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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on April 19, 2021
2021-04-19

On April 19, the UN Security Council will hold the high-level open debate on enhancing cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the conference as President Xi Jinping's special envoy. The conference will be held via video link.

CCTV: According to media reports, the UNHRC Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention have recently issued a statement, saying that the US' anti-terrorism program "Rewards for Justice" is violating the human rights of some of the individuals it targets. Experts have repeatedly urged the US government to review its Rewards for Justice program in order to ensure that its activities are aligned with international law. I wonder if China has any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: I have taken note of the reports. Relevant UN human rights experts pointed out in the joint statement that some people whom the US government designates as being associated with terrorism have not been charged with any crimes, and are denied access to due justice process. The US practice of accusing people of suspected involvement in terrorist activities and making them carry out tasks against their will under the threat of a penalty for not doing so amounts to forced labour as defined by agreements made through the International Labour Organization. Such actions violate relevant personnel's right to work, freedom of movement, reputation, and life. This runs counter to the humanitarian spirit and international law. UN human rights experts said they have raised this concern with the US government but have thus far not received any response.

The US has repeatedly hyped up the false allegation of "forced labor" in Xinjiang, yet facts have proved that no one deserves the label of "forced labor" better than the US itself. We urge the US side to earnestly heed the concerns of the international community, examine its own serious human rights problems and take concrete steps to address them.

NHK: What's your comment on the US-Japan Joint Leaders' Statement released recently?

Wang Wenbin: Regarding the meeting between the US and Japanese leaders and China-related content in the joint statement, spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry already stated China's stern position. I will make three points as follows:

First, there is but one system in the world, that is, the international system with the UN at its core; there is but one set of rules, namely, the basic norms governing international relations based on the UN Charter. The US and Japan cannot represent the international community. They have no right to define international order, still less the right to impose their own standards on others. While trumpeting "freedom and openness", the US and Japan are forming "small cliques" and create bloc confrontation, which poses real threats to regional peace and stability and reckless damage to international rules and order. The Bandung Conference 66 years ago, on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, put forward the Ten Principles of Bandung pertaining to state-to-state relations, which is still highly relevant in guiding practices in international relations. This fully shows that only the pursuit of unity over division, equality over hegemony, and cooperation over confrontation is in keeping with the trend of the times and can stand the test of history.

Second, on human rights issues, Japan and the US are in debt to the Chinese people and the world's people. Japan launched aggressive wars in the 1930s, bringing untold sufferings to Asian countries, especially the Chinese people. However, Japan, as a defeated nation, denies and whitewashes the aggression from time to time even till this day. The US has long followed a belligerent policy. In the 21st century alone, wars staged by the US elsewhere caused over 800,000 deaths, including over 300,000 civilians. What Japan and the US should do is to reflect on their aggression in history and redress wrong actions that violate human right in other countries, rather than meddling in China's internal affairs under the disguise of human rights. Denigrating, destabilizing and containing other countries by citing human rights as the excuse is something that the Chinese people and people around the world will never allow. The imperative now is for Japan to face up to the stern concerns of neighboring countries and the international community, act in a responsible manner for the life and health of people around the world, immediately stop implementing the decision to discharge contaminated nuclear water into the sea, and stop actions that bring good to no one.

Third, combating COVID-19 requires a science-based spirit and concerted efforts of all countries. The US has politicized the fight against the epidemic, stigmatized other countries, shifted blame and pulled out of international organizations. This has not only made the American people pay a heavy price, but also created obstacles to and impeded international anti-epidemic cooperation. The US and Japan should stop political manipulation on the issue of anti-epidemic efforts, value life and respect science, and do more practical things to promote international anti-epidemic cooperation rather than causing more trouble.

Nippon TV: Also on the joint statement of Japan and the US. It refers to the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Do you have any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. We ask the US and Japan to take seriously China's concerns, abide by the one-China principle, immediately stop interfering in China's internal affairs and harming China's interests. China will take all necessary measures to firmly defend national sovereignty, security and development interests.

Phoenix TV: In the China-US Joint Statement Addressing the Climate Crisis released on April 18, it is mentioned that both countries look forward to the US-hosted Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22 and 23. Will the Chinese leader attend the event upon invitation?

Wang Wenbin: The Chinese side has received invitation from the US side, and is positively considering that.

RIA Novosti: Last week your colleague said China has already received an invitation to participate in the Afghan peace conference in Turkey. I wonder if you can confirm the participation of China and share detail about who will represent China?

Wang Wenbin: China has received the invitation. The Afghan issue cannot be resolved in absence of the support and assistance from the international community. China supports all international effort that is conducive to advancing the Afghan peace and reconciliation process, and is in communication with relevant parties on the meeting.

China Daily: The Chinese side just announced that President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the annual conference of the Boao Forum for Asia (BFA) via video link tomorrow and deliver a keynote speech. Does China have any expectation or outlook for the annual meeting this year?

Wang Wenbin: The Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2021 is held in Boao, Hainan from April 18 to 21, 2021. President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony virtually and deliver a keynote video speech in the morning of April 20. President Xi Jinping attaches great importance to the development of the Boao Forum for Asia, and this will be the fifth time he personally attends the annual conference. In his keynote speech, President Xi Jinping will focus on the current international and regional situation as well as global risks and challenges, and make a thorough, systematic elaboration on China's philosophy and proposal for promoting development and prosperity in Asia and the world at large.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Boao Forum for Asia. Focusing on Asia and facing the world, the Forum has developed into a high-end international forum with global influence in the past 20 years. This year's annual meeting is a grand diplomatic gathering as it marks the 20th anniversary. The theme of the annual meeting, "A World in Change: Join Hands to Strengthen Global Governance and Advance Belt and Road Cooperation", fully reflects the widespread call of the international community to adapt to changes and strengthen global governance. As the host country, China hopes to pool wisdom and build consensus with other participants under the theme of this year's annual meeting, discuss ways to achieve win-win cooperation, seek solutions for development and prosperity, and make positive contributions to a better future for Asia and the world.

