|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on September 2, 2021|
Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council, will attend the opening ceremony of the Taiyuan Energy Low Carbon Development Forum 2021 via video conference and deliver a keynote speech on September 3.
At the invitation of the French government, Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang will attend and address the opening ceremony of the 7th World Conservation Congress via video conference in Beijing on September 3.
This Congress is held jointly by the French government and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) under the theme "One Nature, One Future".
People's Daily: According to reports, the WHO plans to deliver 100 million doses of Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines by the end of September to regions including Africa and Asia for the first time. Can you confirm this? Could you share more information on China providing vaccines through COVAX?
Wang Wenbin: China has been actively supporting and taking part in COVAX, and committed to promoting the accessibility and affordability of COVID vaccines in developing countries. After Sinopharm and Sinovac vaccines were approved by WHO for emergency use in the first half of 2021, relevant companies immediately acted to safeguard production and had consultations with GAVI on vaccine supply, adding the vaccines to the COVAX Facility portfolio in July. According to the purchase agreements, the two Chinese companies will provide 110 million doses to COVAX by the end of October, and the latter will determine the specific distribution plan after taking into full consideration of the demand of countries. In the meantime, the two sides have reached the intent on long-term vaccine supply in the years to come and are in discussions for the specific time and plan of future supply. As we understand, the first batch of around nine million doses have been delivered to Pakistan and Bangladesh in early August. Another nearly 30 million doses will soon start to be shipped to developing countries including Algeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, Kyrgyzstan and Venezuela. This is another concrete step China has taken to fulfill its pledge to make the vaccines a global public good, promote equitable distribution and boost global anti-epidemic efforts.
At the first meeting of the International Forum on COVID-19 Vaccine Cooperation not long ago, President Xi Jinping announced that China will strive to provide 2 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses to the world throughout this year and offer $100 million to COVAX for the distribution of vaccines to developing countries. China will continue to make contributions to equitable access for developing countries. We also call on capable countries to support developing countries and help them acquire vaccines with concrete measures at an early date, and contribute to an early victory over the pandemic.
Xinhua News Agency: We noted that recent mainstream Russian media reports say that China's efforts to strengthen market regulation will help foster a stable and favorable business environment in the long term and promote sustained and sound economic growth, and won't affect the appeal of the China market. Do you have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: Since the beginning of this year, China has continued to consolidate and expand the outcomes of COVID-19 prevention and control and socioeconomic development and achieved steady economic recovery while consolidating the positive momentum, demonstrating strong resilience and vitality. This has offered strong impetus for the world economy to return to the right track, regain confidence and resume growth. Meanwhile, to address the prominent issue of unchecked and disorderly expansion of some platform companies, the Chinese government has stepped up anti-monopoly regulation and taken lawful actions to crack down on monopoly and unfair competition behaviors. Efforts to curb disorderly expansion of capital have shown initial results and the order of fair competition is steadily improving.
The market regulatory measures taken in accordance with law by the Chinese government will help foster a market environment for fair competition, create broad space for the growth of all types of market entities, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, and better protect the rights and interests of consumers. The Chinese government is committed to improving mechanisms for fair competition, reforming market regulation system, strengthening anti-monopoly regulation, working to build a high-standard market system that is unified and open with orderly competition, and foster a law-based international business environment that is more market-oriented. These efforts will ultimately benefit all investors, operators and consumers.
I would also like to stress that China's determination to open up will not waver and our door will only open wider. As an important destination for foreign investment, China attracted 4.5% more FDI last year despite the 40% drop in foreign investment globally. During the first half of 2021, FDI into the Chinese mainland in actual use surged 28.7% year-on-year. Foreign investors stay optimistic about the prospects of the China market. Going forward, we will continue to facilitate foreign businesses' investment and operation in China, and share the dividends of China's reform and development.
