|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on July 5, 2021|
Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council, will attend a virtual dialogue with UK business leaders on July 6 in Beijing. During the event, he will deliver remarks and have exchanges with the participants.
People's Daily: The US Ambassador to the UN reportedly told a Congress hearing that Chinese nationals are in charge of several international organizations and that China exerts "malign influence" at the UN. The Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK House of Commons in a recent report accused China of attempting to "seize control of" international organizations, "redefine the once universally agreed principles on which they are based" and weaponize them. Does China have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China is committed to upholding and practicing true multilateralism, which features win-win cooperation, not zero-sum game; equity and justice, not bullying and hegemony; focus on actions, not empty words; respect for diversity, not self-supremacy.
In recent years, the international community has been looking up to China to play a greater role in international affairs by offering Chinese solutions and making its voice heard. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and the second largest contributor to UN regular budget, China actively participates in the work of international organizations including the UN. More and more Chinese nationals are now working in international organizations including the UN, with some assuming important roles. Their performance has been highly recognized by various sides. However, the number of Chinese staff in international organizations is not in proportion with China's financial contributions and lags far behind the representation of Western countries like the US and the UK as well as some developing countries. For instance, at the UN Secretariat, there are currently 548 Chinese nationals, 1.5 percent of the total, which is only 22 percent that of the US and 70 percent that of the UK. When it comes to senior positions above the D-level, there are only 19 Chinese nationals, one third that of the UK and one fifth that of the US. China will continue to work with the vast developing world to take an active part in the work of international organizations to contribute to promoting international cooperation and practicing genuine multilateralism.
The remarks you mentioned from the US and the UK are pure slanders. The international community has a fair conclusion as to who is practicing hegemony and unilateralism in the world, cherry-picking international organizations and suppressing other countries with financial hegemony.
Reuters: The United Arab Emirates said it is offering mRNA vaccines as a booster shot for those who have been given Sinopharm vaccines. Have countries receiving Chinese vaccines expressed concerns about their effectiveness? And does China plan to import foreign vaccines for local use to supplement Chinese vaccines?
Wang Wenbin: I think I answered similar questions last week. I would like to reiterate that Chinese vaccines have earned a good reputation in the international community with their safety and efficacy widely recognized. To date over 100 countries have approved Chinese vaccines. The WHO has included vaccines by Sinopharm and Sinovac into its Emergency Use Listing (EUL). More than 30 foreign leaders have taken the lead in getting inoculated with Chinese vaccines. The first batch of vaccines to arrive in many developing nations are from China. They refer to the Chinese doses as "timely rain". Many foreign government leaders, medical experts and medical staff have shown their fellow countrymen and the whole world with their own experience that Chinese vaccines are safe and effective. The doses have contributed to the fight against the virus around the world, especially in developing countries. I also noted positive coverage on this in mainstream media a couple of days ago. The safety and efficacy of Chinese vaccines are recognized across the world.
CCTV: According to media reports, Australia has planted several "consultants" in the national epidemic prevention center in Papua New Guinea (PNG) and proactively tried to set up hurdles to delay and thwart the authorization of and access to China-assisted vaccines, even blocking PNG leaders who want to welcome the Chinese vaccines. Does China have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: Those in Australia who take advantage of vaccine issues to engage in political manipulation and bullying coercion are being callous to the life and health of the people in PNG. What they've done is a breach of the basic humanitarian spirit and gravely undermines global anti-pandemic cooperation. China voices its deep concern over and firm opposition to such irresponsible behavior.
China is committed to forging a community of health for all. We always see vaccines as a global public good and do our utmost to help developing countries save more innocent lives. We have no geopolitical agenda and attach no political strings. We urge the Australian side to stop disrupting and undermining vaccine cooperation between China and Pacific island countries and work together with us to help protect the health and wellbeing of people in island countries and advance international anti-pandemic cooperation with concrete actions.
Shenzhen TV: Tom Burt, a Microsoft vice president, said at a US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing on June 30 that in the last five years Microsoft had received 2,400 to 3,500 secrecy orders a year to obtain user data from US law enforcement and that US courts provided little meaningful oversight. Does China have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I've noted reports on this. As facts have proven time and again, it is the US that has been forcing companies to install backdoors and obtaining user data in violation of relevant rules. The US itself is the top threat to global cybersecurity.
