China Daily: On March 1, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in his video address at the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council that the Chinese government continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang against Muslim Uyghurs and other minority groups. Do you have any response?
Wang Wenbin: We condemn the latest US moves to smear and attack China by spreading lies.
The word “genocide” has rigorous definition. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1948 defined the crime of genocide as acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part a national, ethnic, racial or religious group”. Since its founding, the US has slaughtered the Native Americans, whose population nosedived from five million in 1492 to 250,000 at the beginning of the 20th century. This is nothing short of genocide. Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, an American historian dedicated to the study of indigenous peoples, concluded that all five acts of genocide listed in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide can be found in the crimes the US committed against American Indians. Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs released on its website a report titled “The American Genocide of the Indians—Historical Facts and Real Evidence”. It details crimes of genocide committed by the US. You may refer to that.
Over the past 60-plus years, the population in China’s Xinjiang region increased fourfold and the Uyghur population grew from 2.2 million to about 12 million. The accusation of “genocide” in Xinjiang is a flat-out lie of the century. Those who make this accusation are totally unethical.
People behind this lie of the century are mainly anti-China forces in the US. Toward the end of the last administration’s term in office, Mike Pompeo fabricated the lie of “genocide” in Xinjiang. Even though lawyers of the US State Department called this argument untenable, Pompeo insisted on using it as a main tool to smear and attack China to serve his anti-China political goals. After the new US administration came in office, instead of rooting out the former administration’s poisonous legacy of concocting lies to smear China, it inherited the approach of manipulating lies to denigrate China, in an attempt to undermine China’s ethnic unity and hobble China’s development.
I also noted media reports that revealed the US’ specific measures to formulate Xinjiang-related propaganda strategies and spread negative information about Xinjiang in an organized manner. They include encouraging US academic institutions, think tanks and non-governmental organizations to constantly fabricate so-called research reports about Xinjiang and publish related books. News agencies overseen by the US Agency for Global Media (USAGM) are instructed to produce fake news reports and “propaganda materials” about “genocide” and “forced labor” in Xinjiang in dozens of languages and hype up religious and sensitive topics. In the meanwhile, the USAGM coordinates with media networks in US ally countries to reprint and push such “products”. The US online media also chip in technologically through weakening and blocking true information about Xinjiang released by the Chinese side while providing technical assistance for anti-China forces to spread false information related to the region. Such efforts are also financially supported by the US government.
As people can tell, in this production line of Xinjiang-related lies, the US government directly dominates the fabrication and dissemination by staging the show and marketing what it produces. This latest revelation echoes the personal statement by former US senior official Lawrence Wilkerson, who admitted that the US tries to incite Uyghurs and destabilize China from within. It fully reveals the US real intention to undermine China’s stability and development by exploiting Xinjiang-related issues.
Lies and rumors will eventually shatter into pieces in front of facts and truth. In recent years, more than 2,000 experts, scholars, journalists, diplomats and religious personnel from over 100 countries have visited Xinjiang. They have seen first-hand the facts about social stability, economic development and people’s happy life in Xinjiang. At the UN Human Rights Council, almost 100 countries unanimously expressed support for the Chinese government’s policy in Xinjiang and opposition to interference in China’s internal affairs in the name of human rights. None of the handful of countries that echoed the US’ position is a Muslim country. More and more visionary people are making rational and objective voices on Xinjiang-related issues.
I want to stress that the door to Xinjiang is wide open. We welcome all unbiased people from all countries to visit Xinjiang. The US politicians’ move to discredit China by spreading lies will only damage their reputation and expose their sinister intention to the world.
TASS: In the phone conversation between Chinese and Ukrainian foreign ministers yesterday, the Ukrainian Foreign Minister said he looked forward to China’s mediation efforts for the ceasefire between Ukraine and Russia. Is China willing to take some concrete measures toward this end?
Wang Wenbin: China always supports and encourages all diplomatic efforts that are conducive to the peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis and welcomes Russia and Ukraine’s effort to start peace talks. We hope both sides will continue to maintain the process of dialogue and negotiation, seek a political solution that accommodates the legitimate security concerns of both sides. China will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the deescalation of the situation in Ukraine.
Xinhua News Agency: Recently, several international institutions have cut forecasts for global economic growth this year. In the meantime, we noted that the Statistical Communiqué of the People’s Republic of China on the 2021 National Economic and Social Development released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said China’s GDP grew by 8.1% year on year in 2021. It is a widely shared view that China remains a main engine driving global economic growth. What’s your comment?
Wang Wenbin: Despite pressure and challenges arising from the changing economic environment at home and abroad, China’s economy maintained sound development momentum and achieved outstanding performance with many highlights in 2021.
In 2021, China’s economy has made new breakthroughs both in aggregate and per capita terms. China’s economy reached 114.4 trillion yuan, equivalent to $17.7 trillion at the yearly average exchange rate, accounting for more than 18% of the world economy and contributing about 25% to global growth. China’s per capita GDP exceeded 80,000 yuan, surpassing the world average. Its consumption structure has continued to upgrade and the vitality for innovation continued to be unleashed, and overall innovation capability ranking has risen to the 12th place in the world. All this boosts the confidence in the steady and sustained operation of China’s economy along the trajectory of high-quality development.
