|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on November 20, 2020|
Invited by Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and ROK Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay official visits to Japan and the ROK from November 24 to 27.
CRI: At a recent press conference, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Babar Iftikhar, Director General of the Inter-Services Public Relations of the Pakistan Armed Forces, accused India of supporting terrorist forces in Pakistan and sabotaging the building of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with relevant evidence published. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: I responded to relevant questions previously. China opposes terrorism in all manifestations and any double standard on counter-terrorism. We call on the international community, especially regional countries, to carry out counter-terrorism cooperation and safeguard collective security. China appreciates Pakistan's contribution to the international counter-terrorism cause. We firmly supports Pakistan's efforts to combat terrorist forces and safeguard national and regional peace and security.
CPEC is a major pioneering project of the Belt and Road Initiative. It is of great significance tonot only the common development of China and Pakistan, but also regional connectivity and common prosperity. We are confident that with the support from the international community, China and Pakistan will ensure the smooth and successful building and running of CPEC. Meanwhile, we believe that any attempt to disrupt the building of CPEC would be foiled eventually.
Reuters: Japanese Prime Minister said that Japan aims to expand the CPTPP. Will State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi discuss China's possible participation in the CPTPP during his upcoming trip?
Zhao Lijian: China is a staunch supporter of trade liberalization and facilitation and also an important participant in Asia Pacific cooperation and economic integration. For various free trade arrangements, as long as they serve economic integration of the Asia Pacific, comply with the principles of transparency, openness and inclusiveness, and uphold the WTO-centered global free trade regime, China remains positive and open towards them.
I just released information on State Councilor Wang Yi's visit to Japan. As for details of his visit, we will release relevant information in due course.
Kyodo News: During State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Japan, will the two sides talk about President Xi Jinping's visit to Japan?
Zhao Lijian: I just released information on State Councilor Wang Yi's visit to Japan. As for details of his visit, we will release relevant information in due course.
South China Morning Post: Reports say that China and India will soon hold the 9th round of Commander-level talks. Do you have something to share on preparations for the 9th round and any details on the 8th round of talks?
Zhao Lijian: China and India have been in communication with each other through diplomatic and military channels, working to ease up and cool down the situation on the ground. We've already released information on the 8th round of talks. We will release information on the 9th round when we have them.
Beijing Daily: When asked whether he regretted that Canadian border authorities arrested Meng Wanzhou at a Q&A session of the APEC CEO Dialogues on November 19, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said "Do I regret that Canada lived up to a long-standing extradition treaty with our closest ally? Absolutely not." Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: I've also got some questions for the Canadian side. First, why Canada is the only country that "abides by" its extradition treaty with the US on this matter? The United States has extradition treaties with many countries. Second, do other countries that have such treaties with the United States not abide by their obligations? Third, why don't they do what Canada does? This is because they don't want to be part of the US' dirty scheme and to serve the US' self-interest at the expense of their own people.
China's position on the Meng Wanzhou incident is clear and firm. It must be stressed that in the face of all these facts and questionable points disclosed, no matter how hard the Canadian government tries to hide the truth and mislead the public, it will never change the political nature of the Meng Wanzhou incident, and the disgraceful role of the Canadian government as the US' accomplice and pawn.
We also noted that more and more insightful people in Canada have spoken out, asking the Canadian government to independently make the decision to release Ms. Meng Wanzhou, and among them are political leaders, lawyers, judges and retired diplomats. We urge the Canadian leader to heed their voices of justice and reason.
Xinhua News Agency: Mongolia continuously reported a few domestic COVID-19 cases in recent days and its government has announced the state of alert across the country and adopted a number of measures on epidemic control and prevention. As its close neighbor, would China provide assistance and support to Mongolia?
Zhao Lijian: China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the two countries have joined hands with each other in fighting the epidemic and achieved positive outcomes. Recently, there has been new changes in the COVID-19 situation in Mongolia and its government and people are taking proactive anti-epidemic measures. China is closely following the situation and keeping close communication with the Mongolian side. The Chinese government has decided to provide a batch of nucleic acid testing equipment and reagents to Mongolia in emergency to help and support its anti-epidemic efforts. China will continue to actively provide assistance in light of the demand from the Mongolian side to the best of our ability. We wish and believe that under the leadership of its government, Mongolia will defeat the epidemic at an early date.
China Daily: Not long ago, the World Bank projected that global per capita incomes are expected to decline by 3.6% this year, which will tip 88 million to 115 million people into extreme poverty. How do you view the role China plays in global poverty alleviation?
