Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on November 9, 2021
2021/11/09

CCTV: A high-level session on the 20th anniversary of China's accession to the WTO was held in Shanghai. Guests from various countries had discussions on the significance of China's accession to the WTO and spoke highly of that. Do you have any comment on that?

Wang Wenbin: The High-level Session on the 20th Anniversary of China's Accession to the WTO was held in Shanghai on November 5. Vice President Wang Qishan attended the event and delivered a speech. And the forum was also attended by Vice Premier Hu Chunhua, Secretary of the CPC Shanghai Municipal Committee Li Qiang, WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, UNCTAD Secretary-General Rebeca Grynspan, President of the New Development Bank Marcos Troyjo and diplomatic envoys in China.

Guests at the forum called China's accession to the WTO a milestone event and a right choice China has made in line with the trend of economic globalization. It has generated a new wave of domestic development while injecting fresh impetus into the world economy. The past 20 years have witnessed a China deepening reform and seizing opportunities. Its GDP increased 8 times, and its share in the world increased from 4% in 2001 to 17.4% in 2020, and it has become the world's second largest economy and top trading nation. Also, China has led developing countries in utilized foreign investment. The past 20 years have witnessed a China pursuing all-round opening up and stepping up to its responsibilities, and promoting mutual benefits and win-win results. China has contributed nearly 30 percent in global growth on average over the past two decades and become a positive contributor to the sustained development of global economy and staunch supporter of multilateral trading system.

As the world economy is deeply integrated, the interests of all countries are more closely intertwined. Taking the 20th anniversary of its accession to the WTO as a new starting point, China will continue to open up at a higher level, create a market environment where domestic and foreign companies are treated as equals and compete on a level playing field, and share China's opportunities with the rest of the world. China will continue to uphold multilateral trading system and work to move WTO reform in the right direction with a constructive attitude. China will also deepen regional and bilateral economic and trade cooperation, promote openness and cooperation around the world, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Bloomberg: A question on the US administration's plans to launch a global infrastructure program, which is intended to counter China's Belt and Road Initiative. This could launch as soon as January. It's called the "Build Back Better World" program. Does the Foreign Ministry have a comment on the "Build Back Better World" program?

Wang Wenbin: Since its inception eight years ago, the Belt and Road Initiative has followed the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits and the philosophy of open, green and clean cooperation and high-standard, people-centered development, promoted the construction of a large batch of cooperation projects, strengthened connectivity and delivered tangible benefits to the people of our BRI partners. It has become the most popular international public good and the largest cooperation platform.

We believe that there is wide room for global infrastructure cooperation and various initiatives don't have to counter or replace each other. Countries should work to build rather than tear down bridges, promote connectivity rather than decoupling, seek mutual benefits and win-win results rather than isolation and exclusiveness.

We hope the US will take concrete actions to earnestly boost common development and revitalization of all.

CCTV: Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) said in a recent interview that "China's performance in IP protection and IP commercialization has already spoken for itself". Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: According to the 2021 edition of the Global Innovation Index (GII) published in September, China moved up the ranks to the 12th place in the GII and stands as the only middle-income economy in the list of top 30. This ranking is above some developed economies like Japan and Canada. In 2020, China's R&D expenditure ranked the second in the world at 2,442.6 billion yuan, which accounts for 2.4% of its GDP. China filed more than 68,000 international patent applications, making it the country with the largest number of international patent applications for the second consecutive year. These achievements are the result of the ingenuity and hard work of the Chinese people and the Chinese government's vigorous efforts to advance the IPR strategy and innovation-driven development strategy.

China always attaches great importance to the IPR work. In 2019, China issued the Guideline on Strengthening Intellectual Property Rights Protection. In 2020, China promulgated the Civil Code and completed a new round of revisions to the Patent Law, Copyright Law and Criminal Law, further improving the legal system for IPR protection. China has also issued several policy documents, including the opinions on strengthening punishment of IPR infringements in accordance with the law, opinions on strengthening destruction of pirated and counterfeit goods, opinions on strengthening mediation of IPR disputes, and standard for determination of trademark infringement. In 2021, the Chinese government issued the outline for building a country strong on intellectual property rights (2021-2035), which listed "legal guarantee and strict protection" as the first of its four working principles. So far, China has established 54 IPR protection centers, 28 rapid IPR protection centers, and 22 local sub-centers of the National Guidance Center for Handling Overseas Intellectual Property Disputes. The system of rapid and coordinated handling of IPR cases is being improved by the day.

