|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on June 29, 2021|
CCTV: Yesterday, President Xi Jinping held a video conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The two heads of state issued a joint statement, officially deciding to extend the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. How do you assess this meeting? What's your expectation of China-Russia relations looking ahead?
Wang Wenbin: The meeting is the second virtual interaction between President Xi and President Putin since the beginning of this year. The two heads of state affirmed the important significance of the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia and officially decided to extend it. President Putin expressed warm congratulations on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. The two sides made top-level designs on practical cooperation in various fields and held in-depth exchange of views on major international issues of common concern, reaching important new consensus.
Head-of-state guidance is the most fundamental guarantee for the steady and sustained development of China-Russia relations. Under the strategic guidance of President Xi and President Putin, the China-Russia relations for a new era stand at their historical best. On the basis of strong political mutual trust, mutual understanding and traditional friendship between the two peoples has been deepened. Following the principle of win-win cooperation, the two sides accommodate each other's interests and concerns and have fruitful cooperation in such areas as hi-tech, space, aviation and nuclear energy, which has given a strong boost to development and rejuvenation in both countries and significantly improved peoples' well-being.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. Our two countries are committed to developing a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination with everlasting friendship. The past two decades are just the prologue. We are convinced that good-neighborliness and friendship is the mainstream public opinion in both countries and mutual benefit represents the consistent direction of bilateral cooperation. Guided by the two heads of state and the spirit of the Treaty, China-Russia relations and bilateral cooperation in various sectors will see greater progress and deliver more outcomes, which will contribute to fostering a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.
Reuters: Japan's deputy defense minister on Monday spoke of the growing threat posed by Chinese and Russian collaboration and said it was necessary to "wake up" to Beijing's pressure on Taiwan and protect the island "as a democratic country." What's the ministry's comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: China deplores the erroneous remarks by the senior Japanese government official, and has lodged solemn representations with the Japanese side.
Some Japanese politicians, in disregard of the fact of China's peaceful development, unjustifiably point fingers at China's socioeconomic development and normal national defense building, portray China as a threat, and openly stoke big-power confrontation with the sinister motive to find excuses to break free from the military restrictions imposed on Japan over crimes of aggression committed by Japanese militarism in history. This is extremely irresponsible and dangerous.
The politician in question flagrantly refers to Taiwan as a "country" on multiple occasions, severely violating principles set out in the four political documents including the China-Japan Joint Statement and its solemn and repeated commitment of not seeing Taiwan as a country. We ask Japan to make crystal clarification, and ensure that such things won't happen again.
There is but one China in the world, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's sacred territory. The Taiwan question bears on the political foundation of China-Japan relations, the basic trust and good faith between the two countries and the international rule of law and justice. We seriously urge the Japanese side to earnestly honor its commitment, be prudent in words and actions, avoid undermining China's sovereignty in any form and refrain from sending any wrong signal to the "Taiwan independence" forces. I would like to stress that China's will and determination to safeguard national sovereignty, security and unity is unshakable. China must and will be reunified. This is an unstoppable historical trend.
Macao Monthly: It is reported that on June 28, Michael McCaul, the Republican lawmaker on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US House of Representatives said through his spokesperson that he opposed the Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement Act to be reviewed this Wednesday, which means the Committee will likely advance the bill this week with only Democratic support. The Ensuring American Global Leadership and Engagement Act was adopted by the US Senate on June 8 with the intention to boost the country's ability to compete with China in science and technology. What is China's comment?
Wang Wenbin: China has expressed its solemn positions on relevant act passed by the US Congress. The act disregards facts, plays up strategic competition with China, slanders and smears China's development path and its domestic and foreign policies, and interferes in China internal affairs and undermines China's interests with regard to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. China firmly opposes that and will steadfastly safeguard its interests.
How the US develops and enhances its own competitiveness is its own business. However, the US should not make an issue out of China, nor should it view China as an imaginary enemy. The worst enemy of the US is itself. What the US lawmakers should focus on is to get its own house in order.
The Chinese side urges relevant US legislators to abandon zero-sum mentality and ideological prejudice, stop conducting political manipulation of China-related issues, cease reviewing and advancing relevant China-related negative act, and delete relevant negative clauses. They should contribute more to promoting China-US relations and mutual trust and cooperation, so as to create favorable conditions for bilateral cooperation in important areas.
Reuters: Australia has filed a formal complaint to the World Trade Organization over China's duties on bottled wine imports, the WTO confirmed on Monday, and gives both sides 60 days to confer on the subject. What's China's stance on resolving this conflict and does China expect a formal dispute panel to be set up?
Wang Wenbin: I'll refer you to the competent authorities. I would just like to reiterate that China abides by WTO rules and handles matters accordingly.
