China FO Presser

China FO presser -Aug 24, 2023

11 Min
<strong>China FO presser -Aug 24, 2023</strong>

The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin held a Regular Press Conference on Aug 24, 2023.

Some excerpts      

CCTV: The 15th BRICS Summit was held yesterday. President Xi Jinping attended the summit and delivered an important speech. Can you give us more details?

Wang Wenbin: On August 23 local time, the 15th BRICS Summit was held in Johannesburg. President Xi Jinping attended the meeting and delivered an important speech entitled “Seeking Development Through Solidarity and Cooperation and?Shouldering Our Responsibility for Peace”.

President Xi Jinping pointed out that BRICS is an important force in shaping the international landscape. We choose our development paths independently, jointly defend our right to development, and march in tandem toward modernization. This represents the direction of the advancement of human society, and will profoundly impact the development process of the world.

The BRICS cooperation is at a crucial time to build on our past achievements and open up a new future. Navigating the trend of global development and responding to the aspiration of people around the world, President Xi made four proposals on BRICS cooperation in various sectors, charting the right course for the sound and substantive growth of BRICS cooperation. We should deepen business and financial cooperation to boost economic growth. We BRICS countries should be fellow companions on the journey of development and revitalization, and oppose decoupling and supply chains disruption as well as economic coercion. We should expand political and security cooperation to uphold peace and tranquillity. BRICS countries should keep to the direction of peaceful development, support each other on issues concerning our respective core interests, and enhance coordination on major international and regional issues. We need to tender good offices on hotspot issues, pushing for political settlement. We should increase people-to-people exchanges, promote mutual learning between civilizations and advocate peaceful coexistence and harmony between civilizations. We should promote respect of all countries in independently choosing their modernization paths. We should uphold fairness and justice and improve global governance. BRICS countries should practice true multilateralism, uphold the UN-centered international system, support and strengthen the WTO-centered multilateral trading system, and reject the attempt to create small circles or exclusive blocs. We need to push forward reform of the international financial and monetary systems, and increase the representation and voice of developing countries.

President Xi Jinping announced that China will set up a China-BRICS Science and Innovation Incubation Park for the New Era, explore the establishment of a BRICS Global Remote Sensing Satellite Data and Application Cooperation Platform under the BRICS Remote Sensing Satellite Constellation mechanism, and work with all parties to jointly establish a BRICS Framework on Industrial Cooperation for Sustainable Development.

President Xi Jinping stressed that we need to act on the BRICS spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation to bring more countries into the BRICS family, so as to pool our wisdom and strength to make global governance more just and equitable.

President Xi Jinping’s important speech was warmly echoed by the international community. Many in the world said that the speech drew a blueprint for strengthening unity and coordination among BRICS countries, charted the direction of building a high-quality BRICS partnership and injected more certainty, stability and positive energy for the world. They expect China to continue to play a leading role and promote BRICS countries to jointly respond to challenges and seek peace and development.

Focusing on the summit’s theme “BRICS and Africa: Partnership for Mutually Accelerated Growth, Sustainable Development and Inclusive Multilateralism”, leaders of the five BRICS countries had in-depth exchange of views and reached extensive common understandings on BRICS cooperation and major international issues of shared interest. Parties are of the view that BRICS need to strengthen solidarity, continue to embrace the spirit of openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, speed up BRICS expansion, make the global governance system more inclusive, fairer and more equitable, and promote multi-polarity in the world. BRICS need to support each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests and respect countries’ independently chosen development paths suited to their national realities. BRICS need to help speed up the reform of the international financial and monetary system, increase the representation and say of emerging markets and developing countries, and advance sustainable development and promote inclusive growth.

China will continue to work with BRICS partners, work towards the vision of a community with a shared future for humanity, strengthen strategic partnerships, and deepen cooperation in various fields. China will work with BRICS partners to step up to our responsibility by meeting common challenges, create a better future and achieve modernity together.

Bloomberg: I had a question about China’s announcement today that it would halt the import of all Japanese fish to protect the lives and health of Chinese people. We want to know what the scientific reason for the ban is. If China is concerned that the release of wastewater from Fukushima will contaminate all the waters surrounding the Japanese archipelago, then wouldn’t it also endanger the waters around the Korean Peninsula and Russia? Is China considering banning seafood imports from those countries as well?

Wang Wenbin: The General Administration of Customs of China issued an announcement on suspending the import of all aquatic products originating from Japan earlier today, which you may refer to.

On August 24, in disregard of the strong criticism and opposition from the international community, the Japanese government unilaterally started the release of the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns it. We have made serious démarches to Japan and asked it to stop this wrongdoing.

