|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on November 4, 2021|
Hubei Media Group: The UNGA First Committee (Disarmament and International Security) approved the draft resolution "Promoting International Cooperation on Peaceful Uses in the Context of International Security" put forward by China. Could you give more insight into this as well as China's position?
Wang Wenbin: On November 3 Beijing time, the 76th session of the UNGA First Committee approved China's draft resolution "Promoting International Cooperation on Peaceful Uses in the Context of International Security".
The resolution emphasizes "the significant role of international cooperation on materials, equipment and technology for peaceful purposes in facilitating the economic and social development" and urges "all Member States, without prejudice to their non-proliferation obligations", to lift undue restrictions on developing countries' peaceful uses. It decides to include in the provisional agenda of the 77th session an item entitled "Promoting international cooperation on peaceful uses in the context of international security" and requests the Secretary-General to seek the views and recommendations of all Member States on all aspects concerned and to submit a report to the General Assembly at its 77th session next year.
It is a long-term, comprehensive and global task to coordinate security and development considerations and find the right balance between non-proliferation and peaceful uses. The approval of this resolution marks the beginning of an open, inclusive and just dialogue process under the UNGA framework. It is of great significance to upholding the legitimate rights and interests of all countries in peaceful uses of technology, ensuring that technological dividends are widely shared to the benefit of all, and properly dealing with the security challenge that comes with technological progress.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations. The resolution is a concrete step China has taken to uphold multilateralism, safeguard world peace and promote common development. It also embodies the shared position of a vast number of developing countries and serves the common interests of the entire international community. China will continue to work together with all sides to advance the dialogue process under the UNGA framework.
Global Times: The European External Action Service announced today that participants of the JCPOA and the US will restart negotiations on resumption of compliance in Vienna on November 29. Does China have any comment? What's your expectation for the prospects of the negotiations?
Wang Wenbin: China welcomes the resumption of negotiations at the end of November in Vienna. The political and diplomatic resolution of the Iranian nuclear issue now faces new opportunities. It is China's hope that relevant parties seize the opportunity, follow the correct negotiating logic, fully respect all sides' legitimate concerns regarding their interests, adopt pragmatic and flexible negotiating tactics, seek creative solutions to outstanding issues, and strive to reach agreement on compliance resumption at an early date to safeguard the international non-proliferation regime and regional peace and stability.
China has all along been actively facilitating talks on the Iranian nuclear issue. Recently we have held intensive communication and coordination with various parties and played an active role in promoting the resumption of negotiations. Going forward, we will continue to take part in negotiations in a constructive manner and contribute to bringing the JCPOA back onto the right track.
MASTV: The US Defense Department released its latest report on "Military and Security Developments Involving the People's Republic of China" on Wednesday. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: The Defense Department report, just like similar reports in the past, disregards facts and is filled with bias. The US is using this report to hype up the "China nuclear threat" theory. But this trick of manipulating rhetoric to confuse public opinion is seen through by the international community.
As a matter of fact, the top source of nuclear threat in the world is no other but the US itself. According to statistics of relevant international think tanks, by the beginning of 2021, the US actually owned 5,550 nuclear warheads. Despite possessing the world's largest and most advanced nuclear arsenal, the US is still investing trillions of dollars to upgrade its "nuclear triad", developing low-yield nuclear weapons and lowering the threshold for using nuclear weapons. In addition, the US has withdrawn from legal instruments in arms control such as the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, kept advancing the deployment of anti-missile systems around the world, resumed research and development and tests of intermediate-range land-based missiles and sought to deploy them in Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and formed a small clique with strong Cold War undertones through the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation. These US moves gravely undermine global strategic stability and international peace and security. China urges the US to earnestly assume its special and primary responsibilities toward nuclear disarmament, and drastically and substantively reduce its nuclear stockpile in a verifiable, irreversible and legally-binding manner to uphold global strategic equilibrium and stability.
I want to stress that China stays firmly committed to a self-defensive nuclear strategy, actively advocates the ultimate complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons, and keeps its nuclear force at the minimum level required for national security. China abides by the policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons at any time and under any circumstances and undertakes unequivocally not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones unconditionally. No country will be threatened by China's nuclear weapons so long as it does not use nuclear weapons against China.
CCTV: According to reports, the French ambassador to Australia and relevant French officials said that Australian Prime Minister Morrison lied about the nuclear submarine cooperation of the US, the UK and Australia, and criticized the Australian side for leaking French President Emmanuel Macron's text message to the media, calling it very inelegant. Several former Australian politicians also criticized the Morrison government for damaging Australia's reputation. What is your comment on that?
Wang Wenbin: I have noted relevant reports. I want to stress that the AUKUS nuclear submarine cooperation is not just a diplomatic spat between a few countries, but a serious matter that will create risks of nuclear proliferation and undermine regional peace and stability. It is extremely irresponsible for the Australian government to ignore its international nuclear non-proliferation obligations and the serious concerns of regional countries and the international community in pursuit of its own interests. The Australian government should correct its mistakes, abandon the Cold War mentality, conscientiously fulfill its international nuclear non-proliferation obligations, earnestly safeguard regional peace and stability and give a responsible answer to the international community.
Xinhua News Agency: According to reports, Cambodia has achieved remarkable outcomes in COVID-19 prevention and control with assistance from China, and boasts the highest COVID-19 vaccination rate among ASEAN countries. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced the other day that local restrictions would be lifted gradually from November 1 and production and work will be fully resumed. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: We applaud Cambodia's COVID-19 response and congratulate it on the remarkable outcomes.
