|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on June 7, 2021|
Beijing Youth Daily: On June 5, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indonesia's presidential envoy and Coordinator for Cooperation with China Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the China-Indonesia High-level Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism. Could you share the outcomes with us?
Wang Wenbin: On June 5, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indonesia's presidential envoy and Coordinator for Cooperation with China Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the China-Indonesia High-level Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism in the city of Guiyang. The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding on establishing the high-level dialogue cooperation mechanism and another on strengthening maritime cooperation. A memorandum of understanding on deepening the construction of the regional comprehensive economic corridor was exchanged along with another on establishing a joint committee on the corridor. The Chinese side has released readouts on these.
The meeting marks the launch of an integrated high-level cooperation mechanism between the two sides. It is an important step in implementing the consensus of our heads of state and a major event with profound significance in bilateral relations. During the meeting, both sides agreed to elevate bilateral ties by adding maritime cooperation to the original troika of political, economic and cultural cooperation. The meeting forged a new platform for and injected new impetus into greater growth in bilateral relations in the post-pandemic era. The two sides reached wide-ranging consensus. They will support each other's pursuit of national development and rejuvenation; deepen cooperation in the whole industrial chain of vaccine R&D, production and distribution and help Indonesia in its efforts to foster a regional vaccine production hub; dovetail the BRI and the Global Maritime Fulcrum vision, set up demonstration projects of the first phase of BRI cooperation, accelerate the building of the "twin parks" platform and jointly develop the huge market in both countries with 1.7 billion people combined; build on Indonesia's drive to develop a national fish storage center to start bilateral fishery cooperation across the board and speed up negotiation on the COC; expand online tourism, strengthen vocational education cooperation and step up interaction between thinktanks and media, among other sectors.
China stands ready to work with Indonesia to establish a new pattern of all-round development of relations by constantly opening up new space and enriching bilateral cooperation.
New York Times: What is the ministry's reaction to the protests in Hungary against the plan to open a campus of Fudan University there?
Wang Wenbin: Transnational joint education programs, a common model of international educational cooperation nowadays, serves as an important platform to promote mutual understanding. It is in keeping with the trend of the times and the interests of all. We hope relevant individuals in Hungary will remain objective and rational, follow the science, and avoid politicizing or stigmatizing normal cultural and people-to-people exchanges with China to uphold overall friendly bilateral relations.
PTI: My question is about the representation by about 300 Indians, who earlier resided in Beijing and different parts of China and who are stuck in India. They said that they had complied with the March order of the Chinese embassy in India to take Chinese vaccines. They had gone to different countries, they had taken these vaccines and they are still not able to make it to China. Some of these people's families are here in China. Some of them are on the verge of losing their jobs. Is China willing to look at a road map on humanitarian ground to accept their applications to return to their work here?
Wang Wenbin: With a view to resuming international travel in an orderly fashion, China provides convenience to incoming foreigners who have received Chinese vaccines, hold vaccination certificates and are eligible to apply for visas. You can contact the Chinese embassy and consulates in India for the specifics.
CRI: On June 5, the World Environment Day, President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the World Environment Day events held in Pakistan. How would China contribute to global environment governance going forward?
Wang Wenbin: President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the World Environment Day events held in Pakistan. China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. We have similar positions on a wide range of areas including environmental protection and have conducted close coordination and cooperation. We are committed to practicing multilateralism to improve global environmental governance, foster a community of life for man and nature and jointly build a clean and beautiful world.
The theme of this year's World Environment Day is "ecosystem restoration". The focus is on resetting humanity's relationship with nature. The theme China sets for this occasion is "harmonious coexistence between man and nature". As President Xi Jinping has repeatedly stressed, man must respect nature, follow its law and protect it. Faced with unprecedented difficulties in global environmental governance, the international community should work together with unprecedented ambition and action to foster a community of life for man and nature.
In September last year, President Xi solemnly pledged China's objective and vision to peak carbon emissions and then achieve carbon neutrality. In December last year and April this year, he announced further major policy measures to deal with climate change. The concept and practice of ecological conservation has been enshrined in China's Constitution and incorporated into China's overall plan for building socialism with Chinese characteristics. China will fully implement the Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization, act on a new development concept in keeping with the new stage, foster a new pattern and press ahead with ecological conservation with solid steps. This is the intrinsic need for China to realize sustainable and high-quality development and also its major contribution to global ecological conservation.
