AFP: President Biden has said that the United States would defend Taiwan militarily if Beijing invaded or forcibly tried to take control of Taiwan. He has said, we agreed with the one China policy, we signed on it, but the idea that Taiwan can be taken by force is just not appropriate. How does the foreign ministry view this US position? And how will this affect China-US ties going forward?
Wang Wenbin: China expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the remarks by the US side. There is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory and the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. This is a consensus of the international community and a political commitment made by the US to China. The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair that brooks no foreign interference. On issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and other core interests, China has no room for compromise or concession. No one should underestimate the strong resolve, determination and capability of the Chinese people in safeguarding national sovereignty and territorial integrity. No one should stand in opposition to the 1.4 billion Chinese people.
We urge the US side to abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations in the three China-US joint communiqués, honor its important commitment of not supporting “Taiwan independence”, speak and act with prudence on the Taiwan question, and avoid sending any wrong signal to the “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, lest it should seriously undermine peace across the Taiwan Strait and China-US relations. China will take firm actions to safeguard its sovereignty and security interests. We mean what we say.
Global Times: Australia’s Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese led his party to winning the general election. What is China’s expectation for China-Australia relations going forward?
Wang Wenbin: We have noted that Mr. Albanese has led the Labor Party to victory in Australia’s federal election. China extends its congratulations.
In the 1970s, the Labor government of Australia made the right choice to establish diplomatic relations with China, and made historic contributions to the development of China-Australia relations. The sound and steady development of the bilateral relations meets the fundamental interests and common aspiration of the two peoples, and contributes to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific. China is ready to work with the new Labor government to take stock of the past and stay forward-looking. We should follow the principles of mutual respect and mutual benefits to promote sound and steady development of China-Australia comprehensive strategic partnership.
NHK: In their meeting, the US President and Japanese Prime Minister opposed China’s attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and South China Sea and reiterated the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China’s position on Taiwan, Diaoyu Dao and maritime issues is consistent and clear-cut. We firmly oppose attempts by the US and Japan to hype up relevant issues to damage China’s reputation and interfere in China’s internal affairs. The biggest threat to peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait is the DPP authorities’ separatist activities and the moves of certain countries, including the US, to aid and abet such efforts. Japan bears historical responsibilities to the Chinese people on the Taiwan question. It should speak and act with extra prudence, earnestly learn lessons from history and avoid repeating past mistakes.
I must stress that the US’ so-called “deterrence” and “containment” policy has already disrupted Europe. It should stop trying to destabilize the Asia-Pacific region. The Asia-Pacific should become the pacesetter of peace and development, not the arena of geopolitics. The US and Japan hold onto the Cold War mentality, gang up to build military alliances and small cliques featuring economic decoupling, and stoke division and confrontation. Their scheme is unpopular in the Asia-Pacific and will never succeed.
KBS: First, the US announced that the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework will be launched today. IPEF will be based on the principles of openness, inclusiveness and transparency, and will not exclude any specific country. Do you have any comment? Second, when participating in IPEF, the Republic of Korea (ROK) also seeks to enhance economic and technological cooperation with China, the largest trading nation and a close neighbor of the ROK. What’s your comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: As State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, China, like other regional countries, is glad to see initiatives conducive to strengthening regional cooperation, but opposes attempts to create division and confrontation.
China holds that any regional cooperation framework should promote free trade, and shouldn’t engage in disguised protectionism. It should contribute to the world economic recovery and shouldn’t undermine the stability of the industrial chain. It should promote openness and cooperation, and shouldn’t create geopolitical confrontation. What the US should do is earnestly act on the rules of free trade, instead of starting things anew, impacting the current regional cooperation structure and turning back the wheel of regional integration. Is the US politicizing, weaponizing and ideologizing economic issues and coercing regional countries to take sides between China and the US by economic means? The US should give a clear answer to regional countries. Deliberately creating economic decoupling, technological blockade, or industrial chain breakage, and aggravating the supply chain crisis will only inflict grave consequences on the world, including the US itself. The US should reflect on its mistakes and correct them, instead of repeating them.
