عربي Español Русский Français 简体中文

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on October 27, 2023

2023-10-27 19:41

AFP: It was reported that former Premier Li Keqiang passed away suddenly at the age of 68. Can you share your impression of him and a few words of mourning? 

Mao Ning: We deeply mourn for Comrade Li Keqiang who passed away due to a sudden heart attack. Xinhua News Agency has issued a press release on that.

CCTV: We noted that the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO Member States was held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan yesterday. Premier of the State Council Li Qiang attended the meeting and delivered a speech. Could you share more information about this meeting? What proposals did China put forward?

Mao Ning: On October 26, Premier of the State Council Li Qiang attended the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO Member States in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Premier Li Qiang had an in-depth exchange of views with leaders of participating countries on the founding aspiration, the key to success and future development of the SCO and offered four proposals on deepening SCO cooperation. First, we need to work together to strengthen the shield of regional security. We need to resolutely resist external interference, improve the SCO’s mechanism for tackling security threats and challenges as quickly as possible, and crack down hard on the forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism and transnational organized crimes. Second, we need to work together to speed up economic recovery. We need to jointly develop safe and efficient transportation systems, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and keep industrial and supply chains stable and smooth. Third, we need to work together to advance Belt and Road cooperation. China is ready to work with all parties to further synergize high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with the development strategies of other countries, and push forward the building of important economic corridors. We need to work to establish an SCO development bank. Fourth, we need to work together to promote mutual understanding and amity between our peoples. We need to continuously deepen cooperation in such areas as education, culture, tourism and sports, and ensure the success of signature programs such as the SCO Forum on People-to-People Friendship. 

Premier Li Qiang’s speech received positive response from all parties. All sides attending the meeting have agreed that we should stay true to the founding mission of the SCO, continue to promote the Shanghai Spirit, make solid progress in implementing the outcomes of the summit, promote cooperation in all fields, and build a closer SCO community with a shared future. 

The meeting produced fruitful outcomes. A joint communique was signed and issued, and 13 SCO cooperation documents and resolutions on economy and trade, railways and institution building, among other areas, were approved.

Bloomberg: Just a follow up on the Li Keqiang question. The Xinhua News is very very brief. I was hoping that you could elaborate a little bit today. Maybe point us to some indications as to what might be the funeral arrangements, and whether you think any foreign representatives will be invited or coming? I’m just curious, if you could give us a little bit more?

Mao Ning: Please refer to the obituary that is to be released. As to arrangements of foreign representatives attending mourning activities, we will release information in due course.

Beijing Daily: The International Symposium to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of China’s Principle of Amity, Sincerity, Mutual Benefit and Inclusiveness in Neighborhood Diplomacy has been a great success and received warm response. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: The International Symposium to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of China’s Principle of Amity, Sincerity, Mutual Benefit and Inclusiveness in Neighborhood Diplomacy has indeed attracted great attention and active participation of neighboring countries. President Xi Jinping’s written message and Director Wang Yi’s speech at the opening ceremony have been widely echoed and supported by participants.

Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar expressed to the Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan that the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness proposed by President Xi Jinping is full of wisdom and vision. Pakistan highly commends the principle and expressed readiness to work with China to put it into practice. Dignitaries from Mongolia, Nepal, Cambodia and other countries said that the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness reaffirmed China’s commitment to win-win cooperation with its neighbors. The principle meets the needs of peace and prosperity in the region, is of great significance to forging harmonious relations among countries, and can help remove barriers in international relations. China always advocates peace and addressing differences through dialogue, and respects its neighbors as friends and partners. We believe that guided by the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, Chinese modernization will benefit more countries and people and advance the modernization drive of Asia. Experts and scholars from neighboring countries in interviews and articles pointed out that the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness reflects China’s sincerity and good faith in safeguarding peace and prosperity in its neighborhood.

The warm response from various quarters shows that the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness follows the prevailing trend and is supported by the people. China will keep its neighborhood diplomacy consistent and stable, uphold the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, deepen friendly cooperation and convergence of interests with neighboring countries and build our shared home a better place.

Reuters: A delegation from Hamas visited Moscow yesterday. Given that China also has ties to all the key players in the Middle East and Special Envoy Zhai Jun has already spoken with the head of the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE as well as special representatives of the United Nations. Does China plan to speak with Hamas or has it already spoken with Hamas? Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said that China will continue to play a constructive role in handling global hotspot issues after all.

Mao Ning: Thank you for your interest in China’s efforts to actively communicate with other parties and promote peace talks. You are right in saying that China is in communication with parties concerned. We also call on relevant parties of the international community to work together for an early ceasefire and avert further deterioration of the situation. China will continue to make unremitting effort to this end.

Reuters: Still on Hamas. What is China’s position on Hamas specifically and engaging it not necessarily in the context of the conflict between Israel and Gaza, but just Hamas as an organization on its own?