Bloomberg: First, the South China Morning Post reported that John Kerry will meet with Yang Jiechi today. Could you comment on that, and if possible, tell us what their agenda might be? Second question, the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday adopted a report that urged the EU to begin work on a bilateral investment agreement with Taiwan. It also suggested that the bloc rename its trade office in Taipei to the "European Union Office in Taiwan". Does the foreign ministry have a comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: On your first question, please stay tuned. We'll release information in due course.
With regard to your second question, the Chinese Mission to the EU has released a statement. The so-called "EU-Taiwan Political Relations and Cooperation" report concocted by the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs gravely violates the basic norms governing international relations, the one-China principle and the commitment on the Taiwan question made openly by the EU upon establishment of diplomatic relations with China. We strongly condemn and firmly reject it.
We urge the relevant committee and members of the European Parliament to immediately correct their wrong words and actions concerning Taiwan to avoid further damage to China-EU mutual trust and cooperation. The EU side is advised not to underestimate the Chinese people's firm resolve, unwavering will and strong capability to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity and immediately cease all provocations and confrontational moves.
RIA Novosti: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov said yesterday that Russia plans to convene a new meeting with the United States, China and Pakistan in Kabul after the situation there stabilized. Has China discussed this meeting with Russia and other sides? Who will represent China there?
Wang Wenbin: A proper settlement of the Afghan issue is impossible without the participation and support of the international community. There are many multilateral mechanisms related to Afghanistan that are reinforcing one another with their own features and priorities. China has maintained close coordination with relevant sides on the Afghan issue. And China and Russia stay in deep and strong strategic communication and collaboration at all levels. Under the new circumstances, China will continue to work with the international community for an early soft-landing of the situation in Afghanistan and Kabul, and jointly help Afghanistan to end chaos, restore order, and achieve peace and reconstruction.
Beijing Youth Daily: The World 5G Convention 2021 was held in Beijing recently. Officials, experts and representatives from the academic and business community attended in person or virtually. Could you offer more information?
Wang Wenbin: The World 5G Convention 2021 was held in Beijing from August 31 to September 2 under the theme of "5G+ By All For All". Featuring the key words of "industry", "economy" and "innovation", the convention focused on joint efforts to develop digital infrastructure, integrated ecology and favorable environment to enable 5G to integrate and thrive together with other industries. This is also the first major international exhibition-related event hosted by Beijing since COVID-19 prevention and control became a new normal.
As a prominent international gathering in the 5G sector, the World 5G Convention has been held three times since 2019, and has become an important platform for exchange spurring global industrial development and innovation in application scenarios. Throughout the convention, over 300 important guests from more than 20 countries and regions were invited to deliver speeches, including 45 foreign experts and diplomatic envoys based in China. More than 80 media outlets from across the globe covered the events extensively. Altogether more than 650 items from 40-plus Chinese and foreign companies were on display, showcasing industrial chain-wide technological progress and product innovation in the 5G sector. During the convention, eight tech white papers and research reports were released, 20-plus strategic cooperation projects were signed, and a host of innovation outcomes and new technologies and products were released by relevant companies.
As a frontier technology, 5G will profoundly change the way people work and live and usher in an era where all is interconnected. China attaches high importance to 5G development. Since 5G came into commercial use in China two years ago, 993,000 5G base stations have been built and more than 392 million households have been connected to 5G terminals. China now boasts the world's largest-scale 5G network with leading technology and the highest number of users. The world's largest 5G industrial system is gradually taking shape. The integration between 5G and other technologies, such as the Internet, big data and AI, has given birth to new development models such as 5G+health care, 5G+industrial internet, 5G+ultra high definition video, which have become new engines for China's high-quality development.
In 5G development, China is committed to integration, coordination, innovation, openness and win-win results. We will continue to strengthen exchange with others, conduct all-dimensional cooperation in 5G standard, industry, application and security, and jointly create an environment for innovation and business that is open, fair, just and non-discriminatory. Businesses from all countries are welcome to take part in China's 5G rollout with quality products and services for socioeconomic development. We also hope that all sides will oppose acts that abuse the national security concept and disrupt and undermine global 5G cooperation so that together we can advance healthy international cooperation in this sector to deliver more benefits to all mankind.
