Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin held regular press conference on May 25. DPRK missile test, IPEF launch, Bachelet’s China visit, Wang Fi’s Fiji visit, Texas carnage, PLA exercises around Taiwan, Sino-Australian trade, Japan & NPT and Chinese subsidies besides a host of other issues.
Yonhap News Agency: It is reported that the DPRK fired three ballistic missiles toward waters off the Korean Peninsula’s eastern coast this morning. What’s your comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: We have noted the relevant report and the fact that the DPRK side has not yet released any information on that. Upholding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and advancing the political settlement process of the Korean Peninsula issue serve the common interests of the international community. We hope relevant sides can exercise restraint, stick to the general direction of political settlement, and resume meaningful dialogue at an early date to explore a way to address the concerns of all parties in a balanced manner.?
AFP: Was Xinjiang mentioned during today’s virtual meeting between UN High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet and President Xi?
Wang Wenbin: President Xi Jinping met with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet today. China has already released the readout on that. You may refer to it.
Reuters: You mentioned yesterday that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is going to Fiji soon, and will be meeting, ahead of that, some Pacific Island foreign?ministers. Reuters has become aware of the fact China is looking to sign a region-wide deal which includes police and security cooperation. Some people fear this could spark a new Cold War between the East and the West. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: First, I would like to stress that as developing countries in the Asia-Pacific, China and South Pacific Island countries are good friends and good partners pursuing common development on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. This visit by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to the South Pacific aims to deepen the friendly and cooperative relationship between China and relevant countries, and contributes to peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific. I fully disagree with the sensational remarks by some people. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some facts about China-PICs cooperation.?
The friendship between China and the PICs goes way back. Since the establishment of our diplomatic ties in the 1970s, the bilateral relations have made significant progress, which is particularly marked by the two visits by President Xi Jinping in 2014 and 2018 to the PICs and his group meetings with leaders of the PICs having diplomatic ties with China. The foreign ministry today released the Fact Sheet: Cooperation Between China and Pacific Island Countries.
Here I would like to share some numbers with you. First, our exchange and cooperation keep expanding, covering more than 20 areas including trade,?investment, ocean affairs,?environmental protection, disaster prevention and mitigation, poverty alleviation, health?care, education, tourism, culture, sports and at the sub-national?level. China and PICs?have forged?22?pairs of sister provinces/states?and cities. Second, China?has signed?Belt and Road cooperation?MOUs with?all the?10 PICs having diplomatic relations with China, and has become an important trade partner and source of investment. From 1992 to 2021, the total trade volume between China and PICs?having diplomatic relations with China grew at an average?annual rate of?13%, expanding by?over 30 times in?30 years. Third, China stays committed to providing economic and technical assistance to PICs with no political strings attached. China has implemented more than 100 aid projects, delivered?more than 200 batches of in-kind assistance, and trained about?10,000?talents?in various?fields. Fourth, China has dispatched 600 medical workers to PICs, benefiting more than 260,000?local residents. Since the start?of COVID-19, China has provided PICs with nearly?600,000?doses of vaccines and more than 100 tons of anti-pandemic supplies.
The exchange and cooperation between China and PICs are carried out in line with the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, and on the basis of equal-footed consultation. It follows the principle of mutual benefits and pursues common development. With tangible outcomes, it has won wide support from the people of PICs. I think the above facts rebuke the argument you mentioned.
Facts have proven that no matter how the international landscape may evolve, China and the PICs are always good friends treating each other with sincerity and mutual respect, good partners pursuing common development and win-win results, and good brothers drawing on each other’s strength based on affinity and mutual understanding. Our two sides have set a good example of mutual support, solidarity and cooperation between countries of different size and with different systems.
The release of the Fact?Sheet is aimed at taking stock of the friendly exchanges of the two sides in history, demonstrate outcomes of our practical cooperation and offer inspiration to creating a brighter future of the bilateral relationship. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi is about to visit the South Pacific upon invitation and host the second China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting. China is ready to work with the PICs in taking this visit as an opportunity?to further strengthen high-level exchange, consolidate political mutual trust, expand practical cooperation, and deepen people-to-people bond so as to build an even closer community with a shared future for China and Pacific Island countries.
Hubei Media Group: At least 21 people, including 19 children, have died in a shooting at an elementary school in Texas on May 24, marking the 39th school shooting in the US this year. Also, today marks the second anniversary of George Floyd’s death, who died after a White officer kept his knee on Floyd’s neck. But we noted that two years on, incidents of injustice targeting ethnic minorities have kept increasing in the US. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I noted relevant reports and am deeply saddened by the serious casualties from vicious shootings that have happened time and again?in?the?US. We mourn the victims and our sympathies and condolences go to the injured and the bereaved families.
The right to life is the biggest human right and racial discrimination is the biggest injustice. The US is beset by the most serious gun violence and social discrimination, and also a country with the biggest deficit in human rights. It is unacceptable that no substantive measures have been taken by the US government to tackle these problems over the past decades. Over the past 25 years, the US federal government has failed to promulgate a single gun control act. 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.?
The US government is callous about the systemic violation of the human rights of American people. But in the meantime, it has been keen on wantonly attacking other countries and grossly interfering in their internal affairs under the pretext of human rights. This fully indicates that the US’ claim to champion human rights is nothing but hypocritical rhetoric and empty talks. How can one expect the US government, who doesn’t even care about the human rights of its own?people, to genuinely concern itself with the human rights situation in other countries? What the US really takes interest in is to turn human rights into a tool to control and suppress other countries.
We urge the US to show earnest care to the human rights of its own people, submit a report on the US human rights conditions for international scrutiny, and deeply reflect upon why it has become a country with the most serious gun violence in the world, where children and teens are 15 times more likely to die from gunfire than their peers in 31 other high-income countries combined? Why Asian Americans in New York still live in fear, Muslims face increasing discrimination and the Indigenous people suffer persistent persecution? Why the US, a country with the best medical technologies and resources, has the largest number of COVID-19 infections and deaths? The US should take effective measures as soon as possible to protect the lives of the American people and guarantee their rights to freedom from fear, gun violence and racial discrimination.
CGTN: US State Department spokesman Ned Price said on May 24 that the US has no expectation that China will allow the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to conduct a complete, independent and unmanipulated assessment of the human rights environment in Xinjiang. He added that it was a mistake for Bachelet to agree to a visit under the circumstances. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: China’s position on the High Commissioner’s visit is consistent and coherent. Not only the High Commissioner, but also people from all countries are welcome to visit Xinjiang and get to know the region as it is through their first-hand experience. In the meantime, we oppose the so-called “investigation” with presumption of guilt. This position has always been consistent.
By contrast, it is the US that has flip-flopped on the issue of the High Commissioner’s visit. The US was among the most vocal in demanding a visit to Xinjiang by the High Commissioner, but now turns into the biggest critic of such a visit. Why is the US so precarious? The reason is very simple: they need new lies to cover?up the old ones. The US is worried that their lies about “genocide” and “forced labor” will be debunked in front of the international community and they now even go as far as to mislead the international community with more lies on China.?
No matter how many lies the US spreads, they cannot hide the fact that Xinjiang enjoys stability and prosperity, and its people live a happy and fulfilling life. Their behavior only further reveals that they’ve turned human rights issues into a tool for politicization.?
The Paper: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet has arrived and started her visit in China. Some Western countries demanded “unfettered” access for the High Commissioner. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: At the invitation of the Chinese government, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Ms. Michelle Bachelet has arrived and started her visit in China. The activities of the High Commissioner during her stay here in China are arranged according to her will and on the basis of thorough consultations of the two sides. China will continue to provide facilitation for her smooth visit. I want to stress that this visit is aimed at promoting exchanges and cooperation between the two sides and advance international human rights cause. We always oppose all attempts at political manipulation using this visit.?
Reuters: German Economy Minister Robert Habeck said that while China is a major trading partner, there are very relevant problems including when it comes to respecting human rights. At the EU level, Habeck said, government subsidies to Chinese competitors who want to enter the domestic market should be looked at more closely. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: China firmly opposes and categorically rejects attempts to smear China with disinformation or even lies. China-Germany economic and trade cooperation is mutually-beneficial in nature. We hope the German government and politicians will look at it correctly and refrain from misleading the public and hurting its own interests.
Reuters: China and Russia conducted joint aerial exercises over a large area including the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea yesterday. What’s China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: I’d like to refer you to the response from the spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense of China.