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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on December 25, 2023

2023-12-25 19:17

CCTV: This year marks the tenth anniversary of the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind put forward by President Xi Jinping, which has been widely recognized and supported by the international community. At the same time, we have seen bloc confrontation, decoupling and supply chain disruptions and other manifestations of Cold War mentality on the rise. Some people commented that the world is dividing into “two blocs”. Against this backdrop, how will China deepen and substantiate the vision? What role can the vision play in addressing current global challenges?

Mao Ning: Ten years ago, faced with profound changes of the world, of our times, and of the historical trajectory, President Xi Jinping put forward the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. Over the past decade, the vision has been translated from ideas into actions, and has provided effective safeguard for preserving world peace, injected vigorous impetus into promoting global development, and built strong synergy for addressing global challenges. It has been warmly echoed by the international community. The vision has been written into resolutions of UN General Assembly for seven years in a row, and included in resolutions or declarations of multilateral mechanisms like the SCO and BRICS. China also put forward important initiatives such as building a global community of health for all, a community with a shared future in cyberspace, and a community of life for humanity and nature, giving a strong boost to global governance in various sectors.

Today, we are living in the same global village. The connections and interdependence between countries around the world are more frequent and closer than ever. No country can stay unaffected in the face of various pressing global challenges. The vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind replaces conflicts and confrontation with peaceful development, absolute security with common security, and zero-sum game with mutual benefits and win-win results, prevents cultural clashes through cultural exchanges, and champions green development to protect the planet we call home. The vision responds to the common pursuit of people in countries around the world for peace, development and cooperation, and identifies the fundamental path to solve global issues. Under the guidance of the vision, China has proposed and promoted the implementation of major initiatives including the Belt and Road cooperation, Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative. China stands ready to make joint efforts with the international community to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity, and create a better future for humanity.

Rudaw Media Network: Over the past two months, there have been more than 40 attacks on US bases in Iraq and Kurdistan region. You are Iraq’s trade partner. Are you concerned regarding the safety and security of Chinese companies operating in Iraq?

Mao Ning: Iraq is China’s important Belt and Road partner. In recent years, China and Iraq have deepened practical cooperation, delivering tangible benefits to the two countries and two peoples. China closely follows Iraq’s security situation and is willing to increase cooperation with Iraq to ensure the safety and smooth progress of cooperation projects.

Reuters: China’s official media today accused the Philippines of repeatedly violating China’s sovereignty in the South China Sea, spreading false news and colluding with foreign forces to undermine peace and stability in the South China Sea. Will the two sides hold a new round of talks? How does China view the risk of armed maritime conflict?

Mao Ning: China will not weaken in its resolve to protect its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. For months, the Philippines has been making provocations on Ren’ai Jiao and other issues and drawing forces outside the region into those issues. China is compelled under those circumstances to take necessary measures to firmly respond to it. That said, China’s door of dialogue remains open. We are ready to work with the Philippines to properly handle maritime issues through negotiation and consultation. We hope the Philippines will stop pursuing the wrong course at once.

AFP: At least 14 persons were killed yesterday in Indonesia in an explosion at the Chinese funded plants. Can you tell us if some Chinese nationals were among the victims?

Mao Ning: We’ve learned that the accident has so far killed 13, including four Chinese employees and injured many who have been taken to hospital. We’re saddened by the deaths and injuries and express our condolences over the victims.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs are working closely with other government agencies and relevant local government in China on the matter. We have instructed the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia to verify the situation and handle the accident at once. The Embassy immediately activated the emergency response mechanism and contacted relevant parties to make every effort to save and treat the injured and find out what caused the accident. The Embassy is also giving guidance to the company concerned on follow-up arrangements.

We will stay in close communication with Indonesia to make sure that everything is properly handled.

China News Service: We noticed that on December 22 local time, the 78th UN General Assembly adopted a resolution by consensus to list the Lunar New Year as a UN floating holiday, which means the lunar new year will be celebrated at the UN too. Any comment on that?

