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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on September 28, 2022

CCTV: It is reported that a seminar themed on “The People-Centered Philosophy, the Value Adherence of the Contemporary Chinese Perspective of Human Rights” was recently held in an online-plus-offline format. Chinese and foreign experts had discussions on China’s perspective on human rights at the event. Do you have any comment? 

Wang Wenbin: The seminar you mentioned is a side event of the 51st session of the UN Human Rights Council. It is themed on “The People-Centered Philosophy, the Value Adherence of the Contemporary Chinese Perspective of Human Rights”. Experts and scholars from China, Russia, the US, Spain, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and other countries had discussions and exchanges by sharing their personal experiences. The participants believed that China’s perspective on human rights reflects the people-centered approach. China has made unremitting efforts to protect its people’s rights to subsistence and development and to safeguard collective human rights, which embodies the values of fairness, justice and equality. In particular, China’s achievements in poverty alleviation provide useful experience for countries that have yet to lift themselves out of poverty and contribute to the world human rights cause. 

To protect the life, value and dignity of every individual and realize the enjoyment of human rights by all is humanity’s common pursuit. Since its founding, the Communist Party of China (CPC) has rallied and led the Chinese people in fighting for, respecting, protecting and developing human rights, and successfully found a path of human rights development that conforms to the trend of the times and suits China’s realities. The CPC always puts the people’s rights first and works to ensure the people’s right to equal participation and development, delivers the benefit of reform and development to all the people in a more equitable manner, and keeps improving its efforts to better respect and protect the basic rights of the Chinese people. We adhere to the philosophy of people-centered development, and prioritize the people’s rights to subsistence and development. Development is about improving the well-being of the people, ensuring that the people are true masters of the country, and realizing the well-rounded development of the people. China advances human rights through development. We are committed to the all-round development of human rights cause. 

All countries deserve the right to independently choose their own path of advancing human rights. Different civilizations and countries need to respect, accommodate, interact with and learn from each other. Human rights protection is an ongoing process. China will continue to work with the international community to promote the common values of humanity, stay committed to the vision of equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning, win-win cooperation and common development, and steer global human rights governance toward greater fairness, justice, equity and inclusiveness. 

Reuters: US Vice President Kamala Harris said in a speech today that Washington will continue to deepen its unofficial ties with Taiwan. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: I noted that Vice President Kamala Harris also said in Japan that China is undermining the international rules-based order. 

Let me stress first that the US House Speaker, in disregard of China’s four-month-long dissuasion, made a provocative visit to China’s Taiwan region and referred to Taiwan as a “country”. This has seriously violated China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, hampered China-US relations and undermined peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. 

The one-China principle is a prevailing consensus in the international community and a basic norm in international relations. It is also the political foundation for the establishment and development of diplomatic ties between China and the US. In the Shanghai Communiqué of 1972, the China-US Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations of 1978 and the August 17 Communiqué of 1982, the US made clear that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China and that the US recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China. The US also stated clearly that it has no intention of infringing on Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, or interfering in China’s internal affairs, or pursuing a policy of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”. 

Speaking of rules, keeping one’s commitment is the most basic rule. If the US cannot even keep its own word, in what position is it to talk about rules and order? A country like that could only become a disruptor of international rules. We urge the US to faithfully honor its commitments and return to the three China-US Joint Communiqués and the one-China principle in their true and original form, reaffirm its commitment to the one-China policy in the simple and straightforward way, and state its opposition to all “Taiwan independence” separatist activities with absolute clarity.

AFP: China told the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday that Ukraine’s territorial integrity should be respected, stopping short of explicitly condemning Russia. Why? Will this send a wrong signal to separatists in other parts of the world, especially in the Taiwan region?

Wang Wenbin: Let me first reiterate China’s consistent and clear position on the Ukraine issue. We believe that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be observed, that the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be taken seriously, and that all efforts conducive to peaceful settlement of the crisis must be supported. As a responsible major country, China has all along been committed to promoting peace talks. We are never a bystander, and we would never add fuel to the fire, still less exploit the crisis. We will always stand on the side of peace and will continue to play a constructive part in deescalating the situation.

Turning to your question, I need to stress that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory and the Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair. The Taiwan question and the Ukraine issue are different in nature and are not comparable at all. The future of Taiwan can only be jointly decided by all Chinese people including our compatriots in Taiwan.

