|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on July 6, 2022|
AFP: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Bali this week. What will be the topics of their discussion?
Zhao Lijian: Yesterday, China and the US made respective press announcements about the upcoming meeting between the two foreign ministers. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the margins of the G20 meeting to exchange views on current China-US relations and major international and regional issues.
RIA Novosti: The Russian and Chinese Presidents had a phone conversation on June 15. Will Chinese leader visit Russia after the improvement of the epidemiological situation?
Zhao Lijian: Since the start of COVID-19, the presidents and high-level officials of China and Russia have maintained close exchange through various ways, and kept timely and effective communication over bilateral relations and cooperation in various areas. The two sides will continue to carry out interactions at various levels and further grow the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.
CCTV: As we understand, the inauguration ceremony of the China-Caribbean Development Center was held this morning. Can you share more on the event? What’s your comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: Thank you for following the event. The inauguration ceremony of the China-Caribbean Development Center was held this morning. Secretary of the Shandong Provincial Committee of the Communist Party of China Li Ganjie, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Xie Feng and diplomatic envoys of Caribbean countries posted in China attended the ceremony in an online-plus-offline format. Last September, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative (GDI) at the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and called on the international community to implement the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which received warm response and active support of the international community including Caribbean countries. To enhance China’s cooperation with Caribbean countries, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the decision to establish the China-Caribbean Development Center at the Third Ministers’ Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum last December. The launch of the China-Caribbean Development Center signifies the strong efforts of the two sides to accelerate the implementation of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and follow through on the GDI. The Center will focus on development issues, promote high-standard, people-centered and sustainable cooperation projects, boost development in Caribbean countries and deliver benefits to the local communities.
China and Caribbean countries are good friends, good partners and good brothers sharing the same goals. Since President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Caribbean in 2013, the comprehensive cooperative partnership between the two sides has kept deepening. This year, as we mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of diplomatic relations between China and Caribbean countries, the future of our two sides is more closely-linked than ever. We stand ready to work with the Caribbean side to make full use of the China-Caribbean Development Center and forge an even closer China-Caribbean community with a shared future.
Bloomberg: Today we reported that the US is asking the Netherlands and Japan to ban the export of deep ultraviolet lithography machines which are used to make computer chips. Do you have any comment on this news? And would China retaliate against the US or against the companies ASML and Nikon if they did stop selling these machines?
Zhao Lijian: This is yet another example of the US’s practice of “coercive diplomacy” by abusing state power and wielding technological hegemony. It is also classic technological terrorism. In this era of globalization, by repeatedly seeking to politicize, weaponize and ideologize economic and trade issues and exercise technological blockade and decoupling against other countries, the US would only remind other countries of the risks of technological dependence on the US and prompt them to quickly become independent and self-reliant in science and technology. Those who seek to block others’ way will only end up blocking their own way. We hope the parties concerned will adopt an objective and impartial stance on this matter and make independent decisions based on their own long-term interests and the market principles of equity and fairness.
AFP: The provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops between China and the Vatican will expire in October. Pope Francis has expressed the hope to extend the agreement. Does China plan to do the same? If so, does China intend to revise certain clauses in the agreement? And will you make the full content of the new agreement public?
Zhao Lijian: Since China and the Vatican signed the provisional agreement on the appointment of bishops, the agreement has been successfully implemented thanks to the efforts of both sides. The two sides will continue with the relevant work in accordance with the agreed agenda.
Phoenix TV: I would like to follow up on the upcoming meeting between Chinese and US foreign ministers you just mentioned. Will the Taiwan question and Xinjiang-related issues be covered during the meeting?
Zhao Lijian: The Taiwan question concerns China’s core interests. It has always been the most important and sensitive issue in China-US relations. The one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués are the political foundation of China-US relations. Previous US administrations have all made clear commitments to this, and President Biden also stated that the US does not support “Taiwan independence” in his statements which include five assurances (i.e. 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 needs to abide by the provisions of the three China-US joint communiqués, stop turning back the wheel of history, stop hollowing out the one-China principle, stop encouraging and supporting “Taiwan independence”, and take concrete actions to safeguard the political foundation of China-US relations.
Xinjiang-related issues are of major concern to China. The so-called forced labor in Xinjiang is an outrageous lie from the US side to smear and contain China. The US’s Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act is an extension of this lie and designed to amplify its approach of using Xinjiang to contain China. The international community knows what is truly going on. China is not engaged in “forced labor”, but it is facing forced unemployment caused by the US. By accusing China, the US is depriving hundreds of thousands of workers in Xinjiang of their most basic right to work in various sectors. China is not engaged in “suppression of human rights”, but it is facing a forced return to poverty caused by the US. What the US has done is taking away the livelihoods of people from all ethnic backgrounds in Xinjiang who have worked really hard to have lifted themselves out of poverty. The US is even going after Xinjiang’s poverty alleviation projects. China is not violating international rules, but it is facing forced decoupling and cutting off of international industrial and supply chains caused by the US. It is the US that is destroying international economic and trade rules and destabilizing international industrial and supply chains.
We urge the US side to stop propagating lies about forced labor and implementing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, and take concrete actions to create favorable conditions for bilateral cooperation in various fields instead of creating new obstacles.
