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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on April 26, 2024
2024-04-26 22:39

At the invitation of Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of Argentina Diana Mondino will visit China from April 27 to May 1.

At the invitation of Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia Celinda Sosa Lunda will visit China from April 28 to 30.

At the invitation of Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Peru Javier González-Olaechea Franco will visit China from April 28 to 30.

Dragon TV: Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken this morning. Can you share more details?

Wang Wenbin: This morning, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Beijing.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi noted that the overall China-US relations have been stabilized from further deterioration, but negative factors continue to rise and build. Our approach, position and expectations when it comes to China-US relations have been consistent. We always view and develop this relationship in light of the need for a community with a shared future for humanity, and follow the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation proposed by President Xi Jinping with an emphasis on respecting each other’s core interests.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that last November, President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden had a successful meeting in San Francisco and charted the “San Francisco vision” for a stable, sound and sustainable bilateral relationship. It is the job for both sides to deliver on that vision. In a volatile and transforming world, the first question we should answer to make this relationship work is: do we want China and the US to be partners or rivals? Get this wrong, and steady development of China-US relations will hang in the balance. If the US keeps seeing China as its primary rival, the relationship will keep running into difficulties and challenges.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that the Taiwan question is the number one red line that must not be crossed in China-US relations. China asked the US to strictly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, and not to send any form of wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” separatists. The US needs to act on President Biden’s commitment of not supporting “Taiwan independence,” “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan” and not using Taiwan as a tool to contain China. The US should stop arming Taiwan and support China’s peaceful reunification. 

Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out that no one shall deprive the Chinese people of their right to development. The US has employed all kinds of measures to hit China on trade, economy and technology. This is not fair competition, but steps to contain and block China. It is not de-risking but risk-building. The US said it does not seek to contain China’s economy, decouple or bar China’s progress in science and technology. It should honor those words. The US needs to stop spreading the false narrative of “Chinese overcapacity”, lift illicit sanctions on Chinese businesses and halt the Section 301 tariffs which are against WTO rules.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that the Asia-Pacific should not become a wrestling ground for major countries. We hope the US will make the right choice, work with China, engage in sound interactions in the Asia-Pacific, stop forming groupings exclusive to one another, stop coercing regional countries to take sides, stop deploying land-based medium-range missiles, stop harming China’s strategic security interests, and stop undermining the hard-won peace and stability in the region.

Secretary Blinken noted that the US and China have the most consequential bilateral relationship in the world. It is important for both sides to responsibly manage this relationship. The US continues to follow its one-China policy and does not support “Taiwan independence.” The US does not seek to change China’s system, has no intention to have conflict with China, and does not seek to decouple from China or hold back China’s development. A growing and successful China is good for the world. The US is ready to work with China to build on the common understandings of the two presidents in San Francisco, step up dialogue and communication, effectively manage differences, avoid misperception and miscalculation, and work for a stable and growing US-China relationship.

The two sides also exchanged views on the Ukraine issue, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the DPRK, Myanmar and other issues.

The two sides agreed that the meeting was candid, substantive and constructive. The two sides agreed to continue following the guidance of the two presidents and work to stabilize and advance China-US relations. They recognized the progress in dialogue and cooperation in various fields since the San Francisco meeting and agreed to speed up implementing the important common understandings reached by the two presidents in San Francisco, maintain high-level exchanges and interactions at various levels, continue mil-to-mil communication and consultations in various fields, further cooperation in counternarcotics, climate change and AI, and take measures to expand people-to-people exchanges. The two sides stand ready to strengthen communication in international and regional hotspots.

The Wall Street Journal: I have two questions. The first is on the meeting today between Hamas and Fatah in Beijing. I just want to ask about what role China played in facilitating that meeting? What was the outcome of that meeting and the goal of that meeting? Secondly, Russian President Putin says he is going to come to Beijing for a visit in May. Could you confirm that?

Wang Wenbin: On your first question, we support strengthening the authority of the Palestinian National Authority, and support all Palestinian factions in achieving reconciliation and increasing solidarity through dialogue and consultation.

On your second question, this year marks the 75th anniversary of China-Russia diplomatic ties. The presidents of the two countries agreed to maintain close interactions and ensure the smooth and steady growth of China-Russia relations. On the specific visit that you mentioned, I don’t have information to share for the moment.

Anadolu Agency: Germany’s Ambassador to China announced yesterday on a social media platform that she was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing in relation to four German citizens being arrested this week in Germany for allegedly spying for Chinese secret services. Can you give any information about why was she summoned and what was she talked about in the meeting?

Wang Wenbin: The so-called “Chinese spy cases” are baseless. China has lodged serious representations to Germany for its unwarranted accusations. China firmly rejects the vilification of China and urges Germany to watch out for attempts to damage bilateral relations and restrain such attempts, stop the malicious hypes and political theatrics against China at once, and take concrete actions to keep bilateral relations on a steady and sound course.