Ecological conservation calls for ambition and more importantly, perseverance. China will actively fulfill its international obligations in addressing climate change, protecting bio-diversity and preventing desertification, take a constructive part in the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) action plan, conduct multilateral and bilateral cooperation in ecological protection and make sustained efforts to improve global environmental governance. China will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in October in the beautiful "spring city" of Kunming, where we hope to discuss and draw up plans together with all parties for ecological conservation, inject new impetus into global environmental governance, foster a community of life for man and nature, and jointly build a clean and beautiful world.
CCTV: Russian President Vladimir Putin, while attending the 24th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum on June 4, said that the US believes its unrivaled economic and military might entitles it to flex its muscles with over-confidence. "What is the problem of empires - they think that they are so powerful that they can afford small errors and mistakes ... And the United States, with a confident gait, a firm step, is going straight along the path of the Soviet Union." Does China have a comment?
Wang Wenbin: We note relevant reports. President Putin's remarks offer much food for thought. As the world goes through major changes unseen in a century, how major countries conduct themselves and treat others will not only decide whether they rise or fall themselves but also seal mankind's future and destiny.
China always believes that a major country should act in a befitting way, which means, not to attack and smear others or boss them around, not to resort to muscle-flexing, coercion or intimidation, definitely not to gang up or stoke division, but rather, to show a broader vision and a bigger heart, shoulder more responsibilities for the future of the world and make greater contributions.
We hope all countries, especially major countries, will revisit the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, cherish the UN-centered international system forged out of the ashes of WWII with concerted efforts, jointly practice true multilateralism, promote greater democracy in international relations, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Kyodo News: The Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting is said to be held in Chongqing on June 7. Has the meeting begun? When will the joint statement be released? Could you share the detailed agenda with us?
Wang Wenbin: Yesterday we released relevant readouts. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of dialogue relations between China and ASEAN. It is a year of special significance for the bilateral relations to build on the past achievements and pursue new progress. Over the past three decades, China-ASEAN cooperation has grown in leaps and bounds, becoming the most successful and dynamic example of cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. The fact that the two sides agreed to hold a face-to-face special foreign ministers' meeting despite the ongoing COVID-19 situation reflects how countries attach great importance to and hold high expectations of China-ASEAN relations under the new circumstances.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will work with ASEAN foreign ministers to take stock of and summarize the outcomes and experience of China-ASEAN cooperation in the past 30 years, focus on combating COVID-19 and promoting economic recovery, better dovetail strategic plans and foster new highlights in practical cooperation to upgrade the relationship and make new contributions to peace, stability, development and prosperity in the region.
On the sidelines of the meeting, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will also hold bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of ASEAN states and the ASEAN Secretary-General.
More information will be released in due course. Please stay tuned.
Bloomberg: My question relates to taxation. Over the weekend, the G7 nations secured a landmark deal that could help countries collect more taxes from companies. The next step is for G20 to sign off on this arrangement. Since China is a member, does Beijing plan to sign on this agreement? And is this a good deal for China?
Wang Wenbin: I noted that the G7 finance ministers' meeting reached a consensus in principle on a tax solution to digitalisation of the economy on June 5.
Since G20 requested the OECD to formulate a solution to address the tax challenges arising from the digitalisation of the economy in 2017, the Chinese side has been participating in the consultation and design of a solution in the spirit of multilateralism, openness and cooperation. We support reaching consensus on the solution by mid-2021 within the multilateral framework according to the mandate of G20.
China believes that all countries including G20 should contribute in a pragmatic and constructive manner, properly handle the major concerns of all sides, and demonstrate inclusiveness in the design of the solution.
RIA Novosti: Former US President Donald Trump says that China should pay all countries a bill for a minimum of $10 trillion of compensation for the coronavirus pandemic. I wonder what's China's comment?
Wang Wenbin: During Donald Trump's tenure as the president, the US reported 24 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and over 410,000 deaths. However, Trump has been turning a blind eye to facts and scapegoating China, in order to shift the responsibility of the botched response at home and divert people's attention. The American people have their fair judgement. Those who should be held accountable are hypocritical politicians who once held high positions but ignored people's lives and health.
RIA Novosti: US President Joe Biden in his opinion article for Washington Post said that China should not participate in the development of rules for global commerce and technology. What's your comment?
