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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on August 9, 2022

Dragon TV: On August 8, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid a visit to Mongolia upon invitation. Could you share more information on the visit?

Wang Wenbin: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi just wrapped up a successful visit to Mongolia. During the visit, he met respectively with Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsuh, Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene, and Chairman of the State Great Khural of Mongolia Gombojav Zandanshatar, and held talks with Foreign Minister Battsetseg Batmunkh. The two sides held strategic communication on bilateral relations, practical cooperation and international and regional issues of mutual interest and reached extensive common understandings.

Both agreed that in the face of the complicated and fluid international and regional landscape, China and Mongolia share a closely-intertwined future. Both sides expressed readiness to seek greater synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Mongolia’s Steppe Road Program, between the Global Development Initiative and Mongolia’s New Revival Policy, between China’s “two-stage” development strategy and Mongolia’s long-term development vision, so as to foster three engines driving the development of bilateral relations. Both sides reiterated respect for each other’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and that they will continue to firmly support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests. China supports Mongolia in upholding stability, focusing on development and exploring a development path suited to its national reality. China appreciates Mongolia’s reiteration of firm adherence to the one-China principle and opposition to interference in China’s internal affairs on issues related to Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Both sides agreed to strengthen border cooperation, open up ports and connect railways and highways wherever possible so as to keep the industrial and supply chains stable and unimpeded. The two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the cross-border railway connection program at the Gants Mod port, which will play an important role in helping Mongolia to expand its opening-up and achieve strong growth. Both sides agreed to promote cooperation in such fields as economy and trade, investment, mining and energy, science and technology, agriculture and animal husbandry, forge major demonstration projects in areas including infrastructure and energy, and strive to achieve coordinated development and common prosperity between the two countries. The two sides agreed to promote the Erdeneburen hydropower plant project in a coordinated manner, and speed up solving the electricity supply problem for people in western Mongolia. The two sides will support the implementation of livelihood projects such as shanty-town renovation, sewage treatment plant and meat processing plant as soon as possible to better benefit the Mongolian people. The two sides will enhance cooperation in afforestation and counter-desertification. China commends Mongolia’s plan to plant one billion trees, and China has proposed to plant 70 billion trees in the next ten years. We are ready to have mutual support in efforts to make the world greener and preserve a green natural environment and blue skies. The two sides agreed to continue working together to end the pandemic and protect people’s lives and safety. The two sides agreed to increase direct flights between the two countries to facilitate personnel exchanges. China supports the early returning of Mongolian students to China to resume their study. The two sides also agreed to strengthen youth exchanges and sub-national cooperation to consolidate people’s support for the China-Mongolia friendship. The two sides agreed to step up coordination in international and regional affairs, uphold true multilateralism and open regionalism, advance implementation of the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, safeguard the common interests of developing countries, jointly promote development and prosperity in Asia, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

China and Mongolia are good neighbors with ties more precious than gold, and good brothers and good partners sharing weal and woe. China stands ready to build on the momentum of the visit to work together with the Mongolian side to implement the important common understandings reached by the two heads of state, advance mutually-beneficial and friendly cooperation and better realize shared development and prosperity.

Reuters: South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin said he hopes to discuss with China about denuclearizing North Korea, stabilizing global supply chain and resuming cultural exports to China. What is China’s position on these issues? What expectations does China have for his meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi?

Wang Wenbin: This year marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between China and the ROK, which provides an important opportunity for deepening and growing the bilateral relations. This visit will be the first visit by Foreign Minister Park and the country’s first high-level delegation to China since the new ROK government took office. China is ready to work with the ROK, take this opportunity to strengthen communication, focus on cooperation and sustain the momentum of sound and steady growth of bilateral ties.

The talks between the foreign ministers will soon start. We will release information timely. Please check back for updates.

Bloomberg: First of all, Taiwan’s Joseph Wu said that China has used the visit by Nancy Pelosi as an excuse to practice “war invasions”. I’d like to ask the Foreign Ministry’s comment on Joseph Wu’s remarks. And also, I would like to ask that the Chinese military announced more drills around Taiwan again today. My questions would be how long will these extended drills last for? And the second point of that would be are these drills a new normal?

Wang Wenbin: The countermeasures taken by China in response to Pelosi’s provocative visit to Taiwan are justified, reasonable and lawful. They are aimed at sending a warning to the provocateurs and punishing the “Taiwan independence” forces.

There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the entire China. This is the real fact and status quo across the Taiwan Strait. The DPP authorities and the obdurate “Taiwan independence” elements have tried to mislead the public by misrepresenting events and facts, which again exposes their nature of seeking independence and separatism.

I want to stress that to achieve the full reunification of China is the shared will of all Chinese and an unstoppable historical trend. Be it the “US card” or anything else that the DDP authorities and the “Taiwan independence” forces seek to play, they cannot save the “Taiwan independence” forces from failure. Their provocations and lies are futile and will only accelerate their own demise. 

