Home > Spokesperson's Remarks
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on November 14, 2022
2022-11-14 19:30

CCTV: Premier Li Keqiang attended the leaders’ meetings on East Asia cooperation in Phnom Penh recently. Can you share some details with us?

Mao Ning: From November 11 to 13, Premier Li Keqiang attended the 25th China-ASEAN Summit, the 25th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Summit and the 17th East Asia Summit in Cambodia. This is a major multilateral diplomatic activity China has conducted toward neighboring countries after the 20th National Congress of the CPC. 

The China-ASEAN Summit was conducted with a focus on jointly building a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home, centered around development and cooperation, promoted high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, advanced the implementation of the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, and enriched the substance of China-ASEAN comprehensive strategic partnership. Premier Li Keqiang made suggestions on China-ASEAN cooperation going forward. First, we need to forge a stronger consensus on development cooperation to better synergize our development strategies and improve the quality and efficiency of our practical cooperation. Second, we need to bolster the drivers for development and use the opportunity of the official launch of negotiations on a new round of upgrade of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area to raise the quality and level of trade and investment cooperation. Third, we need to consolidate the underlying support for development. We will accelerate the establishment of the China-ASEAN Public Health Research and Development Collaborating Center and implement the China-ASEAN Human Resource Quality Improvement Program. Fourth, we need to enhance coordination on multilateral governance of development. 

At the ASEAN Plus China, Japan, ROK Summit this time, Premier Li Keqiang noted that we need to take the 25th anniversary of the APT as a new starting point and the renewal of the APT Cooperation Work Plan as an opportunity to boost the momentum of cooperation and work toward the long-term goal of establishing an East Asian Community. He stressed the following points: First, we need to take forward regional economic integration to further release the dividends of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Second, we need to deepen cooperation in the industrial division of labor in East Asia and upgrade regional industrial and supply chains while keeping them stable and smooth. Third, we need to build a stronger capacity for crisis response in finance, food and public health, deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and boost sustainable development.

At the East Asia Summit, Premier Li Keqiang made a three-point proposal. First, we need to maintain strategic dialogue and conduct constructive interactions. Second, we need to pursue mutually beneficial cooperation and tackle risks and challenges together. Third, we need to uphold ASEAN centrality and foster an inclusive regional architecture. China stands for maintaining peace and stability and unimpeded sea lanes in the South China Sea and is willing to work with ASEAN countries to make the South China Sea a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation. The Chinese side also stated its principled position on international and regional hotspot issues. 

Leaders of ASEAN countries attending the meetings said that China’s sustainable development has made important contributions to the common prosperity of the region. They applauded China’s continued support for ASEAN centrality and appreciated China’s tremendous assistance to ASEAN countries in fighting COVID-19, and actively responded to China’s propositions and proposals put forward at these meetings. Leaders attending the meetings said that all parties should stand in solidarity, deepen cooperation, follow through on RCEP, promote regional economic integration, jointly tackle global challenges, promote post-COVID recovery and sustainable development, and build a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous East Asia.

Reuters: Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said today that he will have a meeting tomorrow with Chinese President Xi Jinping and that he looks forward to a constructive discussion with the Chinese leader. Can the foreign ministry confirm the meeting and share other details?

Mao Ning: Improving China-Australia relations is in the fundamental interest of both sides. It is also the expectation of the people of China and Australia and the international community. We hope the Australian side will follow the principles of mutual respect and seeking common ground while reserving differences, work with China in the same direction and endeavor to achieve mutual benefit. We hope efforts will be made to rebuild trust between the two countries and bring bilateral relations back on track.

As to the bilateral meeting you asked about, I have nothing to share at the moment. Please check back for updates.

The Paper: Premier Li Keqiang just wrapped up his visit to Cambodia. Could you talk about the visit, for example, the outcomes and common understandings from it?

Mao Ning: From November 8 to 11, Premier Li Keqiang paid an official visit to Cambodia, during which he met with King Norodom Sihamoni and held talks with Prime Minister Hun Sen. The two sides issued a joint communiqué. They witnessed the signing of more than ten bilateral cooperation documents. It was a fruitful visit and further enhanced the iron-clad friendship between China and Cambodia in the following aspects:

First, China and Cambodia reiterated their commitment to building an even more unbreakable community with a shared future. Our two countries enjoy a deep friendship. No matter how the international landscape evolves, China-Cambodia relations will always feature mutual respect, equality and mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and major concerns. This is at the heart of what the China-Cambodia community with a shared future is about. During Premier Li’s visit, Cambodia reaffirmed commitment to the one-China principle, and China underscored the importance of a stable, growing and prosperous Cambodia to regional stability and development and China-ASEAN relations. Both sides stressed the importance of accelerating efforts to build a China-Cambodia community with a shared future in the new historical era. The two sides agreed to build on the momentum of the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year with plans to hold a series of events marking the Year of China-Cambodia Friendship and sign a new action plan on building a China-Cambodia community with a shared future. The aim is to send out a strong message that both countries stand by their abiding commitment of carrying forward their deep traditional friendship. 

