Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on June 12, 2024

CCTV: Yesterday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue with Developing Countries, could you share more details with us?

Lin Jian: On June 11 local time, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Dialogue with Developing Countries (BRICS+) in Russia. The dialogue saw participation from the 10 BRICS countries and 12 major developing countries with regional influence, including Thailand, Laos, Viet Nam, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Türkiye, Mauritania, Cuba, Venezuela and Bahrain.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated at the Dialogue that BRICS+ serves as an important platform for dialogue between the BRICS countries and the vast emerging markets and developing countries. It has long been a source of dynamism for BRICS development and has become a banner of South-South cooperation. We live in an era marked by turbulence and transformation, and certain country, in order to maintain its unipolar hegemony, is rallying allies to impose massive unilateral sanctions, create deep protectionist barriers and weaponize economic and financial tools. The North-South divide is widening, and the global economic recovery is facing setbacks. That said, this is also an era marked by the rise of the Global South and a world transformed like never before. The Global South is no longer the silent majority but a new awakened force.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi made a three-point proposal on how developing countries can open up new horizons on a shifting landscape and foster new opportunities amidst crises. First, uphold universal security and jointly tackle challenges. Global challenges should be jointly tackled by the international community, solidarity is the only right way forward and division will lead nowhere. President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Security Initiative and proposed a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, providing important guidance for solving security challenges and creating a synergy for peace. Second, prioritize development and pool strength for progress. China remains true to its original aspiration of forging ahead hand in hand with fellow developing countries. The Global Development Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping has been warmly received by more than 100 countries and international organizations. We should jointly oppose the politicization of economic issues, strengthen the synergy of our development strategies and the coordination of our macroeconomic policies, keep global industrial and supply chains stable and unimpeded and push for a globalization that is more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. Third, uphold fairness and justice, and improve global governance. Seventy years ago, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence emerged from the historical trend of the rise of emerging forces and has become norms governing international relations followed by the international community, especially developing countries. We should learn from the history, adhere to a global governance philosophy of extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefit, uphold true multilateralism, and work for an equal and orderly multipolar world. China supports BRICS in pursuing development and cooperation with open arms, and welcomes more like-minded partners to join the BRICS family.

Participants spoke highly of the strategic significance of the Dialogue, noting that the BRICS+ model helps promote solidarity and cooperation among developing countries, enhance the Global South’s influence, and build a more just and equitable international order. The parties all believe it is important to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, oppose unilateralism and hegemonism, resolve conflicts and differences through dialogue and consultation, and promote the political settlement of international hotspot issues. They also called for reforming the international financial system, enhancing cooperation in digital economy, infrastructure and other areas, keeping global industrial and supply chains stable, narrowing the development gap, and achieving common development.

AFP: It’s reported by UK-based Financial Times today that starting from next month, the EU will levy 25 percent tariffs on the electric vehicles imported from China. Has the Chinese side been informed of this decision? What’s your comment?  

Lin Jian: We have stated our position on the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs on multiple occasions. I remember answering a similar question yesterday. I would like to stress that the anti-subsidy probe is typical protectionism. To levy additional tariffs on EVs imported from China violates market economy principles and international trade rules, disrupts China-EU economic and trade cooperation and the global automotive industrial and supply chains and will eventually hurt Europe’s own interests. We noted that senior officials and business leaders in multiple European countries recently stated opposition to the European Commission’s probe and said that imposing more tariffs on Chinese EVs to protect the European industry would be a wrong approach. Protectionism has no future, and open cooperation is the right way forward. We urge the EU to act on its commitment to supporting free trade and opposing protectionism, and work with us to uphold the overall economic and trade cooperation between the two sides. China will take all measures necessary to firmly defend our lawful rights and interests.

Dragon TV: Recently, Japanese scholars Seiya Matsuno and Shigeo Nasu donated a large amount of historical files on Japan’s bacterial warfare to the Yiwu archives hall and the Historical Facts Exhibition Hall of Bacterial Warfare of the Japanese Invaders in Yiwu, with a written message that says “Japan-China friendship” and “Never again should there be war between Japan and China”. What’s China’s comment?

Lin Jian: During WWII, in blatant violation of international law, the Japanese army launched horrendous bacterial warfare against the Chinese people and conducted gruesome human experimentation, which were heinous crimes against humanity. The historical files you mentioned show once again there are solid proofs for the bacterial warfare launched by Japanese militarists and there’s no room for denial. 

We commend the courage of those in Japan who reveal the historical truth and face it squarely. Japan needs to face up to and reflect on its history of militarist aggression, draw lessons from it, get rid of the specter of militarism that still haunts it, and never let history repeat itself.

