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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on February 10, 2022

2022-02-10 19:02

Yesterday, a reporter from Kyodo News Agency asked whether China would hold commemorative activities to mark the 50th anniversary of President Nixon’s visit to China. I checked on relevant information afterwards and would like to share some details here. Is the reporter here today? (Reporter raised his hand) 

This year marks the 50th anniversary of President Nixon’s visit to China and the issuance of the Shanghai Communiqué. The Shanghai Communiqué, the first joint communiqué issued by China and the United States, established the principles to be followed in the development of bilateral relations, especially the one-China principle. It has become the political foundation for the normalization of China-US relations and the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. As far as I know, China and the US will hold a series of commemorative activities in the near future to take stock of the history and look into the future. The Chinese side will release the information in due course.

Sputnik: Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the international community on the Munich Security Conference on February 10, 2007 that irresponsible US policies were spreading instability and risks of wars, and that the dangers were greater than ever. He also touched on NATO expansion, resolution of conflicts, arbitrary resort to war and counterterrorism. What is the foreign ministry’s comment? Has President Putin’s prediction become a reality?

Zhao Lijian: China embraces a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, advocates balanced and just treatment of security concerns and security initiatives of relevant countries, resolves differences through dialogue and consultation, and promotes global strategic balance and stability. China opposes the moves to seek unilateral military advantage, undermine others’ security, escalate geopolitical competition, hype up antagonism and confrontation, and undermine international security order and global strategic stability. As a Chinese saying goes, “One reaps what he sows”. We hope parties concerned will abandon the Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice, do more things that help to maintain international and regional security and stability, and avoid making trouble for oneself as well as others.

AFP: According to news reports, China has not met its purchasing goals under the phase one trade deal with the United States. US officials are reportedly seeking concrete action from Beijing, and the Biden administration is also considering options, including a new trade investigation that could lead to new tariffs. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: I would refer you to competent authorities for specific questions on the phase one agreement. To give you a principled response, I can tell you that China always maintains that the two sides should properly solve the problems in their economic and trade relations in the spirit of mutual respect and consultation on an equal footing. Threats and pressure based on one’s unilateral interest will not help solve the problems, but only undermine mutual trust and the atmosphere for dialogue and negotiation.

Phoenix TV: According to reports, Lithuania will ask the United States to permanently station troops in the country. Do you have any comment? 

Zhao Lijian: I noted relevant reports. The Chinese side has no interest in commenting on that.

Phoenix TV: According to reports, the US denied China’s notion that Starlink satellites endangered the China Space Station twice in a note sent to the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs in Vienna dated January 28. It said, “Because the activities did not meet the threshold of established emergency collision criteria, emergency notifications were not warranted in either case”. The US note also said China had not raised to US competent authorities concerns about the danger posed by the Starlink satellites before China sent the note to the UN. What is China’s response?

Zhao Lijian: China was fulfilling the international obligation stipulated by Article V of the Outer Space Treaty by informing the UN of the Starlink satellites’ dangerous approach to the Chinese space station that threatened the safety of in-orbit Chinese astronauts. In the incidents of preventive collision avoidance, the Starlink satellites were continuously maneuvering with unspecified maneuvering strategies and intentions while in-orbit Chinese astronauts were facing real and urgent safety threats. As a result, the Chinese side was forced to implement preventive collision avoidance control. After the incidents, China’s competent authorities tried multiple times to reach the US side via e-mail, but received no reply. Now the US attempts to use the so-called threshold of emergency collision criteria to shift responsibilities and deflect attention. It is not showing a responsible attitude as a space power. Moreover, it is in no position to unilaterally set a threshold of emergency collision criteria. 

Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty stipulates that in the exploration and use of outer space, States Parties to the Treaty shall be guided by the principle of co-operation and mutual assistance and shall conduct all their activities in outer space with due regard to the corresponding interests of all other States Parties to the Treaty. China has submitted registration of its space station to the UN and released its orbital elements on website. With a view to protecting the safety of Chinese astronauts and space station, the Chinese side stands ready to establish a long-term communication mechanism with the US side and hopes that the US will take concrete measures to prevent such incident from happening again. China also hopes that all countries will respect the international system in outer space based on international law and jointly safeguard the life and safety of astronauts and the safe and stable operation of space facilities in orbit. 

Bloomberg: Lithuania’s top diplomat called on the world to stand up to China and Russia’s alleged human rights violation during a visit to Australia. Does the foreign ministry have any comments? And additionally, we saw that the General Administration of Customs announced yesterday it is suspending the customs declaration for beef imports from Lithuania from February 9th. Does the foreign ministry have any more information on this? 

Zhao Lijian: As for the question about the announcement of China's General Administration of Customs, please refer to them.

On your first question, what Lithuania should do is to face up to the objective facts, correct its own mistakes and come back to the right track of adhering to the one-China principle. It should not confuse right and wrong with malicious hype-up, let alone rope other countries into ganging up on China. Lithuania should first reflect on its own deplorable human rights track record and correct the wrong practices of discrimination against ethnic minorities, deliberate torture and abuse of prisoners, and violence, torture and maltreatment against refugees.

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