CCTV: Think tanks including the European Policy Center, the Royal Institute of International Affairs and Carnegie Europe recently published articles that shared their reflection on the Ukraine crisis. What is your comment?
Wang Wenbin: I have noted the voices for reason and reflection in Europe’s strategic community as the Ukraine crisis continues to generate spillover effects.
For example, some articles pointed out that sanctions are not a solution to end the war and build a security order in Europe. To end the war with reconciliation, diplomatic methods should be resorted to. Managing relations with Russia, a neighbor of European countries, should be the primary challenge the EU must face squarely. When making the security rules of Europe, Europeans should play a central role and Russia cannot possibly be excluded. EU’s leaders should truly heed and seriously address Russia’s concerns and appeals.
Some articles also noted that to resolve the Ukraine issue, the security interests of all relevant countries should be attended to. To address the current crisis, both Russia and Ukraine should bear in mind the realities on the ground and attach importance to legitimate security concerns.
It is China’s consistent belief that dialogue and negotiation is the most realistic and feasible way to defuse the crisis, and the pursuit of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security can help realize enduring stability and security in Europe and the world at large. Expanding the conflict and escalating sanctions incessantly will only further complicate the issue and make the whole world pay a dearer price. Under the current circumstances, all parties should encourage and support Russia and Ukraine in keeping the talks going to bring about peaceful outcomes. It is important to discard the binary approach driven by emotions, and review the underlying cause for the Ukraine crisis with reason. It is crucial to avoid going to extremes where no one will emerge as a winner, and create enabling conditions for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. It is vital to stop profiting from the situation by fanning the flame, and let the common interest of the international community prevail over the selfish interests of certain countries.
China is ready to work with the international community to make an effort for easing the situation, resolving the crisis and rebuilding peace.
TASS: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit China on March 31 for a meeting of foreign ministers of countries bordering Afghanistan. Can you give us any details on the agenda of the meeting? Will China and Russia hold bilateral meetings during the visit?
Wang Wenbin: Yesterday, I shared the relevant information on the upcoming third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan to be hosted by China. I have nothing more to add.
CCTV: We learned that the extended meeting of the China-US-Russia consultation mechanism on the Afghan issue will be held on the sidelines of the third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan. Can you share more information? What expectations do you have for this meeting?
Wang Wenbin: As agreed upon by all sides, the extended meeting of the China-US-Russia consultation mechanism on the Afghan issue will be held on the sidelines of the third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan on March 30 and 31 in Tunxi, Anhui Province. Ambassador Yue Xiaoyong, Special Envoy for Afghan Affairs of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will chair the meeting. Special representatives for the Afghan issue of the US, Russia and Pakistan will attend the meeting. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will have a group meeting with the attendees from all parties.
China, the US, Russia and Pakistan are countries with important influence on the Afghan issue. We hope to seek synergy between this meeting and the third Foreign Ministers’ Meeting among the Neighboring Countries of Afghanistan, further build consensus on the Afghan issue, encourage regional countries and the international community to step up support for peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, and help the country achieve peace, stability and development at an early date.
Macau Monthly: The US Senate passed the America COMPETES Act of 2022 as amended on March 28, which targets China and aims to improve the US competitiveness in the field of economy, national security and foreign affairs. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China has made clear its position on similar China-related bills of the US on many occasions. The China-related content of the relevant bill plays up the “China threat” theory and advocates strategic competition with China in disregard of facts. It is entrenched in the Cold-War and zero-sum game mentality and runs counter to the common aspiration of people from all sectors in China and the US to strengthen exchanges and cooperation. China is firmly opposed to this and will firmly defend its own interests.
How the US develops itself is its own business. As the world’s largest economy, the US should maintain the stability of the global industrial and supply chains, including in the semiconductor industry, rather than pick on China from time to time and see China as an imaginary enemy.
TASS: According to Reuters, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs this month summoned officials from China’s three state energy giants, Sinopec, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), to review their business ties with Russian partners and local operations. One source of Reuters said the ministry urged them not to make any rash moves buying Russian assets. I wonder if you have any comments on this report?
Wang Wenbin: I am not aware of the situation you mentioned. I want to reiterate that China and Russia have been conducting normal economic and trade cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefits.
Hubei Media Group: It is reported that a Chinese student in Australia was interrogated by the Australian side at the Sydney International Airport before being repatriated. Can you confirm this? Do you have any comment on that?
Wang Wenbin: Recently, there are multiple incidents where the Australian border law enforcement officers in Sydney interrogated Chinese students, and examined their cellphones and personal items for no reason when they tried to enter the country to pursue their studies. The Australian side designated the Chinese students’ university military training courses as “military training” and repatriated them after canceling their visas on the grounds that they concealed the experience of “military training”. Such acts have gravely undermined the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese students. China’s Foreign Ministry and diplomatic missions in Australia have lodged solemn representation with the Australian side and our diplomatic missions have provided consular assistance to those Chinese students at the earliest time possible.