TRT: Some Arab news outlets are reporting that China invited Palestinian groups, including Hamas, to Beijing for national reconciliation meetings. Can you confirm the report and do you have more details to share?

Wang Wenbin: I answered this question just now. Let me repeat that we support strengthening the authority of the Palestinian National Authority, and support all Palestinian factions in achieving reconciliation and increasing solidarity through dialogue and consultation.

Bloomberg: I have a follow-up question about the German Ambassador being summoned. On March 31, 2022, the Australian Ambassador to China complained that he couldn’t enter the courtroom for the court case of Cheng Lei who was charged with spying in China. You personally at that time said that China is a country under the rule of law. The Chinese judicial authorities try cases in strict accordance with law and fully protect the litigation rights of relevant individuals. Relevant sides should earnestly respect China’s judicial sovereignty and refrain from interfering in the law-based handling of the case by Chinese judicial authorities in any form. So my question is, why was it inappropriate for Ambassador Fletcher to comment on the Chinese legal system two years ago, but it’s now appropriate for the Chinese authorities to summon the German ambassador and to complain about Germany’s legal system in these cases?

Wang Wenbin: I don’t think this is a fair comparison. 

About Cheng Lei’s case, the Chinese authorities released information on it, which you may refer to. China’s judicial authorities tried the case and delivered the sentence in accordance with the law. The rights enjoyed by the individual concerned under the law were fully protected, and Australia’s consular rights including the right to visit and the right to be notified were respected and implemented. China is a country that upholds the rule of law and handles matters fully in accordance with the law. 

As for the so-called “Chinese spy” cases, we’ve stressed multiple times that the so-called threat of “Chinese spies” is purely baseless. We firmly oppose groundless accusations and vilification against China. China builds its ties with Germany on the basis of mutual respect, mutually beneficial cooperation, equality and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. This is good for both sides and the world at large. We hope that Germany will guard against attempts to damage its relations with China, stand against political manipulation and seriously look after this bilateral relationship. I think you know very well that this is not an issue about judicial systems.

CCTV: I want to follow up on the visits of the foreign ministers from Argentina, Bolivia and Peru to China. Could you share with us China’s arrangements and expectations? 

Wang Wenbin: During the visits of the foreign ministers from Argentina, Bolivia and Peru, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks and exchange views with them respectively on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. 

Argentina is an important emerging market, major developing country, and China’s important cooperation partner in Latin America. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties over half a century ago, China and Argentina have been committed to mutual respect, equality and mutually beneficial cooperation. This is Foreign Minister Mondino’s first visit to China since she took office. This year marks the 10th anniversary of China-Argentina comprehensive strategic partnership. China hopes that through this visit, the two countries will further enhance political mutual trust, offer broader prospects for our mutually beneficial cooperation, enrich the China-Argentina comprehensive strategic partnership, and achieve common development and prosperity. 

Bolivia is an important country in Latin America. In recent years, the two countries have grown China-Bolivia strategic partnership, consolidated political mutual trust, conducted fruitful practical cooperation in various fields and brought tangible benefits to the two peoples. This is Foreign Minister Sosa’s first visit to China since she took office. We believe this visit will inject new impetus into the bilateral relations.

Peru is an important country in Latin America. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties over half a century ago, China and Peru have grown China-Peru relations steadily and conducted fruitful cooperation in various fields. Last November, President Xi Jinping met with Peru’s President Dina Boluarte in San Francisco, which provided guidance for the China-Peru relations. This is Foreign Minister González-Olaechea’s first visit to China since he took office. We believe that this visit will help the two countries implement the important common understandings reached by the presidents of the two countries and give a boost to bilateral relations.

Bloomberg: The South China Morning Post reported earlier today that the EU has told China it plans to sanction some Chinese and Hong Kong companies as part of the next round of Russia sanctions. What’s China’s response?

Wang Wenbin: Normal trade and economic interactions between China and Russia are in line with WTO rules and market principles. They do not target any third party and should not come under interference or coercion from any third party. We will uphold the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies.

The Wall Street Journal: I just wanted to follow up on the question that was just asked. Secretary Blinken while in Beijing has made a point to say that a key focus of his is stressing to China the US’s opposition to China’s support through trade of the Russian economy and its defense industrial base. Could you comment on that specifically? How did Foreign Minister Wang respond to that today when Secretary Blinken brought it up? And is China willing to take any steps at all to limit its trade with Russia in response to concerns by not only the United States but also by Europe as well?

Wang Wenbin: I gave a detailed response on the two foreign ministers’ meeting just now. I can add some broad responses to the questions you raised.

It is hypocritical and highly irresponsible for the United States to falsely accuse China of our normal trade and economic exchanges with Russia, while passing legislation to provide massive aid to Ukraine. 

