|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on April 20, 2023|
The Lanting Forum on Chinese Modernization and the World will be held at the Grand Halls in Shanghai on April 21. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang will attend the opening ceremony of the forum and deliver a keynote speech.
The forum is expected to host foreign dignitaries, prestigious experts and scholars, business leaders, foreign diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations in China and representatives from international media. The forum is jointly organized by the China Public Diplomacy Association, the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and the Shanghai Municipal People’s Government. Under the theme of “Chinese Modernization and the World”, the forum consists of three panel sessions and a luncheon with the business community for in-depth exchanges on topics including the new development of China, better global governance, closer people-to-people exchanges and high-standard opening up.
CCTV: The recently-released IMF’s Global Financial Stability Report 2023 points out that the turmoil in the US banking sector has increased the risks of global financial stability. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: We have noted the report. Global financial stability bears on the recovery and development of the world economy and the common interests of all countries, and requires the world’s common efforts.
The notable global financial risks have much to do with the aggressive adjustments of the monetary policies in the US and other developed countries. Many in the international community shared the view that the economic and financial policies of the US pose the biggest challenge to global financial stability. The massive interest rate hikes by the US Federal Reserve since last year have significantly increased global financing costs and exacerbated disorderly international capital flows. This has not only led to the bankruptcy or takeover of some banks in the US and Europe, but also made things more difficult for emerging markets and developing countries, which is not conducive to the stability and recovery of the world economy and common development of the world. Research shows that commercial creditors from developed countries hold almost half of the debt of debt-ridden countries in the world. Since last year, the higher interest rates of developed countries including the US have increased the debt burden of the countries concerned, plunging them into a vicious cycle of debt repayment and exposing them to debt default.
We urge the US and other developed countries to prudently assess the spillover effects of their economic and financial policies, stabilize market expectations in a timely manner, and avoid creating adverse shocks to global financial stability. At the same time, we call on developed countries to listen to the developing countries about what they actually think and urgently need, provide tangible help to countries in difficulty, stop paying lip service and shifting blame, and step up to their responsibility for maintaining global financial stability and promoting global economic recovery.
Yonhap News Agency: ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol talked about the Taiwan question in a recent interview with Reuters. “We together with the international community absolutely oppose” the change of status quo by force, he said. How do you comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: There is but one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Taiwan question is purely an internal affair at the core of China’s core interests. Its resolution is a matter for the Chinese, who do not need to be told what should or should not be done. The tensions in recent years in the Taiwan Strait are fundamentally caused by “Taiwan independence” separatists in Taiwan who are engaged in separatist activities with the support and connivance of foreign forces. “Taiwan independence” and cross-Strait peace and stability are as irreconcilable as fire and water. To keep the Taiwan Strait and the rest of the region peaceful and stable, it is essential to unequivocally oppose “Taiwan independence” and foreign interference. The DPRK and the ROK are both sovereign countries with UN membership. The issue of the Korean Peninsula and the Taiwan question are completely different in nature, cause and history and cannot be mentioned in the same breath. This is a universally known fact. We hope the ROK side will follow the spirit of the China-ROK Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations, stay committed to the one-China principle, and prudently handle matters related to the Taiwan question.
AFP: Authorities in the Central African Republic stated yesterday that they believe a rebel group called the Coalition of Patriots for Change is responsible for the killing of nine Chinese miners in an attack last month. Does China agree with this assessment or have any other updates on the matter?
Wang Wenbin: China strongly condemns the attack. We are in close communication with the Central African Republic to step up investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice in accordance with the law.
Beijing Daily: According to the latest data on April 18 from the Gun Violence Archive, there have been at least 164 mass shootings in the US this year, bringing the total gun deaths to 12,486. A latest CBS News/YouGov survey shows that 61 percent of the Americans interviewed report feeling “frustrated” over the political gun debate, and 77 percent of parents of school-aged children say that they worry their kids may be hurt by gun violence. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I noted relevant reports and that some US media call mass shootings their national shame. Year after year, the US publishes thousands of pages of annual Human Rights Reports on countries of the world and dictates to them about their human rights record. But can’t the US just for once do something actually meaningful for protecting its people and tackling its gun violence problem?
Xinhua News Agency: According to reports, the 10th Legislature of the National People’s Power Assembly in Cuba elected the new leadership of the country on April 19 local time and Miguel Díaz-Canel was reelected President of Cuba. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: We congratulate Cuba on the election of its new leadership and congratulate President Miguel Díaz-Canel on his reelection. We believe that under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba and Cuba’s new leadership, Cuba will score greater achievements in pursuing a prosperous and sustainable socialist cause.