Wang Wenbin: China always believed that peace, development and win-win cooperation are the trend of the times and the shared aspiration of the world. Every member of the international community should abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, uphold the UN-centered international system and work for more democratic international relations. World affairs should be handled through consultation by all countries, rather than be dictated by a few. We need to uphold openness and inclusiveness and reject isolation and exclusivity. We need to seek equal consultation and reject hegemony. Pursuing bloc politics and small cliques targeting a certain country with ideology as the yardstick and practicing fake, selective multilateralism are moves against the trend of the times that will garner no support and get nowhere.
We hope the US can view China in an objective and rational light, stop playing up the "China threat" narrative, and do more things that are conducive to promoting bilateral mutual trust and cooperation and world peace and stability.
CCTV: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for a diplomatic boycott of next year's Winter Olympics in Beijing. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that Beijing's hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics offers concerned nations the chance to press China on its human rights record, adding he would raise the matter at a G7 leaders' summit next week. What's your response?
Wang Wenbin: We firmly reject the U.S. and Canadian leaders' attack against China and interference in China's internal affairs in the name of human rights issues.
The world has seen it so clearly that, the Native Indians still face various discrimination and suppression more than two centuries after surviving the "genocide". African Americans are struggling to defend their freedom to "breathe" one hundred years after the Tulsa massacre. The Canadian government's forced assimilation policy led to numerous deaths of indigenous children, but the truth has yet to come out.
The world also sees clearly that the US side described the storming of the Capitol Hill by protesters in January with words like "violence" and "disgrace", but labeled similar incidents that took place in Hong Kong as "a beautiful sight to behold".
Instead of facing up to and solving their serious human rights problems at home, the United States and Canada have smeared and attacked China's human rights situation with fabricated excuses, which fully exposes their usual double standard on human rights issues and their political calculation of using human rights issues to serve their own selfish interests.
What I want to stress is that politicizing sports goes against the spirit of the Olympic Charter and harms the interests of athletes of all countries and the international Olympic cause. All sectors of the international community, including the governments and Olympic committees of many countries, and the International Olympic Committee, have clearly expressed their opposition to this wrong practice. We urge the relevant individuals in the United States and Canada to stop using the Olympic games to engage in despicable political game and not to take a stand against athletes and winter sports-lovers worldwide.
NHK: Will the situation in Myanmar be discussed at the Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting? What role will China play on this issue?
Wang Wenbin: I just offered some information on the ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting. As to China's role on the issue of Myanmar, China supports the ASEAN in upholding the principle of non-interference in internal affairs and the tradition of consensus based on consultation, and playing the role of a mature regional organization to encourage and constructively participate in Myanmar's internal reconciliation process in the ASEAN Way. We support joint efforts to explore effective means to ease the situation and resolve issues within the ASEAN framework. China will maintain close communication with ASEAN and support its mediation efforts, while reaching out to all parties in Myanmar in its own way, so as to secure an early "soft landing" for the situation in Myanmar. As to the specifics about Myanmar at this Special ASEAN-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting, just stay tuned for our readouts to be released in a timely manner.
New York Times: What is the reaction of China to the visit by the three US Senators to Taiwan and particularly the use of an air force jet for that trip?
Wang Wenbin: The visit by relevant US senators and their meeting with the leader of the Taiwan region gravely violates the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués. China strongly opposes this and has lodged solemn representations with the US side. We urge the US to faithfully implement its one-China policy, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, immediately discontinue all forms of official interactions with Taiwan and handle issues relating to Taiwan in a prudent manner. It should avoid sending any wrong signal to "Taiwan independence" separatists and causing further damage to China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
People's Daily: As we know, BRICS foreign ministers' meetings usually end with just one press statement, but the recent one released an extra statement on multilateralism. Do you have anything on this? Is there any difference between BRICS attitude towards multilateralism and multilateral cooperation and the general understanding of the international community, especially the proposition of developed countries?
Wang Wenbin: Since China put forward the proposal during its rotating presidency of BRICS in 2017, the five countries' foreign ministers have held separate formal meetings for five consecutive years. Since then, we've developed a tradition of elaborating on our consensus on current international landscape and prominent issues in the form of press statements with good effects.
