|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on December 9, 2021|
Xinhua News Agency: It is reported that the US is seeking consensus among participating countries on the “Alliance for the Future of the Internet” at the “Summit for Democracy”. The Alliance is aimed at establishing an “open, trusted, and secure” Internet order based on US standards. This is one of the “outcomes” that the US is expecting to achieve at the summit, so as to better serve its global strategic goals and interests. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: The relevant report proves once again that the US is politicizing, instrumentalizing and weaponizing democracy.
The so-called “Alliance for the Future of the Internet” pursued by the US is another example of how the US divides the Internet, seeks technological monopoly and cyber hegemony, and oppresses scientific and technological development of other countries. The US tries to impose its standards on others and restrict or take away the right to independently choose cooperative partners and develop the Internet by countries, especially developing countries, thus stopping them from enjoying the dividend of digital economy and technological progress. The so-called Alliance is actually an old agenda taking on a new form under the pretext of democracy and to create an exclusive bloc. It is a resemblance of the US’ Clean Network program that has long lost support. While claiming to build an “open” Internet, the US is creating confrontation and dividing the Internet. It pushes for this Alliance in an attempt to plant ideological bias and zero-sum mentality in the supply, industrial and information chains of the Internet. It will seriously distort the market. The US is doing so in a hope to get an upper hand in the competition in an unfair and unjust manner. This runs counter to the Internet spirit of peace, security, openness and cooperation. The future of the Internet should not and can not be manipulated by a few countries. China opposes politicizing science and technology cooperation based on ideology and through exclusive arrangements as they hinder efforts to address shared challenge and seek common development. Such moves will only undermine scientific and technological innovation.
Facts show once again that the so-called “Summit for Democracy” has nothing to do with international justice or democracy, but is rather about serving the US’ own selfish gains and maintaining its hegemony. The political manipulation of the US in the name of democracy will only be met with wide opposition in the international community.
Reuters: Besides Russia, from which other countries has China invited leaders or officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics?
Wang Wenbin: According to Olympic rules, national leaders attend the Olympics at the invitation of their National Olympic Committee and register in the IOC system. To date, many heads of state and government and royalty have registered for the Beijing Olympics. They are most welcome.
China is committed to making greater contributions to the international Olympic cause. We will deliver a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympics for the world.
RTHK: The UK and Canada said they will not send diplomatic representatives to the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. What is China’s response? It is reported that 20 countries have not signed the Olympic truce resolution previously adopted by the UN General Assembly. How does China assess its potential domino effect?
Wang Wenbin: I need to point out in the first place that in fact China hasn’t invited any of these countries. They will see a successful Beijing Winter Olympic Games regardless of whether they send officials or not.
Sports have nothing to do with politics. The Olympic Games is a grand gathering of athletes and sports lovers, not a stage for the posturing and grandstanding of politicians. A handful of countries including the US, Australia, the UK and Canada refused to co-sponsor the UN resolution on Olympic Truce for the Beijing Winter Games, and now put on a self-staged farce of “not sending officials”, pitting themselves against the big Olympic family. We hope relevant countries will act upon the Olympic spirit of “together”, rather than undermining the Olympic cause.
You asked about the potential chain reaction. That’s not a concern for us. On the contrary, what we see is the overwhelming majority of the international community supporting a successful Beijing Winter Olympics. On December 2, the 76th session of the UNGA adopted by consensus the resolution on Olympic Truce for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Beijing 2022 drafted by China and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and co-sponsored by 173 member states. Representatives of many member states voiced their support for the Beijing Winter Olympics and the resolution. This in itself demonstrates the international community’s support for the Olympic Movement and resolve to safeguard world peace.
We have every confidence that guided by the Olympic spirit and with the concerted efforts by all sides, we will surely present a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympic event to the world and jointly promote the Olympic cause.
MASTV: The candidate of the Social Democratic Party Olaf Scholz is elected as Germany’s new Chancellor. What is China’s expectation of the new German government under his leadership?
