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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on January 11, 2022
2022-01-11 21:00

At the invitation of State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu of Turkey and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian of Iran will visit China on January 12 and January 14 respectively. 

Phoenix TV: The DPRK fired an unidentified projectile into the sea east of the Korean Peninsula on the early morning of January 11. This is another show of force after the hyper-sonic missile launched on January 5. The UN Security Council convened a closed-door consultation on the DPRK nuclear issue on January 10. A joint statement released by six countries including the US, the UK and Japan condemned the hyper-sonic missile test launch. I wonder what’s China’s position on this issue?

Wang Wenbin: We have taken note of the launches. Further research and assessment is needed to identify the nature of the projectile. All sides should avoid jumping to conclusions or overacting. We hope relevant sides will act prudently, jointly safeguard peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, resolve respective concerns through dialogue and consultation, and advance the political settlement process of the Korean Peninsula issue along the dual-track approach and the phased and synchronized principle.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula is at an important and sensitive stage. China always holds that the Security Council should play a positive and constructive role and that any action should be conducive to facilitating the resumption of dialogue between the parties concerned and to maintaining peace and stability on the Peninsula. At the same time, China calls on all sides to bear in mind the bigger picture, work in the same direction, focus on advancing the political settlement process, and do more things that can help stabilize the situation, accumulate mutual trust and revive dialogue.

CNR: You just said that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will visit China soon. Can you share with us the arrangement of and China’s expectations about the visit? How does China see its relations with Turkey?

Wang Wenbin: During the visit, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will have a meeting with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, and have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern.

In recent years, China and Turkey have maintained high-level exchange and communication at all levels, achieved fruitful outcomes in practical cooperation, and joined hands in fighting the pandemic, thus deepening their strategic cooperative relationship. Last year, the two countries celebrated the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic relations. China is ready to work with Turkey to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, render each other mutual understanding and mutual support on issues concerning our respective core interests, strengthen the alignment of development strategies, and promote the sound and steady development of the bilateral relations.

CCTV: We noted that yesterday State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Do you have more information on that? 

Wang Wenbin: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a telephone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on January 10.

The two foreign ministers exchanged views mainly on the situation in Kazakhstan. The timely exchange of views between Chinese and Russian foreign ministers on major international and regional issues is a vivid illustration of the two countries’ high-level strategic coordination. Foreign Minister Lavrov shared the assessment of the situation in Kazakhstan made by the special summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). He said that more and more information shows clearly that what’s happening in Kazakhstan is a riot carefully choreographed by external forces. The CSTO has taken action by sending peacekeeping forces at the request of the Kazakh side. The situation has been notably improved.

State Councilor Wang Yi stressed that President Xi Jinping said in his verbal message to Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev that China firmly opposes any deliberate attempt by external forces to provoke unrest and instigate a “color revolution” in Kazakhstan. China is ready to provide support to the best of its capacity to help Kazakhstan tide over the difficulties. The Chinese people will forever stand with the Kazakh people.

State Councilor Wang Yi said that China and Russia, both permanent members of the UN Security Council and friendly neighbors of Central Asian countries, will not see Central Asia embroiled in chaos and war. The two sides should continue deepening coordination and collaboration, oppose foreign forces’ interference in Central Asian countries’ domestic affairs, and forestall “color revolutions” and the evildoing of terrorist, separatist and extremist forces. Both should give full play to their respective strength and help Central Asian countries fight COVID-19, develop the economy, and strive to eliminate the breeding ground for unrest. Both should support greater coordination and collaboration between the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the CSTO to effectively deal with various challenges to regional security together.

The foreign ministers also exchanged views on China-Russia relations. State Councilor Wang Yi said that when President Putin visits China and attends the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, it will not only be the first in-person meeting between the two heads of state in nearly two years, but also a major event in international relations in this new year. China stands ready to enhance communication with the Russian side to jointly ensure a successful and fruitful Winter Olympics rendezvous and Spring Festival gathering between the two heads of state.

Foreign Minister Lavrov fully agrees with the Chinese side’s view and expressed readiness to have close communication with China and make good preparation for President Putin’s visit and attendance at the Beijing Winter Olympics, which will surely be a complete success.

China Daily: Can you provide more details about Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit to China and share China’s expectation of the visit? How do you view China-Iran relations?

Wang Wenbin: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian of Iran. 

China and Iran enjoy long-standing and profound friendship. Under the leadership of the two heads of state, the relations have achieved marked progress in recent years. We firmly support each other on issues concerning our respective core interests, promote practical cooperation across the board in a steady manner and maintain close communication and coordination in international and regional affairs. Facing the impact of COVID-19, China and Iran rendered each other help and assistance in times of need, highlighting the strength of our profound relations. In 2021, the two countries jointly celebrated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and opened up a new chapter in our friendship. Standing at a new historical starting point, China is ready to work with Iran to further deepen the China-Iran comprehensive strategic partnership to the benefit of our two countries and two peoples. 

Shenzhen TV: On January 10, data from the People’s Bank of China shows that by the end of December in 2021, bonds in China’s interbank market held by overseas institutions totaled 4 trillion yuan, which is 750 billion higher than the figure registered at the end of December in 2020. Some economists working with foreign financial institutions said that overseas investors hope to take part and share in China’s economic growth by investing in RMB assets in the long run. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: The increase of bonds in China’s interbank market held by overseas institutions is a vote of confidence for the Chinese economy. 

In 2021, China continued to consolidate and expand the achievements in epidemic response and economic and social development. We have made new advances in fostering a new development paradigm and pursuing high-quality development, and got off to a good start in implementing the 14th Five-Year Plan. Multiple international economic organizations projected China’s economy to grow by around 8% year-on-year, which is above China’s target of over 6% set in the beginning of the year and the projected growth of other major economies. It is fair to say that China’s economic recovery will continue to lead the world. 

We also saw some open reports showing that many foreign enterprises in China hold positive views on China’s economic prospect and have plans to increase their investment. This speaks volumes about the resilience and vitality of the Chinese economy as well as foreign institutions’ confidence in China’s development. 

I want to stress that the fundamentals sustaining China’s positive economic outlook for the long term will not change and China’s resolve to expand high-level opening-up and share development opportunities with the world will not change. China will be more vigorous in integrating with the global market and will take greater initiative in deepening international cooperation. We will work with all sides to jointly build an open world economy and inject robust impetus into world economic recovery and the inclusive and sustainable development in the world. 

Bloomberg: Taiwan and Canada held exploratory discussions about ways to boost trade ties, which is Taipei’s latest move to reduce economic reliance on China’s mainland. Does the foreign ministry have a comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: China opposes official contact and agreement of official nature between countries having diplomatic ties with China and the Taiwan region. This position is clear and consistent. The Canadian government should abide by the one-China principle, and prudently and properly handle relevant issues.

Dragon TV: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken issued a statement on January 10 saying that China’s sanctions on commissioners of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) are “without merit” and alleging that there is “ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang”. Does the Chinese side have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: Allegations of “genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang” are lies of the century fabricated by some individuals in the US. The US side has been creating rumors to malign China, tarnish China’s image and contain its development, but their conspiracy will not succeed.

Over the past few years, the US, under the disguise of democracy, human rights and religion, imposed unilateral sanctions on dozens of Chinese officials and several entities pursuant to its domestic legislation on issues concerning China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity such as Xinjiang and Hong Kong, all of which are without merit. These acts interfere in China’s internal affairs and gravely harm China’s interests. The Chinese side has made response in accordance with law, which is completely a justified move to defend sovereignty, security and development interests.

We will continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard our national sovereignty, dignity and legitimate interests.

RIA Novosti: President of Kazakhstan Tokayev said today that the country is suffering considerable financial loss due to the poor work of customs on the border of China. He said the taxes and duties are not paid and cars are not inspected properly. He also ordered to resolve this problem as soon as possible. I wonder how does China assess the situation on the border with Kazakhstan and the work of customs? 

Wang Wenbin: China and Kazakhstan are friendly neighbors and permanent comprehensive strategic partners. We have sound cooperation mechanisms and communication channels. The two countries will make concerted efforts to ensure that the bilateral cooperation moves ahead smoothly. 

Bloomberg: Can you confirm that a meeting will be held tomorrow between Chinese and Indian military officials on their border? What are China’s expectations for those talks? 

Wang Wenbin: As agreed by both sides, China and India will hold the 14th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting on the Chinese side of the Moldo meeting point on January 12. The China-India border situation is generally stable at the moment. The two countries are maintaining dialogue and communication through diplomatic and military channels. We hope the Indian side can work with China, and strive to switch from emergency response to normalized management and control in the border area as soon as possible. 

Anadolu Agency: Gulf Cooperation Council countries’ foreign ministers and Secretary-General are in China for a multi-day visit. Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Saudi counterpart in Wuxi yesterday, and as we have learned, Foreign Minister Wang will meet Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu tomorrow and Iranian Foreign Minister on the weekend. Do those meetings have something in common? Does China have an initiative regarding Middle East? What will be the central issues to be discussed in these meetings?

Wang Wenbin: Earlier, I said that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will have in-depth exchange of views with his colleagues on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern. 

Turkey and Iran are all China’s good friends. China has carried out productive cooperation with them in various sectors, delivering tangible benefits to our peoples. Maintaining high-level exchanges with the above-mentioned countries will help to deepen bilateral relations and contribute to the peace, stability and development in the Middle East. 

Bloomberg: The ambassador from the government overthrown by the Taliban says he has left his post in Beijing and does the ministry have a comment on this? Also how does the ministry expect diplomatic relations to evolve between Kabul and Beijing in the coming months?

Wang Wenbin: Ambassador Javid Ahmad Qaem left China due to personal reasons the other day. We noted relevant remarks of Ambassador Qaem. We appreciate his efforts in advancing China-Afghanistan relations during his term in China, and hope he will continue to play a positive part going forward. China will as always promote the friendly relations between China and Afghanistan.

Beijing Youth Daily: According to reports, Lithuania’s shadow cabinet issued a statement that said it hopes Lithuania-China relations can be normalized, and recognizes Taiwan as an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. It expects the Lithuanian government to redress its mistakes and rename the “Taiwanese Representative Office in Lithuania” to “Taipei Representative Office”. What is your comment?

Wang Wenbin: I have noted relevant reports. The ins and outs of the problems in China-Lithuania relations are very clear. The Lithuanian government acted in bad faith, and disregarded the overall interests of the bilateral ties and the interests of the country and the people, thus inviting wide suspicion and opposition at home and abroad. We urge the Lithuanian government to correct the mistakes, stop acting as a pawn for the “Taiwan independence” forces and anti-China forces, make choices in line with its own interests and basic norms governing international relations, and return to the right track of adhering to the one-China principle.

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