China FO Presser

China FO presser – Sept 11, 2023

9 Min
<strong>China FO presser – Sept 11, 2023</strong>

The Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning held a Regular Press Conference on Sept 11, 2023 and fielded questions on a wide range of issues.

Some excerpt

Xinhua News Agency: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet will pay an official visit to China from September 14 to 16. Could you share the program of the visit? How does China see the current China-Cambodia relations? What do you expect from the visit?

Mao Ning: At the invitation of Premier Li Qiang of the State Council, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet will pay an official visit to China from September 14 to 16. President Xi Jinping will meet with Prime Minister Hun Manet and Premier Li Qiang and Chairman Zhao Leji will hold talks and meet with him respectively.

This is the first official visit by Prime Minister Hun Manet after he took office. It shows the great importance the new Cambodian government attaches to China-Cambodia relations. This year marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of China-Cambodia diplomatic relations and the “China-Cambodia Friendship Year”. China hopes to, through this visit, chart the course for the comprehensive strategic cooperation between the two countries in the next stage. In particular, we hope to deliver on the cooperation initiatives such as the “industrial development corridor” and the “fish and rice corridor” at an early date, and jointly usher in a new era of building a high-quality, high-level and high-standard China-Cambodia Community with a Shared Future.

ITV News: You will have seen the reports about the arrest of two men, British men, accused of spying on behalf of China in the UK. I would like to ask for your response to those arrests and whether you have been in contact with the British government about this.

Mao Ning: The allegation that China spies on the UK is entirely groundless. China firmly opposes that. We urge the UK to stop spreading disinformation and stop political manipulation and malicious slander against China.

China Daily: Could you share more about Premier Li Qiang’s attendance at the recent leaders’ meetings on East Asia cooperation in Jakarta??

Mao Ning: Premier Li Qiang attended the 26th China-ASEAN Summit, the 26th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit and the 18th East Asia Summit in Jakarta on September 6 and 7. It was the first time for the Premier of China’s new government to attend the leaders’ meetings on East Asia cooperation. Fruitful outcomes were achieved mainly in the following aspects.

First, political consensus was deepened. Faced with increasing uncertainties in the international and regional landscape, Premier Li took stock of the development progress in East Asia over the past decades and stressed that development doesn’t come easy, openness is essential, and peace must be cherished. Bearing in mind the overall interests of peace and development in East Asia, he called for efforts to strengthen solidarity, unlock potential, rise above disruptions, safeguard the open and inclusive regional environment, and jointly foster an epicentrum of growth. Premier Li’s views have a lot in common with those of other leaders of regional countries. It’s generally stressed at the meetings that stability and peace is the key to prosperity, mutual trust and dialogue needs to be enhanced, ASEAN centrality consolidated, regional economic integration advanced, and determined steps taken to turn the vision of an epicentrum of growth into reality.

Second, cooperation highlights were identified. A total of eight outcome documents were adopted at the three meetings, to which China contributed 39 cooperation initiatives. Apart from deepening cooperation in traditional fields including trade, connectivity, finance and food security, the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit adopted for the first time ever a statement on electric vehicle cooperation. Regional countries reached more consensus on grasping opportunities presented by the new round of technological and industrial revolution, fostering new growth points, and increasing East Asia’s overall competitiveness in emerging sectors. It was announced at the China-ASEAN Summit that the year 2024 will be the China-ASEAN Year of People-to-People Exchanges and all agreed to resume and expand cross-border travel at an early date and promote exchanges across the board.

Third, the right direction was upheld. At the initiative of Indonesia, this year’s chair, the East Asia Summit adopted a statement on economic growth. China actively supported and constructively participated in the consultations and contributed to the final adoption of the statement. The adoption of the leaders’ statement at this year’s summit sends out a united message of focusing on development and gives a strong boost to the momentum of the summit. Certain countries attempted to hype up geopolitical issues, which proved to be unpopular and found little support. Our position was widely commended by ASEAN countries. Overall, the meetings were held in a positive atmosphere, cemented the platform role of the East Asia cooperation mechanisms, and contributed strongly to peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Sky News: Another question please about the two people arrested in the UK on suspicion of spying for China. We know that the British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak raised this issue in his meeting with Premier Li at the G20 yesterday. Are you able to offer more information about what was said in that meeting? And does China deny trying to exert influence on the British political system?

