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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on January 13, 2022

Shenzhen TV: Yesterday, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu of Turkey visited China at the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Can you share more about the visit? Were Xinjiang-related issues raised during their meeting?

Wang Wenbin: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had candid talks and a thorough exchange of views on China-Turkey bilateral relations, practical cooperation in various areas, and international and regional issues of common concern. The two sides shared that they should work in the direction identified by the two heads of state, respect each other and enhance mutual trust. They two sides should strengthen the alignment between the Belt and Road Initiative and Turkey’s “Middle Corridor” initiative, advance cooperation in such areas as major projects, new energy, 5G communications, cloud computing and big data, leverage the RMB-local currency swap arrangement, expand bilateral people-to-people exchange, and work toward mutual benefits and win-win results at a higher level. The two sides should strengthen coordination, jointly uphold true multilateralism, promote greater democracy in international relations and defend common interests of emerging market economies including China and Turkey.

The two sides also had a deep discussion over Xinjiang-related issues. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that the Xinjiang-related issues are essentially about fighting terrorism and separatism. The Chinese government has the responsibility to safeguard security, harmony and stability in Xinjiang. The US and some other Western countries have made statements to smear and attack China, and gone to any lengths to destabilize Xinjiang, with the ultimate purpose to disrupt China’s development. Turkey and other Islamic countries are hoped to understand and support China’s just position on Xinjiang-related issues. As strategic partners, China and Turkey should commit themselves to enhancing mutual trust and mutual support. The two sides are expected to support each other in defending respective sovereignty, security and development interests, abide by the basic norm governing international relations of non-interference in domestic affairs, refrain from attending activities that target the other side on international occasions, and improve communication through bilateral channels to increase mutual understanding on historical and ethnic issues where differences exist. 

Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said that the Turkish side is committed to the one-China principle and will not allow violent terrorist acts targeting China or anti-China activities that harm China’s territorial integrity on Turkish soil. The Turkish side never uses Xinjiang-related issues as a tool against China and has long designated the ETIM as a terrorist organization and banned its activities in Turkey.

Xinhua News Agency: At a press conference on January 12, the State Council Information Office released data on China’s work in the intellectual property rights (IPR) field in 2021. We noted that the number of invention patents granted to applicants from foreign countries reached 110,000, up 23 percent from the previous year, and over 194,000 trademarks were registered by foreign applicants, up 5.2 percent year on year. The growth shows the confidence of foreign enterprises in China’s IPR protection and business environment. Can you elaborate on China’s contribution to promoting global governance and international cooperation on intellectual property right? What is China’s expectation and proposals for the relevant work in the future?

Wang Wenbin: In 2021, China has improved the work in the IPR field in both quality and quantity and successfully hit all relevant targets, thus providing strong support to people’s pursuit of a better life. In the meantime, adhering to the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, we have improved the international system on IP rules and helped build a global IPR ecosystem. 

First, China has actively participated in global IPR governance. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress formally ratified the Marrakesh Treaty and made decisive progress in joining the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs. China co-hosted with WIPO the first Global Conference on Technology and Innovation Support Centers, and actively shared China’s practice in using intellectual property to support the development of innovators and poverty alleviation efforts. The RMB is made a pricing and settlement currency of international expenses related to the Patent Cooperation Treaty and the Chinese language has become one of the working languages of the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants. We held the Industrial Design Five (ID5) annual meeting via video link and fully participated in institutionalized meetings under the frameworks of BRICS, China-Japan-ROK, China-ASEAN and China-Mongolia-Russia cooperation. 

Second, China has strictly implemented provisions on intellectual property in relevant economic and trade agreements. We have made preparations for the entry into force and implementation of the chapter on intellectual property in the RCEP, and implemented in an orderly fashion the intellectual property provisions in the phase one China-US economic and trade deal and the China-EU geographical indications agreement.