The root cause of the Ukraine crisis lies in regional security tensions that have built up in Europe over the years. Only by accommodating the legitimate security concerns of all parties and creating a balanced, effective, and sustainable European security architecture through dialogue and negotiation can the issue be properly addressed. China did not create the Ukraine crisis, nor are we a party to it. China’s position on Ukraine has been just and objective. We have actively promoted talks for peace. Shifting the blame to China will not end the crisis, nor will it help those who find themselves in a difficult position on Ukraine. 

As a Chinese saying goes, “Let the person who tied the bell on the tiger take it off.” We urge the US to stop scapegoating China and make real efforts to find a political end to the Ukraine crisis.

We never fan the flames or seek selfish gains, and we will certainly not accept being the scapegoat. China will continue to stand on the side of peace, dialogue, and justice, and play a constructive and responsible role to put an early end to the crisis. In the meantime, we will firmly uphold our legitimate and lawful rights and interests.

Bloomberg: Yesterday the Press Trust of India reported that the “Tibetan government-in-exile” is holding back-channel talks with the Chinese government. Can you confirm any of his comments?

Wang Wenbin: The so-called “Tibetan government-in-exile” is entirely an organized separatist political group with a political platform and an agenda for “Tibetan independence.” It is an illicit organization that violates China’s Constitution and laws. No country in the world recognizes it. 

The Chinese government has two basic principles when it comes to contact and talks. First, we would only have contact and talks with the personal representative of the 14th Dalai Lama, not the so-called “Tibetan government-in-exile” or “Central Tibetan Administration.” The Chinese government will not be dealing with it. Second, any contact or talks will only be about the personal future of the 14th Dalai Lama himself, or at most, a handful of people close to him, not the so-called “high degree of autonomy for Tibet.” We hope the 14th Dalai Lama will have a right understanding of the central government’s policy, seriously reflect on and thoroughly correct its political propositions and actions, give up any activity aimed at disrupting the social order in Xizang, and return to the right path. Only then can future contact and talks be considered.

CCTV: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg reportedly said on April 25 that “last year, Russia imported 90 percent of its microelectronics from China; China is also working to provide Russia with improved satellite capabilities and imaging; China says it wants good relations with the West; At the same time, Beijing continues to fuel the largest armed conflict in Europe since World War Two; They cannot have it both ways.” What is China’s comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: Those comments lack factual basis. They’re aimed at shifting blame and diverting people’s attention from the real problem.

China is not a creator of or a party to the Ukraine crisis. We are committed to promoting talks for peace. China does not provide weapons to the parties to conflicts and strictly controls the export of dual-use articles, including drones for civilian use. There are statistics, however, which show that over 60 percent of Russia’s imports of weapon components and dual-use articles come from the US and other Western countries. Our normal trade with Russia is done aboveboard. It’s consistent with WTO rules and market principles. It does not target any third party and should not be interfered with or come under coercion by anyone. NATO bears unshirkable responsibility for the crisis. It should reflect on the role it has played, stop the blame game, and truly do something to enable the political settlement of the crisis.

China News Service: It’s reported that at the opening ceremony of the Petersberg Climate Dialogue held recently in Berlin, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock strongly urged “those who can to join our effort, and particularly the strongest polluters of today, particularly looking at the G20”. It is also reported that at the meeting, countries are negotiating for a new global climate finance target. The German Foreign Minister called on China and other countries to provide more funding for developing countries to deal with climate change. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: We noted the reports and German Foreign Minister Baerbock’s remarks that Germany and Europe need to work with China on climate change and competition in clean technology is positive for green transition.

Climate change, a global challenge, requires a global response. Global climate governance should follow the widely agreed principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Developed countries have the historical responsibility and capability to take the lead in climate response and fulfill their obligations under the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.

As the largest developing country, China is a doer in fighting climate change. We have not only exceeded the climate action goals committed for the year 2020 ahead of schedule, promised to make the biggest reduction in carbon emission intensity in the shortest time span in world history, but also actively contributed to the global climate response. In 2022, the wind and photovoltaic products exported by China helped other countries cut around 573 million tonnes of CO2 and cut 2.83 billion tonnes of carbon emissions in total, accounting for around 41 percent of the world’s total carbon emissions reduction converted from renewable energy from the same period.

Regrettably, however, the EU has recently launched a couple of anti-subsidy investigations and other trade remedies on China’s new energy vehicles and wind power equipment, which sends a negative signal of protectionism. The EU cannot ask China to contribute to climate response while going after China’s new energy sector. This self-contradictory move will not only harm the EU itself, but also disrupt the global response to climate change.

China and the EU have enormous space for cooperation on both climate response and in the new energy sector. The two sides should and can be partners. Both sides and the world stand to benefit. We hope the EU will not adopt discriminatory policy against China’s new energy products, which could make everyone lose.

O Globo: The tensions in the Middle East were one of the topics on the discussion today between Secretary Blinken and Mr. Wang Yi, as you mentioned. Can you give more details? What were the discussions?

Wang Wenbin: I shared details on the meeting between the two foreign ministers. On the Middle East situation, we made clear China’s positions many times, which you may refer to.

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