Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on May 7, 2021
CCTV: You mentioned yesterday that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will preside over a high-level video conference on May 7, with the theme of "upholding multilateralism and the UN-centered international system". Could you share China's considerations and expectations for this conference?
Wang Wenbin: As the rotating president of the UN Security Council in May, China will hold a high-level video conference with the theme of "upholding multilateralism and the UN-centered international system" on May 7. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will chair the meeting and deliver remarks.
As we speak, COVID-19 is still raging across the globe. The world economy is in deep recession. Hotspot issues continue to drag on. Non-traditional security challenges such as food security and climate change keep cropping up. Meanwhile, bloc politics is undermining the authority and effectiveness of multilateral institutions, and ideological confrontation is weakening the fairness and equality of multilateralism. In this context, it is of great practical significance that China initiates this conference as the rotating president of the Security Council in May.
China hopes all participants will take this meeting as an opportunity to renew our support for multilateralism and our firm commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, safeguard the international system with the UN at its core, uphold the international order based on international law, and maintain international and regional peace and security.
TV Tokyo: I have two questions. In the midst of the conflict between China and the United States, Japan and the United States are trying to secure semiconductors and other important products and parts without depending on China because of economic security. How does the Chinese government comment on this? The second question, Japan and the United States have emphasized the importance of economic security, and they are stepping up efforts to build network with other countries to counter China. How would you comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: I will answer both questions together. The formation and development of global industrial and supply chains is the result of market law and enterprise choice over a long time. The politicization of science, technology and economic and trade issues and the formation of exclusive small groups run counter to the principles of market economy and fair competition. They will only artificially divide the world, undermine international trade rules, threaten the security of global industrial and supply chains, and ultimately do harm to others and oneself.
We hope relevant countries will abandon the zero-sum thinking, conform to the trend of the times, respect the law of market economy and free trade rules, contribute more to normal science and technology exchange and trade in the world, work together to build an open world economy, jointly safeguard stable and unfettered global industrial and supply chains, and help the world economy achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth at an early date.
China News Service: It is reported that Nepal has seen worsening COVID-19 situation with record high confirmed cases in recent days. Do you have any comment? Will China offer assistance to Nepal?
Wang Wenbin: Nepal is China's friendly neighbor and strategic cooperative partner. Since the onset of COVID-19, the two countries have stood together with mutual assistance, adding a new chapter to China-Nepal friendship. We took note of the grave situation in Nepal recently and will continue to do our best to offer support as we feel for Nepal in meeting the challenge posed by the coronavirus. In the recently concluded video conference where foreign ministers of China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh discussed cooperation on fighting COVID-19, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced that China will provide a new batch of anti-epidemic supplies to Nepal. As we speak, the supplies are basically ready to go and will be delivered to our friends in Nepal as soon as possible. In addition, sub-national governments and various sectors in China are also donating much-needed medical materials for Nepal.
We believe that under the leadership of the Nepalese government and with the concerted efforts of all parties, the Nepalese people will surely defeat the epidemic at an early date and restore normal work and life.
Bloomberg: Yesterday you spoke about the Long March rocket, which is currently set to de-orbit soon. We reached out to the national space agency to ask more questions about this but they haven't responded. Can you provide any assurance that the rocket won't cause any damage, and do you have any information about where you expect it to land?
Wang Wenbin: It is common practice across the world for upper stages of rockets to burn up while reentering the atmosphere. On April 29, a Long March-5B Y2 rocket successfully sent into orbit the space station's core module Tianhe. China is following closely the upper stage's reentry into the atmosphere. To my knowledge, the upper stage of this rocket has been deactivated, which means that most of its parts will burn up upon reentry, making the likelihood of damage to aviation or ground facilities and activities extremely low. The competent authority will release relevant information in a timely manner.
CCTV: It's reported that the US House Foreign Affairs Committee has recently held a virtual hearing titled "The Atrocities Against Uyghurs and Other Minorities in Xinjiang", where the so-called "survivors" and American scholars attended and testified. What is China's comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: I would like to emphasize once again that the issues Xinjiang face are about terrorism and separatism, not about ethnicity, religion or human rights.
The US House Foreign Affairs Committee held this hearing in absence of any factual basis with the intention to justify its interference in China's internal affairs based on presumption of guilt. The witnesses present at the hearing were either "Xinjiang independence" separatists, or so-called "survivors" who had been found to be habitually telling lies with contradictory statements, or those full of prejudice against China's Xinjiang policy. With participants as such, this hearing has little chance to be objective and fair, but will only be a clumsy anti-China farce.
As a matter of fact, in order to help the American people understand the real situation in Xinjiang, the Chinese Embassy in the US held the "Xinjiang is A Wonderful Land" Online Meeting on May 6. At the meeting, leading officials of the Standing Committee of the People's Congress of Xinjiang Urghur Autonomous Region, the trainees taking courses at vocational education and training centers and local residents shared their daily life and work, and had discussions with the American participants. The Chinese side had extended invitation to US lawmakers and their aides to join the video conference, but none of them showed up, even though these people keep talking about human rights in Xinjiang. This fully exposes their hypocrisy and ulterior motives in hyping up Xinjiang-related issues. They dare not face the local government officials and local residents who understand the real situation best, but choose to believe the lies fabricated by a few institutions and individuals to tarnish the human rights situation in Xinjiang.
We hope the US side will acknowledge Xinjiang's development and progress as an objective fact, not be blinded by the lies and disinformation concocted by anti-China forces, stop denigrating China's ethnic and religious policies, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of the so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang.
