Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on February 1, 2024
2024-02-01 21:11

AFP: US authorities said yesterday they had dismantled a Chinese network of hackers that targets US public infrastructure. Besides, FBI Director stated yesterday that China is the country that conducts the most hacking activities. What’s the Foreign Ministry’s response? 

Wang Wenbin: China firmly opposes and cracks down on all forms of cyberattacks in accordance with law. Without valid evidence, the US jumped to an unwarranted conclusion and made groundless accusations against China. It is extremely irresponsible and is a complete distortion of facts. China firmly opposes this.

The US itself is the origin and the biggest perpetrator of cyberattacks. The US Cyber Force Command openly declared that the critical infrastructure of other countries is a legitimate target for US cyberattacks. Since last year, China’s cybersecurity agencies have released reports revealing the US government’s long-running cyberattacks against China’s critical infrastructure. Such irresponsible policy and practices have exposed global critical infrastructure to huge risks. We urge the US to stop its worldwide cyber espionage and cyberattacks, and stop smearing other countries under the excuse of cyber security. 

Bloomberg: The US Pentagon has added China’s leading memory chip maker as well as AI company to a list of companies that it accuses of aiding China’s military. It added Yangtze Memory and Megvii. That list already has companies like Huawei and SMIC on it. What’s the Foreign Ministry’s comment on this recent addition of companies to the list by the US Pentagon?

Wang Wenbin: China firmly opposes the US overstretching the concept of national security, setting up all kinds of discriminatory lists, going after Chinese companies and disrupting normal economic and trade cooperation between China and the US. This is a complete departure from the principles of market competition and international trade rules that the US has long claimed to champion. Such moves erode the confidence of foreign companies to invest and operate in the US, and undermine the interests of US companies and investors. It is bound to backfire.

In fact, the US government is the mastermind of military-civil fusion policy. This policy in the US dates back to before WWI, when the US Pentagon set up offices in the Silicon Valley and other tech hubs to guide high-tech companies to accelerate the military application of technologies and their use in the battlefield. Many large multinational corporations in the US are actors of the military-civil fusion policy, since their business scope and product portfolio go far beyond the civilian sector into the military sector.

We urge the US to immediately correct these discriminatory practices and provide a fair, just and non-discriminatory business environment for Chinese companies. China will continue to firmly safeguard the lawful and legitimate rights and interests of its companies.

Ukrinform News Agency: According to Russian media, China’s Defense Minister Admiral Dong Jun told his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu yesterday that China provides Russia with support on the Ukrainian issue. Could you please share more detailed information on what kind of support was provided by the Chinese side to Russia? 

Wang Wenbin: China’s Ministry of National Defense released the readout on the video call between Chinese and Russian defense ministers. You may refer to that.

China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear. We hope all parties will strive to cool down the tensions and create favorable conditions for the political settlement of the crisis. This position has not changed.

Bloomberg: New Zealand has agreed to officially explore joining AUKUS. Australia, for example, will be sending a team of officials to New Zealand soon to further discuss this possibility. Does the Foreign Ministry have a comment on New Zealand’s desire, plan or consideration of joining AUKUS?

Wang Wenbin: We’ve repeatedly said that the establishment of the so-called AUKUS security partnership between the US, the UK and Australia to promote cooperation on nuclear submarines and other cutting-edge military technologies reveals a typical Cold War mentality. It will only exacerbate arms race, undermine the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and hurt regional peace and stability. Peace-loving countries have expressed grave concern and extensive opposition. The three countries, for their own geopolitical interests, have totally disregarded the concerns of the international community and gone further down the wrong and dangerous path. We hope that relevant countries will cherish the hard-won peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific, be prudent in words and actions on relevant issues and adopt concrete actions to uphold the overall peace, stability and development in the region.

AFP: According to Vatican’s latest announcement, three newly appointed Chinese Catholic bishops were consecrated over the past week in accordance with an agreement between the Vatican and the Chinese government. What’s your comment on the announcement and the current relations between China and the Vatican?

Wang Wenbin: In recent years, China and the Vatican have maintained communication and the Provisional Agreement Between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China on the Appointment of Bishops has been well implemented. China stands ready to improve the relations with the Vatican based on the spirit of mutual respect and equal-footed dialogue. 

CCTV: The Inter-Agency Standing Committee, which brings together the World Health Organization (WHO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and other UN agencies and non-governmental bodies, in a joint statement issued yesterday said that suspension of funds for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) by relevant countries would result in disastrous consequences and asked these countries to reconsider their decisions. The statement called on the world “not to abandon the people of Gaza.” What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: As the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict drags on into the fourth month, Gaza faces unprecedented humanitarian disaster. Under the current circumstances, there’s no other choice than a ceasefire that can deescalate the crisis and there’s no other task that is more pressing than protecting civilians. The UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has made important effort in easing the humanitarian situation in Gaza, playing an indispensable and irreplaceable role. Data shows that two thirds of the over two million people in Gaza received assistance from UNRWA. Ensuring the normal and orderly operation of the UNRWA means ensuring the continuity of the humanitarian relief work and preserving the most basic life guarantee for the people in Gaza and the last string of hope for the almost desperate refugees.

We noted that the UN has launched an investigation and adopted measures concerning the allegation that UNRWA personnel were involved in the October 7 attack. UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that UNRWA is the “backbone” of all humanitarian response in Gaza. We support the UN in conducting an independent, just and objective investigation. That said, collective punishment against the people in Gaza should be avoided. We call on the international community, especially major donors, to prioritize the lives of the people in Gaza, reconsider the decision to suspend funding, and continue to support the work of UNRWA. We must not deny all of the work of UNRWA because of the moves by certain individuals. We must not allow more collective punishment against the people in Gaza. We must not sit idly by and see the humanitarian situation in Gaza get worse.

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