The key to Asia-Pacific success is win-win cooperation, not zero-sum confrontation. The Asia-Pacific should become the pacesetter of peace and development, not the arena of geopolitics. All kinds of conspiracies that attempt to create camp politics, build an Asia-Pacific version of NATO and wage a new Cold War in the Asia-Pacific region are doomed to fail.
On your second question, I want to point out that China and the ROK are and will remain close neighbors. We are also inseparable cooperation partners. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the ROK 30 years ago, bilateral economic and trade relations have grown rapidly, with bilateral trade volume exceeding $360 billion and two-way investment exceeding $100 billion. The two countries have achieved common development and prosperity through practical cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit. At present, the two countries and China-ROK relations are at a crucial stage. We are ready to work with the ROK to take the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries as an opportunity to further deepen trade and investment cooperation, expand cooperation in new areas, promote regional cooperation, and jointly support trade liberalization and economic globalization. By doing so, we hope to deliver more benefits to the two countries and two peoples and make greater contribution to development and prosperity in the region and beyond.
Associated Press of Pakistan: Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto has wrapped up his two-day visit to China. Can you share some details with us on the outcome of the visit?
Wang Wenbin: We have issued a detailed press release on Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s visit to China, and you may refer to that for more specifics. Mr. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari took China as the first destination of his official bilateral visits after assuming the post of Pakistani Foreign Minister, which fully shows that the new government of Pakistan is committed to developing our all-weather strategic cooperative partnership. China highly appreciates this. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held productive talks with Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and they issued a joint statement. To sum it up, the two sides reached important consensus in the following five aspects.
First, both sides agreed that the China-Pakistan friendship has endured for a long time and is full of vitality, the bilateral relations are rock-solid, and the solidarity and cooperation between the two sides has become an important stabilizing factor in a turbulent and changing world. Second, both sides agreed that any terrorist attack against Chinese citizens in Pakistan is unacceptable, any despicable attempt to undermine China-Pakistan friendship is doomed to fail, and incidents such as the terrorist attack on the Confucius Institute in Karachi must not recur. Third, both sides agreed that all-round cooperation between China and Pakistan enjoys fruitful results and broad prospects. The two sides will seek greater synergy between their development strategies, further tap into the potential of economic cooperation, and push forward all CPEC projects in a safe, smooth, and high-quality manner. Fourth, both sides agreed that the world has entered a period of turbulence and transformation, and more than ever, the international community yearns for peace and development. China highly appreciates the fact that Pakistan was among the first to lend support to the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative. China is ready to work with other countries in the world to focus on the development agenda, meet security challenges, implement the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and join hands to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Fifth, both sides agreed that the sound situation of peace, stability, cooperation and development in Asia is attributable to the joint efforts of regional countries and needs to be dearly cherished. We call on all parties to respect each other, treat each other as equals, conduct win-win cooperation, and oppose the Cold War mentality, zero-sum game and bloc confrontation.
State Councilor Wang stressed that China and Pakistan are true friends sharing weal and woe and good brothers having a heart-to-heart affinity. The friendship between China and Pakistan is jointly nurtured by several generations of leaders of the two countries. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China-Pakistan relations will remain unshakable. China is ready to, as always, prioritize Pakistan in its neighborhood diplomacy, continuously consolidate the “ironclad” friendship between China and Pakistan, advance the building of a China-Pakistan community with a shared future, make China-Pakistan relations a powerful stabilizing factor in the region, and enable China-Pakistan cooperation to provide more robust vitality for regional development and revitalization.
PTI: In his press conference today, Mr. Biden said that any action by the mainland on Taiwan will not only dislocate the entire region, and it would be another action similar to what happened in Ukraine. What’s your response?
Wang Wenbin: It is absurd to compare the Taiwan question to the Ukraine issue as the two are of completely different nature. We once again urge the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués and not to underestimate the Chinese people’s strong resolve, will and capability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Kyodo News: Taiwan media reported yesterday that former Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe might visit Taiwan at the end of July. Does China oppose the potential visit by Abe, who is not the incumbent prime minister?
