Extracts from Foreign Ministry Spokesperson’s Regular Press Conference
China Daily: Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala announced the appointment of four WTO Deputy Directors-General, including Vice Minister of the Ministry of Commerce of China Zhang Xiangchen. What’s your comment? How will China support WTO in its work in the future?
Wang Wenbin: The spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce expressed appreciation and welcome to the appointment of four WTO Deputy Directors-General by Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and said the appointment testifies to WTO’s full recognition of China’s positive and constructive role over the years.
This years marks the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the WTO. Over the past two decades, China has been fulfilling its obligations and honoring its commitment, abiding by WTO rules and firmly upholding WTO-centered multilateral trading system. Looking ahead, we are ready to work with all countries to support the work of the Director-General and the WTO Secretariat, to support the Organization in playing a bigger role in global governance, to firmly uphold multilateralism and multilateral trading regime, to safeguard core values and basic principles of the WTO. We’d like to jointly uphold development interests and space for growth for all WTO members especially developing ones, and contribute positively to the steady recovery of international trade and the balanced, strong, sustainable and inclusive growth of the world economy.
AFP: Will China consider waiving its vaccine patent?
Wang Wenbin: I appreciate your effort to raise questions in Chinese. China supports efforts devoted to the issue of vaccine accessibility and looks forward to active and constructive discussions among all parties within the framework of the WTO in a bid to achieve an effective and balanced result.
China will continue to make contributions to improving vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries.
Bloomberg: Could you clarify if China supports discussions on removing vaccine patents under the WHO or the WTO frameworks? And two questions on the USTR. The USTR Katherine Tai said the U.S. would build from the trade deal with China reached under Donald Trump and that the Biden administration respects the continuity of the phase-one agreement. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this? The USTR office also noted that China’s patent, copyright and criminal law has been amended in the past year, but said they “fall short of the full range of fundamental changes”. I wonder whether the foreign ministry have any comment on this report from the USTR office?
Wang Wenbin: On your first question, China supports efforts devoted to the issue of vaccine accessibility and looks forward to active and constructive discussions among all parties within the framework of the WTO in a bid to achieve an effective and balanced result.
On your second question, I’d refer you to competent authorities.
On your third question, you may also refer this question to the competent authorities. I want to stress that China has always attached great importance to IPR protection. The achievements we’ve made in IPR protection in recent years are there for all to see. The US side should view relevant issues in an objective way and properly handle them.