|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on June 28, 2021|
At the invitation of Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio of Italy, President of the G20, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting on June 29 via video link. The meeting will discuss topics such as multilateralism and global governance.
CCTV: Could you give us more details as well as China's expectation for State Councilor Wang Yi's attendance at the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting you just announced?
Wang Wenbin: Under the current circumstances, it is of great significance to practice multilateralism and improve global economic governance. As the premier forum for international economic cooperation, the G20 is expected to play a greater leading role in fighting the epidemic and promoting global economic recovery. China hopes that at this foreign ministers' meeting, all parties will uphold the spirit of partnership, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and send a strong signal to the world that G20 will lead the global fight against the epidemic, restore the world economy, improve global economic governance, and promote inclusive and sustainable development, so as to lay a foundation for the success of the Rome summit, and provide confidence and impetus for an early global victory against the virus and a stable economic recovery.
AFP: Italy's Prime Minister said on Friday that China's Sinovac jab "has shown to be inadequate", in his words. He's referring to Chile's experience of relying heavily on this jab for immunization. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this issue?
Wang Wenbin: The Chinese government always attaches high importance to vaccine safety and efficacy. Chinese companies have been putting their best efforts into advancing vaccine R&D in strict accordance with science and regulatory requirements. They have also been actively pursuing international cooperation on this front. Relevant Chinese vaccines have been included in the Emergency Use Listing (EUL) by the WHO, a strong testament to the safety and efficacy of the Chinese vaccines and technical routes.
We've also noted that recently many countries, including their health authorities, have spoken highly of Chinese vaccines' safety and efficacy. Polls in some countries also show full confidence in Chinese vaccines among local residents.
China will continue making tangible contributions to the equitable access of vaccines in developing countries.
Global Times: It's reported that the US experts on the coronavirus origins task force of the authoritative medical journal the Lancet are under "threat", and the chair of the task force is even "pressured" to ask the experts on the task force to renounce the"bat-spillover" theory, which is underpinned by ample scientific evidence, and turn to support the "lab leak" theory. Some experts may have to resign to uphold their scientific positions. What is the foreign ministry's comment?
Wang Wenbin: I have also taken note of this. I have also noted that the US side has called for termination of the scientific research on early cases of COVID-19 in the US, which it deems at odds with its interests. This once again exposes that the US, while claiming to seek science-based origin tracing, is actually engaging in political manipulation under the pretext of the epidemic. While it says it wants to prevent another outbreak, what's really on its mind is just to shift the blame to China.
Origin tracing is a serious scientific matter that requires international cooperation by scientists across the globe. However, for some time, some in the US have been clamoring for intelligence-led investigation in disregard of science and facts. Now they intend to use sinister ploy on the international scientific community to force scientists to bow in the face of their hegemony, bullying and coercion. This violates the spirit of science, undermines global cooperation in origin tracing, challenges and defiles human justice. The US practice of politicization is immoral and unpopular, and will eventually end up in failure.
We once again urge the US side to immediately stop its political manipulation on the origin tracing issue, and stop playing dirty tricks on the scientific community. It should adopt a scientific and transparent attitude to invite WHO experts for origin tracing study in the US, and provide a responsible account of the real situation at Fort Detrick and the more than 200 bio labs it runs all around the world.
Bloomberg: India has redirected at least 50,000 troops to its border with China. This is according to a story from Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter. According to some of those people, that puts the troops at 200,000 focused on the border, an increase of around 40% over last year. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: The situation at China-India border maintains general stability, and the two sides are resolving the boundary issue through negotiation. Against such background, the words and deeds of relevant important military and government officials, and military deployments should be conducive to deescalating and cooling down the situation, and to enhancing mutual trust, rather than the opposite.
Beijing Daily: It is reported that Dr. Danielle Anderson, a former Assistant Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School who once worked in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, said that she's dumbfounded by the portrayal of the lab by some media outside China, and the toxic attacks on scientists that have ensued. Anderson is convinced no virus was made intentionally to infect people and deliberately released. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China has repeatedly stressed that origin-tracing is a scientific matter that should not be politicized. Many scientists in the international community who uphold science, reason and objectivity, including Dr. Anderson, have expressed unequivocal opposition to politicizing the origin-tracing by some in the US.
Dr. Anderson also said that there were strict protocols and requirements at the Wuhan Institute of Virology and entering and exiting the facility was a carefully choreographed endeavor. Responding to the Wall Street Journal report which claimed three researchers from the lab were hospitalized with flu-like symptoms in November 2019, she said no one she knew at the Wuhan institute was ill toward the end of 2019.