China News Service: In a national address delivered on June 11, Malawi’s President Lazarus Chakwera said the Malawi Defense Force plane that carried Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine others crashed on June 10, and the aircraft was found completely destroyed with no survivors. What’s China’s comment?

Lin Jian: China expresses deep condolences over the unfortunate passing of Malawi’s Vice President Saulos Chilima and other victims in the plane crash. Our thoughts are with their families. China and Malawi are development partners. At this difficult time, the Chinese government and people stand firmly with the Malawian government and people. We believe that under President Lazarus Chakwera’s leadership, Malawi will emerge from this tragic incident and heal from the grief. 

Reuters: Reuters understands that Myanmar’s military junta has procured a large number of drones from China in recent months that it is using on the frontlines against the growing anti-junta resistance. Does the Ministry have any comment on this, and what is Beijing’s broad policy toward the export of such Chinese goods to Myanmar?

Lin Jian: China always handles the export of military products and dual-use articles in a prudent and responsible way.

AFP: Hong Kong authorities said today that they have cancelled the passports of six fugitives who fled to the UK. They were charged with crimes including inciting secession and colluding with foreign countries. What is the Foreign Ministry’s comment?

Lin Jian: Nathan Law and the others have long engaged in anti-China activities and sought to destabilize Hong Kong. Their nefarious behavior gravely undermines national security and Hong Kong’s fundamental interests and has a serious impact on One Country, Two Systems which is a bottom line that must not be crossed. The Hong Kong police took measures in accordance with the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, which is the right and necessary thing to do in order to uphold the rule of law in Hong Kong and national security. This is fully justified, legitimate and lawful. Once again, Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs that allow no external interference.

The Paper: The US Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday the addition of three Chinese companies to the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act Entity List and barred imports from the companies for alleged involvement in Uyghur forced labor. What’s China’s response? 

Lin Jian: The US again spread false stories on Xinjiang and illegally sanctioned Chinese companies in the name of human rights. We firmly oppose and strongly condemn the move.

What Xinjiang has achieved in its development is there for all to see and the central government’s Xinjiang policy is widely endorsed by the people. We have proven with ample figures and facts that the so-called “forced labor” and “genocide” accusations are complete false and egregious lies told by a handful of individuals wanting to vilify China. Their goal is to destabilize Xinjiang, frame China and hold back China’s development. The US chooses to enforce this malicious legislation on Xinjiang and blacklist Chinese entities on the basis of those lies. This seriously interferes in China’s internal affairs, disrupts market order and violates international trade rules and basic norms governing international relations. What the US is doing is essentially creating “forced unemployment” in Xinjiang, and hurting the right to subsistence, employment and development of people in Xinjiang in the name of human rights. Clearly, the US is seeking to turn Xinjiang into a tool to contain China. If the US truly cares about human rights, it might as well start dealing with the mounting issues at home, such as racial discrimination, gun violence, drug abuse, etc. instead of deflecting blame on other countries, interfering in their affairs and slapping sanctions.

We urge the US to immediately stop smearing China, lift illegal unilateral sanctions on Chinese businesses, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs and undermining China’s interests under the pretext of human rights. We will continue to take resolute measures to firmly defend the legitimate and lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies.

Bloomberg: Two questions from Bloomberg. The first one is that the Biden administration is considering further restrictions on China’s access to chip technology used for artificial intelligence. The measures being discussed would limit China’s ability to use a cutting-edge chip architecture known as gate all-around or GAA. Does the Foreign Ministry have any comments on this? And the second question is on Argentina. The International Monetary Fund expects China to reschedule payments on part of the US$18 billion swap line that it has extended to Argentina. We know that Argentina owes the People’s Bank of China about US$2.9 billion this month and US$1.9 billion in July. We’re wondering if the Foreign Ministry can confirm this or have any comments?

Lin Jian: On your first question, we have more than once made clear our position on the US’s malicious attempts to block and suppress China’s semiconductor industry. The US behavior seriously undermines international trade rules and destabilizes global industrial and supply chains. China firmly opposes what the US has done. When it comes to AI, the US says it wants to have dialogue with China, while mulling steps to go after China’s AI sector. This says everything about US hypocrisy. The US action will not hold back China’s technological progress, and will only motivate Chinese companies to pursue excellence by relying on ourselves. We will closely follow the developments on this front and firmly defend our lawful rights and interests.

On your second question, China supports Argentina’s efforts for national stability and development and values our monetary and financial cooperation with Argentina. For any specifics on the currency swap arrangement, I’d refer you to competent authorities.