|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on August 17, 2022|
As agreed by China and Uzbekistan, Guo Shengkun, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the CPC and the Chinese Chair of the China-Uzbekistan Intergovernmental Cooperation Committee, and Abdulla Aripov, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan and the Uzbek Chair of the Committee, will co-host the sixth meeting of the Committee via video link on August 18.
Under the joint initiative of China and Senegal as co-chairs of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the 8th Ministerial Conference of FOCAC will be held via video link on August 18. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the meeting and deliver remarks. Ministerial-level representatives from the members of the Bureau of the Assembly of the African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government including Senegal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya and Angola, and from previous African co-chairs of FOCAC including Ethiopia, Egypt and South Africa, and representative of the AU Commission will attend the meeting.
CCTV: According to Japanese media reports, the Japanese side is coordinating with the Chinese side on the meeting between Yang Jiechi, Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, and Akiba Takeo, Secretary General of Japan’s National Security Secretariat. Can the spokesperson confirm this information?
Wang Wenbin: Between China and Japan, there are several channels for dialogue and communication. The high-level political dialogue mechanism you mentioned between Director Yang Jiechi and Secretary General of Japan’s National Security Secretariat is one of them. As for the new round of talks, I have no more information to offer at this time.
Yonhap News Agency: According to reports, the DPRK fired two cruise missiles from Pyongannam-do into the waters west to the Korean Peninsula early Wednesday morning. The DPRK side has not made any response yet. What is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: We have noted relevant reports and there has been no press release from the DPRK on this.
Xinhua News Agency: The Foreign Ministry today put out an announcement about the upcoming Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the 8th Ministerial Conference of FOCAC. Could you shed some light on China’s expectations for this meeting?
Wang Wenbin: In November 2021, the 8th Ministerial Conference of FOCAC was successfully held in Dakar, capital of Senegal, marking a milestone in China-African relations. At the opening ceremony of the conference, President Xi Jinping announced that China will work with African countries to implement nine programs, which are well received as they focus on boosting the growth dynamics within African countries and upgrading China-Africa cooperation.
After the conference was concluded, in the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, China and Africa have jointly overcome difficulties and challenges and worked together to advance the implementation of the outcomes of the 8th Ministerial Conference of FOCAC and made positive progress and important early harvests. In the face of complex and volatile international landscape and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, both China and Africa find it necessary to hold a meeting of coordinators to strengthen coordination and planning, coordinate the approach to cooperation, identify priority areas and key projects and make steady and solid progress in the follow-up work so as to deliver more benefit to the two peoples. By doing so, we will be able to show the international community our resolve to enhance solidarity and cooperation, defend basic norms in international relations and build a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era.
China will continue to follow the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith and the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests, work with the African side to inject new impetus into the growth of the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership.
Associated Press of Pakistan: Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif gave an interview to the Global Times on a broad topics, including China-Pakistan relations, regional and international situation, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the 20th National Congress of the CPC, etc. I wonder if you have any comment on that.
Wang Wenbin: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has spoken highly of China-Pakistan relations and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on several occasions. He cares deeply about the practical cooperation between our two countries and has done a lot for its progress. This is appreciated by China. CPEC is an economic cooperation initiative that is conducive to regional connectivity, peace, stability and development. China is ready to work with Pakistan to follow through on the common understanding between Chinese and Pakistani leaders and on the basis of ensuring sound implementation and operation of existing projects, further focus on cooperation in such areas as industries, livelihood, agriculture, science and technology and information technology, so as to build CPEC into a demonstration program of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.
Under the strong leadership of President Xi Jinping, China has made remarkable development achievements. We believe that a successful 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China will provide a new blueprint for China’s development going forward, greatly promote China’s friendly cooperation with Pakistan and other countries around the world and make important contribution to the progress of humanity.
Beijing Daily: Japanese media speculated that in the upcoming dialogue, Japan will raise the Taiwan question and exchange views with China on building a constructive and stable China-Japan relationship. What is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: Like I just said, there is a high-level political dialogue mechanism between China and Japan, and I have no further information to offer at this moment. I want to stress that Taiwan is part of China’s territory, the Taiwan question is China’s internal affair and no foreign country has the right to interfere in it. Japan should abide by the principles of the four political documents between China and Japan, truly act upon its statement of valuing China-Japan relations and work constructively to improve and grow bilateral relations.
Phoenix TV: On August 16, Russian President Putin said in his address to 10th Moscow Conference on International Security that Pelosi’s “escapade towards Taiwan is not just a voyage by an irresponsible politician”, but “a thoroughly planned provocation”. It is part of the “deliberate US strategy designed to destabilize the situation and sow chaos in the region and the world. It is a brazen demonstration of disrespect for other countries and their own international commitments.” He added that the US tries to “preserve their domination” and the West wants to “shift the blame for their own failures to other countries, namely Russia and China” to divert the attention of their own citizens. The West is “striving to expand its bloc-based system to the Asia-Pacific region, like it did with NATO in Europe.” What is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: China highly appreciates the remarks by President Putin. Since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited Taiwan, more than 170 countries have spoken up for justice. They reiterated their one-China commitment and support for China’s efforts to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The latest remarks by President Putin demonstrate the high-level strategic coordination between China and Russia, and the firm support the two countries have rendered each other on issues concerning their respective core interests. China is ready to continue to work with the international community to jointly defend the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and safeguard regional and international peace and stability.