Mao Ning: The Lunar New Year, or what we call Spring Festival in China, is the oldest and the most important traditional festival in the Chinese culture. It’s a time for family reunion and ringing in the new year. It’s celebrated in China and around the world. Some rough estimates suggest that the Lunar New Year is a public holiday in almost 20 countries and celebrated in various ways by about one-fifth of humanity. Traditional Lunar New Year activities are organized in nearly 200 countries and regions. The festival has become a global cultural event, bringing joy to people around the world. 

The Lunar New Year symbolizes joy, harmony and peace and its Chinese name “Spring Festival” conveys the greetings and warmth of the spring season. The festival embodies the core values of harmony, love and peace in Chinese culture. We look forward to celebrating the Spring Festival with the world and hope all civilizations will live in harmony, prosper together and engage in exchanges and mutual learning, and that people of all countries will enjoy better mutual understanding and friendship and work together for building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Global Times: It is reported that the Japanese government adopted the updated Three Principles on Transfer of Defense Equipment and Technology and its implementation guidelines (herein referred to as “Three Principles”) on December 22 with a decision to provide its home-made Patriot air defence missiles to the United States. It is the first time that Japan has allowed the export of destruction weapons since its Cabinet’s adoption of the Three Principles in 2014. On the same day, the Cabinet approved the budget for Fiscal Year 2024 with a record defense budget of around JPY 7.9 trillion, up by 16.6 percent year on year. What is your comment?

Mao Ning: Given Japan’s recent history of militarist aggression, Japan’s military and security moves are closely watched by its Asian neighbors and the international community. In recent years, Japan has been drastically readjusting its security policy, increasing defense spending year after year, easing the restrictions on arms export and seeking military breakthroughs. We urge Japan to earnestly respect the security concerns of neighboring countries, reflect on its history of aggression, commit itself to the path of peaceful development and earn the trust of its Asian neighbors and the wider international community through concrete actions.

The Paper: Last Friday, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 2720 on the humanitarian condition in Gaza, with 13 votes in favor and two abstentions. How does China see the resolution?

Mao Ning: Resolution 2720 is the second Security Council resolution since the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict broke out. The resolution calls for urgent action to expand humanitarian assistance to Gaza and creating the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities.

For publicly known reasons, the resolution does not quite come up to international expectations and has certain gaps that needed to be filled. Yet in light of the urgent situation on the ground and the position of Palestine and other Arab countries, China voted in favor of the resolution. The latest round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict has already killed and injured tens of thousands of innocent civilians and the humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate. We hope the resolution will be effectively implemented, more humanitarian aid will reach Gaza as soon as possible and a monitoring mechanism will be set up. That said, realizing a ceasefire remains the absolute priority and prerequisite for everything else. China will continue to work with all parties to enhance coordination and galvanize more responsible and meaningful actions in the Security Council to make relentless efforts for an early cessation of hostilities in Gaza, the implementation of the two-state solution and peace and stability in the Middle East.

Beijing Daily: It’s reported that two employees working for Vivo’s India unit were arrested by India’s Enforcement Directorate. They will next appear in court on December 26. Vivo’s India unit said that it was deeply shocked by the arrest; The recent arrests show that India’s harassment against Vivo still continues, which induces an environment of uncertainty amongst the wider industry landscape; Vivo will resolutely address these accusations through all legal means. Recently, it’s also said that Chinese staff of the ZTE’s India unit might soon be forced to leave India because they could not get visa or the visa extension permit. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: We are closely following what you mentioned. The Chinese government firmly supports Chinese businesses in safeguarding their lawful rights and interests. We hope that India will fully recognize the mutually beneficial nature of the business cooperation between our two countries and provide a fair, just, transparent and non-discriminatory business environment. The Chinese embassy and consulates in India will continue to provide consular protection and assistance to the individuals concerned in accordance with the law.

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