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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on May 13, 2024
2024-05-13 21:29

At the invitation of Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, Foreign Minister II Dato’ Erywan Pehin Yusof of Brunei will pay an official visit to China from May 13 to 15.

CCTV: On May 10, the Tenth Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly passed a resolution with 143 countries in favor, nine against and 25 abstaining. The resolution determines that the State of Palestine is qualified for full UN membership in line with the UN Charter, and recommends that the Security Council reconsider its application to join the UN. China voted in favor and joined the co-sponsorship of this resolution. Could you further share with us China’s position?

Wang Wenbin: Our UN representative has fully stated our position in the explanation of vote. Let me stress that independent statehood has been a long-cherished aspiration of the Palestinian people and full membership in the UN is a crucial step in this historic process. It is the strong call of the international community and the common responsibility of all parties to support and advance the process of Palestine’s independent statehood and provide strong support for the implementation of the two-State solution and lasting peace in the Middle East. The GA Emergency Special Session adopted by an overwhelming majority a resolution to reaffirm the right of Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to the Independent State of Palestine, determine that the State of Palestine is qualified for full membership in the UN, and recommend that the Security Council reconsider favorably its application to join the UN. This reflects the will of the international community. China supports the Security Council’s early reconsideration of the application of the State of Palestine as recommended by the GA resolution. We urge relevant countries to stop standing on the opposite side of the international community, international justice, and conscience of humanity, and stop creating hurdles for Palestine to join the UN. 

The resolution includes modalities for Palestine’s participation in UN activities and relevant meetings, granting it additional rights and privileges. These special modalities are a remedy for the historical injustice long endured by Palestine and a rectification of the US abusive use of veto. The resolution makes it clear that these modalities are adopted on an exceptional basis without setting a precedent. We hope Palestine will become a full UN Member State soon and will enjoy full and equal rights in the UN like other Member States.

AFP: I’m wondering if the Foreign Ministry is able to confirm that President Putin is going to visit China in the coming days?

Wang Wenbin: This year marks the 75th anniversary of China-Russia diplomatic relations. China greatly values the strategic guidance of head-of-state diplomacy for our bilateral relations with Russia. The two presidents agreed to maintain close interactions to ensure the smooth and steady growth of bilateral ties. As for your specific question, I have nothing to share at the moment.

China-Arab TV: The Ministerial Meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum is said to be held in late May in Beijing. Can you share more details?

Wang Wenbin: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the inception of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. Over the past two decades, under the guidance of head-of-state diplomacy, the Forum has always served its purpose of enhancing dialogue and cooperation and promoting peace and development, and has become a golden brand in promoting  collective dialogue and practical cooperation between China and Arab states. The Forum has made important contribution in advancing relations between China and Arab states and set up a fine example of South-South cooperation.

The 10th Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum will be held in China and will be the first ministerial conference held since the inaugural China-Arab states summit. The meeting is highly important in building on past achievements and charting the future. The two sides are making intensive preparations for the meeting. We will release timely information about the meeting. Please stay tuned. 

Shenzhen TV: According to the US Department of State, the meeting of the China-US Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s was held days ago in Washington. Could you share more details with us? What’s your comment on China-US cooperation on climate change?

Wang Wenbin: On May 8 and 9, the meeting of the China-US Working Group on Enhancing Climate Action in the 2020s was held in Washington, DC. It was co-chaired by China’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Liu Zhenmin and Senior Advisor to the US President for International Climate Policy John Podesta. China released a readout which you may refer to. I can quickly go over some of the details for you.

The meeting recalled the discussion between the two Presidents in San Francisco and focused on areas identified in the Sunnylands Statement on Enhancing Cooperation to Address the Climate Crisis, including energy transition, methane and other non-CO2 greenhouse gases, circular economy and resource efficiency, as well as cooperation on multilateral issues related to promoting a successful UNFCCC COP 29. The two sides shared the experiences and challenges regarding their respective climate policies and actions, and further expressed their intention to engage in related technical and policy exchange. The two sides intend to host a second “Methane and Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases Summit” at COP 29 and look forward to the China-US High-Level Event on Subnational Climate Action, to be held May 29 to 30, in Berkeley, California.

