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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on May 27, 2024
2024-05-27 19:04

CCTV: The ninth Trilateral Summit Meeting among China, Japan and the ROK was held in Seoul. Premier Li Qiang attended the meeting. Could you share more details with us?

Mao Ning: This morning, Premier Li Qiang, ROK President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida jointly attended the ninth Trilateral Summit Meeting among China, Japan and the ROK in Seoul. As the trilateral cooperation mechanism marks its 25th anniversary, to hold the trilateral summit meeting among the ROK, Japan and China again after more than four years is highly meaningful and symbolizes the resumption and a new start for the trilateral cooperation.

China attaches great importance to China-Japan-ROK cooperation. Premier Li Qiang put forward a five-point proposal to deepen the trilateral cooperation. First, fully resume China-Japan-ROK cooperation. The three countries need to respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, fully unleash cooperation potential, nurture new cooperation and make our bilateral relations and trilateral cooperation mutually reinforcing. Second, deepen economic and trade connectivity. The three countries need to keep industrial and supply chains stable and unimpeded, and restart and complete negotiations on a China-Japan-ROK FTA as soon as possible. Third, champion cooperation in technology innovation. The three countries need to strengthen collaborative innovation and cooperation in frontier areas. Fourth, forge closer bonds for people-to-people and cultural exchange. The three countries need to seize the opportunity of the China-Japan-ROK Year of Cultural Exchange to promote heart-to-heart amity as close neighbors. Fifth, advance sustainable development. The three countries need to step up exchange and cooperation on low-carbon transition, climate change, aging societies and response to epidemics, and explore and develop more China-Japan-ROK+X Cooperation projects.

China stands ready to take this summit meeting as an opportunity to work with the ROK and Japan to strengthen strategic communication, deepen political trust, demonstrate a new sense of responsibility and commitment, promote steady and sustained China-Japan-ROK cooperation and make greater contribution to regional stability and prosperity.

Bloomberg: China’s engagement in the global system of commerce was criticized by the G7 finance ministers. They pointed to things such as China’s use of non-market policies and practices, saying that such activities undermine workers, industries and the economic resilience in G7 members. What’s the Foreign Ministry’s comment on the G7 finance ministers’ criticism of its behaviors?

Mao Ning: I’d refer you to competent Chinese authorities for anything specific. Let me just say that China’s economic success over the past 40-plus years is the success of reform and opening up, and the success of the effective combination of market and government. China does not accept G7’s unilateral criteria of “non-market policies and practices.” It is the discriminatory practices of a handful of Western countries targeting particular countries and businesses that are the real “non-market practices” and “distortive policies.”

The G7’s “Chinese overcapacity” hype and attempt to restrict China’s new energy products are completely against the facts and the laws of economics. They are the product of protectionism and serve no one’s interest.

Reuters: More than 2,000 people were buried alive in a landslide in Papua New Guinea last week and relief efforts have been challenging due to damaged roads and unstable terrain. We would like to ask if China will be offering any assistance to Papua New Guinea. And if so, what kind of assistance is being dispatched?

Mao Ning: China is closely following the massive deadly landslide in Enga Province in Papua New Guinea. We mourn for the lives lost and extend heartfelt sympathies to their families and those hit by the disaster. President Xi Jinping has sent a message of condolences to Governor General Bob Dadae.

China stands ready to help with the relief and reconstruction efforts in light of Papua New Guinea’s needs. We believe that the people of Papua New Guinea will get through this difficult time and rebuild their homes soon.

Hubei Media Group: We have learned that Chinese nationals stranded due to the closure of airport in the French territory of New Caledonia have been safely relocated. Can you share more details?

Mao Ning: Since unrest broke out in the French territory of New Caledonia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has attached great importance to the safety of Chinese nationals there, and directed the Chinese Embassy in France to closely follow the developments, get timely updates on the Chinese nationals, issue security alerts, and do everything possible to protect the safety of Chinese nationals there. Meanwhile, the Ministry has also instructed Chinese embassies in France, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore to help with the transfer and evacuation of Chinese nationals. With the concerted efforts of various parties, 18 previously stranded Chinese nationals safely left New Caledonia on a chartered plane of the French government on May 26. We thank relevant countries for their assistance. 

Antara: The tenth World Water Forum in Bali, Indonesia was concluded last week and has adopted a Declaration on “Water for Shared Prosperity,” which covers the issues of the right to access safe drinking water and sanitation, also the importance of inclusive coordination and collaboration for integrated water resources management policies. How does the Chinese government support the declaration for this water preservation?

Mao Ning: We noted that the Indonesian government successfully hosted the 10th World Water Forum, which has received positive response and extensive participation from the international community and provided an important platform for the world to address water challenges, build consensus on water issues and share successful experience in water governance.

In recent years, extreme weather events have occurred frequently around the world, and floods and droughts have been more complex and unpredictable. The Chinese government attaches great importance to international cooperation in water conservancy. We are committed to working with archipelagic and small island countries, including Indonesia, to jointly address the challenge of climate change. In recent years, China and Indonesia have carried out exchanges and cooperation in sustainable water resources management, water conservancy construction, mountain disaster prevention and control, flood and drought disaster prevention and other fields. Under the framework of Asian regional cooperation and China-ASEAN cooperation, the two countries have carried out practical cooperation projects, involving dam construction and management and seawater desalination. These moves are of great significance for promoting the sustainable development of the economy and the society.

