Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on June 21, 2024

Premier of the State Council Li Qiang will attend the 15th Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian on June 25. Premier Li Qiang will deliver a special address at the meeting, meet with Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum Klaus Schwab and foreign guests, and have a conversation with representatives of the foreign business community.

President of Poland Andrzej Duda and Prime Minister of Vietnam Pham Minh Chinh will attend the meeting. Over 1,600 representatives from the political, business, academic and media communities of close to 80 countries and regions will also take part in the meeting.

CCTV: We noted the celebration event marking the 60th anniversary of the Group of 77 was held in Vienna yesterday. The Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations and other international organizations in Vienna participated in the event. What’s your comment on the cooperation between China and the Group of 77?

Lin Jian: The Group of 77 (G77) is an important force in upholding the common interest of developing countries and improving the global governance system, and also a cornerstone in defending multilateralism. It plays an irreplaceable role in international affairs.

China is the closest cooperation partner of the G77. We greatly value the Group of 77 and China (G77+China) cooperation mechanism and always firmly stand with G77 in safeguarding international fairness and justice, and in defending and expanding the common interest of developing countries and countries around the world. Since last year, several important international conferences, such as the Havana Summit of the Group of 77 and China, and the Third South Summit, were successfully held, where China and the vast developing countries sent a strong message of enhancing solidarity and cooperation and reaffirmed our commitment to increasing the representation and voice of developing countries in global governance.

As the largest developing country, a partner of the Non-Aligned Movement and a member of the Global South, China will always work with fellow developing countries to share weal and woe like passengers in the same boat. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China looks forward to working with fellow developing countries to carry forward and champion these widely-recognized basic norms in international relations and basic principles in international law under the new circumstances, actively advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization for common development and rejuvenation as well as a community with a shared future for mankind.

Global Times: The Financial Times reported that according to six people familiar with the operation, the Philippine military had conducted missions to reinforce the Sierra Madre and secretly reinforced the dilapidated warship on Ren’ai Jiao to prolong its service life. What is China’s comment?

Lin Jian: The report adds to the proof that the Philippines lied about its mission which the Philippines says is for supplying living necessities to the military vessel grounded at Ren’ai Jiao. As China has pointed out multiple times, the Philippines has been sending construction materials, and even weapons and ammunition, to the illegally grounded military vessel in order to repair and reinforce it on a large scale so that it can permanently occupy Ren’ai Jiao. The Philippines’ moves seriously violate China’s sovereignty. China absolutely rejects them and will resolutely respond in accordance with laws and regulations.

I would like to stress again that what led to the current situation at Ren’ai Jiao is very clear—the root cause is that the Philippines breached its commitments, refused to tow away the warship illegally grounded at Ren’ai Jiao for 25 years and kept sending it construction materials to reinforce the warship. This warship stands as solid evidence of the Philippines’ persistent provocations and infringement against China in the South China Sea over the decades, its bad faith and breach of the spirit of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and its damage to the eco-environment in the South China Sea. We urge the Philippines to stop making provocations and infringing on China’s sovereignty at once, and return to the right track of properly managing disputes through dialogue and consultation as soon as possible. China is firmly determined to defend its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests.

Reuters: Japan’s foreign ministry announced today that it has imposed trade restrictions on China-based companies as part of the fresh round of sanctions against individuals and groups supporting Russia’s war on Ukraine. Would the Ministry like to comment on this matter?

Lin Jian: We noted the reports. China firmly opposes unilateral sanctions that have no basis in international law. It is China’s lawful right to carry out normal trade and economic cooperation with Russia on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. Such cooperation shall not be disrupted or undermined by other parties.  

Japan, in disregard of China’s just position, followed certain country’s suit by imposing illicit unilateral sanctions. China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this. We will take all measures necessary to firmly safeguard our legitimate and lawful rights and interests.

Bloomberg: We’ve seen reports that the US and China held informal nuclear talks in March. Apparently, Chinese representatives told their US counterparts at the meetings that they wouldn’t resort to atomic threats over Taiwan. Can you confirm that these talks happened? We are curious were they Track II talks? And do you have any other details?

Lin Jian: I will not comment on China-US Track II talks.