Wang Wenbin: As I said just now, on the Taiwan question, Japan bears historical responsibilities toward the Chinese people for the crimes it committed in the past. Therefore, it should be even more prudent with its words and deeds. We urge the Japanese side to adhere to the one-China principle.
Yonhap News Agency: On May 21, the ROK and the US held a leaders’ summit and released a joint statement, which stressed the importance of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. Does China have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: The Chinese side has lodged solemn representations with relevant sides. Taiwan is part of the Chinese territory and the Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affairs. We will never allow any country to meddle in China’s domestic affairs in any form.
The Paper: A gathering of trade ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group on May 21 and 22 failed to issue a joint statement after some members introduced the issue of Russia-Ukraine conflict into the meeting. At the Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting, representatives from the US, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and Australia walked out during remarks by Russia’s representative to protest Russia's "invasion" of Ukraine. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: Under the chairmanship of Thailand, the 28th APEC Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT) Meeting has achieved positive and pragmatic outcomes in such areas as supporting multilateral trading regime, advancing the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific, strengthening connectivity and developing the green economy and the digital economy. China appreciates the positive role of Thailand in all these. APEC is a platform for economic cooperation and the MRT Meeting is an occasion to discuss issues relating to economy and trade. All parties should respect APEC’s nature as an economic forum and the mandate of the meeting itself, focus on economic and trade issues and avoid introducing geopolitical issues. Regrettably, the MRT Meeting this time failed to issue a joint statement of ministers due to the introduction of sensitive political issues by certain members, which is the last thing China and many other APEC members hope to see.
APEC is an important economic cooperation mechanism in the Asia Pacific. All parties should respect APEC’s nature as an economic forum and the mandate of the meeting itself, focus on economic and trade issues, and avoid introducing geopolitical issues. Under the current circumstances, all members in the Asia Pacific call for solidarity against COVID-19 and effort to promote economic recovery. China firmly supports Thailand’s role as this year’s APEC chair to promote positive progress in APEC cooperation across the board. China stands ready to work with all APEC members to focus on this year’s theme and priorities, advance cooperation following the established agenda, promote the implementation of the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, and jointly build the Asia-Pacific community with a shared future.
Reuters: The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet was due to arrive today for her visit in China. Could you tell us what’s the latest on her visit? Has she arrived? If so, what’s her program for today and for the next few days? And particularly, when will she be arriving in Xinjiang? And what will she be doing there?
Wang Wenbin: We welcome the High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Michelle Bachelet to visit China. She arrived in China today. During the visit, Chinese leaders and relevant department officials will meet with her. The High Commissioner will visit Guangdong and Xinjiang, where she will have broad exchanges with people from various sectors. It is our hope that the visit will further advance exchange and cooperation between the two sides and play a positive role in promoting the international human rights cause.
China News Service: A survey from the Washington Post and Ipsos released on May 21 finds that since the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, 75 percent of Black Americans report they are worried that they or a loved one will be attacked due to their race. Three quarters of Black Americans report that white supremacist beliefs are a major threat to Black people in America today. Do you have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: The ethnic minorities in the US have long suffered prevalent and systemic discrimination, which is a deep-seated illness of the US society. Ethnic minorities including the Indigenous people, the people of African, Latin American and Asian descent, and Muslims, have long been victims of racial discrimination.
African Americans get only 73.9% of the American pie of equality white people enjoy. Black people have slipped further behind white people in wealth, health, education, social justice and civic engagement. Black Americans are infected with the coronavirus at a rate three times that of whites and they are twice as likely to die from COVID-19. Black female Americans are twice likely to be imprisoned than white female Americans and black male Americans are six times more likely to be imprisoned than white male Americans. African Americans are three times more likely to be killed by the police than Caucasians.