Zhao Lijian: This year is the concluding year for the completion of the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects and to end extreme poverty in China. Elimination of poverty in all its forms, including extreme poverty, is the biggest global challenge and a prerequisite for achieving sustainable development.
China has been sharing experience on poverty eradication with the world and contributing to global endeavor in this regard. Over the past 40 years or so after China's reform and opening up began, according to World Bank statistics, 800 million Chinese were lifted out of poverty. China will lift all rural residents living below the current poverty line out of poverty within this year, thereby meeting the target of eradicating extreme poverty set out in Agenda 2030 ten years ahead of schedule, making historic contributions to poverty elimination and peaceful development across the world. China's visions on poverty alleviation, including "targeted poverty reduction" and "tailoring policies to local conditions", are drawing more and more attention from the international community. China has recently put together a selection of poverty reduction cases in the form of a book titled Eradication of Poverty: China's Practices to share our experience and practice. You are most welcome to follow and report our work and outcomes in this area.
China is taking concrete actions to support poverty eradication worldwide. While making efforts in our own country, we have also been helping developing countries to the best of our ability. China has been creating more synergies between the BRI cooperation and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. According to a World Bank report, BRI projects could help lift 7.6 million people out of extreme poverty and 32 million people from moderate poverty. Through bilateral and multilateral channels, we are helping developing countries with their capacity building, which also contributes to poverty eradication cooperation worldwide.
"The world will be a better place only when everyone is better off." China will continue contributing our strength to international cooperation on poverty alleviation.
Nihon Keizai Shimbun: Does State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi need to be quarantined after his visit to Japan and the Republic of Korea? If yes, for how many days?
Zhao Lijian: We will make arrangements in accordance with relevant national epidemic prevention regulations.
NHK: On State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi's visit to Japan, what is China's expectation for this visit?
Zhao Lijian: During State Councilor Wang's visit, he will hold talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi and meet with Japanese political leaders.
China-Japan relations have been developing in a sustained and steady manner. China hopes to work with Japan through this visit to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, deepen high-level strategic communication and cooperation in fighting COVID-19 and resuming work and production, strengthen coordination on international and regional affairs and advance the healthy and steady development of China-Japan relations.
CNR: The 11th Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo has come to an end, according to the DRC Health Minister who announced it on November 18. World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros congratulated the government and people once again on defeating the Ebola epidemic. May I ask what role China has played in the efforts of the DRC to combat the Ebola epidemic?
Zhao Lijian: We are glad to see that the 11th Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has been over. We congratulate the DRC government and the people and pay tribute to the health-care workers who have made important contributions to the fight against the epidemic.
Health-care and medical cooperation is an important part of cooperation between China and Africa. China has been paying close attention to the development of the Ebola epidemic in the DRC and actively provided assistance and support within its capabilities to the DRC and relevant countries in the region to prevent and control the Ebola epidemic. In recent years, China has provided a number of emergency humanitarian assistance and sent expert groups to the relevant countries to assist in the fight against the epidemic, and carried out cooperation with WHO and the African Union in this field. We have been using concrete actions to live up to the China-Africa brotherly friendship sharing weal and woe, which has been spoken very positively by all parties. It is another example to show that solidarity and cooperation is the most powerful weapon in the fight against the epidemic.
At present, China and Africa are working hand in hand to combat COVID-19. China is willing to work with African countries, including the DRC, to implement the outcomes of the FOCAC Beijing Summit and the Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19, strengthen the prevention system and capacity building of public health sectors in African countries, enhance their capacity to meet the challenges of major infectious diseases, and build a China-Africa community of health. At the same time, we call on the international community to come up with more concrete measures to help African countries overcome the epidemic at an early date.
AFP: The Canadian Ambassador to China has been allowed to speak virtually to Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, the two Canadians held on spying charges. I wonder if the face-to-face consular access will resume soon?
Zhao Lijian: We stated China's position on multiple occasions. Our policy will be adjusted based on the development of the epidemic situation.
Tass: Andrew Wheeler, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is to visit Taiwan in December to discuss cooperation on marine environment protection issues. What is the Foreign Ministry's comment?
Zhao Lijian: China firmly opposes all forms of official exchanges between the United States and Taiwan. This position is consistent and clear. We urge the U.S. side to fully grasp the high sensitivity of the Taiwan question, stick to the one China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, immediately halt their official ties and interactions with Taiwan in any form, and prudently and properly handle Taiwan-related issues so as to avoid any serious harm to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and China-US cooperation in relevant key areas. China will make legitimate and necessary reactions in light of the development of the situation on the ground.