|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on April 30, 2021|
CCTV: It's reported that China has officially launched a series of activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's legitimate rights at the UN. Could you give us more details?
Wang Wenbin: In 1971, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, restoring the legitimate seat of the People's Republic of China at the United Nations. This is an event of great historical significance and marks that the United Nations has truly become the most universal and representative international organization. Over the past 50 years, China has been a promoter of world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order, making positive contributions to the noble cause of the United Nations.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's legitimate rights at the UN, China will hold a series of activities in the fields of UN peacekeeping operations, economic development, social and cultural development, poverty alleviation and ecological environment. As you can see, China launched the Group of Friends on the Safety and Security of United Nations Peacekeepers on April 27 and took the chair. Yesterday, the peacekeeping affairs center of the Chinese defense ministry and the UN Department of Peace Operations jointly held an online meeting for sharing peacekeeping experience. For other commemorative activities, we will release relevant information in time.
Standing at the new historical starting point, China will continue to uphold the UN-centered international system, the international order based on international law, the authority and status of the UN and the core role of the UN in international affairs. We will continue to deepen cooperation with the UN system and other countries in the world, practice multilateralism in real sense, and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Bloomberg: The US Director of National Intelligence said that she sees views in Taiwan hardening in favor of independence. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: The root cause of the tension across the Taiwan Strait is that the DPP authorities and "Taiwan independence" separatist forces are making provocations by seeking independence. I want to stress that China is firmly resolved in upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity and has every confidence and capability to frustrate all forms of "Taiwan independence" separatist activities. The US should fully recognize that "Taiwan independence" is harmful and dangerous, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiques, be prudent with its words and actions, avoid sending any wrong signal to the "Taiwan independence" forces, and refrain from undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and China-US relations.
Xinhua News Agency: You mentioned the Group of Friends on the Safety and Security of United Nations Peacekeepers. This is the first mechanism of its kind led and co-chaired by China. Could you give us more details of this group?
Wang Wenbin: UN peacekeeping operations are a major instrument for maintaining international peace and security, and peacekeepers are valuable assets for international peace. Over the past 70 years, more than 3,000 peacekeepers from over 120 countries have lost their lives. This year alone has witnessed 49 peacekeepers giving their precious lives to the cause of peace, which is heartbreaking.
As the second-largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget and a major troop contributor for UN peacekeeping operations, China attaches great importance to the safety and security of peacekeepers. The Group of Friends brings together 49 countries and regional organizations, including permanent members of the Security Council, major regional countries as well as host countries, troop- and police-contributors and financial contributors to the UN peacekeeping operations. It aims to provide a platform to strengthen information sharing, policy coordination, and capacity building so as to make substantive progress in enhancing the safety and security of UN peacekeepers. This platform is an open one, and should any other UN member states are interested, they are most welcome to contact us. Together and with unremitting efforts, we can make a difference, and better protect our peacekeepers.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's legitimate rights at the UN. China will take this opportunity to firmly safeguard multilateralism, deepen cooperation with the United Nations and make greater contributions to international peace and security.
RIA Novosti: US Defense Intelligence Agency chief Scott Berrier accused Russia and China of using the COVID-19 pandemic to conduct information warfare against Western governments. I wonder if China has any comment.
Wang Wenbin: The virus is a common enemy of all mankind that necessitates concerted efforts from the international community. China has been promoting international anti-epidemic cooperation with an open and transparent attitude.
In contrast, some US politicians, instead of adopting a science-based and cooperative attitude after the COVID-19 outbreak, politicized the anti-epidemic efforts, willfully withdrew from treaties and organizations, and spread false information to shift the blame to others with stigmatization. The US is equipped with the world's most advanced medical technology, but it also has the highest number of COVID-19 infection cases and death tolls. As the world's No.1 superpower, the US has done much damage to the international anti-epidemic cooperation, which has made the American people and many more in the world pay a heavy price. The US should learn its lesson, stop political manipulation, and act in ways conducive to its own fight against the epidemic and international cooperation on this front.
Global Times: According to the Danish newspaper Politiken, the US Embassy in Denmark tells it to check whether it uses routers or networking gears made by five Chinese electrical equipment manufacturers, namely, Huawei, ZTE, Hytera, Hikvision and Dahua. The US embassy threatens to cancel subscription if the newspaper refuses to provide the requested information or chooses to use the above-mentioned equipment. The Politiken says it's not the only one that has received such request. Apparently, the US embassy has reached out to other service providers in Denmark with similar requests, saying that this will be a coordinated global operation by the US. What is China's comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: Like I said yesterday, no one deserves the title of "coercive diplomacy" better than the US. What you mentioned is just another example of US putting "coercive diplomacy" into practice.
The US side not only maliciously oppresses Chinese enterprises, but also forces other countries to obey its will, and even demands media outlets of other countries to act under its instructions, or else there will be consequences of "termination of subscription". This is coercive diplomacy one hundred percent.
While preaching about democracy and rules, the US coerces other countries into oppressing Chinese enterprises. Does the US have no shame?
CCTV: According to a report by the OSCE Network of Think Tanks and Academic Institutions, as China's BRI continues to make progress, engaging constructively with China in areas of common interest, such as fighting corruption, managing environmental challenges, and improving economic cooperation, could boost the post-pandemic recovery of countries across Europe and Asia. Could I have China's comment on this report?
Wang Wenbin: This report shows that the international community attaches importance to the BRI cooperation.
