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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on October 17, 2023

外交部-新闻司

2023-10-17 18:49

CCTV: Today marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, just as the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation is soon to open. Can you brief us on how the Belt and Road Initiative contributes to global poverty reduction?

Mao Ning: Ending poverty is the primary goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A decade on since the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was announced, with poverty reduction as its priority, the BRI has been building a pathway to poverty alleviation through international cooperation.

Over the past decade, the BRI has galvanized nearly USD 1 trillion of investment globally and lifted 40 million people out of poverty. The BRI agricultural cooperation mechanism helped enable impoverished population in partner countries to access food and respond to food crises. Industrial investment and infrastructure projects under the BRI framework created a huge amount of job opportunities. Ghada Waly, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, said at a recent interview that Belt and Road cooperation can help accelerate efforts to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals, including no poverty and zero hunger.

We are confident that high-quality Belt and Road cooperation will bring more benefits to the people and help empower the global poverty reduction effort.

AFP: President Xi Jinping and President Putin will hold talks tomorrow. The Russian side said that talks will focus on international and regional issues. What specific issues will China and Russia focus on? Will the Ukraine issue and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict be covered at the talks?

Mao Ning: President Putin arrived in Beijing this morning. At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, he will attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and related events. The two heads of state will also hold a meeting to have in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest. We’ll release information in due course. Please check back for updates.

Kyodo News: Fumio Kishida sent “masakaki” offering to the Yasukuni Shrine as Prime Minister on October 17. What’s China’s comment? 

Mao Ning: The Yasukuni Shrine is a spiritual tool and symbol of Japanese militarists’ war of aggression. It honors 14 convicted Class-A war criminals with grave responsibilities for the war crimes committed during that war of aggression. China firmly rejects Japan’s negative moves concerning the Yasukuni Shrine and has lodged démarches to the Japanese side. China urges Japan to credibly honor the statement and pledge of facing up to and reflecting on the history of aggression, make a clean break with militarism and earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the international community. 

Kyodo News: According to a poll by Kyodo News, the approval rating of Fumio Kishida has hit a record low. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: What you mentioned is Japan’s domestic affair, and we will not comment on that.

CCTV: The passing of Japanese singer-songwriter Shinji Tanimura has been widely discussed in China, and many Chinese people expressed condolences on social media platforms. What’s the foreign ministry’s comment?

Mao Ning: We express our condolences over Mr. Shinji Tanimura’s passing and extend our sympathies to his family. Mr. Shinji Tanimura was a prominent figure on the Japanese music scene. Many of his works are highly popular in China and enjoyed by the Chinese. Mr. Shinji Tanimura played an active role in people-to-people exchanges between China and Japan, and had performed in China quite a few times. His music is a bridge that connects the hearts of our two peoples and we appreciate his contribution to China-Japan friendship.

Though Mr. Tanimura is no longer with us, his legacy will live on. We hope more people with vision from our two countries will follow his suit and pass on China-Japan peace and amity from generation to generation.

AFP: Special Envoy of the Chinese Government on the Middle East Issue Zhai Jun will visit the Middle East soon. Can the Foreign Ministry offer more details? Which countries will he visit, and what will he propose during the visit?

Mao Ning: I’ve shared with you the considerations behind Special Envoy Zhai Jun’s upcoming visit to the Middle East. The visit aims to help with de-escalation in the Middle East. This is part of China’s efforts to promote peace talks. We will release more information in due course. Please check back for updates. 

NHK: How many countries will be attending the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China? Specifically, could you tell us which leaders will be attending the forum?

Mao Ning: You may have noticed ongoing reports about the arrival of foreign leaders and delegates in China for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. We extend our warm welcome to them. As to the specifics about the forum and the events foreign leaders will attend in China, we will keep you updated.

Dragon TV: The Siem Reap International Airport undertaken and operated by the Chinese company officially opened to traffic yesterday morning. Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council of Ministers Vongsey Vissoth attended the First Flight Ceremony and welcomed the first batch of tourists arriving at the airport. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: We’ve seen the good news too. The Siem Reap International Airport is a landmark project of China’s Belt and Road cooperation with Cambodia, and the first international airport invested, constructed and operated by Chinese companies. Cambodian Deputy Prime Minster Vongsey Vissoth said that the airport will help link international air routes, bring in more foreign visitors and investors, and facilitate Cambodia’s economic and social development. Cambodian people are also looking forward to a new boom in tourism made possible by the new airport.

The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will open soon. We have enough reasons to believe and expect that it will draw a new blueprint for the Belt and Road Initiative and offer new impetus for global common development.

AFP: Canadian media reported that a Canadian surveillance plane was intercepted yesterday by a Chinese warplane in an unsafe and unprofessional manner. What does China know about the situation? Where did the two military planes encounter?

Mao Ning: The illegal intrusion of a Canadian CP-140 aircraft into the airspace of Chiwei Yu, an affiliated island of China’s Diaoyu Dao, on October 14 seriously violates China’s sovereignty and threatens our national security. In response to the Canadian side’s provocative act, the Chinese side has lodged démarches and the Chinese military has taken necessary measures at the scene. What happened was that the Canadian side has sent warplanes halfway around the world to stir up trouble and make provocations at China’s doorsteps. The Chinese side responded to the situation in accordance with laws and regulations. The Canadian side should respect the facts and stop spreading disinformation.

In recent years, Canadian military aircraft have frequently conducted close-in reconnaissance and made provocations to the Chinese side in the name of implementing UN Security Council resolutions. What needs to be stressed is that UN Security Council resolutions have never mandated any country to deploy forces and conduct surveillance operations in the airspace or waters under other countries’ jurisdiction in the name of implementing the resolutions. China is firmly opposed to any country jeopardizing our national sovereignty and security in the name of implementing resolutions. China urges Canada to see the gravity of the incident and refrain from taking any adventurist or provocative moves. 

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In light of the opening ceremony of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to be held on October 18, the regular press conference of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be adjourned on October 18 (Wednesday) and resumed on October 19 (Thursday).

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