|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on September 16, 2021|
CCTV: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Against this backdrop, President Xi Jinping will attend the commemorative summit and deliver important remarks. What is China's expectation for this summit?
Zhao Lijian: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the SCO. Over the past two decades, the member states, following the Shanghai Spirit, have transcended differences in social systems, histories and cultures, and successfully found a new type of cooperation and development path for regional organizations. They have played active roles in regional and international affairs, and made vital theoretical and practical exploration for building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.
The impact of COVID-19, compounded with major changes unseen in a century, has brought complex and profound changes to international and regional situations. This means the SCO shoulders more important responsibilities in defending regional security and stability and promoting development and revitalization of the countries. At the upcoming SCO summit, President Xi Jinping will take stock of the successful experiences of the SCO with leaders of other countries, have an in-depth exchange of views on SCO cooperation across the board and major international and regional issues under the new circumstances, approve a series of key cooperation documents and charter the course for the SCO's development going forward. We believe that with the advancement of the heads of state, the SCO will make new progress at a new starting point and stay committed to building an even closer community with a shared future for the benefit of people of all countries in the region.
TASS: Diplomat source in South Korea told TASS today that six party talks on Korean Peninsula nuclear issue can be resumed till the end of this year. I wonder if you have any comment on this information?
Zhao Lijian: I notice that it's few days away from September 19. To be honest, I have not seen the information you mentioned. I can check with my colleagues after the press conference.
Xinhua News Agency: Can you tell us more about the meeting on Afghanistan of the heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO)?
Zhao Lijian: Tajikistan is currently holding the presidency of both the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). As suggested by parties including Tajikistan, the SCO and CSTO agreed to hold a joint summit of leaders from member states on Afghanistan after the SCO summit.
The Afghan situation bears on regional security and stability. As close neighbors of Afghanistan, member states of the SCO and CSTO actively support the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan. China, a member of the SCO, is ready to have close communication and coordination with relevant countries, jointly work on Afghanistan to build an open and inclusive political structure, adopt moderate and prudent domestic and foreign policies, make a clean break with all forms of terrorist groups, and live on friendly terms with neighboring countries. We are ready to continue to develop good-neighborliness and friendly cooperation with Afghanistan and play a constructive role in Afghanistan's peace and reconstruction.
MASTV: First question. Slovenian Prime Minister, whose country holds the EU presidency, criticized China for expelling the Lithuanian ambassador in a letter to fellow EU leaders. He wrote that these measures have hurt China-EU ties and called for unity among countries to oppose the threat from China on any member state. Do you have any comment? Second question, Indian media reported that the country is set to flight-test on September 23 its indigenous intercontinental-range ballistic missile Agni-V with a long range of around 5,000km, which will bring many inland cities in China under threat. What's your response?
Zhao Lijian: On your first question. The ins and outs of the Taiwan-related issues on the part of Lithuania are very clear. The responsibility rests solely with the Lithuanian side. China urges Slovenia and the EU to take correct and objective positions on Taiwan-related issues and not to make excuses to create new troubles in China-EU relations. The Slovenian side should be keenly aware of the highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question, abide by the one-China principle, handle Taiwan-related issues cautiously and prudently and avoid creating unnecessary disturbances to China-Slovenia relations.
On your second question. Maintaining peace, security and stability in South Asia meets the common interests of all, where China hopes that all parities would make constructive efforts. As for whether India can develop ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons, the UNSCR 1172 already has clear stipulations.
China Daily: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited the ROK on September 15. Could you brief us on the visit? What is China's expectation for the development of China-ROK relations going forward?
Zhao Lijian: From September 14 to 15, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi paid an official visit to the ROK, where he met with ROK President Moon Jae-in and held talks with Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong to have in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern.
State Councilor Wang Yi said that China and the ROK are inseparable neighbors and partners for win-win cooperation. China is ready to take the opportunity of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties with the ROK to maintain high-level exchanges, deepen cooperation in such areas as economy, trade, culture and environmental protection, enhance friendly people-to-people exchanges and work for greater development of bilateral relations. China firmly supports the DPRK and the ROK in overcoming difficulties, removing disruption and improving relations, and will continue to play a constructive role in maintaining peace and stability and realizing lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula. China and the ROK can scale up cooperation under multilateral frameworks such as the UN, the G20, the WTO, and on global issues such as climate change and Security Council reform. Together, we can contribute wisdom and strength to regional and world peace and development.
The ROK side said that it is willing to capitalize on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and the "ROK-China Year of Cultural Exchanges" to strengthen high-level interactions with China, expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges, work for more fruitful cooperation in economy, trade and environmental protection and further develop the future-oriented bilateral relations. The ROK side appreciates China's contribution to maintaining peace on the Korean Peninsula, supports China in hosting the Winter Olympics Games in Beijing, and disapproves of politicizing the origins study on COVID-19. It stands ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China in multilateral institutions, and to work with China to combat the coronavirus, climate change and other global challenges.
Shenzhen TV: The FBI in its recent report identified 7,759 hate crimes in 2020, up 6 percent year on year, the highest since 2008. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: The US report shows that from 2019 to 2020 attacks targeting Blacks rose from 1,930 to 2,755, and the number targeting Asians jumped from 158 to 274, and most of the rise is attributable to racism-motivated crimes. A report recently released by the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA) shows that in 2020, the number of violent crimes in major US cities remained high, and gun violence was even more serious. So far, there have been more than 200 mass shootings in the United States, killing 1,079 children and teenagers.
These alarming statistics are only a snapshot of the serious human rights problems in the United States. Systemic racism is so entrenched in the American society that people like Floyd