AFP: A report released by UN special rapporteur says that minorities in Xinjiang have been drafted into forced labor in the sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing. Do you have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: Certain special rapporteur chooses to believe in lies and disinformation about Xinjiang spread by the US and some other Western countries and anti-China forces, abuse his authority, blatantly violate the code of conduct of the special procedure, malignly smear and denigrate China and serve as a political tool for anti-China forces. China strongly condemns this.
There has never been “forced labor” in Xinjiang. The Chinese government follows a people-centered development philosophy and attaches great importance to protecting the rights and interests of workers. We protect the equal right of workers from all ethnic groups to seek employment, to participate in economic and social life, and to share the dividends of socioeconomic progress. Some forces manipulate Xinjiang-related issues and fabricated the disinformation on “forced labor” in Xinjiang. In essence, they are using human rights as a pretext to undermine Xinjiang’s prosperity and stability and contain China’s development and revitalization. Their scheme will never succeed.
We solemnly urge certain special rapporteur to immediately change course, respect plain facts, observe the mandate of the Human Rights Council and code of conduct of the special procedure, perform duty in a fair and objective manner, stop using lies to stoke confrontation and create division, stop politicizing and instrumentalizing human rights issues, and stop serving certain countries’ political scheme to suppress and contain China by abusing the UN platform.
CCTV: White House National Security Council Indo-Pacific Coordinator Kurt Campbell said during a press call that “China has overreacted” to Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan and used it to try to change the status quo, and the goal is to intimidate and coerce Taiwan. He said that the US will continue to “support Taiwan in line with our longstanding policy”, and that includes conducting standard air and maritime transits through the Taiwan Strait, supporting Taiwan’s self-defense, continuing to advance economic and trade relationship with Taiwan and stepping up the US’s military presence. He also called on China to reopen relevant channels for communication and cooperation and do “what the world demands of responsible powers”. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: What the senior US official said is sheer misrepresentation of facts and distortion of principles. It is clear that the US is trying to defend the indefensible by applying a gangster logic and acting like a bully. I would like to make the following clear:
First, this incident is single-handedly orchestrated and provoked by the US, and the context, cause and course of events are crystal-clear. The US made an unwarranted provocation first, and China has been compelled to act in defense of its own rights. With the connivance and arrangement of the US government, Pelosi went on a high-profile visit to China’s Taiwan region. This reckless move seriously undermined China’s sovereignty, interfered in China’s internal affairs and jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese side absolutely needed to make a firm response. China’s position is justified, reasonable and lawful; our measures are firm, strong and proportionate. They are aimed at sending a warning to the perpetrator and punishing the “Taiwan independence” forces. More than 170 countries have voiced their commitment to the one-China principle and opposition to the US’s provocation, including 20 heads of state, seven deputy or vice heads of state, nine heads of government, about 60 foreign ministers and ten-plus international organizations such as the UN. They form an overwhelming majority. If China did not firmly resist the US’s recklessness, irresponsibility and extreme irrationality, then the principle of respecting sovereignty and territorial integrity in international relations would just become words on paper, separatists and extremists would only become more reckless and the hard-won peace and stability in this region would be seriously undermined.
Second, it is the US, not China, that has undermined cross-Strait peace and stability. Taiwan is not and never was a sovereign country. There is only one China and both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China. This has been the status quo of Taiwan since ancient times. The Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China released in 1978 clearly stresses that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal Government of China and Taiwan is part of China. This is the status quo across the Taiwan Strait that has been there for decades. But this status quo has now been sabotaged, not by China, but the US and the separatist forces in Taiwan. In 2000, the US unilaterally adopted the so-called “Taiwan Relations Act” and put it before the three China-US joint communiqués in its policy statement. In recent years, the US has openly inserted the secretly formulated “Six Assurances” into its characterization of the one-China policy. After it took power, the DPP authorities have advanced “incremental independence” and gone all out to remove the Chinese identity of Taiwan, and tried to create the false impression of “two Chinas” and “one China, one Taiwan” at various occasions. It is those actions of the US that are truly changing the status quo.
