|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on July 11, 2022|
AFP: According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, the Chinese leader will attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in November. Can you confirm this?
Wang Wenbin: China values the role of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as an important multilateral economic cooperation mechanism and supports the efforts of Thailand, the APEC chair, to host a successful meeting. We stand ready to work with all sides for positive outcomes from the meeting.
CCTV: At the recent G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bali, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi called for upholding true multilateralism and put forward a cooperation initiative on global food security. Can you offer more details to us?
Wang Wenbin: On July 8, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bali. The meeting consisted of two sessions: the first session on “strengthening multilateralism” and the second on “addressing food and energy security”.
During the first session, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang noted that as world peace and development is confronted with major challenges, it is imperative that we revisit the original purpose of solidarity and cooperation and work as cooperation partners for true multilateralism. Specifically, we should be partners of mutual respect and equal consultation, of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation and of openness, inclusiveness and connectivity. In the world, there is only one international system, i.e., the international system with the United Nations at its core. There is only one international order, i.e., the international order underpinned by international law. Attempts by a certain country to put its own security above that of others and strengthen military blocs will only split the international community and make one even less safe. Building a small yard with high fences featuring isolation and exclusion runs counter to the trend of the times and is doomed to fail. We hope to work with all sides to facilitate talks, and we always stand firmly on the side of peace. We hope to work with all parties on macroeconomic policy coordination to promote inclusive recovery and growth of the world economy.
During the second session, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang made clear China’s position on food and energy security, expounded on China’s contributions to safeguarding global food security, and put forward China’s cooperation initiative on global food security. The initiative includes the following major proposals: supporting the UN in playing a key role in coordination; not imposing export restriction on humanitarian food purchases by the World Food Programme; offering convenience to the smooth entry of agricultural products and inputs from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus into the international market; major food producing and net export countries should release their own export potential and ease the tight food supply in the market; the emergency measures taken by countries for food trade should be short-term, transparent, targeted and appropriate, and conform to the rules of the World Trade Organization; supporting the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research and the cooperation on agricultural science and technology innovation among countries; reducing food loss and waste; helping developing countries enhance their capacity of food production, storage and loss reduction in terms of capital, technology and market.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang also met with his counterparts on the margins of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Bali, including the foreign ministers of Russia, Indonesia, India, the ROK, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain, the US, Canada and Australia and High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The Chinese side will continue to firmly support Indonesia’s G20 presidency and make full preparation for the Bali Summit. We also stand ready to work with all parties to stay committed to the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, follow through upon the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping to overcome differences with solidarity, replace confrontation with cooperation, translate the spirit of multilateralism into concrete actions for safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, and jointly build a world of peace, development and win-win cooperation.
Bloomberg: About the APEC summit in November, can you just confirm that the Chinese leader will attend, according to the reports as per the Thai Foreign Ministry? Otherwise, are the Thai Foreign Ministry reports inaccurate?
Wang Wenbin: I just stated China’s position on this. If there is any related information, we will release it in due course.
China Daily: Australian media reported earlier that China’s cooperation with Papua New Guinea in the Ihu Special Economic Zone includes building a military base. Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Ministry said in a press release that the allegations in the relevant reports are unfounded. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I have seen relevant reports. I also noted the statement released by the Foreign Ministry of Papua New Guinea. Just as the Papua New Guinean side highlighted, the allegations in the relevant reports are unfounded and misleading.
Over the past years, China has implemented a host of economic, technological and investment projects in Papua New Guinea, making important contributions to boosting local economic growth and improving people’s livelihoods. This has been welcomed by both the government and people of Papua New Guinea. In pursuing cooperation with Pacific Island countries including Papua New Guinea, China never seeks to build any sphere of influence and is not interested in geostrategic jostling. Our sole focus is development and win-win cooperation.
NHK: Japan’s ruling coalition scored a victory in elections at the House of Councillors. With no parliamentary elections in the next three years to come, this will secure a favorable environment for the Kishida administration to govern. What’s your expectation for the Japanese side? As forces supporting revising the Constitution hold more than two thirds of the seats, which is needed to propose an amendment in the Diet, the issue of constitutional amendment is expected to become a major item on the domestic political agenda in Japan. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: China stands ready to work with the Japanese side to continue to develop a bilateral relationship of good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation in accordance with the principles of the four China-Japan political documents.
Due to historical reasons, the issue of constitutional amendment by Japan receives close attention from the international community and Japan’s Asian neighbors. We hope Japan will earnestly learn the lessons of history, stay committed to the path of peaceful development, and earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community with concrete actions.
