Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on June 17, 2024
2024/06/17

At the invitation of the government of the Republic of South Africa, President Xi Jinping’s Special Envoy and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Xiao Jie will attend the inauguration of President Cyril Ramaphosa in Pretoria, the capital of South Africa, on June 19.

From June 18 to 25, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Secretary of the CPC Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission Chen Wenqing will attend the fourth China-Singapore Social Governance Forum in Singapore and visit Singapore and South Africa upon invitation.

CCTV: On June 14, the National Assembly (NA) held the first sitting of the new Parliament in Cape Town, and Cyril Ramaphosa, leader of the African National Congress, was reelected as President. What’s China’s comment on that? What’s China’s expectation for its relations with South Africa?

Lin Jian: South Africa is a major developing country with important influence in African and international affairs. China congratulates Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa on his reelection as President of South Africa, and President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory message to President Ramaphosa. We believe that under the leadership of the new government, the South African people will achieve greater success in national development.

South Africa is China’s comprehensive strategic partner. Bilateral relations have ushered in a golden era. China values the growth of China-South Africa relations. We stand ready to work with the new government of South Africa to enhance political mutual trust, broaden practical cooperation, strengthen strategic coordination in regional and international affairs, and build a high-quality China-South Africa community with a shared future.

Dragon TV: It was reported that an official of the ROK presidential office said on June 13 that Russian President Putin is expected to visit the DPRK in a few days, and that around the same time, the ROK and China will hold the 2+2 diplomatic and security dialogue. The ROK will take all factors into consideration and make sure everything is properly dealt with so that major friendly countries and strategic partners in the region will be on the same track with the ROK on the DPRK-related issues. ROK media commented that as the DPRK and Russia get closer, the ROK should properly manage its relations with China and use the 2+2 diplomatic and security dialogue to nudge China on the DPRK. What is China’s comment?

Lin Jian: As agreed between China and the ROK, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Sun Weidong and Deputy Director of the Office for International Military Cooperation of the Central Military Commission Zhang Baoqun will lead a delegation to Seoul on June 18 to hold the first 2+2 vice-ministerial level diplomatic and security dialogue with the ROK.

China and the ROK set up the 2+2 diplomatic and security dialogue at the director-general level in 2002, and have since held five rounds of dialogue. In 2020, the two sides decided to upgrade the dialogue to vice-ministerial level and agreed to hold the first vice-ministerial dialogue at an early date. Since then, the two sides have maintained communication on the specific timing of the dialogue in light of the schedules of the officials leading the dialogue and overall bilateral interaction, and agreed to hold the dialogue on June 18 this year.

The establishment, upgrade and timing of the 2+2 dialogue mechanism were determined quite early on by the two sides in light of the need of growing bilateral relations and have no particular link to other countries. China will exchange views with the ROK at the dialogue mainly on improving and growing bilateral ties and deepening exchanges and cooperation in various areas, and have necessary communication on international and regional issues of mutual interest. We will release timely information about the dialogue.

China Review News: Reuters reported on June 14 that the US Pentagon orchestrated a secret online campaign meant to discredit China during the COVID-19 pandemic through phony internet accounts and social media posts that sow doubt about the safety and efficacy of China’s CoronaVac. The report cited a senior US military officer involved in the campaign saying that “We didn’t do a good job sharing vaccines with partners, so what was left to us was to throw shade on China’s.” What’s your comment?

Lin Jian: We noted the report. Facts have shown time and again that the US has persistently manipulated social media to spread disinformation, poison public opinion and vilify other countries’ image. We firmly oppose it.

The remarks you mentioned from the senior US military officer reveal the truth and the real intention behind the US disinformation campaigns against other countries. Put simply, when the US wants to contain and suppress a country, it chooses to ignore the facts and truth, and launches smears and vilification through “coordination.” Such an approach is not only visible in its campaign of fabricating and disseminating disinformation about Chinese-made vaccines, but also in its smears against the widely welcomed Belt and Road Initiative as well as the “overcapacity” false narrative on China’s NEVs for which there is strong supply and demand. The list goes on. Such practices by no means show the US’s “power” and only reveal its obsession with supremacy and hypocrisy. The international community needs to be clear-eyed about this.