Third, the Taiwan Relations Act and the Six Assurances run counter to the principles of the three China-US joint communiqués and the basic norms governing international relations. China has been firmly against that from the very beginning. The US has been changing the status quo, encroaching on China’s core interests, going further down the path of fudging, hollowing out and distorting the one-China principle, and trying to cross China’s red lines and pushing the boundaries. But the attempt to contain China with the Taiwan question is pure wishful thinking. The stunt orchestrated by Pelosi will not in any way change the prevailing international consensus on the one-China principle, nor can they change the irreversible historical trend of Taiwan’s return to the motherland, still less halt the historical process of national rejuvenation. We the Chinese people have the guts not to yield to bullying or intimidation, and we are firm in defending our country’s core interests. The US should heed China’s serious warning: the US must not act recklessly or create bigger crises. Those who play with fire will not come to a good end. Those who provoke China will surely be punished.
Fourth, China had repeatedly warned the US that the Pelosi visit would create a crisis and would seriously obstruct and sabotage bilateral exchange and cooperation. The US, however, turned a deaf ear to this and went ahead with the wrong move. Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan seriously undermined China’s core interests, and China has every reason to respond resolutely. All the consequences arising therefrom shall be borne by the US. China had made those points perfectly clear long beforehand. We said it and we mean it. The US has no reason to feel surprised.
Due to the egregious impact of Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, China had to suspend bilateral climate talks with the US. Let me be clear, the US does not represent the entire world. China will remain actively involved in international and multilateral cooperation on climate change, continue to work hard to meet its carbon peak and carbon neutrality targets, actively participate in main-channel negotiations on climate change, provide other developing countries with support and help as our ability permits, and make our own contributions to tackling the global climate challenge. For the US, instead of making unwarranted criticisms or viciously smearing other countries, what it needs to do is to take its responsibilities seriously and honor its own commitments. It must stop confounding right with wrong and deflecting attention.
China once again urges the US to abide by the basic norms in international relations including respecting other countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, return to the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, stop undermining China’s core interests and create necessary conditions for China-US cooperation.
China Daily: Today 40 years ago, the August 17 Communiqué between China and the US was published. How can this history inspire current China-US relations?
Wang Wenbin: There is only one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Forty-three years ago, it was on the basis of the one-China principle that China and the US established diplomatic relations. And today 40 years ago, China and the US jointly released the August 17 Communiqué. The US Government states in the joint communiqué that “it does not seek to carry out a long-term policy of arms sales to Taiwan, that its arms sales to Taiwan will not exceed, either in qualitative or in quantitative terms, the level of those supplied in recent years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and China, and that it intends gradually to reduce its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time, to a final resolution.”
The August 17 Communiqué, the Shanghai Communiqué and the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and the US constitute the political foundation for China-US relations and are all based on the one-China principle. The US recognized that the Government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government of China. It also recognized China’s position that there is only one China and Taiwan is part of China. And on this basis, the US met the three preconditions put forward by China, namely severing so-called “diplomatic relations” and abrogating the “mutual defense treaty” with the Taiwan authorities and withdrawing US military forces from Taiwan. This made it possible for China and the US, countries with different social systems and ideologies and at different development stages, to have dialogue and cooperation, and achieve important outcomes that have benefited both sides and the world at large.
The US has backpedaled on the one-China principle. It substantially relaxed restrictions on official interactions with Taiwan. It increased frequent military contact with Taiwan and arms sales to Taiwan in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Not long ago, US House Speaker Pelosi made a provocative visit to Taiwan in disregard of China’s opposition, blatantly violated its commitment of maintaining only unofficial relations with Taiwan. The US also keeps fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle.
The one-China principle is the political foundation for resuming interaction and developing relations between China and the US. The US has violated its commitment and moved further down the path that deviates from the one-China principle. This will surely take a huge toll on the mutual trust between the two countries.
The one-China principle also underpins peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The US reneges on the one-China principle, colludes with the “Taiwan independence” forces, connives at and supports separatist activities, keeps changing the status quo across the Taiwan Strait, and shall bear all the responsibilities for the tensions in the Taiwan Strait.
The one-China principle is reaffirmed by UNGA Resolution 2758. It is an integral part of the post-war international order, an established international consensus and a widely-accepted basic norm in international relations. By breaching the one-China principle, the US is also challenging the post-war international order, which will surely be met with wide opposition from the international community.
Facts have shown that when the one-China principle is honored, China-US relations can grow smoothly and cross-Strait peace can be effectively maintained. When the one-China principle is undermined, China-US relations would suffer turbulence and regression, and the cross-Strait situation could face severe challenges.
The China-US relationship is now at a critical juncture. Undermining the one-China principle is risky and irresponsible. Just as Dr. Kissinger who was part of the drafting of the three China-US joint communiqués pointed out, it’s essential that the one-China principle be maintained and “the US should not by subterfuge or a gradual process develop something of a two-China solution”. We hope the US side can draw lessons from history, return to the provisions of the three joint communiqués, strictly abide by the one-China principle, and stop going further down the wrong path of distorting, manipulating, fudging and hollowing out the one-China principle.
AFP: According to media reports, China is planning to establish military outposts both in Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to protect its strategic investment. Do you have any comment on this and if true, do you have any more details?
Wang Wenbin: I have not heard about that.