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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on January 16, 2024

2024-01-16 19:26

CCTV: In the past few days, countries have been openly stating that they support the one-China principle, respect China’s territorial integrity and oppose interference in China’s internal affairs. Can you give us more details?

Mao Ning: Since January 13, countries and international organizations have been openly reaffirming their commitment to the one-China principle, firm support for China’s effort of upholding national sovereignty and territorial integrity, opposition to any form of “Taiwan independence” and support for China’s reunification. Apart from what has been mentioned yesterday, a large number of countries, including Pakistan, the Maldives, Myanmar, Iran, Syria, Tunisia, Palestine, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Central Africa, Niger, Equatorial Guinea, Comoros, Lesotho, Somalia, Djibouti, Mali, Burundi, Gambia, Vanuatu, Tonga, Kiribati, Dominica, Nicaragua, and Bolivia as well as the African Union also clearly stated their support for the one-China principle and opposition to “Taiwan independence”. We applaud and appreciate the just position of these countries and organizations.

We are convinced that the international community will continue to, in accordance with the one-China principle, support the Chinese people’s just cause of opposing “Taiwan independence” separatist activities and striving to achieve national reunification.

AFP: The US State Department issued a statement, saying that while the Government of Nauru’s action to sever its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan is a sovereign decision, it is nonetheless a disappointing one. What is your response to the US State Department’s statement?

Mao Ning: The US has pointed fingers at the decision independently made by a sovereign country, tried every means to smear China’s diplomacy and encouraged the Taiwan region to expand “international space”. This gravely violates the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, seriously interferes in China’s internal affairs and severely contravenes the basic norms governing international relations. China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this.

I would like to stress that there is but one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory, the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and the one-China principle is a universally recognized basic norm governing international relations and a prevailing international consensus. The government of Nauru’s decision to restore diplomatic relations with China once again shows that the one-China principle is where global opinion trends and where the arc of history bends. China urges the US to act seriously in accordance with the commitments that have been reaffirmed multiple times by the US leaders to not supporting “Taiwan independence”, “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan”, handle Taiwan-related issues with utmost prudence, and stop sending any wrong signals to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.

CRI: It’s reported that the Taiwan authorities yesterday accused the mainland of long-term suppression of the island’s “diplomatic space” and luring Taiwan’s so-called “diplomatic allies.” What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: There is but one China in the world, the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. Standing up for the one-China principle is the right thing to do and is where global opinion trends and where the arc of history bends. We are convinced that more countries will choose to stand on the right side of history and the side of international justice and make the right decision that serves the fundamental and long-term interests of their countries and peoples.

I want to stress that the one-China principle is a basic norm governing international relations and a prevailing consensus of the international community. The Chinese government never barters away principles. The DPP authorities in Taiwan disregard the prevailing trend of history, refuse the one-China principle, make every effort to expand the so-called “international space”, and conduct separatist activities seeking “Taiwan independence”. This is doomed to failure and will lead nowhere.

Rudaw Media Network: Iran is attacking Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan region, with missiles and civilians have been targeted. What is Chinese position on that? My second question, China has good relations with Syria and Türkiye. Türkiye continues to attack Kurdish areas of Syria. Is China trying to calm the situation in the region? My last question, what’s China’s position on South Africa’s genocide case against Israel at the International Court of Justice? 

Mao Ning: On your first question, China believes that Iraq’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be respected and protected. We call on relevant parties to exercise restraint, avoid actions that escalate the tension and jointly keep the region peaceful and stable.

On your second question, China believes that the relations between countries should be handled in accordance with the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law, Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be earnestly respected and protected, and terrorism should be countered under the framework of international law.

On your third question, we noted the relevant case. China is deeply saddened by the heavy civilian casualties caused by the latest Palestinian-Israeli conflict and opposes any actions in violation of international law. We hope parties to the conflict will earnestly implement the relevant resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council and General Assembly, reach an immediate and full ceasefire, and stop the collective punishment against people in Gaza.

Shenzhen TV: After the government of Nauru announced the decision to break the so-called “diplomatic ties” with the Taiwan authorities on January 15, Taiwan’s foreign affairs office said that Nauru cutting “diplomatic ties” with Taiwan at this time is not only China’s revenge on Taiwan’s “democratic elections”, but also a direct challenge to international order. What is your response?

Mao Ning: By making these remarks, the Taiwan authorities are calling white black. The Taiwan question has nothing to do with democracy, but bears on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The “Taiwan independence” forces are using “democracy” to cover up their hidden agenda of dividing the country. Their attempt is doomed to failure.

Talking about international order, the return of Taiwan to China is an important part of the international order established after the second World War. This is clearly stipulated in the Cairo Declaration and the Potsdam Proclamation. Resolution 2758 adopted at the 26th Session of the UN General Assembly in 1971 makes it clear that there is no “two Chinas” or “one China, one Taiwan” in the world. Upholding the one-China principle is safeguarding international order. Challenging the one-China principle is challenging international order, and will meet the joint opposition of the international community. 