In that context, I need to point out that despite its professed willingness to strengthen cooperation with China on climate change, the US has been hyping up the so-called “overcapacity” in China’s new energy sector and vowing to impose additional tariff hikes on Chinese electrical vehicles and solar products. This is self-defeating. It goes against the consensus reached in San Francisco on joint climate response, and more importantly, it will harm the world’s green economic transition and climate action. We urge the US to stop repairing and digging up the road at the same time, so to speak, and create enabling conditions for China-US climate cooperation and global green transition.

Bloomberg: The South Korean Foreign Minister will be visiting Beijing, I think later tonight. Can you tell me what does China see as the main priority of the discussions? Will you be addressing issues of mutual concern, such as the upcoming trilateral summit with Japan, maybe North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and also whether the US is moving to place more restrictions on the export of semiconductors?

Wang Wenbin: We announced ROK Foreign Minister’s visit to China last week. We will release timely information on the talks between the two foreign ministers. Please check back for updates.

AFP: There’s a report out today by Amnesty International that concludes that China is putting pressure on overseas Chinese students who engage in political activism in other countries. Does China have any comment on this report by Amnesty?

Wang Wenbin: What you mentioned is sheer smear and vilification. Any objective media outlet will find that the vast majority of Chinese nationals overseas are proud of the development achievements of their home country.

Reuters: Regarding the Philippines coast guard on what they said today, the coast guards in the Philippines said that they are committed to a presence at Sabina Shoal in the South China Sea where it also said China attempted to build an “artificial island.” The coast guard there said it discovered piles of dead and crushed corals dumped along the sand bars around the shoal and that it has been able to prevent China from carrying out reclamation activities there. Could we understand what happened at the shoal? Did China begin to reclaim land at the shoal? And also did the Philippines approach Chinese vessels or personnel to stop reclamation activities there? 

Wang Wenbin: The Philippines has repeatedly spread rumors, deliberately vilified China and tried to mislead the international community. None of those attempts will succeed. China urges the Philippines to stop making irresponsible remarks, face up to the facts and return to the right track of properly handling maritime disputes through negotiation and consultation.

Ukrinform News Agency: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Special Representative of the Chinese government Li Hui carried out the third round of shuttle diplomacy on the issue of Russian war against Ukraine. Could you share more details about the results of this round?

Wang Wenbin: From May 3 to 9, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs Li Hui carried out the third round of shuttle diplomacy on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. He visited Türkiye, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Before and after the visit, Special Representative Li Hui had discussions with officials from countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa and Kazakhstan. China’s relentless effort of promoting talks for peace has been commended by various parties.

During this round of shuttle diplomacy, parties expressed concerns over the potential escalation of the ongoing conflict and they shared the view that the pressing need is to push for deescalation. They applauded China’s proposal to call for deescalation, which is as follows:

First, China calls on all parties to observe three principles for deescalating the situation. Number one, no expansion of the battlefield. Fighting should not spread to a third country and no third party should be dragged into the fighting. Number two, no escalation of fighting. Weapon of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons and biochemical weapons should not be used. Attacks on nuclear facilities should be opposed. Nuclear disaster should be prevented. Civilians should not be attacked. Number three, no fanning by any party of the flames. Any word or deed that is not conducive to ceasefire should be avoided.

Second, dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis. The parties to the conflict should create conditions for the resumption of direct dialogue and deescalate the situation until the realization of a comprehensive ceasefire.

Third, efforts are needed to increase humanitarian assistance to relevant areas, improve humanitarian conditions and prevent a humanitarian crisis on a larger scale. Parties to the conflict should avoid attacking civilians or civilian facilities, protect women, children and other victims of the conflict, and respect the basic rights of prisoners of war (POW). China supports the exchange of POWs between the parties to the conflict.