A big country should behave in a manner befitting its status. We hope that the US will right its mindset, shoulder its due responsibilities as a major country and stop propagating disinformation against other countries.

AFP: Close to 80 countries signed a joint communiqué in Switzerland yesterday, calling for the territorial integrity of Ukraine to be the basis for any peace agreement with Russia. China did not attend the conference in Switzerland. How does China view the joint communiqué?  

Lin Jian: China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear. China did not take part in the peace summit and will not comment on its joint communiqué.

Polish Press Agency: It’s reported by Polish media that Poland’s President Andrzej Duda will visit China. Can you confirm it and share with us the background, the program and China’s expectation of the visit?

Lin Jian: Poland is among the first countries to recognize the People’s Republic of China. In recent years, our bilateral relations have maintained steady growth and have gained greater maturity and resilience. This year marks the 75th anniversary of China-Poland diplomatic ties. China stands ready to work with Poland to maintain the momentum of high-level exchanges, strengthen political mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and achieve more in advancing China-Poland comprehensive strategic partnership from a new starting point.

On the visit that you mentioned, I have no information to offer at the moment. Please stay tuned.

China Daily: The G7 Leaders’ Communiqué again hyped up China-related issues, making irresponsible comments on the situation in the Taiwan Strait, pointing fingers on issues related to the East China Sea, the South China Sea, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Xizang, and trumpeting up so-called “Chinese overcapacity.” What is China’s comment on this?

Lin Jian: The G7 Leaders’ Communiqué again used China-related issues to vilify and attack China, resorting to the same old false accusations that have no factual, legal or moral basis and are filled with arrogance, bias and falsehood.

The G7 does not represent the world. The seven countries only account for 10 percent of the world’s population; year after year their share in global economy has kept dropping; even combined, they contribute less than China to global economic growth; and their economic aggregate in terms of purchasing power parity has already been surpassed by BRICS countries. The G7 has long strayed from its original purpose of coordinating for stability in the global economic environment, and has increasingly become a political tool to perpetuate US and Western supremacy. It puts its own rules and decisions above the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the international law, and has lost its ability to represent the world and credibility among the international community.

The G7 is acting against the world trend of peaceful development. While claiming to safeguard world peace, the G7 keeps drawing lines along difference in ideology and values, hyping up the false narrative of “democracy vs. autocracy,” forming exclusive groupings and inciting bloc confrontation, fanning up flames and shirking responsibilities in regional conflicts, sending military vessels and aircraft into the Asia-Pacific to create tensions, and arming Taiwan to threaten peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. These wrongful moves that disrupt international order and harm peace and security are being increasingly disdained and rejected by forces for good in the world.

The G7 is no longer on the right path of win-win cooperation. In recent years, the US has repeatedly overstretched the concept of national security, abused export control measures, rolled out unilateral sanctions, fiercely gone after Chinese companies, and encouraged its allies to take the same wrong moves. This seriously violates the principles of market economy and fair competition and disrupts the international economic and trade order. The G7’s “Chinese overcapacity” allegation is unsupported by facts or the laws of economy. It is just an excuse for protectionism and undermines the global effort for green and low-carbon transition and cooperation on climate response. The G7 is the one truly responsible for “economic coercion” as it continues to politicize and weaponize trade, which is a reversal of our globalized world where countries’ interests are already deeply integrated. Such behavior will eventually backfire on the G7 itself.

CCTV: It’s reported that Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said in a recent interview that it made sense for Malaysia to ramp up ties with China, a country “willing to accommodate and listen” to his nation’s suggestions and concerns. This included helping to build Malaysia’s digital economy, renewable energy and AI capacities. He also stressed that Malaysia neither had any intention of antagonizing the United States nor being swayed by the unilateral action of one country against another. Malaysia is an independent country and will not succumb to pressure. What’s China’s comment?

