|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on November 11, 2021
Hubei Media Group: The 16th G20 Leaders’ Summit was held in Rome over the past weekend. President Xi Jinping attended the summit and delivered important remarks via video link. He put forward a series of initiatives and proposals and offered China’s solution to a host of global issues such as COVID-19, economy, sustainable development and climate change, receiving worldwide attention. Could you elaborate on China’s initiatives and proposals?
Wang Wenbin: President Xi Jinping attended the 16th G20 Leaders’ Summit and delivered important remarks via video link from October 30 to 31. It was his latest attendance at major multilateral events after the recent general debate of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, the leaders’ summit of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference. It was also a major diplomatic step China has taken to participate deeply in international economic cooperation and improve global economic governance.
At this critical crossroads of mankind’s history, President Xi Jinping, grasping the major changes unseen in a century, upholding the cause of forging a community with a shared future for mankind, and proceeding from the mandate of the G20, offered a systemic formula pointing out that the international community should work in solidarity to combat COVID-19, take effective measures to promote world economic recovery and adopt long-term policies to improve global governance. This has gathered wide consensus on and injected strong impetus into efforts for inclusive and sustainable global development.
First, gather international consensus to deepen global cooperation against COVID-19. President Xi was the first to propose that vaccines should be made a global public good. On that basis, he put forward a Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative at this summit. It includes measures in six aspects: support joint vaccine R&D with developing countries; provide more vaccines to developing countries; support the World Trade Organization (WTO) in making an early decision on waiving intellectual property rights on COVID-19 vaccines; scale up cross-border trade cooperation in vaccines and related raw and auxiliary materials; advance mutual recognition of vaccines in accordance with the WHO’s Emergency Use Listing; provide financial support for developing countries in accessing vaccines.
Second, address both symptoms and root causes to facilitate a steady world economic recovery. President Xi pointed out that the G20 should play its role as the premier forum for international economic cooperation to encourage major economies to step up macroeconomic policy coordination and avoid negative spillovers on developing countries. We should leverage the important role of infrastructure development in propelling economic growth and work for more fruitful outcomes from high-quality BRI cooperation. President Xi proposed to hold an international forum on resilient and stable industrial and supply chains and welcomed the active participation of G20 members and relevant international organizations to keep global industrial and supply chains secure and stable by joining forces.
Third, seek common development and build a global community with a shared future. President Xi further elaborated on the core people-centered philosophy of the Global Development Initiative he put forward in September this year. He stressed that our mission and objective should be improving people’s welfare, realizing the all-round development of every individual and making global development more equitable, effective and inclusive, so that no country will be left behind. He called on efforts to prioritize development in global macro policy coordination and the G20 agenda, and seek synergy between the Global Development Initiative and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to achieve more robust, green and sound global development.
Fourth, improve digital governance to advance the sound development of the global digital economy. President Xi pointed out that forming exclusive blocs or even drawing ideological lines will only cause barriers and create more obstacles, which will only harm scientific and technological innovation. The G20 should shoulder global responsibilities in the digital era, quicken the development of new types of digital infrastructure, promote deeper integration of digital technologies with the real economy, and help developing countries eliminate the digital divide. President Xi announced that China has decided to apply to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement. This reflects China’s constructive attitude of participating actively in international cooperation on digital economy and relevant rules-making, and its firm resolve to commit itself to wider opening-up and alignment with high-standard international rules and criteria.
Fifth, take good care of the planet and build a community of life for man and Nature, President Xi stressed that the G20 needs to uphold the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and push for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Developed countries need to lead by example on emissions reduction, fully accommodate the special difficulties and concerns of developing countries, deliver on their commitments of climate financing, and provide technology, capacity-building and other support for developing countries. These important propositions point out the key to the success of the upcoming COP26 and give a strong boost to the global effort to tackle climate change. President Xi also gave a profound answer to the question of our times on how to hold onto the goals of ecological protection and economic development and how to respond to climate change and ensure living standards, and called on the G20 to step up cooperation in this regard. China has provided its wisdom for countries to explore and realize modernization featuring the harmonious co-existence of man and Nature. This has been widely supported and acclaimed by the international community. The important measures proposed by President Xi, including the "1+N" policy framework for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, demonstrate China’s sense of responsibility in honoring its words with concrete actions as a major country. They have injected robust positive energy to global efforts in addressing climate change.
President Xi's proposition has been warmly received and echoed by many countries and international organizations including the UN. The shared belief is that his remarks will help galvanize global efforts, bring global development to a new stage that is balanced, coordinated and inclusive, and accelerate implementation of the 2030 SDGs. China will continue to deeply participate in G20 cooperation, uphold openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, practice true multilateralism, and make unremitting efforts for and new contributions to advancing global solidarity against COVID-19, promoting world economic recovery and development, improving global economic governance and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.
