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Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lin Jian's regular press conference on July 8, 2024

2024-07-09 08:43:05Chinese Foreign Ministry Editor : Mo Honge ECNS App Download

CCTV: President Xi Jinping has concluded his state visit to Tajikistan. Could you share with us the outcomes of the visit?

Lin Jian: At the invitation of President Emomali Rahmon of the Republic of Tajikistan, President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Tajikistan from July 4 to 6. This is his third visit to Tajikistan and the first visit by China’s top leader to Tajikistan after the 20th CPC National Congress, and carries historic significance.

Tajikistan placed high importance on this visit. President Rahmon went to the airport to greet and see off President Xi. President Xi attended the welcoming ceremony held by President Rahmon. The two presidents held small-group and large-group talks, and had an in-depth exchange of views on China-Tajikistan relations, mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields and international and regional affairs of mutual interest. President Xi conferred the Friendship Medal on President Rahmon. The two presidents attended the signing ceremony, met the press together, and attended the completion ceremony of the Tajik parliament building and government building that China helped build. President Xi also attended the welcoming banquet hosted by President Rahmon and the two presidents had a good chat over tea.

The two presidents signed the joint statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Tajikistan on developing a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era, announcing the decision to develop the China-Tajikistan comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era, and agreeing to build a China-Tajikistan community with a shared future featuring everlasting friendship, solidarity and mutual benefit at a higher level. Relevant departments of the two countries signed over 20 cooperation documents in areas such as trade, connectivity, critical mineral, security and people-to-people and cultural exchange.

The two sides agreed to focus on high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, fully synergize development strategies, accelerate the progress of major cooperation projects, such as the upgrade of the key section of the China-Tajikistan Highway Phase II project, deepen mineral cooperation, and contribute to each other’s modernization. The two sides stand ready to step up people-to-people and cultural exchange and cooperation in various fields, and cement the social foundation of our everlasting friendship. The two countries will make full use of the Sino-Tajik Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine, the Luban Workshop and other platforms, accelerate the mutual establishment of cultural centers, and support more youth exchanges, women exchanges, and exchanges in such areas as media, think tank and education. The two sides are resolved to step up security cooperation, including jointly fighting terrorist, extremist and separatist forces such as ETIM, keeping the China-Tajikistan border secure, resolutely opposing interference of any third party in the two countries’ internal affairs, and keeping our region safe and stable. The two sides will continue to strengthen communication and coordination on the Afghan issue, and cooperate under relevant mechanisms. The two sides speak highly of the outcomes of China-Central Asia cooperation, and stand ready to strengthen the China-Central Asia mechanism. Having taken over the rotating presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), China will host the SCO summit next year and welcomes President Rahmon to attend the summit in China. We will work with Tajikistan to carry forward the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, and contribute to global peace and development together.

President Xi’s visit had a rich program and produced fruitful results. It marked yet another milestone in the history of China-Tajikistan relations. We have full confidence in the prospects of our bilateral relations. China will remain firmly committed to our mutually beneficial cooperation with Tajikistan. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China will always be Tajikistan’s trustworthy friend, reliable partner, and close brother.

AFP: Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary is in China today for talks on the war in Ukraine. Is Mr. Orbán here on behalf of the EU or just Hungary?

Lin Jian: On the morning of July 8, President Xi Jinping met with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing. China has released a readout which you may refer to.

During the meeting, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán exchanged views on bilateral relations, China-EU relations and issues of mutual interest. The discussion focused on in-depth communication on the Ukraine crisis. Prime Minister Orbán shared information about his recent visit to Ukraine and Russia. President Xi commended the Prime Minister for his effort to seek a political solution and shared China’s perspective and proposition on the issue. President Xi stressed that an early ceasefire and political settlement of the crisis is in the interest of all parties. The priority now is to observe the three principles of no expansion of the battlefield, no escalation of fighting and no provocation by any party, and to work for deescalation as quickly as possible. The international community should provide conditions and support for the resumption of direct dialogue and negotiation between the two parties. Only when all major countries play a positive rather than negative role, can this conflict see an early prospect of ceasefire. China has been actively promoting peace talks in its own way, and encourages and supports all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement. China and Hungary share the same basic propositions and are working in the same direction. China is prepared to stay in communication with Hungary and the relevant parties.

Xinhua News Agency: China announced Guinea-Bissau President’s visit to China. Could you share with us the program and China’s expectation for the visit? How does China view its current relations with Guinea-Bissau?

Lin Jian: China’s friendship with Guinea-Bissau was cultivated by the older generation of leaders of both countries. In the 1970s, the Chinese people firmly supported the people in Guinea-Bissau in pursuing national independence and liberation. In recent years, the two sides have firmly supported each other on issues concerning each other’s core interests, engaged in highly productive cooperation in the fields of economic and social development, and maintained communication and coordination on international affairs. Our friendly ties have been going from strength to strength.

During the visit, President Xi Jinping will hold a welcoming ceremony and banquet for President Embaló. The two presidents will hold talks. Premier Li Qiang will meet with President Embaló. We believe this visit will be a strong boost for deepening our bilateral ties and solidifying our friendly cooperation.

Reuters: The Philippines and Japan have signed a reciprocal access agreement. It’s a defence pact that allows both nations to deploy forces on each other’s soil. What is China’s view of this development?

