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China: Beijing protects foreigners’ ‘safety and legitimate rights’ in accord with law – MOFA spox on brick thrown at Japanese embassy

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China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Wang Wenbin stated that the Chinese side ‘protects and ensures the safety and lawful rights and interests of foreign nationals in China in accordance with laws’, during the daily briefing in Beijing on Monday.

The comment was made following the case of brick being thrown at the Japanese embassy in Beijing against the backdrop of the release of radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean.

« China has made serious demarches to Japan over the harassment to the Chinese embassy and consulates in Japan and urged the Japanese side to handle the matter in accordance with the law, » he said.

« In disregard of the international community’s strong criticism and opposition, the Japanese government unilaterally started releasing the Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water into the ocean, which has sparked indignation over the world. This is the root cause of the current situation, » he added.

Wang Wenbin emphasised that the Japanese government’s unilateral decision to proceed with the discharge of contaminated water into the sea had sparked widespread indignation across nations. He stressed that if « Japan’s release of nuclear-contaminated water into the sea is based on science », there will be no reason for opposition to still mount in Japan.

Japanese authorities activated pumps and valves for the first spill of treated water from Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant into the Pacific Ocean. This operation is expected to last around 17 days.

The plant produces some 100,000 litres of contaminated water every day. An estimated 1.33 million tonnes needed to cool the cores of nuclear reactors that went into meltdown in 2011 were stored on-site, which is expected to reach maximum capacity imminently.

The plan has faced strong opposition from the fishing community and neighbouring countries including China.

The spokesperson also addressed an incident involving the unreasonable search and harassment of the Hong Kong-registered Chinese vessel Zhenhua 28 by US law enforcement in Jacksonville, Florida, in July 2023. Wang Wenbin stated that the personal electronic equipment of the crew was seized, affecting their work and the ship’s navigation plan.

He noted China’s serious objection to the incident, stating that such actions reflect « ideological bias and Cold War mentality. »

Moreover, Wang Wenbin expressed China’s strong dissatisfaction with the incident and urged the US to rectify its practices, cease actions that hinder the movement of Chinese personnel, and refrain from infringing upon their legitimate rights. He urged the US to stop undermining people-to-people exchanges and economic cooperation under the pretext of national security.

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