The Paper: According to reports, on August 31, Zhou Mengbo, former deputy secretary of the Party committee of China Railway Engineering Group Co., Ltd., was repatriated to China. Can you provide more information?
Wang Wenbin: Zhou Mengbo, former deputy secretary of the Party committee of China Railway Engineering Group Co., Ltd., was suspected of serious work-related crimes and fled abroad in May 2019. China recently made the request for law enforcement cooperation to the relevant country, and worked on foreign law enforcement agencies to arrest him and repatriate him to China. Bringing Zhou Mengbo to justice is an important achievement in bringing back corruption fugitives and recovering their assets through international law enforcement cooperation. China expressed appreciation and gratitude to countries concerned for their strong support and assistance.
Corruption is a common enemy of humanity. Fighting corruption-related crimes is supported by people of all countries. Bringing back corruption fugitives and recovering their assets is an integral part of strengthening international cooperation against corruption. The Chinese government will continue to conduct international judicial and law enforcement cooperation with countries concerned in accordance with the UN Convention against Corruption and bilateral treaties and agreements. We will jointly combat transnational corruption and never allow the corrupted individuals take refuge in safe havens for criminals.
Global Times: The Global Times reported that Chinese competent authorities revealed the criminal facts of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig, as well as detailed information on their detention. But the Canadian side has all along claimed that the detention of these two Canadians is an retaliation for the arrest of Meng Wanzhou. Do you have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: China has stated its solemn position on the cases of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig. The information revealed by relevant authorities shows that the evidence of their crimes is indisputable. The Chinese judiciary handles the cases in accordance with law based on solid evidence. In the process, the legal rights of these two individuals have been fully protected. Relevant authorities have also given humanitarian considerations to them to the full extent permitted by law.
I have to point out that the Meng Wanzhou incident and the cases of Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig are entirely different in nature. The Canadian side, on the one hand, has carried out political persecution against the Chinese citizen in accomplice with the US, in total disregard of the US political purposes by plotting the Meng Wanzhou incident and the fact that she didn't violate any Canadian law. On the other, it has sensationalized the isolated cases of the Canadian citizens and falsely accused China of arbitrary detention and coercive diplomacy. Facts have proved again that what the Canadian side pursues is to confuse right and wrong and shift blames to China. China firmly rejects and strongly condemns that. The Canadian side should own up to the issue, stop misleading public opinion and mud-slinging, and stop slandering and smearing China. In the meantime, it should immediately rectify its mistakes, release Meng Wanzhou and ensure her safe return to China.
China News Service: According to reports, Russian President Putin said in his recent comment on the Afghan situation that the US forces have been, in essence, promoting US norms and standards including changing local political structure in their 20-year presence in Afghanistan. But this has brought loss and tragedy to the US itself and the Afghan people. The result of the US operation in Afghanistan is zero, if not negative. What's your comment?
Wang Wenbin: The view of President Putin should provoke some thoughts from the US.
There isn't a set form of democracy in the world. All countries should be entitled to independently exploring development paths that suit their national conditions and realities. The situation in Afghanistan has shown transplanting and imposing a foreign model of democracy would only create chaos and instability, which will ultimately end up in failure.
Democracy is a value shared by all mankind instead of a privilege of certain countries. There is no "leader of democracy" in the world. No country has the right to lecture others on democracy. Touting the "alliance of democracies" and hyping up the narrative of "democracy versus authoritarianism" is in essence attacking others that are different under the banner of democracy. It is suppression of others and advancement of one's own geopolitical strategies with ideology and values as the tool. This is hegemony in the guise of democracy. Such historical backpedaling would only lead to divisions and confrontations, which should be guarded against and rejected by all countries.
We hope the US can earnestly reflect upon itself and draw lessons from the past. It should stop selling its own ideology and values to others, stop military intervention in other countries at will, stop making divisions and confrontations in the world under the banner of human rights, and not repeat the mistakes in Afghanistan.