Lin Jian: The exchange and cooperation between countries should not undermine the mutual understanding and trust between other countries in the region. It should not threaten regional peace and stability, target any third party, or harm the interests of any third party. The Asia-Pacific region does not need any military bloc, still less groupings that incite bloc confrontation or a new Cold War. Any move that undermines regional peace and stability, and harms regional solidarity and cooperation will be met with vigilance and opposition from people in regional countries. Japan bears serious historical responsibilities for its aggression and colonial rule over the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries during WWII. Japan needs to reflect on that part of history and act prudently in fields related to military and security.

Global Times: We noted China’s National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center, National Engineering Laboratory for Computer Virus Prevention Technology and the 360 Digital Security Group jointly released a report. It revealed that the U.S. since 2023 has been creating hypes about the group named “Volt Typhoon” and engaged in a worldwide disinformation campaign against China. What’s China’s comment?

Lin Jian: I noted the report you mentioned. Actually, back in April, relevant Chinese agencies revealed the scandal about the U.S. framing China for being responsible for “Volt Typhoon” in order to advance the U.S.’s geopolitical agenda. The latest report further revealed that this disinformation campaign is conceived by NSA, FBI and other members of the U.S. intelligence community with the participation of congressional China hawks and multiple federal agencies as well as cybersecurity agencies from other Five Eye countries, and aimed to manipulate public opinion.

Till this day, the U.S. still owes us an explanation after the previous report was released, and the U.S. NSA chief continues to spread disinformation about “Volt Typhoon.” What is worse, the latest report exposed that the U.S. government has been pressuring a cybersecurity company and asking it to rewrite its tech analysis that proves “Volt Typhoon” to be a ransomware group. This is a clumsy cover-up tactic and clearly has not and will not work.

China strongly condemns the irresponsible behavior of the U.S. The U.S. still owes us an explanation, and should stop its smears and vilification against China at once. We urge the U.S. to act responsibly and contribute to the peace and security of the cyberspace.

Bloomberg: I just want to follow up on the Reuters’ question earlier on the Japan-Philippines forces agreement. Does the Chinese government see this as being aimed at China? You said that Asia-Pacific doesn’t need military groupings that are aimed at any one party. Is this your view that this agreement is aimed at China?

Lin Jian: I made it quite clear just now that any exchange, cooperation or signing of agreement or treaty between two countries should not undermine the mutual understanding and trust between other countries in the region, or target and harm the interests of any third party, still less should it threaten regional peace and stability.

Bloomberg: The Chinese PLA is deployed to Belarus for an exercise in the last few days. Do you see any equivalence between the Chinese PLA deploying to that country and the agreement that is happening between Japan and the Philippines today in that Japan and the Philippines don’t see this or they haven’t stated this agreement is being aimed at anyone. But many countries in Europe have expressed alarm that the PLA is being deployed or is on an exercise in Belarus.

Lin Jian: On the joint exercise between China and Belarus, I’d refer you to competent authorities. Let me point out that I do not see any basis for the comparison that you mentioned.

Beijing Youth Daily: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken in a press statement extended best wishes to Dalai Lama on the occasion of his 89th birthday, and reaffirmed U.S. commitment to supporting efforts to preserve Tibetans’ distinct linguistic, cultural, and religious heritage, including the ability to freely choose religious leaders. What is China’s comment?

Lin Jian: The position of the Chinese government on Xizang-related issues is consistent and clear. Xizang affairs are China’s internal affairs which brook no interference by any external forces. Over the years, Xizang has enjoyed a booming economy, social harmony and stability, and sound preservation of its cultural heritage. The rights and freedoms of all ethnic groups in Xizang, including the freedom of religious belief and the freedom to use and develop their own spoken and written languages, are fully protected. This is a fact and seen by many in the international community.

As many people know, the 14th Dalai Lama is not a pure religious figure, but a political exile engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the cloak of religion. We urge the U.S. to fully understand the gravity and sensitivity of Xizang-related issues, truly respect China’s core interests, be fully aware of the Dalai group’s anti-China and separatist nature, honor the commitments the U.S. has made to China on issues related to Xizang, and stop supporting or endorsing in any way the “Xizang independence” forces and their anti-China and separatist activities.

Bloomberg: Japan’s Nikkei newspaper today reported that at the NATO summit in Washington DC, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand will sign an agreement with NATO to increase their cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. Does China have a response to this report?

Lin Jian: As a Cold War legacy and the world’s biggest military alliance, NATO claims itself to be a regional defensive alliance on the one hand, but on the other hand keeps breaching its boundary, expanding its mandate, reaching beyond its defense zone, and stoking confrontation, which reveals its deeply embedded Cold War mentality and ideological bias. This is the real source of risks threatening global peace and stability. NATO should stay within its role as a regional defensive alliance, stop creating tensions in the Asia-Pacific, and stop peddling Cold War mentality and bloc confrontation. NATO should not try to destabilize the Asia-Pacific after it has done so to Europe.

Reuters: The Philippine Coast Guard said on Saturday that China’s largest coast guard vessel has anchored in Manila’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, and they also said this is meant to intimidate the Philippines. This follows the high-level dialogue between both countries last week that was aimed at restoring trust. Could the Ministry share more information about this vessel and how was it happening so soon after those talks?

Lin Jian: Xianbin Jiao is part of China’s Nansha Qundao, not the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. To patrol and conduct law enforcement activities by Chinese military and Coast Guard vessels in the waters near Xianbin Jiao is within China’s domestic law and international law, including UNCLOS.

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