China FO presser- Sept 20, 2023
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning held a Regular Press Conference on Sept 20, 2023.
Hubei Media Group: According to reports, the anti-subsidy probe into China-made electric vehicles announced by the European Commission president last week has drawn opposition from the business community in Europe. A well-known German automaker’s CEO said that open market is what drives growth. Decoupling from China poses risks to sound competition and global auto supply chains. What’s your comment?
Mao Ning: China’s Ministry of Commerce has responded to the EU’s announced anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese electric vehicles.
I would like to stress that China opposes all forms of trade protectionism. The action that the EU plans to take will disrupt the stability of global auto industrial and supply chains and will not serve anyone’s interests.
The EU needs to listen to what the industry has to say and provide a fair, non-discriminatory and predictable market environment for businesses of all countries.
China News Service: The 20th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit closed yesterday. What is their significance to the relations between China and ASEAN? What is China’s expectation for China-ASEAN relations in the next stage?
Mao Ning: The 20-year journey of the China-ASEAN Expo so far has witnessed the continued increase of exchanges and expansion of cooperation between China and ASEAN. Trade between the two sides went up by 16.8 times over the past two decades. Last year, the region accounted for 21.5 percent of the world’s economic aggregate, up from 6.1 percent in 2002. Life has improved tremendously for the over 2 billion people living in this part of the world. China-ASEAN relations have become the most shining example of the success and robustness of regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific.
As a new journey starts, China will continue to pursue amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in our relations with neighbouring countries, and work with ASEAN countries to build a closer community with a shared future for China and ASEAN and make greater contribution to development and prosperity in the region and beyond.
Beijing Youth Daily: The foreign ministry has taken a series of steps lately to facilitate cross-border travel. Could you tell us whether there will be other new steps next??
Mao Ning: To ease visa application for foreigners, after consulting other government departments, our foreign ministry has recently improved visa application forms. The improvement involves seven major items and 15 sub-items, concerning mainly the applicants’ educational background, family information and previous travel history. The amount of information required is reduced. For example, the applicant only needs to provide international travel history during the past one year, instead of five years. For educational background, the applicant only needs to provide the highest diploma obtained. This will greatly shorten the time it will take to fill out the forms and ease the application process.
The new forms have been put online today. The foreign ministry will continue to facilitate people-to-people exchange between China and other countries and serve high-quality development and high-level opening up.?
CCTV: According to reports, Saudi Arabia and the Houthis recently held negotiations in Riyadh. Saudi Minister of Defense Prince Khalid bin Salman said that Saudi Arabia is committed to promoting dialogue among all parties to reach a comprehensive political solution under UN supervision. Do you have any comment?
Mao Ning: We commend and support Saudi Arabia’s active efforts towards de-escalation and a political settlement on Yemen. We hope relevant parties in Yemen will continue seeking to resolve differences through dialogue and consultation. China will continue to work with regional countries and the international community to play a constructive role in restoring peace and stability in Yemen at an early date.
CCTV: On September 19, the UK government issued a six-monthly report on Hong Kong, which contains criticism on Hong Kong affairs. What’s the foreign ministry’s comment?
Mao Ning: We see in this so-called report the usual irresponsible, non-factual accusations. It is a blatant interference in matters related to Hong Kong, which are China’s internal affairs. This is also against the principles of international law and the basic norms of international relations. China strongly deplores and firmly opposes it.
The success story of Hong Kong is indisputable. Since its return to the motherland, One Country, Two Systems has been a success in Hong Kong, which is widely recognized. Hong Kong has actively integrated itself into China’s development and continues to serve as an important bridge and window between the Chinese mainland and the rest of the world. Hong Kong’s economy continues to thrive, and its status as an international financial, shipping and trade centre remains solid. Constitutional order continues to function well, national security is upheld, the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” is implemented, and Hong Kong enjoys bright prospects in advancing its democracy.
The Sino-British Joint Declaration should not be wrongly cited. The essence?of the Joint Declaration is to ensure that China resumes the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong. The UK has no sovereignty, jurisdiction or right of “supervision” over Hong Kong after its return to China.?
We do not accept irresponsible accusations against the measures for law-based governance in Hong Kong. Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. The legal basis for the Central government’s governance of Hong Kong is China’s Constitution and the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR. The National Security Law?and the improved electoral system have enabled Hong Kong to enter a new stage in which it has restored order and is set to thrive. The SAR government’s?law-based action regarding those suspected of violating the National Security Law is a just move to maintain the rule of law in Hong Kong and what is required to safeguard China’s national sovereignty and security. It is constitutional, legal and beyond reproach.
The UK needs to know that no foreign interference will ever shake the Chinese government’s firm resolve to fully and faithfully implement One Country, Two Systems and no attempt to destabilize Hong Kong?will ever succeed.?
AFP: Syrian President Bashar Assad is expected to visit China from tomorrow. Do you have any details about the visit? And also, would it be the very first meeting between him and President Xi Jinping?
Mao Ning: We will release information in due course. Please check back for updates.
Reuters: Russia has said that President Vladimir Putin will meet President Xi Jinping for talks in Beijing in October. When will President Putin be visiting Beijing for the talks? And will he also be attending the Belt and Road forum?
Mao Ning: The leaders of China and Russia maintain close strategic communication. As to your specific question, I have nothing to share at the moment.
Bloomberg: Chinese diplomats issued a warning to all other permanent missions to the UN telling them not to attend an event that was taking place on the sidelines of the General Assembly. This event, which took place Tuesday afternoon New York time, was about human rights abuses against Uyghurs in Xinjiang. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on the actions of the Chinese diplomats warning other permanent missions not to attend this briefing?
Mao Ning: Xinjiang is a place that enjoys social stability, economic prosperity, ethnic unity and religious harmony, and the human rights of people of all ethnic groups are under full protection. Some anti-China elements have kept producing rumours and lies about Xinjiang to vilify China and hold back China’s development. But the truth is there for all to see. In recent years, nearly 100 countries have spoken up at the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and on other multilateral occasions related to human rights to express support for China on Xinjiang, which shows the fair judgement people have on this.
NHK: It was reported that a Japanese citizen arrested by Chinese authorities in March this year was put under criminal detention today, according to relevant sources. Can the foreign ministry share more information?
Mao Ning: I am not aware of the specifics that you mentioned. China is a country under the rule of law. The case will be handled in accordance with the law, and the lawful rights and interests of the person concerned will be protected.
Bloomberg: It’s reported that the Chinese Ministry of State Security has said that the US has been infiltrating Huawei by monitoring Huawei’s servers. They said that this has been happening going back as far as 2009. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this accusation by the Ministry of State Security about US monitoring of Huawei since 2009?
Mao Ning: I am not aware of the specifics. I’d refer you to competent Chinese authorities.
Bloomberg: The US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said that she was upset when Huawei launched a new advanced phone with an advanced chip during her visit to China. Is there any sense that this timing of the launch might have been an effort to embarrass the secretary while she was in China? What is the foreign ministry’s comment on Gina Raimondo saying that she was upset about the launch of the Huawei phone during her visit? It coincided with her visit.
Mao Ning: It’s the company’s own decision as to when to launch a new cellphone.?
We oppose the US’s abuse of the concept of national security to hobble Chinese companies. That discriminatory and unfair practice undermines the principle of free trade and international economic and trade rules, destabilizes the global industrial and supply chains and serves the interests of no one. The US needs to be aware that containing and suppressing China will not stop its development, but will only make China more determined and capable in pursuing self-reliance and tech innovation.
Reuters: When will the Belt and Road forum be held next month? Which dates?
Mao Ning: We will release information in due course. Please check back for updates.
Bloomberg: Just regarding the BRI again and the question earlier about the visit of Russian President Putin. Is there any sense that Russia will join the BRI or declare in some way or other, sort of a more formal agreement or arrangement under the BRI? Is that something that we could expect?
Mao Ning: We maintain communication with BRI partners.?
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