What the Australian side has done is at odds with the mutually beneficial and win-win nature of China-Australia people-to-people and cultural exchanges. We urge the Australian side to stop such practice that does no good to others or itself, and create a sound atmosphere and necessary conditions for the bilateral cultural and educational exchanges and cooperation. China will firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese students in Australia.
TASS: The Pentagon delivered the classified National Defense Strategy to Congress on Monday. According to a Department of Defense fact sheet about the National Defense Strategy, China is described as the “most consequential strategic competitor” and Russia as an “acute threat”. I wonder if you have any comments on this report?
Wang Wenbin: The above-mentioned US national defense strategy report is full of Cold War and bloc confrontation mentality. China and Russia are two major countries. The US attempt to contain and suppress them will not succeed. The US should reflect on its due responsibilities in the Ukraine crisis, show repentance for and correct the practice of establishing imaginary enemies, ignoring other countries’ legitimate security concerns and stoking bloc confrontation. We urge the US to earnestly implement its leadership’s statements that the US does not seek a new Cold War with China; that it does not aim to change China’s system; that the revitalization of its alliances is not targeted at China; that it does not support “Taiwan independence”; and that it has no intention to seek a conflict with China. The US should work with China to find the right way to get along with each other under the new circumstances featuring mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.
Bloomberg: The US is launching an investigation into whether Chinese solar-equipment manufacturers are evading tariffs by sending components to other Asian nations for assembly before shipping finished products to the US. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I’m not aware of the situation you mentioned. I’d like to stress that the US’ trade protectionism will disrupt and undermine the stability of international industrial and supply chains and cooperation on climate change. Such act is like a boomerang that will harm itself at the end of the day. We urge the US to stop wantonly oppressing Chinese enterprises. China will take all necessary measures to uphold the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese enterprises.
Global Times: It is reported that the Taiwanese side said that Damon Wilson, President of the National Endowment for Democracy, is leading a delegation to visit Taiwan from March 27 to 30. The two sides announced that this year’s Global Assembly of the World Movement for Democracy will be held in Taipei in October. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is believed to be a “second CIA”. This self-proclaimed “non-governmental” and “non-profit” organization actually has long been receiving funds from the US Congress and the White House. Under the pretext of so-called “democracy”, the NED is engaged in such shady activities as the infiltration of values, subversion and sabotage of other countries’ regimes, and instigation of anti-government movements around the world. The NED is behind color revolutions, upheavals and violent incidents in many parts of the world, including the “Orange Revolution”, the “Jasmine Revolution”, disturbance over proposed legislative amendments in Hong Kong and the anti-government demonstration in Thailand that happened in recent years. The organization has long colluded with anti-government entities in many countries. It is used by the US as a tool to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs and serve its selfish interests.
The NED has long been in league with “East Turkistan”, “Hong Kong independence” and “Tibet independence” forces. It funded and manipulated various anti-China demonstrations and protests, and is a main source and spreader of many China-related lies and rumors. In 2020 alone, the NED provided more than $10 million to nearly 70 China-related projects to promote activities that threatened China’s political and social stability, according to data published on the organization’s website. From 2004 to 2020, the NED provided $8.7583 million in funds to various “East Turkistan” organizations. It is dedicated to inciting and sponsoring anti-China separatist activities.
Now the head of this organization is on a trip to Taiwan under the pretext of democracy. They are not bringing good recipe for democracy to the Taiwan region, but have the poison of separatism up their sleeves. A stern warning to the US side: the attempt to contain China by emboldening the “Taiwan independence” forces in the name of upholding democracy has never succeeded over the years, and will not succeed in the future. The so-called Summit for Democracy hosted by the US last year ended with little support. If the US again tries to seek political manipulation in support of “Taiwan independence” under the pretext of democracy, it will only encounter greater failure.
Also a stern warning to the DPP authorities in Taiwan: democracy is not a shield for “Taiwan independence” propositions or elements. True democracy meets the aspiration for the reunification of the nation of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, including our Taiwan compatriots. The DPP authorities’ political manipulation of seeking “Taiwan independence” in the name of democracy will only push the people in Taiwan to the abyss of disasters and they will have to face the reckoning of history.
Reuters: Can you tell us please whether China has sent a formal invitation to the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to join in the investigation for the plane crash? If they want to come, how many days of quarantine if any at all would they have to do?
Wang Wenbin: I have answered this question yesterday. You may refer to that.
Bloomberg: The Solomon Islands Prime Minister said Tuesday that a security agreement with Beijing was ready for signing. The Prime Minister also denied reports that his country has been pressured to allow a Chinese naval base to be built in the nation. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: As we said before, normal law enforcement and security cooperation between China and Solomon Islands, two independent countries, is consistent with international law and customary international practice. It is beyond reproach as it is beneficial to social stability and lasting security of Solomon Islands and the common interest of regional countries. We hope relevant countries will earnestly respect Solomon Islands’ sovereignty and its independent decisions instead of deciding what others should and should not do in a condescending manner.