|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on April 9, 2021|
CCTV: Presidential Spokesperson of the Philippines Harry Roque said that China and the Philippines will resolve the issues concerning Niu'e Jiao "through diplomatic channel and through peaceful means". He also said that "whatever differences we have with China will not define our bilateral relations and will not be an obstacle to the overall positive trajectory of our bilateral friendly relations". What is your comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: China and the Philippines are friendly close neighbors with far more friendly cooperation than maritime differences. China is consistently committed to properly resolving differences through friendly consultations with the Philippines, advancing cooperation, enhancing mutual trust and safeguarding the bigger picture of the bilateral relations and maritime peace and stability.
The Paper: According to reports, the Japanese government plans to hold a Cabinet meeting on April 13, when the decision is expected to be made to discharge nuclear waste water into the sea. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: The radioactive leak caused by the meltdown of the Fukushima nuclear power plant has had profound impact on marine environment, food safety and human health. We hope the Japanese government will act with a high sense of responsibility towards its own people, neighboring countries and the international community, conduct thorough assessment of the possible effect of treatment process for tritium-contaminated waste water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant, disclose relevant information in a voluntary, timely, strict, accurate, open and transparent manner, and make prudent decisions after full consultation with neighboring countries.
China News Service: The parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) are conducting negotiation in Vienna on bringing the deal back to life. How does China evaluate the current Iranian nuclear situation and the prospect of the negotiation? What role is China playing in the negotiation?
Zhao Lijian: The Iranian nuclear situation is now at a critical juncture. As we speak, the JCPOA parties are discussing in Vienna issues of lifting sanctions by the US side and compliance by the Iranian side. Meanwhile, parties are keeping interaction with the US in a proper way. China hopes all parties will consolidate and continue the current positive momentum, and reach an early consensus on bringing the US and Iran back to the deal at an early date.
The root cause of the persistent tension in the Iranian nuclear situation can be traced to the withdrawal of the previous US administration from the JCPOA and the maximum pressure it exerted on Iran. Whoever tied the knot is responsible for untying it. The US is expected to return to the agreement unconditionally as soon as possible and lift all relevant sanctions, including the long-arm jurisdiction over any third party, while Iran should resume its compliance reciprocally on this basis. All parties should tell right from wrong, urge the US side to take practical measures to lift sanctions, guide Iran to move towards the same direction, and get the JCPOA back on track without delay.
China firmly upholds the authority and effectiveness of the JCPOA, the international nuclear non-proliferation system as well as peace and stability in the Middle East. China had made important contributions to the conclusion of the JCPOA, and fulfilled its obligations to the agreement despite difficulties. China has been keeping intensive communication and coordination with parties concerned to promote the full and effective implementation of the agreement. As we speak, China is actively participating in the negotiation on bringing the US and Iran back to the deal. China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the process of political and diplomatic settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue. At the same time, we will firmly safeguard our legitimate rights and interests.
AFP: A local Myanmar media report said the Chinese embassy in Myanmar spoke for the first time with lawmakers from the ousted National League for Democracy government. Can you confirm this?
Zhao Lijian: China and Myanmar are "pauk-phaw" brothers connected by the same mountains and rivers, and share weal and woe as a community with a shared future. China's friendship policy towards Myanmar is for all people in Myanmar. China maintains longstanding friendly exchanges with all parties in Myanmar. And developing friendship with China has also been a consensus across all sectors of Myanmar.
China is concerned about the current situation in Myanmar, and hopes that all parties in Myanmar will start dialogue as soon as possible to seek political understanding within the constitutional and legal framework, and continue to advance the hard-won democratic transition process that suits Myanmar's national conditions. China will continue to maintain contact and communication with Myanmar parties in its own way to deescalate the situation and reduce the temperature.
Bloomberg: The US added seven Chinese supercomputing firms to a list of entities banned from receiving exports from American companies. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: The US government, driven by a desire to maintain its scientific monopoly and hegemony and to contain China's development, has time and again abused the national security concept, its state power and "entity list" to unscrupulously and maliciously suppress Chinese high-tech companies. China firmly rejects this.
Despite the long-existing US technology blockade on China in supercomputing, China has become a front runner in this field with itsindependent innovation. US containment and suppression won't be able to stop China's scientific progress, but will only make China more determined in advancing independent innovation. As to the US measures, China will take necessary countermeasures to resolutely safeguard Chinese companies' legitimate rights and interests.
Beijing Youth Daily: According to reports, the 30th BASIC ministerial meeting on climate change was concluded on April 8 with a joint statement on climate change released. Could you give us more information on the meeting and the outcomes reached?