Beijing Youth Daily: The US Department of State announced in a statement released on July 9 that it has taken steps to impose visa restrictions on 28 Cuban officials including those who are implicated in the repression of the peaceful July 11, 2021 protests and suspend their entry into the US. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: The Chinese side firmly supports the Cuban government and people’s efforts to safeguard social stability. The US’s imposition of unilateral sanctions on Cuban officials lacks basis in international law. It is a textbook example of “coercive diplomacy”.
The United Nations General Assembly has overwhelmingly adopted the resolution urging the US to end its economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba for 29 consecutive times. We call on the US to heed the call for justice from the international community, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and lift all its unilateral sanctions on Cuba.
AFP: China heard many Western countries’ statements on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. I wonder whether China’s position will change on the war in Ukraine?
Wang Wenbin: I have just spoken about State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s participation in the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which also involved the Ukraine issue.
As State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out, China will continue to promote peace talks on the Ukraine issue and always stand on the side of peace. We look forward to peace through dialogue and consultation, a ceasefire and cessation of hostilities as soon as possible, and the prevention of a protracted and escalating conflict. We believe that serious and comprehensive dialogue should be encouraged to jointly build a balanced, effective and sustainable European security architecture. China will implement the Global Development Initiative and Global Security Initiative proposed by President Xi Jinping and work with all parties to build a world of peace, development, cooperation and win-win results.
Bloomberg: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi issued a four-point proposal to Australia over the weekend in order to get relations between the two countries back on track. The Australian Prime Minister stated his view on the meeting between the Chinese and Australian foreign ministers. Does the Chinese Foreign Ministry have any comment on the response from Australia?
Wang Wenbin: As noted by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi when meeting with Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong, the China-Australia relationship is facing both challenges and opportunities. If the relationship can achieve sound development, that will serve the common interests of the two peoples and be conducive to maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia. China is ready to re-examine, re-calibrate, and reinvigorate bilateral ties in the spirit of mutual respect, and strive to bring bilateral relations back on the right track.
We hope that Australia will seize the current opportunity, take concrete actions, reshape a correct perception of China, work with China in the same direction, and reduce liabilities and build positive dynamics for improving China-Australia relations.
AFP: My question is about State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Chinese side put forth four lists to the US side, including the list of US wrongdoings that must stop. Can you share with us some details about the lists? Also, did China express its readiness to change its behavior to improve China-US relations?
Wang Wenbin: As you said, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi put forth four lists to the US side during the meeting with the US Secretary of State. They include the updated list of US wrongdoings that must stop and the updated list of key individual cases that the US must resolve, which were first presented to the US side at last year’s meeting in Tianjin. The other two lists are the list of Acts in the 117th Congress of high concern to China and the list of cooperation proposals in eight areas including climate change, public health and people-to-people exchange. The lists once again demonstrate China’s serious position that the US must stop exercising containment and suppression, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and stop undermining China’s sovereignty, security and development interests. The lists also reflect China’s constructive attitude about conducting practical cooperation with the US on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits. We hope the US side can take China’s lists seriously, and take real actions to fulfill the commitments made by President Biden and the US government.
NHK: The funeral of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will take place tomorrow. Does the Chinese government plan to send someone to attend the funeral? Another question, US Secretary of State Blinken said in Bangkok the US expects that the Chinese and US leaders will have an opportunity to speak in the weeks ahead. Do you have more information on that?
Wang Wenbin: On your first question, the Chinese side has not yet been officially informed by the Japanese government of official funerary arrangements in Japan. We will study the matter once we receive official information from the Japanese side.
On your second question, I have no information to offer at this moment. It needs to be stressed that it’s important to maintain head-of-state exchanges between China and the US. Any specifics would need to be discussed and determined by both sides through diplomatic channels, and enabling conditions and atmosphere would also need to be created for such interactions.
Reuters: Kiribati has withdrawn from the Pacific Islands Forum. Does China favor this outcome?
Wang Wenbin: Regarding your question, I read media reports saying that Kiribati’s withdrawal from the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) may have something to do with China. Let me make it clear that these reports are completely groundless. For years, China and the PIF have sound cooperative relations. I would like to stress that China does not interfere in the internal affairs of Pacific Island countries (PICs) and hopes to see greater solidarity and closer cooperation among PICs for common development.
Bloomberg: Just a question on the Sri Lankan situation. The leader Rajapaksa is on the verge of being ousted after months of protests. I’d like to seek the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s comment on the situation in Sri Lanka.
Wang Wenbin: China is closely following the latest developments in Sri Lanka. As a friendly neighbor and cooperation partner, we sincerely hope that all sectors in Sri Lanka could bear in mind the fundamental interests of their country and people and work together in solidarity to overcome the current difficulties and strive to restore stability, revitalize the economy and improve people’s livelihoods at an early date.