Second, China and Cambodia agreed to enhance exchange and mutual learning and together enrich paths to modernization. China follows the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and pursues friendship and partnership in our diplomacy with our neighbors. We support Cambodia in following a development path suited to its national realities. During the visit, the two sides agreed to give full play to the role of the China-Cambodia Intergovernmental Coordination Committee to speed up linking up development strategies and advance cooperation in such priority areas as investment in production capacity, development of infrastructure, modern agriculture and green economy. China will help Cambodia expand and strengthen manufacturing, agriculture and tourism, which are Cambodia’s three economic pillars. This will give a strong boost to Cambodia’s development and people’s livelihood, and help developing countries discover more paths to modernization.

Third, China and Cambodia stressed the need to jointly safeguard multilateralism and international equity and justice. Amid the turbulence and change in today’s world, China expressed support for Cambodia in playing a more important role on the international and regional stage, and Cambodia supports the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and Global Security Initiative (GSI) proposed by China. The two sides reiterated their firm commitment to the basic norms governing international relations and international equity and justice, and rejecting any form of hegemonism and power politics, Cold War mentality, unilateralism and exclusionary circles, interference in other countries’ internal affairs and double standard. The two sides stressed common efforts to advance humanity’s common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, meet global challenges, and promote the building of a human community with a shared future. All this reflects the deep sense of commitment and responsibility of China and Cambodia.

We believe that with the concerted efforts of both sides, the endeavor to build a China-Cambodia community with a shared future will deliver even more fruitful results and make greater contribution to regional peace, stability and prosperity.

Reuters: Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary said this afternoon that Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida was scheduled to hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 17. Can the foreign ministry confirm the meeting and share any other details?

Mao Ning: I have nothing to share at the moment. Please check back for updates.

Yonhap News Agency: On November 13, leaders of the ROK, the US and Japan held a meeting and released the Phnom Penh Statement on Trilateral Partnership for the Indo-Pacific. The leaders “oppose any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in waters of the Indo-Pacific”, and “reiterate the importance of maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait”. What is China’s comment? 

Mao Ning: State-to-state exchange and cooperation needs to be conducive to mutual understanding and trust between regional countries, and to peace and stability of the region and the wider world, instead of targeting any third party or their interests. If the countries concerned truly hope to maintain peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, what they need to do is to follow the one-China principle, and join China in unequivocally opposing “Taiwan independence”.

The Asia-Pacific is a promising land for cooperation and development, not a chessboard for major-power rivalry. The countries concerned need to follow the trend of the times, abandon the Cold War mentality, stop piecing together exclusionary circles, and refrain from affecting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific.

China Daily: On November 13, the 14th Session of the Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP14) of the Convention on Wetlands (Ramsar Convention) in Wuhan successfully concluded, where a series of important outcomes were reached. Can you share more information? 

Mao Ning: Yesterday, COP14 completed its agenda and came to a successful conclusion. During the conference, China actively fulfilled its duties as Chair and helped the conference achieve fruitful outcomes. The Wuhan Declaration and a strategic framework on global wetlands conservation (2025-2030) were reached, and 21 resolutions were adopted at the meeting. The three resolutions proposed by China on the establishment of the International Mangrove Center, on integrating wetlands conservation and restoration into national sustainable development strategies, and on enhancing the conservation and management of small wetlands, received unanimous support from all parties and will boost high-quality advancement of global wetlands conservation. China was elected as the Chair of the Standing Committee of the Ramsar Convention, and will lead the Convention process in the next three years. This shows the international community’s recognition of China’s efforts in wetlands conservation and sustainable development.

For 30 years since China started to fulfill its commitments to the Ramsar Convention after its accession, 13 Chinese cities have been accredited international wetland cities. We have set up over 600 wetland nature reserves and more than 900 national wetland parks. We have formulated a system of protection mechanisms and introduced the Wetlands Conservation Law. With four percent of the world’s wetlands, China has met the diverse demands of one-fifth of the world’s population for wetlands. China is a doer in the conservation and rational use of wetlands in the world.

The report to the 20th National Congress of the CPC described Chinese modernization as modernization for harmony between humanity and nature and stressed the need to protect nature and the environment as we do our own lives. China will continue to actively fulfill its duties under the Ramsar Convention, plan and advance green development for the lofty purpose of achieving harmony between humanity and nature, and drive new progress in global wetlands conservation and other global ecological and environmental protection endeavors.

AFP: Can you tell us what China’s expectations are for the meeting between President Xi and US President Biden today?

Mao Ning: China’s US policy is consistent and clear. We are committed to mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation with the US. At the same time, we will firmly defend our sovereignty, security and development interests. China views and grows its relations with the US in accordance with the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation proposed by President Xi Jinping and calls for establishing the right way forward for our relations in the new era. It is important that the US work together with China to properly manage differences, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation, and bring China-US relations back to the right track of sound and steady development. 

