|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on December 1, 2021|
As agreed by the two sides, Yang Jiechi, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the CPC Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, will hold consultations with ROK National Security Advisor Suh Hoon in Tianjin on December 2. The two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of mutual concern.
At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Vietnamese Foreign Minister Bui Thanh Son, Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Prak Sokhonn, and Indonesia’s Coordinator for Cooperation with China and Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan will visit China from December 2 to 5. During the visit, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah will co-chair the first China-Malaysia High Level Committee Meeting. Besides, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will also hold a virtual meeting with Lao Foreign Minister Saleumxay Kommasith.
CCTV: General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and President Xi Jinping and General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP) Central Committee and Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith will hold a meeting and jointly witness the opening of the China-Laos Railway via videolink on December 3. Could you share more information? What’s China’s expectation?
Wang Wenbin: China and Laos are both socialist countries and friendly neighbors. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and the China-Laos Friendship Year, bringing the bilateral relationship to an important stage of building on past achievements and pursuing new progress. The virtual meeting between General Secretary and President Xi Jinping and General Secretary and President Thongloun Sisoulith will provide strategic guidance for the building of a community with a shared future between China and Laos and a robust driving force for the long-term development of bilateral relations.
The China-Laos railway is a flagship project of high-quality BRI cooperation and carries with it the Lao people’s railway dream. The two highest-ranking party and state leaders will witness the opening of the railway on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. This is a milestone and indeed a great and joyous event in our relations. We believe that the China-Laos railway will give a boost to Laos’ strategy to convert itself from a landlocked country to a land-linked hub, accelerate the building of a China-Laos community with a shared future, and deliver more benefits to the two countries and peoples. It is also conducive to promoting regional connectivity and the stability of industrial and supply chains, and will make positive contributions to development and prosperity in the region.
AFP: Rights groups say Beijing has pressured foreign governments to deport Taiwanese criminal suspects to the mainland, despite a 2009 agreement that police from both sides would return overseas suspects to their respective territories. What is the reason for deporting Taiwanese fugitives to the mainland? And how will they be dealt with?
Wang Wenbin: What you mentioned is completely unfounded.
AFP: America’s top envoy to the Pacific Kurt Campbell has said China is trying to drive Australia to its knees through a series of sanctions that amount to “economic warfare”. How do you react to this? And another question. The head of UK’s intelligence agency has warned of China using debt traps and data traps on trying to gain vast amounts of critical information of other countries to enhance its global influence. How does Beijing react to this?
Wang Wenbin: On your first question, I want to stress that for some time, certain Australian politicians have played up the so-called “China threat theory”, hurled unsubstantiated accusations and attacks against China, provoked tensions and instigated confrontation. It seems that the last thing they want is peace. We hope relevant individuals on the US side will refrain from confusing right with wrong.
To answer your second question, the Chinese Embassy in the UK has already responded to it. I would like to stress that the remarks of the relevant individual on the UK side deliberately distorted facts and smeared China’s policy. Essentially fraught with the Cold War mentality, the remarks were intended to instigate ideological confrontation.
China’s development is an opportunity for the world. China is an active advocate of multilateralism and a just and reasonable international order. China’s opening-up and economic growth has injected strong impetus into world economic recovery. China firmly pursues a national defense policy that is defensive in nature, and its development of necessary military capabilities is solely for the purpose of safeguarding national security. The better China develops, the more conducive it will be to world peace, stability and common development. Allegations of so-called large-scale Chinese espionage are pure fabrication.
China is always a builder of world peace, a contributor to global development, a defender of the international order and a provider of public goods. The goal of our development is to enable the Chinese people to lead happier lives, not to target or even replace anyone. We urge relevant individuals to abandon the Cold War mentality and view China in an objective and rational light instead of erecting “imaginary enemies”.
CCTV: The ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations was successfully held not long ago. Now the Chinese side has invited four ministers from ASEAN countries to visit China and will hold a virtual meeting with the Lao foreign minister. Could you share China’s consideration and expectation for it?
