عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on April 22, 2022

CCTV: Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for Economy of the European Commission, said on April 21 that after the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, surging commodity prices have driven inflation to new records. Broken trade links are exacerbating supply chain strains and consumer confidence has dropped significantly. The European economy faces significant and far-reaching ramifications. Commentators say that Europe bears the brunt of sanctions and is ending up as the biggest loser in the Russia-Ukraine crisis. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: Since the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, Europe has had to bear the immediate consequences, with the refugee, energy and economic crises coming one after another. The UN Refugee Agency said on April 20 that more than five million Ukrainians have crossed borders into neighbouring countries, leading to an unprecedented refugee crisis. European economic indicators have deteriorated under the impact of large-scale sanctions against Russia. According to statistics from the EU, the euro zone inflation rate in March surged to a record high of 7.4%, and some countries even registered an inflation rate as high as 15.6%. The European financial market witnessed the biggest ever weekly outflow in early March, plunging stocks and the euro. And the US has gained substantial safe-haven flows from Europe.

As the culprit and leading instigator of the Ukraine crisis, the US has proclaimed vociferously to champion humanitarianism, but in fact only 12 Ukrainians managed to enter the US through its refugee program in March. According to US media reports, thousands of Ukrainian refugees are stuck along the US-Mexico border, some of whom are detained by the US. After the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, US arms dealers’ stock prices have soared. As of April 21, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman’s stock prices increased by 25.6% and 24% respectively. 

Nearly two months into the Russia-Ukraine crisis, we can all see very clearly who is watching the fire from across the river, fanning the flame and even profiting from the so-called offshore balancing strategy.

Xinhua News Agency: US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said when answering a question from the press that the US is committed to upholding the rules-based international order and other systems that certain countries including Russia and China seek to challenge and even destroy. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: China is a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. It is working like the majority of countries around the world to firmly uphold the UN-centered international system and basic norms governing international relations. If any country is trying to challenge or destroy the existing international rules and international system, that is the US itself. 

When the US brazenly bombed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and invaded Iraq and Syria without the UN Security Council’s mandate, was it playing by international rules? When the US pushed for five waves of eastward expansion of NATO in disregard of Russia’s security concerns, which resulted in the escalation of regional tensions, was it upholding the international system? When the US denigrated peace talks and fueled tensions in every way possible after the conflict between Russia and Ukraine broke out, was it abiding by international rules? When the US escalated unilateral sanctions regardless of the sluggish world economic recovery and pushed Europe and the world deeper into the crisis, was it upholding international system? 

The US keeps talking about rules and order with the true intention of presenting its unilaterally-defined rules as international rules and imposing the US-led order serving its own selfish interests on the international community. Their hegemonic order and rules based on power politics will be met with unanimous opposition from countries holding just positions. 

Al Jazeera: The illegal and violent attacks by Israeli police on Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound over the past week have resulted in the injury of nearly 1,000 Palestinians. Just this morning, many Palestinians are still bleeding. This is a war waged by one country’s military organization against another country’s civilians. These are crimes committed by occupiers against those in occupied land. As a responsible major country, does China condemn such acts?

Zhao Lijian: China is deeply concerned about the continuing tension in Jerusalem, the situation surrounding the Al-Aqsa mosque in particular. My colleagues and I have repeatedly stated China’s position on this. We oppose any unilateral attempt to alter the historical status quo of Jerusalem and condemn all attacks targeting civilians. We call on relevant parties especially Israel to stay calm, exercise restraint and prevent the situation from getting out of control. 

It is China’s view that the international community should speak with one voice on the current situation. Once again we call on the international community, major countries in particular, to face up to the crux of the Palestinian question and work on Palestine and Israel to resume peace talks at an early date. China will continue to play a constructive role in implementing the two-state solution and realizing the peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel. 

Shenzhen TV: According to reports, a spokesperson of Vietnam’s foreign ministry said on April 21 that some cross-border freight trains between Vietnam and Chinese localities such as Sichuan and Anhui have been put into operation recently. The rail transport connection is in line with the two sides’ efforts to advance cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Two Corridors and One Circle plan. Vietnam stands ready to work with China to promote the stable, balanced and sustainable development of bilateral trade to deliver real benefits to both countries. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: Last year, China-Vietnam trade exceeded $230 billion. China has been Vietnam’s largest trading partner for many consecutive years. And Vietnam remains China’s largest trading partner in the ASEAN grouping. The two sides’ mutually beneficial cooperation boasts immense potential and broad prospects. The cross-border freight trains you mentioned that have been put into operation recently injects new impetus into this cooperation. We stand ready to work together with Vietnam to seek greater synergy between the BRI and the Two Corridors and One Circle plan and fully leverage the strength of cross-border rail transport connection to ensure the steady and smooth operation of industrial and supply chains, accelerate efforts to upgrade bilateral practical cooperation, and contribute to regional and global economic recovery.

