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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on June 13, 2024

2024-06-13 20:14

CNR: On June 12, the opening ceremony of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development was held in Geneva. We noted that President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony via video link and delivered an address. Could you share more with us?

Lin Jian: On June 12, President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the 60th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) via video link and delivered an important address, which received extensive attention and warm response from the international community.

In his address, President Xi Jinping commended UNCTAD’s role, and called on all parties to assume their responsibilities for history and the people, keep to the right direction, and work together to build a community with a shared future for mankind. President Xi Jinping made the following three important propositions. First, foster an international environment for peaceful development. We need to pursue true multilateralism, advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and support a more effective role of UNCTAD and other multilateral agencies. Second, follow the trend toward open development. We should advocate a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, properly resolve development imbalance and other issues, and make the global governance system more just and equitable. Third, harness the historic opportunity for innovation-driven development. It is important to build an open, inclusive and non-discriminatory environment for the digital economy, follow the people-centered, AI-for-good principle and strengthen AI-related rules and governance within the framework of the United Nations, actively advance green transition, and help developing countries join the trend of digital, smart and green development.

President Xi Jinping stressed that China is advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts through high-quality development, which will provide new and greater opportunities for world development. China will always be a member of the Global South and the developing world. Holding humanity’s future and people’s well-being close to our heart, we will work together with all parties to give the world a bright future of peace, security, prosperity and progress.

President Xi Jinping’s participation in the opening ceremony of the 60th anniversary celebrations of UNCTAD via video link and delivering an address fully demonstrates the high importance that China attaches to global development and our tremendous support for the common development of the Global South. China looks to working with the international community to deepen solidarity and cooperation, promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, implement the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, open a new chapter in global development, contribute to the modernization of the whole world and achieve common prosperity. 

Al Jazeera: According to the Times of Israel, Hamas has demanded that China, Russia and Türkiye serve as guarantors for any hostage deal with Israel. The demand is said to be one of several changes made by Hamas to the proposal put forward by Israel last month and publicized by US President Joe Biden. What’s China’s comment? 

Lin Jian: China has noted the report. The Gaza conflict has been dragging on for more than eight months. The most urgent priority is to fully and effectively implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions, achieve an immediate ceasefire, protect civilians, guarantee humanitarian assistance and ensure the early release of all those held captive. China will continue to work with all parties to make unremitting efforts to end the fighting in Gaza as soon as possible, ease the grave humanitarian situation and implement the two-State solution.

CCTV: On June 12, the European Commission announced that provisional duties up to 38.1 percent would be introduced from 4 July on the electric vehicles imports from China. German government spokesman said “we do not need further trade barriers.” Hungary’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade said in a statement that Hungary disagrees with the brutal European punishment of Chinese electric car manufacturers. Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Stellantis and other European major car makers also spoke out right away against the duties. What’s your comment?

Lin Jian: On the EU’s pre-disclosure of anti-subsidy investigation on China’s electric vehicles, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Commerce has responded to the question and made clear China’s position. The industry, companies and business associations in China have also firmly opposed it.

Let me stress that this investigation is a typical act of protectionism which ignores the facts and the WTO rules. It goes against the overall trend and will benefit no one. We urge the EU to heed the rational and objective views from various quarters, correct its wrong decision at once, stop turning trade into political issues, properly address economic and trade frictions through dialogue and consultation, and avoid harming the mutual trust, dialogue and cooperation between China and the EU.

Yonhap News Agency: It’s reported that Russia’s President Putin will visit the DPRK soon. How does China who maintains friendly relations with both the DPRK and Russia view the meeting between the leaders of these two countries? Does the Chinese side plan to hold meetings between the leaders of China and the DPRK?  

Lin Jian: We noted the report. Your question concerns bilateral interaction between Russia and the DPRK. It’s not for me to comment on that. I’ll just say more broadly that China welcomes Russia to cement and grow ties with countries they have traditional friendship with. 

On your second question. China and the DPRK are neighbors connected by mountains and rivers. We enjoy a traditional friendship and cooperative ties. This year marks the 75th anniversary of China-DPRK diplomatic ties and “China-DPRK Friendship Year” designated by the two sides. China and the DPRK maintain communication on visits of delegations as well as exchanges and cooperation in various fields. If there is anything to announce about a meeting between Chinese and DPRK leaders, we will release the information in a timely manner.

Shenzhen TV: We noted that in the latest Global Economic Prospects released days ago, the World Bank raised China’s growth forecast in 2024 from 4.5 percent to 4.8 percent. What’s your comment?

Lin Jian: We noted the World Bank’s report and saw that days ago, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) again revised up China’s growth forecast for this year, 0.4 percentage points higher than the April forecast. Many international institutions raised their forecast for China’s economic growth this year, a case in point of the international community’s confidence in China’s economy. Global Economic Prospects also mentioned China’s stronger-than-expected activity, particularly exports. Statistics released by China’s General Administration of Customs show that in the first five months this year, China’s trade in goods with other countries grew year-on-year by 6.3 percent. As a major manufacturer and consumer in the world, China has provided cost-effective products to other countries and a big market for their own products, which is a vivid illustration of China’s positive and distinct role.