Besides, we also saw reports that Massimo Galli, head of the Infectious Diseases Unit at the University of Milan-affiliated Luigi Sacco Hospital in Milan, Italy, said at a committee for social affairs of the Chamber of Deputies that the coronavirus is an unknown virus with no signs of genome engineering inside and the "lab-leak" theory has no scientific basis at all. Galli and three other Italian experts -- Massimo Ciccozzi from the University of Biomedical Campus in Rome, Fausto Baldanti, head of the virus research lab at the Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo in Pavia, and Giuseppe Ippolito, an expert at the Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases -- believe that the virus is 99% likely to be the result of natural spillover.
Facts have proved time and again that the accusation of "Wuhan laboratory leaking the novel coronavirus" that some people in the US are clamoring for has no factual basis. We once again urge the US to respect facts and science, immediately stop politicizing origin-tracing, give a responsible explanation as soon as possible on the international community's concern about Fort Detrick and its over 200 bio labs around the world, and invite WHO experts to the US to carry out origin-tracing study at an early date.
Nikkei: Why is State Councilor Wang Yi attending the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting by video instead of on site? Will any Chinese vice foreign minister or other officials attend the meeting?
Wang Wenbin: It's the scheduled arrangement that State Councilor Wang Yi should attend the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting via video link. As for the attendance of other foreign ministry officials, we will release information in due course. Please stay tuned.
CCTV: It is reported that on June 25, the first power grid project under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Matiari to Lahore ±660kV HVDC Transmission Line Project in Pakistan, contracted by the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), started power transmission. This is the first direct current transmission line in Pakistan, which can serve the electricity needs of about 10 million households in Lahore and northern Pakistan. Could I have your comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: As an important pilot project of the Belt and Road Initiative, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has made significant progress in various sectors including energy since its launch. This has not only vigorously boosted Pakistan's faster economic and social development, but also played a positive role in promoting regional connectivity. The Matiari to Lahore ±660kV HVDC Transmission Line Project is another vivid example of how the CPEC has contributed to the improvement of people's livelihood and economic development in Pakistan. This project will offer the local people access to stable and high-quality electricity, which is of great significance for Pakistan to break the bottleneck of south-north power transmission and optimize the power distribution.
I'd like to stress that the BRI came from China, but it creates opportunities and good results for all countries, and benefits the whole world. To date, up to 140 partner countries have signed documents on Belt and Road cooperation with China. Trade between China and BRI partners has exceeded 9.2 trillion US dollars. The BRI has truly become the world's broadest-based and largest platform for international cooperation. China is ready to join hands with Pakistan and other countries to continue our high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. These efforts will generate more opportunities and dividends to all.
The Paper: It is reported that diplomats from Western countries, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Ukraine's withdrawal from the anti-China joint statement made by Canada at the UN Human Rights Council is the result of pressure from China. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: Ukraine's withdrawal of endorsement of the anti-China joint statement is an independent decision made by an independent, sovereign state. The Chinese side already stated its principled position on this.
I'd like to share with you one more fact. Milorad Dodik, rotating chairman of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina, made a public announcement condemning the "illegal" accession by Bosnia and Herzegovina of the joint statement that smears and attacks China during the 47th Session of the Human Rights Council. He fully supports China's territorial integrity and all the actions China takes to safeguard sovereignty.
I want to stress that the joint statement pursued by countries including Canada at the UN Human Rights Council was an interference in China's internal affairs in the name of human rights. It is unjustifiable and will find no popular support. The Ukrainian decision is line with purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations. We welcome this.
We also noted that in February when Canada launched the so-called declaration against "arbitrary detention", countries like Benin made it clear that they did not participate in the declaration but was forcibly put on the list by Canada. The US and some other countries deploy all kinds of despicable means to pressure developing countries into not supporting China, even with the threat of cutting off assistance and sanctioning their officials. Some countries pointed out that the US aims to control and restrain other countries, and disobedience entails countermeasures such as punishment and suppression. This is a selfish act that violates diplomatic ethics and norms of international interactions. It reveals the nature of "bare-knuckles diplomacy" of Canada and the US and is reprehensible.
Countries who spread lies and rumors about China cannot face up to the fact that every time a handful of countries smear and attack China under the pretext of human rights, the majority of countries would step up to defend justice and truth. In July 2019, permanent representatives of over 50 countries to the UN Office at Geneva co-signed a letter to the President of the UN Human Rights Council and High Commissioner for Human Rights, commending China for its counter-terrorism, de-radicalization, and human rights protection achievements. In October 2019, at the Third Committee session of the 74th UNGA, more than 60 countries applauded in their statements the tremendous human rights progress achieved in Xinjiang, China. In March 2021, a joint statement was made on behalf of 71 countries at the 46th session of the UN Human Rights Council in support of China's position on Hong Kong-related issues. In June 2021, over 90 countries supported China by making joint statement or statements in their national capacity at the Human Rights Council and the number of countries supporting China is increasing.
Facts speak so much louder and justice will always prevail. The attempt to interfere in China's domestic affairs by a few countries will only bring disgrace onto themselves.