While building a country strong on intellectual property, China is actively participating in global governance of intellectual property. We have joined almost all major international conventions on intellectual property, and taken effective measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of intellectual property owners at home and abroad.

Recently, the Chinese government issued the national plan for IPR protection and application for the 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-2025), which sets out the four goals: bringing IPR protection to a new stage, scoring new achievements in IPR application, bringing IPR services to a new level, and making new breakthroughs in international cooperation. Looking ahead, China will further open up its IPR to the world in a wider scope, in more areas and at a deeper level, continuously upgrade its international cooperation with WIPO and other parties, and make more contributions to the balanced, inclusive and sustainable development of global intellectual property rights.

Reuters: Over the weekend, satellite imagery was discovered revealing mockups of equipment that appeared to be US Navy carriers and other related military equipment in Xinjiang. We would like to ask once again if China has any response to these observations?

Wang Wenbin: I already responded to a related question yesterday and you may refer to that.

Bloomberg: A question on a letter from several diplomats based in Beijing from countries such as the US, UK, Japan, EU, Switzerland, etc. This letter was addressed to the head of China Customs and asks China Customs to postpone the implementation of two new decrees on food imports. The reason for this, the diplomats cited a lack of clarity around the rules and how they might be implemented. They also said that the situation posed a risk to global food supply chains. Does the Foreign Ministry have any comment on this letter from the diplomats to the China Customs head?

Wang Wenbin: I would like to refer you to competent authorities.

Associated Press of Pakistan: Pakistan and China have very close cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Can you share some details of it and update on the provision of vaccines to Pakistan by the Chinese side?

Wang Wenbin: China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic cooperative partners. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, China and Pakistan have stood together in solidarity against the pandemic and achieved positive outcomes, setting an example for international cooperation against the pandemic.

China attaches great importance to Pakistan's needs in vaccines and conducts close cooperation with the Pakistani side. China takes Pakistan as a priority in vaccine assistance and export and has offered strong support for Pakistan by various means including vaccine assistance, procurement and through COVAX. Just a few days ago, 200,000 doses of vaccines provided by the Red Cross Society of China arrived in Islamabad. Chinese companies have also launched vaccine production cooperation in Pakistan.

China will continue to stand firmly with Pakistan and strengthen anti-epidemic cooperation including on vaccines until the epidemics are defeated.

RIA Novosti: National security advisers of Russia, Iran and five Central Asian countries tomorrow will attend the Delhi regional security dialogue on Afghanistan. Indian media earlier reported that China and Pakistan were also invited, but both have declined to participate. Could you please confirm that China has declined the invitation of the Indian side and provide any detail why it happened?

Wang Wenbin: China is not able to attend the meeting due to scheduling reasons and has notified the Indian side in reply.

Radio Television Hong Kong: Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor said in an interview that she expected Hong Kong's land border with China's mainland to reopen to quarantine-free travel in February next year, and such travel would be limited to Guangdong province initially. Has the central government decided on a definite date for the reopening and made any specific arrangements?

Wang Wenbin: This issue does not fall under the purview of the foreign ministry. Please refer to competent authorities.

MASTV: US leader issued a statement on November 8 which made accusations about human rights and democratic conditions of many countries and regions, including Hong Kong. What is China's comment?

Wang Wenbin: We resolutely oppose the US attempt to discredit Hong Kong, disrupt the SAR's rule of law and cast a shadow on its development under the pretext of human rights and democracy. Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs, which brook no foreign interference. Since the promulgation and implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong, black-clad violence has almost disappeared, public order and people's normal life have resumed, and all legitimate rights of Hong Kong residents and foreigners in Hong Kong have been earnestly protected. Now rid of chaos, Hong Kong faces a bright prospect of transition from chaos to order and prosperity. Our Hong Kong compatriots now enjoy unprecedented democracy, freedoms and rights compared with under the British colonial rule. The US side hailed violence and crimes including harming Hong Kong residents and vandalizing public facilities as "a beautiful sight to behold", while smearing the Hong Kong SAR government's law-based protection of people's rights and the public order as "violation" of human rights and freedoms. This once again reflects the US double standard and exposes the hypocrisy of US "human rights" and "democracy".

As before, the US tries to justify its interference in other countries' internal affairs and its moves undermining regional and international security in the name of "human rights" and "democracy". But be it Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan, facts have proven time and again that the US brings to the world turmoil and chaos instead of stability and prosperity by forcibly selling its democracy and values to others. The US has overdrawn its credit of human rights and democracy, and the "American democracy" has long been bankrupt.