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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on January 20, 2023
2023-01-20 19:38

AFP: According to Xinhua News Agency, the Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and Australian Trade Minister Don Farrell will talk very soon via video conference. Can you confirm?

Wang Wenbin: We have also noted the news release on Xinhua News website that, as agreed by China and Australia, Chinese Commerce Minister Wang Wentao and Australian Trade Minister Don Farrell will hold talks in the near future via video conference. I would refer you to the competent authorities for more specifics.

CCTV: We have noted that recently China has resumed outbound tourism for Chinese citizens to some destinations. Could you offer more information?

Wang Wenbin: Following the government decision to manage COVID-19 as a Class-B infectious disease and the provisional measures on cross-border travel, the level of new infections has come down in China and the number of inbound and outbound travelers are on a steady increase. Many countries have extended their warm welcome to Chinese tourists. Life and work are coming back to normal across the country and many Chinese are looking to travel overseas as tourists. China is now better prepared to resume outbound tourism. In accordance with the provisional measures on cross-border travel, China is resuming outbound tourism on a pilot basis for the safety and orderliness of such travel. The competent authorities will guide the tourism sector as they organize outbound tourist trips to ensure their quality and safety. We would like to remind the tourists to look after their health in the run-up to their departure and strictly follow the COVID protocols of their travel destinations as well as China’s so that they can have a healthy and pleasant trip and a safe journey home.

Shenzhen TV: China released a white paper titled “China’s Green Development in the New Era” a few days ago, detailing China’s ideas, actions and experience in green development in the new era. It noted that it is the common responsibility of all countries to protect the environment and promote sustainable development. Could you share with us what China has done to protect our green planet?

Wang Wenbin: Under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, China has remained committed to the path of green development and has always been a major participant, contributor, and torchbearer in the global movement for building an ecocivilization.

China is the first country to realize zero net land degradation. Its forest coverage ratio and forest stock volume have both increased for over 30 consecutive years. It has taken further steps to prevent and control pollution and notably improved the quality of the environment. We will make the steepest cuts in the world to the intensity of our carbon emissions, and complete the process from carbon emissions peaking to carbon neutrality in the shortest span of time, contributing China’s strength to global efforts to achieve carbon emissions reduction targets.

Green is not only a defining feature of a beautiful China, but also stands for China’s contribution to global sustainable development. China has put into action the Global Development Initiative, and worked for the establishment of the Global Clean Energy Cooperation Partnership. China is an active participant in cooperation on energy transition and energy efficiency under such frameworks as the G20, BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). China has signed an MoU with the United Nations Environment Programme on building a green Belt and Road, and reached more than 50 cooperation agreements on ecoenvironmental conservation with relevant countries and international organizations. We have trained 3,000 people from more than 120 countries under the Green Silk Road Envoys Program. We successfully hosted the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) and the 14th meeting of the Conference of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, which identified the way forward for global biodiversity governance and given a strong boost to the global wetlands conservation endeavor.

China stands ready to continue to join hands with the international community to make our world greener, deliver more benefits from green development to people of all countries, and build a cleaner and more beautiful world.

Yonhap: Yesterday Japan reportedly submitted a document to UNESCO for a group of gold mines on Sado Island to be registered as a World Heritage site. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: China’s position on World Heritage application has not changed, and we have elaborated on that, which you may refer to.

Reuters: I have two questions here. The first one is Reuters reported that a team of US Treasury officials will visit China. This is in preparation for a visit by the Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Are you able to confirm this news? My second question is the Chinese embassy in Lisbon removed some CCTV cameras. Does the ministry have any comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: I would refer you to the competent Chinese authorities for the first question. On your second question, the Chinese embassy in Portugal respects the host country’s laws and regulations. The CCTV cameras were installed for necessary internal security purposes in line with established international practice and certainly not intended at the local residents. 

Macau Monthly: US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said that China is no longer a major source of fentanyl flowing into the US, but they continue to see PRC-origin precursor chemicals being used in illicit fentanyl production. The US will continue to urge China to take additional meaningful concrete action and is committed to working with China on fentanyl and other areas in which the US and China can work together constructively. Do you have any comment?

Wang Wenbin: We have made clear China’s position on this issue and would like to reiterate the following points. 

First, China has taken an active part in international counternarcotics law enforcement cooperation under the framework of the UN conventions on drug control and always put precursor chemicals under strict control. China is the first in the world to have officially scheduled fentanyl as a class.

Second, non-regulated chemicals have a wide range of legal uses. Any company can produce, export and use them. It is the legal obligation of the governments of importing countries to ensure that the goods imported are not used for illicit purposes. Take steel as an example, it can be used to make cars or guns, but no one would propose to put a ban on international steel trade simply for the sake of gun control.

Third, in May 2020, the US put the Institution of Forensic Science of the Ministry of Public Security and the National Narcotics Laboratory of Ch