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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on December 2, 2021

2021-12-02 20:11

On December 6, Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang will hold the sixth “1+6” Roundtable in Beijing via videoconference with President David Malpass of the World Bank Group, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva of the International Monetary Fund, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Trade Organization, Director-General Guy Ryder of the International Labor Organization, Secretary-General Mathias Cormann of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Chairman Klaas Knot of the Financial Stability Board. Under the theme of “Promoting Strong, Inclusive and Sustainable Growth of the World Economy: From Recovery to Restructuring”, they will have discussions and exchanges on issues including the world economic situation, global economic governance and China’s commitment to promoting high-quality development through reform and opening-up.

The third Ministerial Meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (China-CELAC Forum) will be held via videoconference on December 3. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard Casaubón will co-chair the meeting.

CCTV: It is reported that on November 30, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the “Russia Calling!” Investment Forum that Moscow is satisfied with the high-level relations with China, and is ready to further promote the bilateral coordination and give it more strategic significance. The bilateral relationship is very stable and is a significant factor contributing to global stability. Russia will not reduce cooperation with China like some European countries at the US’ beck and call. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: China highly appreciates President Putin’s positive remarks on China-Russia relations. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia. Under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Putin, our bilateral relations have always moved forward with firm determination by following the original aspiration of signing the treaty for enduring friendship and win-win cooperation. This is a strategic decision made by the two sides based on their respective needs for development and rejuvenation and the overall trend of world development. It will not be affected by the evolving international situation or changed by any particular incident. At a time when a small number of countries are strengthening their military alliance and forming various “cliques” based on ideology and values, China and Russia are committed to the principle of forming partnership rather than alliance and not targeting any third party. This has injected valuable stability into the complex international situation. China and Russia are not allies but closer than allies. We have provided strong positive energy to world peace and development.

We firmly believe that China-Russia relations in the new era will be more mature, stable and resilient. The two sides will continue to unswervingly expand the depth and breadth of their close strategic coordination, take the lead in committing themselves to equality, integrity, cooperation and law abidance, make the right choices as the world comes to a historical crossroads, contribute their wisdom and solutions to building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind, and guide the trend of human progress.

People’s Daily: Could you share more details of the upcoming third Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum and China’s expectations for it?

Wang Wenbin: At the first China-Latin American and Caribbean Countries Leaders’ Meeting in July 2014, President Xi Jinping and the leaders of regional countries jointly announced the establishment of the China-CELAC Forum. Over the past seven years, under the framework of the China-CELAC Forum, the two sides have successfully held two ministerial meetings, the special video conference of China and Latin American and Caribbean countries’ foreign ministers on COVID-19 and 46 sub-forum events in 18 areas, which have remarkably added new dimensions to China-CELAC cooperation. The China-CELAC Forum has flourished over the past seven years and become a main platform to pool friendly forces from all sectors on both sides, making important contributions to deepening bilateral relations.

The upcoming third Ministerial Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum is the first multilateral diplomatic event between China and the Latin American and Caribbean countries to which all CELAC members are invited since the outbreak of COVID-19. As the once-in-a-century changes and pandemic have posed serious challenges to global economic development and the livelihood of people in all countries, the two sides have agreed that the meeting will be held under the theme of “overcoming current difficulties and creating opportunities together to continue building a China-Latin American and the Caribbean community”. We sincerely hope that this meeting will provide an opportunity for China and Latin American and Caribbean countries to jointly plan for the development of the China-CELAC Forum and overall cooperation for the next three years to come, and bring to a higher level our relations characterized by equality, mutual benefit, innovation, opening-up and benefit for the people in a new era.

Shenzhen TV: According to reports, the US announced visa restrictions on nine Cuban officials on November 30 over their government’s crackdown on demonstrators. Does the Chinese side have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: Since the beginning of this year, the US has imposed several rounds of unilateral sanctions on Cuban institutions and officials in grave violation of basic norms governing international relations. This has further exposed the consistent bullying practice of the US. China firmly opposes interference in other countries’ domestic affairs and imposition of unilateral sanctions in the name of so-called freedom, democracy and human rights. We resolutely support the Cuban government and people’s efforts to safeguard national sovereignty and social stability.

It is China’s consistent belief that mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation is the right way for countries to get along. We call on the US to act in accordance with the purposes of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations, immediately lift all unilateral sanctions on Cuba, and take more actions to improve US-Cuba relations and promote regional and global stability.

Bloomberg: The US and the European Union are set to discuss a joint approach to what they see is an increasingly assertive China during a high-level dialogue, saying that finding a common ground on key issues might make it harder for Beijing to ignore these topics. Does the ministry have a comment on this meeting, which I think is scheduled for today?

Wang Wenbin: China, the US and the EU are all major international forces. It’s not an either-or scenario, still less should the three sides engage in zero-sum games. China urges relevant parties to discard the Cold War mentality, adhere to openness, cooperation, dialogue and consultations, practice true multilateralism and provide more stability and positive energy for the world. Drawing ideological lines and creating small cliques is not conducive to world peace and will only harm oneself and others. Those adopting such practices would lose more than they gain.

De Telegraaf: In the Netherlands, there has been a criminal complaint filed against companies such as Nike and C&A because they profit from the alleged use of forced labor in the far-western Chinese region of Xinjiang. What is the reaction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on these allegations and criminal complaints?

Wang Wenbin: First, in China’s Xinjiang, people live a happy and fulfilling life and all ethnic groups coexist in harmony. The accusation of “forced labor” in Xinjiang is a preposterous lie of the century. Some Western politicians, especially some in the US, have been hyping the allegation of “forced labor”. What they are doing in essence is seeking political manipulation, interfering in China’s internal affairs and suppressing the development of China, especially Xinjiang, under the guise of human rights. Such unethical and despicable acts will undermine the stability of the global industrial and supply chains. Their scheme will never succeed and will only expose their modus operandi in weaving lies and rumors clearly in front of the world.