China and Cuba are good friends who trust each other, good comrades committed to the same cause, and good brothers sharing weal and woe. China will as always support Cuba in following a development path that suits its national realities, work with Cuba to follow through on the important common understandings reached between the two presidents, continue to deepen political mutual trust, step up cooperation across the board, jointly build a China-Cuba community with a shared future and move forward the China-Cuba relations in the new era.
AFP: The United States Department of Commerce has announced a fine of $300 million on American data storage company Seagate Technology for violating US export restrictions on Huawei. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: I am not aware of the specifics you mentioned. I want to stress that China strongly opposes the US suppressing Chinese companies by overstretching the concept of national security and abusing state power. We will continue to firmly safeguard the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies.
Shenzhen TV: According to reports, Toshihiro Nikai, former Secretary-General of Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party, became chairman of the Japan-China Friendship Parliamentarians’ Union at the organization’s plenary meeting on April 19, where it was also decided that the Union will work towards a visit to China in June. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: Mr. Toshihiro Nikai is a veteran statesman. The Japan-China Friendship Parliamentarians’ Union is one of the seven major Japanese organizations promoting friendship with China. Mr. Nikai and the Union have long been dedicated to promoting exchange and cooperation between Japan and China. We are glad that Mr. Nikai has become the Union’s new chairman and stand ready to strengthen exchange and cooperation with the Union.
AFP: A report this week by the Washington-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies shows that construction at a Chinese research station in the Antarctic has resumed for the first time since 2018. This has caused concern in Australia and other Western countries about its possible use for surveillance by China. Does the foreign ministry have any response to these concerns or details on the research station in the Antarctic?
Wang Wenbin: I think the concerns you mentioned are unnecessary. As a consultative party to the Antarctic Treaty, China has acted in line with relevant stipulations of the Antarctic Treaty System. The construction of China’s Antarctic stations fully conforms to international rules and procedures with regard to the Antarctic. The stations will help enhance humanity’s scientific understanding of the Antarctic, provide platforms for joint scientific exploration and cooperation between China and other countries, and contribute to the peace and sustainable development of the continent.
China News Service: April 20 is the UN Chinese Language Day. We saw that various activities have been held at the UN headquarters, by UNESCO and in China, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and other countries. Can you share more with us?
Wang Wenbin: Today marks the 14th UN Chinese Language Day. Chinese is one of the six official languages of the UN and one of the most spoken languages in the world. The voice and proposals of the UN have been actively conveyed to the world in this language, which has contributed significantly to the smooth running of the UN, the communication and exchanges between countries and the advancement of multilateralism. In 2010, the UN selected Guyu (“Rain of Millet”), which is one of the 24 solar terms in the traditional Chinese calendar, as the date for the Chinese Language Day. For more than a decade, the UN headquarters and offices and many countries have held diverse activities to mark this day, providing a window for people around the world to have a better understanding of the Chinese language and the Chinese culture.
We are happy to see that more and more foreign friends are getting to know a diverse, multi-faceted and amicable China as it is by learning the Chinese language. I have also noted that many of the foreign journalists here can ask questions in fluent Chinese. So far, over 180 countries and regions have launched Chinese language education and 82 countries have included it in their national curriculum. The number of people learning Chinese overseas has exceeded 30 million, and a total of nearly 200 million people have learned or used Chinese outside of China. Today, the Center for Language Education and Cooperation, in collaboration with global partners, has launched this year’s International Chinese Language Day with the theme “Chinese Language: Facilitating Dialogues across Civilizations” to experience the charm of the Chinese language and the Chinese culture with language learners and culture enthusiasts worldwide. We would like to play a video clip for you.
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We welcome more people from around the world to learn the Chinese language and look forward to more foreign journalists raising questions in the Chinese language at our daily press conferences.
Just weeks ago, President Xi Jinping put forth the Global Civilization Initiative, calling for joint efforts to advocate the respect for the diversity of civilizations and upholding equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness between civilizations. China is ready to promote exchange and cooperation on the Chinese language, use the language as a bridge to strengthen people-to-people exchange and cultural interaction and bring our peoples closer. By so doing, we can deepen communication between the Chinese civilization and other civilizations and add more vitality and diversity to the world civilization.
The wide application of the Chinese language in multilateral arena including the UN is an epitome of the deepening cooperation between China and the UN. China firmly upholds the UN-centered international system and supports the central role of the UN in international affairs. We will always advocate true multilateralism, follow the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, constructively participate in the work of the UN in various fields, and make new, greater contribution to promoting peace and development of the humanity and building a human community with a shared future.