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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on April 25, 2024
2024-04-25 19:56

China News Service: Yesterday, China Wildlife Conservation Association released that two giant pandas will depart for Spain for conservation cooperation at the end of this month. Do you have more information on that?

Wang Wenbin: Giant panda cooperation is an epitome of the friendship between our two countries. Together, China and Spain have bred six giant panda cubs since we began our giant panda cooperation, which makes Spain the most successful country in Europe in terms of giant panda breeding cooperation with China. The two sides have jointly improved various technologies on conservation, breeding and disease prevention and control of giant panda. What’s more, the enthusiasm toward giant pandas has also facilitated people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, bringing hearts closer between our two peoples.

According to the agreement on giant panda conservation cooperation and research signed between China and Spain, two giant pandas named Jin Xi and Zhu Yu will depart on April 29 from Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding for Madrid Zoo where they will start their 10-year residency, continuing the 40-plus years of “panda friendship” between the two peoples. The two sides are actively preparing for their arrival on quarantine, feed supply, veterinary care, transport and residence renovation to make sure the two giant pandas will arrive in Madrid safe and sound, and become accustomed to the new environment as smoothly as possible. We are confident that continued China-Spain giant panda collaborative research will contribute to our work on protecting endangered species and global biodiversity conservation.

Bloomberg: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken raised concerns over unfair trade practices. He stressed that American firms need a level playing field. He raised the issue of non-market economic practices. Does the Foreign Ministry have any comment on Mr. Blinken’s remarks in Shanghai?

Wang Wenbin: In our background briefing a few days ago on Secretary Blinken’s visit, we elaborated on China’s principled position on relevant issues. We will release timely information about the visit. 

On your question, I’d like to say broadly that China carries out trade and economic cooperation in accordance with market principles, firmly supports the multilateral trade regime and fully abides by WTO rules. We hope the US will respect the principle of fair competition, observe WTO rules too, and work with China to create enabling conditions for the sound and steady growth of China-US economic and trade relations.

CCTV: China has reportedly sent a batch of disaster relief supplies to Papua New Guinea (PNG) hit by severe floods recently. Can you share more information on this?

Wang Wenbin: China expresses sincere sympathies to the PNG over the recent floods that caused heavy loss of lives and property in that country. We provided emergency humanitarian assistance at the earliest opportunity in response to the PNG’s request. When meeting the press with PNG’s Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China feels for the PNG over the recent floods and will send a batch of emergency disaster relief supplies and hopes that they will reach those hit by the disaster as soon as possible.

Today, the humanitarian assistance supplies provided by China through the China-Pacific Island Countries Reserve for Emergency Supplies arrived in the PNG. The supplies, over 14 tonnes in weight and about 60 cubic meters in volume, include tents, waterproof pads, small power generators, solar lights for home use and so on. We hope the PNG government and people will find them helpful for their disaster response.

China and the PNG and other Pacific Island countries are good friends, good partners and good brothers that support each other in overcoming difficulties. China will continue to do what we can to help with the relief and reconstruction effort in light of the damage and the need of the PNG. We believe the people of the PNG will overcome the difficulties and rebuild their homes soon.

People’s Daily: Today marks the 17th World Malaria Day. Malaria is still one of the biggest public health problems facing developing countries in tropical areas, particularly Africa. Could you share with us China’s effort to fight malaria in the world, in particular in Africa?

Wang Wenbin: Malaria is a major public health challenge and threat to human lives. China, once plagued by malaria, had about 30 million malaria cases in 1940. With relentless effort, China cut that number to zero and was awarded a malaria-free certification from WHO in 2021. China is the first country to discover and extract artemisinin, the core compound of highly effective antimalarial drugs, which has saved millions of lives around the world, especially in developing countries. China’s “1-3-7” strategy was formally included in WHO’s technical documents and adopted worldwide. This has sped up malaria elimination in the world.

Over the years, China launched a large-scale international antimalarial program with artemisinin at the core, including providing medicines and technical assistance, establishing antimalarial centers and training personnel. In Africa, China’s antimalarial therapies, medicines and experience bring hope to locals suffering from malaria. In recent years, China has worked with WHO to launch a demonstration project of malaria prevention and control in Tanzania and effectively lowered the malaria morbidity and mortality there. China has worked with the Comoros to launch a project of the fast elimination of malaria with the help of artemisinin compound. China helped set up malaria prevention and control centers in the Comoros, including a center on the Moheli Island, which helped turn the Comoros from a high prevalence area into a low prevalence area within a short period of time. China is implementing phase three of antimalarial technical assistance in Sao Tome and Principe. Chinese pharmaceutical companies invested in Kenya, Sudan, and other countries and built drug-making factories to enable local production of artemisinin-based antimalarial drugs. Based on the WHO Collaborating Center for Research and Training on Malaria Elimination, China helped train over 2,000 officials and technical staff for the prevention and control of malaria and other infectious diseases from 85 countries and regions in Africa and other places. According to WHO, about 240 million people in sub-Saharan Africa alone have benefited from artemisinin-based combination therapies.