The US has long been taking advantage of its advanced tech capacity to run invasive surveillance on people at home and abroad, steal various types of data and violate all kinds of privacy. The Patriot Act adopted after 9/11 requires cyber companies to offer regular updates on user information. This move has drawn much attention from around the world. France's CNIL decided in December last year that the French websites of Google and Amazon breached relevant French law by placing cookies on the computers of users without obtaining prior consent and without providing adequate information. Earlier, Ireland asked Facebook to suspend the transmission of EU user data to the US.
From the Snowden incident a decade ago to the recent revelation of the US tapping senior officials of its allies using undersea cables, a huge pile of facts serve to prove that the US is the "empire of hackers" and the master of theft of secrets. And yet, it uses the banner of upholding cybersecurity to suppress foreign companies and tout the so-called "clean network" that excludes specific countries. Perhaps the US is convinced that it must have full liberty while others none. This shows clearly that the US is not truly seeking to uphold cybersecurity, but only trying to keep competitors down and maintain its hegemony in cyberspace. This stands in stark contrast with the purpose and principles of the Global Initiative on Data Security proposed by China.
We call on the international community to jointly expose and reject US practices that endanger global cybersecurity and undermine global rules.
Associated Press of Pakistan: Last week, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan while speaking to the Chinese media persons who were visiting Islamabad once again praised the Chinese leadership and the CPC for pulling out several hundred million people from absolute poverty and making China the world's second largest economy in a few decades. Do you have any comments?
Wang Wenbin: I've noted relevant reports. Prime Minister Imran Khan also said that the CPC has found a unique model and brought enormous development for the Chinese society in its own way, beating many Western democracies. We appreciate these remarks. Lately many foreign political parties, leaders and people from various sectors have extended congratulations to the CPC on its centenary in various forms. They said that the CPC, committed to its founding mission, has overcome all kinds of difficulties, united and led the Chinese nation to great achievement in social and economic development. The century-long journey of the CPC is "100 years that shook the world".
As General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out at the ceremony marking the centenary of the CPC, socialism with Chinese characteristics is a fundamental achievement of the Party and the people, forged through innumerable hardships and great sacrifices, and it is the right path for us to achieve national rejuvenation. As we have upheld and developed socialism with Chinese characteristics and driven coordinated progress in material, political, cultural-ethical, social, and ecological terms, we have pioneered a new and uniquely Chinese path to modernization, and created a new model for human advancement. The CPC and the Chinese people will continue to press ahead on the path they have chosen.
Xinhua News Agency: It is reported that some "international scientists" co-signed an open letter, clamoring for a comprehensive inquiry into the origin of the novel coronavirus and even calling for an "alternative investigation" jointly carried out by Western countries with the OECD, G7 and the Quad, etc. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I noted the report you mentioned. It is not the first time for the so-called "international scientists" to resort to grandstanding.
Who are these so-called scientists? One of the initiators of the open letter is a senior researcher of the US think tank Atlantic Council. But this can conceal neither his background as a former member of the White House National Security Council nor the politician in his bones. Another is a bank data engineer, an imposter in the field of origin studies, who, emboldened by ignorance, makes unverified and irresponsible remarks.
For those "scientists" who aim to craft a publicity stunt and attract attention, my advice is, to concentrate on scientific studies of their research fields, and do something that truly benefits humanity. At the same time, we've seen many true scientists who uphold the truth-seeking spirit of science and an objective and just position being attacked and defamed by certain governments and radical forces, and even received death threats. It is thought-provoking to see such distortion of right and wrong.
We believe that among those who signed the letter are some unwitting scientists who have been kept in the dark and taken advantage of. I would like to tell them that the WHO joint mission report already reached a scientific and authoritative conclusion for the first phase of study. Don't be blinded by doctored "truth", misled by politicized "science" or deceived by rumors and lies. Come back to science and reason.
