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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on May 24, 2024
2024-05-24 23:48

CCTV: The 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) will open on May 27. We learned that many countries have expressed support for China’s position on Taiwan-related issues at the WHA. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: There is only one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. China’s position on the Taiwan region’s participation in the activities of international organizations, including the WHO, is consistent and clear. It must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle. This is a fundamental principle reaffirmed in UNGA Resolution 2758 and WHA Resolution 25.1. 

For eight consecutive years from 2009 to 2016, China made special arrangement for the Taiwan region’s participation in the WHA on the basis of the adherence of both sides of the Taiwan Strait to the one-China principle. After coming into power in 2016, the DPP has refused to recognize the 1992 Consensus, which embodies the one-China principle, and has 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. To uphold the one-China principle and the sanctity and authority of relevant UNGA and WHA resolutions, China has decided not to approve the Taiwan region’s participation in this year’s WHA. This decision received extensive support and understanding from the international community. Over the past few weeks, the overwhelming majority of countries have reaffirmed to China their commitment to UNGA Resolution 2758, firm support for the one-China principle and opposition to Taiwan’s participation in the WHA. Over 100 countries wrote to the WHO Director-General or expressed via other means their support for China’s position. It once again proves that the one-China principle is where global opinion trends and the arc of history bends, and shows that the vast majority of countries uphold the just position on Taiwan-related issues at the WHA. A just cause enjoys the support of many. The abiding commitment of the international community to the one-China principle is unshakable. The “Taiwan independence” separatist agenda will not succeed. Any attempt that runs contrary to the one-China principle or to play the “Taiwan card” and engage in political manipulation is bound to fail.

Reuters: Are you able to share with us whether Premier Li Qiang plans to hold a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida when he is in Seoul?

Wang Wenbin: There was a similar question yesterday. You may refer to my answer.

Bloomberg: According to the Foreign Ministry’s press release, Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi met with Chief Advisor to the President of Brazil Celso Amorim yesterday in Beijing. During the talks, the two sides exchanged views on resolving the Ukraine crisis and reached some common understandings. The two sides also jointly stated in the press release that both countries support an international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine. Is this the first time for China to issue such a joint statement with other countries on the settlement of the Ukraine crisis and ceasefire? Does China plan to issue similar statements with other countries as well? Does it mean that China will not attend the peace conference in Switzerland next month?

Wang Wenbin: First of all, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi yesterday held talks with Chief Advisor to the President of Brazil Celso Amorim in Beijing. They had an in-depth exchange of views on the Ukraine crisis, and reached six common understandings, which are fully embodied in the Common Understandings Between China and Brazil on Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis jointly issued by the two sides.

These six common understandings reflect not just the joint position of China and Brazil, but also the widespread concern and genuine desire of the vast international community for promoting political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

The full-blown Ukraine crisis is now in its third year. The fighting has shown no sign of stopping and generated more spillovers. The conflict could further escalate. It is widely believed that the pressing priority is to cool down the situation and accumulate conditions for ceasefire.

Many developing countries, including China and Brazil, have called for upholding an objective and just position on the Ukraine crisis. All of us believe that dialogue and negotiation is the only viable way out of the crisis. All of us oppose fueling the flames, and hope to build up international consensus to find the most extensive common ground for restoring peace.

The common understandings, though jointly initiated by China and Brazil, are meant for the world. We welcome more countries, developing and developed countries alike, to support and endorse these common understandings, and jointly play a constructive role in deescalating the situation and promoting talks for peace.

On your specific questions, I would like to say that China and Brazil both represent major developing countries and emerging economies. Both are founding members of BRICS. China-Brazil relations have strategic and overall significance that goes beyond the bilateral scope. We share a similar stance on the Ukraine crisis and deep concerns over the protracted crisis. Both are committed to achieving an early political settlement to the crisis and opposed to certain countries’ bloc confrontation and fueling the crisis. These common understandings represent our two countries’ common stance on Ukraine and reflect both countries’ image as major responsible countries. The common understandings are a solution and contribution from China and Brazil for peace and we welcome more members of the international community to endorse them.

You also asked whether that means China will not attend the peace conference in Switzerland next month. The answer can be found in the six common understandings issued by China and Brazil. The second common understanding says the two sides believe that all parties should create conditions for the resumption of direct dialogue and push for the deescalation of the situation until the realization of a comprehensive ceasefire. China and Brazil support an international peace conference held at a proper time that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine, with equal participation of all parties as well as fair discussion of all peace plans.

Beijing Daily: According to the World Economic Situations and Prospects Mid-Year Update released days ago by the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs, China’s economic growth is expected to be 4.8 percent, up by 0.1 percentage points compared with the prediction in January. What’s your comment? 

Wang Wenbin: We noted the report. Many international financial institutions made positive assessment on China’s economy, believing now is a good time to develop a portfolio in China and expressing the desire to continue to invest in China. UBS raised its rating on a Chinese mainland stock index and Hong Kong stocks to overweight.

This year, China’s economy is off to a good start and positive factors continue to build in its economic performance. We have every confidence in hitting the targets set for this year’s growth.

China is a strong engine of the world economy. China’s prosperity brings important opportunities for global prosperity. We remain committed to high-quality development and high-standard opening-up and will keep contributing our part to faster global recovery.

Hubei Media Group: We noted over 300,000 TEUs of freight were transported via the new western land-sea corridor train service so far this year. Can you share more about the latest development of the new western land-sea corridor train service and offer some comment?

Wang Wenbin: The new western land-sea corridor locates in China’s western hinterland, connecting the silk road economic belt and the 21st century maritime silk road and supporting the high-standard opening up and the building of a new development paradigm in western China. In 2019, the Chinese government rolled out the master plan for the new western land-sea corridor. Over the past years, guided by the goal of building a whole chain, a vast platform and a new business model, the new western land-sea corridor has seen its multimodal transport booming and the logistic network hubs taking shape at a faster pace, bringing cargoes across mountains and waters and connecting the world with services. The corridor has become a vivid example of China’s high-level opening up on a greater scale.

From a single train route to a whole network, the multimodal transport of the new western land-sea corridor now covers 72 cities in 18 provinces, regions and municipalities in China and carries cargo to 514 ports of 123 countries and regions worldwide. In 2023, the sea-rail combined transport carried 860,000 TEUs of goods, up by 14 percent year-on-year. High-quality agricultural products from Viet Nam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and other countries have been brought into the Chinese market and reached the tables of Chinese consumers. China’s new energy products, new material products and electromechanical products have been transported overseas, giving a strong boost to the economic growth of ASEAN countries.

As General Secretary Xi Jinping noted, the development of the new western land-sea corridor is of great significance in the building of an opening-up paradigm that connects China and the world as well as the eastern and western regions of the nation. We noted that many provinces along the corridor are rolling out policy measures to make the new western land-sea corridor an open corridor for development of strategic importance with better connectivity both at home and beyond. With a thriving “silk road on steel rail”, we are confident that the new western land-sea corridor will continue to reach further, support bigger trade and bolster deeper industrial cooperation and become an international economic corridor with robust impetus.

AFP: The Philippines said today it has opened a coast guard post in the north of the country. They said it’s a response to what they call “China’s military buildup” near Taiwan over the past two years. What’s your response to that?

Wang Wenbin: I’m not familiar with what you said. We urge the Philippines to stay committed to the one-China principle and stay prudent when it comes to the Taiwan question. 

Reuters: Boeing confirmed today that plane deliveries to China have been delayed due to the review from Chinese regulators. Could you please share more information about this review and China’s position on the delivery of Boeing airplanes to Chinese customers?

Wang Wenbin: I’d refer you to competent authorities on that. 

AFP: A question on Guatemala. The Guatemalan Exporters Association said yesterday that China banned the entry of Guatemala’s coffee and macadamia nuts. Is this true? If it’s true, what’s the reasons for the ban?

Wang Wenbin: There’s no diplomatic relations between China and Guatemala. I’ve not heard of what you said. 

What I will say is that there is only 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. The one-China principle is a universally recognized norm in international relations and a prevailing consensus among the international community. It is also the fundamental prerequisite for China to carry out cooperation with all countries including Guatemala.

President Bernardo Arévalo of Guatemala met with the Taiwan region’s leader via video link this week and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala Carlos Ramiro Martínez went to Taiwan to attend the so-called “inauguration ceremony” on May 20. These moves trample on the one-China principle. We condemn those moves. Such situation is not conducive to the cooperation between Guatemala and China, including Guatemala’s export to China. We hope relevant officials will recognize the trend of the world and proceed from the interests of the country and the people to make the right decision soon which serves its people’s interests.

Reuters: During his visit to Beijing last October, Kenya’s President William Ruto asked China for USD one billion loan to complete road construction projects that have stalled in various places around the country, when the government encountered the liquidity challenges after the onset of the COVID pandemic. Kenyan government officials, including the Finance Minister, have since told Reuters the details of the loan were being worked on by both sides, but the funding has not been released. Can the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirm that China is in talks to Kenya over this loan and can it confirm the amount under negotiation? Which structural institution would provide the funding? And when will the loan be approved?

Wang Wenbin: In recent years, China and Kenya have engaged in extensive practical cooperation on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit. Projects such as the Mumbasa-Nairobi railway and the Nairobi Expressway linking the airport and the capital have greatly improved Kenya’s infrastructure and received wide recognition from the Kenyan side. Our cooperation has become a good example of China-Africa Belt and Road cooperation. As for your question about the loan, China’s financial institutions are in active consultation on specific matters with the Kenyan side. Both sides will do their level best to implement the common understanding reached by the two presidents, further expand and deepen practical cooperation in investment, financing and other fields so as to deliver more tangibly for the Kenyan people and further deepen and solidify our comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership with Kenya.

AFP: Another question on the military drills around Taiwan. The US’s high official yesterday strongly urged China to act with restraint. What’s your reaction to these US remarks?

Wang Wenbin: Taiwan is China’s Taiwan. The US is in no position to point its fingers at China. The tensions in the Taiwan Strait are caused by the DPP authorities’ attempt to solicit US support for “Taiwan independence” and the attempt of some in the US to use Taiwan to contain China in the name of regional peace and stability. If the US truly wants to keep the Taiwan Strait peaceful and stable, it should unequivocally uphold the one-China principle and oppose “Taiwan independence”. China will never tolerate any attempt by anyone to provide an umbrella for “Taiwan independence” separatist activities under whatever pretexts. The world has spoken up for justice. Over the past few days, political leaders and people from various sectors in many countries have reaffirmed their commitment to the one-China principle and support for China’s opposition to “Taiwan independence” separatist activities and the cause for national reunification. This once again demonstrates that the international community’s abiding commitment to the one-China principle is simply unshakable. 

Attempts for “Taiwan independence” will lead nowhere. Anyone who connives at and supports “Taiwan independence” will get burned for playing with fire. Nothing will deter China from upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will do anything necessary to thwart any attempt for “Taiwan independence.”

Phoenix TV: It’s reported that the second hearing on the case of Yuen Chung Biu, Office Manager of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, and two other men charged by the UK police will begin later today at the UK’s Central Criminal Court. Any comment on that? 

Wang Wenbin: Over the past few weeks, the UK side has framed cases and charges to vilify China in the name of national security, and even arbitrarily arrested and prosecuted Chinese citizens in the UK and disrupted the normal functioning of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London. China deplores and opposes it. The UK’s false accusations and egregious moves trample on the rule of law. This is an act of political manipulation using national security as a pretext. What the UK has done seriously violates the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the UK, harms China-UK relations, breaches the principles of international law and basic norms of international relations, and undermines the UK’s own image. China strongly urges the UK to correct its wrongdoing at once, protect the lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens in the UK and ensure normal functioning of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London. China will take firm measures to uphold the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens and institutions overseas.

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