Wang Wenbin: Vietnam, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia and Laos are all important ASEAN members and China’s friendly neighbors and important BRI partners. China always attaches the highest importance to the neighborhood in its foreign policy and ASEAN is the priority in its neighborhood diplomacy. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and ASEAN countries have maintained close high-level communication in flexible ways. This will be the fifth in-person and virtual interaction between State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and ASEAN countries’ foreign ministers and key cabinet members in 2021. Such frequent exchange of visits, like relatives keeping in touch with each other, fully demonstrates the high political mutual trust between China and ASEAN neighbors as well as the rich connotation of China-ASEAN cooperation.
The visit will mark the first strategic communication between China and ASEAN countries since the successful ASEAN-China Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of ASEAN-China Dialogue Relations chaired by President Xi Jinping and the announcement by China and ASEAN to establish a comprehensive strategic partnership. Through the visit, China hopes to exchange views with the other sides mainly on implementing the outcomes and consensus reached at the commemorative summit and hold in-depth communication on strengthening anti-epidemic and development cooperation as well as the regional and international situation to jointly build a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home.
China News Service: The eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) concluded yesterday. Could you share the outcomes of the meeting? And what does China think of the event?
Wang Wenbin: On the afternoon of November 30 local time, the eighth Ministerial Conference of FOCAC concluded successfully in Dakar, the capital of Senegal, the African co-chair of FOCAC. President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech through video link at the opening ceremony. In the speech, he put forward four proposals on building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era and announced nine programs for China-Africa cooperation in the future, which are highly commended by the African side. African leaders at the meeting including Senegalese President Macky Sall, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and Comorian President Azali Assoumani thanked President Xi Jinping for his proposals and initiatives, praised FOCAC, which has become an important platform for the two sides to work for a fair and just international order and greater voice and say of Africa, and expressed readiness to welcome more Chinese businesses to invest in Africa and strengthen Africa-China coordination, especially in promoting sustained economic growth and prosperity through BRI cooperation. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi also held talks and meetings with some foreign ministers of African countries on the sidelines of the FOCAC conference and exchanged views broadly on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual concern.
Despite the impact of COVID-19, the Chinese and African sides overcame difficulties and held the conference as scheduled. Efficient results-oriented discussions were held on the theme of the conference in a friendly and lively atmosphere. The two sides took stock of the progress in China-Africa relations since the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit and the two sides’ joint response to COVID-19, reviewed implementation of the eight major initiatives from the Beijing Summit, and noted with satisfaction the fruitful results achieved in China-Africa cooperation. The Dakar Declaration, the Dakar Action Plan (2022-2024), the Declaration on China-Africa Cooperation on Combating Climate Change, and the China-Africa Cooperation Vision 2035 were adopted at the conference, setting a record in terms of the number of documents adopted in the history of FOCAC. This fully demonstrates the high level of China-Africa cooperation and China and African countries’ firm determination to seek common development, meet challenges together and share opportunities.
The new blueprint for China-Africa relations in the next three years and beyond has been drawn up. China always honors its commitments, which is a distinctive feature in its cooperation with Africa. We will work in concert with African countries to carry forward the spirit of friendship and cooperation, advance the solid implementation of outcomes of the conference, and open up new prospects for upgraded and high-quality development of China-Africa cooperation, build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era and make positive efforts and contributions to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Bloomberg: If we could go back to the comments made by US diplomat Kurt Campbell again. He said China’s “economic warfare” against Australia has drawn the United States and Australia closer, when just a few years ago many expected that they would drift apart. He also said that Washington’s Indo-Pacific security partnership with the UK and Australia, which some people refer to as AUKUS, is more of a stand against China’s actions than a technology-sharing agreement. Does the foreign ministry have any response to the specific comments?
Wang Wenbin: I answered a relevant question earlier, but I will say a few more words since you asked again. First of all, China takes measures on imported products according to Chinese laws and regulations and WTO rules to protect the legitimate rights and interests of relevant Chinese industries and the safety of Chinese consumers. This is totally reasonable, lawful and beyond reproach. It is the Australian side that has adopted a series of measures in violation of market principles and the spirit of China-Australia free trade agreement. It repeatedly abuses the concept of national security as an excuse to set restrictions on the investment and lawful operation of Chinese companies in the country. This has caused setbacks to the sound momentum of practical bilateral cooperation. Australia has also acted wantonly to interfere in China’s internal affairs on issues concerning sovereignty.
