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

2023-12-14 18:14

China News Service: It is reported that COP28 in Dubai has reached an agreement, and the representatives of Contracting Parties have concluded the first Global Stocktake aimed at realizing the targets of the UNFCCC. Simon Stiell, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary, said in his closing speech to the Conference that the agreement signals “the beginning of the end” of the fossil fuel era. What is China’s comment on the outcomes? What role will China play in implementing the outcomes of the Conference?

Mao Ning: After two weeks of tough negotiations and one day into overtime, the UN COP28 in Dubai was concluded on December 13. The Conference finished the first-ever Global Stocktake since the Paris Agreement took effect, reviewed the past progress and gaps, and charted the course for the further implementation of the Paris Agreement. In particular, this milestone Conference has consolidated the trend of global green and low carbon transition. The success of the Conference reflects the strong consensus of all parties on the urgency of addressing climate change issues. Its outcomes sent out a message of multilateralism and tackling climate change with greater solidarity and stronger action.

COP28 reaffirmed the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The Conference adopted on its first day the decision on the Loss and Damage Fund which developing countries cared deeply about. The Conference also adopted other major decisions including the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA) Framework, the Just Transition Work Program, among others. That being said, no substantial progress has been made in fulfilling the pledges made by developed countries of taking the lead in reducing emissions, and providing support of capital, technology and capacity building to developing countries. The issue of unilateral measures hindering international cooperation has not yet been properly resolved. To build a global climate governance system that is fair, reasonable, cooperative and win-win remains an uphill task.

China attaches high importance to COP28. President Xi Jinping’s Special Representative, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council Ding Xuexiang attended the World Climate Action Summit and the G77 plus China Summit on climate change and delivered remarks. During COP28, China fully participated in consultations on all topics and coordinated closely with the UAE, the chair of COP28, and other parties to firmly uphold the common interest of developing countries. China also provided solutions for negotiations on key issues, engaged parties to seek common ground while resolving differences and made important contribution to shaping positive outcomes.

Going forward, China will stay committed to the path of Chinese modernization featuring harmony between man and nature, continue to actively advance international cooperation on addressing climate change and work with all parties to promote the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and together build a clean, beautiful world.

Reuters: Several senior staff at a German auditor distance themselves from audit conducted by that firm of a Volkswagen joint venture plant in Xinjiang. They found no evidence of forced labor there. The firm later said that besides a small number of staff, no other employees participated in, supported or backed this project. What’s China’s response?

Mao Ning: The so-called “forced labor” in Xinjiang is a lie that has been debunked by facts and truth.

Hubei Media Group: US National Security Council member Joshua Geltzer said that Section 702 of the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), an important legal basis for US intelligence authorities to eavesdrop on non-US citizens overseas and step up international surveillance without authorization, will expire on December 31. It was estimated that nearly 60 percent of President Biden’s daily intelligence brief came from these “big ears”. What is China’s comment?

Mao Ning: The US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), adopted after Watergate, was originally aimed at preventing government authorities from abusing power and carrying out arbitrary eavesdropping. However, Section 702, added in 2008, permit the National Security Agency to carry out eavesdropping and surveillance without obtaining an individualized court order. After that, the US government has been expanding the scope of eavesdropping and surveillance to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs and meddle in the normal course of international affairs. This runs counter to international law and basic norms governing international relations. The more targets the US spies on, the fewer friends it has. The US needs a better sense of boundary and less obsession for control.

China Review News: It is reported that the launching ceremony of the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) which is being built by a Chinese company was held in Kuantan, capital of Pahang. The Head of State of Malaysia Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah officially launched the track laying for the project at the ceremony. What is your comment?

Mao Ning: The East Coast Rail Link is a landmark of the Belt and Road cooperation between China and Malaysia. It is also one of the largest single transportation infrastructure projects built overseas by Chinese companies. The project now is making smooth progress, with over half being completed. When fully completed, the railway will be the first of its kind that links the east and west coasts of Malaysia, and improve connectivity along the railway. 

This year marks the 10th anniversary of both the BRI and the establishment of China-Malaysia comprehensive strategic partnership. This March, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim reached important common understandings on jointly building a China-Malaysia community with a shared future, opening a new chapter in China-Malaysia relations. The bilateral Belt and Road cooperation has borne fruitful results, including Malaysia-China Kuantan Industrial Park and Kuantan Port, which, along with Port Klang, are to be connected by the ECRL. Next year will see the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties. We hope that the two sides can further deepen bilateral practical cooperation in various fields and bring more benefits to the two peoples.

AFP: According to its officials, the Philippines deported 180 Chinese nationals today, saying they did not have work permits and had been “engaging in online scams”. Could China provide more information?

Mao Ning: The Chinese government always asks Chinese nationals overseas to observe local laws and regulations. We also hope the Philippines can take earnest measures to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals. 

Reuters: South Korea’s military said it scrambled fighter jets when two Chinese and four Russian military planes entered its air defence zone today. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: It is learned that the Chinese military aircraft were carrying out routine and conventional flight activities in international air space. This is in compliance with international law.

The following question was raised after the press conference: It’s reported that Myanmar military spokesperson said Myanmar’s government, facilitated by China, held talks with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Arakan Army. Can you confirm this and what’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: China supports the peace process of the northern Myanmar and has provided support and facilitation for dialogue and contact between relevant parties in Myanmar. Since fighting broke out on October 27 in northern Myanmar, China has been making relentless efforts to promote talks to end the fighting and deescalate the situation. With China’s mediation effort, Myanmar’s military recently held peace talks with the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army and the Arakan Army in China and reached agreement on a number of arrangements, including the temporary ceasefire and maintaining the momentum of dialogue. The conflict in northern Myanmar has been notably deescalating, which not only serves the interest of relevant parties in Myanmar but also helps ensure peace and tranquility at the China-Myanmar border area. China hopes that relevant parties in Myanmar can speed up efforts to implement what has been agreed, exercise maximum restraint, actively ease the situation on the ground, promptly manage sporadic confrontation events and together realize the soft landing of the situation in northern Myanmar.

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