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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on March 29, 2024

2024-03-29 21:17

At the invitation of Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Stéphane Séjourné will visit China on April 1.

China News Service: China has announced the scheduled visit by Indonesia’s President-elect and Great Indonesia Movement Party General Chairman Prabowo Subianto to China. Could you share with us the program of the visit? How does China view the current China-Indonesia relations? What’s China’s expectation for the visit?

Lin Jian: At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, Indonesia’s President-elect Prabowo Subianto will visit China from March 31 to April 2. President Xi Jinping will hold talks with him. He will also meet with Premier Li Qiang. They will exchange views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest.

Both China and Indonesia are important major developing countries and emerging economies. We share a deep traditional friendship and close and strong cooperation. In recent years, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Joko Widodo, bilateral relations have sustained a strong momentum of growth and entered the new stage of jointly building a community with a shared future. Mr. Prabowo’s visit to China will be his first overseas visit as President-elect. It fully demonstrates the robustness of China-Indonesia ties. The visit is a great opportunity to further enhance traditional friendship, deepen comprehensive strategic cooperation, and better synergize development strategies to provide a good example of major developing countries embracing a shared future and working in solidarity for common development and a source of stability and force for good in the region and beyond.

Reuters: According to people familiar with the matter, the United States is drawing up a list of Chinese advanced chip-making factories barred from receiving key tools from the US. Does the Foreign Ministry have any comments to offer on this matter?

Lin Jian: The US launched tech blockade and restrictions on China and sanctions and suppression against Chinese companies with an intent to contain China’s development. They gravely harm the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies, violate market economy principles, undermine international trade rules, and destabilize the global industrial and supply chains. China remains firmly opposed to those US actions. We urge the US to correct the wrongdoings at once and stop illegal unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction against Chinese companies. China will continue to closely follow the developments and firmly safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies.

CCTV: Following the Dasu terrorist attack in Pakistan, has China sent a special team to Pakistan to handle the incident? 

Lin Jian: Right after the March 26 terrorist attack, China sent an inter-agency working group to Pakistan. After arriving in Pakistan on March 28, the working group immediately started engaging fully in the emergency response work with the Embassy in Pakistan and the company concerned. The head of the working group, Director-General of the Department of External Security Affairs of the Foreign Ministry Bai Tian met with Pakistani officials, including the Foreign Secretary, the Foreign Minister and the Minister for Interior. He asked the Pakistani side to conduct speedy and thorough investigations into the attack, properly handle ensuing matters, step up security with concrete measures, completely eliminate security risks and do everything possible to ensure the utmost safety of Chinese personnel, institutions and projects in Pakistan.

The Pakistani side said that investigations and efforts to handle the ensuing matters are fully underway and they are taking all possible steps to step up security for Chinese personnel, projects and institutions. The working group will undertake further related work in Pakistan. 

Global Times: It was reported that the Venezuelan National Electoral Council (CNE) announced recently that 13 candidates from 37 political organizations have registered for this year’s presidential election in the country. On March 27, the US government issued a statement, expressing concerns over CNE’s decision to prevent opposition parties from registering successive candidates, calling on the Venezuelan government to allow all candidates to run and campaign, and claiming that actions that run counter to the spirit and letter of the Barbados Agreement will have consequences. What is China’s comment?

Lin Jian: We respect Venezuela’s national and sovereign independence, support Venezuela in advancing the election in accordance with its constitution and laws, and oppose external interference in Venezuela’s internal affairs. China wishes Venezuela a steady and smooth election and calls for a positive and constructive role from the international community to that end.

CCTV: The China-Central Asia Summit was successfully held in Xi’an in May, 2023, marking a milestone in the history of exchanges between China and Central Asian countries. President Xi Jinping announced in Xi’an that the six countries agreed to set up a secretariat of the China-Central Asia mechanism in China. It has been almost one year since the summit, can you brief us on the latest development of China-Central Asia mechanism and the preparation for establishing a secretariat?

Lin Jian: Four years ago, China and the five Central Asian countries jointly set up the China-Central Asia mechanism to meet cooperation need and respond to the prevailing trend of the times. Over the past four years, the mechanism has been developing rapidly with fruitful cooperation outcomes in various fields. In May last year, the China-Central Asia Summit was successfully held in Xi’an, elevating the China-Central Asia mechanism to presidential level and ushering in the new era of China-Central Asia cooperation.