Bloomberg: Can you tell us if the Chinese leader will attend COP26? If so, what will be the format?
Wang Wenbin: We will release information on China's attendance at COP26 in due course. Please stay tuned.
MASTV: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Rome the other day. What is China's comment on this meeting? What is your expectation for China-US relations going forward?
Wang Wenbin: You may refer to the readout on the meeting released by the Chinese side. I would just like to stress the following points.
State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said during the meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that bilateral relations between China and the US in the past few years have suffered an all-round impact due to the wrong China policy pursued by the US. This is not in line with the interests of the peoples of the two countries, the expectations of the international community, or the development trend of the times. China has voiced its clear opposition.
The important experience accumulated over the past four decades since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries is that both China and the US stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. The important consensus reached by the heads of state of China and the US during the two phone conversations this year is that the two sides should restart dialogue and avoid confrontation. We hope the US will earnestly implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, and work together with China to strengthen dialogue and communication, deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation and properly manage differences to make political preparations and provide necessary conditions for the next phase of exchanges.
Xinhua News Agency: We noticed that the governments and Olympic committees of many countries expressed their expectation and support for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Some embassies in China held activities themed on the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics. Do you have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: The preparation work of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 has received high attention and broad support of the international community. In the G20 Rome Leaders' Declaration, G20 leaders said they “look ahead to Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics 2022, as opportunities for competition for athletes from around the world, which serves as a symbol of humanity’s resilience”.
Recently, we have been joined by people around the world to witness the historical moments of the arrival of the Olympic flame in Beijing, the 100-day countdown to Beijing 2022, and the release of the medals and uniforms of the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Test matches are underway in the competition zones in Beijing, Yanqing and Zhangjiakou. The renovation project of the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, which will host the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Winter Olympics and Paralympics, has just been completed officially. This marks the full completion of the construction of the venues, stadiums, and supporting infrastructure of Beijing 2022.
As we embrace the “Beijing moment”, the passion and dream of the world’s people for the Games are reignited. China is ready to deliver a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympic Games to the world. Let’s get cheers and applause ready for winter sports athletes from around the world and work “Together for a Shared Future”!
CCTV: President of the United States Joseph R. Biden, President of France Emmanuel Macron, Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland Boris Johnson met and released a joint statement on Iran on October 30, which said that they “are convinced that it is possible to quickly reach and implement an understanding on return to full compliance”. They called upon Iran to conclude negotiations “as a matter of urgency”. They also stated their commitment to “continuing to work closely with the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, and the European Union High Representative”. Does the Chinese side have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: Effective implementation of the JCPOA is the only correct way to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue. China firmly supports efforts to bring the agreement back onto the right track at an early date. The US, as the culprit of the current Iranian nuclear crisis, should thoroughly rectify its erroneous policy of maximum pressure on Iran. On this basis, Iran should resume full compliance. Other parties should all play a constructive role to this end.
The six rounds of negotiation on resumption of compliance held during the first half of this year have made important headway. All parties should resume negotiation at an early date, and look for flexible and pragmatic solutions to outstanding issues and work for new breakthroughs. China will continue its close communication with relevant parties and participate constructively in the negotiation. At the same time, we will also firmly safeguard our legitimate and lawful rights and interests.
Kyodo News: At yesterday’s election of the Lower House of the Diet in Japan, the ruling coalition secured a solid majority. What does China expect in its relations with Japan in the future? Besides, as over two thirds of the legislators support revising the constitution, the revision process may begin. How does China comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: I have no comment on the general election, which is Japan’s domestic affair.
As to China-Japan relations, we see both opportunities and challenges at present. We hope the Japanese side will draw lessons from the past journey of bilateral relations, abide by the principles established in the four political documents, act on the political consensus of viewing each other as cooperative partner and not posing any threat to each other, and safeguard and promote the sound and steady development of bilateral relations through concrete actions.
As to your specific question, we have repeatedly stated China’s position. We hope Japan will stay committed to a path of peaceful development.
The Paper: The Chinese-American scientific community fought back against the “China Initiative” launched by the US Justice Department in 2018 with a recently-released detailed study. It shows that more than 90 percent of over 1,900 top Chinese and non-Chinese scientists working in the US said Chinese researchers made important contributions to research and teaching, but nearly half of Chinese scientists felt they were racially profiled by the US government and nearly four in ten Chinese scientists reported trouble getting funding because of their race. I wonder if you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I noted the report. Discrimination and persecution against Chinese in the US is nothing new, but a persistent and indelible stain in the US society.