Throughout history, the US slaughtered, expelled and assimilated Native Americans physically, geographically and culturally. It violated human rights of Native Americans in an all-round and systemic manner and committed genocide. As a result, the Native American population nosedived from five million in 1492 to 250,000 at the beginning of the 20th century. American Indians are still living at the bottom of the social ladder today. Among all the ethnic communities of the US, American Indians have the lowest life expectancy, the highest poverty rate, the highest rate of youth alcohol abuse, and the lowest community doctor-to-patient ratio. In 2019, about 25% of American Indians lived in poverty, which is 2.5 times that of the national average.
Like African Americans and the Indigenous people, people of Latin American descent rank much lower than white Americans in such social and economic aspects as education, employment and income. They have long been caught up in the cycle of generational poverty. Accounting for 19% of the US population, Latin Americans only possess 2% of the country’s wealth. According to statistics from the US Department of Labor, the unemployment rate of Hispanic or Latin Americans is 40% higher than white Americans, and Hispanics make up 28.1% of the more than 45 million poor Americans and 37% of the 14.5 million children in poverty. A Pew Research Center study found that 57% of Latinos in the US say their skin tone affects their everyday life.
There have been rampant hate crimes targeting Asian Americans, and the previous US administration’s infamous “China Initiative” has fueled racial discrimination against Asians, especially Chinese Americans. Anti-Asian hate crimes surged by 339% in 2021 compared to 2020. A latest survey by the US shows that 71% of Asian American respondents say they are isolated and discriminated against in the US today due to anti-Asian violence and anti-China political discourse. According to US media reports, US police are readily slanted in favor of the perpetrators in hate crimes against ethnic minorities including Asian Americans.
Discrimination against Muslims runs unabated in the US society. US surveys found that 75% of Muslim American adults said there is a lot of discrimination against Muslims in the US. As many as 93.7% are living in the shadows of Islamophobia.
Slavery has been abolished in the US, but in fact racial segregation persists in the country. The US government cannot shirk its responsibility for the continuously rampant racism. The US government ratified the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, but with too many reservations citing “freedom of speech” as an excuse. In particular, it refused to accept the obligations stipulated in Article 4 and Article 7, two core articles in the Convention. This has left the room for racism to grow and spread in the US. Nearly 60 years ago, Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, and today, we still have to face a brutal reality where people like George Floyd can’t even breathe. Do the ethnic minorities, including the Indigenous people, the people of African, Latin American and Asian descent, and Muslims, still have to live their life in fear and discrimination for another 60 years to come?
RIA Novosti: Earlier United States Senator Rand Paul, talking about the 40 billion of military and economic aid to Ukraine, said that the United States has to borrow that money from China. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear. Just as State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi pointed out, sending weapons won’t bring peace to Ukraine and resorting to sanctions and pressure cannot get Europe out of its security conundrum. The international community should pool strength for peace and take concrete actions to lower the temperature on the conflict instead of adding fuel to the flame.
CCTV: On May 21, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on social media platform that China continues to misrepresent US policy. “The United States does not subscribe to the PRC’s ‘one China principle’ – we remain committed to our longstanding, bipartisan one China policy, guided by the Taiwan Relations Act, Three Joint Communiques, and Six Assurances,” he said. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: The relevant remarks of the US side misrepresent history and distort facts.
The Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive issue in China-US relations. The core of the Taiwan question is “one China”. There is but one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. This is the core concept of the one-China principle and has become a consensus of the international community and basic norm governing international relations. In October 1971, the 26th session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 2758, which “decides to restore all its rights to the People’s Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and to expel forthwith the representatives of Chiang Kai-shek from the place which they unlawfully occupy at the United Nations and in all the organizations related to it.” A total of 181 countries, the US included, have established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of recognizing the one-China principle.
In history, the Taiwan question was once the biggest obstacle in the normalization of China-US relations. That’s because China firmly adheres to the one-China principle and makes no compromise or concession on the Taiwan question. In 1971, the US affirmed to China the new principles it would follow with regard to the Taiwan question. They include: the US would acknowledge that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is a part of China; the US would not repeat the phrase that the status of Taiwan is undetermined; the US had not supported, and would not support movements for “Taiwan independence”. President Nixon reaffirmed these principles to Premier Zhou Enlai during his visit to China in 1972. That was how the Shanghai Communiqué came into being.