It is particularly worth mentioning that though global economic and trade cooperation has experienced setbacks, China has bucked the trend and firmly expanded opening-up with the commitment to safeguarding stable global industrial and supply chains. In 2021, the total value of China’s trade in goods was 39.1 trillion yuan, up 21.4% year on year, hitting a new record high. China’s actual use of foreign capital last year exceeded the one trillion yuan mark for the first time, reaching 1.15 trillion yuan with an increase of 14.9%, the first double-digit growth rate in nearly a decade. This indicates that foreign investors are fully confident in the opportunities offered by China’s broad market and its sound business environment.
All these facts and statistics show that the Chinese economy has strong resilience and ample potential, and the fundamentals sustaining the long-term growth and the momentum for steady recovery remain unchanged. The international public opinion has an upbeat outlook on Chinese economy’s sustained and steady development.
We stand ready to strengthen cooperation with all parties, share in development opportunities with the world, inject endurable impetus into the sustained recovery of the world economy and jointly add new chapters to the successful stories of economic growth and sustainable development.
ABC Spanish Daily Newspaper: Will President Xi hold a telephone conversation with Ukrainian President Zelenskyy in future days? Has there been any preparation in this regard?
Wang Wenbin: China and Ukraine have smooth communication channels.
TV Tokyo: Firstly, will China continue to buy natural gas from Russia? Secondly, many Western countries have imposed sanctions on Russia but China is still having normal trade with the country. Will this have any impact on China?
Wang Wenbin: We have answered relevant question multiple times. I would like to reiterate that China firmly opposes all illegal unilateral sanctions, and believes that sanctions are never fundamentally effective means to solve problems. They will only create serious difficulties to the economy and livelihood of relevant countries and further intensify division and confrontation. We ask the relevant parties not to hurt the legitimate rights and interests of China and other parties when handling the Ukraine issue and the relations with Russia. China and Russia will continue to conduct normal trade cooperation in the spirit of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit.
AFP: Firstly, there were reports of a Chinese national who was injured by a bullet in Ukraine. Do you have any comment? Secondly, during a call with Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba was quoted as saying that Ukraine looks forward to China launching mediations to bring about a ceasefire. Has China committed to these mediations?
Wang Wenbin: On your first question, on the evening of March 1, Beijing time, a Chinese citizen was injured by gunfire while leaving Ukraine. The Chinese Embassy in Ukraine immediately contacted the person concerned to provide assistance. It is learned that the injured person is out of danger for the time being. The Chinese Embassy in Ukraine will continue to monitor the situation of the injured and provide assistance.
On this occasion, I would also like to give you some updates on the relevant situation. For days, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Chinese embassies and consulates in relevant countries have coordinated with relevant sides and taken various measures to help Chinese citizens in Ukraine relocate to Ukraine’s neighboring countries through multiple channels. With the concerted efforts of all sides, relevant work is well underway in an orderly fashion.
The Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassies and consulates in relevant countries will continue to spare no effort in protecting the safety of Chinese citizens and providing support and help for their evacuation and relocation. We hope our compatriots in Ukraine can stay safe and avert risks when staying somewhere or traveling.
On your second question, I just gave my answer. We support and encourage all diplomatic efforts conducive to peacefully resolving the Ukraine crisis. We will continue to play a constructive role in deescalating the Ukraine situation.
CRI: The Tigray forces reportedly accused the Ethiopian federal government of blocking humanitarian aid supplies from entering the state, and exchanged fire with the forces in the Afar state recently. What is China’s comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: We noticed that the Ethiopian government has declared to halt advances on Tigray, put an early end to the national state of emergency, and has been actively preparing for an inclusive political dialogue nationwide for some time, which have positive significance for easing the situation in north Ethiopia. As a sincere friend of the Ethiopian people, China calls on all relevant parties to work together to resolve differences through dialogue and negotiation and bring the country back onto the track of peace, development and revitalization. We are ready to continue to play an active and constructive part in this regard.
AFP: The US issued a travel advisory warning citizens not to travel to Hong Kong due to strict coronavirus measures and the risk of parent-child separation. What’s your response to this?
Wang Wenbin: The Hong Kong SAR government’s COVID-19 protocols are aimed at effectively containing the virus and protecting the health of Hong Kong residents and foreign nationals in the SAR. They are necessary, science-based and responsible. We believe these anti-epidemic measures will further enhance the international community’s confidence in Hong Kong’s COVID-19 response, ensure safe and orderly exchanges between Hong Kong and the rest of the world, and provide a safer and more stable business environment for international investors.
Reuters: Are all Chinese evacuations done over land only, by buses or trains?
Wang Wenbin: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in Ukraine are monitoring and assessing the security risks in Ukraine and coordinating with relevant sides to mobilize all useful resources, in order to help Chinese citizens in Ukraine evacuate in an orderly manner under the precondition of ensuring their safety.
Kyodo News: It is reported that former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the US had talks with the leader of the Taiwan region. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: I would like to refer you to my answer to a relevant question yesterday. I want to stress again that the Chinese people are firmly determined and resolved to defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The attempt by the US to show support to Taiwan will be in vain, no matter who the US sends.
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