|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on September 27, 2023|
Xinhua News Agency: It was reported that two members of Bahrain’s army were killed and many injured in a drone attack on the Saudi-led coalition force near Saudi Arabia’s southern border by Yemen’s Houthis. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: China opposes actions that escalate tensions and calls on relevant parties to work in the same direction towards a political settlement through dialogue and restore peace and stability at an early date.
Reuters: According to the Philippine government, the Philippine Coast Guard on Monday removed a floating barrier installed by China at Huangyan Dao on Sunday. The Philippine government added that China Coast Guard has removed remnants of the floating barrier. So my question is, did China remove remnants of the floating barrier? Has China’s position on its sovereign claim over Huangyan Dao changed? Will China continue to install the floating barrier going forward?
Wang Wenbin: Yesterday, I made clear China’s position on the issue, and you may refer to that.
I would like to reiterate that Huangyan Dao has always been China’s territory. What the Philippines did looks like nothing more than self-amusement. China will continue to safeguard our territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests over Huangyan Dao.
CRI: On September 26, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that it added three China-based companies to an entity list as a result of Xinjiang-related “forced labor” enforcement. What’s China’s response?
Wang Wenbin: China has made clear time and again that the allegation of “forced labor” in Xinjiang is nothing but an enormous lie propagated by people against China to smear our country’s image. It is the very opposite of the fact that the rights and interests of people of all ethnic backgrounds in Xinjiang are effectively protected.
The US uses that lie as a basis to enforce the so-called “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act”, blacklist Chinese entities and go after more Chinese companies. The move is actually aimed at undermining Xinjiang’s prosperity and stability and containing China’s development. The move also tears at international trade rules and market order. We firmly oppose this.
We urge the US to immediately stop smearing China and stop meddling in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights. We will continue to resolutely safeguard Chinese companies’ legitimate and lawful rights and interests.
Kyodo News: According to reports, the Chinese government is monitoring the marine radioactivity of waters under its jurisdiction. When can we expect the data to be released?
Wang Wenbin: Monitoring of the level of radiation in the ocean, emergency measures on aquatic imports from Japan and risk monitoring of nuclear-contamination of aquatic products are all legitimate, reasonable steps to respond to Japan’s discharge of nuclear-contaminated water and protect our national interests and public welfare.
The discharge will last decades. Great uncertainty remains as to whether the contaminated water will be up to standard after treatment. Let me stress that the Chinese government has the ability and resolve to do everything necessary to protect our national interests and people’s health and protect the sound growth of the oceanic fishing sector.
AFP: An individual of a well-known Chinese developer has been placed under police control, according to Bloomberg. Can you confirm the report? And if so, what is the reason?
Wang Wenbin: I’m not aware of that.
Reuters: Can the foreign ministry provide the dates for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation?
Wang Wenbin: We have announced that China will hold the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in October. On your specific question, we will release information in due course.
CCTV: The sixth China-Arab States Expo and the 2023 Euro-Asia Economic Forum concluded last week in Yinchuan, Ningxia and Xi’an, Shaanxi respectively. Participants contributed insights on Belt and Road cooperation. Can you share more about China’s Belt and Road cooperation with Arab and Central Asian countries?
Wang Wenbin: This year marks the 10th anniversary of President Xi Jinping’s announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative. Over the past decade, China’s Belt and Road cooperation with the Arab countries and Central Asian countries has produced solid and tangible progress.
Arab countries were historically an important part of the ancient Silk Road, which makes them natural partners for Belt and Road cooperation. Over the past decade, Arab states have widely welcomed and taken an active part in Belt and Road cooperation. China and Arab states have launched over 200 large cooperation projects in such fields as energy and infrastructure, which have benefited nearly 2 billion people. Thanks to Belt and Road cooperation, Egypt now hosts Africa’s tallest building in the central business district of its new administrative capital, signifying promising prospect for Egypt Vision 2030. The Saudi Red Sea New City energy storage project, the biggest of its kind globally, is well underway and will provide clean energy to numerous households. The East-West Highway project in Algeria has turned a half-finished project into a 1,216-km highway propelling local prosperity. China’s BeiDou Navigation Satellite System provides high-quality services for Arab states, bringing convenience to local people in transportation, precision agriculture, land survey, environmental monitoring and other fields.
Central Asia is where the BRI was first announced and a priority region for connectivity cooperation. Over the past decade, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and the heads of state of five Central Asian countries, China and Central Asian countries have jointly implemented a number of major projects to the benefit of people region-wide. The completion of the China-Kazakhstan Horgos International Border Cooperation Center and the China-Kazakhstan Logistics Base in Lianyungang opened the gateway to the Pacific for Central Asian countries. After Chinese companies finished building the tunnel of the Angren-Pap railway line—the longest tunnel in Central Asia, local residents no longer had to travel up and down the mountains or go around them via neighboring countries. The China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan (CKU) highway has become an important transportation artery that runs smoothly through the region’s mountainous terrain. Four-fifths of the China-Europe Railway Express trains run through Central Asia. They are hailed as a “steel caravan” on the Eurasian continent. Last year, total trade between China and Central Asian countries hit a record high of USD 70 billion.
The Belt and Road has become a “belt of development” for China and partner countries and a “road to happiness” for the people. The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will provide another opportunity for us to work with Arab and Central Asian countries as well as other partners to further advance Belt and Road cooperation and jointly write a new chapter of benefiting the world through the BRI.
News 1 Korea: You mentioned yesterday that China has not been notified through diplomatic channels by the DPRK on the reopening of its borders. Is there any update on this matter?
Wang Wenbin: I shared comments on that yesterday and have nothing else to add.
Kyodo News: Can you tell us the exact dates in October for the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation?
Wang Wenbin: We will release information in due course.