|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on July 5, 2022|
AFP: During the call between Vice Premier Liu He and US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen this morning, did the US say it will remove tariffs on Chinese imports? And Did the Chinese side say it will change what is called its non-market behavior?
Zhao Lijian: China has put out a readout on the video conversation between Vice Premier Liu He and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen this morning. I do not have more information to share at the moment.
We have noted the accusation of “non-market economic practices” from the US readout. What the US said does not comport with facts. What has happened over the past 40-plus years shows that the success of China’s economy is also the success of the reform and opening-up policy, and the success of marrying the market with the role of government. This is the valuable experience from China’s economic development. China’s reform and opening-up is good for China and for the world. It has not only propelled China’s economic development but also made key contribution to the prosperity of the world economy.
On tariffs, China’s position is consistent and clear. Lifting all the additional tariffs on China is good for both China and the US and good for the world. According to the estimates of US think tanks, the removal of tariffs on imported Chinese goods will strip 1% off inflation in the US. Given the high inflation in the US, the sooner these tariffs on China are removed, the sooner it will benefit American consumers and businesses.
TASS: A follow-up on the call between Vice Premier Liu and US Treasury Secretary Yellen. China said earlier that the exchange was constructive. How does the foreign ministry think of China’s practical cooperation, dialogue and communication with the US?
Zhao Lijian: Just now I touched upon the conversation between Vice Premier Liu He and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The two sides had a pragmatic and candid exchange of views on such topics as the macroeconomic situation and the global industrial and supply chains. The exchange was constructive. The two sides agreed that as the world economy is facing severe challenges, it is of great significance for China and the US to strengthen macro-policy communication and coordination. Jointly maintaining the stability of the global industrial and supply chains is in the interest of both countries and the whole world. The Chinese side expressed its concern about issues including the lifting of additional tariffs on China and sanctions by the US side, and fair treatment of Chinese enterprises. The two sides also agreed to maintain dialogue and communication.
Kyodo News: On the morning of July 5, Chinese coast guard ships entered Japan’s territorial waters off the Senkaku Islands and approached a Japanese fishing boat in the area. Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi has made a protest with the Chinese side. Do you have any response?
Zhao Lijian: Diaoyu Dao and its affiliating islands have always been part of China’s territory. In recent years, right-wing Japanese fishing boats have repeatedly entered China’s territorial waters off Diaoyu Dao illegally. This has seriously violated China’s sovereignty. The on-site law enforcement activities of Chinese coast guard vessels with regard to the right-wing Japanese fishing boats were a lawful and legitimate measure to protect China’s sovereignty.
Associated Press of Pakistan: Pakistan’s investment minister in an interview said that Chinese investment has increased ever since the present government took charge in April. He also said that the government will soon announce more facilities for Chinese investment. Do you have any comment on that?
Zhao Lijian: I have noted reports on what you mentioned and appreciate those remarks. China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners that enjoy extensive and in-depth cooperation across the board. China is ready to continue to enhance economic, trade and investment cooperation with Pakistan to achieve mutual benefit, win-win outcomes and common development.
CRI: Yesterday the seventh Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in Myanmar. How does China think of the outcomes reached at the meeting? What’s your expectation for the development course of Lancang-Mekong cooperation going forward?
Zhao Lijian: Over the past year, guided by the spirit of drinking from the same river and sharing a closely linked future, our six Lancang-Mekong countries have worked closely together to combat COVID-19, promote high-quality connectivity, boost sub-national cooperation, and implement livelihood projects. LMC has enjoyed excellent progress and become a golden model of success for regional cooperation. China has provided more than 200 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Mekong countries and established nearly 150 pairs of sister provinces and cities with the five countries. Two-way trade in 2021 reached $398 billion, up by 23% year-on-year. Practical cooperation in various sectors has been flourishing, making important contributions to the six countries’ economic recovery and regional prosperity and revitalization.
At yesterday’s foreign ministers’ meeting, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China will take six measures to benefit the Mekong countries, which are cooperation programs on agricultural expertise, harnessing water resources for better livelihood, digital economy, aerospace, talent training, and public health. Through these programs, China aims to share the benefits of cooperation with Mekong countries and inject fresh impetus to shared development.
The meeting saw the adoption of a Joint Press Communiqué and four Joint Statements on deepening customs cooperation to ensure trade security and facilitate clearance, deepening agricultural cooperation and ensuring food security, deepening disaster management cooperation, and deepening exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations under the Lancang-Mekong cooperation framework, and the release of the Progress Report for the Year 2021 on Implementing the Five-Year Plan of Action on Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (2018-2022) and the List of Projects Supported by LMC Special Fund 2022. They contain detailed statistics about the fruitful Lancang-Mekong cooperation.
