China FO Presser

China FO presser – Oct 13, 2023

11 Min
China FO presser – Oct 13, 2023

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin held  a Press Conference on Oct 13, 2023

AFP: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made comments yesterday on the recent situation in the Middle East. He said that the Palestinian question is at the core of the Middle East issue and the crux is that justice has eluded the Palestinians for too long. Can you elaborate on that?

Wang Wenbin: On October 12, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi talked with Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim, chief advisor of the Presidency of Brazil, on the phone with a focus on sharing views on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Director Wang Yi noted that China is deeply saddened by the rising tension between Palestine and Israel and the huge civilian casualties. He said China opposes acts that harm civilians and condemns violations of international law. China calls on all parties to exercise restraint, de-escalate the situation on the ground as soon as possible and prevent further expansion of the conflict. The top priority is to ensure the safety of civilians, and open corridors for aid so as to avoid a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Director Wang Yi pointed out that the Palestinian question is at the core of the Middle East issue. He said the crux of the issue is that justice has eluded the Palestinians for too long. The current conflict showed again in an extremely brutal way that solution to the Palestinian question lies in resuming genuine peace talks as soon as possible and realizing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people. China calls for an international peace conference with greater authority and impact as soon as possible to galvanize a more broad-based international consensus with the two-state solution serving as its basis and formulate a timetable and roadmap to that end. The UN has the responsibility and obligation to play its due role on the Palestinian question. China supports the Security Council in holding an emergency meeting on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, agrees that the meeting should focus on humanitarian concerns, demand a ceasefire, an end to violence and the protection of civilians, form a binding international consensus and take concrete next-steps. China will stay in contact and coordinate and cooperate closely with Brazil and relevant parties in this regard.?

Amorim said that the key to resolving the conflict is to resume peace talks, and Brazil is ready to closely coordinate with China to work jointly to ease the situation.?

I need to stress that China has no selfish interests on the Palestinian question and always stands on the side of peace, equity and justice. Over the past few days, Special Envoy of the Chinese Government on the Middle East Issue Zhai Jun has had phone conversations with officials of the foreign ministries of Egypt, Palestine, Israel and Saudi Arabia to communicate China’s position on the current situation and actively promote peace talks. China will continue to work with regional countries and the international community to promote ceasefire and cessation of violence, avert a large-scale humanitarian crisis, and play a constructive role in realizing a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Palestinian question.

Reuters: Reuters reported the US government is considering stepping up chip export control on China. One of the new policies will restrict Chinese companies’ access to US artificial intelligence chips via overseas units. What’s the ministry’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: China opposes US politicizing, instrumentalizing and weaponizing trade and tech issues. The global semiconductor industrial and supply chains are shaped by the laws of market dynamics and the choices of businesses. Arbitrarily placing curbs or forcibly seeking decoupling to serve political agenda violates the principles of market economy and fair competition, undermines the international economic and trading order, disrupts and destabilizes global industrial and supply chains and will eventually hurt the interests of the whole world. We will closely follow the developments and firmly safeguard our legitimate rights and interests.?

Anadolu Agency: Yesterday, US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns in a speech said they were “disappointed” by China’s response to recent Israel-Palestine conflict, not condemning Hamas directly and stressing the need for two-state solution. How does China see this expectation exampled by the US to condemn just one side of the conflict? And meanwhile Israel is about to launch all-out offensive to already blockaded enclave and launch airstrikes that kill civilians in Gaza. How does China see this pressure and expectation to unilaterally condemn one side? And by the way these countries are not condemning civilian harm to the other side.

Wang Wenbin: On the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, as I just said, China has always been on the side of equity and justice. We oppose acts that harm civilians and violate international law. We are committed to promoting peace talks and achieving a ceasefire and will continue to work for de-escalation and resumption of peace talks.

CCTV: The 54th session of the Human Rights Council adopted with consensus a draft resolution on promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights within the context of addressing inequalities submitted by China and some other countries. Could you offer more information on this?

Wang Wenbin: On October 12, the 54th session of the Human Rights Council adopted with consensus a draft resolution on promoting and protecting economic, social and cultural rights within the context of addressing inequalities submitted by China, Bolivia, Egypt, Pakistan and South Africa. The draft resolution, co-sponsored by 80 countries in total, stresses that it is essential to scale up international cooperation and promote economic, social and cultural rights through capacity-building. It requests the High Commissioner to establish a knowledge hub on economic, social and cultural rights. Various sides have extended their congratulations and thanks to China for the role it has played. Developing countries have commended the resolution as a strong response to the international community’s call for greater emphasis on and input into economic, social and cultural rights and for an equitable and inclusive international order, which will help advance the cause of promoting and protecting human rights.

China has been elected member of the Human Rights Council for the 2024-2026 term. We will continue to uphold the common values of humanity and true multilateralism, actively participate in the work of the Council, advocate for the protection and promotion of human rights through security, development and cooperation, and contribute more to the sound development of the international human rights cause.?

Global Times: The Institute of New Structural Economics of Peking University recently released a report of a study on the effectiveness of China’s sovereign financing in Africa, which studies the impact of China’s loans on various aspects of Africa’s development. How does China evaluate the outcome of its sovereign financing in Africa?

Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant reports. This document, after a quantitative study on the outcome of China’s sovereign financing in Africa based on statistics and specific cases, found that China’s financing has produced a significant positive effect on supporting economic growth, improving infrastructure, increasing foreign exchange earnings through export, attracting FDI, increasing school enrolment rate and driving employment in African countries. The study proves once again that China’s financing has played a positive role in helping Africa build up capacity for self-driven and sustainable growth and improve people’s well-bing. China stands ready to continue to carry out financing cooperation with Africa in light of its needs, and meanwhile, we call on the international community to step up support for Africa and jointly contribute to Africa’s development.

Yomiuri Shimbun: I have a question about the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At the IMF annual meeting currently held in Morocco, the method of increasing the IMF capital is being discussed. The US is trying to reach an agreement that each country will increase capital without changing the shareholder structure. Voting rights in the IMF are determined according to the amount of investment. Will the Chinese government agree to a capital increase without changing the shareholding structure?

Wang Wenbin: China believes that the IMF’s quota reform needs to achieve increase in quota resources and quota share redistribution in line with its nature as a quota-based institution and better reflect the comparative standing of member states in the global economy to raise the representation and say of emerging markets and developing countries.

Anadolu Agency: Recently China called Egypt for joint efforts to urge parties in Israel-Palestine conflict to cease fire and provide humanitarian help. And also we learned that you also reached out to the Israeli side as well, as we understood from the Israeli statement. Can you give an update about China’s recent diplomatic efforts about the situation?

Wang Wenbin: I’ve just talked to you about the phone call between Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and Celso Luiz Nunes Amorim, chief advisor of the Presidency of Brazil on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.?

Over the past few days, Special Envoy Zhai Jun has been having phone conversations with foreign ministry officials of Middle East countries, including Palestine, Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, to talk about the current tensions between Palestine and Israel. He called for efforts to cool down the situation, avoid conflict’s expansion, protect civilians and prevent a humanitarian disaster due to the escalation. Special Envoy Zhai Jun stressed during the phone calls that to end the cycle of conflict between Palestine and Israel, the key is to return to the two-state solution as the basis, restore peace talks, establish an independent State of Palestine, and realize the peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel. The international community needs to step up to that responsibility and create conditions for the resumption of the peace process.

China will continue to maintain close communication and coordination with relevant parties, and make active efforts to promote de-escalation, ease the humanitarian crisis and bring relevant parties to the table for peace talks as soon as possible.

Shenzhen TV: It was reported that terrorists of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) in Syria was involved in the recent terrorist drone attack on a military academy in Homs, Syria, causing heavy casualties. What is your comment?

Wang Wenbin: China firmly opposes all forms of violent terrorist acts. We condemn the terrorist attack, mourn for the victims and offer our sympathies to the wounded and the families who have lost loved ones.

The Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is a UN listed terrorist organization. In recent years, a large number of ETIM elements have fled to war-ridden areas and connived with other terrorist forces to carry out violent terrorist activities, which pose serious danger to the security and stability of relevant countries and regions. Combating ETIM is an important part of the global counter-terrorism efforts. China stands ready to step up communication and coordination with Syria and other relevant countries and make joint efforts to combat the terrorist force ETIM so as to safeguard the peace and security of relevant regions and the world.

Xinhua News Agency: A senior UN official, while visiting the DRC recently, commended the excellent conduct of China’s peacekeeping force, its support to the people in the DRC and contribution to the country’s peace process. This year marks the 75th anniversary of UN peacekeeping. How do you see China’s contribution to UN peacekeeping operations?

Wang Wenbin: Since China first sent military observers to the UN Truce Supervision Organization in 1990, China has sent over 50,000 peacekeepers to participate in UN peacekeeping operations (UNPKOs) in more than 20 countries and regions. From eliminating mines and explosive hazards to ceasefire monitoring, from force protection to emergency rescue, Chinese peacekeeping soldiers have shown bravery, competence and absolute commitment to their mission of safeguarding security and stability even if it means making the ultimate sacrifice whether in wars, epidemics or disasters. The Chinese peacekeepers not only brought hope for peace but also sow seeds of development. Their heroic deeds and selfless devotion has won wide recognition from the locals and the international community.

In Lebanon, Chinese peacekeeping medical units have constantly provided free diagnosis and medicine and humanitarian medical assistance to local people. In Sudan, Chinese Blue Helmets dug wells on the fringe of the desert in Darfur to supply clean drinking water for the people there. In South Sudan, Chinese military peacekeepers taught local people agricultural technologies and gave away tools and seeds. In the DRC, Chinese peacekeepers ran a twinning project in SOS Children’s Village Bukavu to offer help, and children in the village called the female members their Chinese mothers. Wherever the Chinese peacekeepers are deployed, the blue color of their helmets and the red colour of China’s national flag shine brightly on each other—an impressive symbol of peace for the locals.?