CCTV: US Secretary of State Blinken said recently at the NATO Public Forum that “the relationship that we all have with China is among the most complex and consequential of any relationship that we have with another country. And there are aspects of the relationship that are clearly competitive, and we need to make sure that that competition is fair”. “China is seeking to undermine the rules-based international order.” We are “not looking for conflict but trying to make sure that together we’re upholding the rules-based international order.” What is China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: The remarks of Secretary of State Blinken is a misrepresentation of the facts and does not reflect the truth. His words smack of Cold War mentality and ideological prejudice. China is firmly opposed to this. I want to stress three points.
First, China has been a force for world peace, a contributor to global development and a defender of international order. China has never invaded any country, never launched any proxy war, and never participated in or put together any military bloc. We have no intention to compete with or confront any country. What we hope for is to get along with others peacefully, have win-win cooperation and build a community with a shared future for mankind. In order to mislead the public, the US has worked hand in glove with NATO to hype up competition with China and stoke group confrontation. The narratives and gambits that the US employs are not so clever. They are rather unpopular, and will not succeed.
Second, claiming that NATO is not “looking for conflict” is hypocritical and inconsistent with facts. The history of NATO is one of creating conflicts and waging wars. From Bosnia and Herzegovina to Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Ukraine, the self-claimed “defensive organization” has been making advances into new areas and domains, arbitrarily launching wars and killing innocent civilians. Even to this day, there is no sign of change. Facts have proven that it is not China that poses a systemic challenge to NATO, but NATO that brings a looming “systemic challenge” to world peace and security.
Third, the US’s so-called “rules-based international order” is actually a bunch of rules made by a handful of countries to serve the selfish interests of the US in seeking hegemony. While asking other countries to uphold the international order, the US has been obstructing negotiations for a verification protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention, and refusing to ratify multiple international conventions including the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. The US constantly places its domestic law above international law and observes international rules only as it sees fit. This is the biggest damage being done to the international order.
We want to make it clear that NATO must renounce its blind faith in military might and quit disrupting the Asia-Pacific.
We urge the US to adopt a right perception of China and reject conflict and confrontation. It needs to act on President Biden’s five assurances, and choose the right path of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.
Dragon TV: We noted that in the wake of the earthquake in Afghanistan, relief supplies from China have been arriving in Afghanistan. Can you share some details?
Zhao Lijian: As a Chinese saying goes, good neighbors wish each other safe and well. China and Afghanistan are sincere friends connected by mountains. The thoughts of the government and people of China have been with the people affected in Afghanistan, and we have responded at top speed. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed sincere sympathies through his message of condolences and the phone conversation he had with Acting Foreign Minister of the Afghan interim government Amir Khan Muttaqi. Chinese Central and sub-national governments, the Red Cross Society of China, Chinese companies in Afghanistan and non-governmental organizations have altogether provided 54 million RMB worth of emergency humanitarian assistance in cash and in kind so far.
Our Afghan friends once said that in the face of disasters, they can always trust and count on China. In order to deliver the quake relief supplies to the people affected as soon as possible, the Chinese side has been working against the clock. In less than two weeks, China dispatched six Y-20 transport aircraft and four commercial flights to send the vast majority of supplies to Afghanistan. China is among the fastest and biggest providers of relief aid that is most needed in Afghanistan. Tomorrow, the last chartered flight loaded with supplies from the Chinese government will leave for Afghanistan, which means all the supplies China has promised will have been delivered. We are losing no time and sparing no effort to assist the Afghan people. With concrete actions, China has once again demonstrated that the Chinese and Afghans are true friends who help and support each other.
Going forward, the Chinese government and people will continue to provide assistance to the best of our efforts for Afghanistan’s post-quake reconstruction and disaster prevention and mitigation efforts. We will also support Afghanistan in achieving stability and development at an early date.
China Daily: It is reported that on July 5, officials of Sindh Province of Pakistan and the Pakistani counter-terrorism department said at a press conference in Karachi that a key suspect linked to the terrorist attack at the Confucius Institute of the University of Karachi has been arrested. Terrorist groups including the Balochistan Liberation Front and the Balochistan Liberation Army are operating more closely with each other and foreign forces are suspected of manipulating behind the scenes. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: China is closely following Pakistan’s investigation into the terrorist attack at the Confucius Institute of the University of Karachi. We appreciate the strong efforts made by the Pakistani side. At the same time, further investigation is still underway. We hope the Pakistani side will get to the bottom of this attack, bring the perpetrators to justice, take down the terrorist organizations involved in the attack and ensure the safety of Chinese projects, personnel and institutions in Pakistan. China will also firmly support Pakistan’s efforts on counterterrorism to provide an even safer environment for China-Pakistan cooperation.
Hubei Media Group: According to reports, the Enforcement Directorate of India raided Chinese mobile manufacturer Vivo and many locations related to Vivo and associated companies. What’s China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: The Chinese side is closely following the developments on this matter. As I have stressed many times, the Chinese government has always asked Chinese companies to abide by laws and regulations when doing business overseas. In the meantime, we firmly support Chinese companies in safeguarding their lawful rights and interests. We hope the Indian authorities will abide by laws as they carry out the investigation and enforcement activities and provide a truly fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies investing and operating in India.