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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on May 4, 2023

2023-05-04 19:43

At the invitation of King Charles III of the United Kingdom, President Xi Jinping’s special representative Vice President Han Zheng will attend the King’s coronation ceremony to be held on May 6 in London.

At the invitation of the governments of Portugal and the Netherlands, Vice President Han Zheng will visit the two countries from May 7 to 12.

Xinhua News Agency: On May 4, the National Computer Virus Emergency Response Center of China and 360 Total Security jointly issued a report entitled “‘Empire of Hacking’: The US Central Intelligence Agency”. What is your comment?

Mao Ning: I have noted the report. According to the report, over the years, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has gathered intelligence information from foreign governments, enterprises and citizens, organized, carried out, directed and supervised transboundary covert actions, and secretly conducted “Peaceful Evolution” and “Color Revolution” around the world. The Agency has provided encrypted network communication services, reconnect service of the network, and on-site command communication tools for demonstrations to conflicting parties, developed relevant software and the “Anti-censorship system”, and carried out espionage activities. The international community needs to stay on high alert against these moves. The large number of real cases in China and other countries disclosed by the report once again testifies to the CIA’s cyber attack activities around the world over the years.

The US must take seriously and respond to the concerns from the international community, and stop using cyber weapons to carry out espionage and cyber attacks around the world.

Yonhap News Agency: On May 2, the ROK President expressed concerns about the DPRK’s violation of UN Security Council resolutions and China’s refusal to implement sanctions against the DPRK. What is your response?

Mao Ning: The Korean Peninsula issues are political and security issues. The crux of the issues is the failure to transit from armistice to a peace mechanism and to settle the legitimate concerns of all parties in a balanced way. In particular, the US has yet to respond to the DPRK’s legitimate security concerns. We hope relevant parties will have a clear understanding of the crux of the Peninsula issues and provide targeted remedies instead of “climbing a tree to catch fish”, as a Chinese idiom says.

China always earnestly performs its due international obligations. The Security Council resolutions are not just provisions on sanctions. They also include provisions on support for dialogue, humanitarian assistance and alleviation of sanctions, and should be understood and implemented fully and accurately.

TASS: The Kremlin Press Service said yesterday that two Ukrainian drones attempted to attack the Kremlin and were disabled by Russian radar systems. Russia views the incident as a terrorist attack and an assassination attempt targeting the Russian head of state launched by Ukraine. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: We have noted relevant reports. China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear. All sides need to avoid taking actions that might further escalate the situation.

RIA Novosti: I also have a question on the Ukrainian government’s drone attack on the Kremlin. Will it influence China’s plan of sending the representative to visit Ukraine?

Mao Ning: About the Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs’ visit to Ukraine and other countries, we will make further announcements in due course. China will continue to work with the international community to play a constructive role for the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

CCTV: John Neuffer, President and CEO of the US Semiconductor Industry Association, said in an interview with Bloomberg recently that China is “our biggest market” and that American semiconductor companies want access to the China market despite US government national security concerns. What’s China’s comment? 

Mao Ning: I have noted relevant reports. China is the biggest semiconductor market in the world. It is in no party’s interest to push for decoupling from China, sever supply chains and disrupt the market.

To maintain its hegemony, the US has for some time been overstretching the concept of national security, abusing export control measures and limiting exports to China. It is not only China that the US is trying to contain and bring down, but also a large number of developing countries. The US is taking away their right to scientific and technological progress and development that they deserve and keeping them at the lower end of industrial chains. Such selfish and bullying practices in science and technology are unjust and against international rules. They will destabilize the global industrial and supply chains, hamper global economic development and ultimately backfire on the US itself.

China is committed to high-level opening up. We are ready to achieve common development with all other countries by sharing opportunities. We, at the same time, will firmly defend our lawful rights and interests. Containment and suppression cannot hold back China’s development. Instead, it will only strengthen China’s resolve and capability to pursue self-reliance and technological innovation.

Beijing Youth Daily: The just-ended May Day holiday brought a great boom to the market. Nationwide food and beverage consumption and long-haul travel accommodation bookings far exceeded pre-pandemic levels. The holiday was celebrated as “the most prosperous one in history”. Some foreign media outlets said that it demonstrates the strong vitality of the Chinese economy and serves as a major boon to world economic recovery. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: With the hustling and bustling and the economic vitality of China, this May Day holiday is indeed a “golden week”. According to relevant data, a total of 274 million domestic trips were made during the May Day holiday, generating 148 billion yuan of tourism revenues, up by 70.83% and 128.9% year-on-year respectively. Outbound travel bookings of Chinese tourists soared by nearly seven times year-on-year.