Third, China has actively promoted common development in the field of intellectual property. We have vigorously promoted IPR cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and achieved important results in eight practical cooperation projects. Online training courses and seminars on IPR were held for BRI partner countries and countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to promote IPR capacity building of developing countries and jointly build a road of innovation. 

In 2022, we will continue to deeply participate in global IPR governance under the framework of WIPO, and deepen Belt and Road cooperation on IPR. We will strengthen exchanges and communication with countries in capitalizing on IPR to promote technology innovation, address climate change and support carbon neutrality and carbon peaking. By promoting knowledge sharing, we will make innovation bring more benefits to people of all countries, thus advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Yonhap News Agency: It is reported that in response to the DPRK’s successful test of a hyper-sonic missile, the US government announced new sanctions against the country. What is China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: China is always opposed to any country’s unilateral sanctions and so-called long-arm jurisdiction on other countries based on domestic law. Willful sanctions do not help resolve the Korean Peninsula issue, but only worsen the confrontational mood. We hope relevant parties would act and speak with prudence, adhere to the right direction of dialogue and consultation, do more things that help stabilize the situation and build trust, and jointly contribute to the political resolution of the Peninsula issue.

AFP: Firstly, a US State Department research paper says that China’s sovereignty claims in the South China Sea are unlawful and have no basis in international law. What’s your response to this? Secondly, Japanese media reported that Japan has been conducting freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea. Can you confirm that Japanese ships did this and what’s your response? Third, the director of Human Rights Watch said in an interview that Beijing is using the Olympics to “sports-wash” its human rights record. What’s your response? 

Wang Wenbin: On your first question, the media note and study of the US side misrepresent international law to mislead the public, confuse right with wrong and upset the regional situation. I would like to reiterate the following:

First, as a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), China sets great store by the Convention and earnestly observes the Convention in a rigid and responsible manner. The US refuses to join the Convention, but styles itself as a judge. It wantonly misrepresents the Convention and adopts double standards out of selfish gains. Such political manipulation is irresponsible and undermines international rule of law. 

Second, China enjoys sovereignty over Nanhai Zhudao including Dongsha Qundao, Xisha Qundao, Zhongsha Qundao and Nansha Qundao. China’s Nanhai Zhudao has internal waters, territorial sea, contiguous zone, Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf. China enjoys historic rights in the South China Sea. Our sovereignty and relevant rights and interests in the South China Sea are established in the long course of history and are in line with the UN Charter, UNCLOS and other international law. 

Third, China’s position on the so-called South China Sea arbitration and the award is consistent, clear and firm. The Arbitral Tribunal violated the principle of state consent, exercised its jurisdiction ultra vires and rendered an award in disregard of law. It gravely violates UNCLOS and general international law. The award is illegal, null and void. China does not accept or recognize it.

Fourth, with joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation of the South China Sea is generally stable. The US, a country outside the region, has frequently made provocations in the South China Sea, and driven wedges among regional countries. This wins no support, and the international community can see this very clearly. China will work with ASEAN countries to stay committed to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, and promote prosperity and development in the region.

As for your second question, we hope the relevant country will not do things to undermine regional peace and stability. 

You also mentioned the remarks of relevant personnel of Human Rights Watch. This so-called human rights organization is full of prejudice and always confuses right with wrong. Its lies and rumors have no market and its malicious words and deeds to undermine the Olympic cause will never succeed.

Phoenix TV: Certain non-governmental organization overseas recently raised concerns over whether press freedom would be affected by COVID-19 protocols during the Beijing Winter Olympics. Do you have any response?

Wang Wenbin: China adheres to the fundamental national policy of opening up. Foreign media enjoy an open reporting environment in China, with full freedom in covering the Beijing Winter Olympics and relevant matters. As a country with rule of law, China has promulgated the Regulations of the People’s Republic of China on News Coverage by Permanent Offices of Foreign Media Organizations and Foreign Journalists where clear stipulations are made to protect the legitimate rights and interests of foreign journalists. 