China’s participation in UNPKOs in the past 30-plus years has been an extraordinary journey. China is now the largest troop contributor to peacekeeping operations among the five permanent members of the Security Council and the second largest contributor to UN peacekeeping assessments and hailed as a key factor and force in peacekeeping operations. China will continue to be an active participant in UNPKOs and make greater contribution to world peace and development with concrete actions.

Bloomberg: Has any decision been made on whether or not President Xi Jinping will be attending APEC in San Francisco next month and meet President Biden?

Wang Wenbin: About China’s participation in the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, we will release information in due course. Please check back for updates.

Anadolu Agency: Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant made these remarks about their operations in Gaza: “No electricity, no food, no water, no gas. It’s all closed. We are fighting human animals and are acting accordingly”. What does China think about this dehumanizing rhetoric which clearly indicates atrocity and war crime against the civilian population?

Wang Wenbin: I just shared China’s position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. China opposes acts that harm civilians and condemns violations of international law. China calls on all parties to exercise restraint, de-escalate the situation on the ground as soon as possible and prevent further spread of the conflict. The top priority is to ensure the safety of civilians, open corridors for aid and avoid a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Global Times: Israel has formed a wartime cabinet, asking 1.1 million residents in northern Gaza to evacuate to the southern part in 24 hours. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres strongly calls on Israel to withdraw the evacuation order and all sides to avoid further escalation and spread of the situation. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: We noted the remarks of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. We’re deeply saddened by the heavy civilian casualties inflicted by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and is deeply concerned over the possible expansion of the conflict. China opposes moves that harm civilians and violate international law. China supports the UN in playing an important role in avoiding further escalation and spread of the situation and upholding international humanitarian law. We call on the international community to work together to avoid further expansion of the conflict and serious humanitarian disaster. China will make its utmost effort for this.

Anadolu Agency: It’s reported that Israel had used white phosphorus bombs in military operations in Gaza and Lebanon, putting civilians at risk of serious harm and long-term injuries. Using that kind of ammunition in populated areas is unlawful. What is China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: China noted the reports. We oppose acts that violate international law and harm civilians and call on relevant parties to exercise restraint, deescalate the situation on the ground as soon as possible, and prevent the fighting from further spreading.

AFP: Russian state media reported that President Putin will attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing. Can you confirm this??

Wang Wenbin: We’ve answered relevant questions before, which you may refer to.

China Daily: On October 10, the first section of the Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, a flagship Belt and Road project in Bangladesh, was officially launched. This is yet another important outcome of the “hardware connectivity” under Belt and Road cooperation. What is your comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: Infrastructure connectivity is a priority area of Belt and Road cooperation. The Padma Bridge Rail Link Project in Bangladesh is one of its signature projects. The official launch of its first section is a dream-come-true moment for Bangladeshi people who hoped one day they could ride a train across the Padma River. The launch of the section is expected to directly benefit 80 million people and drive-up Bangladesh’s economic growth by 1.5 percentage points.

Over the past decade, under the BRI connectivity framework comprising “six corridors, six routes, and multiple countries and ports”, a four-dimensional network of land, sea, air and cyber connectivity has taken shape. Infrastructure projects have helped participating countries realize their dream for shared prosperity. East Africa now has its first trans-boundary electrified rail—the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway; the Budapest-Belgrade Railway has slashed travel time between Hungary and Serbia; the China-Laos Railway turned land-locked Laos into a land-linked country, which added over 100,000 jobs indirectly for the country and could raise Laos’ aggregate income by 21 percent; the Jakarta-Bandung High-speed Railway is the fastest in Southeast Asia and has created 51,000 local jobs; and the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway accounts for 2 percent of Kenya’s economic growth.

Over the past decade, BRI infrastructure cooperation has served as a new platform for international trade and investment and injected fresh impetus into the global economy. A World Bank report shows that thanks to BRI infrastructure projects, trade costs for the world would decline by 1.8 percent, trade is estimated to grow by between 2.8 and 9.7 percent for corridor economies and between 1.7 and 6.2 percent for the world, and global real income is expected to increase by 0.7 to 2.9 percent. Data from remote sensing satellites show that more and more places along the six economic corridors are lit up at night over the past decade. Along the China-Indochina Peninsula economic corridor, nighttime light grew by 5.57 percent, far exceeding the global average increase of 1.3 percent.?

The BRI is proposed by China for the benefit of the whole world. Hailed as a “road to happiness” and a “belt of development”, the BRI brings smile and hope to people around the globe as the number of partners grows. For countless people, connectivity has brought them life-changing benefits and a future full of hope. As the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation approaches, we look forward to taking this opportunity to take stock of the fruitful decade-long BRI cooperation and chart the course for the next decade of high-quality cooperation together with the participants.

Bloomberg: Chuck Schumer came to China last week. He’s just the latest in the recent slew of US top officials and politicians coming to China. Next month, the US has been invited to China’s defense forum. Can you assess the state of US-China relations? Do you see a gradual improvement in relations between China and the US?

Wang Wenbin: In viewing and handling our relations with the US, we have always observed the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation proposed by President Xi Jinping. We hope the US will work in the same direction with China to bring bilateral relations back to the track of healthy and stable growth. ###?