Wang Wenbin: We have noted that the new federal government in Germany has been formally established. The Chinese leadership has sent congratulatory messages to Chancellor Scholz. China always attaches great importance to its comprehensive strategic partnership with Germany. We believe that as two important forces in the world, China and Germany should develop the sound bilateral relationship as it serves the common interests of the two countries and two peoples. It is also conducive to promoting China-Europe exchanges and cooperation and world peace, stability and development. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Germany. It is believed that the new German government will continue the pragmatic and balanced policy toward China, work with China toward the same direction and develop bilateral relations on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
Bloomberg: The U.S. House has passed the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act in a 428 to 1 vote. The bill contains a clause that assumes all goods from Xinjiang are made with forced labor and thus banned. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on the passing of the bill?
Wang Wenbin: China has elaborated its position on Xinjiang-related issues on many occasions. The accusation that there is forced labor in Xinjiang is nothing but defamation. The US repeatedly spreads rumors and makes trouble on Xinjiang-related issues. This is in essence political manipulation and economic bullying in the name of human rights. The US intention is to undermine Xinjiang’s prosperity, stability and ethnic solidarity, and contain China’s development.
The US side should know that crafting conspiracies and plots with Xinjiang-related issues will not stop the pursuit of a better life by people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang or hold back the overriding trend of China’s development. China urges the US to get a clear understanding of the situation, immediately stop pushing the relevant bill. China is firmly resolved in defending its national interests. If the US insists on taking actions that will harm China’s interests, we are compelled to take resolute countermeasures.
Hubei Media Group: According to data released by the General Administration of Customs of China on December 7, China’s total export and import values in the first 11 months this year reached $5.47 trillion, which is up by 31.3 percent year-on-year and higher than the total export and import values of 2020. What is your comment?
Wang Wenbin: I have noted relevant reports. China’s monthly foreign trade value has maintained growth for 18 consecutive months. China has been the world’s second-largest importer for 12 consecutive years. In the first three quarters this year, China’s economy grew by 9.8 percent year-on-year, well above the growth target of over 6 percent, the world average growth rate and that of major economies. In the first 10 months of 2021, foreign direct investment (FDI) in actual use in China reached $142.01 billion, up by 23.4 percent. As shown in the recently-published 2022 economic blue book on Chinese economy, China ranks 12th worldwide in the Global Innovation Index 2021 of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). China moved up by two places than 2020, and has been going up for nine years running since 2013. The IMF said that despite the slowing momentum for world economic recovery, China achieved a truly remarkable recovery. As China is a vital engine for global growth, China’s growth will help not only China, but the world.
With its economy deeply integrated into the world, China will open its door even wider. China will not change its resolve to open wider at a high standard; it will not change its determination to share development opportunities with the rest of the world; and it will not change its commitment to an economic globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. China is ready to work with all parties to firmly uphold the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime, promote liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, foster a favorable environment for steady world economic recovery and work for higher-quality and more resilient development of the world economy.
Associated Press: New Zealand’s trade minister said in response to a question that his country has always taken a firm stand on human rights and would not send government officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics. What is the Chinese government’s response to this?
Wang Wenbin: The Beijing Winter Olympics is a gathering of Olympic athletes and winter sports fans all over the world. We welcome athletes from around the world, including those from New Zealand, to participate in the Beijing Winter Olympics. We hope all parties will act upon the Olympic spirit of “together” instead of politicizing sports.
Kyodo News: The Chinese Embassy in Canada issued a statement saying that it has made solemn representations with the Canadian side. Will China do the same with the British side? Japan has not announced its decision on the Beijing 2022 yet, but may not send a cabinet member to the Games. What is your comment? China said it will take resolute countermeasures against the US. Will the same go for the UK, Australia and Canada?
Wang Wenbin: As to your first question, the Chinese Embassy in the UK has released a readout, which you may refer to.
On your second question, I want to point out that the Beijing Winter Olympic Games is a stage for winter sports athletes. Any act that attempts to politicize sports in the name of human rights and freedom violates the spirit of the Olympic Charter. China is firmly opposed to that. China and Japan have important consensus on supporting each other in hosting Olympic Games. China gave full support to Japan in hosting the Tokyo Olympics, now it is Japan’s turn to show basic good faith.
