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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on April 21, 2022

CCTV: President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Security Initiative at the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022. What is the significance of putting forward the Initiative at this moment? Is it open to all parties?

Wang Wenbin: The world today is far from being peaceful and tranquil, as regional security hotspots keep flaring up and the European security issue receives worldwide attention. With growing threats posed by unilateralism, hegemony and power politics, and increasing deficits in peace, security, trust and governance, mankind is facing more and more intractable problems and security threats. This situation should not continue anymore because it runs counter to the trend of history as well as the security and well-being of humanity. 

It is in this context that President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Security Initiative with the future of all humanity in mind. The Initiative is yet another global public good offered by China and a vivid illustration of the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind in the security field. The Global Security Initiative champions the commitment in six areas: stay committed to the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and work together to maintain world peace and security; stay committed to respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, uphold non-interference in internal affairs, and respect the independent choices of development paths and social systems made by people in different countries; stay committed to abiding by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, reject the Cold War mentality, oppose unilateralism, and say no to group politics and bloc confrontation; stay committed to taking the legitimate security concerns of all countries seriously, uphold the principle of indivisible security, build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture, and oppose the pursuit of one’s own security at the cost of others’ security; stay committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, support all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises, reject double standards, and oppose the wanton use of unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction; stay committed to maintaining security in both traditional and non-traditional domains, and work together on regional disputes and global challenges such as terrorism, climate change, cybersecurity and biosecurity. 

The Global Security Initiative stresses that we humanity are living in an indivisible security community. It sets out the core concept, fundamental guidelines, important principles, long-term goals and feasible approach of upholding and achieving global security. With the macro thinking of top-level design and the micro perspective of solving practical problems, the Initiative focuses on both real problems bearing on the security of mankind and the enduring solution to realize world peace. The Initiative will be an important vision guiding the efforts for reforming the global security governance system, resolving the security difficulties faced by humanity, and advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. 

The Global Security Initiative upholds true multilateralism. It is open to the world and welcomes the participation of all countries. As the country that put forward this major Initiative, China will also take earnest actions in its implementation. We are ready to work through the UN and bilateral and multilateral channels to have in-depth exchange of views with all parties on the Initiative so that we can inspire each other, pool global synergy, follow through on the Initiative, and contribute wisdom and strength to the political settlement of various international and regional hotspot issues and the maintenance of world peace and tranquility. 

AFP: The US State Department has expressed concern about the lack of transparency of China’s security agreement with Solomon Islands. It says this follows a pattern of China offering big deals with little regional consultation. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: The remarks by the US side wantonly criticized China-Solomon Islands security cooperation in disregard of facts and driven by ulterior motives. China and Solomon Islands have both talked extensively about our security cooperation. How can anyone allege that it lacks transparency? I would like to stress again that China-Solomon Islands security cooperation is open, transparent and inclusive, and does not target any third party. It proceeds in parallel with and complements Solomon Islands’ existing bilateral and multilateral security cooperation mechanisms. China stands ready to work with relevant countries and leverage respective strengths to form international synergy and jointly promote the security and stability of Solomon Islands and the South Pacific region. 

RTHK: Google has removed the campaign channel of Hong Kong’s chief executive candidate on itssocialmediaplatform, citing sanctions imposed on him over one year ago by the US government. What’s your response to this?

Wang Wenbin: It is totally wrong and groundless for certain US companies to willingly serve as the US government’s political tools to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries citing compliance with sanctions as an excuse. China is firmly opposed to this. The US, out of political purpose, went so far as to undermine freedom of speech and information sharing as well as fair and just order in cyberspace, in order to interfere in Hong Kong affairs under various pretexts and disrupt the HKSAR’s sixth-term chief executive election. This reveals the US’ hypocrisy, double standards and malicious intention. 

Various sectors in Hong Kong unanimously condemn the egregious acts by foreign forces to flagrantly interfere in the election in the SAR, and demand that companies running social media platforms respect the fair and just chief executive election. We fully agree with and firmly support them. 

We have this stern warning for some forces in the US and other Western countries who harbor ill intentions: stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and other internal affairs of China immediately. China is firmly resolved to uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests and Hong Kong’s lasting prosperity and stability. No ploys of pressure or sabotage can affect the smooth chief executive election or hold back the overwhelming trend of a turnaround from chaos to stability in Hong Kong. 

Reuters: The Chinese leader spoke about China’s commitment to delivering COVID-19 vaccines around the world. Does the foreign ministry have any specific details that can share about planned shipments or deliveries of COVID-19 vaccines in the near future?

