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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on April 25, 2023

2023-04-25 18:00


State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang will chair the fourth China-Central Asia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on April 27 in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province. Kazakhstan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murat Nurtleu, Kyrgyzstan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Kulubaev Zheenbek Moldokanovich, Tajikistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sirojiddin Muhriddin, Turkmenistan’s First Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vepa Hajiyev, and Uzbekistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bakhtiyor Saidov will travel to China for the meeting.  


To further facilitate cross-border travel, China is taking new steps to refine pre-departure testing requirements guided by the principle of ensuring safe and orderly travel and keeping the measures science-based and well-targeted. Starting from April 29, inbound travelers may choose to take antigen tests within 48 hours prior to boarding other than nucleic acid tests. Airlines will no longer check pre-departure testing results.

We would like to remind inbound and outbound travelers to look after their health in the run-up to their departure and strictly follow the COVID protocols of China and their travel destinations so that they can have a healthy and pleasant trip and a safe journey home.

China will continue to refine prevention and control policies in a science-based manner in light of the evolving epidemic situation to ensure the safe, healthy and orderly travel between China and other countries.  

CNR: Could you share the main agenda of the upcoming fourth China-Central Asia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting to be held in Xi’an?

Mao Ning: All parties agreed at the third China-Central Asia Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in June 2022 to establish the China-Central Asia Summit mechanism. Consensus was also reached that the inaugural summit will be held by China. The main task of the upcoming foreign ministers’ meeting is to make full political preparations for a successful summit. The six countries will exchange views on the arrangements for the summit, China-Central Asia cooperation in various fields, and international and regional issues of shared interest.

Reuters: How many Chinese nationals have been evacuated from Sudan? Are there any Chinese who want to leave Sudan yet are still stranded there? If yes, how many are they? Has any Chinese been killed since the fighting started?

Mao Ning: The security situation in Sudan remains complex and challenging. The safety of the 1,000-plus overseas compatriots has been uppermost in the thought of the CPC Central Committee. The Chinese Foreign Ministry and Chinese embassies and consulates in Sudan and its neighboring countries have worked non-stop to make careful and thoughtful assessment of the situation on the ground to create the conditions and help safely evacuate our nationals in Sudan. With the concerted efforts of all parties, most of the Chinese nationals in Sudan have been safely evacuated in batches and in an orderly manner to the ports on Sudan’s border or Sudan’s neighboring countries. Proper arrangements will be made for them. 

In the meantime, we once again remind Chinese nationals in Sudan to raise security awareness, stay in close contact with our Embassy in Sudan, closely follow the notices from the Embassy and enhance security precautions. Our diplomats will continue to be there for our compatriots in Sudan and do their utmost and everything possible to protect their safety. For the Chinese citizens still in Sudan, we will make proper arrangements according to their wishes. 

So far, we have not received any reports of Chinese fatalities.

CCTV: Given the fighting in Sudan, US President Biden said that the US military conducted an operation to extract US government personnel from Khartoum and that “we’re temporarily suspending operations at the US Embassy in Sudan”. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said the country’s armed forces evacuated diplomatic staff and their family members from Sudan. The French foreign ministry announced its decision to close its embassy and evacuate diplomats. Is China also planning to close its Embassy in Sudan and evacuate the staff?

Mao Ning: Since the situation escalated in Sudan, the safety of our overseas compatriots and institutions has been uppermost in the thoughts of the Party and the Chinese government. Our diplomatic mission in Sudan has stood on its post, closely followed the developments on the ground and been doing everything possible to support and help protect the safety of Chinese nationals and institutions there. When evacuating from danger, our diplomats will always be the last to leave. Meanwhile, the Chinese Foreign Ministry will also take effective action to ensure the safety of our embassy staff. 

China News Service: Ethiopia’s federal government just held a recognition event in Addis Ababa to honor those who have contributed to the country’s peace process. We noted that Mr. Xue Bing, Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, attended the event and was awarded a certificate of recognition by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: Since November last year, Ethiopia saw the end of its internal conflict and the beginning of a peace process, which has since made sound progress. This is a victory for unity and dialogue between the parties in Ethiopia and serves the interests of all Ethiopians. It is indeed a good cause worth celebrating. We once again send our warm congratulations to the people of Ethiopia!

Ethiopia is key to stability in the Horn of Africa. A peaceful and stable Ethiopia is of great significance for the region’s lasting peace and security. China firmly supports Ethiopia in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity. At the same time, we have been actively promoting talks for peace and building consensus for peace. The Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has been making active efforts for this and working together with regional countries including Ethiopia to implement the Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa. The certificate of recognition awarded by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to the Chinese special envoy reflects high recognition of the Chinese side’s important and constructive role.

Ethiopia is China’s important cooperation partner in Africa. China stands ready to support its post-conflict reconstruction and economic recovery to the best of our capability. We also stand ready to work with all parties in the international community to pool wisdom and strength and turn the Horn of Africa into a region of peace, cooperation and common development.

Reuters: The UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs will, in a speech, urge China to be transparent about its military expansion and point out that “secrecy can only increase the risk of tragic miscalculation”. What is your comment?

Mao Ning: China is committed to developing friendly and cooperative relations with all countries based on equality and mutual respect. We are committed to jointly addressing global challenges and promoting world peace and development through mutually beneficial cooperation. China is ready to seek cooperation with the UK. At the same time, we will firmly safeguard our sovereignty, security and development interests. We hope that the UK will create a favorable environment for exchanges and cooperation between our two countries through concrete actions.

You mentioned China’s military strength. I would like to tell you that China is the only country in the world that has pledged to “keep to a path of peaceful development” in its Constitution. We advance modernization in a peaceful way and have never invaded any country. China has always pursued a national defense policy that is defensive in nature. Our national defense building aims at safeguarding its own security. The accusation about China’s “military expansion” is groundless.

Reuters: The Guatemalan President today pledged his firm support for the “Republic of Taiwan”. Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: The fact that China has established diplomatic relations with 182 countries proves that standing up for the one-China principle is the right thing to do. It has the overwhelming support of the international community and represents the trend of the world. The DPP authorities’ self-deceptive attempt to seek wider “international space” is moving toward a dead end. The one-China principle is a universally recognized basic norm in international relations and a prevailing consensus among the international community. “Taiwan independence” leads nowhere. Any move that goes against the trend of the world and international justice and clings to a wrong position is doomed to fail. We also urge the Giammattei administration to stop emboldening the DPP authorities in its wrongdoing and stop going against the overwhelming international trend and the aspiration of the people in Guatemala just to serve its selfish interest.   

Reuters: Japan says it detected China’s Shandong (aircraft) carrier and six vessels in its strike group passing through the waters about 360 kilometers south of Yonaguni Island on Monday evening. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: I’ll refer you to the Ministry of National Defense.

Kyodo News: It is said that China’s Procuratorate prosecuted a commentator of Guangming Daily. Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: I do not have specific information about the case.

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