I also noted the Regional Economic Outlook for Asia and Pacific report published by IMF, which shows that the strong rebound of the Chinese economy provides a great impetus for the Asia-Pacific and global economy. The Chinese economy is expected to expand by 5.2% this year and contribute 34.9% of global growth. It is believed that the vibrant Chinese economy will inject more vitality into world economic recovery.

AFP: US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry said on Wednesday that China has invited him to visit the country soon. Can you confirm the visit and provide the exact date?

Mao Ning: China’s position on climate change is consistent. On your specific question, I will refer you to competent Chinese authorities.

Bloomberg: It’s been reported that Vice President Han Zheng will meet with the UK Foreign Secretary when he goes to the coronation. Does this mean or is this an indication that James Cleverly, the Foreign Secretary, will be invited to China in the near future?

Mao Ning: China is always open to dialogue and exchange. That being said, for any dialogue to happen, mutual respect and efforts in the same direction are necessary. 

Reuters: Chinese financial data providers, including Wind, have recently stopped providing key corporate information to overseas clients, according to media reports. Can you confirm if this is true and do you have any comment on it?

Mao Ning: I’m not aware of that and would like to refer you to the competent Chinese authorities.

AFP: Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang paid a visit to Myanmar this week. Could you give us more details on the outcomes of this visit?

Mao Ning: Thank you for your interest in State Councilor Qin Gang’s visit to Myanmar. During the visit, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang met with Myanmar leader Min Aung Hlaing and former Chairman of the Myanmar State Peace and Development Council Than Shwe, and held talks with Minister for Foreign Affairs of Myanmar Than Swe. He elaborated China’s policy and proposition towards Myanmar and stressed that China’s friendly policy towards Myanmar is for all the Myanmar people. China respects Myanmar’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, firmly supports Myanmar in safeguarding independence, maintaining political stability and achieving sustainable development, and supports Myanmar in exploring a development path suited to its national conditions and with Myanmar characteristics and steadily advancing its political transition process. We hope that all parties and factions in Myanmar will bear in mind the interests of the country and the nation, seek a solution through dialogue and consultation, restore social stability and resume the political transition process at an early date. China stands ready to work with the international community to continue providing constructive assistance to Myanmar.

Reuters: The US laid out in very clear terms under bilateral security guidelines with the Philippines that it will come to its defense if its armed forces, including coast guard vessels, came under attack anywhere in the South China Sea. Do you have any comment on this?

Mao Ning: With the concerted efforts of regional countries, the situation in the South China Sea has maintained overall stability. The US-Philippines defense guidelines is a bilateral arrangement. China firmly opposes any country’s move to meddle in the South China Sea issue to harm China’s territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests by citing the guidelines. 

I would like to stress that the South China Sea is the shared home for countries in the region, not a hunting ground for forces outside the region. When regional countries are committed to mutual trust, solidarity, cooperation and properly handling differences, they have in their hand the key to peace and stability in the South China Sea.

PTI: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang is attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meetings in India. Do you have any update on his engagements as well as anything that China wants to highlight in this particular round of Foreign Ministers’ Meeting?

Mao Ning: If there is anything new on State Councilor Qin’s activities in India, we will keep you posted. Please check back for updates.

AFP: A Canadian lawmaker on Wednesday called for Ottawa to expel a Chinese diplomat accused of having sought to intimidate him and his family in Hong Kong over the MP’s criticisms of Beijing. Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: China is opposed to any interference in a country’s internal affairs. We never interfere in Canada’s internal affairs and have no interest whatsoever in doing so. At the same time, we are resolute in defending our sovereignty, security and development interests and opposing actions that interfere in China’s internal affairs and harm China’s interests.

TASS: NIKKEI reported on Wednesday that NATO is planning to open a liaison office in Japan next year. The station will allow the military alliance to conduct periodic consultations with Japan. Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: Asia is an anchor for peace and stability and a promising land for cooperation and development, not a wrestling ground for geopolitical competition. NATO’s continued eastward foray into the Asia-Pacific and interference in regional affairs will inevitably undermine regional peace and stability and stoke camp confrontation. This calls for high vigilance among regional countries.

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