Wang Wenbin: In the fight against COVID-19, China has always been a pacesetter in global anti-epidemic cooperation and a champion for the equitable distribution of vaccines. Last year, President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative, the core of which is to accelerate equitable access to vaccines in developing countries. China has supplied more than 2.1 billion doses to more than 120 countries and international organizaitons so far. One in every two doses of vaccines administered globally is “made in China”. China was among the first to waive the intellectual property rights of vaccines, and has taken the lead in carrying out joint production with developing countries, with an annual production capacity of one billion doses. 

As President Xi Jinping said in his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2022, we will follow through the pledged donation of 600 million and 150 million doses of vaccines to Africa and ASEAN countries respectively, as part of our effort to close the immunization gap. We will continue to make greater contributions to the international community’s joint response to COVID-19 and developing countries’ equitable access to vaccines.

Prasar Bharati: Spokesperson of Afghanistan’s Taliban government has issued a warning to Pakistan after Pakistani military’s airstrikes killed at least 47 civilians and wounded two dozen people inside Afghanistan’s territory, triggering protests. He said this is paving the way for enmity between Afghanistan and Pakistan. “The Pakistani side should know that if a war starts it will not be in the interest of any side.” Do you have any comments on this warning by the Taliban to Pakistan? This is my first question. My second question is, experts say this is a setback to the Taliban government’s campaign seeking international recognition and also a setback to China’s efforts to engage with the Taliban. What is China’s response to this assessment?

Wang Wenbin: Afghanistan and Pakistan are both China’s traditionally friendly neighbors. We believe the two countries can properly resolve respective concerns through dialogue and consultation and jointly safeguard regional peace and tranquility. The opinions of the so-called “experts” you cited are purely deliberate denigration devoid of impartiality or professionalism.

Prasar Bharati: A follow-up on this. Reports also said that Pakistan’s attack on Afghanistan and the retaliatory remarks have increased the tension in the region. Is this a concern for China, especially when Chinese foreign minister has proposed to increase the cooperation between Pakistan and China, and take it to Afghanistan as well?

Wang Wenbin: We believe the two countries can properly resolve respective concerns through dialogue and consultation and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability. 

YTN: My question is on the Ukraine issue. According to reports, the US government said that they don’t want China to give any military support to Russia. I’d like to hear the Chinese government’s answer. And the second one is about the phone call dialogue between US and Chinese ministers of defense. Those two governments said they talked about the Ukraine situation. Can you give us more details about it?

Wang Wenbin: To answer your first question, China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear. We oppose unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction without basis in international law and UN Security Council mandate as well as undue prohibition or restriction on normal economic and trade activities between Chinese and foreign companies. Imposing sanctions is not the right way to ease the situation, end the war and avoid more casualties. It will only exacerbate confrontation, trigger more spillover effects, and exact a heavier price on the world. There is no reason to make the people of all countries pay for a regional conflict.

Under the current situation, it is all the more important for the international community to pay attention to the negative moves undermining efforts for peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, to the negative impact of the spillover effect of the Ukraine crisis and unilateral sanctions, to the resurgence of Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation, and to the negative consequences of small- and medium-sized countries being caught up in the geopolitical contest of major countries. We urge the US to avoid undermining China’s legitimate rights and interests in any form when handling the Ukraine issue and relations with Russia. We will take all necessary measures to resolutely uphold the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and individuals. 

On your second question, you may refer to the readout that we released earlier. 

People’s Daily: The 34th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) reportedly ratified the International Labour Organization’s Forced Labour Convention, 1930 and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957. Could you offer more information?

Wang Wenbin: The 34th session of the Standing Committee of the 13th NPC has decided to ratify the International Labour Organization’s Forced Labour Convention, 1930 and the Abolition of Forced Labour Convention, 1957.

The Chinese government attaches high importance to protecting workers’ rights and interests. We adopt a positive, earnest and responsible attitude toward ratifying international labor conventions. Those ratified earlier have all been effectively implemented. China consistently opposes forced labor. By ratifying the two conventions of its own accord, the Chinese government has once again made clear its resolute position.

RIA Novosti: Earlier a court in the United Kingdom ordered for Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States where he’s facing a possible sentence of up to 175 years in prison on espionage charges. What is China’s comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: I noticed that some media questioned why the US insists on extraditing Assange if it is confident enough and doesn’t fear the revelation of truth?

What happens to Assange shows that, for the US, he who exposes the so-called atrocities of other countries is a hero, but he who reveals the scandals of the US is a criminal. This is the true face of the US “freedom of speech and the press”.

The extradition of Assange to the US can lay bare the hypocritical nature of the US government even better than the WikiLeaks revelations.

