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Chinese FM Spokesperson: It Is the Australian Side that Has Adopted a Series of Measures in Violation of Market Principles

2021-12-03 11:10

At a regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China on 1 December, spokesperson Wang Wenbin answered a question about the China-Australia relationship.

1.Journalist: America’s top envoy to the Pacific Kurt Campbell has said China is trying to drive Australia to its knees through a series of sanctions that amount to “economic warfare”. How do you react to this?  

Wang Wenbin: I want to stress that for some time, certain Australian politicians have played up the so-called “China threat theory”, hurled unsubstantiated accusations and attacks against China, provoked tensions and instigated confrontation. It seems that the last thing they want is peace. We hope relevant individuals on the US side will refrain from confusing right with wrong.

2.Journalist: If we could go back to the comments made by US diplomat Kurt Campbell again. He said China’s “economic warfare” against Australia has drawn the United States and Australia closer, when just a few years ago many expected that they would drift apart. He also said that Washington’s Indo-Pacific security partnership with the UK and Australia, which some people refer to as AUKUS, is more of a stand against China’s actions than a technology-sharing agreement. Does the foreign ministry have any response to the specific comments?

Wang Wenbin: First of all, China takes measures on imported products according to Chinese laws and regulations and WTO rules to protect the legitimate rights and interests of relevant Chinese industries and the safety of Chinese consumers. This is totally reasonable, lawful and beyond reproach. It is the Australian side that has adopted a series of measures in violation of market principles and the spirit of China-Australia free trade agreement. It repeatedly abuses the concept of national security as an excuse to set restrictions on the investment and lawful operation of Chinese companies in the country. This has caused setbacks to the sound momentum of practical bilateral cooperation. Australia has also acted wantonly to interfere in China’s internal affairs on issues concerning sovereignty. 

We have noticed recently that some visionary people in Australia criticized the Australian government’s erroneous policies on China. The Australian government should listen to their voices and reflect on itself. Certain people in the US would do well to heed the opinions and ponder over them. As I just said, we hope certain individuals in the US will stop confusing right with wrong.

With regard to AUKUS, I would like to stress that along ideological lines, the US, the UK and Australia are forging a new military bloc, which will heighten the risk of military conflicts and increase geopolitical tensions. It is a typical illustration of the Cold War mentality. The US and the UK, two nuclear-weapon states, are set to transfer tons of nuclear weapons materials to Australia, a non-nuclear-weapon state. The existing IAEA safeguards arrangement cannot effectively monitor the transfer. This is in explicit violation of the object and purposes of the NPT. The trilateral cooperation exposes the three countries’ flagrant double standard on the nuclear non-proliferation issue and will spur other non-nuclear-weapon states to follow suit and cause seriously negative impact to the settlement of regional nuclear hotspot issues. This is extremely irresponsible. We once again urge the three countries to correct their mistakes.

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