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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on November 10, 2022

Dragon TV: We have noted that global chip giants including Intel, AMD, Qualcomm and ASML are among those who participated in this year’s CIIE. The Financial Times and other media have commented that the US chip restrictions on China will cause a huge loss of revenues for major chip producers without weakening their confidence in China. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: I have also noted that the ongoing CIIE has drawn many multinationals in the semiconductor sector including some major US companies. Their business ranges from semiconductor manufacturing equipment to wafer manufacturing, chip design, semiconductor material and various other links on the chain of production. At the Expo, sci-tech multinationals like Tesla, Microsoft, Meta, Ericsson and Siemens all debuted their latest products and equipment featuring such cutting-edge technologies as metaverse, AI and robots. Amid a grim global economic outlook and rising protectionism, the participation of these companies at the CIIE reflects their confidence in China’s growth potential and is a gesture showing their resolve to embrace the Chinese market. It proves that China’s commitment to high-quality growth and high-standard opening up is in keeping with the trend of our times.

I would like to stress that the formation and development of the global chip industrial and supply chains are the result of the combined force of market rules and the choices of businesses. Yet a certain country has repeatedly abused its state power to politicize tech and trade issues and use them as a tool and weapon to blockade and suppress China by pushing for decoupling and disrupting industrial and supply chains. This not only seriously undermines international trade rules, but will fragment the global market, and sabotage the security and stability of global industrial and supply chains. Those who perpetrate such self-serving coercive acts are essentially seeking to advance their anti-China agenda at the expense of the well-being of all humanity. Such acts find no support and will eventually backfire.

We will continue to work with the international community to jointly oppose economic coercion and sci-tech bullying, and keep the institutions, rules and foundation of the world economy stable and the global industrial and supply chains safe and secure. We will build on the momentum of the ongoing CIIE to open up further to the world, and provide greater facilitation to foreign companies who wish to invest and operate in China, so as to jointly usher in a more united and prosperous future.

Reuters: The US side said on Wednesday that the US and Chinese leaders would discuss American “red lines” during an expected meeting next week, and that the US side is not willing to make any fundamental concessions. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: The heads of state of China and the US have maintained regular contact through various means. The Chinese side takes seriously the US proposal for a meeting between the two presidents in Bali. The teams on both sides are in communication on this.

China’s US policy is consistent and clear. We are committed to mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation with the US. At the same time, we will firmly defend our sovereignty, security and development interests. 

The Taiwan question is at the heart of China’s core interests; the one-China principle is the bedrock of the political foundation for China-US relations; the three China-US Joint Communiqués are the most crucial “guardrails” for our relations. What the US needs to do is stop fudging, distorting and hollowing out the one-China principle, strictly abide by the basic norms of international relations including respect for other countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, and return to the three China-US joint communiqués and the one-China principle. The economic and trade relations between China and the US are mutually beneficial and win-win in nature. The US should stop using economic and trade issues as a political tool or making them an ideological matter. Instead, the US needs to take concrete actions to uphold the rules of the market economy and the international trading system. The development of state-to-state relations is not a zero-sum game. China always stands for inclusive partnerships that do not target any third party and rejects coercing countries into choosing sides. 

China views and grows its relations with the US in accordance with the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation proposed by President Xi Jinping and calls for establishing the right way forward for our relations in the new era. It is important that the US work together with China to properly manage differences, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation, and bring China-US relations back to the right track of sound and steady development.

MASTV: It is reported that Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change, held informal talks with John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, during the 27th Conference of the Parties (COP27) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This has been confirmed by both of them. Xie said that the two countries haven’t resumed official climate talks and “the door is absolutely closed by the United States”. Xie expressed the hope that the US will take initiative to remove obstacles to resuming official climate talks, while Kerry called on China to do more on coal retirement. Do you have more information to share on that? What does that mean for the prospects of resuming China-US cooperation on climate response? What is your comment on Kerry’s call?