From the middle of the 19th century, generation after generation of Chinese crossed oceans to reach US shores. In a harsh land far away from home, they worked hard with sweat, toil and grit, making important contributions to the socioeconomic progress of the US. However, what they received in return is not human rights or equality, but continued discrimination and injustice, as testified by the exploitation and prosecution of Chinese workers building the Central Pacific Railroad, the 1871 Chinese Massacre in Los Angeles and the Chinese Exclusion Act passed by Congress in 1882 which legalized racial discrimination.
It is worth pointing out in particular that the discrimination against Chinese in the US has not been rectified with socioeconomic progress, but rather has become a persistent tumor afflicting the US society. This is due in a large part to the blatant disinformation and smear campaign of anti-China forces in the country. Amid COVID-19, a small number of politicians attempt to deflect responsibility for their botched response at home by spreading rhetoric that stigmatizes China, which has led to a dramatic increase in hate crimes targeting the Asian community including Chinese. The so-called “China Initiative”, which sets targets first and then starts investigations to collect evidence, is a typical example of how anti-China elements in the US abuse the national security concept to smear and suppress China. Media has exposed that as of the end of March this year, none of the so-called China-Related Cases Examples posted on the DOJ website involved intellectual property or commercial theft, with charges ranging from fraud to misrepresentation to tax evasion. This gives us a glimpse of political manipulation in operation. The typical political persecution and artificial creation of antagonism and confrontation have inflicted serious harm on the Chinese community in the US.
We urge the US side to heed the just appeal of visionary people at home and abroad and take effective measures to address racial discrimination and protect the legitimate rights and interests of racial minorities including the Chinese community in the US.
Bloomberg: A question about the number of American companies with the regional headquarters in Hong Kong. Data just released shows the number has fallen, which bolsters the argument that the city’s national security campaign could be eroding Hong Kong’s appeal as a global financial center. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on these latest figures?
Wang Wenbin: I’m not sure if you have noticed a survey report released by the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong not long ago. It shows that in January 2021, a much larger proportion of companies are optimistic about the business environment in Hong Kong compared to August 2020. Since the implementation of the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong SAR, US and other foreign investors have enjoyed a safer, more stable and predictable business environment. The IMF’s report also fully recognized Hong Kong’s status as a global financial hub. The Chief Executive of the Hong Kong SAR said last month that Hong Kong ranked third globally in foreign direct investment inflows in 2020. The number of business operations in Hong Kong with parent companies overseas or in the Mainland and the number of start‑ups in Hong Kong reach an all‑time high of 9,049 and 3,755 respectively this year. Since the national security law was promulgated and implemented, Hong Kong's business environment has been better safeguarded and its development potential further unleashed.
The Central Government will continue as always offering its full support to Hong Kong’s development and integration into the nation’s development. We also welcome businesses from all countries to seize the opportunity, expand their presence in Hong Kong and achieve greater success. We are fully convinced that we will see Hong Kong embrace a brighter future.
AFP: Do you have any response to criticisms that China’s contributions on climate change aren’t ambitious enough? And does China plan to announce specific details at COP26 on how it will reach its emissions targets?
Wang Wenbin: In his important remarks at the G20 Rome Summit, President Xi Jinping put forward China’s proposals and initiatives for protecting the Earth and build a community of life for man and Nature. These important propositions point out the key to the success of the upcoming COP26 and give a strong boost to the global effort to tackle climate change.
I would like to take this opportunity to share China’s vigorous measures and tangible contributions in this regard. China has always been taking actions to promote global climate governance and fulfilling international obligations suited to its national conditions. What’s more, China has been taking extra actions to scale up the efforts to tackle climate change. Since September last year, President Xi Jinping has announced the goals and vision of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, a series of goals of Nationally Determined Contributions and concrete policies and measures, including those on domestic coal plants, coal consumption and no new coal-fired power projects abroad. This is a demonstration of China’s firm resolve to tackle climate change. Recently, China released the Working Guidance for Carbon Dioxide Peaking and Carbon Neutrality in Full and Faithful Implementation of the New Development Philosophy, the Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030 and the white paper titled Responding to Climate Change: China's Policies and Actions. We also submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat China's Achievements, New Goals and New Measures for Nationally Determined Contributions and China's Mid-Century Long-Term Low Greenhouse Gas Emission Development Strategy. These concrete measures to follow through on the Paris Agreement reflect China’s sense of responsibility and latest contribution to the global response to climate change.
In response to your question about whether China’s contributions are ambitious enough, I would like to share with you some data for comparison. It will take 71 years for the EU, 43 years for the US and 37 years for Japan, all of which are developed economies, to move from carbon peak to carbon neutrality. However, China has set itself a time limit of only 30 years. The time taken by the EU, the US and Japan is 2.4 times, 1.4 times and 1.2 times that of China respectively. As the largest developing country, China will cut carbon emission intensity more than any other country in the world and move from carbon peak to carbon neutrality in the shortest span in history. This will take arduous efforts and fully demonstrates China’s sense of responsibility on this issue as a major country.
I also want to point out that research shows that climate change is the result of cumulative emissions of greenhouse gases. Developed countries have unshirkable and historical responsibility since they have been releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for the past 200 years or so of industrialization. For example, the US cumulative historical emissions level per capita are eight times that of China. The US has seriously undermined the confidence in and effectiveness of global cooperation on climate change by refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. At present, the challenge of climate change poses a grave challenge to mankind’s subsistence and development, which underlines the urgency of international cooperation. Developed countries, the US included, should earnestly follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, face squarely their historical responsibilities, demonstrate greater ambition and actions, and take the lead in fulfilling emission reduction obligations. Meanwhile, they should provide financial, technological and capacity-building support to help developing countries enhance their capacity to respond to climate challenges.
China Daily: According to media reports, the UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights observed in Harare on October 28 that unilateral sanctions imposed by Western countries including the US and the UK on Zimbabwe has a devastating impact on Zimbabwe’s economy and also violates the Zimbabwean people’s human rights, including the right to life, food, health, development and education, as well as economic and cultural rights. The Special Rapporteur called on relevant countries to lift the sanctions as soon as possible. Does the Chinese side have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant reports. In recent years, African countries have been calling on the US and other Western countries and organizations to lift unilateral sanctions on Zimbabwe as soon as possible. I stated China’s position on this last week. Africa’s call for justice has our unreserved support.
The observation by the UN Special Rapporteur shows once again that unilateral sanctions have had a debilitating impact on Zimbabwe’s capability to grow the economy and improve public welfare and on the Zimbabwean people’s daily life and enjoyment of various rights. The international community is increasingly repulsed by these sanctions. Human rights is a favorite subject of Western countries including the US, but what they practice runs counter to what they preach.
China firmly opposes all unilateral sanctions and firmly supports the Zimbabwean people’s rejection of external interference and pursuit of an independent development path. Once again we solemnly urge certain organizations and countries including the US to lift illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe at an early date and earnestly help the Zimbabwean people to combat COVID-19 and revitalize the economy.
Bloomberg: The US and the European Union reached a trade agreement over the weekend, regarding tariffs on steel and aluminum. This potentially could allow the allies to focus their attention on China, which has been accused of flooding the market with cheap exports. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I need to refer you to the competent department for the specifics.
With regard to the unfounded allegation against China, I would like to stress that the WTO conducted a trade policy review of China not long ago, during which an overwhelming majority of countries fully recognized China’s conscientious compliance with its WTO commitments and multilateral trade rules. The allegation you mentioned against China is groundless.
Associated Press of Pakistan: While congratulating China on the 50th anniversary of the restoration of its lawful seat in the UN, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesperson said China has emerged as a strong voice of developing countries in the UN. Do you have any comment on that?
Wang Wenbin: We highly appreciate the remarks by the Pakistani side. Chairman Mao Zedong once said, it was our fellow developing countries that “carried” the People’s Republic of China into the United Nations. The word “carry” aptly captures the profound friendship between China and other developing countries.
Over the past 50 years since the restoration of the PRC’s lawful seat in the UN, we have carried forward this heritage by unswervingly supporting developing countries’ efforts to safeguard their sovereignty, security and development interests and speaking up for justice for developing countries. The past half of a century has seen China and developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America give each other firm support in the anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggle for national independence and liberation, expand cooperation in advancing national socioeconomic development and improving people’s welfare, and jointly forge ahead in reforming and improving the global governance system and expanding developing countries’ representation and say.
Over the past five decades, the UN welcomed 65 more members, most of which are developing countries. We have gradually moved from the spectator seats to somewhere near the center of the international stage, and emerged from being passive followers to taking on active leading roles. We have thus greatly advanced the historical process of greater democracy in international relations, multipolarity and economic globalization.
As President Xi pointed out, no matter how far you go, you should never forget where you came from. China will always be a reliable friend and sincere partner of fellow developing countries. China has been standing firmly with fellow developing countries and will continue to do so in the future. Our vote in the UN always goes to developing countries and those upholding justice in the world.