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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on November 9, 2022

2022-11-09 20:21

At France’s invitation, Chen Zhu, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC), will attend the Paris Peace Forum and related activities on behalf of China on November 11.

MASTV: Can you share with us the consideration behind Vice Chairman Chen Zhu’s attendance at the Paris Peace Forum? What activities are scheduled during the visit? And how do you see the current China-France relations?

Zhao Lijian: On your first question, to address the mounting crises and challenges faced by our world today calls for collective actions by all sides. China attaches importance to and supports the efforts from all quarters to advance world peace and uphold multilateralism. It is our hope that this event will help galvanize the international community into action to practice true multilateralism, improve global governance, and promote world peace and common development.

During the visit, Vice Chairman Chen Zhu will attend activities related to the Paris Peace Forum and have exchanges with people from various sectors in France.

Regarding China-France ties, there has been a sound momentum of growth in bilateral relations. We stand ready to work together with France to fully implement the common understanding between our heads of state, deepen practical cooperation in various fields, and enhance communication and coordination on major international and regional issues, to promote the sound and steady development of bilateral relations.

CCTV: A report commissioned by the COP26 and COP27 climate summit hosts was released on November 8, which said that developing countries need investments well beyond $2 trillion annually to stop global warming and cope with its effects. Do you have any comment? 

Zhao Lijian: I have noted relevant reports. The global process of climate change now faces severe challenges, and developing countries have suffered the most from climate change. We support the Conference of the Parties in making reasonable arrangements on the issue of loss and damage which is of great concern to developing countries. We urge developed countries to earnestly step up to their historical responsibilities and fulfill their due international obligations. In particular, they should deliver on their promise of mobilizing $100 billion per year for climate action in developing countries as soon as possible, offer a roadmap for doubling adaptation finance, and take credible steps to help developing countries improve climate resilience, enhance mutual trust between the North and the South and form greater synergy in actions.

In climate response, China is a country that walks the walk. We have actively implemented the national climate change strategy, and unswervingly pursued a green and low-carbon path of development that prioritizes ecological protection. Since China announced the ambitious goals of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, notable progress has been made in that direction. Let me give you some figures: From 2012 to 2021, China supported an average annual economic growth rate of 6.6 percent with an annual energy consumption growth rate of 3 percent; its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP dropped by about 34.4 percent, and its energy intensity fell by 26.4 percent, achieving a cumulative saving of 1.4 billion tonnes of standard coal. In July 2021, China formally launched the national carbon emission trading market which covers about 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per annum, making it the biggest of its kind in the world. At the just concluded 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, important plans were laid out for fulfilling the dual carbon goals. China will continue to work with other parties to play an active role in global climate governance and jointly respond to the challenge of climate change. 

China Review News: The US held its 2022 midterm elections on November 8 as scheduled, and the election results are coming out. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this? What’s China’s view of China-US relations after the elections?

Zhao Lijian: I won’t comment on this, as the US midterm elections are its internal affairs, and the election results are to be decided by the US voters. As for China-US relations, our position is consistent and clear. We believe that a sound and steady China-US relationship serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples. It is also the common aspiration of the international community. We hope the US will work with China to find the right way for our two countries to get along with each other in the new era on the basis of the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, and bring bilateral relations back to the right track of sound and steady development. 

China Review News: According to reports, the White House announced a decision to continue the Trump-era ban on US investments in Chinese companies linked to the Chinese military, citing “an unusual and extraordinary threat” China’s military-industrial complex constituted to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. What’s your comment?

Zhao Lijian: In continuing the ban of the previous administration on investments in companies they say are linked to China’s military, the US is repeating its mistake. This is a move driven by its political agenda and a wanton denial of facts and the actual situation of relevant companies. It has seriously undermined the rules and order of the market, and hurt the legal rights and interests of Chinese businesses and those of global investors including American investors. China firmly rejects it.

The US needs to respect the rule of law and the market, mend its way, and stop taking actions that harm the functioning of the global financial market and the legal rights and interests of investors. The Chinese side will take necessary measures to firmly uphold the legitimate and legal rights and interests of Chinese companies, and support Chinese businesses in protecting their interests according to law.

Global Times: According to the latest data, the China-Laos Railway had shipped more than ten million tonnes of cargo by November 7. The Railway has become yet another name brand of China-built projects. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: From the China-Laos Railway to the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway in Indonesia, from Algiers International Conference Center, the main venue of the League of Arab States Summit, to Lusail Stadium, the main stadium of the Qatar World Cup, more and more China-built projects are receiving worldwide attention. Chinese companies are going global at a faster pace and building highways, high-speed railways, ports, bridges, power stations, stadiums and other infrastructure facilities around the world. These are high-standard, livelihood-oriented and sustainable projects that have served as a catalyst for local economic growth and livelihood improvement, and won high acclaim from local communities. With more than 190 countries and regions embracing Chinese investment and project contracting, Chinese companies have proven to be a reliable choice for more and more cooperation partners.

We are convinced that the China-built projects will continue to help boost development and deliver more tangible benefits to people around the world.

Xinhua News Agency: According to reports, as Kosovo pushes for the replacement of Kosovan Serbs’ license plates issued by Serbia with the so-called“RKS” license plates, representatives of the ethnic Serbs held a meeting the other day and decided unanimously that all Serbs with a public sector role in Kosovo will stand down, including from posts in the so-called parliament, government and courts. This latest development has led to heightened tensions in Kosovo region. What’s your comment?

Zhao Lijian: China’s position on the Kosovo issue is consistent and clear. We support the parties concerned in finding a mutually acceptable political solution through sincere dialogue within the framework of relevant UN Security Council resolution. In this process, Serbia’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be fully respected and the agreements reached between Belgrade and Pristina should be honored. China supports Belgrade and Pristina in continuing with the consultation and engaging in constructive dialogue to seek a lasting solution to the Kosovo issue.

AFP: According to reports, Germany wants to block the sale of a chip factory to a Chinese company, saying it could constitute a threat to its security. Do you have any comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: I’m not aware of the specifics you mentioned. I would like to point out that the Chinese government always encourages Chinese businesses to conduct mutually beneficial investment cooperation overseas in accordance with market principles and international rules as well as local laws and regulations. We hope Germany and other countries will provide a fair, open and non-discriminatory market environment for Chinese companies doing business there, and refrain from politicizing normal economic and trade cooperation, still less using national security as a pretext to practice protectionism.

Prasar Bharati: Can you please confirm China’s promised financial assistance to Pakistan during  the Pakistani Prime Minister’s visit to China? According to media reports, it comes close to $9 billion. 

Zhao Lijian: I answered your question on Monday. I would refer you to the competent authorities for the specifics you asked about.

Prasar Bharati: According to Pakistani media reports, China and Pakistan have agreed to use bullet-proof vehicles for all the outdoor movement of Chinese nationals working on CPEC projects in order to protect them from attacks. Can you please confirm this news and the concerns China has regarding this kind of threats?

Zhao Lijian: I’m not aware of the specifics you mentioned. I worked in Pakistan for many years. Based on my knowledge, the Pakistani government and military have provided strict security protection for projects between the two governments. China and Pakistan have maintained close communication and coordination in this regard.

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