTO rules and will handle relevant issue in accordance with rules. We once again urge the Lithuanian side to correct mistakes and return to the one-China principle as soon as possible.

The Paper: Recently, 34 US think tanks and non-governmental organizations jointly sent a letter to Chinese and US presidents, calling on the two countries to be committed to reducing frictions in the bilateral relations and enhance cooperation in protecting the Earth and safeguarding world peace and prosperity. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: The letter of 34 US think tanks and non-governmental organizations to Chinese and US presidents sent out a voice of reason for China-US relations and reflected the sincere call from all sectors of the American society for stabilizing and improving China-US relations and assuming due responsibilities as major countries.

During the meeting in San Francisco, the two heads of state had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on strategic and overarching issues critical to the direction of China-US relations and on major issues affecting world peace and development. They held further discussions about the right way for China and the US to get along, clearly outlined the shared responsibilities of our two major countries, and came up with a future-oriented “San Francisco vision”, yielding a series of common understandings and deliverables. This also reflects and represents the shared aspiration of the two peoples and the international community.

As President Xi Jinping pointed out at the welcome dinner hosted by friendly organizations in the US, no matter how the global landscape evolves, the historical trend of peaceful coexistence between China and the US will not change. The ultimate wish of our two peoples for exchanges and cooperation will not change. The expectations of the whole world for a steadily growing China-US relationship will not change. We hope that the two peoples across various sectors will continue to work together and make more visits, contacts and exchanges, so as to form greater synergy to promote sound, stable, and sustainable development of the China-US relationship and safeguard world peace and prosperity.


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