Regarding the military drills you mentioned, I responded to similar questions yesterday. I would like to reiterate that China has conducted normal military drills in waters off its own territory, which are open, transparent and professional. Relevant authorities have issued notices in a timely manner. This move is in line with China’s domestic law, the international law and established international practices. This is both a warning we send to the provocateurs and a legitimate step to uphold sovereignty and territorial integrity. As for your question on whether this will be a new normal, I’d like to refer you to the competent authorities. 

PTI: We see some policy statements coming up from some of the Foreign Ministry officials about easing visa restrictions for foreign students. Can we expect some of the same to Indian students also?

Wang Wenbin: The Chinese side has been working intensively for the return of foreign students to China. The process has begun for Indian and other foreign students to return to China to resume their studies. The departments responsible for this matter from both sides will continue their close communication on this. We are confident in seeing the return of the first group of Indian students in the near future. Building on that, the Chinese side will further proceed with the return of other Indian students in a well thought-out and orderly manner.

CCTV: Secretary Antony Blinken, who is on a visit to South Africa, said to the press on August 8 that the US is not saying to countries that “you have to choose” between the US and China, but is hoping to “offer a choice”. On the same day, the White House released a fact sheet on the US strategy toward Sub-Saharan Africa, which says that China “sees the region as an important arena to ... advance its own narrow commercial and geopolitical interests ... and weaken US relations with African peoples and governments”. Do you have a response to this?

Wang Wenbin: It is not important what the US says. What matters is how African people see China-Africa cooperation. 

We have noted that the South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation said at a recent joint press availability with Secretary Blinken that African “countries are free to establish relationships with different countries”. A survey conducted by South Africa’s Ichikowitz Family Foundation found that 76% of the surveyed young Africans named China as a foreign power with a positive influence on their lives, outnumbering those who chose the US. A report by African pollster Afrobarometer shows 66% of surveyed Africans perceivied China’s economic and political influence in Africa as positive. We suggest that the US heed and respect the will of African countries and people.

China always follows the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith and the principle of pursuing greater good and shared interests. We share weal and woe with the people of Africa and seek common development with African countries on the basis of mutual respect. The tangible outcomes of China-Africa practical cooperation throughout the years are there for all to see. They shall not be denigrated or smeared by anyone. Africa can very well do without so-called partners who seek to sow discord and merely pay lip service. No matter what the US says, the railways, highways, ports and buildings China has helped Africa to construct will always be there. The evidence of the time-tested and ever-growing China-Africa relations is also there for all to see. The US must not underestimate African countries’ judgement. We believe the African people are sharp-eyed. If the US truly wants to help Africa, then it should take concrete actions, instead of using its Africa strategy as a tool to contain and attack other countries.

We will continue to work together with our African partners to earnestly implement the outcomes of the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, build an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future, and write a new chapter of win-win cooperation between the largest developing country and the continent home to the largest number of developing countries.

Prasar Bharati: A follow-up on what my colleague asked about the return of Indian students. You said the process has started. Can you kindly update a little bit about at which stage this process is as in the list shared by the Indian Embassy and at which stage this list is with the Chinese authorities? Has China prepared the first list of Indian students who would be allowed to return as part of the first batch?

Wang Wenbin: As I just said, the process has begun for Indian students to return to China to resume their studies. We are confident in seeing the return of the first group of Indian students in the near future. We kindly ask for your patience. There will be timely updates on that.

Shenzhen TV: On August 8, the UN Security Council chaired the Open Debate on Peace and Security in Africa: Capacity-building for Sustaining Peace. How does China comment on the event?

Wang Wenbin: Yesterday, China, as the rotating president of the Security Council for August, held the Open Debate on Peace and Security in Africa: Capacity-building for Sustaining Peace. Supporting Africa in capacity building and achieving lasting peace is a priority and a focus of China during its presidency. In his remarks, Ambassador Zhang Jun, Permanent Representative of China to the UN, called on the international community to support Africa in strengthening governance capacity, improving security sectors’ capacity to perform their duties, improving their sustainable development capacities and building a bigger talent pool. He reiterated China’s principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith in developing relations with Africa. China is ready to work with African countries to seize the opportunity of implementing the Global Security Initiative and promote sustainable peace and security of Africa. China will seek more outcomes of the Global Development Initiative and FOCAC, deepen practical cooperation and contribute more to lasting peace and development of Africa.