Zhao Lijian: China’s Special Envoy on Climate Change and his US counterpart have all along maintained informal communication. China’s position on China-US talks on climate change remains unchanged.

China is a doer in ecological conservation and climate governance, and has unswervingly taken active actions in climate response. In the past decade, China accounted for 30 to 50 percent of global energy conservation, energy efficiency improvement, renewable energy development, and green transportation and construction. The Report to the 20th National Congress of the Party stressed that China will work actively and prudently toward the goals of reaching peak carbon emissions and carbon neutrality, and get actively involved in global governance in response to climate change. This demonstrates once again China’s firm determination to pursue green development and promote harmony between humanity and nature. 

We hope developed countries can 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 work to enhance mutual trust between the North and the South and foster greater synergy in their actions. 

CCTV: According to reports, on November 9 local time, the hot-running test of the catenary system of the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) trial section got started, marking the debut of the Chinese-made Electric Multiple Units on the Jakarta-Bandung HSR track and attracting widespread attention. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: I have also noted this good news. The Electric Multiple Units being tested on the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway (HSR) were delivered to Indonesia from China in September. The successful test marks a key step forward in the preparation for the operation of the Jakarta-Bandung HSR.

The Jakarta-Bandung HSR is a signature project of high-quality cooperation between China and Indonesia under the Belt and Road Initiative. It is also the epitome of deepening win-win cooperation between China and its neighbors on the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefit. Recently, we have seen positive progress in a number of key cooperation projects between China and neighboring countries, including, for example, the trial operation of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway in Cambodia, the opening of all freight stations of the China-Laos Railway, and the launch of the first Code 4F runway and a modern seaplane terminal at Velana International Airport in the Maldives. In case some don’t know what Code 4F runway is, it is the highest level of runways on which heavy commercial passenger aircraft like A380 can take off and land. Many may not have any idea about modern seaplane terminals, I suggest you search it on the Internet. It is really beautiful. Going forward, China will continue to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with fellow developing countries including neighboring countries on the basis of the principles of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith and with a commitment to the greater good and shared interests, and we will do more to deliver more tangible benefits to them.

Bloomberg: Just a follow-up on your answer from a second ago. Does this mean you can confirm that the Chinese leader will be attending the G20 in Bali?

Zhao Lijian: I have no information to offer at this moment. Please stay tuned.

Global Times: Recently, the World Openness Report 2022 was released at the fifth Hongqiao International Economic Forum in Shanghai. According to the report, China’s openness index jumped from 0.7107 in 2012 to 0.7507 in 2020. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: I have noted this report. China’s openness index rose 5.6 percent from 2012 to 2020, and its ranking moved up from 47th to 39th. Relevant statistics have shown that China has made good progress in promoting high-standard opening up and become a vital force in advancing economic globalization.

I’m also glad to see a 6.3 percent rise in the openness index of BRICS countries and a 5 percent rise in that of economies along the Belt and Road from 2008 to 2020. It is worth noting that many advanced economies have registered a fall in the openness index, and world openness is declining overall. The world openness index in 2020 slid 4.1 percent compared with that in 2008, which is a particularly alarming trend.

Overcoming global challenges requires global cooperation. Against the backdrop of sluggish recovery of the global economy and rising unilateralism and protectionism, countries need to “join hands” with each other instead of “letting go” of each other’s hands, and remove barriers rather than build up walls. The 20th CPC National Congress stressed that China will contribute its share to building an open global economy that delivers greater benefits to all peoples. We believe China will open its door even wider to the outside world.

Shenzhen TV: On November 7 local time, a Salvadoran court upheld a suspension of El Salvador’s free trade agreement with Taiwan. Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele and the Chinese side jointly announced that both sides will begin free trade talks and finalize a treaty as soon as possible. Do you have any comment?

Zhao Lijian: On the evening of November 7 local time, the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice in El Salvador ordered the cessation of the effects of the protective measure for the so-called “free trade agreement” with Taiwan, which marks the complete abolition of the deal. In doing so, El Salvador has chosen to stand on the right side of history and made a decision that serves the fundamental and long-term interests of both countries. China highly appreciates that. This again shows that upholding the one-China principle is an overriding trend that represents the overwhelming consensus of the world and enjoys popular support. This is a trend that no force can hold back.