Zhao Lijian: The 30th BASIC ministerial meeting on climate change was held via video conference on April 7 and 8. It was hosted by India, the rotating chair, and attended by environment ministers of India, Brazil, South Africa and China. From the Chinese side, Mr. Huang Runqiu, Chinese Minister of Ecology and Environment and Mr. Xie Zhenhua, China's special envoy on climate change attended and addressed the event. The meeting reviewed and adopted a joint statement, sending out a strong signal of strengthening solidarity among developing countries to actively deal with climate change.
The ministers reiterated their support for multilateralism and the full and effective implementation of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement. They stressed that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities should be upheld in international cooperation to address climate change, and that countries should be able to determine their own intended emissions reduction contributions. They called on advanced countries to earnestly fulfill their reduction obligations, take stronger actions, bridge the pre-2020 reduction divide, honor financial pledges and step up support for developing countries in capital, technology and capacity building. They also expressed serious concern over discriminatory trade measures such as carbon border adjustment.
BASIC is an important cooperation mechanism established by China, India, Brazil and South Africa to deal with climate change. The group speaks for developing countries in negotiations and plays an important constructive role in advancing the multilateral negotiation process. Faced with the daunting tasks of fighting COVID-19 and promoting sustainable socioeconomic development, developing countries including China have been doing their best to address climate change, demonstrating their strong sense of responsibility. We hope the international community can take concerted efforts to promote an equitable and reasonable climate governance mechanism for win-win cooperation to create a better future for our posterity.
AFP: US Senators recently presented a bill that proposes tougher action on alleged Chinese intellectual property theft and the bill says the US should use "the same nomenclature and protocol" for dealing with Taiwan as with foreign governments. What's China's comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: China's position on China-US relations, intellectual property rights and Taiwan-related issues is clear. The relevant US lawmakers should look at China and bilateral relations in an objective and rational light, abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, reject Cold-War and zero-sum mentality, stop pushing negative bills that interfere in China's domestic affairs and harm Chinese interests, and act in ways beneficial to the sound and steady development of bilateral relations.
Reuters: The US Secretary of State and Foreign Affairs Secretary of the Philippines said that they were concerned about Chinese militia vessels in the South China Sea recently. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: We have made clear China's position on this issue many times in recent days. The Niu'e Jiao is part of China's Nansha Islands. It is perfectly normal and irreproachable for Chinese fishing vessels to fish in the waters and take shelter during rough sea conditions. In total disregard of the facts, the US side obstinately refers to the Chinese fishing boats as "militia vessels", and repeatedly invokes the illegal and invalid the South China Sea arbitration award in an attempt to deny China's sovereignty, rights and interests in the South China Sea. Its ill intention is doomed to fail.
At present, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, and China maintains close communication with the Philippines on relevant issues. We note that President Duterte of the Philippines said a few days ago that the Philippines will continue to resolve relevant issues peacefully through diplomatic channels. China urges the US side to respect the efforts of regional countries to properly address differences and maintain stability in the South China Sea, and refrain from trying to sow discords.
RIA Novosti: Two members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday introduced a bill, laying out the principles and proposing some initiatives for the United States' strategic competition with China. The bill also accuses China of leveraging its political, diplomatic, economic, military, and ideological power to become a strategic competitor of the United States. The Committee is expected to consider this bill on April 14. I wonder if China have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: China is firmly opposed to the bill introduced by relevant members of Congress. Our position on China-US relations and issues relating to trade, Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan are clear and consistent. I reiterate that China is committed to developing a relationship with the US featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. At the same time we will continue to firmly safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests. Relevant individuals on the US side should view China and China-US relations in an objective and rational light and stop pushing the negative bill concerning China.
Bloomberg: Twitter appears to be supporting the Milk Tea Alliance by introducing an emoji on Thursday and bringing more attention to this global pro-democracy movement. How does China view Twitter's decision to create this emoji?
Zhao Lijian: I already answered this question yesterday. The so-called alliance you mentioned is entrenched in its anti-China position and would make some noise on issues relating to China every now and then. As to the relevant social media platform's attitude towards this so-called alliance, I suggest you ask the company directly.
Cyberspace is not a place beyond the law. Rumors, disinformation, pornography, violence and terrorism online are common scourges. All social media operators have the responsibility to remove such illegal information online.
With the Foreign Ministry Special Promotion Event for Hubei Province to be held on Monday, April 12, our press conference will be adjourned for that day and resumed on Tuesday, April 13. In the meantime, you can still reach the spokesperson's office by fax, Wechat or email.