This open debate received warm response and active participation from the international community. Apart from the members of the Security Council, more than 40 countries and international organizations, including South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Italy, Thailand, Bangladesh, Ecuador and the African Union, registered for the meeting. Participants appreciated China’s initiative to hold the meeting and commended China’s statement. They also spoke positively about what China has done for Africa’s peace and development. African countries at the meeting said that the meeting was important and timely, which addressed key issues facing Africa and met Africa’s needs. It was useful for the international community to respond to Africa’s concerns and fully showed China’s strong support for Africa.

Global Times: According to reports, Seishiro Eto, former Deputy Speaker of Japan’s House of Representatives and a lawmaker of the Liberal Democratic Party, recently said that, “Japan once colonized South Korea. In a sense, Japan is like an older brother to Korea”, adding “I don’t think the Japan-Korea relationship is equal. Japan should take a leadership position.” What is China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: We are shocked by the remarks. We also noted that these words have drawn objection from the ROK and some ROK lawmakers have made strong protests. In international relations, countries are all equal regardless of their size, strength and wealth. Some Japanese politicians take pride in instead of feeling ashamed about the country’s history of aggression and colonization. They still show arrogance and condescension to this day. This is truly disgraceful. It also reflects the distorted view of history entrenched in Japan. And the underlying cause and potential negative impact require some reflection and vigilance of the international community. 

Bloomberg: There are reports that India is seeking to restrict Chinese smartphone makers from selling devices cheaper than 12,000 rupees or equivalent to US$150. This could deal a great blow to Chinese companies like Xiaomi. And the aim of the policy is thought to push Chinese companies out of the lower segment of the market. My question is, does the Foreign Ministry have any comment on the reports that India is seeking to restrict Chinese smartphone makers of selling to the cheaper end of the market?

Wang Wenbin: We have noted relevant reports and I would refer you to competent Chinese authorities for the specifics. 

I want to stress that the trade and economic cooperation between China and India is mutually beneficial in nature. We urge the Indian side to earnestly fulfill its commitment of openness and cooperation, and provide an open, fair, just and nondiscriminatory investment and business environment for Chinese companies. China will firmly support Chinese companies in defending their lawful interests and rights.

O Globo: President of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro has questioned the efficacy of anti-COVID Chinese vaccines. Can you comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: First I would like to say that the efficacy of Chinese vaccines and the effectiveness of China’s anti-COVID measures, as witnessed by the international community, is beyond doubt.

Since COVID-19 broke out, China has always been a pacesetter in global anti-epidemic cooperation, a champion for the equitable distribution of vaccines, and a doer in honoring COVID-related commitments. Since last year, President Xi Jinping has put forward the vision of building a global community of health for all, the Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative, and the Global Development Initiative, which have pointed the way for advancing international vaccine cooperation and strengthening global epidemic prevention and control and boosted confidence.

Since COVID-19 began, China and Brazil have had sound cooperation in fighting the pandemic. Chinese vaccines have played a positive role in Brazilians’ COVID response, which has been commended and welcomed by all sectors in Brazil. In February 2021, a large-scale trial was conducted by the Butantan Institute in the Brazilian town of Serrana using vaccines manufactured by Sinovac. After residents of the town received two doses, the data indicated a significant decrease of 80% in symptomatic cases, 95% in deaths and 86% in hospitalizations. The Butantan Institute said that Sinovac’s vaccines remain safe and effective in large-scale inoculation in Brazil, remain effective despite high mobility, and provide protection for the entire population. We stand ready to work together with the Brazilian side to continue making relentless efforts to defeat the pandemic at an early date.

AFP: Firstly, Taiwan is holding artillery drills today and on Thursday. Does China plan to have any additional countermeasures in response to this? The second question is, does China feel that the Iran nuclear talks in Vienna might lead to a breakthrough soon?

Wang Wenbin: The root cause of the current tensions across the Taiwan Strait is that the DPP authorities have been colluding with foreign forces to seek independence and make provocations. They refuse to recognize the one-China principle and attempt to change the status quo that both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. We want to make it clear to the Taiwan authorities that any attempt to go against the trend of history or to use military force to resist reunification is bound to be rejected by all Chinese people and become futile. Such attempts are doomed to fail.

On your second question, with the concerted efforts of parties, the negotiations on resuming compliance with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal have resumed recently in Vienna. Although no breakthrough is achieved, parties have explicitly expressed their readiness to reach an agreement, which is of important significance for keeping the Iranian nuclear issue on the right track of dialogue and negotiations. China appreciates the EU’s effort to advance the talks and encourage it to continue diplomatic mediation efforts.

At this point, parties have reached consensus on the overwhelming majority of the arrangement concerning the resumption of compliance, and only a few issues are left to be ironed out. We call on the parties concerned to stay committed to the approach of dialogue and negotiation and step up diplomatic efforts to actively seek solutions to outstanding issues. The US, as the one who started the Iranian nuclear crisis, needs to get a clear sense of where things are headed, make the political decision sooner rather than later, respond positively to Iran’s reasonable concerns and enable the negotiations to produce results at an early date. All parties concerned should speak and act prudently and create a favorable atmosphere for the negotiations.