On your third question, political manipulation with the Olympic Games by the US, Australia, the UK and Canada wins no support and isolates the countries themselves. They will pay a price for their erroneous moves.
PTI: It’s good to see some kind of opening-up taking place on resumption of visas between India and China. An announcement has been posted for a limited visa facilitation by the Chinese Embassy in India. Is this applicable to Indians working in China, including diplomats? Can you elaborate exactly how China plans to do this? There are thousands of students who were stranded there, besides the families of a number of Indians who are working here. Also does it herald a kind of an opening-up on flights resumption between the two countries even if it is on a very limited scale?
Wang Wenbin: To start with, according to relevant Chinese laws and regulations as well as international practice, the Chinese Embassy in India will issue biometric visas starting from December 10, 2021. This arrangement has been made in conformity to the international trend concerning visa and will improve the technological standard of visa issuance, and has nothing to do with epidemic prevention and control protocols upon entry amid the current development of COVID-19.
I would also like to stress that China applies quarantine measures equally to all inbound travelers, including its own citizens, based on the evolving situation, realities on the ground and science-based assessment. The travel of India’s necessary personnel to China has always been guaranteed.
The Chinese government also attaches high importance to the issue of foreign students coming to China for their studies. On the basis of ensuring safety amid COVID-19, we will consider in a coordinated manner arrangement for allowing foreign students to return to China for their studies. At the same time, we stand ready to work actively toward the healthy, safe and orderly cross-border flow of people on the basis of sound anti-epidemic protocols.
People’s Daily: President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko signed the Ordinance No.9 on the development of bilateral relations between Belarus and China the other day, which proposes further deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership from 2021 to 2025. What is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: China and Belarus are comprehensive strategic partners true to the name. Under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, the traditional friendship between China and Belarus is deepened with steady progress in cooperation in various sectors and effective coordination on international affairs. The fruitful outcomes in the development of the bilateral relations not only benefit the two countries and the two peoples, but also help safeguard regional and world peace and stability. China is ready to work with Belarus to consolidate the high-level political mutual trust, deepen comprehensive exchange and cooperation and work toward greater development of the China-Belarus comprehensive strategic partnership.
Bloomberg: Reuters reported that China has told companies to cut ties with Lithuania or face being shut out of its market. Lithuania’s Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs said China has been sending messages to multinationals that if they use parts and supplies from Lithuania they won’t be allowed to sell in its market. A Lithuanian industry body also confirmed this to Reuters. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I am not aware of the specific situation you mentioned. I want to stress that China always acts in a way that conforms to WTO rules. Lithuania acted in bad faith, renounced the political commitment it has made to China upon the establishment of diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, and openly created the false impression of “one China, one Taiwan” in the world. Such egregious act seriously undermined China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and created a vile precedent in the world. We will resolutely uphold national sovereignty and territorial integrity and defend our core interests.
RTHK: A question on Ukraine, which was mentioned in the US-Russia summit. US President Biden said that the US won't send troops to Ukraine to deter Russia at the current stage. But he stressed that Russia would face economic consequences never seen before if it invades Ukraine. What is your comment?
Wang Wenbin: China’s position on the Ukrainian issue is objective and just. We call for the resolution of the Ukraine crisis through peaceful means and political dialogue. China hopes all parties can work together, earnestly follow the Minsk-2 agreement and realize peace and security in Ukraine at an early date.
China News Service: Today marks the International Anti-Corruption Day. Could you share any information on China’s anti-corruption cooperation with the rest of the international community?
Wang Wenbin: The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has incorporated exercising full and strict governance over the Party into its Comprehensive Strategy. We follow the principle that no refuge has been excluded from the scope, no ground left unturned, and no tolerance shown in the fight against corruption, with coordinated efforts to “hunt down tigers”, “swat flies” and “chase foxes”. The concepts and methods of rule of law have been adhered to, the awareness, ability and resolve to resist corruption has formed an integral, coordinated whole. All this has helped to secure and consolidate China’s sweeping victory in the fight against corruption, which has won full support from the Chinese people and been widely applauded by the international community. According to a 2020 survey by China’s National Bureau of Statistics, 95.8 percent of the Chinese people are satisfied with China’s anti-corruption endeavors.