Water is fundamental to human survival and development. China is ready to work with other countries to strengthen practical water cooperation, exchange ideas on water control, discuss water control strategies, share experience, jointly build water control platforms, accelerate the implementation of the water-related goals of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.

Reuters: Will China consider visa exemptions for South Korean and Japanese citizens as part of the trilateral cooperation announced?

Mao Ning: China has always been an advocate of close people-to-people and cultural exchange under the framework of China-Japan-ROK cooperation. We stand ready to work with the other parties to raise the level of facilitation for cross-border travel.

Shenzhen TV: The Wall Street Journal reported on May 19, citing US government officials, that undersea cables that ferry internet traffic across the Pacific Ocean could be vulnerable to tampering by Chinese repair ships, and they have privately delivered an “unusual” warning to US companies including Google and Meta. US officials claimed that the cable maintenance ships of S. B. Submarine Systems have periodically disappeared from satellite ship-tracking services, and the US suspected that the vessels could engage in clandestine tapping of undersea data streams and mapping of the ocean floor to conduct reconnaissance on US military communication links, or theft of intellectual property. What is China’s comment?

Mao Ning: We noted that relevant company has issued a response to the false claims, saying that the company strictly complies with relevant laws and regulations, international practices and industry standards, and daily operations are in line with the regulations set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The Chinese government always encourages our companies to observe market principles and international rules in their operations. US officials’ claims are completely baseless and constitute ill-intentioned vilification of Chinese companies. We firmly oppose such US moves of overstretching the concept of national security and attacking and smearing Chinese companies.

By vilifying and suppressing telecommunications companies from China and the rest of the world, the US government intends to build a global monitoring system dominated by the US with no rival and under no oversight, so as to leave a door open for its blatant eavesdropping and espionage. In his book The Chip Trap, Marc Lassus, founder of French smart card producer Gemplus, revealed how US security services victimized him and seized control of Gemplus to eavesdrop on the rest of the world. The higher the pitch of the US framing of others, the clearer the world will see what a “hacking empire” the US truly is.

We urge the US government, which is obsessed with perpetuating its supremacy in cyberspace and telecommunications, to reflect on its behavior, stop vilifying Chinese companies, and stop these “thief-crying-stop-thief” stunts.

China News Service: We noted that Pakistan held a press conference on the investigation results of the March 26 terrorist attack on the convoy carrying Chinese personnel of the Dasu hydropower project. What’s China’s response? 

Mao Ning: China attaches great importance to the important progress made by the Pakistani side on the investigation of the terrorist attack. China supports Pakistan in continuing to get to the full bottom of what happened, and hunting down and bringing to justice all the perpetrators. China will continue to work with Pakistan to strengthen security cooperation and ensure the safety and security of Chinese personnel, projects, and institutions in Pakistan.

Terrorism is a common enemy of humanity and a scourge against regional development and stability. China calls on countries in the region to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation, root out all terrorist organizations, remove their breeding ground, and protect the common security and development interests of all countries.

Bloomberg: US lawmakers have expressed support for Taiwan’s defense. This is during a trip to the island just days after China ended military exercises there. For example, Representative Michael McCaul said that he would be calling on relevant parties to speed up arms shipments for the purposes of deterrence. What’s the Foreign Ministry’s comment on these remarks?

Mao Ning: In disregard of China’s strong opposition, relevant members of the US Congress still decided to visit Taiwan, which violates the one-China principle, the three China-US joint communiqués, and the US government’s own political commitment to maintaining only unofficial relations with the Taiwan region, and sends a severely wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. China firmly opposes it and has made serious protests to the US. We will take necessary measures to firmly defend national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

There is but one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. China firmly opposes military contact between the US and Taiwan and any attempt to arm Taiwan. We urge relevant members of the US Congress to stop playing the “Taiwan card,” stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, stop supporting and conniving at “Taiwan independence” separatist forces, and stop undermining China-US relations and cross-Strait peace and stability.

Global Times: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a decision on its website on May 22 on countermeasures against 12 US defense corporations and 10 senior executives. Is this China’s response to US sanctioning of Chinese companies for Russia-related issues and the US side attending the “inauguration” of the leader of the Taiwan region?

Mao Ning: China announced the relevant decision in the No.7 decree of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on May 22. China firmly opposes unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction that have no basis in international law or authorization of the UN Security Council. We will continue to take all measures necessary to protect our legitimate and lawful rights and interests. China urges the US to deeply reflect on its behavior, face up to its responsibility for the outbreak and escalation of the Ukraine crisis, stop vilification and pressuring, and stop abusing illicit unilateral sanctions. 

The Taiwan question is at the core of China’s core interests, and the first red line that cannot be crossed in China-US relations. No country, organization or individual shall underestimate the strong determination, will and ability of the Chinese government and people in defending our nation’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, or imagine that they could step on or even cross the line on the Taiwan question without paying any price.

Reuters: Ukraine’s President Zelenskyy has appealed to Chinese and US leaders to attend the peace summit in Switzerland next month. Will China be attending? And if yes, who will China send?

Mao Ning: On the Ukraine crisis, China has always upheld a just and objective position and worked hard to promote peace talks. We encourage and support all efforts that are conducive to the peaceful resolution of the crisis, and support an international peace conference held at a proper time that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine, with equal participation of all parties as well as fair discussion of all peace plans. China stands ready to maintain communication with the international community on pushing for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

Bloomberg: I think there’s talk that China will send the delegation, but not a high-level delegation. So I guess the question is, will you send the delegation or not to the Swiss peace forum?

Mao Ning: I don’t have anything to share on that right now.

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