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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on March 24, 2022

Bloomberg: Is State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visiting Afghanistan and India this week?

Wang Wenbin: If there is any information on that, we will release it in a timely manner.

Reuters: US Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said on Wednesday that the Chinese authorities had invited the US National Transportation Safety Board to take part in the investigation of the crash. Could you give any comment from the Chinese Foreign Ministry on that?

Wang Wenbin: The Chinese side has been sparing no effort to conduct search and rescue efforts after the China Eastern Airlines passenger plane crash. We will conduct investigations according to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, its Annexes and Chinese civil aviation laws and regulations and maintain close contact with all parties concerned.

Yonhap News Agency: According to reports, the DPRK fired a new type of ballistic missile today, which is its 11th missile launch this year. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed concern over it and the DPRK criticized Japan in an article. Does China have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: We have taken note of relevant reports. We hope all sides will bear in mind the overall interest of peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, adhere to the right direction of dialogue and consultation, and jointly advance the political settlement of the Peninsula issue.

CCTV: Previously, the Chinese cybersecurity company named 360 released the report on indiscriminate cyberattack across the world launched by the APT-C-40 group of the US National Security Agency (NSA) over the past decade or so. The company recently disclosed in full the technical features of “Quantum”, the most powerful cyber weapon used by the NSA to attack targets in China mentioned in the report. Do you have any further comment?

Wang Wenbin: I noted relevant reports. The latest revelation shows that “Quantum” is an advanced cyber hijacking tool that the NSA has specially designed for attacking state-level Internet. The US can use this technology to attack all Internet users browsing US websites such as Twitter, YouTube, Amazon as well as Chinese social media applications. This means no matter who you are and where you are, Big Brother is probably watching you whenever you log on to a social media platform. 

In recent years, the US has proposed to build the so-called “Clean Network”, has been brewing the so-called “Alliance for the Future of the Internet”, and has used cyber capacity building as a pretext to strengthen cybersecurity cooperation with many countries. However, as the report reveals, many countries the US works with are also targets of its cyberattacks. As we can see from exposed operations such as “Dirtbox”, “PRISM”, “Irritant Horn” and “Telescreen”, the US doesn’t even spare its allies and partners in its global cyber surveillance and attacks. In this sense, the so-called “Clean Network” is nothing but a mirage to camouflage US surveillance and cyber theft across the globe and an “invisibility cloak” to conceal its true face as the “empire of hacking”. 

We once again urge the US to act responsibly in cyberspace and stop cyber theft and attacks on China and the rest of the world. The US should implement the framework that it insists all other states abide by. 

AFP: I have two questions. Which countries will participate in the meeting of Afghanistan’s neighbors to be hosted by Beijing later this month? Will India be invited? And the second question is, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg has accused China of giving political backing to Russia as it attacks Ukraine by “spreading blatant lies and misinformation”. He has also expressed concerns that China could provide material support for the Russian invasion. How does the Chinese Foreign Ministry view these comments?

Wang Wenbin: On your first question, we are speeding up preparations for the third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan. As Afghanistan’s neighbor, China stands ready to leverage its strength and contribute to the country’s lasting stability and security. With regard to your question about the specifics, we will release information in due course. 

On your second question, accusing China of spreading misinformation related to Ukraine is in itself disinformation. 

With an objective and just attitude, China has been working actively toward realizing cessation of hostilities as soon as possible, averting a humanitarian crisis and restoring peace and stability. We have always maintained that Ukraine should be a bridge for communication between the East and the West, not an outpost in major power rivalry. European countries should uphold the principle of strategic autonomy and work with Russia, Ukraine and other countries concerned to build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture through dialogue and negotiation following the spirit of indivisible security. The US and NATO should also engage in dialogue with Russia to address the root cause of the Ukraine crisis.

What is needed to resolve the crisis is a cool head and a rational mind, not adding fuel to the fire. What is needed to restore peace is dialogue and communication, not pressure or coercion. What is needed to achieve lasting peace and stability is efforts to accommodate the legitimate security concerns of all parties, not moves to seek bloc confrontation and absolute security. 

China’s position is in line with the wishes of most countries. Time will prove that China’s position is on the right side of history, and all groundless accusations and suspicions against China are indefensible and will simply collapse.

Macau Monthly: The US Department of State claimed that China has been spreading disinformation that has in the first instance come from Moscow, including about various biological weapons programs. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: For some time now, the international community has had intense discussions on the US biolabs in Ukraine and raised many doubts. Regrettably, the US has given nothing but a deeply flawed response. All sides have every reason to question it. The US cannot muddle through by clamming up or dismissing it all as “disinformation”. The US needs to offer serious clarifications on whether it is disinformation or not.

What is the purpose of US research in Ukraine-based biolabs? Has the US conducted dangerous research banned at home in labs overseas including in Ukraine? The international community has major concerns over these issues.

The best way for the US to prove its innocence is to open up for international scrutiny. We urge the US to change its course, promptly give a convincing explanation for its biomilitary activities in Ukraine and other places around the globe and stop standing alone in opposing the establishment of a BWC verification mechanism.

Reuters: The US Trade Representative’s Office said on Wednesday that it has reinstated 352 expired product exclusions from US “Section 301” tariffs on Chinese imports. This is well short of the 549 exclusions that it was previously considering. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: We have taken note of relevant reports. I would refer you to the competent authorities for this question. In principle, it is China’s consistent view that China-US economic and trade relations are mutually-beneficial and all-win in nature and no one wins in a trade war.

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