Global Times: The Pacific Alliance held a ceremony to commemorate its 10th anniversary a few days ago. How does China see this organization and how do you envisage developing relations with it going forward?
Wang Wenbin: On April 30, the Pacific Alliance held a commemoration event via video conference to mark its 10th anniversary. At the invitation of Colombia, the rotating president, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi addressed the event via video link. State Councilor Wang wished the alliance greater progress going forward and applauded its development philosophy and cooperation outcomes. He also expressed China's readiness to deepen multilateral and bilateral cooperation with the alliance and its member states to jointly inject new impetus into China-Latin America relations.
The Pacific Alliance was established in 2011 with Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru as member states. In recent years, guided by the principles of multilateralism and free trade, it has made positive progress both inward and outward, becoming the most dynamic and influential sub-regional organization in Latin America and the Caribbean. China became an observer country in 2013. We maintain good bilateral ties with all member states of the alliance with fruitful outcomes in practical cooperation across a wide range of areas.
As COVID-19 continues to rage, we will continue to work with Latin American and Caribbean countries including Pacific Alliance member states in combating the pandemic and other fields to demonstrate the concept of a community with a shared future between China and Latin America and build a relationship for a new era featuring equality, mutual benefit, innovation and openness to deliver more benefits to our peoples.
Beijing Daily: We noticed that ROK politicians, Japanese and ROK agricultural and fishery associations and people working in those sectors expressed opposition to the discharge of nuclear contaminated water into the sea. Vietnamese foreign ministry also calls for a responsible approach in handling the nuclear accident. China has urged the Japanese side many times to prudently handle the issue of releasing nuclear contaminated water from Fukushima into the sea. Do you have anything to add?
Wang Wenbin: The discharge of nuclear contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident bears on the safety of the global marine ecological environment as well as the life and health of people of all countries. The international community is strongly concerned about the possible impact of this move by Japan. It is also met with much domestic opposition. However, Japan has to date refused to respond directly to the concerns of the international community in disregard of international responsibility, obligation and morality.
We urge Japan not to act like an ostrich, burying its head in the sand and hoping things will turn out to be fine. We urge the Japanese government one more time to face up to the serious concern of the international community, stop its wrong decisions and actions that endanger the global marine environment and international public health and safety, and voluntarily accept the substantive participation, verification and supervision of the international community especially stakeholders.
China Review News: As the inaugural China International Consumer Products Expo (CICPE) opened in Hainan yesterday, some foreign media are saying that it is conducive to China's domestic and international dual-cycle. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: The inaugural CICPE, which opened yesterday, has attracted much attention from Chinese and foreign media. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to the expo, noting that it will help other countries share opportunities provided by the Chinese market, boost global economic recovery and growth, and enable China to offer the world more quality consumer products.
Against the background of a rampant pandemic, the expo, the largest boutique exhibition in the Asia-Pacific region, has attracted over 1,300 international brands from 69 countries and regions, over 30,000 buyers of various types and professional visitors, with the total number of all visitors expected to top 200,000. These figures speak volumes about the effect of China's epidemic prevention and control efforts as well as the resilience, potential and appeal of the Chinese economy.
With unilateralism and protectionism on the rise, to hold the expo as scheduled demonstrates China's resolve and confidence in advancing high-level opening-up. We will remain steadfast in expanding all-round opening-up, make the Chinese market a shared market for the world accessible to all, and add new impetus to world economic recovery.
Reuters: Regarding the rocket, does China know roughly where this remaining part of the rocket which may fall on earth will hit off? If so, has China notified the relevant governments or authorities so they can make preventative measures?
Wang Wenbin: I've just offered an answer to this question. Competent Chinese authorities will make timely notifications.
CRI: Mohamed Nasheed, former president and current parliament speaker of the Maldives, was attacked by a roadside bomb, according to reports, but he's not in a critical condition for the moment. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China strongly condemns this attack. We extend our sincere sympathy and wish Speaker Nasheed an early recovery.
Bloomberg: Just follow up on your statement on Japanese release of radioactive water. You said Japan should accept the observation and checks of the international community. It's my understanding that the Japanese have said they would cooperate with the IAEA in any further checks it wants to do, and welcome their checking. It's also my understanding that Chinese and South Korean specialists will be part of that working group which is being created as we speak. Is that sufficient that the IAEA working group going to the site, observing what's going on and then making a report with the Chinese and South Korean experts, is that sufficient for you, or do you think Japan should do more than that to satisfy the concerns of China and other respective countries?
Wang Wenbin: As we've repeatedly stressed, the Japanese side, before exhausting safe disposal means, in disregard of doubts and objection at home and abroad, and without full consultation with neighboring countries and the international community, made the unilateral decision to dispose of contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear accident by discharge into the ocean. This is extremely irresponsible. I would also like to point out that the so-called information released by Japan to date is basically unverified by any second party. Japan also sidesteps substantive communication with experts from stakeholders. So we can see that Japan is just claiming innocence and temporizing in the face of international public opinion. This cannot convince anyone.
We urge the Japanese side to adopt an honest, science-based and responsible attitude, earnestly respond to concerns of the international community, the stakeholders in particular, and fulfill its due international responsibility and obligation.
Reuters: China is developing its own mRNA vaccine. Will China be willing to share its patent when it's successful?
Wang Wenbin: You may refer to my answer to questions on vaccine intellectual property at yesterday's press conference. I would like to add that since the outbreak of COVID-19, China has always insisted that vaccines are first and foremost a global public good. We have taken concrete actions to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries, including through cooperation such as technology transfer to and joint production with developing nations. We will continue to support all efforts that will help the developing world obtain timely and equitable access to vaccines.