The means serves the end just as the vehicle carries the meaning. Today there are so many different interpretations and definitions of multilateralism in the world which is faced with various global challenges and threats. What kind of multilateralism should we uphold? What kind of multilateral institutions should we support? The international community needs an answer urgently.
Under such circumstances, BRICS countries, as representatives of emerging markets and developing countries, have tackled the problem head-on and given their answer. The BRICS Joint Statement on Strengthening and Reforming the Multilateral System laid out the following principles. First, it should make global governance more inclusive, representative and participatory to facilitate greater and more meaningful participation of developing and least developed countries. Second, it should be based on inclusive consultation and collaboration for the benefit of all. Third, it should make multilateral organizations more responsive, action-oriented and solution-oriented based on the norms and principles of international law and the spirit of mutual respect, justice, equality, mutual beneficial cooperation. Fourth, it should use innovative and inclusive solutions, including digital and technological tools. Fifth, it should strengthen capacities of individual States and international organizations. Sixth, it should promote people-centered international cooperation at the core. This is the answer given by the BRICS.
BRICS countries reiterated their commitment to the path of multilateralism and their support for strengthening and reforming multilateralism. It is also out of this consideration that China supported BRICS countries in issuing a separate joint statement on strengthening and reforming the multilateral system. This statement is not only the outcome of the five countries' concerted efforts and their answer, but also reflects the shared aspiration of the overwhelming majority of countries and the widespread consensus of the international community.
The BRICS countries, as emerging markets and developing countries, are indeed different from a few developed countries in their attitude towards multilateralism and multilateral cooperation. The BRICS countries stress the need to observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and oppose exceptionalism and double standard. We are committed to extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and oppose hegemonic bullying and zero-sum games. We pursue openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, and reject bloc politics and ideological confrontation. We call for taking real actions to solve real problems, and reject empty words that prolong them. China has every confidence that the contents of this statement will stand the scrutiny of practice and the test of history and will surely win more and more international recognition and support.
Associated Press of Pakistan: A follow-up question on President Xi's message to the World Environment Day. Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan thanked President Xi and also applauded his leadership in combating climate change and biodiversity loss and his offer to set up a cooperation in ecosystem restoration. What is your response please?
Wang Wenbin: As I just stated, President Xi Jinping pointed out in his congratulatory letter to the World Environment Day events held in Pakistan that this year marks the launch of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The World Environment Day events held in Pakistan under the theme of "ecosystem restoration" are of great significance. The world is a community with a shared future where everyone is in the same boat. The international community should work together with unprecedented ambition and action to strive for a fair and reasonable system of global environmental governance featuring win-win cooperation and promote the sustainable development of humanity. President Xi also applauded the government of Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan for making it a priority to build a Clean Green Pakistan. He stressed China's readiness to strengthen cooperation with Pakistan and the rest of the international community within the UN to foster a community of life for man and nature, and jointly build a clean and beautiful world.
We also noted Prime Minister Imran Khan's cordial response. By sending a congratulatory letter to the World Environment Day events held in Pakistan, President Xi has demonstrated China's sense of responsibility as a participant, contributor and trailblazer in global ecological conservation, and offered China's proposal, solution and wisdom to improving global environmental governance and building a community of life for man and nature.
As I just said, China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. We stand ready to conduct close coordination and cooperation with Pakistan to improve global environmental governance, foster a community of life for man and nature and jointly build a clean and beautiful world.
Bloomberg: Just like to have a quick follow-up on an earlier question, and then I have a separate question, so bear with me, please. On the Taiwan visit by the US senators, there was a question around the type of aircraft that was used, a C-17 military aircraft. Does this constitute the crossing of a line on Taiwan matters by the US? That's my first follow-up question on the Taiwan issue. Separately, I'd like to ask about a story published last week by the Japanese publication Nikkei, in which it said that the US, Japan and key European countries, including the UK, Germany and the Netherlands will form a framework to tighten export controls on certain products to China, particularly semiconductors, artificial intelligence and bio-tech. My question here is: is the foreign ministry aware of such a plan, and what is the view on such measure? And how might it impact China's technological development?
Wang Wenbin: On your first question, I already stated China's solemn position. We urge the US to faithfully implement its one-China policy, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, immediately discontinue all forms of official interactions with Taiwan and handle issues relating to Taiwan in a prudent manner. It should avoid sending any wrong signal to "Taiwan independence" separatists and causing further damage to China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
On your second question, I'm not aware of what you mentioned.
