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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on December 31, 2020

2020-12-31

Middle East News Agency: Yesterday massive explosions rocked the Aden international airport in southern Yemen as a plane carrying the new power-sharing government arrived from Saudi Arabia, which caused many casualties. The attack was condemned by the United Nations, the Arab League, the European Union and many other countries. Do you have any comments?

Wang Wenbin: China always opposes and condemns attacks on civilians and civil facilities. We hope all parties concerned will bear in mind the interests of the country and people of Yemen, speed up the political settlement process and restore national peace, stability and normal order at an early date.

Reuters: The United States has called for the release of a Uyghur named Gulshan Abbas. Do you have any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: Gulshan Abbas was sentenced to jail by Chinese judicial authorities for crimes of participating in a terrorist organization, aiding terrorist activities and assembling crowds to disrupt social order. China is a country with rule of law, where criminals must be held accountable.

We urge some American politicians to respect facts, stop making lies to smear China, and stop interfering in China's internal affairs under the pretext of Xinjiang-related issues.

Phoenix TV: Two US destroyers passed through the Taiwan Strait early this morning. The US said this operation shows its commitment to the freedom of navigation in the relevant waters in line with international law. We noticed that since the beginning of this year, the US military activities in the relevant waters have increased significantly compared with previous years. What is your comment?

Wang Wenbin: The spokesperson of the Ministry of National Defense already made a response. The Chinese side was closely following and fully aware of the US military vessels' passage through the Taiwan Strait. The US warships have repeatedly flaunted their prowess in the Taiwan Strait, provoked and stirred up trouble, sent wrong signals to the Taiwan-independence forces, and seriously jeopardized peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. We express our firm opposition to this.

China will continue to be on high alert, ready to respond to all threats and provocations at any time, and resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity. We urge the US side to play a constructive role for regional peace and stability rather than doing the contrary.

Kyodo News: As we know, a WHO team of experts will come to China next week. Can you tell us when they will arrive and give us some details of their trip and arrangement here? How's the visa application going? And will they be quarantined for 14 days after they arrive?

Wang Wenbin: We talked about this matter on multiple occasions. Here's our stance again. After COVID-19 broke out, in an open, transparent and responsible spirit, China was among the first to cooperate with the WHO, and both sides are having close communication on the collaboration and work arrangements for origin-tracing in the next phase. Tracing the origin of the coronavirus is an ongoing process that may involve multiple countries and regions, which must be subject to prudent studies by scientists all over the world.

China is ready to further strengthen cooperation with the WHO on global origin-tracing. We hope other countries can join us in actively cooperating with the WHO to prevent and get better prepared for any similar public health crisis that may occur in the future.

Regarding the specifics you asked about, I'll leave that to the competent authority.

Prasar Bharati: Can you please give some information on the outcome of the Chinese delegation's visit to Nepal?

Wang Wenbin: A delegation of the International Department of the Central Committee of CPC recently visited Nepal and met with leaders of both the ruling party and the opposition in Nepal. They exchanged views on conducting inter-party interactions and mutual learning, advancing practical BRI cooperation and other issues of mutual interest. The Nepalese side congratulated the CPC on the upcoming 100th anniversary of its founding and expressed readiness to deepen traditional friendship, strengthen inter-party exchanges, advance BRI cooperation and deliver more benefits to the two peoples.

China Review News: According to a senior U.S. official, President Donald Trump received information earlier this month that China sought to pay non-state actors to attack American forces in Afghanistan. Could you confirm that?

Wang Wenbin: It's nothing but fake news aimed to smear China, which only indicates how crazy some people have gone to taint China's image and damage China-U.S. relations. China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. We have never started a war with others, not to mention paying non-state actors to attack other countries. We also uphold the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs, support Afghanistan's peace and reconciliation process, and do not get involved in the internal conflicts in Afghanistan. The international community has a fair conclusion on who is flexing muscles, waging proxy wars and stirring up problems that disrupt regional peace and stability.

Prasar Bharati: Some Indian students wish to return to China to fully resume their studies. Over the past year they can only take online courses due to the pandemic. Since many categories of foreign nationals have been allowed to enter China on various grounds following COVID protocols, can you tell us when China will allow Indian and other foreign students to come back?

Wang Wenbin: I'm not aware of the specifics, but I can tell you that the Chinese government attaches great importance to protecting the legitimate rights and interests of overseas students in China. It requires colleges and universities to keep in close contact with overseas students, carefully arrange online courses for them, and properly address their legitimate concerns and needs. While taking effective epidemic prevention and control measures, China will assess the situation concerning resumption of studies in China for foreign students and will continue discussing that with all parties.

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In observance of New Year's Day holiday, our press conference will be in recess on Friday, January 1 and resumed on Monday, January 4. During the recess, you may still reach the MFA Spokesperson's Office via email, fax and WeChat.

The year 2020 has been truly extraordinary. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we in the diplomatic service have forged ahead and harnessed the change, in an effort to protect our people's safety and health, safeguard our country's sovereignty, security and development interests, promote international anti-epidemic cooperation and uphold world peace and development, where we made new, important achievements.

Taking this opportunity, I'd like to express our sincere thanks to all the friends from the press who have carried out their missions during the difficult times, and witnessed and recorded with us another extraordinary journey of China's diplomacy. In the coming new year, we look forward to continuing our candid communication and close cooperation. On behalf of the MFA Information Department and my colleagues, I sincerely wish all of you a happy and healthy new year! See you in 2021!

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