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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on September 14, 2023

2023-09-14 16:55

Premier Li Qiang of the State Council will attend the opening ceremony of the 20th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit to be held in Nanning, Guangxi on September 17 and deliver remarks. 

Foreign leaders and senior officials including Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet, Laotian Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh, Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin, and Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Commerce Minister Phumtham Wechayachai, and ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn will attend the opening ceremony of the Expo.

CCTV: Could you share China’s expectation for the 20th China-ASEAN Expo and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit?

Mao Ning: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the proposal of building a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future and the Belt and Road Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping, and the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. China-ASEAN economic and trade cooperation has been growing steadily. China has been ASEAN’s largest trading partner for 14 consecutive years, and both sides have been each other’s largest trading partners for three years in a row. In 2022, China-ASEAN trade exceeded USD 970 billion, up by 11.2 percent year-on-year. By July this year, the accumulated two-way investment between China and ASEAN countries has exceeded USD 380 billion. At the recent leaders’ meetings on East Asia cooperation, Premier Li Qiang and leaders of ASEAN countries reached important common understandings on deepening China-ASEAN cooperation on all fronts and jointly building a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home.

The China-ASEAN Expo is a key platform for deepening China-ASEAN cooperation and promoting regional economic integration. As we mark its 20th anniversary, this year’s Expo is themed “Work Together for a Harmonious Home and a Shared Future—Promoting High-Quality Development of the Belt and Road and Building an Epicentrum of Growth”. China hopes that this event will be an opportunity for all sides to explore opportunities, meet challenges and pursue cooperation. We will work for the high-quality implementation of RCEP, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation between China and ASEAN, improve regional connectivity, build an open regional economy, and promote the building of an even closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future.

China News Service: According to reports, Indonesian President Joko Widodo took a ride on the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway on September 13 and spoke highly of China’s rich experience and advanced technology in high-speed railway construction. He described the ride as fast, quiet and smooth and expressed the hope that the high-speed railway will reduce traffic congestion and pollution in Jakarta and encourage the Indonesian people to embrace a new mode of transportation. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: The Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, a flagship project under Belt and Road cooperation between China and Indonesia, has all along received the personal attention of the two presidents. This high-speed railway, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia, is the first overseas Chinese high-speed railway project with its entire system, production factors and industrial chain supplied by China. It also stands as a stellar example of China and regional countries jointly pursuing modernization by following the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. It will surely give a strong boost to regional connectivity. We have noted President Joko Widodo’s test ride and positive comments. We hope and believe that the high-speed railway, once in operation, will help ease transportation for the Indonesian people and unleash local potential for economic development.

Global Times: Recently, we have seen some media coverage of online data leaks involving a large amount of personal information. A World Economic Forum report released at the beginning of this year named widespread cybercrime and cyber insecurity among the 10 most severe global risks over the next decade. Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: The Chinese government attaches great importance to cyber and data security. A series of laws and regulations have been rolled out to reinforce protection of personal information. We are now in the 2023 China Cybersecurity Week. Having this week in itself demonstrates the emphasis the Chinese government places on strengthening cybersecurity and enhancing public awareness on this issue. 

Cybersecurity is a global issue that calls for a concerted response. Safeguarding cybersecurity is the common responsibility of all countries. China is a staunch defender of cybersecurity. We put forward the Global Initiative on Data Security, contributing China’s ideas to global digital governance. We stand ready to continue working with the international community to foster a cyberspace featuring peace, security, openness, cooperation and order.

Prensa Latina: Tomorrow begins in Cuba the summit of the G77 and China. What expectation do you have about this? What points will China promote at the summit?

Mao Ning: The Group of 77 and China is a mechanism for cooperation among developing countries. It upholds international fairness and justice and safeguards the common rights and interests of developing countries. China appreciates the work of Cuba as the rotating chair for 2023, and supports Cuba in hosting the Group of 77 and China Havana Summit. We look forward to positive contribution of the summit to greater solidarity, closer cooperation and joint response to challenges among developing countries. China stands ready to work with Cuba and other members of the Group of 77 to better safeguard the common rights and interests of developing countries.

AFP: The EU announced yesterday that it’s launching an investigation into subsidies that China provides to electric vehicle makers. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said that this will help protect European industries from unfair competition. What’s your response?

Mao Ning: The spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Commerce has responded to this and you may refer to it.

CRI: We have noted that an awarding ceremony was held in Beijing yesterday for the “My Dream” Painting Competition for African Youth. Do you have more information on the event?

Mao Ning: The beautiful encounter between African youth and China’s space program adds another episode of friendly exchanges between China and Africa. In March this year, the Secretariat of the Chinese Follow-up Committee of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), the China Manned Space Engineering Office, and Chinese embassies and consulates in Africa co-hosted a painting competition on the theme of “My Dream” for African youth. More than 2,000 African youth submitted their paintings. In May, 10 awarded entries were brought to China’s Tiangong space station by the Shenzhou-16 spacecraft. At last night’s awarding ceremony, precious footage of the Tiangong exhibition featuring paintings by African youth was released for the first time. Shenzhou-16 astronauts encouraged African youth to chase their dream, work hard and enjoy the wonders of life.

To explore the mysteries of the vast universe and develop space technologies is a mission for all mankind. Going forward, we look forward to working together with more like-minded partners to build the Tiangong space station into a “home in space” for all mankind.

Bloomberg: Russian media has reported that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with China’s Wang Yi on September 18. Could the foreign ministry confirm this? In addition, Russian media has also reported that the two will discuss in detail the Ukrainian crisis and the situation in the Asia-Pacific. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?

Mao Ning: China and Russia have been in close communication on bilateral ties and international and regional issues. Please stay tuned for updates.

AFP: Can you offer more information about Venezuelan President Maduro’s visit to China?

Mao Ning: The visit by Venezuelan President Maduro has yielded fruitful results. The two sides issued the Joint Statement between the People’s Republic of China and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on the Establishment of the All-Weather Strategic Partnership, signed dozens of cooperation agreements, and reached consensus on Belt and Road cooperation and closer partnership in such areas as economy and trade, education, tourism, space, civil aviation, sci-tech and media. China will, as always, support Venezuela’s efforts to safeguard its sovereignty and social stability, as well as its just cause of opposing foreign interference. We believe this visit will provide strong impetus for the development of bilateral ties and cooperation at a higher level and in more areas, and bring more benefits to the two peoples. 

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