Phoenix TV: Regarding Russia's allegations that the United States is developing a biomilitary programs in Ukraines, Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the Russian military found some documents, which show that the US Department of Defense conducts bio-military programs in Ukraine. Russia has shared some facts with the UN and some other international organizations and asked the US for a detailed explanation. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: I noted relevant remarks. Indeed the US has not made any convincing explanations for its biomilitary activities yet.

The US statements have so far been largely ambiguous and even self-contradictory, which further reinforces the suspicions of the international community. For example, how many cooperation facilities is the US running across the world? How many biological samples did the US ship out of Ukraine according to bilateral agreement and for what purpose? What is the sensitive information that Ukraine is not allowed to make public according to the agreement? Did the US conduct dangerous research overseas that is prohibited in the US?

Moreover, when commemorating the 50th anniversary of the BWC’s opening for signature as a depository state, the US talked extensively about the need to strengthen the Convention mechanism. However, it continued to ignore the appeal of the international community at a BWC meeting that concluded not long ago and stood alone in opposing the resumption of multilateral negotiations aimed at establishing a BWC verification mechanism. How can the US win the trust of the international community with such behavior? How can it restore the international community’s confidence in its compliance?

As a BWC depository state, the US ought to be an example, not an exception, when it comes to compliance. We once again urge the US to give comprehensive and detailed clarification of its bio-military activities and stop standing alone in opposing the establishment of a multilateral verification mechanism.

Al Jazeera: Palestinian groups in Gaza threaten retaliation if Israel continues attacks on Palestinians. Four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are preoccupied with what is happening in Ukraine. As a responsible member of the UN Security Council, what actions will China take to prevent the current situation from escalating into a full-blown war?

Zhao Lijian: I already made clear China’s position on the situation in Palestine. China believes that relevant parties should stay cool-headed, exercise restraint, properly settle disputes through dialogue and negotiation and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability. 

Bloomberg: A senior diplomat for the Czech Republic, which assumes the EU’s rotating presidency later this year, warned Beijing that cooperation with Moscow risks undercutting ties with Brussels. The comments were made in a meeting with a Chinese delegation. And the Czech foreign ministry said in a statement, we use the meeting to again express our reservations to current Chinese cooperation with Russia. Does the foreign ministry have a comment?

Zhao Lijian: My colleagues and I have repeatedly made clear China’s position on the Ukraine issue. With regard to the latest remarks from the Czech Republic that you just mentioned, I’m sure the head of the Chinese delegation made clear China’s position during the meeting. 

I would like to stress that China always makes its independent judgement based on the merits of the matter itself. On the Ukraine issue, we speak for justice and work for peace with a long-term vision. We are not siding with anyone against anyone. If one has to pick sides, then China stands on the side of peace, dialogue, negotiation and deescalation, instead of war, unilateral sanctions and actions aimed at fanning the flame.

AFP: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said China is exerting enormous pressure on Pacific Island Countries when he was asked about the security deal signed between China and Solomon Islands. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: We firmly reject the irresponsible remarks by certain Australian politicians on China-Solomon Islands relations.

Lately the US, the UK and Australia have been blatantly pushing forward nuclear submarine cooperation in disregard of international opposition. This severely undermines efforts to build a South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone. The three countries are trying to make South Pacific countries once again pawns in group politics and military confrontation and make the innocent people in South Pacific countries pay a heavy price for their selfish political agenda.

Certain Australian politicians should not create security anxiety or nuclear proliferation risks in the region, pursue group confrontation or geopolitical game in the Asia-Pacific, or put together small cliques featuring Cold War mentality and military confrontation. They should instead heed regional countries’ call for safeguarding regional peace, stability and sustained development, respect island countries’ right to pursue bilateral cooperation independently, and earnestly reflect on the manifold disasters their coercive diplomacy has brought to the people of PICs. 

PTI: Sri Lanka yesterday announced that China has permitted or is permitting their students studying in China to return after they got stuck back home due to COVID protocols. It’s a welcome development. So does this opening for Sri Lankan students also open the door for the Indian students to return?

Zhao Lijian: We fully understand the feelings of international students including those in India, who are ardently looking forward to returning to China at an early date to continue their education. We will, based on the evolving situation, realities on the ground and science-based assessment, consider in a coordinated manner the matter of foreign students returning to their classes in China, and actively explore options and gradually arrange for those with actual need to return in an orderly fashion. The relevant work is well underway. We stand ready to work actively to ensure the healthy, safe and orderly cross-border flow of Chinese and foreign personnel on the basis of ensuring safety amid the pandemic.

Bloomberg: A question about Ukraine. US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman said China wasn’t helping the situation in Ukraine by doing things like amplifying Russian disinformation campaigns. And she also said that she hoped Beijing learned the right lessons, also her words, “from Russia’s war, including that it can’t separate the US from its allies.” Does the foreign ministry have a comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: I noted the remarks by the US side. China believes that these remarks, especially the accusations against China, are entirely clichés and an old trick to smear and slander China. China has repeatedly made clear its position on the so-called “competition-cooperation-confrontation” trichotomy. This is in essence a cover-up for US containment and suppression of China, which boils down to the US’ problematic perception of China. We urge the US to view China and China-US relations in an objective light, earnestly implement its leadership’s statements that the US does not seek a new Cold War with China; that it does not aim to change China’s system; that it does not seek to target China by revitalizing its alliances; that it does not support “Taiwan independence”; and that it has no intention to seek a conflict with China. The US should work with China to find the right way to get along with each other featuring mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation under the new circumstances.