Anyone who seeks to insinuate relevance of the Ukraine issue to the Taiwan question is invariably driven by political calculations. Such insinuation would constitute a violation of the principle of respecting a country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and serious interference in China’s internal affairs. Anyone hoping to exploit the Ukraine issue and find a pretext for “Taiwan independence” will only end up nowhere. 

China Daily: Markus Potzel, the UN Secretary-Generals Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan said at the UN Security Council on September 27 that since the Taliban came into power, positive developments have been too few and too slow and are outweighed by the negatives, and patience is running out by many in the international community regarding a strategy of engagement with the Afghan Taliban. Does China agree with this assessment? What do you think of the Afghan Taliban’s governance? 

Wang Wenbin: Since the situation in Afghanistan went through a fundamental shift in August last year, with the concerted efforts of the international community and the interim government of Afghanistan, a refugee crisis has been averted, social order has gradually improved, the process of peace and reconstruction is being advanced, and the overall situation has remained stable. This needs to be noted by the international community. That being said, Afghanistan is at a crucial stage of moving from chaos to stability. Life is still hard in the country. The threat of terrorism is still there. Much remains to be done to improve the country’s governance. The world has expressed both expectations and concerns for the country. The international community needs to continue to engage with the Afghan interim government, ramp up humanitarian and development aid, encourage and support Afghan efforts to establish a broad-based and inclusive government, adopt moderate and prudent policies, grow friendly ties with its neighbors, protect the fundamental rights of all Afghan people, including all ethnic groups, women and children, firmly combat terrorism in all forms and realize lasting peace and security in Afghanistan at an early date.

The Paper: Yesterday, China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center released a new investigation report on the cyber attacks by the US National Security Agency (NSA). The report detailed how the NSA’s Office of Tailored Access Operation (TAO) controls key infrastructure facilities in China and infiltrates into China’s Northwestern Polytechnical University’s internal network by using servers in countries such as the Netherlands and Denmark to host cyber weapons through stepping-stone attack via Japan, Germany, the ROK and other countries. This enabled the TAO to steal sensitive data including user names and passwords, identification verification data, system logs, access information, files and documents, and network configuration, and information of people with sensitive identities. The US also secretly controls the telecom carriers of at least 80 countries and conducts indiscriminate wiretapping on global telecom users. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: This is the third investigation report issued by the relevant Chinese institution this month on the US National Security Agency’s malicious cyber attack on China’s Northwestern Polytechnical University. It has revealed more evidence of massive cyber attacks by the US security agency against China. 

China has in recent weeks demanded an explanation from the US and asked it to immediately stop illegal action through various channels. So far, however, the US has been silent. The US could not have been more bombastic and motivated when propagating the lies about “Chinese hackers”, yet it has deliberately chosen to be blind and mute in the face of the solid evidence collected by the Chinese institution. What exactly is the US hiding from the world?

The US has long been known as the empire of hacking and champion of secret theft. With its absolute dominance in the field of Internet technology, the US has exercised indiscriminate cyber control and theft on a global scale to benefit itself politically, militarily, diplomatically and commercially. The US’s bullying practices in cyberspace have become a growing concern shared across the international community.

There is ample evidence that the US is no doubt the greatest threat to global cyber security. We call on countries to unite, stand up to the US’s hegemonic act which damaged cyber sovereignty and international rules and work together to create a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace.

Reuters: A group of US lawmakers including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Senator John Cornyn on Tuesday called on US President Joe Biden to issue an executive order on outbound investments to China and other countries. This could give the US government sweeping new powers to block billions of dollars worth of US investment in China. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: In recent years, the US has been using national security as a catch-all pretext to ramp up unjustified investment review. This has created difficulties and obstacles for foreign companies to engage in normal trade and investment cooperation, undermined international economic and trade order and trading rules and threatened the stability of global industrial and supply chains. What the politicians have been doing will only wall the US off, hurting itself and others alike.

Reuters: According to South Korean news agency Yonhap, regarding the possibility of a North Korean nuclear test in the near future, South Korea’s spy agency said that if it does indeed take place, it would likely occur between October and November. So I was wondering if the foreign ministry has any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: China’s position on the Korean Peninsula issue remains unchanged. We hope relevant parties will follow the dual-track approach and the principle of phased and synchronized steps and seek a solution that accommodates all parties’ concerns in a balanced manner. The US needs to respond to the DPRK’s concerns with real actions at once and create conditions for the resumption of meaningful dialogue. 

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