China FO Presser

China FO Presser Feb 8, 2023

5 Min
China FO Presser Feb 8, 2023

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning fielded a wide range of questions at her Regular Press Conference on Feb 8, 2023.

Some Excerpts

CCTV: It’s been reported that Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on February 7 that he was pleased by the “productive” video meeting between the Australian trade minister and his Chinese counterpart. “The trade to China is more than the next three highest trading partners combined. It’s in Australia’s national interest to have good economic relations and to trade with China”, he said. Does China have any comment on that?

Mao Ning: China and Australia are both important countries in the Asia-Pacific with highly complementary economies. The sound and steady growth of ties between our two countries serves the fundamental interests of both peoples and helps advance peace, stability and prosperity in the region and beyond. The Chinese side stands ready to work together with the Australian side to further deliver on the important common understandings reached between our two leaders in their meeting in Bali and the outcomes of the China-Australia Foreign and Strategic Dialogue. Based on the principle of mutual respect, mutual benefit and seeking common ground while shelving differences, we are ready to launch or resume dialogue and communication with Australia in various sectors, expand cooperation, manage differences, and strive to rebuild trust and bring bilateral relations back to the right track.?

Anadolu Agency: China sent two search and rescue teams to help Türkiye’s disaster relief efforts after two strong earthquakes in the country and its vicinity. I want to say that the Turkish people welcome and deeply appreciate China’s support during such a challenging time. My question is, do you have any updates about China’s contribution efforts? Have the teams arrived? Have they reached affected areas?

Mao Ning: After a flight of more than ten hours, the 82-member rescue team sent by the Chinese government arrived at the airport in Adana, southern Turkey, on the early morning of February 8, local time. The team brought with it a total of more than 20 tons of relief supplies and equipment for search and rescue, communications, medical and other purposes, and will soon join the international rescue efforts on the ground. As far as I know, more civil and private Chinese rescue teams are on their way to the quake-hit areas. We will continue to provide support and assistance to the best of our capability in light of Türkiye’s needs.

KBS: US President Joe Biden said in his State of the Union address today that “we seek competition, not conflict” with China and “I am committed to work with China where it can advance American interests”. He added, “if China threatens our sovereignty, we will act to protect our country.” What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: China has always believed that China-US relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side out-competes or thrives at the expense of the other. The successes of China and the US are opportunities, not challenges, for each other. The world is big enough for the two countries to develop themselves and prosper together.?

China does not shy away or flinch from competition. However, we are opposed to defining the entire China-US relations by competition. It is beneath a responsible country to use competition as a pretext to smear other countries and restrain their legitimate right to development, even at the expense of global industrial and supply chains.

A healthy and stable China-US relationship is in the fundamental interest of both peoples, and meets the shared expectation of the international community. On China’s part, we will handle China-US relations in accordance with the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation proposed by President Xi Jinping. At the same time, we will firmly defend our sovereignty, security and development interests. The US needs to view China in an objective and rational light, follow a positive and practical China policy, and work with China to bring China-US relations back to the track of sound and steady development.

China-Arab TV: Yesterday we saw that China offered 40-million-yuan emergency aid and sent rescue teams to Türkiye. I wonder if similar assistance will be provided to Syria?

Mao Ning: We are also closely following the situation in Syria in the wake of the earthquake. To convey our government and people’s sympathy and support for the Syrian government and people, China has decided to provide 30-million-yuan emergency humanitarian aid to Syria, including two million US dollars of cash assistance and urgently-needed relief supplies. At the same time, we are also speeding up the delivery of ongoing food aid programs. Relevant Chinese departments will work in close coordination with the Syrian side to make sure the aid can be delivered as soon as possible to help Syria’s relief efforts.??

Kyodo News: Could you state China’s position again on whether you are in contact with the US side over the unmanned airship?

Mao Ning: The Chinese side has repeatedly shared information on the unintended entry of the unmanned Chinese civilian airship into US airspace. I would like to stress that the US’s downing of the unmanned Chinese civilian airship by force is unacceptable and irresponsible. The Chinese side has lodged a stern protest.

I would also like to stress that exaggerating or hyping up the “China threat” narrative is not conducive to building trust or improving ties between our two countries, nor can it make the US safer.?

Bloomberg: A team of UN experts have said in a statement on February 6 that children of Tibetan origin are being affected by the Chinese government’s assimilation policies through the use of obligatory education in the Chinese language. They also mentioned that they had sent a communication to the government of China last year on November 11. Can you confirm receipt of that communication? What would your response be to the team of experts’ statement??

Mao Ning: China always handles relevant UN communications by checking the facts and replying to them responsibly and seriously. Some Special Procedures experts chose to ignore the factual and authoritative information from China and, in open violation of the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-holders of the Human Rights Council, endorsed lies and rumors to malign and discredit China. We strongly condemn this.

We urge these experts to observe the mandate of the Human Rights Council and the Code of Conduct for Special Procedures Mandate-holders, perform duty in a fair and objective manner, stop politicizing and instrumentalizing human rights issues, and stop serving certain countries’ political scheme to suppress and contain China by abusing the UN platform. Otherwise, they will risk losing their own credibility.

AFP: The Belgian police say they have arrested 25 people. Many of them are of Chinese background who are suspected of trafficking women from China into Europe for sex work. Is the foreign ministry aware of these arrests and do you have any comment on the case?

Mao Ning: I am not aware of the case you mentioned. I want to stress that the Chinese government firmly opposes and has always been tough on human trafficking and other crimes. We always ask our fellow citizens to observe local laws and regulations and refrain from engaging in any illegal or criminal activities while they are abroad.?

Reuters: The US has briefed 40 nations about the Chinese balloon and has also presented findings about it. These briefings were done in Washington as well as in Beijing. Does the ministry have any comment on this?

Mao Ning: It is hoped that the US will communicate with other countries based on facts.