We have noticed recently that some visionary people in Australia criticized the Australian government’s erroneous policies on China. The Australian government should listen to their voices and reflect on itself. Certain people in the US would do well to heed the opinions and ponder over them. As I just said, we hope certain individuals in the US will stop confusing right with wrong.
With regard to AUKUS, I would like to stress that along ideological lines, the US, the UK and Australia are forging a new military bloc, which will heighten the risk of military conflicts and increase geopolitical tensions. It is a typical illustration of the Cold War mentality. The US and the UK, two nuclear-weapon states, are set to transfer tons of nuclear weapons materials to Australia, a non-nuclear-weapon state. The existing IAEA safeguards arrangement cannot effectively monitor the transfer. This is in explicit violation of the object and purposes of the NPT. The trilateral cooperation exposes the three countries’ flagrant double standard on the nuclear non-proliferation issue and will spur other non-nuclear-weapon states to follow suit and cause seriously negative impact to the settlement of regional nuclear hotspot issues. This is extremely irresponsible. We once again urge the three countries to correct their mistakes.
CRI: China and Arab states held a video conference for experts to discuss reform and development the other day. I wonder if you have any information about that?
Wang Wenbin: On November 30, under the auspices of China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, a video conference on reform and development between Chinese and Arab experts was successfully held by the China-Arab Research Center on Reform and Development. The conference was attended by 20 renowned scholars from academic institutions and think tanks of countries including China, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco and Palestine. Diplomats from Arab states posted in China also sat in on the event. Under the theme of “building a community with a shared future for China and Arab states under the guidance of the Global Development Initiative”, the meeting saw in-depth discussions and valuable observations and propositions on the two topics of “enhancing experience-sharing on state governance to promote the Global Development Initiative” and “pursuing high-quality Belt and Road cooperation to forge a community with a shared future for China and Arab states featuring prosperity and development”.
Chinese and Arab experts shared the view that the international development cause now stands at a crossroads in the face of the once-in-a-century pandemic and changes. China and Arab countries face common tasks and challenges. The Global Development Initiative and the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind proposed by President Xi Jinping rise to the occasion as a natural choice in line with the overriding trend of the times. They provide guidance for action and a strong driving force for developing countries’ efforts to accelerate development and realize common development. China and Arab countries, with greater readiness to deepen cooperation than ever, should strengthen solidarity and cooperation, advance high-quality BRI cooperation, make good preparations for the China-Arab Summit, and take more concrete steps to build a China-Arab community with a shared future featuring shared aspirations, development, prosperity, peace and harmony.
During the meeting, Chinese experts also shared the major achievements and historical experience of the Communist Party of China over the past century, especially the philosophy of actively developing whole-process people’s democracy. Experts on the Arab side spoke highly of China’s success in finding a development path that suits its own national conditions through independent exploration, adding that it has provided inspiration to Arab countries’ state governance. They said they oppose Western countries’ interference in other countries’ internal affairs and imposition of their own political system and development model in the name of protecting human rights. Scholars on both sides believe that facing the various risks and challenges at present, countries should tear down ideological barriers, abandon the Cold War mentality and unilateralism, and strive to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Phoenix TV: At least three people were killed and eight injured in a shooting yesterday at a high school in Detroit in the US state of Michigan. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I noted relevant reports. I also noticed that since the beginning of this year, several Chinese citizens have been shot dead in the US, falling victim to gun violence in the country.
Gun crime rate in the US remains the highest in the world for many years. The increase in deaths due to gun violence has made it one of the most serious human rights issues in the US. We call on the US government to face up to the issue and take responsible actions to protect the life and human rights of all people, including Chinese citizens in the US, to prevent the repetition of such tragedies.
