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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on November 11, 2021

2021-11-11 20:53

CCTV: What is China's expectation for the 28th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting?

Wang Wenbin: As the world faces flare-ups of COVID-19 and multiple challenges in economic recovery, global cooperation against the pandemic and on economic recovery has entered a crucial stage. China is an important member of the Asia-Pacific and attaches great importance to the role of APEC as a key platform for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. We expect that all parties in the region will follow the vision of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future and promote the implementation of the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040 to inject strong impetus into the fight against COVID-19 and sustainable economic recovery in the Asia-Pacific and the wider world, and make active contribution to common development of the Asia-Pacific. China is ready to work with all parities for positive outcomes of this meeting.

AFP: Firstly, China and the US announced a surprise climate agreement at COP26. Does this suggest some degree of improvement in China-US ties? Secondly, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview that "we have commitments... to make sure that Taiwan has the ability to defend itself". He added that there are many countries that would take action if they see any unilateral action to use force to disrupt the status quo. What's your response?

Wang Wenbin: On your first question, on November 10, London time, China and the US reached and issued the Joint Glasgow Declaration on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s on the sidelines of the Glasgow Climate Change Conference. 

Building on the China-US Joint Statement Addressing the Climate Crisis released in Shanghai in April and the talks in Tianjin in September, this joint declaration further puts forward specific measures for China and the US to carry out their respective domestic actions, promote bilateral cooperation and advance multilateral processes. The two sides appreciate the work done so far and pledge to continue the combined efforts and work with all parties to strengthen the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The two sides will take enhanced climate actions to effectively address the climate crisis in accordance with common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, and in the light of different national circumstances. The two sides agreed to establish a "Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s" to advance bilateral climate cooperation and the multilateral processes. The joint declaration has been released online for your reference. The Glasgow Climate Change Conference is concluding soon. I believe that the joint declaration will enhance the confidence of all countries in jointly tackling climate change and contribute to the success of the conference.

Since the beginning of this year, China and the US have held intensive dialogues and consultations on climate change in accordance with the spirit and instructions of the telephone conversation between the two heads of state. The joint declaration is the product of candid exchanges, mutual understanding, mutual respect and active efforts to expand consensus between the two sides. This shows once again that China and the US can work together on major international issues, and accomplish many great things that benefit the people of both countries and the world through cooperation, and inject positive energy into the multilateral processes.

On your second question, I want to stress that relevant remarks by the US side disregard facts and violate international law. The one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques are the foundation for the establishment of diplomatic ties and the sound development of China-US relations. The Taiwan Relations Act unilaterally formulated by the US is illegal, null and void, as it goes against the commitment the US made in the three joint communiques and puts its domestic laws above international obligations. China never allows the US to wantonly violate China's sovereignty and interfere in China's internal affairs citing any reasons or with any excuses. The US should take real actions to abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiques, speak and act prudently and stop sending any wrong signal to the "Taiwan independence" forces.

There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China. This is not only a historical and legal fact that cannot be changed, but also a status quo that cannot be challenged. The one-China principle is a universally recognized norm governing international relations and the consensus of the international community. Resolution 2758 of the United Nations General Assembly recognized "the representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations", and decided to "expel the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations". When Resolution 2758 was under consultation, the "dual representation" draft resolution proposed by the US and a few other countries to create "two Chinas" failed to pass, which fundamentally denied the representation of Taiwan in the UN. Relevant UN documents pointed out explicitly that "the United Nations considers 'Taiwan' as a province of China with no separate status", and the "authorities in Taipei are not considered to ... enjoy any form of governmental status".

The one-China principle is recognized and supported by 180 countries in the world. The landscape of the international community upholding the one-China principle is becoming ever more solid and China's reunification has become an unstoppable trend of history. The root cause of the current tensions across the Taiwan Strait is that the Taiwan authorities and a handful of "Taiwan independence" separatist forces try to negate and challenge the one-China principle and expand the space of "Taiwan independence" activities, which has been firmly rejected by the Chinese government and the international community. All acts to challenge the one-China principle and resist the trend of reunification will be resolutely foiled. All attempts to support the "Taiwan independence" separatist acts and go against the trend of history will end in failure. 

Beijing Youth Daily: According to Kyodo news agency of Japan, researchers of Tsukuba University recently released research results, saying that cesium 137, a radioactive substance that flowed into the sea in the accident of Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011, has travelled northward after reaching the West Coast of the US to the Bering Strait at the northernmost of the Pacific Ocean, and returned to the northeastern coast of Japan after about 7 to 8 years. At the same time, cesium 137 from the Fukushima nuclear accident was found in the Arctic Ocean. What is China's comment? 

Wang Wenbin: I have noticed relevant reports. The latest research by Japanese experts has shown that the radioactive substance from the accident of the Fukushima nuclear power plant has diffused across the whole North Pacific Ocean and even reached the Arctic Ocean. Previous authoritative international research also pointed out that the current along the coast of Fukushima is the strongest in the world, and if Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water is discharged into the ocean, then radioactive substance it contains will be spread to all waters of the globe in a few years.

This once again proves that the treatment of Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water is never Japan's private matter. Instead, it bears on the marine environment and public health of the whole world. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out in his remarks at the Symposium on Global Maritime Cooperation and Ocean Governance 2021 that we should deal with conducts that damage the marine environment such as the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water in strict accordance with law, so as to ensure that our blue planet retains its primary color forever, and that our future generations continue to enjoy clean ocean and blue skies. We urge the Japanese side to heed the concerns of neighboring countries and the international community, act with a responsible attitude toward the marine environment and human health, and revoke its wrong decision to discharge nuclear-contaminated water into the sea. It should not start the discharge before reaching consensus with all stakeholders and the relevant international organizations through full consultation. 

BBC: Although the COVID-19 pandemic is not brought under control 100 percent, many countries, including the US, have eased border restrictions and issued tourist visas to foreign travelers. Do you have any comment on that and when will China ease its border restrictions on foreigners?

Wang Wenbin: Since the onset of COVID-19, by drawing on the practice of other countries and international customary practice, China has been adjusting its management measures on in-bound travelers in light of the changing epidemic situation in a science-based manner. The coronavirus is still spreading in many parts of the world with the emergence of many variants. China will continue taking prevention and control measures through scientific analysis in light of the evolving situation. On the basis of ensuring safety amid COVID-19, China stands ready to work actively to foster healthy, safe and orderly personnel exchanges with other countries.

Bloomberg: US media are reporting on the time for the Xi-Biden virtual summit. Can the foreign ministry confirm any more details of the Xi-Biden virtual summit?

Wang Wenbin: I responded to a related question yesterday. We will release information in a timely manner if there is any.

RIA Novosti: A cargo ship with the name Rise Shine ran aground off the coast of the city of Nakhodka in Russia's Far East. All 14 crew members are Chinese citizens and they have been successfully evacuated and taken ashore. Could you please provide any information on if they contacted the consulate-general and embassy of China in Russia seeking help or support?

Wang Wenbin: On November 9, local time, affected by bad weather, a cargo ship flying the flag of Panama ran aground and was in danger in waters near the city of Nakhodka in Russia's Primorye Territory in the Far East, with 14 Chinese crew members on board. The local Chinese diplomatic mission paid timely attention and took corresponding measures. After receiving requests for help, the local emergencies service immediately sent helicopters to the site for rescue, and all of the 14 Chinese crew members were evacuated to safety. The hull of the vessel was damaged when stranded but it didn't capsize. There were no causalities. We appreciate the rescue efforts of relevant Russian authorities. 

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