|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin's Regular Press Conference on August 24, 2021|
At the invitation of India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Yang Jiechi, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs, will attend the 11th BRICS Meeting of National Security Advisors on August 24 via video link.
Phoenix TV: We noticed that G7 leaders will discuss the crisis in Afghanistan by video conference on August 24. It is reported that the UK will push leaders to consider new sanctions on the Taliban at the meeting. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: Afghanistan is an independent sovereign country. The US and its allies should learn from the past experience, and deeply reflect upon and act prudently on Afghanistan-related issues. The international community should encourage and work for the positive developments of the Afghan situation, support peace and reconstruction in Afghanistan, and help the nation to improve people's livelihood and enhance its ability to achieve self-development. Wantonly slapping sanctions and exerting pressure solves no problem and will only be counterproductive.
China holds that while promoting steady transition of Afghan situation and reconstruction, it is necessary for the international community to consider how to prevent such acts as military intervention in other countries under the pretext of democracy from happening again. We should not allow the tragedy that Afghan people and the international community, regional countries in particular, to pay for the mistake made by certain country to happen again.
Xinhua News Agency: China-SCO Forum on the Digital Economy Industry opened in Chongqing on August 23. Could you give us more details on the forum?
Wang Wenbin: China-SCO Forum on the Digital Economy Industry and the 2021 Smart China Expo opened in Chongqing on August 23. China attaches great importance to the high-level forum on digital economy, the first of its kind hosted by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the forum and expo, pointing out that in an era of rapid development of digital economy, new technologies, new forms of business and new platforms such as 5G, artificial intelligence and smart city are emerging and exerting profound influence on global technological innovation, industrial structural adjustment and socioeconomic development. In recent years, China actively promotes digital industrialization and industrial digitization, in an effort to facilitate the deep integration of digital technologies and socioeconomic development. President Xi stressed that as the SCO celebrates its 20th anniversary, China is ready to work with all SCO members to carry forward the "Shanghai spirit", get deeply involved in international cooperation on digital economy, and allow digitization, Internet and smart technologies to lend impetus to economic and social development, so as to open up a new prospect for cooperation on digital economy.
The theme of this forum is "promoting the digital economy for common prosperity". Liu He, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council, attended the opening ceremony and delivered an address through video link. Wan Gang, Vice Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), attended the opening ceremony in Chongqing. Political leaders from SCO member states, the SCO Secretary-General, China-based diplomatic envoys and representatives from the business community of relevant countries attended the forum online and offline.
Since it was founded 20 years ago, the SCO has upheld the purpose of safeguarding regional security and stability and promoting shared development. It has maintained the momentum of sound and steady development and played an important and constructive role in international and regional affairs. China stands ready to work with all sides to consolidate our good-neighborly friendship and political trust, address regional security threats and challenges, deepen economic, cultural and people-to-people cooperation and strive for greater development of the SCO at a new starting point.
CCTV: About the 11th BRICS Meeting of National Security Advisors, I wonder what China expects from it?
Wang Wenbin: The BRICS Meeting of National Security Advisors is an important platform for the five countries to strengthen political security cooperation. The 11th meeting is a major event leading up to the BRICS Summit to be held later this year. National security advisors of the five countries will hold in-depth exchange of views to reach broad consensus on the global, regional and international security landscape and cooperation in such fields as health, law enforcement, counter-terrorism and cyber security.
China attaches high importance to this meeting. We look forward to working together with other BRICS members for a fruitful meeting with the guidance of leaders of the five countries to further deepen BRICS strategic mutual trust and cooperation in political security. We hope all five members will jointly deal with conventional and non-conventional security challenges, safeguard our security and development interests, promote world peace and stability, and foster a favorable atmosphere for the Summit to be held next month.
Bloomberg: In a speech on Tuesday, US vice President Kamala Harris said that "Beijing's actions continue to undermine the rules-based order and threaten the sovereignty of nations." She also added that "our engagement in Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific is not against any one country, nor is it designed to make anyone choose between countries". Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: What is happening in Afghanistan clearly reveals the US definition of "rules" and "order". The US can arbitrarily launch military intervention in a country without shouldering the responsibility for the suffering of the people in the relevant country; it gets to decide when it wants to come and leave without consulting the international community, not even its allies; it can wantonly smear, suppress, coerce and bully other countries for the sake of "America First" without paying any price. This is the kind of order that the US wants. It always tries to defend its selfishness and bullying and hegemonic actions by citing "rules" and "order". But how many people would actually buy it?
Prasar Bharati: What kind of role do you see for BRICS as a group in context of the current scenario in Afghanistan and also in the context of today's BRICS NSA meeting?
Wang Wenbin: The current situation in Afghanistan is evolving, driven mainly by internal factors. External factors can play a role, but only through internal ones. China hopes that various multilateral mechanisms will be sensitive, balanced and professional in dealing with the Afghan issue, and play a constructive role, with an aim to promote early smooth transition of Afghan