China will, as always, protect the legitimate rights and interests of permanent foreign media outlets and journalists and provide convenience to them in their reporting on the Beijing Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games as prescribed in the Host City Contract. We welcome the interest, reporting and constructive suggestions from the media. In the meantime, we oppose moves to distort facts in the name of press freedom to smear China and the Beijing Winter Olympics. 

Rigorous prevention and control measures are for the purpose of ensuring the safety of the events and personnel, which is a precondition of normal coverage and reporting by journalists. The anti-epidemic policies are formulated by the Beijing Organising Committee for the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (BOCOG) in concert with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC). We have released two editions of the Beijing 2022 Playbooks and put in place closed-loop management on all relevant personnel to separate them from the public, in order to protect the safety of all people involved in the Games and residents in the host city and ensure a smooth and safe Games to be hosted as scheduled. 

To date, more than 2,500 journalists and photographers have submitted application to register for the Games. The grave and complicated pandemic situation has brought about difficulties to the reporting of media organizations. The BOCOG is having discussions with the IOC and the IPC to do its utmost to help journalists overcome these difficulties. 

As far as we know, the BOCOG has set up help desk at media work room in the Main Media Center, Zhangjiakou Mountain Press Center and 12 competition venues to receive and handle the reporting applications of accredited media. The BOCOG will work with the IOC to hold daily briefings on the events to provide ample material for reporting. Besides, we will try our best to help journalists do interviews and reporting on the Games with people outside the loop by using technology and via video link. 

Macau Monthly: According to reports, the number of forcibly displaced people including refugees worldwide has exceeded 80 million. Developing countries currently host 86 percent of the world’s refugees, which puts a huge economic and social strain on them. They all call on the US, the country responsible for the problem, to shoulder responsibilities. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: I’ve noted the statistics. The US is a major factor causing the global refugee and migrant crisis. Its belligerent acts have triggered several waves of refugees. Since 2001, its invasion of other countries has killed more than 800,000 and led to more than 20 million refugees in the invaded countries alone including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. Wherever the US troops go, they wither livelihood, cause social unrest and trigger displacement.

The US violates the human rights of refugees and migrants. Systemic racial discrimination is a deep-seated problem in the country. Its commitment to take in refugees and respect human rights is just an empty slogan. The US builds a wall along its border with Mexico, abuses force to expel refugees and migrants or holds them in detention facilities with poor conditions for long periods of time, where the family separation policy is enforced to tear children away from their parents. Since COVID-19 broke out, refugees and migrants of Asian, African and Latin American descent in the US have suffered greatly from discrimination and hate crimes.

On the issue of human rights, the US is in no position to lecture or judge others. Its only role is the defendant. We urge the US to stop its clumsy show featuring itself as a human rights defender, stop wantonly wielding the stick of human rights, and earnestly review its poor records and redress its crimes on the issue of refugees and migrants.

PTI: The 14th commander-level talks to resolve the standoff between Indian and Chinese militaries began yesterday. Do you have any update to share with us?

Wang Wenbin: Regarding the 14th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting, we will release information in a timely manner if there is any.

Bloomberg: The Indian Army Chief M. M. Naravane said China’s aggression along the border persists and has by no means eased. He added that India’s army continues to maintain a high level of preparedness. Does the foreign ministry have a comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: At present, China and India are in dialogue and communication through diplomatic and military channels to ease the situation at the border. We hope that certain individual on the Indian side would refrain from making unconstructive remarks.

Beijing Media Network: WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus said recently that “90 countries have not yet reached the target of 40 percent” of the vaccinated population, while “in Africa over 85 percent of people still have to receive a single dose of the vaccine”. We noticed that Gordon Brown, WHO Ambassador for Global Health Financing and Former British Prime Minister, also said that Western countries hoard vaccines when they have more than they need, while the poorest countries are facing shortages. Stockpiling vaccines should be morally condemned, he noted. What is China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: China believes that combating COVID-19 should be a shared responsibility of all countries. Vaccines remains a major weapon against the virus and creates the greatest hope for saving more lives. All countries should make vaccines a global public good, the fundamental nature that we must uphold. 

