عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on July 28, 2023

2023-07-28 20:05

As agreed by the two sides, the ninth China-France High Level Economic and Financial Dialogue will be held on July 29 in Beijing. The Dialogue will be co-chaired by He Lifeng, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Vice Premier of the State Council and the Chinese lead person of the Dialogue, and Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, Finance and Industrial and Digital Sovereignty of France and the French lead person of the Dialogue.

Yonhap News Agency: According to reports, during his visit to the DPRK, Li Hongzhong, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, delivered a personal letter from Chinese President Xi Jinping. Could you share with us the content of the letter and also tell us more about Vice Chairman Li’s visit?

Mao Ning: The Chinese side will release the information on this visit in due course. Please check back for updates.

CCTV: According to reports, the Japanese defense ministry released its Defense of Japan 2023 white paper on July 28. The white paper hypes up China’s military threat, raises concern over China’s build-up of defense capabilities and maritime and air military activities, and plans to further increase Japan’s defense budget to strengthen defense capabilities. The white paper also hypes up tensions across the Taiwan Strait and says that the military balance between China’s mainland and Taiwan is rapidly tilting in favor of the former. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: The Defense of Japan 2023 white paper gravely interferes in China’s internal affairs, smears China’s normal defense development and maritime and air military activities, deliberately hypes up the “China threat” narrative, and creates tensions in the region. We deplore and reject this and has made serious démarches to Japan. 

China is committed to the path of peaceful development and a defense policy that is defensive in nature. China’s defense development and military activities are legitimate and justified. Our military cooperation with relevant countries including joint patrols is consistent with international law and customary international practice. Taiwan is China’s territory. The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair that brooks no external interference. The so-called “military balance” across the Taiwan Strait is a groundless subject to begin with. On the Taiwan question, Japan bears grave responsibilities for the historical crimes committed against the Chinese people and should act all the more prudently and draw lessons from the history.

I need to stress that given Japan’s history of militarist aggression during the last century, Japan’s military and security moves have been closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community. In recent years, Japan has been increasing defense spending, readjusting defense policy and seeking military breakthrough. It has triggered strong concerns over whether Japan will still stick to the path of peaceful development. We urge Japan to earnestly respect the security concerns of neighboring countries, deeply reflect on its history of aggression, stop hyping up so-called security threat in the region and finding pretexts for rearming itself, and earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the wider international community through concrete actions.

Reuters: President Xi today said that China will upgrade its bilateral relations with Georgia to strategic partnership. Will China support Georgia’s ongoing bid to join NATO?

Mao Ning: We have released a readout on President Xi Jinping’s meeting with Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili this morning.

Shenzhen TV: It was reported that according to unnamed US officials, due to relevant sanctions, the US will not invite Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region John Lee to the APEC Leaders’ Meeting to be held in the US towards the end of this year. What is your comment?

Mao Ning: It is widely understood that APEC host economies have the responsibility and obligation to ensure the smooth participation of the representatives of all members in APEC meetings. Imposing illegal and unreasonable sanctions on Chief Executive John Lee and other Chinese officials is in itself a bullying act which seriously violates the basic international norms. To not invite Hong Kong’s Chief Executive to the APEC meeting by citing those sanctions as the reason is yet another mistake, which blatantly violates APEC rules and gravely contravenes the US commitment as the host. China strongly disapproves of and firmly opposes this and has made serious démarches to the US.

We ask the US to correct the wrong move immediately, lift the sanctions on Chief Executive John Lee and other SAR officials, fulfill its due responsibility as the APEC host, invite Chief Executive John Lee to the meeting according to customary practice, make sure that representatives of all APEC members, including those of Hong Kong, China, will participate smoothly in the APEC events, and stop undermining the solidarity and cooperation of APEC. China will firmly safeguard the legitimate and lawful right of Hong Kong, China to attend APEC meetings.

AFP: According to US intelligence report, China is giving economic lifeline to Russia, which helps limit the effect of western sanctions. Do you have a comment on this?

Mao Ning: China is engaged in normal economic and trade cooperation with Russia and other countries on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. We oppose unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction that have no basis in international law or mandate from the Security Council. China-Russia cooperation does not target any third party and shall be free from disruption or coercion by any third party.

AFP: China repeatedly said that it abides by UN sanctions on North Korea. Today in Pyongyang, a Chinese delegation attended a parade where weapons banned by UN sanctions were displayed. Do you have any comment on this?

Mao Ning: What I can tell you is that China’s position on the issues concerning the Korean Peninsula has not changed. On implementing UN Security Council’s resolutions, China always fulfills its due international obligations.

Suggest to a friend
Print