As the second largest economy and an important component of the global economy, China has long remained a great contributor to global economic growth. China’s sustained and steady economic growth is a powerful engine of global economic recovery. IMF analysis showed that a 1 percentage point increase in GDP growth in China leads to 0.3 percentage point increase in growth in other economies on average.

With complex changes unfolding in our world, the Chinese economy has the strength and resilience to brave headwinds and move forward. A prosperous China augurs well for the world. We stand ready to share with the world the benefits and opportunities of our high-quality development and work with other countries to sustain the global modernization process.

RIA Novosti: The US Treasury Department yesterday released a new anti-Russia sanctions package that includes more than 300 companies, banks and dozens of individuals from Russia and other countries, including China. According to the US State Department, the new sanctions are intended to inflict damage on the Russian economy amid the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. I wonder if these new sanctions will affect China-Russia economic cooperation?

Lin Jian: China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners of coordination. The mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Russia is inherently logical and very much resilient, and is in the interest of both countries. China firmly opposes all illegitimate unilateral sanction and long-arm jurisdiction. The normal economic and trade interactions between China and Russia should not be interfered with or disrupted, still less be used as a tool to smear and contain China.

On the Ukraine crisis, it is quite clear to the international community who is calling for dialogue and striving for peace, and who is fueling the fight and inciting confrontation. The US on the one hand continues to pour weapons and munition into Ukraine, yet on the other shifts the blame of undermining peace and protracting the crisis to other countries. It even sees the crisis as an opportunity to slap sanctions and suppress others. All of it reveals the US’s calculations, hypocrisy and what a bully it is.

The US’s unilateral sanctions have created victims all over the world, severely undermined other countries’ sovereignty and security, caused humanitarian tragedies and disrupted industrial and supply chains. Since the escalation of the Ukraine crisis, the US even doubled down on sanctions. Wielding the big stick of sanctions does not solve problems and will only be a major source of risks for the world.

China did not create and is not a party to the Ukraine crisis. We will not accept smears, pressuring or blame-shifting. We urge the US to immediately stop slapping illegal unilateral sanctions and play a constructive role in ending the conflict and restoring peace. China will take all measures necessary to firmly safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and citizens.

Phoenix TV: To follow up on the EU’s additional tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles. Will China take countermeasures?

Lin Jian: There are principles that China must defend, that is, the WTO rules and market principles. There are also interests that China must safeguard, that is, the lawful rights and interests of China’s EV industry and enterprises. With this in mind, we will take all measures necessary.

Bloomberg: Climate diplomats at the Bonn climate conference told Bloomberg News that a major focus for this year’s COP29 talks will be Chinas role in global climate finance, and a push for China to play a much larger role in contributing to funds directed toward developing nations, in keeping with China’s development in recent decades. Does the Chinese Foreign Ministry have any comment?

Lin Jian: Climate financing is key to taking climate actions and reaching emission reduction goals. To provide financial support to developing countries for their climate actions is an unshirkable moral responsibility of developed countries and, more importantly, an obligation they must fulfill under international law, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement. This is an important manifestation of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

Developed countries promised to provide US$100 billion per year for climate action in developing countries in 2009, but for too long they have only paid lip service and now owe developing countries over US$300 billion in total. This greatly undermines mutual trust between the North and the South and global climate response. If developed countries still cannot step up to their due historic responsibility when COP29 discusses the future arrangement of climate financing at the end of this year, and try every means to shift responsibility to developing countries, international cooperation on global climate governance will be greatly impaired and the target on global temperature rise of the Paris Agreement will be very hard to meet.

As the largest developing country, China has a multitude of tasks. We are working to grow the economy, improve people’s livelihood and control pollution, to name just a few. Despite the challenging nature of the tasks, China has faithfully carried out the obligations under the UNFCCC, made every effort to achieve carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, and undertaken to make the world’s biggest cut in carbon emission intensity in the shortest time frame ever seen in history. In the meantime, China has provided support and assistance to other developing countries under the framework of South-South cooperation on climate change. China has so far signed 50 cooperation MOUs with 41 developing countries, held 58 training sessions on South-South cooperation concerning climate change, helped to train more than 2,400 professionals in the field of climate response and provided practical assistance to relevant countries in actively responding to climate change. China’s effort has been highly recognized and widely applauded by fellow developing countries. Looking forward, China will further strengthen South-South cooperation and continue to provide assistance to the best of our capability to other developing countries in coping with climate change. 

Global Times: It’s reported that US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said in a recent interview that Ukraine has US$10 to 12 trillion of critical minerals and can become the US’s best business partner. The US supports Ukraine so that the critical mineral assets could be used by Ukraine and the West, not given to Putin and China. What’s your comment?

Lin Jian: We noted the report. What he said reveals the true calculations of the US on Ukraine. Apparently, some in the US keep talking about rules and principles, but all they think about is just profit and business. 

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