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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on July 20, 2021
2021-07-20 19:11

Xinhua News Agency: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has paid an official visit to Algeria, the third stop of his trip to Middle East countries. Can you brief us on that?

Zhao Lijian: On July 19, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met and held talks with President Abdelmadjid Tebboune and Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, reaching important consensus.

State Councilor Wang Yi said that China highly appreciates Algeria's strong support on issues concerning China's core interests and major concerns. China firmly supports Algeria in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions, safeguarding sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, and playing a bigger role in international and regional affairs. China encourages Chinese enterprises to invest in Algeria, so as to translate the high-level political mutual trust between the two countries into tangible results of cooperation, steadily advance major cooperation projects, and help Algeria speed up industrialization and enhance its capacity for independent and sustainable development. China will continue to provide Algeria with vaccines and anti-epidemic supplies to help the country secure an early and complete victory over the epidemic.

The Algerian side said that it always regards China as a diplomatic priority and stands firmly with China. Algeria hopes to deepen bilateral cooperation in the areas of economy, trade, investment, energy, mining and infrastructure within the framework of BRI cooperation, so as to realize common development and benefit other developing countries. Algeria supported China in the past, still supports China now and will support China even more in the future. Algeria will always stand side by side with China like comrades in the same trench to safeguard international fairness and justice.

The two sides also reached four-point consensus on China-Algeria relations, namely, to renew their traditional friendship, to open up new prospects for practical cooperation, to work together to win the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, and to make new contributions to maintaining international and regional security and stability.

At a joint press conference with Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra, State Councilor Wang Yi made an observation on China's relations with developing countries. He said that 50 years ago, our fellow developing countries "carried" the People's Republic of China into the United Nations, which illustrates the solidarity and cooperation between China and developing countries. State Councilor Wang Yi stressed that China will always be a member of the developing world, and will always share the future with other developing countries. In the face of major changes unseen in a century, China will unite even more closely with other developing countries. We will never bow to power politics or flinch in the face of difficulties. We will resolutely defend our sovereignty, independence and the norms of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, oppose hegemony and power politics, and safeguard the legitimate rights and development space of developing countries. We should resolutely demand greater voice and representation of developing countries in international governance, uphold the common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom for all mankind, practice true multilateralism, and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.

The Algerian side expressed hope to see China playing a bigger role in the Security Council and the United Nations as a representative of developing countries and non-aligned countries.

People's Daily: The 47th session of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) has closed. Can you give us the total number of countries that have endorsed the joint statement in support of China?

Zhao Lijian: Lebanon has recently endorsed the joint statement in support of China by friendly countries at the 47th session of the UNHRC. China appreciates and welcomes this. To date, altogether 69 countries have joined the endorsement. If we add the 20-plus countries that have shown support for China by making statements in their national capacity or by sending joint letters, more than 90 countries have spoken for justice at the HRC. They jointly reject politicization of and double standards on human rights and interference in China's domestic affairs with human rights as a pretext. This is not only showing strong support for China, but also defending the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international fairness and justice.

CCTV: It is learned that the WHO briefed member states on the steps to be taken in the second phase origins study on July 16. Earlier, 48 countries sent letters to the WHO Director-General Tedros opposing the politicization of this issue. Is there any update on the countries endorsing the letter after the WHO proposed the next steps for the second phase study?

Zhao Lijian: We welcome the fact that seven countries, namely Grenada, Kiribati, the Solomon Islands, Sao Tome and Principe, Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Ghana, have joined the ranks of justice in endorsing the letter to the WHO Director-General Tedros opposing the politicization of the origins study. As of today, the number of countries endorsing the letter has reached 55. At a WHO member states briefing on July 16, Russia, Belarus, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Iran, Syria, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and many other countries spoke up for justice. They stressed that tracing the origins of the virus is a scientific matter and should not be politicized. The joint WHO-China study report published by WHO should be upheld.

In sharp contrast to the political manipulation, rejection of science and distortion of facts by a handful of countries, an increasing number of countries are voicing overwhelming support for justice. This fully reflects where justice lies and what the shared aspiration of the international community is. It fully demonstrates that those who uphold impartiality and objectivity, and champion fairness and justice are in the majority. Relevant parties should stop politicizing the issue of origins tracing, stop using this issue to scapegoat others and shirk responsibility, stop deliberately undermining international cooperation on global origins study. They should adopt a truly responsible and scientific attitude, and work with the international community to make due contributions to defeating the virus and protecting people's health and well-being.

China News Service: The InterAcademy Partnership said in a statement that it endorses the Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for Scientists developed by Tianjin University and Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security after discussions among scientists from many countries. Do you have any comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: We are glad to see the conclusion of the Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for Scientists by scientists from around the world. The Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines advocates responsible bioscience research and encourages governments and research institutions to strengthen regulation and self-discipline, so as to ensure that advances in the biological sciences will bring benefits to humanity and prevent misuse of bioscience research. This is the latest outcome in promoting responsible biological science research and serves the common interests of the international community.

China always champions responsible biological science research. As early as in 2015, China submitted a proposal for the development of a model code of conduct for biological scientists, which was appraised by the international community. The Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines originates from this Chinese proposal and has undergone extensive discussions, reflecting international consensus.

As I understand, scientists from 21 countries participated in the development of the Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines, who have demonstrated professionalism and team spirit in the process. We appreciate that. This again shows that in the face of global issues, we can find feasible and effective solution as long as we enhance mutual trust and deepen cooperation.