If you are interested in forced labor, I would like to share some facts. In the US, there are approximately 500,000 child farmworkers. Roughly 240,000 to 325,000 women and children in the US are victims of sexual slavery. Up to 100,000 people were trafficked into the US for forced labor annually over the past five years, and half of them are sold to sweatshops or enslaved in households. Those who spread the lies of “forced labor” in Xinjiang should conduct investigations in the US, where I’m sure they will find more facts about forced labor. 

Associated Press of Pakistan: Prime Minister Imran Khan while attending a high-level meeting said that timelines specified by the completion of CPEC projects should be adhered to. He also said that the government of Pakistan is fully committed to the provisions of CPEC agreements. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on that?

Wang Wenbin: China noted that recently Prime Minister Imran Khan has made positive remarks on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) on different occasions. This fully attests to the all-weather friendship between China and Pakistan and the importance the Pakistani side attaches to our all-round cooperation. China highly applauds this.

As an important pilot program of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), CPEC has made significant contributions to promoting the economic development and improving people’s livelihood in Pakistan, thus winning extensive acclaim and high recognition from various sectors. China stands ready to work with Pakistan to follow through on the consensus of our leaders, and on the basis of ensuring sound construction and operation of existing projects, we will focus more on cooperation in industries, livelihood, agriculture and science and technology, and strive to turn CPEC into a demonstration project of high-quality BRI cooperation and deliver more benefits to people in the two countries and the region. 

CRI: We understand that Russia has completed domestic legal procedures for the entry into force of the protocol on the extension of the agreement between China and Russia on notifications of ballistic missile and carrier rocket launches. When will the protocol take effect? What’s the significance of this?

Wang Wenbin: On December 1, the protocol on the extension of the agreement between China and Russia on notifications of ballistic missile and carrier rocket launches officially entered into force, extending the agreement for ten years.

The entry into force of the protocol demonstrates the high level of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the new era and the two sides’ firm determination to jointly safeguard global strategic stability. It will contribute significantly to safeguarding the international arms control system and world peace and security.

NHK: The European Commission launched a “Global Gateway” plan, under which up to 300 billion euros will be dedicated to infrastructure development in the developing world. The measure is seen as a response to China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: China welcomes all initiatives that help developing countries improve infrastructure and promote common development. We also believe that different initiatives should not replace or exclude each other. Instead we advocate inclusiveness, communication and coordination for greater synergy.

You mentioned the BRI. I would like to stress that the BRI follows the principle of consultation and contribution for shared benefits, upholds the open, clean and green concept, and is committed to realizing sustainable, livelihood-oriented and high-standard objectives. It strives to inject fresh impetus into world economic growth and open up new space for international economic cooperation. Over the past eight years, the initiative has been fleshed out with concrete actions, which refined the details after painting the broad strokes. BRI cooperation has reaped a bumper harvest indeed and has delivered tangible benefits to the people in participating countries. It has been warmly welcomed and highly commended by all sides, especially developing countries. Going forward, we will continue to strengthen cooperation with all BRI partners and work for steady progress in various sectors guided by the principle of consultation and contribution for shared benefits so as to help developing countries improve infrastructure and contribute to common development of the world.

China and the EU have much in common in the overall direction of connectivity. There is every reason for us to complement each other and jointly enhance the connectivity between countries and global sustainable development.

Xinhua News Agency: The Russian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the planned US “Summit for Democracy” on December 1. It points out that the US and its allies cannot and should not claim the status of a “beacon” of democracy and the US has undermined confidence in itself with aggressive actions on the world stage. Russia urges all countries not to engage in “democratization”, not to draw new dividing lines, but to recognize in practice the principle of the sovereign equality of states, which is fixed in the UN Charter. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: We appreciate the Russian side’s position. Recently many state leaders and media outlets have criticized the so-called “Summit for Democracy” the US is about to host. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Thailand Don Pramudwinai said that the summit is political manipulation purely out of political purposes. Thailand should rather feel glad that it has not been invited. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto pointed out that the summit has features of US domestic politics, adding that Hungary’s democracy doesn’t need the judgement of anyone. Media outlets in many Middle East countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel called the summit a tool of the US to meddle in other countries’ internal affairs and maintain its hegemony. The US-style democracy has only sowed the seeds of death and destruction in the Middle East and the rest of the world, leaving nothing of value behind. All these serve to show how unpopular the US “Summit for Democracy” is and how much opposition there is in the international community to it. I would like to stress the following:

The US, based on its own criteria, listed half the countries and regions in the world as democracies and the rest as non-democracies. This practice in itself runs counter to the spirit of democracy and exposes the US’ true intention of weaponizing democracy, and using it as a tool and cover to advance its geostrategic agenda and repress dissenting voices.

The US has long been engaging in infiltration and subversion and instigating “color revolution” in sovereign countries through so-called “NGOs” such as government agencies like USAID and the National Endowment for Democracy. In the name of promoting democracy, it wantonly slaps unilateral sanctions and went for military intervention in countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, injuring millions and displacing tens of millions. By artificially splitting the world into two camps, one labeled democratic and the other undemocratic, the US will only bring more chaos to the world and more disasters to all people.

In fact, the “Summit for Democracy” has nothing to do with true democracy. It will only undermine democracy in the name of promoting democracy. In the face of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, terrorism and economic downturn, what the world needs is not a “Summit for Democracy” that incites division and confrontation, but efforts to uphold true multilateralism on the basis of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and jointly deal with common challenges.

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