I'd like to stress that economic globalization is the objective reality and historical trend. The politicization and weaponization of science, technology and economic and trade issues based on ideology and the formation of exclusive small groups run counter to the principles of market economy and fair competition. They will only artificially divide the world, undermine international trade rules, threaten the security of global industrial and supply chains, and ultimately do harm to others and oneself.
We hope relevant countries will abandon the zero-sum thinking, go with the trend of the times, contribute more to normal science and technology exchange and trade in the world, and foster an open, fair and non-discriminatory environment for innovation to flourish. All should work together to build an open world economy to achieve common development and prosperity.
PTI: Just to follow up on what you said about Indians stuck back home, not able to return. This representation was made to the Chinese embassy in India. It appears that they are looking for a new kind of a roadmap or a kind of new policy in this regard for their return from the Chinese government.
Wang Wenbin: I just stated China's principled position on this matter. As for the specific issues, I would like to refer you to the Chinese embassy and consulates in India.
Prasar Bharati: My question is regarding the cross-border travel. Now China has two vaccines approved by WHO. In coming times, will China consider accepting or recognizing other WHO vaccines? For example, Saudi Arabia has accepted and recognized AstraZeneca vaccines produced in India by the Serum Institute of India (SII). So any such policy decision is to be made by China in coming times? Is there anything in plan?
Wang Wenbin: Your question is actually about the orderly flow of personnel against the background of COVID-19. We have repeatedly stated China's principled position. I would like to reiterate that since the onset of COVID-19, by drawing on the practices of other countries, China adjusts its management measures on in-bound travelers in light of the changing epidemic situation in a science-based manner. On the basis of ensuring safety, China will work actively to put in place healthy, safe and orderly personnel exchanges with other countries.
Shenzhen TV: According to reports, armed attackers killed at least 138 civilians in a village raid in northern Burkina Faso on June 5. President Kaboré of Burkina Faso and Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Dujarric both condemned the attack. Does China have a comment?
Wang Wenbin: China condemns the attack in Burkina Faso and extends condolences to the bereaved families. China always stands against all terrorist acts. We note the statement from the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General. We will continue firmly supporting the government of Burkina Faso in safeguarding national security and stability.
FSN: In an interview with Axios, the US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said that China hadn't provided the transparency, access for international inspectors, or real time information sharing on COVID-19 and said that China would be held accountable for the origins of COVID-19. What's China's response?
Wang Wenbin: As we've been stressing and as the international community has been reiterating, tracing the origin of the virus is a scientific matter that should be studied by scientists worldwide in collaboration, rather than be politicized. WHO experts have reached clear conclusions on this already. China has twice invited WHO experts in for origin study in an open and transparent manner. The WHO released the report of the WHO-China joint study of the origins in March. Compiled in line with WHO procedures and following science-based methods, it was an authoritative and scientific report.
I would like to draw your attention to one fact. In 2003, in disregard of the report submitted by the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission (UNSCOM) to the Security Council that Iraq does not possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the US directed its intelligence agencies to conduct so-called "investigations" based on presumption of guilt and made allegations founded on hypothesis rather than evidence, and mobilized media outlets to hype up the threat of Iraq's possession of WMD. The US moves to shift the blame of COVID-19 is no different from its lies on Iraq. The international community should be vigilant about this. I'm sure such moves will be rejected by people with insight.
We urge the US to stop politicizing the study of origins, stop smearing China, adopt an open and transparent attitude on this issue, shoulder its due responsibilities and invite WHO experts for origin study in the US.
Bloomberg: So the German researcher Adrian Zenz has issued a new report. According to his research, he says that because of various policies by China in Xinjiang, that a large drop in births can be expected for Uyghur ethnic minorities in southern Xinjiang between now and 2040. What's the foreign ministry's comment?
Wang Wenbin: We've debunked how Adrian Zenz spread lies and rumors on Xinjiang to smear and attack China in various despicable ways. People with vision and media agencies and experts across the world have all pointed out that the reports by Zenz, filled with bias and smears against China, have zero academic value. He's nothing but a fake academic with a bankrupt reputation who is being sued by relevant companies in Xinjiang. His so-called reports are by no means to be trusted.