China FO Presser

China FO presser, Feb 7, 2023

3 Min
<strong>China FO presser, Feb 7, 2023</strong>

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning held a regular press conference on Tuesday, Feb 7, 2023.

Some Excerpts

CCTV: Can you confirm if there are Chinese citizens killed or injured in the deadly earthquakes that hit Türkiye and Syria on February 6? Does China plan to offer humanitarian assistance?

Mao Ning: China has been closely following the strong earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolence each to Türkiye’s?President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, extending deep condolences over the loss of lives and sincere sympathies to the bereaved families and the injured. He conveyed his belief that the people of Türkiye and Syria will overcome the disaster and rebuild their homes at an early date.

In the wake of the earthquakes, the Chinese embassies in Türkiye and Syria immediately issued consular alerts and activated emergency response mechanisms to find out if any Chinese nationals or enterprises have been affected. So far, no Chinese casualties have been reported. We continue to remind fellow Chinese compatriots in Türkiye and Syria to watch out for post-earthquake secondary disasters.

Türkiye and Syria are both friendly countries to China. In the wake of the devastating earthquakes, the Chinese side will do all it can to assist. The Chinese government immediately activated the emergency humanitarian assistance mechanism. Our first batch of 40 million-yuan emergency aid will be on its way to Türkiye, including heavy urban search and rescue teams, medical teams, and urgently needed disaster relief supplies. China is coordinating urgently needed disaster relief supplies to be shipped to Syria and speeding up the delivery of ongoing food aid programs. The Red Cross Society of China has provided emergency humanitarian assistance to the Turkish Red Crescent and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. Chinese rescue teams are on their way to the affected area in Türkiye to assist in rescue efforts. Going forward, the Chinese side will provide additional support and assistance in light of the needs of Türkiye and Syria.

China Daily: China’s outbound group tours have resumed on a pilot basis from yesterday. Many countries’ tourism authorities said they have been looking forward to this, and believed that this would give a strong boost to their tourism sector. What’s your comment??

Mao Ning: We have noted that the first outbound Chinese tourist groups have arrived in Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, Singapore, the UAE, Egypt and other pilot countries yesterday and were warmly greeted. We hope Chinese tourists will enjoy a safe and easy travel environment while they are there.

After a three-year hiatus, China has resumed outbound group tours. This will revitalize the global tourism market and contribute to the post-COVID world economic recovery. At the recent ASEAN Tourism Forum 2023, ASEAN countries shared their hope that the arrival of Chinese tourists will help spark a strong revival of ASEAN’s tourism.

Winter will soon be over and spring is in sight. As cross-border travels gradually resume on an orderly basis, China will strengthen people-to-people exchange and economic contact with other countries and inject more confidence and strength into the world economic recovery.

NBC: China has said that the balloon that was shot down over the US and the second balloon that has been spotted over Latin America are civilian airships. Which company or enterprise or department do the balloons belong to? Can China please clarify for the record? Several days into the investigation, could you please clarify what kind of information, weather or otherwise, was the balloon gathering over the US?

Mao Ning: The Chinese side has given information about the unmanned airship on several occasions. I don’t have anything to add at the moment.

NBC: Has China asked the US to return the debris of the balloon that was shot down?

Mao Ning: The airship does not belong to the US. It belongs to China.

NHK: Chinese media reported in 2019 that a Chinese air force fighter jet shot down a foreign spy balloon. So why did China protest to the US after the latter downed what it claimed was a surveillance balloon?

Mao Ning: The unmanned Chinese airship is of civilian nature. Its unintended entry into US airspace is entirely unexpected and caused by force majeure. It didn’t pose any threat to any person or to the national security of the US. The US should have properly handled such incidents in a calm and professional manner not involving the use of force, yet they decided to do otherwise, which is a clear overreaction.

Bloomberg: One of the highest profile anti-China leaders in Solomon Islands was ousted in a no-confidence motion on Tuesday. This is the latest blow to critics of that nation’s increasingly close relationship with Beijing. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?

Mao Ning: I am not yet aware of what you said. I have no comment on the internal affair of Solomon Islands. I don’t think it needs to be linked to China’s relations with Solomon Islands.