Biosafety is not an issue limited to any single country. China will continue to uphold the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, seek development and ensure security in a coordinated manner, deeply participate in global biosafety governance, contribute China's wisdom and offer China's proposal, and work with the international community to constantly improve global biosafety and promote universal security and common development.

NHK: With only three days to go before the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games, members of the Chinese delegation have been arriving in Japan. What is China's expectation for this Olympic Games? How will Beijing support the smooth holding of the Tokyo Olympic Games? In addition, with 200 days to go before the Beijing Winter Olympic Games, what is the significance of the opening of the Tokyo Olympic Games to China's preparations for the Winter Olympics?

Zhao Lijian: It is an important consensus reached by the leaders of China and Japan to support each other in successfully hosting the Olympic Games. China has been in close communication and coordination with the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games and relevant Japanese departments. China looks forward to a safe and secure Tokyo Olympic Games and will continue to provide support for the Japanese side within its capacity.

A few months after the Tokyo Olympics, China will host the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing. The hosting of the Tokyo Olympic Games will provide valuable experiences and useful reference for the Beijing Winter Olympics. China has full confidence in taking up Tokyo's baton in successfully hosting the Olympic Games and work with the rest of the international community to carry forward the Olympic spirit, and host a simple, safe and splendid Olympic gathering.

Reuters: The US and a coalition of its allies on Monday accused China's Ministry of State Security of a global cyber hacking campaign. Do you have any comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: The US ganged up with its allies to make groundless accusations out of thin air against China on the cyber security issue. This act confuses right with wrong and smears and suppresses China out of political purpose. China will never accept this.

China firmly opposes and combats all forms of cyber attacks. It will never encourage, support or condone cyber attacks. This position has been consistent and clear. Given the virtual nature of cyberspace and the fact that there are all kinds of online actors who are difficult to trace, it's important to have enough evidence when investigating and identifying cyber-related incidents. It requires extra prudence when linking cyber attacks with the government of any country. The so-called technical details released by the US side do not constitute a complete chain of evidence.

In fact, the US is the world's largest source of cyber attacks. According to a report of 360, a Chinese cyber security firm, APT groups from North America have sophisticated techniques and abundant resources, and have long been targeting specific industries and institutions. According to statistics from the National Computer Network Emergency Response Technical Team (CNCERT), about 52,000 malicious program command and control servers located outside China took control of about 5.31 million computer hosts in China in 2020. The US and two of its NATO allies are the top three in terms of the number of computers under their control in China. In addition, 360's report also showed that APT-C-39, a cyber attack organization of the US Central Intelligence Agency, has carried out cyber infiltration and attacks on China for 11 years in key areas such as aerospace, science and research institutions, oil industry, large Internet companies and government agencies. The above attacks have seriously undermined China's national security, and the security of China's economy, critical infrastructure and citizens' personal information.

The US is wiretapping not only competitors, but also its allies. Its European allies downplay US moves to use Denmark's intelligence agency to spy on their leaders, while making a fuss about "China's cyber attacks" based on hearsay evidence. This act contradicts strategic autonomy claimed by Europe.

The cyber attack is a common threat faced by all. We always hold that countries should safeguard cyber security through dialogue and cooperation on the basis of mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit. I would like to stress that a handful of countries do not represent the international community, and denigrating others doesn't help to whitewash one's own wrongdoings. China once again strongly demands that the US and its allies stop cyber theft and attacks targeting China, stop slinging mud at China on this issue, and revoke the so-called indictment. China will take necessary measures to firmly uphold its cyber security and interests.

HRTN: We believe this is the first time NATO has released a statement on China's cyber attacks. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: Nudged by the US, NATO in recent years has explicitly designated cyberspace as a new fighting domain. It has been advancing cyber military deployment and established a Cyber Operations Center. By introducing military alliance into cyberspace, NATO is not making itself more secure. On the contrary, this might spur cyber arms race, increase risks of cyber friction and conflict between countries, and undermine international peace and security.

If NATO truly cares about cybersecurity, it should match its words with actions and defend peace in cyberspace instead of engaging in cyber military buildup. If NATO truly cares about cybersecurity of its members, it should start by discussing a certain member's massive cyber theft programs against other members.

RIA Novosti: Taiwan's "foreign ministry" today announced that it is going to establish its representative office in Lithuania. I wonder if you have any comment on this and has the foreign ministry made any representations to Lithuania?

Zhao Lijian: China firmly opposes any official exchanges and the mutual establishment of so-called "representative offices" between Taiwan and countries with diplomatic relations with China. We urge the Lithuanian side to adhere to the one-China principle and honor its commitment made upon the establishment of diplomatic ties. Also a word of advice to the Taiwan authorities: "Taiwan independence" leads to a dead end and any attempt to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" will not succeed.

Reuters: Three Republican Senators urged the US Olympic Committee to forbid American athletes from using China's new digital currency at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, citing security concerns. Does the Foreign Ministry have any comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: The US politicians' call only reflects their ignorance. I suggest they take some time to find out what digital currency is. As to espionage and digital security threats, the US is the global laureate. It runs tapping and surveillance programs on not only competitors but also allies through various means like cyber thefts and phone tapping. These are well-known facts.

Digital currency is the inevitable result of the development of digital technology. It is consistent with the historical trend of the growing global digital economy. There are clear provisions on safeguarding data security in Chinese law. US politicians should respect the spirit of the Olympic Charter, stop politicizing sports, and stop attempting to make an issue out of China's new digital currency.

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