|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on September 27, 2022|
China News Service: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi recently held meetings with more than ten European leaders and foreign ministers on the sidelines of the General Debate of the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: During the UNGA high-level week, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with leaders, political dignitaries and foreign ministers of European countries including Serbia, France, Malta, the UK, Portugal, Norway, Poland, Hungary and Germany, and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. They had extensive, in-depth and candid talks on enhancing mutual understanding, advancing practical cooperation and jointly responding to challenges, which fully shows the importance China attaches to China-EU relations.
State Councilor Wang underscored the need for China and the EU, two major forces in a multi-polar world, to stick to the characterization of the two sides as each other’s strategic partners, and maintain the sound momentum of dialogue and communication. He expressed China’s confidence that the EU will uphold strategic autonomy and work with China to promote the steady and sustained growth of bilateral relations. His European counterparts said they value relations with China, reiterated commitment to the one-China policy and expressed the hope of having candid exchanges and deeper cooperation in relevant fields.
Dialogue and cooperation remains the mainstream of China-EU relations. Mutual benefit is the underlying tone of China’s cooperation with Europe. For the first eight months of this year, China-EU trade increased by 8.8% year-on-year and EU investment in China went up by 123.7%. The China-Europe Railway Express made its 10,000th trip of this year 10 days sooner than last year. The two sides made good progress or reached agreements on macroeconomic policy coordination, supply and industrial chain cooperation, WTO reform, greater market access, implementation of the China-EU agreement on geographical indications, animal and plant inspection and quarantine, and two-way opening-up of the financial sector and regulatory cooperation. All these speak to the vibrancy and resilience of China-EU cooperation.
China hopes to work with the EU to be two major forces for world peace, two big markets for common development and two great civilizations for human progress and together pursue mutual benefit, uphold multilateralism and seek common ground while reserving differences. By working together, we can bring about the sound and steady growth of China-EU relations, contribute to the sustained recovery of the world economy and bring certainty and hope to a turbulent and volatile world.
China Daily: US Vice President Kamala Harris met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo. They discussed China’s recent aggressive and irresponsible provocations in the Taiwan Strait, and reaffirmed the importance of preserving peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Do you have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: The US House Speaker, in disregard of China’s four-month-long dissuasion, made a provocative visit to China’s Taiwan region and referred to Taiwan as a “country”. What the US side has done seriously violates China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, hurts China-US relations and undermines peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. As a response, China took countermeasures that are legitimate, lawful, proportionate and necessary.
What constitute the biggest threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait at the moment are the DPP authorities’ provocations aimed at “Taiwan independence” and the connivance and support they have received from external forces. The one-China principle is what underpins peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. The clearer and stronger the commitment of the international community is to the one-China principle, the more likely peace across the Taiwan Strait will be ensured. We urge the US side to return to the three China-US Joint Communiqués and the one-China principle in their true and original form, reaffirm its commitment to the one-China policy in the simple and straightforward way, and state its opposition to all “Taiwan independence” separatist activities with absolute clarity.
AFP: Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Taiwan today. Do you have a comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: You mentioned a former politician of diminished credibility who staged these stunts for personal political gains. His calculations will not materialize.
Dragon TV: According to reports, the temporary ceasefire agreement between warring parties in Yemen is set to expire on October 2. Recently, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) reaffirmed their support for the resolution of the Yemen issue through political means and for the UN-led peace efforts. They also called on the Houthis to cooperate with the UN’s mediation efforts and reach an agreement on renewing the ceasefire deal at an early date. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China takes seriously and fully understands the legitimate and reasonable concerns of the GCC countries over the Yemen issue. We support the GCC countries’ effort in safeguarding their security and support their initiatives and propositions on resolving the Yemen issue. We oppose all attacks targeting civilians and civilian infrastructure in the GCC countries and actions that violate the temporary ceasefire agreement. China hopes that parties concerned will actively assist the UN’s mediation efforts, reach an agreement on the renewal of the deal as soon as possible, help turn the temporary ceasefire into a permanent one and toward a sustainable political solution, and work for the early return of peace, stability and order to Yemen.
Beijing Youth Daily: It is reported that at least 17 people, including 11 students, were killed in a shooting at a school in Izhevsk, the capital city of Russia’s Udmurt Republic on September 26. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant reports. We express our condolences for the victims and sympathies to the bereaved families and the wounded.
AFP: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Pakistan to seek debt relief from China so that Pakistan can more quickly recover from the floods. Is China planning any debt relief for Pakistan?
Wang Wenbin: Since the floods hit the country, China has rushed to Pakistan’s aid as its genuine friend and brother in times of need. The Chinese government has provided 400 million RMB worth of humanitarian assistance and China’s civil society has also lent a helping hand. We will continue to do our utmost to help the Pakistani people overcome the floods and rebuild their homes at an early date.