Mao Ning: I’ve made clear China’s position on this issue just now. Leaders of China and the UK met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit and exchanged views on bilateral relations and issues of common interest. We hope that the UK side will stop political hype-up, uphold the spirit of mutual respect and equality, and move forward China-UK relations in a constructive manner.

China News Service: What does China think of the G20 Summit in New Delhi and its outcomes?

Mao Ning: China has always attached importance to and actively supported the work of the G20 and believes that it’s important for G20 to stand in solidarity and cooperate to address various risks and challenges in the world economy and development. During his attendance at the G20 Summit in New Delhi, Premier Li Qiang elaborated on China’s views and propositions on G20 cooperation, calling on all parties to stick to the original aspiration of solidarity and cooperation, live up to the responsibility for peace and development as required by our times, and be partners in promoting the world economic recovery, open cooperation and global sustainable development. The summit adopted a leaders’ declaration, which reflects China’s proposition and states that the G20 would act in concrete ways through partnerships, sending a positive signal of the G20 working together to tackle global challenges and promote world economic recovery and global development.

In the process of preparing for this New Delhi summit, China played a constructive role and always supported the summit in attaching importance to the concerns of developing countries and reaching fruitful outcomes in support of common development.

EFE: I would like to inquire about the upcoming visit of President Nicolás Maduro to Beijing. Do you have any information about when Maduro is expected to arrive in Beijing and if there are any scheduled meetings with Chinese leaders?

Mao Ning: We announced President Maduro’s visit to China a few days ago. For more details about the program, we will release information in a timely manner. Please stay tuned.??

AFP: US President Joe Biden said that he met Chinese Premier at the G20 summit and discussed stability with him. Can you confirm that? And if so, can you tell us more about the talks between the American President and Chinese Premier?

Mao Ning: On the sidelines of the G20 Summit, Premier Li Qiang had brief conversations with leaders of other countries including US President Joe Biden at the venue. During the brief conversation with President Biden, Premier Li stressed that China’s development is an opportunity, not a challenge, to the US and the two countries should step up exchanges. President Biden said that the US hopes to see China’s economy growing and will not hurt its growth.

CCTV: Recently, mine-clearing cooperation has been officially included in the List of China’s Cooperation Initiatives for the ASEAN Related Summits. Could you share some details?

Mao Ning: Mines and explosive remnants of war continue to threaten regional peace and civilian lives and stand in the way of sustainable development. The Global Security Initiative Concept Paper issued by the Chinese government in February this year identifies international cooperation and assistance on demining as a priority.

At present, ASEAN countries including Cambodia and Laos are still not completely free from the threat of land mines. As ASEAN’s good neighbor, good brother and good partner, China continues to provide assistance on mine clearance to relevant ASEAN countries. On September 6, the Chinese task force participating in the “Pure Homeland-2023” multinational joint demining operation arrived in Cambodia. On September 7, the second High-Level Regional Dialogue on “Enhancing Regional Cooperation and Resource Mobilization in ASEAN Mine/ERW Action” was held in Nanjing, and China and ASEAN signed an assistance and cooperation agreement. On September 8, a China-supported training session on mine-clearing skills for personnel from Cambodia and Laos was successfully completed in Nanjing. All this is part of China’s latest measures to implement the outcomes of the leaders’ meetings on East Asia cooperation.

China will continue to follow the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind, further step up mine clearance cooperation with relevant regions and countries and help more parts of the world to free themselves from the threat of land mines.?

Reuters: Does China support the lack of direct criticism of Russia in the G20 statement? And does China think the softer G20 language would help in ending the conflict in Ukraine?