Xinhua News Agencey: An academic report: Xinjiang – understanding complexity, building peace by Eurispes – Istituto di Studi Politici Economici e Sociali, Centro Studi Eurasia-Mediterraneo and Istituto Diplomatico Internazionale has recently been published. Fabio Massimo Palandi, an Italian scholar of international relations and author of the report, said that he saw with his own eyes in Xinjiang the full religious freedom enjoyed by ethnic minority groups including Uyghurs and found no sign of the so-called allegations of "forced labor" and "genocide". He pointed out that Western accusations on Xinjiang are unfounded. Does China have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: I have also taken note of this academic report which was penned by independent researchers and signed by dozens of world-renowned academics, political figures and journalists. Fabio Massimo Palandi, the Italian scholar of international relations who authored the report, said that some Western think tanks, scholars and media have invented false reports and accusations on Xinjiang, causing a grave negative impact. These individuals and institutions are openly anti-China. Their false reports were packaged as independent reports, based on which some Western governments imposed groundless sanctions on Xinjiang. Their purpose is not to protect human rights in Xinjiang, but to suppress and contain China. Precisely for this reason he and other scholars decided to write a report as objective and independent as possible to help the world see how Xinjiang was once plagued by terrorism and separatism and how the Chinese government adopted highly effective counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures on the basis of rule and law, respect for human rights and protection of the lawful rights and interests of those concerned.
Apart from this report, I've also noted a recent article by Tom Fowdy, a British political and international relations analyst, which laid bare the hypocrisy of Western countries and media in their attitude towards the treatment of Muslims. On one hand they show no remorse for the crimes committed by the US and its allies in the Islamic world over many years; on the other they keep wantonly accusing China of the so-called human rights abuses in Xinjiang and hyping up the matter. They even attempt to inveigle Islamic countries into criticizing China. Such double standard is absurd and unreliable.
I'd like to stress that facts speak louder than words. The lies on Xinjiang fabricated by a few will eventually be exposed by the truth and fact of Xinjiang's rapid social and economic development and harmonious coexistence of people of all ethnic groups.
Beijing Media Network: It is reported that the prime minister's office of Ethiopia declared a unilateral ceasefire in Tigray region starting from June 28. What is China's comment?
Wang Wenbin: China welcomes the declaration made by the Ethiopian government of a unilateral ceasefire in Tigray region to ensure the normal operation of farming and humanitarian relief work there. We sincerely hope that people in Tigray region and the rest of Ethiopia will enjoy peace and stability, and achieve development and prosperity. We support relevant parties in Ethiopia in realizing national reconciliation through political dialogue. We believe that Ethiopia has the wisdom and capability to properly handle its internal affairs.
Reuters: Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Monday that"We are a strong trade partner with China, we have a historic relationship, but it is absolutely not comparable, and it does not interfere with, the alliance of values we have with the United States." What's the ministry's comment on this and does this stance affect China's ties with Italy?
Wang Wenbin: Italy is China's comprehensive strategic partner. In recent years, China-Italy relations have been growing in a sound and steady manner. The two sides have worked hand in hand to fight COVID-19 and promoted practical cooperation and various forms of cultural exchange, bringing tangible benefits to both peoples. As two ancient civilizations, China and Italy have a relationship rooted in history and founded on popular support. We believe it will maintain steady development going forward.
Shenzhen TV: A recent New York Times report indicates that the Chinese vaccines may not be very effective at preventing the spread of the virus in Chile. What is China's comment?
Wang Wenbin: I stated our position on this issue yesterday. Relevant allegation is nothing but distortion of facts and sensational accusations.
A leading official from Chile's health authorities said in response that he regretted to hear statements that Chile has problems with vaccination, which is not true. He said it really bothers him that some people out there should say the Sinovac vaccine has not worked in Chile without having any scientific information to back that up, and demanded that those statements be corrected. The Chilean government has stated on many occasions that facts show that the Sinovac vaccine is safe and effective.Chilean medical experts believe that had there not been mass vaccination supported by the Chinese vaccine, the consequences would have been catastrophic. Chilean netizens agree that the smear against the Chinese vaccine is bias-motivated, and that Sinovac's vaccine has worked well in Chile.
We hope that relevant media and politicians will respect facts and the opinions of the Chilean government and people, refrain from misleading the public, and make concrete contributions to promoting the accessibility and affordability of vaccines in developing countries rather than the opposite.
The Paper: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in an interview during his trip to Europe that the goal of the United States is to support a free and open system that was established after World War Two. Besides, the US State Department published a readout saying that Secretary Blinken and leaders of European countries discussed Transatlantic cooperation in addressing China's coercive economic practices and attempts at undermining the rules-based international order. What's your comment?
Wang Wenbin: China has always been an advocate of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of the international order. China's development adds to the force for world peace. I would also like to stress three points:
First, the US is the biggest saboteur of the international order. The US willfully withdraw from treaties and organizations and wantonly imposes illegal unilateral sanctions and military coercion on other countries, causing grave harm to international and regional peace and stability and seriously violating international law and basic norms governing international relations.
Second, the "rules-based international order" claimed by the US is, in essence, a hegemonic order in which the US dominates the world. The overwhelming majority of countries in the world, including US allies, do not agree with such an order. It is echoed and followed by only a handful of countries.
Third, there is only one system in the world, and that is the international system with the UN at its core. There is only one set of rules, and that is the basic norms governing international relations based on the UN Charter. The international order should not be a hegemonic one dominated by the US, and international rules should not be made by the US or a small bloc led by the US. Countries should uphold the universal values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom, practice true multilateralism, promote democracy in international relations, and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.