Fourth, the use of nuclear weapons and chemical and biological weapons should be opposed. Nuclear proliferation must be prevented and nuclear crisis avoided.

Fifth, armed attacks against nuclear power plants or other peaceful nuclear facilities must be opposed. All parties should comply with international law including the Convention on Nuclear Safety and resolutely avoid man-made nuclear accidents.

Sixth, China calls for joint support for international cooperation on energy, finance, food trade, transportation, etc. and joint efforts to uphold the security of critical infrastructure, including oil and gas pipelines, electricity and energy facilities and undersea optical cables, so as to protect the stability of global industrial and supply chains.

All parties agreed to maintain communication and coordination. They welcome efforts by the international community to support and promote deescalation, and jointly play a constructive role for ceasefire and promoting talks for peace. 

CCTV: Registration for the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) will close today. Taiwan has not received an invitation. The DPP authorities claim that its absence from the WHA will cause a “gap” in global anti-epidemic efforts. What’s the Chinese government’s comment? 

Wang Wenbin: There is but one China in the world. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. China’s position on the Taiwan region’s participation in the activities of international organizations, including the WHO, is consistent and clear, that is, this must be handled under the one-China principle, which is also a fundamental principle demonstrated by the UNGA Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1.

China’s Taiwan region, unless given approval by the Central Government, has no basis, reason or right to participate in the WHA. After coming into power in 2016, the DPP has refused to recognize the 1992 consensus and been hellbent on the separatist stance of “Taiwan independence.” As a result, the political foundation for the Taiwan region to participate in the WHA no longer exists. Hence, China has decided not to approve the Taiwan region’s participation in this year’s WHA. This decision has sufficient reason and a solid legal basis. It’s not just about upholding the one-China principle but also about the sanctity and authority of relevant UNGA and WHA resolutions.

For quite some time, the DPP authorities and certain country have been deliberately distorting and challenging UNGA Resolution 2758, trumpeting the notion that Taiwan’s status is undetermined, and advocating support for Taiwan’s participation in the United Nations multilateral forums, including the WHA. These moves mislead international public opinion and challenge the one-China consensus among the international community. They trample on the international law and basic norms governing international relations, and seek to turn back the wheel of history. Such attempts will not succeed.

The DPP authorities and some countries claim that Taiwan’s absence from the WHA will cause a “gap” in global anti-epidemic efforts and use it as an excuse to demand “Taiwan’s meaningful participation” in the WHO. That’s a politically-driven and completely false claim. The Chinese Central Government has made proper arrangement for the Taiwan region’s participation in global health affairs on the condition that the one-China principle is upheld. Over the past year alone, medical and technical experts from China’s Taiwan region applied for participation in WHO technical activities 21 times, which involved 24 participants, and all the applications were approved by the Chinese Central Government. There is an International Health Regulations Contact Point in the Taiwan region for it to promptly access and report to the WHO concerning information related to health emergencies. Facts fully reflect that the Chinese Central Government has every sincerity and has taken credible and active measures to address the health issues that our compatriots in Taiwan care about, and that their rights to health are duly protected.

The one-China principle is where global opinion trends and the arc of history bends. China’s decision of not letting the Taiwan region participate in this year’s WHA has received wide support and understanding from the international community. Challenging the one-China principle will end up nowhere and turning back the wheel of history will not succeed. Any attempt to play the “Taiwan card” and use Taiwan to contain China will only be met with firm opposition from the international community and is doomed to failure.

Bloomberg: I just want to clarify the question about the reclamation. Has China sent ships or vessels to the Escoda Shoal? Can you confirm that?

Wang Wenbin: As I just said, the accusation of “China’s reclamation” at Xianbin Jiao is sheer rumor spread by the Philippines, which is an irresponsible claim designed to vilify China and mislead the international community. 

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