Today, China and El Salvador jointly announced that the two sides are ready to launch the bilateral free trade negotiation process as soon as possible and will make joint efforts for an early conclusion of the deal. This speaks volumes about the shared desire of the two sides to deepen bilateral ties and upgrade economic and trade cooperation. In recent years, acting upon the common understanding reached between the two heads of state, China and El Salvador have broken new ground in the development of bilateral relations, delivered new outcomes in practical cooperation, and further deepened friendship. China stands ready to work with El Salvador to strengthen the momentum of growth in bilateral ties, fully tap into our potential, and foster new highlights in cooperation, to create a better future for China-El Salvador relations. 

China Daily: The 2022 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit kicked off yesterday in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province. Shahbaz Khan, UNESCO Representative to China, said in his speech that he commends China’s actions to give full play to the role of the Internet to help lift more people out of poverty and would like to share its best practice with the world. Do you have a comment?

Zhao Lijian: The 2022 World Internet Conference Wuzhen Summit opened on November 9 under the theme “Towards a Shared Digital Future in a Connected World -- Building a Community with a Shared Future in Cyberspace”. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the summit, in which he pointed out that China is ready to work with countries around the world to blaze a global digital development path, accelerate efforts to build a community with a shared future in cyberspace, and contribute wisdom and strength to world peace and development as well as to the progress of human civilization.

Just now you quoted Shahbaz Khan, UNESCO Representative to China. Indeed, China has always seen itself as a member of the family of nations with a shared future. While making good use of the Internet to eradicate poverty at home, we have also been striving to advance poverty reduction for all mankind. In June 2021, China hosted an APEC workshop on inclusive digital society, making its contributions to poverty alleviation in the Asia-Pacific region. We have also provided financing support for some African countries’ information modernization projects to help them reduce poverty.

In China, people used to say, “To get rich, build roads”. Now we say, “To get rich, get connected to the Internet”. How fast the world is changing. This morning, a forum on digital technology-enabled charity and poverty alleviation was held at the Wuzhen Summit, where China shared its experience in poverty alleviation and its progress in increasing digital access to the benefit of all. We will continue to leverage our strengths in this field and contribute more to global digital poverty reduction.

AFP: Germany formally blocked yesterday the sale of two chip makers to Chinese investors because of a potential threat to security. I wonder if you have any details and comment on this?

Zhao Lijian: I believe the Chinese government’s position has been made fully clear when I replied to a similar question here yesterday.

Reuters: Canadian Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said on Wednesday that China is an “increasingly disruptive global power”. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this? 

Zhao Lijian: These remarks by the Canadian side run counter to facts, smack of ideological bias, and blatantly interfere in China’s internal affairs. We firmly reject them and have made solemn démarches to the Canadian side. I would like to emphasize the following points:

First, China is committed to peaceful development, openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation. We have always been a force for world peace, a contributor to global development, and a defender of the international order, a fact that has been widely recognized in the international community. China’s development brings opportunities to the world and strengthens the world’s forces for peace. No matter what stage of development we reach, we will never seek hegemony or engage in expansionism.

Second, peace, development and win-win cooperation are the trend of our times and the shared aspiration of countries in the Asia-Pacific. The formulation of an “Indo-Pacific strategy” is Canada’s own affair, but no matter what kind of regional strategy Canada comes up with, it should be guided by the vision of mutual benefit rather than zero-sum game. Those who cling to the Cold War zero-sum mentality, practice group politics and stoke bloc confrontation will find no support and get nowhere.

Third, relations between countries can only be built on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. China-Canada relations are no exception. Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and brook no meddling from any country. The China-Canada relationship is at a crossroads now. Its future course hinges on whether Canada can return to the rational and practical trajectory and view China in an objective and unbiased light.

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