China and Pakistan have had fruitful economic and financial cooperation. The Pakistani people know it best. Instead of passing unwarranted criticism against China-Pakistan cooperation, the US side might as well do something real and beneficial for the people of Pakistan.
NHK: The UN Security Council held an urgent meeting on the referendums on joining Russia in eastern and southern Ukraine. What is China’s position on this?
Wang Wenbin: Let me first reiterate China’s long-standing position that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected, that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be observed, that the legitimate security concerns of all countries must be taken seriously, and that all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of crises must be supported. On the Ukraine issue, China always stands on the side of peace and has been committed to promoting peace talks. We are ready to work with the international community and continue to play a constructive part in deescalating the situation.
The Security Council, as the core of the international collective security mechanism, needs to make full use of the mediation tools provided for in the UN Charter and steer the situation in the right direction of ending the fighting and promoting dialogue. The Council needs to take constructive and responsible actions in particular to accumulate conditions and open up space for a political resolution.
AFP: A question on the United Nations. The US and some Western countries presented a proposal on Monday asking the UN human rights body to hold a special debate over the situation in Xinjiang. What do you think about this proposal?
Wang Wenbin: The Xinjiang-related issues are not about ethnicity, religion or human rights. They are about countering violent terrorism, radicalization and separatism and have everything to do with protecting China’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and national security. A handful of countries have tried to use Xinjiang-related issues to interfere in China’s internal affairs, discredit China and contain and hinder China’s development. Their political calculations will not succeed.
Certain Western countries use the Human Rights Council as a tool for political manipulation. They blatantly apply double standard and have gone so far as to name and shame some developing countries and openly pressure them. This has poisoned the atmosphere and led to aggravated confrontation at the Human Rights Council, which is detrimental to international human rights cooperation. The international community firmly rejects such practices.
The US and a few others, oblivious to their own serious human rights violations, are obsessed with lecturing and criticizing other countries, which has become a source of ridicule in the eyes of the world. We urge these few Western countries to take a hard look at themselves, reflect on and address their serious human rights issues including racial discrimination, gun violence, infringement on indigenous people’s rights and abuse of unilateral sanctions, and fulfill their human rights obligations with concrete actions.
CCTV: On September 26, Pakistan delivered a joint statement on behalf of nearly 70 countries at the 51st session of the Human Rights Council, expressing support for China’s position on issues related to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet and opposition to interference in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: Yesterday, Pakistan delivered a joint statement on behalf of nearly 70 countries at the 51st session of the Human Rights Council. The statement pointed out that Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Tibet related issues are China’s internal affairs and expressed opposition to politicization of human rights and double standard, or interference in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights. It called on all parties to abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and respect the right of the people of each state to choose independently the path for development in accordance with their national conditions. It also stressed that the international community should uphold multilateralism, strengthen solidarity and coordination, and respond jointly to global challenges, advance world peace and development, and promote and protect human rights. More than 20 countries voiced support for China by making their separate statements or other means.
Nearly 100 countries have expressed their understanding and support for China’s legitimate position in various ways at the Human Rights Council. The attempts of a handful of Western countries to use so-called human rights issues to attack and smear China have failed time and again. This speaks volumes about who enjoys broad support and who doesn’t.
A handful of Western countries have blatantly interfered in the internal affairs of other countries in the name of human rights and repeatedly applied double standard on the issue of human rights. The overwhelming majority of the international community have long been clear-eyed about this.
There are serious human rights problems within the US and a handful of other Western countries - gun violence that deprives people of the right to life, botched COVID response that denies people their right to health, human trafficking and ensuing forced labor that breach labor rights, forcible separation of migrant families against their human rights, systemic racial discrimination that infringes upon the human rights of minorities like Asian Americans, African Americans and Muslims, a persistent remnant of genocide policy that violates the human rights of the indigenous people and overseas military operations and illegal unilateral sanctions that infringe upon the human rights of other countries. We urge these countries to stop lecturing other countries on human rights and stop applying double standard and seeking political manipulation. They need to be held accountable for the human cost and catch up on their human rights record.
China is unwavering in its resolve to uphold its national sovereignty, security and development interests. Whatever political theatrics these small number of Western countries perform, they will not stop the Chinese people’s journey toward greater development and progress and their calculations will all end in failure.
Kyodo News: The state funeral for Japan’s former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was held today in Japan. Besides the representative of the Chinese side, the representative of the Taiwan region was also invited to lay flowers at the funeral. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: Taiwan is an inalienable part of China. The one-China principle is a widely accepted norm governing international relations and a prevailing consensus of the international community. Japan needs to observe the principles set out in the four China-Japan political documents and the solemn commitments it has made, handle the relevant matters in strict accordance with the one-Chine principle and refrain from providing any platform or opportunity for “Taiwan independence” separatist forces to engage in political manipulation.