Global Times: We noted that at the recent China-ASEAN Summit, China and ASEAN countries jointly released the Joint Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea. We also noted that positive progress is being made in the consultation between China and ASEAN countries on the Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea. Leaders of some ASEAN countries have also expressed expectations for that. Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: On November 11, the 25th China-ASEAN Summit issued the Joint Statement on the 20th Anniversary of the Declaration on the Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea. This is another important consensus document issued by China and ASEAN countries on the South China Sea in recent years and another important outcome in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea this year. The statement recognized the benefits of having the South China Sea as a sea of peace, friendship, and cooperation; commended the DOC’s important contributions to upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea and promoting friendly cooperation between parties; committed to strengthened efforts towards the full and effective implementation of the DOC; reaffirmed that disputes need to be resolved by peaceful means through consultations and negotiations by sovereign states directly concerned; stated that parties will undertake practical maritime cooperation initiatives, including in fields such as marine environmental protection, marine scientific research, safety of navigation and communication at sea, search and rescue operation and combating transnational crime; committed to the early adoption of a substantive and effective COC, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS.

The issuance of this statement shows the confidence and resolve of China and ASEAN countries in jointly upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea and once again proves that both sides have the full capability, confidence and wisdom to properly handle the South China Sea issue. China stands ready to work with ASEAN countries for the full and effective implementation of the DOC and accelerate the COC consultation, continuously deepen maritime dialogue and cooperation and build the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship, and cooperation.

The New York Times: Did a Chinese rocket break apart in orbit over the weekend? What caused it to break apart? And does the debris, the pieces of the rocket, pose any danger to space stations?

Mao Ning: According to our knowledge, what happened will not have an impact on China’s space station or the International Space Station. I would refer you to competent authorities for details.

TRT: Yesterday there was a terror attack in Istanbul in Turkey. And the Turkish Interior Minister announced that it was a terror attack and blamed it on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its Syrian affiliate. Do you have any comment on that?

Mao Ning: China has always opposed and condemned any attacks targeting civilians. We express sympathies to the people whose family members were killed and those who were injured in the incident.

The Hindu: Are China and India in communication over a possible meeting between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi in Bali at the G20? Also, how does China view the current overall state of relations with India? And does China see the G20 as an opportunity for a meeting given that the two leaders haven’t met in three years since November 2019?

Mao Ning: Maintaining sound relations is in the fundamental interest of both China and India and the two peoples. We hope the Indian side will work with China in the same direction, follow through on the important common understandings reached between the Chinese and Indian leaders, promote sound and steady development of the relations, and safeguard the common interests of the two countries and our fellow developing countries.

As to the question you raised about a meeting between the Chinese and Indian leaders, I have nothing to share.

Prasar Bharati: According to media reports, Sri Lankan government officials said last week that the timing of the IMF loan disbursement to Sri Lanka will be mainly depending on China’s decision on its bilateral and commercial debt restructuring modalities. Sri Lanka is looking for an IMF loan by mid-December, which is the deadline for them so far. So can you give me updates that China has resumed the restructuring talk to Sri Lanka?

Mao Ning: I’m not aware of the statement you just cited from Sri Lankan government officials. Let me say that China has been closely following the difficulties and challenges faced by Sri Lanka. We have provided support to Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic development to the best of our capacity. As for Sri Lanka’s China-related debts, China supports relevant financial institutions in discussing with Sri Lanka and properly resolving them. We also stand ready to work with relevant countries and financial institutions to continue to play a constructive role in easing Sri Lanka’s debt burden and realizing sustainable development.

AFP: Organizers at the Asia Rugby Sevens Series final in South Korea played a wrong song as the Chinese national anthem before the match between Hong Kong and South Korea on Sunday. Do you have any response to this?

Mao Ning: I have noted that the Hong Kong SAR government has issued a statement in response and the organizers have corrected and apologized for the mistake.

Bloomberg: US President Joe Biden expressed concerns to Cambodia’s leader about possible activities by China’s military at the naval base in the country. Does the foreign ministry have any comments on this?

Mao Ning: China and Cambodia are comprehensive strategic cooperative partners. Our cooperation in various sectors is open, transparent, legitimate and justified. 

The upgrade of the Ream Naval Base in Cambodia assisted by China is a normal activity of providing assistance to Cambodia. It is aimed at strengthening the Cambodian navy’s capability of defending its maritime territorial integrity. It comports with the domestic laws of both countries and with international law and international customary practices. It does not target any third party. The Cambodian side has made clarifications about this on multiple occasions. We hope countries outside the region will view the normal exchanges and cooperation between China and Cambodia as they are.

Prasar Bharati: Pakistani media reported that the Pakistani government has frozen nine bank accounts of two Chinese companies and four individuals for cheating the Pakistani people of 1.1 billion rupees through fraudulent investment schemes. Can you comment on this report and the issue?

Mao Ning: I’m not aware of what you mentioned. To give you our principled position, the Chinese government always asks Chinese companies and individuals to abide by international rules and local laws and regulations, and not to participate in any form of illegal or criminal activities.

Suggest to a Friend: