Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on January 14, 2022
2022-01-14 22:20

CCTV: Can you share China’s expectation of President Xi Jinping’s attendance of the 2022 World Economic Forum Virtual Session which the foreign ministry announced this morning?

Wang Wenbin: With rampant pandemic raging across the globe, increasing uncertainties in the world economic recovery, widening development gap between the North and the South, and backlashes against economic globalization, humanity is confronted with unprecedented challenges. 

Against this backdrop, it is of great significance that President Xi will attend and deliver remarks at the meeting. Since the onset of COVID-19, China has been actively conducting international cooperation to fight the virus, promoting steady recovery of the world economy, improving global governance and working hand-in-hand with countries to rise up to common challenges. China will continue to commit itself to upholding and practicing true multilateralism. We are ready to step up cooperation with all countries to tide over the difficulties and contribute China’s wisdom and strength to post-COVID development in the world, in an effort to build a community with a shared future for mankind. 

ITV News: MI5, the British intelligence agency, has accused the British lawyer Christine Lee of being involved in political interference in the UK. Can I ask for your response to the security alert that has been issued about her? And is she working on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party?

Wang Wenbin: China is committed to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. We never engage in “interference activities”, which we see no need for. Perhaps, some people, after seeing too many James Bond movies, are imagining links where there is none. It is deeply irresponsible to make unfounded sensational remarks based on subjective conjecture. We hope relevant UK officials will refrain from making groundless comments or even pursuing sinister political agenda by hyping up the “China threat theory”.

China Daily: “The Olympic Games is an extremely important event, and it’s an event that symbolizes the role of sports in bringing people together and in promoting peace,” UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told reporters on January 13. “It is in this strict context and without any political dimension that I intend to be present in the opening – with this message that Olympic Games must be an instrument for peace in the world,” he added. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: We welcome UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to China for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics. Lately, international organizations including the UN and the IOC as well as many countries have all said that they support and look forward to the Games and reject politicizing sports, which fully demonstrates the international community’s shared aspiration of working “together for a shared future”. As the curtain is about to lift on the Beijing 2022, we have every confidence that China will present a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympic event to the world by working together with all sides to practice the Olympic spirit of “together”.

Yonhap News Agency: The DPRK reportedly fired another ballistic missile this afternoon, its third such launch this year. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: We have taken note of the launch. 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.

Xinhua News Agency: Recently State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has held talks and met with several GCC member states’ foreign ministers and the GCC Secretary General, who are visiting China concurrently. Could you share more information, for example, the outcomes achieved? And how do you see China’s relations with these countries at present and in the future?

Wang Wenbin: From January 10 to 14, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with visiting Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, Foreign Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs of Kuwait, and Mr. Sayyid Badr Albusaidi, Foreign Minister of Oman, Dr. Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajraf, Secretary General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), and had a telephone conversation with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates. They held in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations, practical cooperation and international and regional issues of mutual concern, reaching broad consensus.

They agreed to further elevate bilateral relations and stressed that China and GCC countries enjoy mutual trust and support, always treat each other as equals, and seek shared development. Bilateral relations have sustained a sound, steady and robust momentum of growth, setting a good example of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation. They stand ready to implement the important consensus reached between President Xi Jinping and the GCC countries’ heads of state to elevate and deepen relations between China and GCC countries. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and GCC Secretary General Nayef Falah M. Al-Hajrafagreed to establish the China-GCC strategic partnership, complete the negotiations on a China-GCC Free Trade Agreement, and sign the 2022-2025 action plan of China-GCC Strategic Dialogue at an early date so as to elevate bilateral relations to a new high.

They also reiterated firm support for each other’s efforts to safeguard core national interests. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China firmly supports GCC countries in safeguarding national independence, security and stability, and will continue to oppose any country’s interference in the internal affairs of GCC countries under the pretext of “human rights”. The GCC countries’ foreign ministers and the GCC Secretary General all stated their resolute support for the one-China principle and China’s just position on issues relating to Taiwan, Xinjiang and human rights as well as their firm opposition to interference in China’s internal affairs and politicization of human rights. GCC countries also expressed firm opposition to politicization of sports and reiterated their support for China in hosting the Beijing Winter Olympics. They believe that the Games will be a complete success. 

The two sides agreed to actively enhance solidarity against the pandemic and practical cooperation in various fields. We will strengthen synergy between Belt and Road Initiative and Saudi Arabia’s “Saudi Vision 2030”, Kuwait’s “2035 National Vision”, Oman’s “Oman Vision 2040” and Bahrain’s “Economic Vision 2030”, and deepen cooperation in oil and gas resources, clean energy, 5G communications, e-commerce and digital economy, and jointly address global challenges. 

The two sides said they will firmly advocate and practice multilateralism and work for greater democracy in international relations. We should uphold the international system with the UN at its core, and abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms governing international relations. We should jointly reject unilateralism, protectionism, the law of the jungle and bullying practice to safeguard international fairness and justice and uphold the collective interests of developing countries. 

The two sides also exchanged views on the regional situation and agreed to work for political settlement of regional hotspot issues such as Palestine, Yemen, Iraq and Syria. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China propose the establishment of a multilateral dialogue platform for the Gulf region to explore ways for countries in the Middle East to resolve conflicts and disputes in the Middle East way while countries outside the region play a constructive role in the process. GCC countries appreciate China’s contribution to promoting peace talks and regional security and stability, and believe that this demonstrates China’s positive role as a responsible major country. 

CRI: On January 13, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Diplomatic Advisor to the President of France Emmanuel Bonne co-chaired the 22nd China-France Strategic Dialogue. Could you give us more details? What consensus did the two sides reach?

Wang Wenbin: Yesterday, Diplomatic Advisor to the President of France Emmanuel Bonne paid a visit to China. Vice President Wang Qishan and Vice Premier Liu He met with Bonne via video conference respectively. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi co-chaired the 22nd China-France Strategic Dialogue with Bonne in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. The two sides agreed that China and France share the same or similar views on a series of major issues and have common expectations for strengthening bilateral relations. They expressed their readiness to further leverage the strategic role of the heads-of-state diplomacy in steering the relations, highlight the role of practical cooperation in underpinning the bilateral ties and let China-France relations play the role of serving as a model in China-Europe relations. We should take France’s rotating presidency of the EU as an opportunity to promote the sound and steady development of China-France and China-Europe relations.

The Chinese side said that as permanent members of the UN Security Council and major global countries, China and France shoulder important international responsibilities. The two sides should follow the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, give top priority to serving the heads-of-state diplomacy, adhere to the tradition of independent diplomacy, enhance mutual trust through dialogue and consultation, and deepen cooperation in the spirit of mutual benefit, so as to kick off China-France and China-Europe relations to a good start. Bonne said that France and China are permanent members of the UN Security Council and both play a vital role in promoting peace and security. The French side cherishes the friendship between the two heads of state and attaches great importance to strategic communication with China. France looks forward to jointly implementing the consensus reached and ambitious goals set by the two heads of state to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results. France stands for upholding the Olympic spirit and opposing the politicization of sports. French athletes look forward to participating in the Beijing Winter Olympics. The two sides agreed to continue to advance cooperation in such areas as aviation, aerospace, agro-food products, nuclear energy, third market, green development and digital economy and explore cooperation in emerging fields like big data and cloud computing. 

The two sides exchanged views on China-Europe relations. The Chinese side stressed that harmony without uniformity is a successful lesson in EU’s development and a steady relationship meets Europe’s fundamental and long-term interests. Europe as an independent force is an integral part of the multi-polar world. China supports Europe’s integration, the EU’s development and its greater role in the international community. This policy will not change whether China-EU relations are in smooth progress or encounter setbacks. We hope the European side can continue to follow an active and practical China policy. Bonne said Europe will continue to uphold strategic autonomy. Europe and China should not stand in opposition, still less confrontation, but should further strengthen mutual trust and promote cooperation, and stay as high-level partners. The French side understands the importance and sensitivity of the Taiwan question, and will abide by the one-China principle.

The two sides exchanged views on fighting the pandemic and improving global governance. Bonne thanked China for its support for France against the pandemic, and appreciates China’s active role in the global fight against COVID-19. The two sides expressed readiness to stand together to combat the virus and promote equitable vaccine distribution across the world. Both sides agreed that multilateralism should be upheld, and cooperation on climate change and biodiversity protection strengthened. The two sides also had a thorough discussion on issues including the Iranian nuclear issue, Afghanistan and Myanmar, and coordinated respective positions. 

Associated Press of Pakistan: According to reports, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan will attend the opening ceremony of Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Do you have any response or more information to share here?

Wang Wenbin: China highly appreciates and welcomes the Pakistani side’s relevant decision. 

AFP: Do you have any further updates on the visit of the Iranian foreign minister and did both sides discuss a specific figure for the China-Iran 25-year economic cooperation agreement?

Wang Wenbin: As to the visit of Iran’s foreign minister to China, we will release information in due course. Please stay tuned.

NHK: Former Japanese Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu passed away today. What is China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: Mr. Toshiki Kaifu made positive contribution to improving China-Japan relations during his term as the Prime Minister, and gave care and support to China-Japan friendship after leaving office. We deeply mourn for his passing, and express our sincere sympathy to his families.

BBC: This woman Christine Lee at the center of the allegations regarding political donations, is she a Chinese citizen?

Wang Wenbin: I would like to reiterate that it is deeply irresponsible to make unfounded sensational remarks based on subjective conjecture. We hope relevant UK officials will refrain from making groundless comments or even pursuing sinister political agenda by hyping up the “China threat theory”.

CCTV: Qin Gang, the Chinese Ambassador to the US, delivered video remarks after the game of the National Hockey League (NHL) at the home arena of the Washington Capitals. The ambassador shared with the audience the preparation work for the Beijing Winter Olympics and wished Chinese and US ice hockey teams best of luck in the Games. Shen Haixiong, President and Editor-in-Chief of China Media Group, invited everyone to enjoy the passion and happiness brought by Beijing 2022 in his video remarks. Many Americans expressed their expectation and good wishes for the Beijing Winter Olympics. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: I also watched the video clips about the event. Elements of Chinese tradition and the Winter Olympic vibe filled the stadium and the American audience was all in high spirits. The success of the event fully shows that the Beijing Winter Olympics is a grand gathering of winter sports athletes and fans across the world. It also reflects the ardent expectation of ordinary Americans and the international community for the Beijing Winter Olympics. 

The world has pinned its faith on China, and China is ready. All preparatory work for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games is basically completed. We believe under the guidance of the Olympic spirit and with concerted efforts of all sides, China will deliver a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympic Games to the world, and inject more solidarity, confidence and strength into the world amid COVID-19.

Shenzhen TV: It is reported that the United Chinese Americans is protesting outside the US Department of Justice (DOJ) this week demanding the end of DOJ’s China Initiative. This week, 192 Yale professors wrote and signed a letter to Attorney General Merrick B. Garland arguing that the strategy has “fundamental flaws”. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: I noted relevant reports. As revealed by media many times, the “China Initiative” of the US Justice Department sets caseload target before conducting investigation accordingly. Such moves in disregard of law will only lead to wrongful convictions. According to media reports, most of the China-Related Cases Examples under this initiative over the past two years do not involve intellectual property or trade secrets theft. The charges are mainly related to fraud, misrepresentation or tax evasion. Earlier, nearly 2,000 university scholars across the US signed an open letter to the DOJ in protest of this initiative and over 20 Asian groups wrote to the US President demanding the end of it. Now, more visionary people are stepping forward to voice opposition. This proves that more and more people have realized that the so-called “China Initiative” is essentially a tool for anti-China forces in the US to abuse the concept of national security to contain and suppress China. It not only deals a heavy blow to China-US relations, but also worsens the racial discrimination in the US and seriously hurts Asian groups in the US. 

The US should listen to the call of justice from the US society, earnestly correct the mistakes, stop taking China as an imaginary enemy, stop making excuses to smear and suppress China and stop disrupting normal exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in science and technology and people-to-people and cultural sectors. 

The Paper: On December 2, 2021, the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted by consensus the Olympic Truce resolution for the Beijing Winter Olympics, urging Member States to observe before and after the Games the Olympic Truce, the core concept of which is cessation of hostilities. However, some developments indicate that the US may continue holding military drills in China’s neighborhood with allies before, during and after the Games. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: The Beijing Winter Olympics will be a great sports event. Amid the pandemic, all countries should practice the Olympic motto of “Faster, Higher, Stronger – Together”, and bring hope to all as we strive to overcome the difficulties together with a successful Winter Olympics.  

Like you said, the resolution on Olympic Truce for the Beijing Winter Games was adopted by the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly by consensus. It reflects the common understanding of all UN members. The resolution urges countries to observe the Olympic Truce and cease hostilities from seven days before the start of the Olympic Games until seven days after the end of the Paralympic Games. It calls on countries to promote peace and human understanding. It is a responsibility of countries and common expectation of the international community to earnestly uphold this spirit.  

We believe that under the guidance of the Olympic spirit and with concerted efforts of all parties, China will surely deliver a splendid Olympic event to the world and promote the development of the international Olympic cause. 

BBC: Just one question regarding this person Christine Lee at the heart of these allegations, has she ever worked for the Chinese government in any capacity at all?

Wang Wenbin: It is deeply irresponsible to hype up the groundless “China threat theory”.

CGTN: US official recently said in a statement that “addressing forced labor has been a priority for this Administration” and the international community is concerned over the ongoing “genocide” and “crimes against humanity” in Xinjiang. Some US lawmakers said cotton produced in Xinjiang is synonymous with “forced labor”. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: For some time now, US politicians, in collusion with some anti-China organizations and individuals, have been unscrupulously spreading and hyping up the lie of “genocide” and “forced labor” in Xinjiang for their ulterior political purpose. Today, I would like to take some time to share with you my experience of debunking lies on Xinjiang and avoiding being misled so that you can all see the true face of those who fabricated those lies. (Slides started to be shown on screen.)

First of all, those who fabricate lies on Xinjiang always camouflage themselves with three cloaks. 

The first is the cloak of academic research. They spread rumors in the name of scholars and academic institutions. A typical example is Adrian Zenz. His claim that “900,000 to 1,800,000 people have been systematically held in detention in Xinjiang” comes from a groundless report by Istiqlal TV, a Turkey-based media organization with close ties with extremists. Abdulkadir Yapuquan, leader of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a UN listed terrorist organization, is a regular guest of it. Zenz also claimed that 70 percent of the cotton plantations in Xinjiang in 2019 were harvested by human labor. But fact tells a completely different story: over 85 percent of the cotton in Xinjiang is harvested by machine. These facts have proved that Adrian Zenz, a so-called “China expert”, is just a pseudo scholar with no academic integrity at all. 

Another case in point is the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). The “findings” published by ASPI and its research fellows have repeatedly been proven to be disinformation. In September 2020, ASPI produced a Xinjiang-related report claiming that researchers had identified and mapped more than 380 “suspected detention facilities” in Xinjiang using satellite imagery. However, at least 343 of the locations are proven to be public or civil facilities such as schools, hospitals, houses and shops. In another report of ASPI titled “Uyghurs for Sale: ‘Re-education’, forced labour and surveillance beyond Xinjiang” published in March 2020, over 100 notes cite reports by Chinese media, but without using the original words or reflecting the authentic meaning. It is more appropriate to define ASPI as a rumormonger, rather than a research institute. 

The second is the cloak of victims. They concoct lies by playing the victim or witness. Such fake witnesses abound. We once exposed how Zumrat Dawut and Tursunay Ziawudun lied. Today, I want to give you another example named Sayragul Sauytbay. She sometimes calls herself a teacher at a vocational training center, and sometimes a “victim” of the “detention center”. She claims to have witnessed “torture” and “violence” at vocational training centers on one occasion, but insisted that she has never seen any acts of violence on the other. She says the “detainees” were forced to have pork, but asserts that there was no meat at all in another context. In fact, this person has never learned or worked in vocational training centers, but is wanted by the public security authorities for suspected crimes of illegal border-crossing and loan fraud. The so-called “testimonies” of these individuals contradict themselves and cannot justify anything, only to reveal that the people are not victims or witnesses, but third-stringer actors that give themselves away while changing their playbooks.

The third is the cloak of law. The so-called “Uyghur Tribunal” stands out in peddling lies under the legal pretext. This “tribunal” has nothing to do with the law, but engages in anti-China manipulation with a deceptive name. The “Chair” Geoffrey Nice reportedly used to be a British agent, who spends his life mainly making up false accusations to serve the US’ and the UK’s geopolitical purposes. Those who showed up as “witnesses” were familiar faces including Sayragul Sauytbay and Tursunay Ziyawudun. The so-called “research outcomes” cited there were fabricated by individuals like Adrian Zenz and institutions like the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI). The 28 Xinjiang-related false testimonies given at the “tribunal” were all rebuked by the relatives and colleagues of the so-called “witnesses”, as well as independent media in the world.

No matter what cloak the liars may wear, their disguise is no different from the “emperor’s new clothes” in the face of facts and truth. We believe you would not be easily hoodwinked when you encounter lies about Xinjiang including “forced labor” and “genocide” again. 

