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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on June 7, 2024

2024-06-07 18:14

Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi will attend the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting upon invitation in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia from June 10 to 11.

CCTV: To follow up on your announcement that Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, can you give us more details about the arrangement and China’s expectation?

Mao Ning: The upcoming BRICS Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is to be held in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia from June 10 to 11. The BRICS Dialogue with Developing Countries will be held on the sidelines of the meeting. Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi together with foreign ministers of other BRICS member states and countries invited to the dialogue will exchange views on BRICS cooperation, the current international and regional landscape, and other issues of mutual interest, and prepare the ground for the 16th BRICS Summit.

As an important platform for cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries, BRICS is committed to upholding multilateralism, taking an active part in global economic governance, and working for a more just and equitable international order. Last year, BRICS achieved a historic expansion, which was a milestone in the development of the mechanism. This is the first BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting after the expansion. China stands ready to work with BRICS partners to consolidate the BRICS strategic partnership, deepen practical cooperation in various areas, join hands with the rest of the Global South to achieve common development and seek strength through unity, and set greater BRICS cooperation off to a good start.

Shenzhen TV: We noted that US President Joe Biden in an interview this week said that the Belt and Road Initiative has become a “nuisance” initiative and “look what’s happening in Africa.” What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: I believe the people of BRI partner countries have the best say in what the Belt and Road Initiative really is. Over the past decade since China presented the BRI, more than 150 countries and over 30 international organizations have signed over 200 Belt and Road cooperation documents with us. Belt and Road has become the world’s largest international cooperation platform that covers the widest range of cooperation. It has brought tangible benefits to the people of BRI partner countries and is widely welcomed by the international community.

Africa is one of the most active regions in Belt and Road cooperation. Thanks to the BRI, many African countries have built their first motorway, first cross-sea bridge and first industrial park. The African continent now has its first well-equipped pan-African center for disease control and prevention. Africa today has taken on a fresh look thanks to the BRI. It is easier to criticize than to do better. We hope the US will actually step up as well, deliver on its funding commitments, and do something real and concrete for Africa’s development and revitalization.

CCTV: We noted that China’s Permanent Mission to the UN Office at Geneva and Other International Organizations in Switzerland held an event on the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) in the Palace of Nations of the UN yesterday. This is the first official event of the Group of Friends of the GDI in Geneva. Can you share more information about the event?

Mao Ning: Yesterday, an event on the Group of Friends of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) was held in Geneva. Discussions focused on enhancing international cooperation on development and promoting global sustainable growth.

President Xi Jinping put forward the GDI in September 2021 to promote stronger, greener and healthier global development. The Group of Friends of the GDI was established in New York in January 2022. Over the past two years and more, cooperation on the GDI has achieved fruitful results. Over 100 countries and many international organizations, including the UN, have expressed support for the GDI, and over 80 countries have joined the Group of Friends of the GDI. China has also set up the Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund to support the implementation of relevant cooperation under the GDI.

China stands ready to work with the rest of the international community to advance the steady and sustained growth of practical cooperation under the GDI, and make positive contribution to accelerating the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We welcome more like-minded countries to join the Group of Friends of the GDI and work together to forge a global partnership for development.

China News Service: We noted that the signing ceremony of the trilateral agreement on the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project was held in Beijing yesterday. Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: In 1996, Uzbekistan first proposed the idea of a China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway. In the following three decades, China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan have had many rounds of consultation and negotiation, through which ideas concerning the implementation were fully exchanged. In May last year, the feasibility study of the project was generally completed which put the implementation of the project on a fast track. In just one year, the three countries have worked closely together to press ahead with consultation on the details and managed to narrow the gaps on major issues and accumulate common understandings. As a result, the trilateral agreement was finally signed yesterday. This important milestone was achieved thanks to the tremendous efforts of different departments and experts, as well as the personal attention and support from the leaders of the three countries.