Corruption is the common enemy of humanity. It is the consensus of the international community to cooperate in combating transnational corruption crimes and deny safe haven to corrupt suspects and illegal funds. The Chinese government has taken a zero-tolerance approach in fighting corruption, resolutely participated in international efforts to repatriate fugitives and recover assets, and brought corrupt fugitives to justice. This is a just cause that has won widespread praise from the people. In pursuing fugitives and recovering stolen assets, China’s judicial law-enforcement organs strictly abide by international rules, fully respect the judicial sovereignty of other countries, put forward request and conduct cooperation in accordance with multilateral conventions or bilateral agreements, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of criminal suspects in accordance with the law, which has won wide support from the international community.
Dragon TV: On December 8, the US Department of Commerce announced an arms embargo and new restrictions on exports and reexports of sensitive items to Cambodia to address human rights abuses and corruption by Cambodia, as well as the growing influence of China’s military there. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: For some time, the US keeps hyping and smearing the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Cambodia by threatening, pressuring and sanctioning Cambodia. This typical hegemonic and bullying practice is at odds with basic norms governing international relations. China firmly opposes this.
China and Cambodia are comprehensive strategic cooperative partners and iron-clad friends that share a common future. Our two countries enjoy unbreakable traditional friendship that has stood various tests. The attempt by the US to drive wedges between China and Cambodia is doomed to fail. China firmly supports Cambodia in upholding national sovereignty and dignity and will stand firmly with the Cambodian people.
The Global Times: China has announced the targets of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality and put forward concrete measures. I wonder as the largest market of renewable energy and the largest manufacturer of equipment in the world, has China made any new progress in relevant areas?
Wang Wenbin: The green, low-carbon transition is the overwhelming trend, which all countries are following in concert. China has been ambitious in realizing leapfrog development of renewable energy and has stepped up its climate actions. President Xi Jinping pointed out that we aim to peak carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. China announced its measures and policy of Nationally Determined Contributions that non-fossil fuels will account for about 25 percent of primary energy consumption and that installed capacity of wind power and solar energy will exceed 1.2 billion kilowatt by 2030. These have set new targets for China’s renewable energy development.
By far, China has been leading the world in the scale of the development and application of renewable energy, providing a strong boost for green, low-carbon energy transition and contributing substantially to pollution and carbon emission reduction. By the end of October this year, China’s cumulative installed capacity of renewable energy exceeded one billion kilowatt. This is equivalent to the installed capacity of more than 40 Three Gorges power stations and accounts for 43.5% of the country’s total installed power generation capacity. Hydropower, wind power, solar power and biomass power generation in China all rank first in the world. In 2020 alone, the amount of renewable energy developed by China has saved nearly one billion tonnes of coal. We reduced carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions by 1.79 billion tonnes, 864,000 tonnes and 798,000 tonnes respectively.
In addition, China continues to deepen international cooperation in renewable energy. China’s hydropower operations are present in many countries and regions around the world. We supply over 70% of global photovoltaic modules. In recent years, China’s investment in renewable energy projects in countries and regions participating in the Belt and Road Initiative has shown a steady increase. China has actively helped countries and regions in need to promote and apply advanced green energy technologies, and contributed Chinese wisdom and strength to high-quality and green Belt and Road cooperation.
Looking ahead, China will continue to explore a path of green and low-carbon development suited to its national conditions, formulate more proactive measures for the development of new energy, accelerate the implementation of renewable energy replacement, and set an example for the international community in responding to climate change with concrete actions.
Bloomberg: US-based cybersecurity company Recorded Future has released a report saying that Chinese hackers have been targeting government and private sector organizations across Southeast Asia including the Thai Prime Minister’s office and the Thai army, the Indonesian and Philippines navies, as well as organizations in Vietnam and Malaysia. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China opposes and clamps down on all kinds of hacking activities in accordance with law. This is our consistent and clear position. Also, we firmly oppose all acts to spread disinformation, mislead the international community and sow discords among countries out of political agenda.