China Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian held a regular press conference on July 4 and answered a wide range of questions.
CCTV: At the recent High-level Dialogue on Global Development, many leaders of participating countries said that China’s Global Development Initiative (GDI) meets the development needs of relevant countries and will continue to support the GDI. Can you brief us on the progress of the GDI and plans on the work going forward?
Zhao Lijian: Since President Xi Jinping put forward the Global Development Initiative (GDI) last September, the initiative has received positive and warm responses. More than 100 countries and many international organizations, including the UN, have supported the GDI and nearly 60 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI set up by China on the UN platform. As you said, at the recent High-level Dialogue on Global Development, leaders of many countries spoke highly of the GDI.
Looking ahead, China will work together with the international community to actively implement the outcomes of the Dialogue, encourage the international community to focus on development issues, increase input in global development cooperation, advance practical cooperation in key areas as?set?out?in?the?GDI?including?poverty alleviation, food security, COVID-19 response and vaccines, development financing, climate change and green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity, develop a project pool and enhance knowledge sharing on development..?
AFP: Japan lodged a protest to China after a Chinese naval vessel sailed near the disputed Senkaku Islands. What’s China’s response?
Zhao Lijian: Diaoyu Dao and its affiliating islands have been part of China’s territory. The activities of Chinese vessels in the adjacent waters are legitimate and lawful. The Japanese side has no right to point fingers over these activities.
Kyodo News: This morning Russian navy vessel also sailed in the contiguous zone around Senkaku Islands. I wonder whether China and Russia acted in concert this time?
Zhao Lijian: I made China’s position very clear just now. I suppose what you said is your own interpretation. If you are interested in Russia’s action, maybe you or your colleagues could take this question to the Russian side.?
Reuters: Earlier today the US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns said at a forum that he hopes the Chinese foreign ministry spokesmen would stop repeating Russian propaganda by accusing NATO of starting the war in Ukraine and telling lies about American biolabs. What’s the Chinese foreign ministry’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: It is the US, not China, that has been spreading disinformation and telling lies. On Ukraine, China has always made its judgement independently on the basis of the history and the merits of the issue.?
Hubei Media Group: The freight transit yard of the China-Laos Railway’s Vientiane South Station was recently put into operation, which symbolizes the success in railway connectivity between China, Laos and Thailand. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: Indeed, the inauguration of the freight transit yard of the China-Laos Railway’s Vientiane South Station means faster, easier traffic on China-Laos-Thailand land-sea intermodal logistics transport channel. It means that to the north, the China-Laos Railway can now reach Chinese city hubs and connect with the China-Europe Railway Express network; and to the south, it can reach Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. This transforms Laos from a land-locked country into a land-linked hub enjoying unprecedented opportunities.
The China-Laos Railway stands as a vivid example of the high-quality Belt and Road cooperation between China and ASEAN countries and a strong testament to their joint efforts to implement the Global Development Initiative.
Xinhua News Agency: The recent success of the 14th BRICS Summit chaired by China received warm response at home and abroad. What’s China’s plan with the rest of its BRICS chairship?
Zhao Lijian: Not long ago, the 14th BRICS Summit was held successfully. Leaders of the five countries gathered virtually to hold in-depth exchange of views on enhancing BRICS cooperation, safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, reaching broad common understandings. The Summit delivered a series of pioneering, guiding and institutional outcomes, which marks the beginning of a new journey in BRICS cooperation.
As the curtain fell on the successful Summit, the BRICS China Year has just passed the halfway mark. As the chair, China will continue to advance the BRICS agenda this year as planned. In the latter half of the year, we plan to hold about 80 meetings and other events. In July for instance, we will hold important ministerial meetings in such fields as communications, anti-corruption, labor and employment, and activities in various sectors and at various levels including intellectual property, think tanks, and media. China looks forward to working hand in hand with fellow BRICS countries to act on the outcomes and common understandings reached at the Summit, further consolidate the BRICS strategic partnership, deepen practical cooperation across the board, constantly strengthen institution building, and inject strong impetus into high-quality BRICS development.
The following questions were raised after the press conference
What is China’s comment on the recent incidents in Nukus, capital of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan some days ago?
Zhao Lijian: China has noted the incidents in Uzbekistan. As Uzbekistan’s friendly neighbour and comprehensive strategic partner, China supports the Uzbek government in maintaining national stability, and believes that under the leadership of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan will maintain tranquillity and unity.
According to reports, on June 30, the Ecuadorian government and the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE) signed a peace agreement, which basically ended the recent protests and demonstrations in the country. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: China and Ecuador are comprehensive strategic partners. China welcomes the peaceful settlement of the differences by relevant parties and the maintenance of stable social order in Ecuador through dialogue and negotiation under the framework of the constitution and law.