Lin Jian: We noted the report and commend Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim for his remarks. China and Malaysia are neighbors across the sea with a time-honored friendship. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations half a century ago, no matter how the international landscape has changed, we have always been good and true friends who treat each other with sincerity, and trust and help each other. China looks to work with Malaysia to carry forward our traditional friendship, deepen cooperation in various fields, and deepen and solidify the China-Malaysia community with a shared future.

China, as always, firmly supports Malaysia and other ASEAN countries in upholding their national strategic independence and seeking strength through unity, and will stay committed to upholding ASEAN centrality and an inclusive regional architecture. China will continue to pursue open cooperation and mutual benefit and work with ASEAN countries to build an even closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.

Nikkei: Today, Sweden-based Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) released the estimated global inventory of warheads. The report said that SIPRI’s estimate of the size of China’s nuclear arsenal increased from 410 warheads in January 2023 to 500 in January 2024, and China may also now be deploying 24 warheads on missiles. What’s China’s comment? China often says that it “keeps its nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required for national security.” Has this belief changed? Does the “required minimum level” change with the changing security environment?

Lin Jian: The whitepaper titled China’s National Defense in the New Era articulated China’s defensive nuclear strategy in very clear terms. Our strategy maintains a high level of stability, continuity and predictability. I recommend it to you.

If you are truly interested in issues about strategic security, I would also recommend that you turn your attention to the US’s heavy investment in upgrading its nuclear triad, and increase in nuclear sharing and extended deterrence. This is the real issue that will have a serious impact on global strategic stability.

Shenzhen TV: It’s reported that the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released on June 15 that the Philippines submitted information to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf on the extent of its undersea shelf in the South China Sea where it sought to have the exclusive right to exploit resources according to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. What’s China’s comment? 

Lin Jian: China noted the development and we are trying to get more information on this. What I need to say is that there are territorial issues and disputes over maritime delimitation in the South China Sea between China and the Philippines. The Philippines’ unilateral submission on the extent of its undersea shelf in the South China Sea infringes on China’s sovereign rights and jurisdiction, violates international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, and goes against the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. Pursuant to the rules of procedure of the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf, the Commission will not consider or qualify the submission by the Philippines if it involves delimitation of disputed waters.

Reuters: Last Saturday, relevant regulations of China Coast Guard came into force, according to which, China Coast Guard has the right to use deadly force toward all foreign vessels refusing to leave waters China believes to be its own. This morning, China Coast Guard said a collision with a Philippine vessel happened near Ren’ai Jiao. So does China plan to use deadly force in the future in response to incidents similar to what happened this morning?

Lin Jian: The regulations are rolled out by China Coast Guard to enforce China’s Coast Guard Law, standardize the administrative law-enforcement procedures of Coast Guard agencies and better uphold order at sea. It is consistent with universal practices. On issues related to the South China Sea, China stands to properly handle differences and disputes through negotiation and consultation with countries directly concerned, and at the same time resolutely respond to any infringement and provocative moves at sea.

You mentioned what happened recently. What I can tell you is that on June 17, one supply vessel and two speed boats of the Philippines, without permission from the Chinese government, intruded into waters near Ren’ai Jiao in China’s Nansha Qundao in an attempt to send materials, including construction materials, to the military vessel illegally grounded at Ren’ai Jiao. China Coast Guard took necessary control measures to stop the Philippine vessels in accordance with the law. The maneuvers at the scene were professional, restrained, justified and lawful.

Antara: Last week, Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi met Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment in Jilin Province. The two ministers actually met in April for the Indonesia-China High-Level Dialogue and Cooperation Mechanism in Indonesia. What matter is so important that the two high officials needed to meet again one month apart?

Lin Jian: On June 13, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indonesia’s Coordinator for Cooperation with China and Coordinating Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan held a co-chairs’ meeting of the China-Indonesia High-Level Dialogue Cooperation Mechanism in Jilin and exchanged views on China-Indonesia relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. China released a readout.

