Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on December 5, 2023
China News Service: On December 1 local time, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) Assembly at its 33rd session elected the new Council in London, the UK. China was once again elected a category (a) member of the Council with strong support, its 18th reelection since 1989. Would you like to comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is the United Nations specialized agency with responsibility for the safety and security of shipping and the prevention of marine pollution by ships. China attaches high importance to and actively supports the organization’s work. China’s reelection with strong support as a category (a) member of the IMO Council speaks to the international community’s recognition of its contribution to global maritime governance and promoting the sustainable development of shipping.
China stands ready to work with other members to continue supporting the multilateral maritime framework with the IMO at the core and jointly pursue high-quality development in the shipping industry.
China Review News: It was reported that on November 29, an Air Force CV-22 Osprey of US Forces Japan crashed off the shore of Yakushima Island, Kagoshima prefecture. Japan has asked the US to have a thorough investigation into the accident and before finding the reasons, stop flying Osprey aircraft deployed in Japan. But the US ignored this demand and continued flying the aircraft. What is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: The US military, while professing that it safeguards the region’s peace and stability, has behaved unscrupulously under the protection of exterritoriality. While professing it protects the security of allies, the US has in fact become a source of insecurity for its allies. According to statistics from the government of Okinawa Prefecture, by the end of 2020, US Forces Japan has committed over 6,000 criminal crimes and produced over 800 air accidents in Okinawa. The Osprey aircraft involved in this accident has experienced multiple severe accidents, leaving many injured, dead or missing. The US needs to take a serious and responsible attitude, take seriously the concerns of the local people, have a thorough investigation into the accident, give a reasonable explanation to relevant parties, and restore peace and tranquility in the region.
ARD German Television: On December 1, Bilal Karimi started officially his position as the ambassador of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan in Beijing. My question is, is China formally recognizing the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan?
Wang Wenbin: As a long-standing friendly neighbor of Afghanistan, China believes that Afghanistan should not be excluded from the international community. We hope Afghanistan will further respond to the expectations of the international community, build an open and inclusive political structure, adopt moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, firmly combat all forms of terrorist forces, develop friendly relations with other countries, especially with its neighbors, and integrate itself into the world community. We believe that diplomatic recognition of the Afghan government will come naturally as the concerns of various parties are effectively addressed.
CCTV: China started to extend unilateral visa-free policy to six countries, namely France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Malaysia on December 1. Do you have any update on the effects of the policy? Do you have any additional information to share?
Wang Wenbin: To further facilitate cross-border travel and China’s high-quality development and high-standard opening up, China started to extend unilateral visa-free policy to six countries including France and Germany on December 1. The policy has produced positive effects. According to data from the National Immigration Administration, from December 1 to 3, there was a continued increase of entries from these countries. Nearly 18,000 travelers from the six countries entered China, with the daily average up by 39 percent from November 30. Nearly 7,000 of these travelers or 39 percent of the total came on the visa-free policy. From these numbers we can see how the unilateral visa-free policy is making things easier for travelers of the six countries. Going forward, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to adjust visa policies to create more favorable conditions and further facilitate cross-border travel.
Reuters: According to Japanese media, a Chinese citizen was arrested by Japanese police for suspicion of leaking business secret. Do you have any comment? Can you share more information on this?
Wang Wenbin: I am not aware of the specifics. China always asks our citizens overseas to abide by the laws and regulations of host countries and we hope Japan will earnestly protect the lawful rights and interests of Chinese citizens in Japan.
Phoenix TV: Leader of the Taiwan region Tsai Ing-wen recently said at a DPP campaign rally that “we don’t want Hong Kong-style peace, we want peace with dignity”, the 2024 general election is not a choice between peace and war, and it is the people of Taiwan who must choose peace with dignity. What is your comment?
Wang Wenbin: This is not a question on foreign affairs. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The election in the Taiwan region is purely China’s internal affair.
I would like to stress that “Taiwan independence” is as incompatible with cross-Strait peace as fire with water. “Taiwan independence” means war and “Taiwan independence” is a dead end. Whatever high-sounding rhetoric the DPP authorities try to use, it cannot cover up their malicious attempt to tie Taiwan residents to the war chariot of “Taiwan independence”; it cannot change the fact that “Taiwan independence” elements are doomed to failure; and it cannot stop the irreversible trend of reunification of China.
CONSULATE-GENERAL OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA IN EDINBURGH 2009 Copyright