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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on October 26, 2023

2023-10-26 17:24

Beijing Daily: According to reports, Russia and China vetoed on October 25 a US-drafted UN Security Council resolution regarding the Palestinian-Israeli situation. The UAE also voted against the draft. Vetoed by the US and UK, Russia’s resolution was not adopted either. Could you share with us China’s position?

Mao Ning: China’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Zhang Jun fully explained our position after the voting at the Security Council. Our position is based on facts and justice, responding to the strong appeal of the international community, especially the Arab countries.

China has no selfish interests on the Palestinian question. China will firmly support anything conducive to peace, and will exert its utmost to do anything conducive to the reconciliation between Palestine and Israel. Since the escalation of the tensions between Palestine and Israel, China has actively advocated that the Security Council should take meaningful actions and make binding decisions as soon as possible. At the same time, China believes that the actions and decisions of the Security Council must respect facts and history, take the right direction, and show due  responsibility and accountability, and listen to and respect the position and call of the Arab countries. We are ready to continue to work with members of the Security Council and the international community to play a responsible and constructive role in putting an end to the hostility, protecting civilians, averting further humanitarian catastrophes, and realizing a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the question of Palestine.

Reuters: It was reported that Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with US President Joe Biden tomorrow. Can you confirm this?

Mao Ning: On Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to the US, we will release timely information. Please check back for updates.

Global Times: According to reports, senior EU officials have raised strong concern to the US over the executive order on investment restrictions aimed at China signed by US President Biden in August. They worry that the executive order might affect EU-based companies with US investors and Chinese owners. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: China always opposes politicizing economic, trade and technological issues. Those who arbitrarily interfere in the exchanges and cooperation between other countries through such non-market behavior as economic coercion or long-arm jurisdiction are going against the trend of economic globalization featuring division of labor and collaboration based on complementarity of strengths. It finds no support and serves no one’s interest. China will, as always, deepen dialogue and cooperation with all sides, safeguard the multilateral trading system, and firmly uphold its lawful rights and interests.

AFP: US President Joe Biden said that Chinese ships threatened and took illegal moves against Philippine ships in the South China Sea, and he reaffirmed the US defense commitment to the Philippines. What’s China’s comment on this? 

Mao Ning: The US is not a party to the South China Sea issue and has no right to interfere in the issue between China and the Philippines. The US defense commitment to the Philippines should not undermine China’s sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in the South China Sea, nor should it support the illegal claims of the Philippines.

Hubei Media Group: We have noted that against the backdrop of the escalating Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the 10th Symposium on China-Arab Relations and China-Arab Civilization Dialogue was recently held in the UAE. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: The Symposium on China-Arab Relations and China-Arab Civilization Dialogue is an important institutional event under the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum and a valuable platform for China-Arab inter-civilization exchanges. The catastrophic fallout of the abrupt escalation of the Palestinian-Israeli situation recently is heart-wrenching. Against this backdrop, the Chinese and Arab sides held the new round of dialogue on October 24 and 25, where discussions were centered on such items as strengthening inter-civilization exchanges, calling for peace talks, and realizing peaceful coexistence. It was an event of significant relevance.

Zhai Jun, Special Envoy of the Chinese Government on the Middle East Issue, elaborated again China’s position at the dialogue, namely, the most pressing task is to realize ceasefire and cessation of hostilities, avert a humanitarian disaster and promote deescalation of the conflict, in which the UN needs to play its due role. The way out of the Palestinian question lies in the two-state solution, which means establishing an independent State of Palestine and realizing the peaceful coexistence of Palestine and Israel. And the right path to move the two-state solution forward is to resume peace talks as soon as possible and give full play to the roles of various peace-facilitating mechanisms. China’s policy and position on the Palestinian question was highly recognized by the Arab delegates at the dialogue.

Exchanges between civilizations are an important means enabling human beings to rise above differences and achieve harmonious coexistence. By putting forward the Global Civilization Initiative (GCI), President Xi Jinping contributed China’s insight to the world’s pursuit of peace and development. Enhancing inter-civilization dialogue can be an effective remedy to fix the problem of confrontation and conflict. China stands ready to work with Arab countries to further unlock the power of civilizations and jointly act on the GCI to inject more stability into a world of change and instability and contribute more to the shared response to global challenges.

The Paper: We have noticed that at the International Symposium to Commemorate the 10th Anniversary of China’s Principle of Amity, Sincerity, Mutual Benefit and Inclusiveness in Neighborhood Diplomacy, China issued a document entitled “Outlook on China’s Foreign Policy on Its Neighborhood in the New Era”. It is the first time that China’s foreign policy on its neighborhood is elaborated in the form of a document. Could you share more details with us?

Mao Ning: The document entitled “Outlook on China’s Foreign Policy on Its Neighborhood in the New Era” elaborates China’s neighborhood diplomacy and aims to help the world better understand the practical outcomes, policies and purposes of China’s neighborhood diplomacy. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, especially Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, this document states that China will keep to peaceful development, contribute to the development of neighboring countries through China’s own development, and make joint efforts with regional countries to advance modernization and the building of a neighborhood community with a shared future. We believe that this document will help all parties have a deeper understanding of China’s neighborhood diplomacy.

The full text of the document in both Chinese and English can be found on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China. 

China News Service: Recently the US updated its export controls on semiconductors to China and the EU announced an anti-subsidy investigation into electric vehicles from China. A senior UK commentator said that there has been a serious retrogression in terms of openness in the West, and the consequences must be bad for both the West and China. Will China, like the West, also backpedal in opening up?

Mao Ning: Openness brings progress while isolation only holds one back. President Xi Jinping has stressed on multiple occasions that China will not close its door to the world; rather, we will open our door wider.

China has lived up to these words. Last week, in his keynote speech at the Opening Ceremony of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, President Xi Jinping announced that we will remove all restrictions on foreign investment access in the manufacturing sector. This speaks volume to China’s determination to take the initiative in opening up further to the world. The ongoing 134th China Import and Export Fair has attracted numerous businesses and participants. Next month, China will host the China International Import Expo (CIIE) and the Global Digital Trade Expo in Shanghai and Hangzhou respectively. As we have learned, for this year’s CIIE, the scale of Business Exhibition and the numbers of participating Fortune 500 companies and leading companies in various sectors will hit record high.

The history of global economic development tells us that one will only get trapped by opting for protectionism, and will not succeed or go far by pursuing decoupling or severing of industrial and supply chains. China will remain firmly committed to high-level opening-up and support building an open world economy.

CCTV: It is learned that the 21st Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC was held today in Beijing. Could you share any information on the meeting?

Mao Ning: On October 26, the 21st Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Implementation of the DOC was held in Beijing. China and ASEAN countries had an in-depth exchange of views on the situation of the South China Sea, full and effective implementation of the DOC, and practical maritime cooperation and consultations on a COC. Parties were of the view that upholding peace and stability in the South China Sea is of vital importance and called on all sides to exercise restraint, strengthen exchanges, and handle differences appropriately, so as to safeguard maritime stability. They agreed to continue to fully implement the DOC in an effective way, and deepen practical cooperation in such fields as marine scientific research, environmental protection, search and rescue operation at sea and maritime law enforcement activities. China and ASEAN countries at the meeting announced to start the third reading of the single negotiating draft text of the COC, and agreed to accelerate negotiations so as to strive to reach at an early date an effective and substantive COC that is consistent with international law and build the South China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.

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