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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on July 19, 2023

2023-07-19 18:55

At the invitation of Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni of South Africa and the governments of Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Türkiye, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Wang Yi will attend the 13th Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisers and High Representatives on National Security in Johannesburg from July 24 to 25, and visit Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Türkiye before and after the meeting.

Xinhua News Agency: What is China’s expectation for the 13th Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisers and High Representatives on National Security? Can you share with us the program of Director Wang Yi’s visit to Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Türkiye? What is China’s expectation for the visit?

Mao Ning: The Meeting of BRICS National Security Advisers and High Representatives on National Security is an important platform for BRICS countries to carry out political and security cooperation. China looks forward to having in-depth exchanges of views with BRICS partners on the current international security situation and issues of mutual interest at the meeting, building up consensus and deepening cooperation, so as to provide positive energy for a world that is experiencing turbulence and transformation, and make political preparation for the BRICS Summit to be held in August this year. 

Apart from attending the BRICS meeting, Director Wang Yi will be visiting Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Türkiye on this trip. The visit to these countries shows how much China values its relations with these countries. During the visit, Director Wang Yi will have meetings and talks with the leaders of the four countries respectively and exchange views extensively on bilateral relations as well as international and regional issues of mutual interest. China will follow the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith and its commitment to the greater good and shared interests and act in the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation as we work with Africa to deliver on the outcomes of the eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to further boost the growth of the China-Africa comprehensive strategic and cooperative partnership. China will also work with Türkiye to actively advance Belt and Road cooperation and the China-Türkiye strategic relationship of cooperation.

Yonhap News Agency: The DPRK launched ballistic missiles this morning. The US criticized this move, saying it threatens neighboring countries and the international community. What is China’s position?

Mao Ning: The crux for the resurgence of tensions on the Korean Peninsula is clear. Relevant party uses the Peninsula issues to seek selfish geopolitical interests, which has escalated tensions in the region and harmed the de-nuclearization process on the Peninsula. Relevant moves have raised concern. We hope relevant parties will keep to the direction of political settlement and address each other’s legitimate concerns in a balanced way through meaningful dialogue and uphold peace and stability on the Peninsula.

Hubei Media Group: It was reported that the Dasherkandi Sewage Treatment Plant, the first large-scale modern sewage treatment facility in Bangladesh, was inaugurated a few days ago. Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other political dignitaries attended the event. They spoke highly of China’s implementation of the Belt and Road Initiative, which helped improve the ecological environment as well as local people’s life in Bangladesh. What is your comment?

Mao Ning: The Dasherkandi Sewage Treatment Plant is the first large-scale modern sewage treatment facility in Bangladesh and the largest monolithic sewage treatment plant in South Asia to date. It can  provide sewage treatment service to 5 million people in Dhaka, which can help significantly increase local people’s living standard.

This is yet another example of how the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) benefits local population in participating countries. Over the past ten years since its inception, the BRI has created 420,000 jobs and lifted almost 40 million people out of poverty outside China. According to data from the World Bank, by 2030, Belt and Road cooperation is expected to increase trade by between 2.8 and 9.7 percent for participating countries and between 1.7 and 6.2 percent for the world, and this is expected to increase global real income by 0.7 to 2.9 percent.

China stands ready to work with the rest of the world to continue promoting high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, so as to contribute to global economic recovery and sustainable development.

Reuters: Taiwan’s William Lai will transit the US in August. Does China plan to conduct military exercises or take similar measures in the Taiwan Strait in response to the “visit”?

Mao Ning: China firmly opposes any form of official interaction between the US and the Taiwan region, firmly opposes any visit by “Taiwan independence” separatists to the US in any name or under whatever pretext, and firmly opposes any form of US connivance and support for “Taiwan independence” separatists and their separatist activities.

The Taiwan question is the very core of China’s core interests and the first red line that must not be crossed in the China-US relationship. We urge the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, act on its leaders’ commitment of not supporting “Taiwan independence”, stop official interaction with Taiwan, stop upgrading its substantive exchanges with the region, and stop sending a wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces. China will continue to closely follow the situation and take resolute and strong measures to safeguard our sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Reuters: Some foreign diplomats and business people have expressed fears that the appointment of Dong Jingwei to head China’s national security office in Hong Kong signals a tightening of national security regime in the city. Does the foreign ministry have any comment? 

Mao Ning: I don’t think it’s related to foreign affairs. Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong. Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs. No foreign country has the right to make unwarranted accusations or meddle in those affairs.

Bloomberg: A US energy executive has told lawmakers in the US that China represents an increasing threat to the US power grid. The executive also called China’s activities regarding cyber hacking quite alarming. How does the foreign ministry respond?

Mao Ning: China is a victim of cyber attacks. We firmly oppose any form of cyber attacks. The US has carried out indiscriminate, large-scale cyber attacks against other countries over the years. The US Cyber Force Command blatantly declared last year that the critical infrastructure of other countries is a legitimate target for US cyber attacks. Such moves have raised concern.

Cyber security is a global challenge and requires joint response from the international community. Some in the US must not smear other countries with groundless narratives to serve their political agenda. The US needs to stop cyber attacks against other countries.  

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