China FO Presser

China FO Presser – Dec 1, 2023

5 Min
China FO Presser – Dec 1, 2023

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin held a presser on Dec 1, 2023


Reuters: Kyodo News has reported that a reporter for South China Morning Post who travelled to Beijing for the Xiangshan Forum from Hong Kong last month has not been reachable for several weeks. Kyodo citing people close to the matter said this reporter may be under investigation by mainland authorities. Is there anything that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has to offer regarding this situation?

Wang Wenbin: I’m not aware of that.

Global Times: We noted that the OECD Economic Outlook issued recently revised up China’s growth forecasts for this year and the next, expecting China to grow at 5.2 percent this year. China will remain a main driver for economic growth in the Asia-Pacific and the world. What is your comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: We noted that recently many international organizations and financial institutions have revised up China’s growth forecast for this year. Aside from the OECD, the IMF has increased the forecast to 5.4 percent, and many financial institutions such as JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Citibank, UBS, Deutsche Bank and ANZ have put it at 5 to 5.5 percent. It is widely believed that China is the biggest driver for the world economy and will contribute one third of global growth.

Since early this year, China has seen continued rebound in its economy, with leading growth rate among major economies, and substantive progress in high-quality development. The world has looked to the Chinese market for more opportunities. The sixth China International Import Expo (CIIE) held last month saw the signing of tentative deals worth USD 78.41 billion, increasing by 6.7 percent compared with the previous CIIE. The second Global Digital Trade Expo witnessed the signing of projects with a total contract value of RMB 155.85 billion, surging by 316.7 percent from the first expo. The ongoing first China International Supply Chain Expo has attracted over 500 companies and institutions from both home and abroad. We welcome friends from the business communities of all countries to invest in China, explore China’s market, and share in the new opportunities arising from China’s high-quality development and high-level opening up.

Reuters: Argentina’s incoming Foreign Minister Diana Mondino on Thursday said the country will not join the BRICS grouping of developing nations. Has China reached out to the incoming Milei administration as the President-elect will be in power and have the final say over its BRICS membership?

Wang Wenbin: BRICS is an important platform for stronger solidarity and cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries to uphold common interest. It is an open platform. We welcome all countries that are interested to become a member of the BRICS family.

Shenzhen TV: According to reports, on November 29, many British visitors braved the bitter cold to bid farewell to giant pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian in Edinburgh, who will soon return to China. Many British people are reluctant to see the giant pandas go and care about whether China and the UK will continue to cooperate on giant pandas. What is your comment on this?

Wang Wenbin: Since launching the cooperation on giant panda conservation and research in 2011, China and the UK have maintained a sound cooperation relationship and achieved positive outcomes in the conservation and management, scientific research, technological exchange and public education regarding giant pandas. This has played an important role in enhancing mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese and British peoples. In accordance with the terms in the cooperation agreement signed between China and the UK, Yang Guang and Tian Tian, the two giant pandas, will return to China after the agreement expire in December. The Chinese side has made good preparations to welcome them home. In the future, China stands ready to continue to strengthen cooperation with the UK and other international partners on the protection of endangered species and biodiversity and enhance the friendship between people in China and other countries in the world.

People’s Daily: November 28 marks the 10th anniversary of the China-Europe Railway Express (Xi’an), which has seen over 20,000 trips, accounting for a quarter of all trips made under the Railway Express. How do you see the role played by the China-Europe Railway Express in promoting the economic development of countries along the routes??

Wang Wenbin: Over the past decade, the China-Europe Railway Express has grown into a bustling network, contributing to keeping global industrial and supply chains stable and injecting new impetus into the world economic development. It has become a flagship project and a signature brand of Belt and Road cooperation.?

The Railway Express has built a new land transportation corridor, promoting win-win cooperation in Eurasia. It runs through more than 100 cities in 11 Asian countries and regions and reaches more than 200 cities in 25 European countries. Thanks to its development, the cargo transportation time between China and Europe can be shortened by more than 20 days from shipping by sea, which means quality products from China and Europe can reach each other’s markets more quickly. Over the past decade, with strong demand for cross-border transport, a total of 81,000 trips were made under the Railway Express, covering over 700 million kilometers. It has shipped more than 7.6 million TEUs of goods worth over USD 340 billion, giving a strong boost to international economic and trade cooperation, promoting economic development and livelihood improvement in countries and regions along the routes, and contributing to the unfettered operation of global industrial and supply chains.

The China-Europe Railway Express is a vivid example of the steady progress in Belt and Road cooperation. With expanding sources of goods and more high-tech products, the Railway Express is transforming from featuring a simple corridor economy to a value-added one. It is benefiting countries and regions along the routes with high-quality development.

The China-Europe Railway Express originates from China, connects Asia and Europe, and benefits the whole world. President Xi Jinping announced at the opening ceremony of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation that China will speed up high-quality development of the China-Europe Railway Express. China will continue to work with partners in Asia and Europe to usher in another decade of a two-way journey full of opportunities and to embrace a bright future of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

CCTV: France’s Jacques Delors Institute recently released a report saying that for the EU, leveraging China to realize its own development is a necessary choice. The report called on the EU to always be rational on “de-risking”, uphold a more rational and pragmatic China policy, and enhance mutually beneficial cooperation in energy, the green sector and technology. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: We noted the report you mentioned which reflects that people with insights in Europe are positive about the prospect of growing China-EU relations and that the relationship enjoys solid foundation in the people.

China and the EU are partners, not rivals. China-EU cooperation should be a positive cycle that enables our mutual success, not a knock-out match which results in only one winner. Certain individuals selectively emphasize on competing aspects between China and the EU, deliberately overlook partnerships and hype up “de-risking” with China and reducing dependence on China. Such misconception on China not only will reinforce misunderstanding and erode mutual trust, but also goes against the EU’s long-held position of upholding free trade and WTO rules and disrupts the growth of China-EU relations, which does not serve any one’s interests.

China believes that the risk that we need to get rid of the most is confrontation and rivalry caused by politicizing all issues and the dependence that needs to be reduced the most is the act of resorting to protectionism. China and the EU are important parts of the global industrial and supply chains and staunch force in building an open world economy. We hope that the EU side can listen to rational voices, steer clear of politicizing all issues or overstretching the concept of security, and work with China to maintain two-way opening up instead of erecting walls and barriers, promote trade and investment liberalization instead of trade protectionism, create a fair, equitable, and non-discriminatory business environment for companies of both sides, advance sound and steady growth of China-EU relationship and inject more stability and certainty for a volatile and turbulent world.