|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on February 5, 2024
CCTV: It was reported that the US military launched air strikes on targets within the territories of Syria and Iraq on February 3 to retaliate after a previous drone attack which killed US troops based in Jordan. Both the Syrian and Iraqi governments condemned the US infringement on their sovereign security. What is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: Syria and Iraq are sovereign countries. China opposes any act that violates the UN Charter and infringes upon other countries’ territorial sovereignty and security. The current situation in the Middle East is highly complex and sensitive. China urges relevant parties to earnestly observe international law, remain calm, exercise restraint, and prevent the tensions in the region from escalating or even spiraling out of control.
Reuters: We have learned that Australian writer Yang Jun was given a suspended death sentence today. Can you share more information about his case and what is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: On February 5, 2024, the Beijing No.2 Intermediate People’s Court announced the sentencing for the first instance of the case of Australian defendant Yang Jun who was accused of espionage. The Court ruled that Yang Jun was guilty of espionage and sentenced him to death with a two-year reprieve and ordered that all his personal property be confiscated. The people’s court heard the trial in strict accordance with the law and ensured that Yang Jun fully exercised his procedural rights. The court also respected and ensured the Australian side’s consular rights, including the right to consular visits and notifications, and arranged for the Australian side to sit in on the sentencing.
Xinhua News Agency: The Namibian government said on February 4 that President Hage Geingob passed away due to illness. Does China have any comment on his passing?
Wang Wenbin: We express deep condolences over President Hage Geingob’s passing and extend sincere sympathies to the Namibian government and people and to President Geingob’s family. President Geingob was an extraordinary leader of his country. He led the Namibian people in pursuing national independence and liberation and advancing socio-economic development, and was supported and loved by the people.
President Hage Geingob was an old friend of the Chinese people. He oversaw on the Namibian side the upgrade of China-Namibia ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership and the deepening of the relationship, and he made important contribution to the friendship between our two countries. The Chinese people firmly stand with the Namibian people in this time of grief.
Reuters: It’s reported by Japanese media that owing to Chinese hackers’ attacks, confidential Japanese diplomatic documents were leaked in 2020. What’s your comment?
Wang Wenbin: I am not aware of that. We oppose groundlessly smearing and accusing China without any solid evidence.
China News Service: Devastating wildfires in Chile recently killed 112 people, with more than 300 people missing. President Gabriel Boric declared two days of national mourning. The Chilean authorities said the death toll is likely to rise amid raging wildfires. Does China know whether there have been any Chinese killed or injured?
Wang Wenbin: The fatalities and serious financial loss caused by the devastating wildfires in Chile were heart-wrenching. We mourn for the lost lives and extend condolences to the bereaved families and the injured. China believes that under the strong leadership of the Chilean government, the people in Chile will get through this difficult time and rebuild their homes soon.
As far as we have learned, there have been no Chinese casualties in the wildfires.
Bloomberg: The Filipino government said that they foiled an attempt to hack a government website by hackers operating in China. Do you have any comment on these accusations by the government?
Wang Wenbin: Cybersecurity is a global challenge. China always strictly cracks down on cyber attacks in all forms in accordance with the law and stands for dialogue and cooperation among all countries to jointly safeguard cybersecurity.
AFP: Senegalese President Macky Sall postponed the presidential election in the country hours before the official campaign was due to begin. Police and protesters clashed yesterday in the country. Does China support Senegalese President’s decision?
Wang Wenbin: What you mentioned is Senegal’s internal affairs.
Global Times: The Korean Peninsula has seen continued tensions, especially the rising rivalry between the DPRK and the ROK recently. The DPRK adjusted its policy on handling relations with the ROK, saying that the relationship between South and North Korea is no longer the relationship between people of the same nation, but a relationship between two hostile countries and two belligerents at war, and that unification with the South is no longer possible. What is China’s comment?
Wang Wenbin: We noted this. The DPRK’s statement on its policy is a sovereign matter of the DPRK. China always supports the DPRK and the ROK in improving their relations.
The situation on the Korean Peninsula has come to where it stands today for a reason. Tensions on the Peninsular do not serve the common interests of relevant parties. Relevant parties need to work towards the same direction, keep to the major direction of political settlement and jointly safeguard peace and stability on the Peninsula.
China Daily: It’s reported that the Kosovo authorities recently announced the euro-only currency policy and ban on the Serbian Dinar in Kosovo. What’s your comment?
Wang Wenbin: We noted relevant news. China believes that any unilateral actions are not conducive to the settlement of the Kosovo issue as well as regional peace and stability. We support relevant parties concerned in working with each other within the framework of the relevant Security Council resolution to reach a mutually acceptable political solution through dialogue. In this process, Serbia’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be fully respected, and the rights to subsistence and development of all ethnic groups in Kosovo should be guaranteed.