Mao Ning: China always hopes that all factions in Palestine will achieve reconciliation and cooperation. However, we believe that the pressing priority now is to end the fighting as soon as possible, and all parties should abide by international humanitarian law and protect civilians. This is what China has been doing all along and we will continue to call on parties concerned to work together to de-escalate the situation.

Beijing Youth Daily: It is learned that China will hold the 21st East Asia Forum. Could you share more information? What is China’s expectation for the Forum?

Mao Ning: The 21st East Asia Forum will be held in Yuxi, Yunnan Province from October 29 to 30. Representatives from governments, businesses and the academia of ASEAN Plus Three (APT) countries and the ASEAN Secretariat will hold in-depth discussions under the theme of “Joining Hands to Create New Development Opportunities for Shared Peace and Prosperity in East Asia”. Assistant Foreign Minister Nong Rong will lead a delegation to the meeting. 

The East Asia Forum is a major platform for exchanges among governments, businesses and the academia under the APT framework. Since its launch 20 years ago, the Forum has played an important role in promoting exchange and cooperation among all APT countries and regional integration in East Asia. We believe that this Forum will actively contribute to bolstering momentum for regional economic development, promoting regional economic integration and building a more resilient East Asia Community with a stronger internal driving force.

Reuters: Will Foreign Minister Wang Yi meet with US President Joe Biden while he is in Washington D.C.? 

Mao Ning: On Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to the US, we will release information in due course. Please check back for updates.

Bloomberg: Just following up on US-China. Will Chinese leader Xi Jinping attend the upcoming APEC summit in San Francisco?

Mao Ning: I don’t have any information to share at the moment.

AFP: The website of the Xiangshan Forum says that Russian Defense Minister will deliver remarks next Monday to the event. Can the Foreign Ministry confirm that the Defense Minister will visit China and deliver remarks?

Mao Ning: On the information about the Xiangshan Forum, I’d refer you to China’s competent authorities.

Dragon TV: It was reported that military conflict broke out between Myanmar’s military and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA). What is China’s comment on this?

Mao Ning: China is closely following the conflict. We call on relevant parties to cease fire as soon as possible, settle disputes in a peaceful manner through dialogue and consultation, avoid escalation of the situation, and take effective measures to ensure the security and stability of China-Myanmar border areas.

The Associated Press: The US Indo-Pacific Command had issued a statement saying that a PRC J-11 pilot executed an unsafe intercept of a US air force B-52 aircraft in the South China Sea. The release also says that the PRC pilot flew in an unsafe and unprofessional manner demonstrating poor airmanship by closing with uncontrolled excessive speed. Is there any comment on the incident from the Chinese foreign ministry?

Mao Ning: Please refer to competent authorities for your specific question. What I want to say is that the US military aircraft, which traveled halfway around the world to China’s doorsteps to show off military muscle, is exactly the source of maritime and air security risks and dangers to regional peace and stability. China will take resolute measures to safeguard its sovereignty, security and territorial integrity. 

Kyodo News: According to reports, following the release of “treated water” from Fukushima into the sea, the Japanese Embassy still receives 15,000 nuisance calls a day now and such situation continues. Do you have any comment on this?

Mao Ning: I’m not aware of the specifics. China always protects the safety of foreign diplomatic and consular missions and the lawful rights and interests of foreign citizens in China in accordance with law. 

The Associated Press: On Tuesday there were reports with the Finnish police saying that the anchor of a Chinese container vessel had caused damage to the Balticconnector gas pipeline. I understand this question has been asked before, but I was wondering if there were any further comments from the foreign ministry on this incident.

Mao Ning: I answered this question the other day. We are in communication with parties concerned. The incident is still under investigation. We hope that what happened will be found out soon in an objective, fair and professional manner.

The following question was raised after the press conference: Can you share with us the schedule of French President’s diplomatic counselor Emmanuel Bonne in China and China’s expectation?

Mao Ning: During French President’s diplomatic counselor Emmanuel Bonne’s stay in China, Director Wang Yi will co-chair the China-France Strategic Dialogue with him to have strategic communication on how to follow through on the common understandings between the two heads of state and deepen bilateral and multilateral cooperation. They will also exchange views on international and regional issues of mutual interest.

China-France relations enjoy sound growth. In April this year, French President Emmanuel Macron paid a state visit to China. In June, Premier Li Qiang paid a successful visit to France and attended the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact. The year 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of China-France diplomatic relations and the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism. China hopes to take this Dialogue as an opportunity to further consolidate political mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation, advance cultural and people-to-people exchange and step up communication and coordination on multilateral issues, so as to deepen the China-France comprehensive strategic partnership, promote the sound and steady growth of China-Europe relations, and contribute to upholding multilateralism and addressing global challenges.

Suggest to a friend