The BRI cooperation upholds the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and pursues open, green and clean cooperation. Under the concept of high standard, people-centered and sustainable development, it pursues development, aims at mutual benefits, and conveys a message of hope. In the first quarter of this year, China's non-financial direct investment in countries along the Belt and Road was up by 5.2% year on year. Newly signed contracts went up by 19.4%. The number of journeys made by China-Europe freight trains and the amount of cargo transported rose by 75% and 84% respectively over the same period last year. All these figures show that BRI enjoys strong resilience and vitality. In particular, against the backdrop of COVID-19, BRI international cooperation has played an important role in helping Eurasian countries fight against the epidemic, stabilize the economy and ensure people's livelihood.
In recent years, the OSCE has expressed its desire to develop relations with China on many occasions. China is willing to continue to maintain ties with the OSCE on the basis of equality and mutual respect. We are also ready to work together with all parties including Eurasian countries to tackle the challenges posed by the epidemic, deepen practical cooperation across the board, and strive for more outcomes from BRI cooperation so as to deliver benefits to the people of all participating countries, and lend fresh impetus to global economic stability and growth.
Beijing Media Network: The Australian Alert Service, the weekly publication of the Australian Citizens Party, recently published an article titled Australian politicians back "East Turkistan" terrorism apologists, revealing how local politicians colluded with the East Turkistan Australian Association (ETAA) to advance an anti-China agenda. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: We also noticed the article. It exposed the separatist, terrorist and extremist nature of "Xinjiang independence" organization in Australia and the collusion of anti-China Australian politicians with terrorist organization for selfish gains. The article points out sharply that the ETAA, an organization closely associated with terrorism and extremism, is "getting a free pass" in Australia just because the country it's targeting is China. The articles ask: "How does Australia deal with threats of extremist violence, and how would Australians feel about a country that promoted organisations that excused extremist violence against us?" As some Western media are awash with lies and smears targeting Xinjiang, such objective and rational voices show that justice will eventually prevail. We urge certain Australian politicians not to stand on the wrong side of history and to stop endorsing anti-China separatist activities and terrorist organizations to avoid getting burned itself. We also believe that more and more people with insight in the world will speak up for justice and tell the truth about Xinjiang.
Phoenix TV: We've noted the message of condolences from State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to India's External Affairs Minister Jaishankar over the COVID-19 situation in India. Can you offer information more on that?
Wang Wenbin: China closely follows the evolving epidemic situation in India. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi sent a message of sympathy to Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar over the worsening situation of COVID-19 in India. He said that China would maximize its efforts to provide support to India.
All social sectors in China are busy taking actions. The Red Cross Society of China, local governments, many non-governmental organizations and Chinese enterprises are trying their best to collect the anti-epidemic supplies urgently needed by India, and deliver them to the Indian people as soon as possible.
According to incomplete statistics, since April, China has exported more than 26,000 ventilators and oxygen concentrators, more than 15,000 monitors, and nearly 3800 tons of medicinal materials and drugs to India. Chinese manufacturers of anti-epidemic supplies and medical equipment are racing against the clock in full speed to ensure production. In the next few days, more anti-epidemic materials will be sent to India. As many donations and procurement are made through unofficial channels, I suggest you also refer to the Indian government, which should help you better understand the actual situation.
To my knowledge, freight air routes from China to India are operating normally. In the past two weeks, a number of freight flights from China to India remain in operation. Relevant Chinese authorities have provided and are providing convenience in customs clearance and transportation for India to transport liquid oxygen tanks, oxygen concentrators and other materials from many cities in China. China will continue to ensure the smooth functioning of the export channel of materials to India.
Bloomberg: A question on the European Union. Earlier this week, the EU said it was looking to strengthen its hand against the growing economic threat posed by China and proposed new rules targeted at foreign state-owned companies. Do you see this as evidence of Europe getting tougher or more aligned with the US in its approach to China? How much concern is there that the Green Party could win Germany's election in September, turning Europe's biggest economy more China-skeptic?
Wang Wenbin: On your first question, I'm not aware of the specifics concerning proposed new rules by the relevant EU agency you mentioned and refer you to the competent authorities. In principle, I can tell you that China and Europe are both important forces for the building of an open world economy. We should further expand market access, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, reduce trade barriers, in particular avoid erecting new ones, and provide an open, transparent and non-discriminatory environment for investors.
On you second question, China attaches importance to exchange and dialogue with German political parties including the Green Party to enhance mutual understanding. Difference in values should not impede exchange and cooperation. China opposes wanton allegations based on lies and rumors and reject politicizing normal trade, investment and commercial cooperation.
Xinhua News Agency: According to reports, armed conflict broke out in the border area between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan yesterday, causing massive casualties. Does China have a comment?
Wang Wenbin: We've noted relevant reports. We understand Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have reached a comprehensive ceasefire agreement regarding the border clash, and leaders on both sides have said that they will resolve the conflict through negotiation.
Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are both China's friendly neighbors and comprehensive strategic partners. We hope and trust that they will properly resolve differences and disagreements in the spirit of mutual respect and friendly consultation to jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.
In observance of the Labor Day, the MFA regular press conference will be adjourned from May 1st to 5th, and resumed on May 6th. During the holiday, you can reach the spokesperson's office by fax, email or Wechat.
I wish everyone a happy Labor Day. While enjoying the holiday, you are kindly reminded to keep up anti-epidemic measures and stay healthy.