Under the strategic guidance of head-of-state diplomacy, China-Indonesia bilateral relations have maintained a robust momentum of growth. The two countries have had frequent high-level exchanges, deepened cooperation, and made strides in building a community with a shared future. Back in March, President-elect Prabowo Subianto paid a successful visit to China. In late April, Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited Indonesia and chaired the Fourth Meeting of the China-Indonesia High-Level Dialogue Cooperation Mechanism. The two sides’ meeting after a little more than one month fully shows the closeness and strength of our bilateral relations. China stands ready to work with Indonesia to have frequent high-level exchanges, deepen practical cooperation, and solidify China-Indonesia community with a shared future to deliver more tangibly for the two peoples and the two countries.

PTI: With regard to what you have said about the new regulations relating to the South China Sea and the coast guard, do the coast guard rules apply to the entire international traffic that goes to the area? And is it just confined only to the conflict between the Philippines and China in that area?

Lin Jian: As I just said, the regulations are rolled out by China Coast Guard (CCG) to implement the Coast Guard Law, standardize the administrative law-enforcement procedures of Coast Guard agencies and better ensure order at sea. It is consistent with universal practices. On the specifics of the new regulations, please refer to the information released by the CCG. 

Beijing Youth Daily: Today marks the 30th Desertification and Drought Day with the theme of “Our Legacy. Our Future.” We noted that China in recent years has achieved many significant outcomes in desertification prevention and control. Anything you would like to say on that? Can you share more about China’s role in global desertification prevention and control? 

Lin Jian: Today marks the world’s 30th Desertification and Drought Day and the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization, China has followed the philosophy that green is gold and made solid efforts in comprehensive desertification prevention and control and developed major ecological projects, such as the Sanbei Protective Forest project, to form a green ecological barrier in northern China.

Since 1978, the Sanbei Protective Forest project has added 32 million hectares to afforestation area, and treated 85.3 million hectares of degraded grassland and 33.3 million hectares of desertified land. In key restoration areas, we’ve realized a historic transformation from “sand forcing humans to retreat” to “trees forcing sand to retreat.” We created the world’s largest man-made forest in Saihanba, realized the world’s largest scale ecological restoration project in Maowusu and found a new approach of combating desertification through industry development in Kubuqi.

China’s effort turbocharged the process of creating a cleaner and more beautiful world. We are the first country in the world to achieve zero net land degradation and reduce both desertification and sandification, making important contribution to meeting the global goal of zero net land degradation by 2030. China’s forest coverage ratio and forest stock volume have both increased for 40 consecutive years. It is No.1 in the world in terms of forest resource growth and afforestation area and has contributed one fourth of the world’s newly added green area. China earnestly fulfills its obligation under the UNCCD, successfully held events including the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP13) of the UNCCD, and is making all-out efforts in advancing global desertification prevention and control by promoting international cooperation and sharing experience with the rest of the world with nothing held back. China and the UNCCD Secretariat jointly built the International Training Center on Combating Desertification and the International Knowledge Management Center on Combating Desertification. We are actively forging synergy with the Great Green Wall initiative in Africa and the Middle East Green Initiative through mechanisms including the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. The China-Arab International Research Center for Drought, Desertification, and Land Degradation was set up last year and the first batch of cooperation projects have been launched. The China-Mongolia Desertification Prevention and Control Cooperation Center unveiled in Mongolia last year is now supporting Mongolia in implementing its plan to plant one billion trees. The cooperation between China and other countries in combating desertification has made more countries greener.

Desertification is a global challenge faced by all and making joint response is the sure path forward. China stands ready to continue to share its experience in combating drought and desertification with all parties, enhance exchanges on sustainable land governance and together make our world a beautiful place enjoying harmony between nature and humanity. 

CONSULATE-GENERAL OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA IN BELFAST ALL RIGHTS RESERVED