China and Cambodia are ironclad friends. We have jointly built an impregnable line of defense against COVID-19 and set an example of solidarity against the pandemic for the international community. We will continue to support Cambodia in this fight, and our assistance will not stop until the virus is finally defeated. We stand ready to work with our Cambodian brothers and sisters to further deepen practical cooperation in various sectors, help Cambodia revitalize the economy and improve people's livelihood and make our friendship harder than iron and stronger than steel.
Kyodo News Agency: It is reported that the leader of the Taiwan region Tsai Ing-wen met with members of a European Parliament delegation today. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China strongly deplores and firmly opposes the visit to Taiwan by certain members of the European Parliament and has lodged solemn representation to the European side. As a universally recognized norm governing international relations and the consensus of the international community, the one-China principle is the political foundation for the establishment of China-EU diplomatic relations and development of ties. No official interaction with the Taiwan authorities in any form is an inherent requirement of the one-China principle. The European Parliament is an important official organ of the EU. It follows naturally that its members should fully recognize the complex and sensitive nature of the Taiwan question, stay true to the commitment made by the EU, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues and keep the political foundation for China-EU relations intact. China urges the European side to redress its mistake and avoid sending wrong signals to "Taiwan independence" separatist forces, lest it should cause a serious impact on China-Europe relations.
I would also like to point out that the DPP authorities in Taiwan tend to whitewash their "Taiwan independence" separatist acts under the disguise of democracy and human rights. But however hard they try to cover it, their true agenda of seeking independence is laid bare. Nor will they make a dent in the indisputable fact that Taiwan is part of China. The clumsy show of a few people won't shake in the slightest the international community's universal and firm commitment to the one-China principle or the inevitable trend of reunification of China. Their plot is doomed to fail.
AFP: The US Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley said yesterday that the United States military absolutely has the ability to defend Taiwan from a potential attack from China. Do you have any response to this comment?
Wang Wenbin: For some time, the US has been acting with negative and erroneous words and deeds on Taiwan, which has emboldened the "Taiwan independence" separatist forces and heightened tensions across the Taiwan Strait. The Taiwan question bears on China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and concerns China's core interests. No one should underestimate China's firm determination and will to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We will never allow anyone or any force to separate Taiwan from the motherland in any way.
The US should pursue a real one-China policy, instead of a fake one; fulfill its commitments to China faithfully rather than treacherously; truly implement the one-China policy and put it into action, instead of saying one thing and doing the opposite. We urge the US to fully recognize the highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question, abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiques, prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues, and avoid sending any wrong signal to "Taiwan-independence" separatist forces to prevent seriously hurting China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
The Paper: According to Japanese media reports, Japan's Nuclear Regulation Authority said on November 2 that marine monitoring in waters near the Fukushima nuclear power plant during the past year had been conducted with a mistakenly set threshold of radioactive substances. The error occurred because the monitoring standards had not been correctly conveyed when a new monitoring agency took over in May 2020. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China is deeply concerned about the problem mentioned in the report. Many recent media reports have exposed the chaotic management at TEPCO, the company in charge of the disposal of the nuclear-contaminated water and the inadequate supervision and management by the Japanese government. Is the error mentioned in the report an exception or the tip of the iceberg? Is the data of nuclear-contaminated water released by the Japanese side reliable and trustworthy? Stakeholders including neighboring countries have the right to the truth.
This error is also a reminder to the international community that the disposal of the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water is by no means Japan's private matter. It must be handled with the greatest prudence and stringent supervision. We urge Japan to revoke the erroneous decision to discharge the nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean. It mustn't recklessly start the ocean discharge before reaching consensus through full consultation with stakeholders and relevant international agencies.
Bloomberg: A Chinese company's shipments of solar products were detained by the US Customs as part of a crackdown by Washington over alleged human rights abuses. My question is, will China take any retaliatory action? And if so, what might that look like?
Wang Wenbin: The so-called "forced labor" in Xinjiang is an out-and-out lie. Citing this preposterous lie as an excuse, the US side has wantonly detained Chinese solar products. This again exposes the US side's malicious intention to undermine Xinjiang's development. It will also disrupt and undercut the stability of international industrial and supply chains and global cooperation on climate change. We deplore and reject the unjustified move and extend sympathy to the affected companies.
We urge the US to immediately redress its mistake, stop suppression of Chinese companies, and provide necessary conditions for our two countries to achieve steady development of relations and work together to tackle climate change. China will take all necessary measures to firmly defend the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.
Shenzhen TV: It is reported that the US Air Force Inspector General said on November 3 that an investigation concluded that the US strike in August that killed ten Afghan civilians in Kabul was an honest mistake and did not violate any laws, including the Law of War. He said there was not a person to be blamed for the error. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: The result of the US investigation is the most callous and ruthless "verdict" for the more than 32 million Afghan people who suffered so much from the scourge of war. People cannot help but ask: Is it right that the ten civilians killed by the US drone strike should have died for nothing? Is it right that the lives, human rights and freedom of the Afghan people should be treated with such contempt? This investigation once again reveals the arrogance, hypocrisy and double standard of the US on human rights issues.
Afghan lives matter. We urge the US side to respect the lives and human rights of the Afghan people, disclose the truth of the incident to the public, bring perpetrators to justice and offer compensations to the family members of the victims.
In the past 20 years, US military operations including the war in Afghanistan have resulted in over 800,000 deaths, of which about 335,000 were civilians. The international community has yet to see any investigation or accountability in the US. This is an indelible stain in the history of international human rights. The US should stop its wanton interference in other countries' internal affairs in the name of democracy and human rights, earnestly respect and protect human rights, especially those of people in developing countries and prevent recurring human rights violations.