Mao Ning: China’s position on the Ukraine issue is consistent and clear. The G20 leaders’ declaration is the result of consensus through consultation and reflects the common understanding of all members. The New Delhi Summit reaffirms that the G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation, not a platform to resolve geopolitical and security issues. We always believe that the key to the final resolution of the Ukraine crisis lies in discarding the Cold War mentality, attaching importance to and respecting all sides’ legitimate security concerns, and seeking a political solution through dialogue and negotiation. China will stay committed to promoting peace talks and work together with the international community for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.?

TV Tokyo: Italy intends to withdraw from the Belt and Road Initiative. Did this come up when Premier Li Qiang met with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni?

Mao Ning: On September 9, Premier Li Qiang met with Italian Prime Minister Meloni on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi. They exchanged views on important issues in bilateral relations and agreed to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in joint pursuit of prosperity and development. Ten years since the Belt and Road Initiative was put forward, more than 150 countries and cooperation partners in a wide range of areas have joined the initiative, which has delivered tangible benefits to the people of participating countries. It serves the interests of all partner countries to further tap into its potential for cooperation.

Reuters: US President Biden said during his visit to Viet Nam that he does not think China will invade Taiwan given the economic challenges that may reduce China’s capacity. What is the ministry’s response to this? The US and Viet Nam have also upgraded their diplomatic ties and signed deals on semiconductors and minerals. How does the ministry respond to these developments?

Mao Ning: To answer your first question, Taiwan is part of China. The Taiwan question is China’s internal affair. Resolving the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese ourselves. It shall be decided by the Chinese and brooks no foreign interference.

As to your second question, Viet Nam has stressed on multiple occasions that growing the China-Viet Nam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership is its diplomatic priority and a top priority in the country’s foreign affairs. It is our view that the development of bilateral relations should not target any third party or harm regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.

We ask the US to respect regional countries’ shared aspiration for stability, cooperation and development, abide by basic norms governing international relations, discard the hegemonic and Cold War mentality when dealing with relations with Asian countries.

The Paper: According to reports, Mali’s government announced in a statement on September 8 that two terrorist attacks happened in the north of the country, causing many civilian casualties. Mali’s government declared a national mourning. What is China’s comment?

Mao Ning: China firmly opposes all forms of terrorist acts. We mourn for the innocent victims in the attacks in Mali and offer our sympathies to the injured and the families who have lost loved ones.

Reuters: The Italian Prime Minister said the country intends to leave the Belt and Road Initiative and that Italy’s relations with China was more than just the BRI. Does China agree with Italy’s view of both countries’ ties?

Mao Ning: China and Italy are both ancient civilizations on either end of the ancient Silk Road. We can further deepen practical cooperation in various fields and work for further growth of our comprehensive strategic partnership.

People’s Daily: On September 8 local time, a 7-magnitude earthquake hit Marrakech, Morocco. According to Morocco’s Interior Ministry, at least 2,122 were killed and 2,421 injured by the earthquake. Morocco’s royal palace on September 9 declared three days of national mourning. Is China prepared to provide disaster relief support to Morocco?

Mao Ning: China is following closely the devastating earthquake in Morocco. President Xi Jinping has sent a message of sympathy to His Majesty King Mohammed VI, expressing deep condolences over the victims and sincere sympathies to the families of the victims and the injured. He also expressed his belief that the people of Morocco will overcome the impact of the disaster and rebuild their homes at an early date.

To help Morocco respond to this devastating earthquake, the Red Cross Society of China has announced that it will provide the Moroccan Red Crescent with emergency humanitarian assistance of USD 200,000 in cash. The China International Development Cooperation Agency also announced that it stands ready to provide emergency humanitarian assistance based on the need of those hit by the disaster. China stands ready to continue to provide help to Morocco in light of its need to the best of our capability.

Reuters: A follow-up to the question about the Italian Prime Minister’s comments. Does China agree with Italy’s assessment that the relationship is more than its membership in the BRI? And also does China think any exit by Italy would impact the reputation of the BRI?

Mao Ning: I have answered a related question. We believe that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which was proposed 10 years ago, has grown into a very attractive international public good. More than 150 countries have already joined the BRI, which has brought tangible benefits to people of participating countries. It’s in the interest of all BRI partners to further unleash its potential for cooperation.