The US side explicitly declared in the Shanghai Communiqué released in 1972 that “the United States acknowledges that all Chinese on either side of the Taiwan Strait maintain there is but one China and that Taiwan is a part of China. The United States Government does not challenge that position.” The above-mentioned commitments made by the US started the process toward normalization of China-US relations. China decided to establish diplomatic relations with the US only when three preconditions had been met, namely, the US severed “diplomatic relations” and abrogated the “mutual defense treaty” with the Taiwan authorities and withdrew US military forces from Taiwan. In the Joint Communiqué on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China released in 1978, the US “recognizes the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China” and “acknowledges the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China”.
In the August 17 Communiqué released in 1982, the US explicitly stated, “In the Joint communique on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations on January 1, 1979, issued by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the United States of America, the United States of America recognized the Government of the People’s Republic of China as the sole legal Government of China, and it acknowledged the Chinese position that there is but one China and Taiwan is part of China.” It also “reiterates that it has no intention of infringing on Chinese sovereignty and territorial integrity, or interfering in China’s internal affairs, or pursuing a policy of ‘two Chinas’ or ‘one China, one Taiwan’.” These commitments are there for all to see. They are crystal clear and inked in the documents. Such historical facts cannot be wiped off or denied.
However, the US has not been faithfully implementing the one-China principle and stipulations in the three China-US joint communiqués over the past 40 years or so. There are more than enough examples in this regard. The US has significantly eased constraints on official exchanges with Taiwan, and the level and frequency of bilateral exchanges have greatly increased. This is a breach of its commitment to maintaining unofficial relations with Taiwan only. There have been more frequent open military interactions between the US and Taiwan, and the size and performance of arms sold by the US to Taiwan have kept increasing, with a total worth of over $70 billion. This is a breach of its commitment to gradually reducing its sale of arms to Taiwan, leading, over a period of time, to a final resolution. The US has helped Taiwan to expand its so-called “international space”, even jumping into the front stage to help Taiwan consolidate its so-called diplomatic ties. This is a breach of its commitment that it has no intention of pursuing a policy of “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”.
In recent years, the US has doubled down on efforts to mislead the public in order to hollow out the one-China principle. For example, the US is using more descriptions to modify its one-China policy, including its unilaterally-concocted Taiwan Relations Act and Six Assurances which have never been recognized and are firmly opposed by China from the very beginning. The China-US relationship, as that between two states, can only be guided by political consensus between the two countries, rather than be established on policy unilaterally formulated by the US side. The US has spread the fallacy in the international community that UNGA Resolution 2758 has not resolved the status of Taiwan, claiming that its one-China policy is different from China’s one-China principle and that each country has the right to define its own one-China policy framework. It is not hard to tell from the facts that China is not misrepresenting the US policy. It is the US who has been constantly reneging on its own commitments, bilateral consensus and its original position. Such moves are aimed at historical backpedaling, obstructing China’s peaceful reunification by using the Taiwan question, undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and building Taiwan into “an unsinkable aircraft carrier” to contain China with the Taiwan question.
It must be pointed out that be it the one-China principle or the one-China policy, their essence is both about “one China”. This is a political consensus reached between China and the US. Without this consensus, China and the US couldn’t have engaged with each other and established diplomatic ties and the bilateral relationship couldn’t have achieved development.
We must also stress that the Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair and realizing China’s complete reunification is the shared aspiration of all the Chinese people. China is firmly resolved in defending its sovereignty and security interests. There is zero room for compromise and not an inch to give on the Taiwan question.
We urge the US side to abide by the one-China principle and stipulations in the three China-US joint communiqués, return to the original and true meaning of “one-China”, follow through on President Biden’s remarks of not supporting “Taiwan independence”, stop hollowing out the one-China principle, stop seeking to contain China with Taiwan-related issues, stop emboldening “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, and avoid causing further severe damage to China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
TASS: The joint statement of Japanese and US leaders says that the two leaders expressed concern about the increasing activities of Russian military forces around Japan and committed to remain attentive to cooperation between China and Russia in military affairs. I wonder if you have any comments on this?
