China FO presser- Sept 21, 2023
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning held a Regular Press Conference on Sept 21, 2023.
CCTV: Could you share more details about Prime Minister Prachanda’s visit? How does China view its current relations with Nepal? What does China hope to achieve through the visit?
Mao Ning: Prime Minister Prachanda has visited China many times and made important contribution to the growth of China-Nepal relations. During the upcoming visit, President Xi Jinping will meet with him. Premier Li Qiang and Chairman Zhao Leji will hold talks and meet with him respectively. The two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on deepening traditional friendship, expanding mutually beneficial cooperation and international and regional issues of mutual interest.
China and Nepal are traditional friends, neighbors and strategic cooperative partners. Since our two countries established diplomatic relations 68 years ago, no matter how the international or regional situations have evolved, China-Nepal relations have maintained sound and steady progress. Our two countries have given each other understanding and support on issues concerning our respective core interests, making this relationship a good example of equality and win-win cooperation between countries of different sizes. In recent years, our two countries conducted frequent high-level exchanges, enhanced communication and cooperation in economic and cultural fields, and maintained close coordination and collaboration on international and regional affairs. China stands ready to work with Nepal to deepen strategic mutual trust, expand practical cooperation, advance the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and elevate the strategic cooperative partnership to a new height through the visit.
Kyodo News: Since Japan started discharging the “treated water” from the Fukushima nuclear power plant into the sea, the Japanese Embassy in China has received about 4,00,000 harassing calls believed to originate from China. Some included threatening content. What’s China’s comment on this?
Mao Ning: China is committed to protecting the safety and lawful rights and interests of foreign diplomatic and consular missions and foreign nationals in China in accordance with the law. As far as I know, the Chinese embassy and consulates in Japan have recently received a barrage of harassing calls from numbers inside Japan, which have seriously disturbed the normal operation of our missions. We urge Japan to ensure the safety of the Chinese embassy and consulates and Chinese institutions, companies and nationals, including tourists, in Japan. Japan needs to guide public perception in the right way, stop hyping up the matter or trying to shift public focus from its wrongdoing of ocean discharge.?
AFP: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Hangzhou this afternoon. First, when will he meet with President Xi? And second, what are the Chinese side’s expectations for his visit?
Mao Ning: China and Syria enjoy a profound friendship. Syria is one of the first Arab countries to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China and one of the co-sponsors of the UN General Assembly resolution that restored China’s lawful seat in the UN. Since the establishment of China-Syria diplomatic ties 67 years ago, China-Syria relations have maintained sound and steady growth. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attaches great importance to China-Syria relations. This is his second visit to China since he took office as president. President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders will meet with him and they will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest. We believe that President Bashar al-Assad’s visit will further deepen the mutual political trust and cooperation in various fields between the two countries and take bilateral relations to new heights.
Bloomberg: The Philippine government is considering filing a complaint against China for damage to its coral reefs in the South China Sea and they are planning or considering to do this before an international court. That’s according to the state’s lawyer. What’s the foreign ministry’s comment on the Philippines’ consideration of filing a complaint against China?
Mao Ning: The Philippines’ accusations have no factual basis. We urge relevant party of the Philippines to stop creating a political drama from fiction. If the Philippines truly cares about the ecological environment of the South China Sea, it should tow away the illegally “grounded” warship at Ren’ai Jiao as soon as possible, stop it from discharging polluted water into the ocean and not let the rusting warship bring irrevocable harm to the ocean.
People’s Daily: The Agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction was open for signature at the UN Headquarters in New York on September 20. We noted that China has signed the Agreement. Can you share more details with us?
Mao Ning: On September 20, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Ma Zhaoxu signed the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction Agreement (BBNJ Agreement) on behalf of China. Since the negotiations started in 2004, parties held in-depth discussions through the Ad-hoc Working Group under the UN General Assembly, the Preparatory Committee and the Intergovernmental Conference successively before the BBNJ Agreement was adopted by consensus. Such an outcome is hard won. The Agreement reflects international consensus on responding to marine risks and challenges in the spirit of true multilateralism and opens up a new chapter for international cooperation on marine biodiversity. It is yet another milestone in the history of the development of international laws of the sea.
Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization, China sees marine conservation as a high priority and played a positive and constructive role in the negotiations and conclusion of the BBNJ Agreement as part of our effort to uphold true multilateralism. We stand ready to enhance communication and cooperation with all parties and continue to work relentlessly for the effective conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity.
AFP: Russian President Vladimir Putin told Foreign Minister Wang Yi in St. Petersburg yesterday that he had accepted President Xi’s invitation to visit China next month. Can you provide any information on when specifically, this visit will happen?
Mao Ning: The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held in October this year. China and BRI partners are in close communication on this. We will officially release information in due course. We welcome countries and partners engaged in Belt and Road cooperation to come to Beijing, explore more possibilities for cooperation and achieve development together.?
Reuters: It was reported that China is expected to decide soon whether to formally arrest the Japanese businessman who was detained on suspicion of espionage. This is an Astellas Pharma executive. Could you confirm if this is the case?
Mao Ning: We have shared information on this case several times. This Japanese citizen is suspected of engaging in espionage activities and violating the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Counterespionage Law of the People’s Republic of China. Relevant Chinese authorities adopted compulsory measures against this Japanese citizen in accordance with the criminal procedure law. China protects the lawful rights and interests of the person concerned as the law dictates. In accordance with relevant international conventions and the China-Japan Consular Agreement, the Chinese side has provided facilitation for consular access by officials of the Japanese side to this individual. I need to stress that China is a country under the rule of law. All foreigners living and traveling in China must observe Chinese laws and those who violate the law and commit crimes will be held legally accountable. There have been similar cases involving Japanese citizens in recent years and the Japanese side needs to do more to ask their citizens not to engage in such activities.?
AFP: Germany is considering a ban on certain components made by Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE, excluding them from the country’s core 5G networks starting from 2026. Does the foreign ministry have a response to this matter?
Mao Ning: We are opposed to the politicization by any country of economic and tech issues. Countries should all provide a fair, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment for foreign companies.
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