Bloomberg: Just a very quick follow-up on that. We understand another senior leader will attend physically the Boao conference. Can the foreign ministry confirm which Chinese senior leader will attend in person?

Wang Wenbin: We will release information on issues relating to the participation of Chinese leader in due course. Please stay tuned.

Xinhua News Agency: How does China view the outcomes and significance of the China-France-Germany video summit?

Wang Wenbin: On April 16, President Xi Jinping attended the China-France-Germany summit via video link with French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel upon invitation. The three leaders had in-depth exchanges on climate change, China-Europe relations, anti-epidemic cooperation and other major international and regional issues. They reached important consensus as follows:

First, it is important to uphold multilateralism, fully implement the Paris Agreement on tackling climate change, and jointly build an equitable and reasonable global climate governance system for win-win cooperation, and promote this summit to achieve positive, balanced, and pragmatic results.

Second, it is important to strengthen climate policy dialogue and green development cooperation, and make climate cooperation an important pillar in China-Europe cooperation.

Third, it is important to ensure success in holding multilateral meetings including the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kunming, the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP26) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Glasgow, and the 7th International Union for Conservation of Nature's World Conservation Congress in Marseilles to create a new architecture for global environmental governance.

Fourth, it is important to enhance vaccine cooperation, support COVAX, promote the healthy, safe and orderly personnel exchanges, safeguard the smooth and stable operation of industrial chains and bring the international economic and trade cooperation back to normal at an early date.

Fifth, it is important to support developing countries in making their energy supply more efficient, clean and diversified, support Africa in achieving green development and help Africa build more renewable energy projects such as wind and solar power projects.

This is the third China-France-Germany summit. The previous two were held in March 2019 in Paris and December 2020 via video link. It shows the willingness of the three countries to have strategic communication over major issues of common concern. As pointed out by President Xi Jinping, China-Europe relationship is faced with new development opportunities, as well as new challenges; we need to keep to the general direction and keynote of the relationship from a strategic height. I must stress that China and Europe are partners, not opponents. We have far more consensus than differences, and far more cooperation than competition. China and Europe, as two important forces in a multipolar world, bear important responsibilities in addressing international and regional issues and tackling global challenges. On the basis of mutual respect and equal treatment, China and Europe need to step up coordination and cooperation, properly manage differences and explore a path for major countries to get along in the spirit of mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation.

RIA Novosti: Last week the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba Raul Castro announced his resignation. What is China's comment on this? How this change many affect China-Cuba relations?

Wang Wenbin: The Eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba is of great significance in making strategic plans and arrangements for the development of the party and the state both at present and in the time to come. It's believed that under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba, this Congress will provide important guidance and driving force for the development of the cause of socialism with Cuban characteristics.

Raul Castro is an outstanding leader of the Communist Party of Cuba and Cuban socialist cause. For a long time, he has made great contributions to the cause of revolution and construction of the Cuban party and country as well as the development of China-Cuba relations. He has won endorsement and admiration among the Cuban people, and reverence among the Chinese people.

The Chinese party and government attach great importance to the party-to-party and state-to-state relations with Cuba. The Central Committee of the Communist Party of China has sent a congratulatory message to the Eighth National Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. At this important historical moment for the Communist Party of Cuba to build on the past achievements and pursue new progress, we stand ready to work with Cuba to carry forward our longstanding friendship, strengthen political mutual trust, deepen strategic communication, and constantly enrich the connotation and achievements of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, so as to jointly score new achievements in the socialist cause of China and Cuba.

The Paper: What's China's expectation of the upcoming Security Council open debate on enhancing cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations?

Wang Wenbin: Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and other major changes unseen in a century, the world is witnessing prominent challenges in international peace and security fields, and interwoven traditional and non-traditional security issues. In this context, it is highly relevant that Viet Nam propose to hold the high-level open debate on enhancing cooperation between the UN and regional and sub-regional organisations as President of the Security Council for April. We hope all sides can take this conference as an opportunity to further advance UN's cooperation with all regions and sub-regions, pool the consensus for solidarity and cooperation, jointly uphold multilateralism and build a community with a shared future for mankind.

China Review News: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry wrapped up his visit to China on April 17, after which the two sides issued a joint statement addressing the climate crisis. How do you comment on his visit? What expectations does China have for future climate cooperation with the US?

Wang Wenbin: At the invitation of the Chinese side, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry paid a visit to China from April 14 to 17. During the visit, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council Han Zheng met with Special Envoy Kerry in Beijing via videolink, and China's Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua held talks with him in Shanghai. After the talks, the two sides issued the China-US Joint Statement Addressing the Climate Crisis.

During the talks, the two sides had candid, in-depth and constructive communication on climate change cooperation, the Leaders Summit on Climate, COP26 of the UNFCCC and achieved positive progress. They reopened the channel of dialogue and cooperation on climate change between China and the US. The two sides stressed that climate change is a grave and urgent threat to the survival and development of mankind. China and the US will strengthen cooperation and work with other parties to address the climate crisis, fully implement the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, and contribute to advancing global climate governance. The two sides will continue to maintain communication and dialogue and strengthen exchanges and cooperation in such areas as making stronger policies and measures, promoting green, low-carbon transition and supporting low-carbon energy development in developing countries.

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