Wang Wenbin: The relevant cooperation between China and Russia conforms to international law and customary international practice. It is not targeted at any third country.
AFP: US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has said that the United States is looking to deepen economic partnerships with Taiwan, including on high technology issues, including on semiconductors and supply chains. Now, this was said during the launch of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity. How does Beijing view US attempts to deepen trade ties with Taiwan?
Wang Wenbin: I would like to reiterate that there is only one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China. This is a widely-held consensus of the international community. Recent US moves on Taiwan challenge the one-China principle and escalate tensions across the Taiwan Strait. This is no different from playing with fire, which is very dangerous. We urge the US to abide by the one-China principle and stipulations in the three China-US joint communiqués, avoid sending wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, and immediately stop meddling in China’s internal affairs, lest it should undermine China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Xinhua News Agency: We just learned that the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) has explicitly refused to include a proposal on Taiwan’s participation as an observer in its agenda. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: The General Committee and the Plenary Session of the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA) have respectively decided to reject the so-called proposal of “inviting Taiwan to participate in the WHA as an observer” submitted by certain countries. This fully demonstrates the shared international commitment to the one-China principle, an overriding trend that cannot be challenged.
In disregard of the aspiration of all parties and the well-being of our Taiwan compatriots, the DPP authorities obstinately instigated countries having what it calls “diplomatic ties” with Taiwan to make Taiwan-related proposals. A handful of countries have encouraged and emboldened this move overtly or covertly, which goes against the trend of history and is egregious in nature. The relevant proposal has been rejected by countries taking a just stand. By the time the assembly commenced, nearly 90 countries sent letters to the WHO to express their commitment to the one-China principle and opposition to Taiwan’s participation in the WHA.
The Chinese Central Government always attaches great importance to the health and well-being of our compatriots in the Taiwan region. Under the precondition of abiding by the one-China principle, we have made appropriate arrangements for the Taiwan region’s participation in global health affairs. The Central Government has given the Taiwan region about 400 updates about the pandemic situation since the start of COVID-19, and approved 47 visits by public health experts from the Taiwan region to 44 WHO technical activities over the past year. There is an International Health Regulations Contact Point in the Taiwan region for it to promptly access and report information related to health emergencies. The claim of a “gap” in global anti-epidemic efforts is groundless.
The DPP authorities should know that the attempt to seek the independence of Taiwan by taking advantage of the pandemic will lead nowhere. We also urge certain countries to stop politicizing the health issue and stop interfering in China’s internal affairs by exploiting Taiwan-related issues. Otherwise, they are doomed to fail just like a man who lifts a rock only to drop it on his own feet.
Kyodo News: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has arrived in China already. Can the press have interviews with her in Xinjiang?
Wang Wenbin: The visit of the High Commissioner will be conducted in a closed loop. The two sides have agreed that there will not be journalists travelling with her. The office of the High Commissioner has already released relevant information. High Commissioner Bachelet will brief the press on her visit to China at an appropriate time.
Reuters: A follow-up on the High Commissioner. We understand she’s here for just under a week. If, after her visit, she feels that she wasn’t able to acquire as much information as she hoped, will she be welcome to return sometime soon?
Wang Wenbin: I don’t have any comment on a hypothetical question.
TASS: A follow-up question on the Japan-US joint leaders’ statement. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and President of the United States Joseph Biden requested China to advance nuclear disarmament, according to the document. I wonder if China has any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: I expounded on China’s position on relevant issues last week.
If the US is truly concerned about nuclear arms control, it should act in line with UN documents and international consensus, earnestly assume its special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament, and continue to further substantively reduce its nuclear arsenal in a verifiable, irreversible and legally-binding manner. It should stop nuclear submarine cooperation under AUKUS, stop creating nuclear proliferation risks and stop undermining regional peace and stability.
