Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on September 30, 2020
AFP: The US just held its first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on the debate given that both candidates brought up China when they spoke on issues such as economic policy as well as the country’s coronavirus response?
Wang Wenbin: We firmly oppose the US presidential candidates dragging China into their election. As is proven by facts, the US accusations against China are just baseless. They cannot hold water.
CCTV: According to media reports, the Chinese vaccines for COVID-19 are priced much higher than those of European and American ones. I wonder if you could comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: This is a baseless claim. China is accelerating vaccine R&D to handle COVID-19. We announced that COVID-19 vaccine development and deployment in China, when available, will be made a global public good that helps to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. Our commitment is clear and we will act on our words. As vaccines are still being developed across the world, there is great uncertainty in their future pricing. However, for China, one thing is certain: we will definitely provide the vaccines to the world as a global public good with fair and reasonable prices. Developing countries will be our priority in this process. We will provide the vaccines to them through various means, including donation and assistance.
Middle East News Agency: Yesterday the Kuwaiti Amiri Diwan, which serves as the royal palace of the Kuwaiti emir, announced that Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah passed away. Kuwaiti Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was named the new emir. Do you have any comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was a leader dearly loved by the people of Kuwait and respected by the international community. He played an important role in the development and prosperity of his country as well as peace and stability in the Middle East, and made important contributions to advancing China-Kuwait relations. We are deeply saddened by his passing and send sincere condolences to the government and people of Kuwait and his family. We extend congratulations to the new emir His Highness Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.
Beijing Youth Daily: China and India are reportedly engaging with each other for the 19th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on China-India Border Affairs. The Indian delegation will be headed by Shri Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, and the head of the Chinese delegation will be Director-General Hong Liang of the MFA’s Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs. Can you confirm this? If so, what will the two sides discuss?
Wang Wenbin: China and India are currently holding the 19th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on China-India Border Affairs. They will focus on the implementation of the five-point consensus reached by the two foreign ministers in Moscow, settlement of the remaining issues on the ground, and de-escalation in the China-India border area.
CNR: China and the Arab League recently held a health experts’ video conference. Can you give us more details?
Wang Wenbin: On September 29, together with the National Health Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Chinese foreign ministry hosted a video conference of Chinese and Arab health experts which was attended by experts and officials from the Arab League Secretariat and health departments of 10 Arab states. The two sides had in-depth discussions on the risk assessment and multi-level prevention and control of COVID-19 under new circumstances, vaccine R&D, and the changing toxicity of the virus. The Arab side highly commended China’s achievements in containing the virus and vaccine development, applauded China’s contribution to the global fight against COVID-19, and thanked China for the valuable help and experience it provided to the Arab states.
As President Xi Jinping wrote in his congratulatory letter to the ninth ministerial meeting of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), “Faced with COVID-19, China and the Arab states have been joining hands to overcome difficulties, helping and supporting each other with close cooperation, a vivid example of the two sides sharing weal and woe.” This health experts’ video conference is the second one this year, and another themed discussion after last week’s video seminar on the resumption of work and production. So far China has provided over one million test kits and more than 18 million masks to Arab states, held more than 40 video conferences for experts, sent medical teams to eight Arab states, and shared our diagnosis and treatment experience with them without reservation. China cooperates with the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Egypt on vaccines. The phase III of clinical trials in the UAE made most rapid progress with over 30,000 people inoculated.
In the next phase, based on the Arab side’s need, China will continue sharing information through multiple means, enhancing anti-epidemic cooperation, coordinating epidemic containment and socio-economic development, implementing the ministerial meeting’s outcomes, and working toward the building of a China-Arab community of shared future and a China-Arab community of health.
Shenzhen TV: The World Bank released its East Asia and Pacific Economic Update on September 28, which adjusted its forecast of China’s growth up to 2 percent, 1 percentage point higher than that in June. Taking into account the vaccine development outcomes and steady economic recovery, the World Bank also projects China’s economy will grow by 7.9 percent next year. Despite the increasing downward pressure faced by the world economy due to the pandemic, the World Bank still revised China’s economic forecast upward. What does China’s growth mean to the world economic recovery?
Wang Wenbin: The World Bank report demonstrates the world’s recognition of China’s achievements in advancing epidemic containment and socio-economic development in a coordinated manner. The sustained, steady recovery of the Chinese economy is an even more important driver of the world growth and the global market confidence.
From January to August this year, the non-financial direct investment made by Chinese companies to BRI countries reached $11.8 billion, increased by 31.5 percent year-on-year. In the first six months, China invested $6.23 billion to ASEAN, a year-on-year increase of 53.1 percent. From January to August, trade between China and ASEAN grew by 3.8 percent to $416.5 billion, and the two sides for the first time became each other’s biggest trading partner. In the first six months this year, goods delivered by China-Europe freight trains – dubbed as “steel camel fleets” to stabilize international supply chains – increased by 30 percent year-on-year.
It is foreseeable that the accelerated recovery of the Chinese economy will provide more opportunities for expanding China’s economic and trade cooperation with other countries, inject greater impetus in global recovery, and give the international community more confidence.
Before we conclude this press conference, I have an announcement to make.
Tomorrow will mark the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. As per the public holiday schedule of the upcoming National Day and Mid-Autumn Festival, our regular press conference will be adjourned from October 1 to October 8 and resumed on October 9. During the adjournment, you may still reach the MFA Spokesperson’s Office via fax, e-mail and WeChat.
Taking this opportunity, I’d like to thank you, my friends from the press, for your attention and reporting of China and China’s diplomacy. We hope you will continue making fact-based, objective and unbiased reports on China and our diplomacy, and we will continue facilitating your work and assisting you in this regard.
I wish our great nation prosperity and strength, and wish you a nice holiday.