Guided by the consensus reached at the summit, fruitful results have been achieved in the cooperation between China and Central Asian countries. Over the past year, trade between China and the five Central Asian countries amounted to almost USD 90 billion, up by 27.2 percent year-on-year hitting a new record high. While cooperation in traditional areas, such as economy and trade, energy and agriculture, is booming, cooperation in emerging areas, such as high tech, green energy and e-commerce, shows numerous highlights. The capacity of China-Europe freight trains has been enhanced. Major projects including the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan highway and key section of the China-Tajikistan Highway Phase II project are well underway. Direct passenger flights connecting China and Central Asian countries have been increased to 68 with an improving multi-dimensional interconnectivity paradigm. The first Chinese culture center in Central Asia was launched in Kyrgyzstan, the Luban Workshop in Tajikistan is operating soundly and Confucius Institutes are popular among local people. There are now 80 pairs of sister cities between China and Central Asian countries. These tangible cooperation results showcase the unique advantage and enormous potential of the China-Central Asia mechanism.

Setting up a secretariat as soon as possible is an important step to deliver on the consensus reached by leaders of the six countries and a priority in developing the China-Central Asia mechanism. Taking this opportunity, I would like to announce: as agreed by China and the five Central Asian countries, the launching ceremony of the secretariat of the China-Central Asia mechanism will be held in Xi’an, Shaanxi province on March 30.

China is convinced that with joint effort of all sides, the China-Central Asia mechanism and its secretariat will continue to develop, promote high-quality cooperation between China and Central Asia and make greater contribution to building an even closer China-Central Asia community with a shared future.

Reuters: Taiwan’s navy chief will visit the United States next week to attend a military ceremony and discuss naval cooperation, according to sources. Would the Foreign Ministry wish to comment?

Lin Jian: We’ve noted the reports. China firmly opposes military collusion between the US and Taiwan.

There is but one China in the world and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The one-China principle is the political foundation of China-US relations. China urges the US to fully recognize the high sensitivity of the Taiwan question and the grave harm of relevant issues, deliver on its commitments with concrete actions, abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, immediately stop official interactions and military contact with Taiwan, and refrain from sending any wrong message to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.

CCTV: The Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024 released the other day the Asian Economic Outlook and Integration Progress Annual Report 2024. It stresses that Asia stands as a cornerstone for global economic growth in the post-pandemic era, and China will remain a major contributor to global economic growth. Many participants at Boao said they felt in Boao the magnetic effect of the Chinese market and are full of hope for China’s development and the opportunities it will bring. Could you share with us more details about the forum?

Lin Jian: Thank you for your interest in the forum. The Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024 was held in Boao, Hainan on the morning of March 28. Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Zhao Leji attended the opening plenary and delivered a keynote speech. At the forum, more than 1,500 political figures, business leaders and think tank scholars from over 60 countries and regions shared insights on the development outlook of Asia and beyond by focusing on this year’s theme “Asia and the World: Common Challenges, Shared Responsibilities”.

In his keynote speech, Chairman Zhao Leji noted, our world today is going through accelerated transformation unseen in a century; Peace and development face grave challenges; We should jointly maintain security in Asia, promote the development of Asia, champion cooperation in Asia, advance openness in Asia, carry forward Asian civilization, and build an Asian community with a shared future; Openness is the hallmark of contemporary China; China’s door to the world will never close, but will only open wider; China is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts with high-quality development, which will inject strong impetus into the world economy and provide more opportunities for the development of all countries, especially our neighbors in Asia.

Let me stress that as an important member of the family of Asian nations, China will firmly advance high-standard opening up, drive high-quality growth by growing new quality productive forces, and actively promote regional cooperation. We hope to work with other countries to come up with more good solutions at Boao, draw on our Asian wisdom, and make new contribution to a brighter future of Asia and beyond.

Ukrinform News Agency: International Atomic Energy Agency yesterday issued statement regarding Zaporizhzhya Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine, occupied by Russia, in which said that the Russian military is firing artillery from the territory of the plant. Military activity at industrial site of ZNPP, the largest nuclear power plant in Europe, may cause a large-scale nuclear disaster, the consequences of which are difficult to predict. Can you comment on such actions of the Russians at the occupied Ukrainian ZNPP, and can you say whether the Chinese side called on Russian authorities to behave more carefully at this nuclear plant?

Lin Jian: China attaches great importance to nuclear safety in Ukraine. China specifically called for keeping nuclear power plants safe in its position paper on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

The issue of nuclear safety is one aspect of the Ukraine crisis. Its resolution ultimately depends on the prospects for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. Only by cooling down the situation and restoring peace as soon as possible can nuclear safety risks be fundamentally eliminated. All parties need to work in a responsible way for the proper settlement of the Ukraine crisis. China will continue playing a constructive role to this end.

Beijing Youth Daily: A follow-up question on French Foreign Minister’s visit to China. Could you share with us the program of the visit? What’s China’s expectation for the visit?

Lin Jian: During his visit to China, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi and Foreign Minister Séjourné will hold talks and meet the press together.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of China-France diplomatic ties and the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism. In recent years, under the joint guidance of the two presidents, bilateral relations have sustained a sound momentum of growth. The two countries have had frequent high-level interactions, made steady progress in exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and maintained sound multilateral communication and coordination. The two sides have also worked together to respond to global challenges.