I also want to stress that Japan’s position on nuclear disarmament is hypocritical and self-contradictory. Some Japanese politicians have been clamoring for “nuclear sharing” with the US in an attempt to breach Japan’s three non-nuclear principles and introduce US nuclear weapons. China and the rest of the international community are gravely concerned over this. Japan should be prudent with its words and actions, earnestly fulfill its obligations under the NPT, and adopt a responsible attitude in safeguarding regional peace and stability.
As to China’s relevant nuclear policy, it has always been open and transparent. China is firmly committed to a self-defensive nuclear strategy and keeps its nuclear forces at the minimum level required to safeguard national security. We stay committed to the policy of no first use of nuclear weapons. As long as a country does not use nuclear weapons against China, it has nothing to worry about China’s nuclear weapons. This is the most meaningful transparency.
Reuters: Another question on the High Commissioner’s visit. First, will there be any virtual press opportunities during the High Commissioner’s visit? And the second question is, what will be Ms. Bachelet’s precise program in Xinjiang?
Wang Wenbin: On your first question, I already offered relevant information just now. Due to the impact of COVID-19, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s visit to China will be carried out in a closed-loop manner with no travelling press, as agreed by both sides. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) also made it clear that Ms. Bachelet will brief the press on her visit at an appropriate time. I believe our friends from the press surely will have opportunity to learn more about her visit.
On your second question, like I just said, during her visit in China, the Chinese leadership and officials from relevant departments will meet with Ms. Bachelet. She will travel to Guangdong and Xinjiang and have extensive exchanges with people from various sectors.
AFP: Pope Francis on Sunday has said that he was following attentively the lives of Catholics in China. Despite the lack of direct diplomatic ties, has the Vatican made any attempts to engage in dialogue with Beijing?
Wang Wenbin: Respecting and protecting freedom of religious belief is the basic policy of the CPC and the Chinese government on religion. Chinese people of all ethnic groups enjoy full freedom of religious belief in accordance with the law.
China is ready to continue constructive dialogue with the Vatican and implement the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops.
Kyodo News: President Joe Biden supports Japan’s bid to join a reformed UN Security Council. Does China oppose that?
Wang Wenbin: China supports the reform of the Security Council and believes that the reform should enhance the authority and efficacy of the Security Council, increase the representation and say of developing countries and give more small and medium-sized countries the opportunity to participate in the decision-making of the organization. We also need to bear in mind at the same time that the reform of the Security Council bears on the long-term development of the UN and the immediate interests of member states. At present, there are still major differences on the overall direction and basic principles of the reform. It is necessary to seek a package solution that accommodates the interests and concerns of all parties through extensive democratic consultation.
Anadolu Agency: During her visit to Xinjiang, will High Commissioner Bachelet visit any prison, detention or re-education center?
Wang Wenbin: We welcome High Commissioner Bachelet to visit China, including Xinjiang. China will facilitate the visit. The purpose of this visit is to enhance exchanges and cooperation between the two sides and promote the development of international human rights cause. We are always opposed to using this matter for political manipulation.
Shenzhen TV: The European Union released its annual reports on Hong Kong and Macao in 2021 respectively the other day, falsely claiming that fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong and Macao continued to worsen. What is foreign ministry’s comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: The spokespersons of China’s Mission to the EU, the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in the Hong Kong SAR and the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in the Macao SAR have stated their solemn position respectively on this issue. The two reports of the EU confound right with wrong in flagrant violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations, and constitute gross interference in China’s internal affairs. China strongly deplores and firmly rejects this.
I want to stress that issues related to Hong Kong and Macao are purely China’s internal affairs, which brook no foreign interference. We urge the EU side to respect basic facts, view the significant achievements of Hong Kong and Macao’s socioeconomic development under the principle of One Country, Two Systems in an objective and just light, give up arrogance and prejudice, change its old habit of lecturing others, and take real actions to honor international law and basic norms governing international relations. It should immediately stop interfering in China’s internal affairs including those related to Hong Kong and Macao, lest the development of China-EU relations would be affected.