China will be actively involved in future negotiations and contribute to bringing the JCPOA back on track. We will at the same time resolutely uphold our own lawful rights and interests. 

CRI: Recently, main political parties in South Sudan have signed an agreement to extend the transitional period by 24 months from February 22, 2023 to February 22, 2025, and the elections will be held in December 2024. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: We noted that the main political parties in South Sudan have reached consensus and signed an agreement on extending the transitional period. The political transitional process in South Sudan is now at a new important stage. China hopes that relevant parties in South Sudan will bear in mind the interests of their nation and people, join hands to advance the agenda of the political transition and achieve lasting peace and stability in the country at an early date. China always respects the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of South Sudan, supports South Sudan in exploring the development path suited to its national reality and stands ready to work with the international community to continue to contribute to promoting the political transitional process in South Sudan.

People’s Daily: According to reports, Japan’s representative to the 10th Review Conference of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) said that the Three Non-Nuclear Principles is a fundamental policy of the Japanese government, which is not considering a “nuclear sharing” arrangement. What is China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: Some Japanese politicians have lately been clamoring for “nuclear sharing” with the US. In the report submitted to this review conference, the Japanese government deleted the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, which had appeared in previous reports.

For this reason, the Chinese representative made clear our stern position at the conference, pointing out that a “nuclear sharing” arrangement violates the provisions of the NPT. Any attempt to replicate the “nuclear sharing” model in the Asia-Pacific is sure to meet firm opposition and severe countermeasures if necessary from regional countries. Japan should offer clarifications for its nonproliferation policies. In response to China’s questioning, the Japanese representative said that the Three Non-Nuclear Principles is a fundamental policy of the Japanese government, there is no wavering of this policy within Japan, and the government is not considering a “nuclear sharing” arrangement. 

China has requested the conference to put Japan’s clarification and statement on record. We hope the Japanese side will honor its words, earnestly fulfill its international obligations of nonproliferation, and safeguard regional peace and stability in a responsible manner.

Beijing Youth Daily: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said to the press on August 6 that the current situation is “not something that’s happened overnight or in a vacuum. What we’ve seen over the last few years is China engaging in increasingly destabilizing and potentially dangerous actions with regard to Taiwan, and this follows from that. And that’s why we say that the change to the status quo that’s prevailed with regard to Taiwan for more than 40 years is coming from Beijing, not from the United States”. What’s China’s response?

Wang Wenbin: What is the status quo across the Taiwan Strait? The answer is crystal-clear, i.e., both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China and Taiwan is part of China’s territory. China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity have never been split. In other words, the one-China principle clearly defines the status quo across the Taiwan Strait. To violate and challenge this principle is to change the status quo.

Here are the facts: the US has gone back on its commitments in the three Sino-US joint communiqués and going further down the path of fudging, hollowing out and distorting the one-China policy. The US clearly pledged in the Sino-US Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations that it will maintain unofficial relations with Taiwan. In recent years, however, the US greenlighted and connived at visits to Taiwan by senior officials including the House Speaker, who is considered a US leader. The US pledged in the August 17 Communiqué released in 1982 that “it intends gradually to reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time, to a final resolution”. However, the US has actually kept increasing arms sales to Taiwan in both qualitative and quantitative terms, with the total volume to date exceeding US$70 billion, including over US$1.1 billion of arms sales conducted by the current US administration. The US also reiterated in the August 17 Communiqué that “it has no intention of pursuing a policy of ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan’.” However, it has been assisting Taiwan in expanding its so-called “international space” and even openly helped Taiwan consolidate its so-called “diplomatic relations”. In recent years, the US’s moves to fudge, hollow out and distort its one-China commitment have become even more blatant. It has inserted more preconditions and provisos into its one-China policy such as the “Taiwan Relations Act” and the “Six Assurances”, which were unilaterally concocted and have never been recognized and have been firmly opposed to by China from the very beginning. The US has also been colluding more with the Taiwan authorities and flexing muscles around the Taiwan Strait to bolster “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.

All these facts show that it is the US and “Taiwan independence” separatist forces that are undermining the one-China principle and changing the status quo in the Taiwan Strait.

The one-China principle is what underpins peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Anyone who renounces the one-China principle would be responsible for causing fierce storms in the Taiwan Strait. We Chinese people have the guts not to yield to bullying or intimidation, the resolve to unite as one and face any challenge together, and very importantly the ability to resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and dignity. We will continue to stand with the international community to resolutely uphold the one-China principle, defend China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, deter and push back any attempt to contain China by using the Taiwan question, and shatter the Taiwan authorities’ wishful thinking of seeking “Taiwan independence” through soliciting US support.

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