China will follow the vision of building a global community of health for all and continue contributing China’s knowledge and solutions to realizing a malaria-free world. 

Shenzhen TV: It was reported that the UN released the report of the Independent Review Group on UNRWA a few days ago, which revealed that UNRWA has established a significant number of mechanisms and procedures to ensure compliance with the principle of neutrality and noted that Israel has yet to provide supporting evidence of its claims that a significant number of UNRWA employees are members of terrorist organizations. What is China’s comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: China noted the UN’s review report. Most countries welcomed the report. As the Palestinian-Israeli conflict drags on, the severe humanitarian disaster continues. Humanitarian aid is the lifeline for people in Gaza, and UNRWA is an indispensable pillar of this lifeline. The UN report vindicated UNRWA’s reputation on neutrality and presented recommendations on improving its work. We support the UN in improving UNRWA’s work, oppose the unjustified attacks on UNRWA, and call for quickly restoring funding to UNWRA by those who have yet to do so. China will step up support to UNRWA and contribute to the alleviation of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Beijing Daily: It is reported that the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water was suspended due to a partial power outage at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on April 24. A worker was reportedly injured and sent to hospital by ambulance. On the afternoon of April 24, Japan announced the resumption of the discharge. What is China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: We noted the reported power outage and discharge suspension. We also noted that over 180 thousand Japanese submitted signatures to the Japanese government on the same day, asking for an immediate stop of the ocean discharge of the nuclear-contaminated water.

Since Japan began the ocean discharge last August, several safety accidents have occurred at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant over the past eight months. From the splash incident of radioactive wastewater to the nuclear-contaminated water leakage in the purification system, from corrosion on the inside of the tanks used to store nuclear-contaminated water to the failure of the power supply system, what has happened shows again and again that the international community has every reason to be concerned and question the safety and legitimacy of the ocean discharge. TEPCO’s management of the discharge of nuclear-contaminated water is hardly reassuring. To step up long-term effective monitoring of ocean discharge is proved to be a must for the international community.

The ocean discharge of the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water impacts the health of all humanity, the global marine environment, and the international common good. We urge Japan to take seriously the concerns of the international community and take the initiative to cooperate fully in creating an independent, effective, and long-term international monitoring scheme with substantive participation of Japan’s neighbors and other stakeholders, so as to earnestly avoid irrevocable consequences stemming from the ocean discharge.

Bloomberg: Legislation requiring TikTok’s Chinese owners to divest from the company was signed into law by President Joe Biden, thus beginning a 270-day countdown for either a sale of the platform or a ban of the video-sharing platform. Does the Foreign Ministry have any comment on this, now that the legislation has been signed?

Wang Wenbin: We’ve made clear China’s principled position on the issue.

Bloomberg: I’m just curious about the visit to China by the Argentinean Foreign Minister. Do you have any more details about the agenda? What are the expectations? Can you tell us how would you characterize relations between Argentina and China in the wake of the recent elections under the new administration?

Wang Wenbin: Both China and Argentina are major developing countries and important emerging economies. The two countries are comprehensive strategic partners. China stands ready to work with Argentina to keep deepening bilateral political mutual trust and promote the steady growth of China-Argentina comprehensive strategic partnership. 

As for the visit you mentioned, we will release information in due course. Please check back for updates.

CCTV: It has been over 200 days since the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict broke out. UN Women said recently more than 10,000 women have been killed and the conflict has orphaned 19,000 children. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: The Gaza conflict has passed its 200-day mark. The Palestinian death toll has exceeded 30,000 and civilian casualties exceeded 110,000. This appalling humanitarian disaster challenges the moral conscience that underpins human civilization and has exposed the hypocrisy of certain countries who claim to “uphold and safeguard human rights.”

Time is life. The conflict in Gaza must stop. Indifference to the killings of women and children in Gaza cannot be tolerated. Blocking the UN Security Council’s effort to create a ceasefire in Gaza will not be forgiven.

We urge relevant country to stop blocking UNSC actions, and call on relevant parties to fully implement Security Council Resolution 2728, realize an unconditional and durable ceasefire, and ensure unimpeded and sustainable humanitarian access to bring an early end to this catastrophe on the Palestinians and stop this disgrace on human civilization.

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