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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on June 14, 2022

2022-06-14 19:14

Reuters: A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the US said on Monday that they have agreed on a proposal that would give the US government sweeping new powers to block billions of US investment into China. It also includes a $52 billion due to chipmakers to expand US operations. Do you have any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: We have noted relevant reports. The Chinese side opposes the US practice of using national security as a catch-all pretext to ramp up unjustified investment review. This practice creates difficulties and obstacles for companies from China, the US and all other countries to engage in normal trade and investment cooperation. Such practices are detrimental to international trade order and trading rules and could seriously threaten the stability of global industrial and supply chains.

I would like to stress that openness and inclusiveness is the trend of our times. Actions to shut doors and seek isolation, however, are anachronistic and retrogressive. China is a most vibrant huge market with the greatest potential. China will not waver in its commitment to expanding high-level opening-up, and will only open its door even wider. To invest in China is to invest in the future. By proposing misplaced curbs on normal trade and business ties with China, the US politicians will not succeed in blocking China’s development. Rather, they will be surrounding the US with walls and and costing the US itself opportunities to grow.

CCTV: According to reports, the British Home Office recently announced that it plans to relocate foreign asylum-seekers entering the UK through “illegal routes” to Rwanda for processing. The first flight carrying around 100 asylum-seekers is expected to leave on June 14. This agreement to send migrants offshore has been strongly questioned in the UK and beyond. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: We noticed the amount of criticism and questioning regarding this decision in the UK and internationally. Mainstream media outlets in the UK have called the government’s plan “appalling”, saying it is “chilling” to think that vulnerable people are going to be taken all the way to another country. The Archbishop of Canterbury openly criticized the British government’s move, saying it will cause “serious ethical questions” and cannot “stand the judgment of God”. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has repeatedly pointed out that the move is unlawful and that people should not be “traded like commodities”, urging the UK to “re-think the plans”. Gillian Triggs, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, said that, “UNHCR remains firmly opposed to arrangements that seek to transfer refugees and asylum seekers to third countries in the absence of sufficient safeguards and standards. Such arrangements ... evade international obligations, and are contrary to the letter and spirit of the Refugee Convention”.

The UK has long portrayed itself as a defender of human rights and regularly criticizes other countries regarding their own affairs in the name of human rights. However, when it comes to its own refugee and migrant issues, the UK chooses to be oblivious to the human rights standards and humanitarianism, of which it constantly claims itself to be the champion, shies away from responsibilities and even tries to “outsource” the asylum-seekers. The British officials’ rationale only convinces people that on human rights, the UK thinks solely about what it can get others to do, rather than what the UK itself needs to do. The UK government needs to ditch its arrogance and hypocrisy on human rights issues, and take serious actions to respond to the criticism and questioning from home and abroad. 

Bloomberg: The last two meetings when  Director Yang Jiechi and NSA Jake Sullivan met were followed by talks between the two presidents. Can we expect a similar call between President Xi and President Biden in the near future?

Wang Wenbin: Both sides agreed that it is necessary and useful to maintain open lines of communication. I don’t have information to provide at the moment. 

Reuters: Australian Prime Minister said on Tuesday that China needs to lift its sanctions on Australia to improve relations. And he said that he welcomes talks between the two countries. Do you have any comments on this?

Wang Wenbin: It is quite clear as to how the difficulties facing the China-Australia relations in recent years came about. China’s position on developing the bilateral relationship is consistent and clear-cut. The Australian side needs to handle the bilateral ties in keeping with the principles of mutual respect, mutual benefit and win-win results, and work with China for sound and steady development of China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership. 

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