China FO Presser – Dec 27, 2023
China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning held a presser on Dec 27, 2023. Excerpts
CCTV: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping. It’s also been a fruitful year for Belt and Road cooperation. What has high-quality Belt and Road cooperation accomplished this year? What’s China’s expectation for the cooperation in the next decade?
Mao Ning: The BRI is a major initiative for international cooperation proposed by President Xi Jinping with an insightful grasp of the trend of the world and the future of mankind. Over the past decade, Belt and Road cooperation has made historic achievements and become the most popular international public good and the largest platform for international cooperation.
This year has seen steady progress in trade and investment under Belt and Road cooperation. For the first 11 months, China’s trade with Belt and Road partner countries totaled RMB 17.65 trillion, up by 2.6 percent year on year; non-financial FDI from China in these countries reached RMB 201.1 billion, up by 26.8 percent year on year; and the completed turnover of China-contracted projects in these countries rose to RMB 784.8 billion, up by 8.5 percent year on year.
Connectivity cooperation has produced numerous highlights. For the first 11 months of this year, the China-Europe railway express ran 16,145 trains, up by 7 percent year on year, and shipped 1.749 million TEUs of cargo, up by 19 percent year on year and exceeding the total shipment for last year. The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, which has been in operation for just two months, has transported over 1 million passengers. Projects such as the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Tunnel in Bangladesh and the Lekki Deep Sea Port in Nigeria have opened, giving a strong boost to national and regional connectivity.
Cooperation for better livelihood has yielded fruitful outcomes. The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Headquarters that China helped to build completed construction early this year. Small but practical livelihood projects, such as the Luban Workshop, the Brightness Action, programs on growing Juncao and hybrid rice and cooperation on artemisinin have brought sustained benefit to our fellow developing countries and had an extensive and positive impact.
Cooperation in new areas, such as green and digital areas, is booming. China and relevant countries have jointly issued the Beijing Initiative for Belt and Road Green Development and the Beijing Initiative on Belt and Road International Digital Economy Cooperation, stepped up industrial cooperation in green energy such as hydro power, wind power and photovoltaic power, and reinvigorated traditional industries through such digital economy platforms as the Silk Road e-commerce.
The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in October is the culmination of the commemoration of the BRI’s 10th anniversary and marked a new stage of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. At the forum, President Xi Jinping reviewed achievements of the past decade and the good experience and announced eight major steps China will take to support the joint pursuit of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. This identified the direction, new vision and the source of impetus for BRI. We hope the 10th anniversary of BRI can be a new starting point for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and galvanize efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
China Daily: Several overseas media reported that a commander of the Baloch National Army that had surrendered himself to the Pakistani government disclosed that India has been secretly supporting terrorist activities in Balochistan and financing Balochistan separatist forces. Baloch officials said that India’s support and use of terrorists is the main reason behind the increasing terrorist activities in the province. What’s your comments??
Mao Ning: We noticed relevant reports. Terrorism is humanity’s common enemy. China firmly opposes double standards on counterterrorism. To support and use terrorist groups and let them thrive out of one’s selfish interests at the expense of international and regional security benefits no one and will only backfire.
China stands for strengthening counterterrorism cooperation among all countries to jointly fight all forms of terrorism.
AFP: Zambia’s foreign minister resigned yesterday due to suspicion of taking bribes from a Chinese businessman. Could you share more information on this or your comment?
Mao Ning: I noted the reports but do not have information on what exactly happened. The Chinese government asks overseas Chinese companies and individuals to strictly abide by local laws and regulations in their cooperation with local partners. Zambia is China’s important partner in Africa and we will continue working with Zambia to expand and deepen bilateral cooperation in various fields and advance common development.
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