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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on August 16, 2023

2023-08-16 19:22

Xinhua News Agency: The first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 11th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was concluded last week in Vienna. What’s China’s comment?

Wang Wenbin: The first session of the Preparatory Committee for the 11th Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) was held in Vienna from July 31 to August 11, marking the start of a new review cycle. The current global security landscape is experiencing complex change. Strategic security competition has intensified among major countries. Parties to the meeting had a comprehensive and in-depth discussion on the implementation of the NPT. Despite differences, they showed a common aspiration to uphold the NPT mechanism.

The NPT serves as the cornerstone of the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime. China firmly supports the aim and objectives of the NPT. During the meeting, China participated in all categories of substantive work with an active and constructive attitude, gave full play to the NPT’s role in facilitating the security and development of our times, and at the same time firmly safeguarded our own legitimate security and development rights and interests. China has honored its pledge to “no first use” of nuclear weapons. Our purpose of possessing nuclear weapons is never to seek hegemony, but to deter nuclear wars. China firmly upholds the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and opposes putting geopolitical interests above nuclear non-proliferation efforts. We are committed to the international cooperation for peaceful use of nuclear energy and emphasize that the peaceful use of nuclear energy should not be pursued at the expense of Nature or human health.

Guided by a series of major initiatives proposed by President Xi Jinping, including the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative, China will continue to work with the rest of the world to strengthen the universality, authority and effectiveness of the NPT, look for win-win solutions to the complex and entwined international security and development challenges and inject more stability and certainty to a turbulent era. 

Hubei Media Group: The 19th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting was held recently. Do you have any comment? 

Wang Wenbin: The 19th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting was held at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side from August 13 to 14. The two sides have issued a joint press release on it. China commends the progress made through the meeting. In a candid and pragmatic atmosphere, the two sides had a positive, constructive and in-depth discussion on the resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in the Western Sector. In line with the guidance provided by the leadership, they exchanged views in an open and forward-looking manner. They agreed to resolve the remaining issues in an expeditious manner and maintain the momentum of dialogue and negotiations through military and diplomatic channels. In the interim, the two sides agreed to maintain the peace and tranquility on the ground in the border areas.

CCTV: We noted that recently a few Western politicians and media claimed that China’s economic slowdown may pose risks to global economic growth. What is your comment?

Wang Wenbin: We noted what they said. The fact says otherwise.

The fact is that China’s economy continues to recover. Its rebound is generally on a sound track. China remains an important engine for world economic growth. For the first half of this year, China’s GDP grew by 5.5 percent year-on-year, visibly faster than the three-percent growth rate last year, higher than the average annual growth rate of 4.5 percent over the three years under COVID-19 and three percentage points higher than the growth rate of the US economy. According to the IMF World Economic Outlook updated last month, China’s economy is expected to grow by 5.2 percent and account for one third of global growth this year.

China’s high-quality economic development has made solid progress with bright spots both in the quality and quantity of growth. Consumption plays a significantly stronger role in driving growth. In the first half of this year, domestic demand accounted for 110.8 percent of economic growth, 59.4 percentage points higher than the same period last year. Of this, contribution from final consumption amounted to 77.2 percent, up by 46.4 percentage points. Industrial structure continued to upgrade. Between January and July, investment in high-tech industries increased by 11.5 percent year-on-year, and investment in scientific research and technology services industries was up 23.1 percent year-on-year. In the first half of this year, the combined export of electric cars, lithium batteries and solar panels increased by 61.6 percent year-on-year, demonstrating the strong resilience of China’s foreign trade. Despite the contracted foreign demand, China’s export has maintained a generally stable global market share in the first seven months of this year. Over the first half of the year, China added 78.42 gigawatt in installed PV capacity, over half of the total newly installed power capacity nationwide. 

The sluggish world economic recovery, combined with unabated inflation, financial turbulence and rising debt pressure, poses significant economic challenges for all countries. China’s post-COVID-19 economic recovery is characterized by undulating progress sometimes with twists and turns. Challenges are to be expected. We never shy away from them. Instead we respond to them head-on. The results of our response are already showing or beginning to show. Lately, China has rolled out a host of targeted and substantive measures aimed at promoting consumption, boosting the private sector, and attracting foreign investment, which have been applauded by domestic and foreign investors. Certain Western politicians and media have exaggerated and hyped up the current difficulties in China’s post-COVID economic recovery. Facts will prove them wrong. The Chinese economy enjoys strong resilience, ample potential and robust dynamism and the fundamentals sustaining China’s sound economic growth in the long run remain unchanged. We have the confidence, the conditions and the ability to meet the economic and social development targets set for 2023 with high quality, open up broader prospects for China’s economy, and remain a source of strength for world economic recovery and growth.

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