The disposal of the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water is a major issue about nuclear safety. Its impact goes beyond Japan’s borders, and the issue is by no means a private matter for Japan. Since humanity began using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, there has been neither any precedent nor universally recognized standards for discharging nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean. The Fukushima nuclear accident which took place 12 years ago was a major catastrophe that already caused the leakage of large amounts of radioactive substances into the ocean. There could be a man-made secondary disaster to the local people and the whole world if Japan chooses to dump the water into the ocean just to serve Japan’s selfish interests.

The Japanese government failed to prove the legitimacy and legality of the ocean discharge decision, the long-term reliability of the purification facility, and the authenticity and accuracy of the nuclear-contaminated water data. It failed to prove that the ocean discharge is safe and harmless to the marine environment and people’s health, and that the monitoring plan is sound and effective. Japan also failed to have thorough consultations with other stakeholders. The ocean belongs to all humanity. To forcibly start the ocean discharge is an extremely selfish and irresponsible act in disregard of the global public interest. By dumping the water into the ocean, Japan is spreading the risks to the rest of the world and passing an open wound onto the future generations of humanity. By doing so, Japan has turned itself into a saboteur of the ecological system and polluter of the ocean. It is infringing upon people’s rights to health, development and a healthy environment, which violates Japan’s moral responsibilities and obligations under international law. From the moment Japan started the discharge, it has put itself in the dock in front of the international community and is bound to face international condemnation for many years to come.

The Chinese government always puts our people’s wellbeing first, and will take all measures necessary to safeguard food safety and the health of our people.?

Prensa Latina: The presidents of China and Cuba held a meeting at the BRICS summit. Cuba holds the presidency of the G77 plus China. What comments do you have about this meeting?

Wang Wenbin: On the afternoon of August 23 local time, President Xi Jinping met with Cuban President Díaz-Canel on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg.

President Xi recalled that President Díaz-Canel paid a successful state visit to China last November, when they reached a broad consensus on further deepening China-Cuba ties in the new era and agreed to work together to build a China-Cuba community with a shared future. With the joint efforts of both sides, the consensus is being effectively implemented. China is ready to work with Cuba to continue deepening political mutual trust, expanding practical cooperation, strengthening strategic coordination, and advancing the special friendly relations between the two parties and the two countries. China highly appreciates Cuba’s steadfast support for China on issues concerning our core interests. China will continue to firmly support the Cuban people in their just struggle to defend their sovereignty and oppose external interference and blockade. China will do its best to provide support for the economic and social development of Cuba.

President Xi stressed that the Group of 77 and China is an important platform for cooperation among developing countries. Cuba, as the current chair of the Group of 77 and China, has made positive contribution to strengthening the unity and cooperation of developing countries. China highly values and supports Cuba in successfully holding the Group of 77 and China Summit next month. China stands ready to work with Cuba and other members of the Group of 77 to better safeguard the common interests and development rights of developing countries.

President Díaz-Canel said the current Cuba-China relations are at the highest level in history, adding that the Cuban people admire President Xi and thank China for the understanding and invaluable support for Cuba’s just cause. Cuba firmly supports the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by President Xi. Cuba is ready to work with China to deepen Belt and Road cooperation, build a Cuba-China community with a shared future, and march ahead together on the path of building socialism with our respective characteristics. Díaz-Canel said Cuba is ready to work closely with China to ensure the success of the Group of 77 and China Summit.

The success of the meeting between the two presidents is a source of strong impetus for China-Cuba relations.

Reuters: Earlier today, China’s General Administration of Customs issued an import suspension of all aquatic products from Japan starting from today. Could the Ministry of Foreign Affairs please specify which products will be affected by these measures? In addition to seafood products, what other products are included? Can you give me some examples??

Wang Wenbin: On your question, I suggest you refer to the announcement issued by the General Administration of Customs. For more detailed information, I would refer you to the competent departments.?

China News Service: According to reports, China’ trade with Africa in the first seven months of this year hit RMB 1.14 trillion, up by 7.4 percent year-on-year, demonstrating a good momentum of practical cooperation between China and Africa. How do you see the future of the China-Africa cooperation?

Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant reports. Since President Xi Jinping put forth the principles of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, and of pursuing the greater good and shared interests for China’s relations with Africa in 2013, China-Africa relations have entered a fast track.?Over the past decade, under the strategic guidance of leaders of China and African countries, China and Africa have deepened practical cooperation in various fields on the platform of the Belt and Road cooperation and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, achieved solid progress in building the China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era and delivered benefits for the people in China and Africa. The two sides have maintained close trade exchanges, achieved win-win outcomes in the cooperation and provided a strong support for the sound and steady development of China-Africa relations.