Facts have proven that China is a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. China always attaches great importance to the protection of intellectual property right. Our efforts and achievements in this regard are there for all to see. The Chinese government follows a people-centered approach in human rights protection, earnestly implements the constitutional principle of respecting and protecting human rights and has made historic achievements. China’s position on the Ukraine issue is aboveboard, just, objective and beyond reproach. On the contrary, it is the US side that has a poor track record on relevant issues. We advise the US side to look in the mirror and properly manage its own affairs before pointing fingers at others.

Prasar Bharati: You said that due to the COVID-19 situations and based on the needs of students, China allows them to return. China allows Sri Lankan students and other students with the COVID pandemic going on to return. So in this context, would you like to elaborate or enlighten us is there any particular issue China sees in allowing Indian students to return at a time when China allowed students for many other countries to return?

Zhao Lijian: I just stated China’s principled position. You and Mr. Konda Varma from PTI are both very concerned about the studies of Indian students who hope to return to China soon. The Chinese side also hopes that they could return safely and resume their courses in China once the epidemic situation improves. These students have been attending courses online for nearly two years. We fully understand their feelings. We will consider in a coordinated manner the matter of foreign students returning to their classes in China based on the evolving situation and realities on the ground. We are actively exploring options and gradually making arrangements in an orderly fashion. I believe Indian students will be included in this process as soon as possible.

Phoenix TV: G7 finance ministers said in a statement that they regretted Russia’s participation in international fora, including G20, International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings and that international organisations and multilateral fora should no longer conduct their activities with Russia in a business-as-usual manner. Do you have any comment? 

Zhao Lijian: We noted the G7 statement. The G20 and relevant international institutions are platforms for discussing international economic and financial issues, not appropriate venues to discuss the Ukraine issue. The current international landscape is fraught with various instability and uncertainties, which calls urgently for international solidarity and cooperation. Countries should practice true multilateralism, choose dialogue and cooperation instead of stoking confrontation or creating division, and work together to uphold global stability instead of exacerbating spillover effects caused by the conflict. The G7 should adopt a responsible attitude, refrain from politicizing or weaponizing international cooperation, and inject more stability and certainty into the world faced with many challenges. All countries in the world are fellow passengers on the same ship and must stick together. It is unacceptable to throw anyone overboard.

Prasar Bharati: You said online studies are going on for the last two years. But India’s National Medical Council has clearly said that online medical degrees will not be accepted and I’m sure many countries will not accept any online medical degrees. I’m not sure about whether China will accept online medical degrees. So in such a scenario when many students fear that their courses would be finished before they can come back to China, will China give them an additional year to complete their practical courses offline here in Chinese universities?

Zhao Lijian: I’d like to refer you to the Ministry of Education for the specific question.

Reuters: Kyodo News Agency reported that Japan plans to send a Vice Foreign Minister to Solomon Islands late this month. Does the Chinese foreign ministry have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: I don’t know why Solomon Islands has received so much attention lately. Just after the US sent a delegation, Japan is sending one as well. We have no issue with other countries’ development of normal friendly cooperative relations, but it is hoped that they will not target any third party when developing bilateral ties.


Today marks the 53rd Earth Day. China has been holding activities on April 22 every year since the 1990s to mark this occasion. The theme of Earth Day 2022 is “Cherish Earth: Harmonious Coexistence between Human and Nature”, a goal China has been working relentlessly to achieve. In 2020, China recycled 370 million tonnes of renewable resources, up by about 30% from 2016. According to data from NASA in 2019, global green leaf area had increased by the size of the Amazon rainforest over 20 years and 25% of that gain was in China. 

In the meantime, China firmly upholds multilateralism and participates constructively in global environmental governance. As one of the first parties to sign and ratify the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity, China has actively carried out international cooperation in climate change, biodiversity, wildlife and desertification prevention and control and has become a participant, contributor and pacesetter in global climate and environment governance. In 2020, at the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping made a solemn commitment to the two goals of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality. China is actively fostering the 1+N policy network to follow through the commitment and honor its pledge to the world.

China has also stepped up efforts to share green technology and experience with the world. We have supported Africa’s “Great Green Wall” project. The China International Development Cooperation Agency has supported the development of Juncao technology, creating green jobs in more than 100 countries and regions. Some African and Central Asian countries have turned deserts green thanks to China’s technical assistance. 

Earth is our shared home. Only with concerted efforts and prompt action can countries build a beautiful homeland where man and Nature coexist in harmony. The modernization China pursues is one with harmonious coexistence between man and Nature. China is ready to work with all countries to build a better world.

Suggest to a friend