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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on August 28, 2023
2023-08-28 19:42

Starting from August 30, 2023, inbound travelers will no longer be required to take a pre-entry nucleic acid or antigen test for COVID-19.

Xinhua News Agency: General elections were held throughout Zimbabwe on August 23 and 24. On August 27, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission declared incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa the winner with 52.6 percent of the vote. President Mnangagwa has delivered a victory speech, calling for efforts to continue the country’s growth trajectory as one united nation. But some candidates refuse to accept the result and said they would challenge it in the Constitutional Court. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: As a friend to Zimbabwe, China has been closely following the general elections in the country. At Zimbabwe’s invitation, China sent an observer mission there. The mission believes that the elections were held in a peaceful and orderly fashion with active participation by the people. We have noted the result released by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and extend congratulations to President Mnangagwa. We stand ready to work with the new government to bring our two countries’ comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to new heights.

We have noticed reports on some disputing the election result. It is our hope that parties in Zimbabwe will put people’s interests first and resolve differences properly through legal means. China adheres to the principle of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. We respect the Zimbabwe people’s choice, wish the country continued stability after the election and greater progress in pursuing national development and prosperity.

Reuters: China’s “aggressive behavior” in the South China Sea must be challenged and checked, Commander of the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet Karl Thomas said in the Philippines yesterday. What’s your comment?

Wang Wenbin: We find it hard to understand why the US commander made the remarks that distort facts, sow discord and flex muscles. China Coast Guard takes necessary measures to safeguard China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. This is beyond reproach. The US has no right to interfere.

It needs to be pointed out that it is the frequent muscle-flexing and discord-sowing by US warships in the South China Sea that truly fits the description “aggressive behavior”. We urge the US to respect China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea, earnestly respect regional countries’ efforts to safeguard peace and stability in these waters, stop words or actions that are not conducive to regional peace and stability, and avoid being a disrupter and saboteur of peace and stability in the South China Sea.

TV Asahi: Since Japan started discharging treated radioactive water into the ocean, some people in China have thrown stones at Japanese schools and made harassing calls to Japanese restaurants. What measures will China take in response to this?

Wang Wenbin: First, China protects and ensures the safety and lawful rights and interests of foreign nationals in China in accordance with laws. 

I would also like to stress that in disregard of the international community’s strong criticism and opposition, the Japanese government unilaterally started the release of the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean. Japan’s neighboring countries and the international community have criticized this selfish and highly irresponsible action and taken precautionary measures. The DPRK’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that in disregard of the strong protest, opposition and warning from both at home and abroad, the Japanese side unilaterally started the release of the nuclear-contaminated water, calling that a “crime against humanity” that would cause “catastrophic consequences” only to serve Japan’s selfish interests. Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister expressed strong opposition to Japan’s decision of ocean discharge, saying that it “has an impact on our people, ocean, economy and livelihood.” Vanuatu’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister called for efforts to reject Japan’s discharge. Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that the ocean discharge will force regional countries to increase the scale and intensity of detection of radiation concerning the marine environment and living resources. ROK Prime Minister said that the country will demand an immediate halt of the release and file an international lawsuit in the event that the concentration level of a single nuclide goes beyond the standard, and ROK will also keep in place its import ban on fishery products from eight Japanese prefectures, including Fukushima. The ROK’s Democratic Party called the release of the nuclear-contaminated water an act of “environmental terrorism”. Germany’s Federal Environment Minister said that she is extremely critical of any additional discharge of radioactive substances into the sea. Only when all other possible means have been exhausted can the last resort of ocean discharge be considered, and any plan like that must be carried out on a scientifically sound basis and the process must be transparent. Malaysia’s health director-general said that the country will impose higher-level inspection on high-risk food products imported from Japan. Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration said it will strengthen examination of seafood imported from Japan and double the collection of samples for examination.

The beginning of discharge of the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea also met with strong opposition in Japan. The Democratic Party of Japan raised concerns over the discharge plan of the government which violated its commitment. The Social Democratic Party of Japan said that the outrageous act of deliberately dumping radioactive material into the sea is unforgivable. The National Fisheries Cooperative Federation of Japan and the fisheries cooperative of Miyagi have jointly reiterated their opposition to the plan. Organizations including the Hiroshima nuclear bombing victims group rallied to stop the ocean discharge plan. According to a Japanese poll, about 40 percent of the people surveyed oppose the plan, 88.1 percent are worried that it will damage Japan’s image and potential economic benefits, and 81.9 percent think that the Japanese government’s explanation is insufficient.

Even the US, who has said it’s “satisfied” with Japan’s ocean discharge plan, has actually reduced imports of agricultural, forestry and fishery products from Japan over the first half of this year, as has been reported. You may ask the US what it’s worried about.

We strongly urge Japan to take seriously the legitimate concerns of all sides, stop dumping the nuclear-contaminated water into the sea, engage in full consultation with its neighbors and other stakeholders, and dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a truly responsible way.

China News Service: We have learned that the FBI recently stole a Chinese student’s personal information from his study application materials and arrested and charged him with “visa fraud”. Also, three Chinese students were detained, interrogated and deported by US Customs and Border Protection without valid evidence or basis. What’s the foreign ministry’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: The US has detained, interrogated and deported Chinese students without cause and trumped up charges against them. This is wanton suppression and persecution motivated by political purposes. We firmly oppose it.

People-to-people exchanges form the foundation for public support to China-US relations, of which academic, educational, scientific and technological exchanges are an important part. The US side claims to support educational