CNR: According to reports, the Japanese leader sent a ritual offering to the Yasukuni Shrine today as its so-called spring festival begins on April 21. Some lawmakers visited the shrine in person. Does China have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: The Yasukuni Shrine is a spiritual tool and symbol of the Japanese militarism’s war of aggression. It honors convicted Class-A war criminals who shoulder grave responsibilities for that war. The negative moves by the Japanese side once again reflect its erroneous attitude toward that history of aggression. China firmly rejects and strongly condemns them and has lodged stern representations with the Japanese side. We urge Japan to earnestly honor its statement and commitment of facing up to and reflecting on its history of aggression, make a clean break with militarism, and win the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions.

CCTV: Yesterday marked the UN Chinese Language Day. In observance of the day, various activities were held across the globe, including at the UN Headquarters, China’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office at Geneva and countries such as India and Brazil. Do you have any comment on that?

Wang Wenbin: In 2010, the UN designated Guyu or “Grain Rain”, the sixth of the 24 solar terms in Chinese lunar calendar as the Chinese Language Day, to pay tribute to Cangjie, the inventor of Chinese characters. Over the past 13 years, various activities in celebration of the Chinese Language Day around the world have fully demonstrated the unique appeal of the Chinese language and culture and also promoted the international popularity of Chinese. 

As one of the six official languages of the UN, the Chinese language plays an increasingly important role in promoting the UN’s effective work, facilitating the communication and exchange between countries and supporting multilateralism. The Chinese websites and social media accounts of the UN help convey the UN’s voices and propositions around the world and has been well received among Chinese internet users and Chinese-speakers.

As an important carrier of the Chinese civilization, the Chinese language embodies and conveys the concepts of harmonious coexistence and shared future. This can be seen in the words on packages of China-assisted anti-epidemic supplies that read “great distance cannot separate us as we all live in a united world”, and in the message of peace, harmony, openness and inclusiveness contained in the Tianhe core module of China’s space station.

As a poster child of the splendid traditional Chinese culture going global, the number of Chinese language users has continued to increase. By the end of 2021, over 180 countries and regions have launched Chinese language education and 76 countries have included such programs into their national curriculum. The number of people learning Chinese overseas has exceeded 25 million, and a total of nearly 200 million people have learned or used Chinese outside of China. Yesterday, the Center for Language Education and Cooperation, in collaboration with ChinesePlus, an online Chinese language education platform, as well as other global partners, jointly launched the 2022 International Chinese Language Day events, getting the observation of the UN Chinese Language Day into full swing. We’ve also prepared a short video clip for you. 

(Playing video clip)

In the face of the complex and volatile international situation and grave and prominent global issues, the need grows greater than ever for all to uphold the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, strengthen exchanges and mutual learning among different countries, nations and cultures, and achieve harmonious coexistence of civilizations. China will continue to make new contributions to promoting exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations, safeguarding world peace and development and creating a better future for all. 

China Daily: The US State Department Spokesperson said on April 20 that Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met in Brussels with NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană and NATO Permanent Representatives, and “noted US concerns about the PRC’s support for Russia’s aggression, including through its amplification of Russian disinformation about NATO and Russia’s war in Ukraine”. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: What is disinformation? Efforts to discern disinformation should be based on objective facts, not subjective conjecture.

The bellicose US, under the cover of human rights and democracy, meddles in other countries’ affairs and starts conflicts and wars. It shoulders an unshirkable responsibility over the turmoil in Europe and elsewhere in the world. This is not disinformation. The vast majority of countries advocate resolving the Russia-Ukraine conflict through dialogue and negotiation and oppose unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction that contravene international law. This is not disinformation. As European countries pay a heavy price for the conflict, American arms dealers and oil and gas companies have made a fortune. This is not disinformation.

On the contrary, it is pure disinformation to allege that China has acquiesced in and connived at Russia’s military operation in Ukraine and that Russia has requested military equipment from China.

The US should stop spreading disinformation to smear China, face up to and reflect on its due responsibility in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and work with the international community to facilitate an early political resolution of the Ukraine crisis, rather than let Europe and the whole world pay a dearer price for its selfish agenda. 

Reuters: Earlier you talked about China implementing this new Global Security Initiative or GSI. I was wondering could you be a bit more specific and share some more details about how exactly going forward China will implement this new initiative? 

Wang Wenbin: As I just said, the Global Security Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping will be an important vision guiding the efforts for reforming the global security governance system, resolving the security challenges faced by humanity, and advancing the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. This Initiative is open to all. We are ready to have in-depth exchanges with all parties on implementing the Initiative, forge synergy, and make joint efforts for seeking political settlement of various international and regional hotspot issues, meeting global challenges, and upholding world peace and common security. 

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