Across the world, 182 countries have already established diplomatic relations with China on the basis of the one-China principle. Nauru decided to stand with the overwhelming majority of the international community and restore diplomatic ties with China. This is the right choice in line with its long-term interests and will open up a brighter future for its development.

Reuters: The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 is being held in Davos, Switzerland. Is China invited to a peace summit for Ukraine held by Switzerland? Will China send a delegation to the summit? Will Premier Li Qiang meet Ukrainian President Zelenskyy?

Mao Ning: China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear, which is centered on promoting talks for peace. Since the full escalation of the crisis, China has kept in close contact with relevant parties, including Ukraine. We are willing to continue to work with the international community and play a constructive role for the political settlement of the crisis. We also welcome and support any efforts for peace.

Bloomberg: Philippines’ President Marcos said the following on the Taiwan election results: We look forward to close collaboration, strengthening mutual interests, fostering peace and ensuring prosperity for our peoples in the years ahead. Marcos wrote this on X on Monday night. He also referred to the new leader in Taiwan as President-elect. What is the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s response?

Mao Ning: The remarks of Philippines’ President gravely violate the one-China principle and the communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the Philippines, seriously go against the Philippines’ political commitments to China, and blatantly interfere in China’s internal affairs. China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this and has immediately lodged strong representations to the Philippine side. This morning, Assistant Foreign Minister Nong Rong summoned the Philippine Ambassador to China Jaime Florcruz to lodge serious démarche and urge the Philippines to present a responsible response to China.

The election result of the Taiwan region cannot change the dynamics and direction of cross-Strait relations and cannot hold back the prevailing trend that China will and must achieve reunification. We would like to make it clear to the Philippines that it should refrain from playing with fire on the Taiwan question, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the joint communiqué of establishing diplomatic ties between China and the Philippines, immediately stop the wrong words and deeds on Taiwan-related issues and stop sending any wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces.

We suggest President Marcos read more to develop a proper understanding of the ins and outs of the Taiwan question and come to a right conclusion.

Xinhua News Agency: It’s reported that the US House of Representatives recently passed the Taiwan Non-Discrimination Act of 2023, requiring the Secretary of the Treasury to use America’s influence in International Monetary Fund (IMF) to support Taiwan’s membership in this organization. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: The US passed the so-called act to grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs and attempt to manipulate the Taiwan question for political purposes to create “two Chinas” and “one China, one Taiwan.” We strongly deplore and firmly oppose this, and have made serious representations to the US side.

Taiwan does not have any ground, reason, or right to join the UN, or any other international organization whose membership is confined to sovereign states. On October 25, 1971, the 26th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted, with an overwhelming majority, Resolution 2758, which decides to recognize the representatives of the Government of the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate representatives of China to the United Nations, and to expel forthwith the representatives of the Taiwan authorities from the place which they unlawfully occupy. Once and for all, UNGA Resolution 2758 resolved, politically, legally and procedurally, the issue of the representation of the whole of China, including Taiwan, at the UN. It also made it clear that there can only be one seat representing China at the UN, and that is the People’s Republic of China.

Over the past half century and more, Resolution 2758 has been observed by the UN, special agencies such as IMF, and other international and regional organizations. Any issues regarding the Taiwan region’s participation in the activities of international organizations must be handled in accordance with the one-China principle.

The US should fully understand the highly sensitive nature of the Taiwan question and immediately stop using the Taiwan question to interfere in China’s internal affairs, sending wrong signals to the “Taiwan independence” forces and undermining China-US relations, and peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait.

Reuters: The Philippines’ military chief said that the Filipino government will develop islands in the South China Sea to make them more habitable for troops. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha Qundao and the adjacent waters. We firmly oppose relevant countries’ illegal construction on the islands and reefs they have illegally occupied in Nansha Qundao.

Bloomberg: In the past two days, Hamas has released videos featuring one hostage Noa Argamani, whose mother was born in China, in what is referred to as a “sign of life video.” In December, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his parliament he summoned the Chinese Ambassador to request China’s intervention on behalf of Noa. Did China take any action in the Noa case? And is China working behind the scenes to secure her release?

Mao Ning: Since the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict broke out, China has repeatedly called for the release of all those held captive as soon as possible and has been making active efforts for this. We will work with the international community to continue to play a constructive role for realizing a ceasefire and the release of all those held captive.

RIA Novosti: Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Monday that Kiev wants to establish more dynamic relations with China and believes that Beijing can play a role in resolving the Ukrainian conflict. What’s China’s comment on this?

Mao Ning: China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is centered on promoting talks for peace. China is in touch with relevant parties, including Ukraine. We will continue to play a constructive role for the political settlement of the crisis. We also stand ready to work with Ukraine to act on the important common understandings reached between the heads of state of China and Ukraine to advance our bilateral relations.

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