MASTV: Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the “Russia Calling!” Investment Forum that the US and other Western countries always try to alarm Russia with the “China threat” theory, but Russia will not fall for that. He also said that Russia will not reduce cooperation with China like some European countries at the US’ beck and call. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China appreciates the remarks by President Putin. All attempts to drive wedges between China and Russia are futile. In fact, both the “China threat” theory and the “Russia threat” theory are excuses fabricated by the US to maintain its hegemony and resist the trend toward multi-polarity. The China-Russia high-level strategic coordination is a strong guarantee for world peace and stability. It will not be changed by external influence. It is the US that really needs to change. If the US holds onto the Cold War mentality and hegemonic mindset, it will see everyone as a threat.
The Paper: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on November 30 that the US’ hosting of the “Summit for Democracy” is aimed at promoting Washington’s view of democracy while rejecting “any kind of international cooperation that would be really democratic”. It disregards the principle of sovereign equality enshrined in the UN Charter. He added that the West seeks to replace democracy with dictatorship in international relations. Do you have any response?
Wang Wenbin: I noted that recently Russia and many other countries have all expressed opposition to and disapproval of the so-called “Summit for Democracy” to be hosted by the US. Based on its own criteria, the US tries to divide countries and regions in the world into two camps. It proclaims that half of them meet its democratic standards and labels the other half “non-democracies”. Such flagrant instigation of division and confrontation gravely undermines solidarity and mutual trust between countries and is unsurprisingly met with strong opposition from the international community.
For too long, the US has been using democracy as a cover to flagrantly engage in infiltration and subversion in sovereign countries, impose economic sanctions, cause turmoil and chaos, and wage wars of invasion, which has brought disasters to the affected countries and the international community. The so-called “Summit for Democracy” will not turn Washington into a democratic high ground. It will only expose further the true face of the US as a manipulator and saboteur of democracy in front of the whole world.
Hubei Media Group: The 26th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government was held yesterday. Do you have more details? And how does China see the meeting?
Wang Wenbin: Premier Li Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin held the 26th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government through video link on November 30. The two sides took stock of the progress and outcomes achieved in bilateral practical cooperation over the past year, identified the priorities of cooperation in the next stage, and held in-depth exchange on dealing with the impact of COVID-19, advancing a steady world economic recovery, and safeguarding regional and global peace and stability. The two heads of government signed and released a joint communique after the meeting.
The regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government has been held 26 times, which fully demonstrates the strategic, long-term and stable nature of China-Russia relations and cooperation in all sectors. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia. Our two heads of state issued a joint statement and announced the extension of the Treaty, bringing bilateral relations to a new stage of development. At this regular meeting, the two sides summarized experience for successful cooperation, discussed practical measures to deal with challenges, and reached broad consensus on deepening cooperation, keeping industrial and supply chains stable, and realizing green and sustainable development. This has injected strong impetus into the two sides’ efforts to develop bilateral relations under new circumstances and scale new heights in practical cooperation.
I’d like to stress that China and Russia are each other’s biggest neighbor, development opportunity and global partner. China-Russia cooperation enjoys a solid foundation and broad prospects. At present, the international landscape is going through profound adjustments, the COVID-19 pandemic resurges, and the world economic recovery is not yet sure-footed. Against such a backdrop, China stands ready to work together with Russia, as two major countries and emerging markets, to further strengthen comprehensive strategic coordination and all-round practical cooperation, and play a greater role in maintaining world peace and stability and promoting a steady world economic recovery.
Beijing Youth Daily: Speaking virtually at a Taiwanese think tank today, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, “A Taiwan emergency is a Japanese emergency, and therefore an emergency for the Japan-US alliance.” Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: In total disregard of the basic norms governing international relations and the principles of the four political documents between China and Japan, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe blatantly babbled utter nonsense and wantonly leveled criticism on the Taiwan question, and made presumptuous remarks about China’s internal affairs. China deplores and rejects this and has lodged stern representations with the Japanese side through diplomatic channels.
Taiwan is China’s sacred territory, where no external interference shall be tolerated. During its colonial rule over Taiwan for half a century, Japan committed innumerable crimes, over which it has grave historical responsibilities to the Chinese people. No one should underestimate the strong resolve, determination and capability of the Chinese people to safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Those who dare to pursue the old path of militarism and challenge our bottom line will find themselves on a collision course with the Chinese people!