|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian's Regular Press Conference on June 15, 2021|
CRI: Today marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the SCO. How would you assess the progress the SCO has made in the past two decades? Will there be any celebration to mark the occasion?
Zhao Lijian: Today marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the SCO. Over the past two decades, the SCO has navigated the evolving international landscape, successfully blazed a path of cooperation and development under a new type of regional organization, played an important constructive role in promoting regional security, stability, development and prosperity, and made important exploration through practice for the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. Its main achievements can be summarized as follows:
First, it came up with an up-to-date vision on cooperation. Following the trend for peace and development, it put forward the innovative Shanghai Spirit featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, consultation, respect for cultural diversity and pursuit of common development and fostered a brand new cooperation model of harmonious co-existence of countries with different social systems and development paths.
Second, it strengthened bilateral relations. Member states of the SCO, upholding the principle of no alliance, no confrontation and no targeting any third party, continuously enhanced political mutual trust, good neighborliness and friendship. All sides make full use of venues like the SCO Summit to engage intensively in high-level exchange, conduct close communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, and render each other support on issues concerning respective core interests and major concerns, translating the profound connotation of a shared future through weal and woe into concrete actions.
Third, it safeguarded regional security and stability. Taking security cooperation as a priority, the SCO ratified important legal instruments such as the Convention on Combating Terrorism and the Convention on Combating Extremism, stepped up cooperation in such areas as counter-terrorism, counter-narcotics, border defense and information security, held regular joint counter-terrorism exercises, and promoted the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan through the SCO-Afghanistan Contact Group, creating a peaceful and stable environment for the development of regional countries.
Fourth, it enhanced the shared development of all countries involved. The SCO established cooperation mechanisms in economy, trade, transportation, finance, agriculture and localities, dovetailed the BRI with national development strategies and regional cooperation initiatives, launched a great number of livelihood cooperation projects in culture, education, tourism, environmental protection, youth and women, giving a strong boost to the development of rejuvenation of relevant countries.
Fifth, it has set the standard for multilateralism. The SCO stands firmly for international equity and justice. It has spoken in a strong voice about defending multilateralism and rejecting unilateralism and protectionism. It has stated its position on enhancing solidarity against the pandemic and rejecting politicization of the virus. It has put forward the SCO solution on the political settlement of regional hotspot issues. It maintains close communication and coordination with observer states and dialogue partners, engages in wide-ranging cooperation with the UN, ASEAN, the Commonwealth of Independent States and other international and regional organizations, and works for a more equitable international order.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the SCO, a year of milestone significance in the history of the organization. The Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the SCO Secretariat will co-host an SCO Day reception this evening. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will deliver a video address to review the extraordinary journey of the SCO over the past 20 years and envision its bright future.
In addition, SCO member states will hold various forms of activities to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the SCO. Not long ago, China hosted the SCO Forum on People-to-People Friendship. Going forward, we will hold a series of events on the topics of state governance, digital economy, traditional medicine, women, education and poverty reduction. We look forward to the participation by all sides.
CCTV: On June 13, the G7 summit concluded and issued a communiqué, which made groundless accusations on China with regard to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and other issues. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: We have noted that the G7 summit communiqué mentions China-related issues, deliberately slandering China on issues related to Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Taiwan as well as maritime issues, and interfering in China's internal affairs. Such moves seriously contravenes the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the trend of the times for peace, development and win-win cooperation. It reveals the bad intentions of the US and a few other countries to create confrontation and estrangement and widen differences and disagreements. China is strongly dissatisfied with and firmly opposed to this.
Issues related to Xinjiang, Hong Kong and Taiwan are purely China's internal affairs that brook no foreign interference. China is firmly resolved in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests.
I want to emphasize that multipolarization and democratic international relations are irresistible trend of the times. The era of one country or a bloc of countries dictating world affairs is over. Under the current situation, the international community need to strengthen solidarity and cooperation and practice true multilateralism more than ever. Countries should not seek bloc politics on the basis of the interests of small cliques, suppress different development models by holding ideology as the yardstick, and still less confuse right with wrong and shift blames onto others. The US is ill, very ill indeed. We'd like to advise the G7 to take its pulse and come up with a prescription for the US.
AFP: CNN reported on the security issues of the Taishan nuclear power plant. The US government spent the past week assessing a report on the security of the nuclear power plant. What are the problems of the facility? Do you have any response?
Zhao Lijian: China attaches great importance to nuclear safety, and has established a nuclear safety regulatory system that is up to international standards and in line with national conditions. Meanwhile, the National Nuclear Safety Administration maintains close cooperation with its foreign counterparts, and engages in communication and exchanges under multilateral mechanisms such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Convention on Nuclear Safety. So far, China's nuclear power plants have kept a good operating record with zero occurrence of incidents affecting the environment and public health.
According to the competent authorities, the Taishan nuclear power plant performs to the requirements of the technical specifications with normal level of environmental radiation in the surrounding areas of the nuclear power plant, the safety of which is guaranteed. For specific technical issues, please refer to the competent authorities . As far as I know, China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) has also issued a statement on this matter.
People's Daily: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered an address through video link at the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD) on June 11. The last time a Chinese foreign minister addressed the CD was 12 years ago. I wonder if you could share more about his remarks and China's expectations for the international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes in the future?
Zhao Lijian: Amid the overlapping impact of major changes and a global pandemic unseen in a century and complex and profound evolution in the international security landscape, new problems, challenges and threats keep propping up, crying out for global solutions. Under such circumstances, the stature and role of the CD, the sole negotiating body for multilatera