Regrettably, the immunization gap between developed and developing countries is widening despite the increases in global vaccine production and immunization rate. Statistics show only five percent of the population in low-income countries are fully vaccinated. On the African Continent, only 7.5 percent of the 1.3 billion people have completed vaccination. The lack of vaccines and medicine poses a direct threat to the people in developing countries. In the meantime, a few Western countries have been hoarding far more vaccines than they actually need, many of which have gone to waste. The US alone has wasted at least 15 million doses of COVID vaccines between March and November last year. With the continued spread of COVID-19 and the emergence of new variants, certain countries’ monopolizing and wasting precious vaccines is comparable to hindering others from filling a fire truck. Such practice deserves moral condemnation.

Every person has the right to life and health. It is not a charity, but a responsibility to do all one can to provide vaccines to the world, especially developing countries, and actively promote fair and equitable distribution of vaccines worldwide. We hope relevant countries can earnestly live up to their promises, work with China to close the global “immunization gap”, and make due contribution to humanity’s early victory over the pandemic. 

Bloomberg: Some US lawmakers are concerned about contracts that the IOC signed with ANTA Group and Hengyuanxiang Group for uniforms. Two democrats said in a letter there is a worrisome possibility that IOC personnel or others attending the Games will be wearing clothing using forced labor. Does the foreign ministry have a comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: We have noted relevant remarks by some US lawmakers. I want to point out that this so-called the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) has been biased against China. It keeps making all sorts of unfounded remarks related to China and has no political credibility at all. The so-called “forced labor” in Xinjiang, a lie of the century, is long bankrupt. Except for a handful of anti-China forces harboring ulterior motives, all people respecting facts and upholding conscience will not accept such despicable hypes.  

Global Times: According to reports, Vince Cable, former UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, said on January 10 that the UK government’s decision to ban Huawei 5G equipment and services “had nothing to do with national security,” and was because of American pressure. He said it was “because the Americans told us we should do it”. He added that during his tenure as the secretary, the intelligence and security services gave repeated assurances that there was no risk posed by using Huawei services. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: This is further evidence that “national security” and the so-called “risk posed by 5G technology” is just a pretext the US uses to suppress China’s hi-tech companies. The US “Clean Network” is synonymous with its coercive diplomacy.

From Toshiba to Alstom, Huawei, Samsung and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., victims of the US’ coercive diplomacy can be found all across the globe. The US bullying practice will be met with more boycott and opposition from the international community.

TASS: On January 11, the DPRK has tested a hypersonic missile. How can this test influence the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue? How does China assume the possibility of resuming of the six-party talks?

Wang Wenbin: China’s position is consistent and clear. We hope relevant sides will resolve respective concerns through dialogue and consultation, and advance the political settlement process of the Korean Peninsula issue along the dual-track approach and the phased and synchronized principle.

The Six-Party Talks is an effective mechanism for achieving denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and maintaining the peace and stability of the Peninsula and Northeast Asia. It is also an important platform for parties to improve relations. Its objectives and principles of taking synchronized and reciprocal steps and addressing all parties’ concerns in a balanced manner remain relevant even today. China stands ready to work with all parties concerned to create conditions for resuming the Six-Party Talks in due course.

AFP: I just wanted to return to my earlier question about Japan. So Japanese media reported that Japan has been conducting “freedom of navigation” operations in the South China Sea. It reportedly did this twice last year in March and in August. Are you able to confirm this and what’s your response?

Wang Wenbin: I answered your question already. We hope relevant countries can avoid doing things that would undermine regional peace and stability. 

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