Going forward, our six countries will jointly navigate through the rapid, enormous changes in the world, continue to capitalize on the opportunity brought by booming regional cooperation, keep the foundation of our cooperation solid and strong and plan for the long term. We have identified six priority areas, namely, enhancing strategic guidance, economic integration, agricultural cooperation, green development, digital cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, to upgrade and drive LMC toward higher quality, make the Lancang-Mekong region a region of demonstration for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, a region of pioneering efforts under the Global Development Initiative and a region of cooperation under the Global Security Initiative, and build an even more resilient Lancang-Mekong Economic Development Belt and an even closer community with a shared future for LMC countries.
China News Service: Recently, Black young man Jayland Walker in Ohio was killed by a barrage of more than 90 shots fired by eight Police. This incident has triggered large-scale protests in many places in the US. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: I am shocked by the incident. Police violence in law enforcement against minorities is not uncommon in the US. According to statistics, US police has killed 2,563 people in law enforcement since 2020, among whom 565 are Black people, accounting for over 22%. Since the beginning of this year alone, 49 Black people were shot and killed by the police in the US.
From the heinous slave trade, historical expulsion and slaughtering of American Indians to the dreadful conditions and miserable sufferings of people of African descent and other minorities today, “white supremacy” and the “great replacement theory” are growing more rampant and systemic and prevalent racial discrimination is aggravating in the US.
“Human rights” and “fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion” are highlighted in in Article I of the UN Charter. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said “dark forces” including racism “menace democratic values, social stability and peace” at the commemorative meeting of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination this year. As a party to the UN International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the US is yet to take effective measures to redress systemic racism. This is a serious violation of the US’s obligations under the convention.
As Martin Luther King said perceptively, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” The serious racial discrimination, unfairness and injustice in the US epitomize the unfairness and injustice it has inflicted on the world. We wonder, how many more George Floyds and Jayland Walkers have to die before the US government can truly reflect on itself and take concrete measures to get rid of its arrogance and prejudice and achieve fairness and justice for all?
Reuters: Following the phone conversation between Liu He and Janet Yellen, will there be a talk between the Chinese and US leaders?
Zhao Lijian: I have nothing to share at the moment.
China Daily: Michael Rubin, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), recently wrote in an op-ed that “the one-China policy is a lie” and “Taiwan was never part of China”. He wrote, the 1951 Treaty of San Francisco after the Second World War read that “Japan renounces all right, title and claim to Formosa and the Pescadores ... however, the Treaty did not transfer sovereignty to any other state.” What is China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: Let me first say that to tell a lie, it often requires some sort of camouflage. The AEI op-ed has told a lie under an academic camouflage. The article is written in the name of a research fellow from a research institute, yet its content is clearly inconsistent with historical and legal facts, and deliberately misinforms and misleads its readers. The article has a clear motive: to grab attention, hollow out and obscure the one-China principle, echo anti-China forces’ attempt to use the Taiwan question to contain China, and embolden “Taiwan-independence” forces to solicit US support.
The Treaty of San Francisco is an illegal and invalid document issued by the US and a number of other countries after World War II to reach post-war settlement with Japan, a process that excluded China and the Soviet Union. The document violates the provisions of the Declaration by United Nations signed by 26 countries including China, the US, the UK and the Soviet Union in 1942. It also deviates from the UN Charter and the basic principles of international law. The way the document handles the sovereignty over Taiwan and the territory and sovereign rights of China, which is not a signatory to the document, was also illegal and invalid. The Chinese government made it clear from the very beginning that the Chinese government considers the Treaty of San Francisco illegal and invalid and does not recognize it, because the People’s Republic of China was never part of the preparation, drafting or signing of the document. Countries including the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, the DPRK, Mongolia, Vietnam refused to recognize the validity of the so-called treaty as well.
There is only one China in the world. Taiwan has been an inalienable part of China since ancient times. A number of international legal instruments including the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation have affirmed China’s sovereignty over Taiwan in clear-cut terms. Although the two sides of the Taiwan Strait have yet to be reunified, the fact that the mainland and Taiwan belong to one and same China has never changed and the sovereignty and territory of China has never been split.
The facts about the Taiwan question and the history of the one-China principle are crystal clear. History cannot be tampered with, and truth cannot be distorted. Any attempt to challenge the one-China principle which is recognized internationally will prove futile. China’s efforts to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity brook no foreign intervention.
MASTV: We have noted some interactions between Chinese and Australian officials recently. How do you evaluate China-Australian relations going forward?
Zhao Lijian: A sound and steady relationship between China and Australia meets the fundamental interests and common aspiration of the two peoples. There is no “auto-pilot” mode in improving China-Australia relations. A reset requires concrete actions. This meets the aspirations of people in both countries and the trend of our times.
We hope Australia will view China and its relations with China in a rational and positive light, work with China in the spirit of mutual respect and seeking common ground while putting differences aside, and ensure sound and steady development of China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership.