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​Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on June 19, 2024
2024-06-19 19:43

CCTV: The fifth China-EU High-Level Environment and Climate Dialogue was held in Brussels yesterday. Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang led a delegation to the dialogue. We noted that this is the first high-level dialogue between China and the EU after the European Commission’s pre-disclosure of proposed duties last week based on its anti-subsidy investigation on China’s electric vehicles. Can you share more information about the dialogue? Is the dialogue helpful to resolving the trade frictions between China and the EU on electric vehicles?

Lin Jian: On June 18, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council Ding Xuexiang met with Executive Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič in Brussels, Belgium, and they co-chaired the fifth China-EU High-Level Environment and Climate Dialogue.

Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang noted that in recent years, President Xi Jinping and EU leaders have met several times, reaching multiple common understandings on enhancing China-EU cooperation on green transition. We need to jointly deliver on these important common understandings, work for more fruitful outcomes in our cooperation on green transition, and consolidate the momentum of steady improvement in China-EU ties. China and the EU have extensive common interests and huge space for cooperation in green transition. It is important to effectively leverage the role of the high-level dialogue mechanism, seek common ground while shelving differences, work in the same direction, keep the positive momentum of environmental and climate cooperation going, and deepen the green partnership between China and the EU.

Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang emphasized that electric vehicles are a landmark product of the green and low-carbon energy transition. The EU’s plan to impose additional duties on imports of Chinese electric vehicles is typical protectionism, which is not conducive to the EU’s green transition and would undermine the global cooperation on climate change. He expressed hope that the EU will enhance the consistency of its policies on environmental, climate, trade and economic cooperation with China, avoid economic and trade frictions that could delay the green transition process, and refrain from establishing green barriers that would interfere with normal trade and economic cooperation between China and the EU. The two sides need to properly address trade frictions through dialogue and consultation. China is firm in its resolve to safeguard its legitimate and lawful rights and interests.

Šefčovič said the EU appreciated China’s strong measures and notable results in promoting green and low-carbon development, and is willing to deepen cooperation with China in areas such as tackling climate change and protecting the ecological environment, and to work together to ensure the success of UNFCCC COP29. The EU side attaches great importance to the electric vehicle industry and is willing to properly handle differences with China through dialogue.

Yonhap News Agency: The ROK-China diplomatic and security dialogue was held in Seoul yesterday. According to the readout from the ROK Foreign Ministry, China noted at the dialogue that its policy on the Peninsula issue remains unchanged and China is ready to continue to play a constructive role in solving the Peninsula issue. The Chinese side also met with ROK Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul, and said that China hopes the engagement between the DPRK and Russia will contribute to regional peace and stability. Has China stated its position that the engagement between the DPRK and Russia will contribute to regional peace and stability? What does China believe are the outcomes of the dialogue? 

Lin Jian: On June 18, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Sun Weidong and Deputy Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of the Central Military Commission Zhang Baoqun co-chaired the first China-ROK 2+2 vice-ministerial level diplomatic and security dialogue with Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Kim Hong Kyun and Director General of International Policy Bureau of the Ministry of National Defense Lee Seung-buhm of the ROK in Seoul. The two sides communicated their diplomatic and security policies, and had candid and in-depth exchanges of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. On the same day, Vice Foreign Minister Sun Weidong and relevant officials also met with ROK Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yul.

Both sides stressed that they value and would like to grow the good neighborly relations and mutually-beneficial cooperation between the two countries. They agreed to actively carry out dialogue and exchanges at all levels and in various areas, step up communication, enhance political mutual trust and advance practical cooperation through dialogue mechanisms including the high-level strategic dialogue between the foreign ministries, the 2+2 diplomatic and security dialogue and the track 1.5 dialogue, and promote the sound and steady development of the China-ROK strategic cooperative partnership. The two sides agreed to enhance exchanges at the sub-national level and between the youth to steadily improve the friendly relations between the two peoples. China stated its solemn position on issues bearing on China’s core interests and major concerns, such as the Taiwan question, and asked the ROK to handle these issues properly. The ROK reiterated that it remains unchanged in its position of respecting the one-China principle.

The Chinese side pointed out that China champions the common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security vision, practices true multilateralism, advocates that countries’ legitimate security concerns should be respected, advances global security cooperation through dialogue and consultation, and opposes hegemonism, unilateralism and power politics. China and the ROK, having both benefited from economic globalization, need to jointly safeguard the stable and unimpeded global industrial and supply chains, reject turning economic issues into political or security issues, and oppose all forms of trade protectionism and moves to build walls and set up obstacles.

The two sides communicated their positions and views on the Korean Peninsula issue. China stressed that safeguarding peace and stability on the Peninsula is consistent with the common interests of all parties, including China and the ROK. How the Korean Peninsula issue developed into the current situation and where the crux lies is clear. The pressing task is to cool down the situation, avoid escalation of confrontation and rivalry, and keep to the major direction of political settlement. China has always determined its position on the merits of the matter itself and will continue to play a constructive role in its own way in the Peninsula affairs.

The ROK mentioned the engagement and cooperation between the DPRK and Russia. The Chinese side noted that the DPRK and Russia, as friendly and close neighbors, have the legitimate need for exchanges, cooperation and development of relations. Relevant high-level engagement is the bilateral arrangement between two sovereign countries. Holding the first vice-ministerial level diplomatic and security dialogue between China and the ROK was agreed quite early on by the two sides in light of the need of growing bilateral relations and has no particular link to the engagement between other countries. 

Bloomberg: A senior US official is set to visit Japan and the Netherlands to ask them to add fresh restrictions on China’s semiconductor sector. This would include on China’s ability to make the high-end memory chips that are needed for AI. Would the Foreign Ministry like to comment on that?

Lin Jian: We noted the report. The US has been inciting bloc confrontation and even extending it to trade and technology, and coercing other countries to go after China’s semiconductor industry. China firmly opposes it.

The US behavior is aimed at perpetuating its supremacy and denying China’ legitimate right to grow and thrive. In order to take exclusive control of the top end of the value chain, the US would go so far as to destabilize global industrial and supply chains. This will not only handicap the global semiconductor industry, but also eventually backfire and do no one good. We hope relevant countries will do the right thing, firmly resist coercion, and jointly uphold an open and fair international trade order to protect their own long-term interests.

Hubei Media Group: We noted that China-Europe freight train services recorded the highest monthly transport volume in May. What’s your comment?

Lin Jian: The China-Europe Railway Express has performed remarkably well this year. In May in particular, the China-Europe freight train services made 1,724 trips and carried 186,000 TEUs of goods, up by 14 percent and 13 percent respectively year-on-year and hitting a new monthly high. By the end of last month, the number of trips run by China-Europe freight trains exceeded 90,000 and carried more than USD 380 billion worth of cargo in total. Last week, China-Europe freight train services launched fully timetabled journeys that depart from Chongqing and Yiwu, which reduces the journey time to about 13 days from China to Germany.

These freight trains carry not just cargo but also hope. They connect China and Europe and show the world not only the speed and vitality of Belt and Road cooperation, but also the dynamism and openness of the Chinese economy. The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, among other international institutions, in recent reports revised up their forecast for China’s economic growth rate. In May, China’s total imports and exports of goods grew by 8.6 percent year-on-year, 0.6 percentage points higher than the previous month. In the first five months of this year, accumulated imports and exports in China hit a record high compared with the same periods of previous years.

We stand ready to work with countries along the routes of the China-Europe Railway Express to speed up the high-quality development of the China-Europe freight train services, make sure that global industrial and supply chains stay stable, help the world economy grow and bring more benefits to the people of those countries.

Reuters: It’s reported that Liaoning police is investigating a case of illegal foreign exchange activity and money laundering. Based on clues from the US, the Chinese government said the case is a good example of China-US counter-narcotics cooperation. Why is it regarded as an example of China-US counter-narcotics cooperation? Can you share more details of the case? How is the China-US counter-narcotics cooperation going? Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy of the US Rahul Gupta is visiting China now. What is China’s expectation for the visit?

Lin Jian: I’d refer you to competent authorities of China for your question.

Bloomberg: Ecuador has temporarily stopped a visa agreement with China, citing “a worrying increase in migratory flows” from China in recent months. Does the Ministry want to comment on this?

Lin Jian: I answered the question yesterday. Let me stress that the agreement on mutual visa exemption between China and Ecuador, since it took effect in August 2016, has played an important and positive role in promoting cross-border travel and practical cooperation in various fields between the two countries.

AFP: The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday that China’s support for Russia’s defense industry is prolonging the Ukraine war and has to stop. Do you have any comment on these remarks by Antony Blinken?

Lin Jian: We’ve repeatedly stated China’s position on this. I would like to reiterate that on the Ukraine crisis, China never fuels the flames or exploits the situation for selfish gains and is committed to promoting talks for peace. China does not provide weapons to the parties to the conflict and strictly controls the export of dual-use articles, which is widely recognized by the international community. We firmly oppose attempts of the US to spread baseless disinformation and shift blame to China.

Bloomberg: China and Sri Lanka just held diplomatic consultations in Beijing. Have those talks resulted in progress on a final agreement with China Exim Bank or on an in-principle deal with China Development Bank?

Lin Jian: On the 13th round of China-Sri Lanka diplomatic consultations, China has released a readout, which you may refer to.

What I can tell you is that the Chinese side has been providing assistance to Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic development to the best of our capability. We stand ready to continue to work with relevant countries and international financial institutions to support Sri Lanka’s debt sustainability. On your specific question, I’d refer you to competent authorities.

Dragon TV: It’s reported that at the 2+2 vice-ministerial level diplomatic and security dialogue with the ROK held yesterday, the ROK expressed concerns on “defectors” and asked China to ensure the DPRK “defectors” in China are not forcibly returned and can go to their desired destinations. What’s China’s comment?

Lin Jian: There is no so-called “DPRK defectors” in China. People who illegally enter China for economic reasons are not refugees. China handles these illegal entries under the principles of both domestic and international laws and the spirit of humanitarianism. We hope relevant side will not politicize this issue and create obstacles for China to handle it.

AFP: The Philippine military said today that the Chinese Coast Guard boarded Filipino boats in the South China Sea this week. They also said that the Chinese Coast Guard seized guns from these boats. The Philippine military said that happened near Ren’ai Jiao. So is that true? Can you tell us what happened exactly?

Lin Jian: Let me stress that what directly led to this situation is the Philippines’ ignoring of China’s dissuasion and deliberate intrusion into the waters of Ren’ai Jiao which is part of China’s Nansha Qundao. The law enforcement action taken by China Coast Guard on the scene was professional and restrained and aimed at stopping the illegal “resupply mission.” China Coast Guard didn’t take direct measures against the Philippine personnel. The Philippines keeps saying that they were sending living necessities, but secretly they’ve been trying to send construction materials and even weapons and ammunition to the grounded warship for the long-term occupation of Ren’ai Jiao. China urges the Philippines to stop its infringement and provocation at once. We will continue to defend our sovereignty and lawful rights and interests.

AFP: China will send to the Olympic Games next month in Paris a total of 11 swimmers who have been named in a doping positive case. The US Anti-Doping Agency had criticized the World Anti-Doping Agency, accusing it of hiding this case. Then the World Anti-Doping Agency has said it will send a team to China to investigate the case. Do you have any updates on when the team will come to China?

Lin Jian: We answered relevant questions before. Let me stress that the Chinese government has a zero-tolerance attitude toward doping and strictly abides by the World Anti-Doping Code. China is committed to protecting the physical and mental wellness of our athletes, ensuring fair competition in sport and contributing to the unified global anti-doping campaign.

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