The open letter states that the investigation team should have the right to conduct a complete investigation. Origin-tracing is and can only be a joint scientific study and should never become an investigation on China only. With regard to the requirement to share raw data, China actually presented item by item raw data to WHO experts during the joint China-WHO study. Chinese and foreign experts made full use of the data to jointly identify the approach and plan for the analysis, and analyze and interpret the research outcomes. The findings of the study involve in-depth participation of foreign experts and have their full endorsement.
The open letter also proposes an "alternative investigation" carried out by Western countries with G7 and the Quad that groups US, Japan, India and Australia. This reveals the true intention of certain countries to blatantly seek presumption of guilt and political manipulation in the name of "international scientists". I want to stress once again that origin-tracing is a scientific issue. The right approach is to rely on scientists, follow the science and adopt scientific methods. The right direction is to follow the requirements in the WHA resolution and conclusions and suggestions in the joint mission report, and conduct more in-depth and thorough study and cooperation in a broader scope. Any action that politicizes origin-tracing poisons the atmosphere of scientific research, hampers global cooperation in this regard, and undermines global efforts to fight the virus. We advise certain countries and relevant forces to stop the clumsy performance, and truly contribute to human life and health.
The Paper: According to media reports, the UNESCO World Heritage Committee announced on June 22 that it's considering to put Australia's Great Barrier Reef on a list of world heritage in danger. Australia's Environment Minister claimed "there were politics behind it". Australian media believed the Australian government was pointing the finger at China, as it chairs the committee. Do you have any response?
Wang Wenbin: The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) recently recommended that the Great Barrier Reef be listed as a world heritage site "in danger", which represents a recommendation made by this professional advisory body of the World Heritage Committee based on long-term evaluation.
As a party to the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, and especially a member of the World Heritage Committee, Australia should lead by example and respect the opinion of the professional evaluation institution. It should face up to its serious failings in world heritage protection and earnestly step up preservation efforts instead of politicizing technical issues, wantonly hurling unfounded accusations at UNESCO and its professional evaluation body and shifting the blame to others. Still less should it pressure the World Heritage Committee through innuendo and sensational media reports to sway the Committee's impartial and just decision.
We urge the Australian side to earnestly fulfill its obligations under the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, take seriously the opinion of the professional body, take concrete measures to preserve the Great Barrier Reef world heritage site and take care of the treasure of the whole mankind.
CCTV: A few days ago, China's permanent mission to the UN office at Geneva held a virtual meeting on the first anniversary of the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong on the sidelines of the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Could you provide more details?
Wang Wenbin: China's permanent mission to the UN office at Geneva held the other day a virtual meeting on the first anniversary of the implementation of the national security law in Hong Kong with the theme of transition from chaos to order and prosperity on the sidelines of the 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council. Representatives from the Hong Kong SAR government and patriots shared the positive changes brought by the legislation from various perspectives. They stressed that the national security law safeguards Hong Kong residents' lawful rights and freedoms as well as the SAR's high degree of autonomy, lasting peace, security, stability and prosperity. The improvement of the electoral system helps fully implement the principle of "patriots administering Hong Kong" and ensure the steady and sustained implementation of One Country, Two Systems.
Participants said this event can help diplomats in Geneva to better understand the real situation in Hong Kong one year after the national security law entered into force. They said Hong Kong is an inalienable part of China's territory, and Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs. They support China in implementing One Country, Two Systems in Hong Kong, and believe the promulgation and implementation of the national security law and improvement of Hong Kong's election system fall within China's sovereignty. They pointed out that Western countries should work on their own human rights problems, stop politicizing human rights issues, respect other countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity and stop meddling in China's internal affairs using Hong Kong-related issues.
Since the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong SAR took effect one year ago, national security has been safeguarded, social order has been restored, rule of law and justice have been upheld, and the lawful rights and freedoms of Hong Kong citizens and foreign residents in the SAR have been better protected in a safer environment. This is an undeniable fact that all unbiased people would recognize. A few Western countries' plot to meddle in China's internal affairs under the guise of human rights will prove futile. It has been met and will continue to be met with strong opposition from the international community.