|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on December 16, 2022|
CCTV: According to reports, on November 15, Google said it does not manipulate its search results for “Hong Kong” plus “national anthem”. It added that the company was in contact with the authorities in Hong Kong to explain “how our platforms and removal policies work”. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: Internet companies have a duty to deliver the correct information to the public, rather than let the wrong information spread and mislead the public, especially when it comes to the national anthem or any other matter concerning the dignity of a country.
CCTV: Recently, the German Chamber of Commerce in China and the China-Australia Chamber of Commerce (AustCham China) released results of surveys conducted among German and Australian businesses in China respectively. The findings show that the majority of surveyed businesses are optimistic about market opportunities and profitability in China. The Chairman of the German Chamber of Commerce in China said that China’s recent COVID-19 policy adjustments are “a game changer” and “China remains unrivaled in terms of market size and market growth opportunities for many German companies”. The AustCham China Chairman observed that the survey results speak to Australian companies’ desire to be present in the Chinese market. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: We have noted the reports. The survey results also show that 77% of German companies surveyed expect increasing annual growth in their industries for the next five years; 66% of the surveyed Australian companies in China plan to return to or exceed pre-pandemic levels of investment; and 58% of the Australian respondents indicate that China is in their top three priorities for global investment plans over the next three years. These figures reflect the international community’s confidence in China’s economic prospects.
China follows a coordinated approach to COVID-19 response and socioeconomic development. We have been adapting our prevention and control measures to the changing epidemic situation and managed to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on people’s life and socioeconomic development. Despite a first-time global decline of the Human Development Index (HDI) in 2020 and 2021, China’s HDI ranking in 2021 was up six places from 2019. China’s average economic growth rate for 2020 and 2021 was 5.1%, making it one of the best-performing major economies. With the steady rollout of the improved and adjusted COVID policy, China’s economy is expected to pick up further.
We are convinced that openness and cooperation are the overriding historical trend and people hope to see win-win outcomes. China is committed to its fundamental national policy of opening to the outside world and pursues a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up. It strives to contribute its share to building an open global economy. China will provide a more market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment for foreign companies, and remain a promising investment destination for businesses from Germany, Australia and the rest of the world.
Bloomberg: Japan will describe China as an unprecedented strategic challenge in a new national security policy. This is obviously done because Japan feels that China is a greater threat than in the past. How does the foreign ministry respond to this?
Wang Wenbin: China is always committed to maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific and the world. China is a partner and an opportunity for the development of all countries. Japan’s new defense policy ignores facts, deviates from its commitment to China-Japan relations and the common understandings between the two countries, and groundlessly discredits China’s defense building and normal military activities. China resolutely opposes this and has made serious démarches to the Japanese side through diplomatic channels.
The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair and brooks no interference by any external forces. The Japanese side in particular needs to be prudent on the Taiwan question, honor its commitments and refrain from sending wrong signals. China’s position on maritime issues is consistent and clear. The Japanese side has been allowing right-wing forces to cause trouble in the East China Sea, and has colluded with certain countries to hype up and even create tensions in the South China Sea. Such moves pose the biggest challenge to the peace and stability in the region. The Japanese side should stop making provocations and stirring up trouble on maritime issues for selfish geopolitical interests.
China and Japan are close neighbors and important countries in the region. Maintaining and developing friendly and cooperative relations between China and Japan is in the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples. We once again urge the Japanese side to adhere to the principles of the four political documents between China and Japan, effectively reflect in its policies and act upon the political consensus that the two countries are cooperative partners and do not pose a threat to each other. Hyping up the “China threat” to find an excuse for its military build-up is doomed to fail.
Kyodo News: Will the Japanese Foreign Minister visit China later this month? Can you give us some updates on this?
Wang Wenbin: Exchanges between foreign ministries are important. The two sides have been in communication on a visit to China by Foreign Minister Hayashi Yoshimasa.