Second, those who make up Xinjiang-related lies seem to be independent from each other, but are in reality closely related as they are prompted and manipulated by the same force behind the scene.

For example, Tursunay Ziyawudun had received several interviews of foreign media outlets before arriving in the US, where she did not mention once that she was a victim of abuse. But she immediately changed her stories after she set foot in the US and received some “training” by certain forces. After fleeing overseas, Sayragul Sauytbay colluded with “East Turkistan” organizations sponsored by the US, was awarded by the US Department of State, and was even showered with Pompeo’s praise.

Adrian Zenz works at the “Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation”, an anti-China organization launched and manipulated by the US intelligence community, and the Jamestown Foundation. He’s also a key member of a research group set up by the US intelligence community on vocational education and training centers in Xinjiang. Right after the US House of Representatives adopted the “Uyghur Human Rights Policy Act” in 2019, Adrian Zenz took a victory lap of sorts to celebrate the passage of the Act while testifying before the House Foreign Affairs Committee and used the occasion to call for opening up a new front against China and starting an investigation into “involuntary labor in relation to Xinjiang”.

The top funder of the “Uyghur Tribunal” is the “World Uyghur Congress”, an anti-China terrorist organization advocating the secession of Xinjiang that has been supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) since the day it was founded. Since 2004, the NED has provided $8.76 million in funding to overseas Uyghur organizations.

As for ASPI, it is an organization funded by the US Department of State, NATO and some arms dealers. Its two biggest funding payments from overseas government agencies are both from the US Department of State. After this institute released its report on “forced labor” in Xinjiang in March 2020, some US lawmakers began to clamor for banning imports from Xinjiang, and introduced the “Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act”, which was later signed into law.

It is not difficult to see that the real fabricators and “beneficiaries” of Xinjiang-related lies are some anti-China forces in the US. Lawrence Wilkerson, a former senior US official, stated unabashedly back in 2018 that the US “would want to destabilize China and that would be the best way to do it to foment unrest and to join with those Uyghurs in pushing the Han Chinese in Beijing from internal places rather than external”. It is just part of the “use Xinjiang to contain China” strategy of the anti-China forces in the US to weave Xinjiang-related lies, tarnish China’s image, and destabilize Xinjiang to suppress and contain China’s development.

Third, much has changed in today’s world, but the US still uses the same M.O. to fabricate lies. Years ago, it used a test tube of what was suspected to be laundry powder as evidence to accuse Iraq of hiding weapons of mass destruction and waged a war. Today, 20 years later, citing the “testimonies” of a bunch of lame actors, the US alleged that there is “genocide” and “forced labor” in Xinjiang, based on which it imposed sanctions and adopted legislation to suppress China. Its M.O. remains the same. It just replaced the white powder with cotton from China’s Xinjiang.

However, new progress in our world today also brings with it a more discerning eye. The Xinjiang-related lies concocted by anti-China forces in the US cannot undermine the stability, unity, harmonious development, and wellbeing in Xinjiang or silence the just voice of the international community showing support for China. They will only further expose the true face of liars and conspirators in front of the whole world.

The sun will shine through the dark clouds and people will just admire the clear blue sky even more. Anti-China forces’ desperate attempts to smear and suppress China failed in the past and will never succeed in the future. The fabricator of the “lie of the century” will be nailed to the historical pillar of ignominy.

BBC: Just a small question, I was wondering if we could see that first slide again? I was not able to take a screen shot of it.

Wang Wenbin: We will share the slide with you after the press conference. 

The following question was raised after the press conference: According to reports, China and India issued a joint press release on the 14th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting on January 13. Some Indian media have reported that the talks failed to achieve positive outcomes. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: China and India held the 14th round of Corps Commander Level Meeting on January 13. Representatives from the two sides’ defense and diplomatic departments attended the meeting and issued a joint press release. The two sides held in-depth exchange of views on issues relating to the western section of the border in a candid and friendly atmosphere, put forward solutions and agreed to conduct further study. Both agreed to follow the guidance of the two sides’ leaders and resolve the remaining issues as soon as possible. Both agreed to continue consolidating existing outcomes and take effective measures to maintain the security and stability in the western section in all seasons including winter. Both agreed to maintain communication through military and diplomatic channels and reach a mutually-acceptable solution through dialogue and consultation as soon as possible. It was also agreed that the next round of Corps Commander Level Meeting should be held at an early date. I believe this meeting yielded positive and constructive outcomes.