The China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway project demonstrated the common aspiration for cooperation and development shared by the three countries. It will be a strong boost to the economic and social development of the three countries, as well as the Central Asian region. It is another testament to the importance of the Belt and Road Initiative and demonstrates the popularity of the vision for a community with a shared future for mankind in Central Asia.

China looks forward to working closely with all parties for the early completion of this railway of development, friendship, and happiness which is in the common interest of the people in the region, and turbocharges the China-Central Asia cooperation.

Reuters: The Philippine coast guard has accused Chinese coast guard of blocking efforts to evacuate a sick member of its armed forces stationed at the Second Thomas Shoal. The Philippines said Chinese coast guard made dangerous maneuvers and intentionally rammed its navy boat while the sick personnel was being transported. The Philippines has also called the Chinese coast guard’s actions “barbaric and inhumane.” How does the Ministry respond to this?

Mao Ning: China’s position on the issue of Ren’ai Jiao is clear. If the Philippines notifies the Chinese side in advance, we can allow delivery of living necessities to the grounded warship or evacuation of personnel concerned. However, the Philippines should not use this as an excuse for delivering construction materials in an attempt to permanently occupy Ren’ai Jiao.

Beijing Youth Daily: It was reported that when meeting with the Palestinian Ambassador to Bangladesh a few days ago, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said that although Western countries always talk about human rights for all, “but, they don’t bother about the human rights violation of Palestinians, and killing of innocent people there, rather they keep mum here.” She said the people of Bangladesh could realize the pain and suffering of the Palestinians and that in every international forum across the globe, she always expressed her concern and voice for the Palestinian people. What is China’s comment?

Mao Ning: China noted the reports. Over the years, the US has wantonly interfered in other countries’ internal affairs under the pretext of “human rights,” but said nothing about what is happening to the Palestinian people, and even poured fuel to the fire. This lays bare the US’s long-standing double standards and selfish and hegemonic nature. “US-style human rights” is just a tool serving the US’s hegemony and selfish interests.

China supports full UN membership for Palestine and hopes that there can be a comprehensive, just, and lasting solution to the question of Palestine at an early date. China is ready to work tirelessly with all countries including Bangladesh for a ceasefire in Gaza and lasting peace and stability in the Middle East, and to jointly uphold peace and stability across the region. 

Al Jazeera: According to US government press release, the State Department has approved the sales of F-16 spare parts and relevant services worth US$80 million to Taiwan. What is the Ministry’s comment?

Mao Ning: The US arms sales to China’s Taiwan region seriously violate the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, especially the August 17 Communiqué of 1982. Such sales gravely undermine China’s sovereignty and security interests, harm China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait, and send a gravely wrong message to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this.  

What happened shows once again that the biggest threat to cross-Strait peace and stability and the biggest source of damage to the cross-Strait status quo are the separatist moves for “Taiwan independence” and connivance and support for such moves from US-led external forces. “Taiwan independence” is as incompatible with cross-Strait peace as fire with water. The DPP authorities attempt to seek independence through the use of force and the US is hellbent on helping advance that agenda by arming Taiwan. This is against the trend of the times, which will only escalate cross-Strait tensions and lead nowhere.

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. China urges the US to earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, stop selling arms to Taiwan and having military contact with Taiwan, stop creating factors that fuel tensions in the Taiwan Strait, stop endangering cross-Strait peace and stability, and stop going further down this wrong and dangerous path. We will take strong and resolute measures to defend our national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Bloomberg: We are wondering why Chinese leader has not yet sent a congratulatory message to India’s Prime Minister Modi after his reelection?

Mao Ning: China has extended congratulations on the victory of the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the National Democratic Alliance in India’s general election. India expressed appreciation for that. 

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For the Dragon Boat Festival holiday, there will be no regular press conference on Monday, June 10. The press conference will resume on Tuesday, June 11. During the holiday, questions can be submitted to the Spokesperson’s Office via fax, email or WeChat. Happy weekend and may the Dragon Boat Festival bring you good health.

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