This will be Foreign Minister Séjourné’s first visit to China after he assumed the office of Foreign Minister. China looks forward to exchanging views with France on bilateral ties, China-EU relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. We look to work with France to sustain the sound momentum of dialogue and make more progress in bilateral cooperation.

Hubei Media Group: The session on the Global Security Initiative of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024 was held yesterday afternoon. Could you share with us more details on the session?

Lin Jian: The Global Security Initiative: Addressing Security Challenges and Promoting World Peace session of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024 was held on the afternoon of March 28. Vice Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong attended the session and delivered a keynote speech. The session was also attended by close to 100 guests, including Chinese and foreign political figures and heads of international and regional organizations.

As the Global Security Initiative is about to celebrate its second anniversary, the session is an important event held by China in Boao where the initiative was first announced by President Xi Jinping. China shared in detail the essence and defining features of the initiative and called on the international community to enhance the international consensus on safeguarding common security and advancing the peaceful settlement of hotspot issues. We call for promoting more practical cooperation for international security, zooming in on the key regions and turning Asia into a case in point of the Global Security Initiative cooperation.

The Chinese and foreign guests present spoke highly of what we have achieved since the initiative was put forth and expressed expectation for the global efforts in upholding peace and security in world. We will continue working in solidarity with all parties in the international community to further implement the Global Security Initiative and build a better world with lasting peace and universal security. 

Xinhua News Agency: It’s reported that on March 28, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, President of the Supreme Privy Council to His Majesty the Cambodian King delivered a speech at the opening plenary of the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference 2024. He expressed worry about the geopolitics dominating the narrative on the global economy, and criticized some countries for suppressing the development of other countries by piecing together countries, destabilizing on purpose global industrial and supply chains, and sabotaging global governance and the interests of other countries. He called on all countries to uphold multilateralism and oppose decoupling and severing of supply chains. Samdech Techo Hun Sen spoke highly of China’s model of development that benefits other countries without sacrificing their interests. What’s your comment? 

Lin Jian: China appreciates Samdech Techo Hun Sen’s statement. It fully demonstrates that some countries’ attempts to serve their own geopolitical strategies by politicizing economic issues, piecing together various kinds of small circles, pushing for decoupling and severing of supply chains, and harming other countries’ interests have triggered the sharp vigilance of and firm opposition by regional countries. Meanwhile, it also shows that commitment to strategic independence, stability, and faster development is the aspiration shared by regional countries.

Asia is the region with the greatest vitality and potential of development. It should be a big arena of mutually beneficial cooperation instead of be severed into isolated and exclusive small circles. In the face of a world full of turbulence and change, China will stay committed to be a force for peace, stability and progress in the world. China stands ready to work with other countries to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefits,jointly keep the global industrial and supply chains stable and unimpeded, and move toward an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization.

AFP: Russia blocked the renewal of panel of UN experts monitoring international sanctions on North Korea. Can you explain why China didn’t block or support the veto?

Lin Jian: The Chinese side has fully elaborated our position in the Explanation of Vote at the Security Council. I would like to stress again that reasonable views of Russia have not been taken on board. The draft resolution has been forced to a vote and members of the Security Council had to lay their cards on the table when the co-sponsors still had time for consultations. This does no good to safeguarding the authority of the Security Council. Amid continued tensions on the Korean Peninsula, blindly imposing sanctions and pressure will not solve the problem. Political settlement is the only viable way out. We hope the Security Council and relevant parties will make constructive effort to this end.

RIA Novosti: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier that Russia is ready for negotiations to resolve the Ukrainian crisis, but not on the basis of the peace formula proposed by Ukraine. He also pointed out the document proposed by China is more rational and Moscow positively responded to it. Mr. Lavrov also noted that Russia is ready to guarantee the legitimate security interests of other participants in the process if the same guarantees are provided to Moscow. What’s China’s comment on his words?

Lin Jian: China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear. We stay committed to our constructive role for a ceasefire and political settlement of the crisis. We will continue to promote peace talks in our own way for the political settlement of the crisis as soon as possible.

Dragon TV: It’s reported that Japan enacted the Fiscal 2024 Budget on March 28, including a record-high defense budget of JPY 7.95 trillion (around RMB 410 billion) with a year-on-year increase of 16.7 percent. What’s your comment?

Lin Jian: Given Japan’s not-too-distant history of militarist aggression, Japan’s military and security moves are closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community. In recent years, Japan has been drastically readjusting its security policy, increasing defense spending year after year, relaxing restrictions on arms export and seeking military breakthroughs. Japan’s neighboring countries and beyond have to strongly call into question Japan’s commitment to the exclusively defense-oriented policy and the path to peaceful development. We urge Japan to earnestly respect the security concerns of neighboring countries, deeply reflect on its history of aggression, commit itself to the path of peaceful development, and avoid further losing the trust of its Asian neighbors and beyond.

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