Strengthening solidarity and cooperation with African countries will always be an important cornerstone of China’s foreign policies and a firm strategic choice China has made for the long term. On the sidelines of the BRICS Summit, President Xi Jinping will co-chair the China-Africa Leaders’ Dialogue with President Ramaphosa of South Africa, which will be the first time that the heads of state of China and Africa meet collectively face-to-face since the pandemic. The meeting will draw up a new blueprint for China-Africa solidarity and cooperation and lend strong impetus to the growth of the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership. Guided and driven by the head-of-state diplomacy, the building of a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era will see new historic achievements, making greater contribution to the modernization and prosperity of humankind.

Yonhap News Agency: According to reports, the DPRK launched a space projectile today. Some countries including the ROK and the US have accused the DPRK of violating UN Security Council resolutions. What’s China’s position?

Wang Wenbin: We have noted the information released by the DPRK and the response from other quarters. Parties need to fully recognize that continued deadlock in the Korean Peninsula situation doesn’t serve any party’s fundamental interests. Only by sticking to political settlement and meaningful dialogue to resolve each side’s concerns in a balanced way can there be lasting peace and security on the Peninsula.

Global Times: According to reports, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on August 23 that the US State Department has approved the possible USD 500 million sale to Taiwan of infrared search and track systems for F-16 fighter jets, as well as other equipment. What’s your comment?

Wang Wenbin: The US arms sales to China’s Taiwan region seriously violate the one-China principle and the?stipulations?of the three China-US joint communiqués, especially the August 17 Communiqué of 1982. Such sales seriously violate international law and basic norms governing international relations, undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, harm?peace and stability?across the Taiwan?Strait, and send gravely wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. China deplores and firmly opposes them.

Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s?territory. The Taiwan question is entirely China’s internal affair that brooks no foreign interference. We urge the US to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués, immediately cancel the planned arms sale to Taiwan, stop arms sales to and military contact with Taiwan, stop following the dangerous trajectory of arming Taiwan, and stop undermining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. China will take resolute and strong measures to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Bloomberg: I just want to follow up on my earlier question. If, as you say, Japan is spreading the risk beyond its borders to international waters, why is it only Japan that’s being targeted for the ban of fish imports?

Wang Wenbin: I have made clear China’s position. Regarding your question, I would like to reiterate that by forcibly starting the release of nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, Japan is blatantly spreading the risk of nuclear contamination to the rest of the world. This is a wrong move that is extremely selfish and irresponsible. All stakeholders have the right and responsibility to take necessary preventative measures to protect the marine environment, food safety and public health.

Reuters: According to reports, Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of the Wagner Group mercenary force, was killed in a plane crash yesterday in Russia. What’s the foreign ministry’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant reports.

Asahi TV: The Japanese government fully explained that there’s no problem with the “nuclear treated water” and the IAEA also agreed with that. Most of the countries in the world are not opposed to discharging the “nuclear treated water”. Why doesn’t China believe the conclusion made by Japan and the IAEA?

Wang Wenbin: For the past two years and more, the legitimacy, legality and safety of Japan’s ocean discharge plan has been questioned over and over again by the international community. Japan has yet to address major international concerns such as the long-term reliability of the purification facility, the authenticity and accuracy of the nuclear-contaminated water data, and the effectiveness of the monitoring arrangement. China and other stakeholders have pointed out on multiple occasions that if the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water is truly safe, Japan wouldn’t have to dump it into the sea—and certainly shouldn’t if it’s not. The IAEA Director General said explicitly that the IAEA report is neither a recommendation nor an endorsement of Japan’s ocean discharge policy. It is unjustified, unreasonable and unnecessary for Japan to push through the ocean discharge plan and the act is extremely selfish and irresponsible. China is not the only one strongly opposing Japan’s wrongdoing. Even inside Japan, we have seen a great number of the local people criticizing and rejecting Japan’s move, which says a lot about the nature of this issue.

AFP: Myanmar authorities say they have extradited two men to China who are suspected of involvement in online scams. Do you have any details on this case?

Wang Wenbin: The Chinese Embassy in Myanmar has released information on the case you mentioned.

On the morning of August 23, two telecom fraud suspects were handed over by Myanmar police to the Chinese police task force at the Yangon International Airport to be taken back to China. The two suspects are suspected of fraud, and one of them is a key member and head of a gambling and fraud group and a major target of our crackdown effort. The police of China, Thailand, Myanmar and Laos jointly launched a special regional campaign recently against gambling and fraud groups aimed at fighting telecom and cyber fraud and online gambling, and reverse the trend of high incidence of crimes such as trafficking in persons, kidnapping and illegal confinement.

Bloomberg: Will China be talking to the Japanese government to try and test the seafood caught around the waters of Fukushima itself to see if it’s safe?

Wang Wenbin: We urge Japan to immediately cancel the wrong decision,?act responsibly for marine environment and people’s health, and properly dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a truly science-based and responsible way.