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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on January 17, 2024

2024-01-17 19:03

At the invitation of the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Félix-Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President Xi Jinping’s Special Envoy and Vice Chairperson of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Shen Yueyue will attend the inauguration of President Tshisekedi in DRC’s capital Kinshasa on January 20.

CGTN: Taiwan media claimed that sources say Nauru’s surprise break of “diplomatic ties” with Taiwan was achieved through behind-the-scenes manipulation by a former president of the country. While Taiwan was still assessing and having consultations on Nauru’s demand for economic aid, the mainland took the opportunity to persuade Nauru to switch ties. What is the Foreign Ministry’s comment on this?

Mao Ning: To recognize the one-China principle, break “diplomatic ties” with Taiwan and seek to restore diplomatic relations with China is the collective decision of the Nauru cabinet and a right choice independently made by Nauru as a sovereign country. We noted that the parliament of Nauru unanimously adopted a resolution yesterday, supporting, endorsing and affirming the Nauru government’s decision to resume diplomatic relations with China and committing itself to strengthening Nauru’s diplomatic ties with China and the cordial relations between the two sovereign nations. This once again shows that the one-China principle is where global opinion trends and where the arc of history bends.

The “sources” of the so-called claims are nothing but ill-intentioned speculation. Those who see “dollar diplomacy” as a go-to tool need to understand that there are things that money cannot buy. The one-China principle is a fundamental principle that cannot be traded and a prevailing international consensus.

China is the world’s second largest economy. Restoring and developing diplomatic relations and carrying out practical cooperation in various fields with China promise broad prospects and will bring unprecedented development opportunities for Nauru.

China Daily: The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2024 held in Davos, Switzerland receives world attention. There are two voices at the meeting. One is for de-risking with export controls and other measures in trade for national security. The other is for cooperation as it’s the only way to rekindle dynamism and solve problems. What’s your comment? 

Mao Ning: Premier Li Qiang attended the annual meeting and delivered a special address. He stressed that in today’s world with very close economic linkages between countries, fragmented and separate responses will only leave the world economy more fragile. China believes that what truly serves the common interests of all is to fully respect the laws of international industrial specialization, firmly advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, tighten the bond of cooperation, and make the pie of mutual benefit bigger. Countries need to step up dialogue and communication, take more coordinated and effective measures, firmly uphold the multilateral trading system, jointly improve global economic governance, and foster new drivers of global growth.

As the second largest economy in the world, China is an important engine of global development with its contribution to world economic growth at around 30 percent over the years. China is now advancing Chinese modernization on all fronts through high-quality development and will continue to provide strong impetus for the world economy. China has a supersize market with rapidly unlocked demand. In face of weak global demand, market becomes the most scarce resource. The Chinese market, with its vast space and growing depth, will play an important role in boosting aggregate global demand. China will remain firmly committed to opening up, share our opportunities and develop together with all in the world.

As underlined by Premier Li Qiang, China embraces investments from businesses of all countries with open arms, and will work tirelessly to foster a market-oriented, law-based and world-class business environment. Choosing the Chinese market is not a risk, but an opportunity. China will open its door still wider to the world. 

Reuters: Nauru had ties with China in 2002, but it switched to Taiwan in 2005 and now it has switched back to China. Our question is, when will China establish an embassy in Nauru and vice versa, when will Nauru establish an embassy in Beijing?

Mao Ning: We will release the specific arrangements on the reestablishment of diplomatic ties between China and Nauru in due course.

I want to stress that as a collective decision made at the cabinet meeting, Nauru recognizes the one-China principle, breaks “diplomatic ties” with Taiwan and seeks to reestablish diplomatic relations with China. This meets the aspiration of the people in Nauru, serves Nauru’s long-term interests, and is on the right side of history.

Reuters: Does China see Nauru as a reliable partner given it has switched ties before? What guarantees does China have from Nauru for the country not to go back to Taiwan again?

Mao Ning: China appreciates and welcomes Nauru’s decision to break “diplomatic ties” with Taiwan and seek to resume diplomatic relations with China. We believe this is a right choice. China is ready to work with Nauru to open up a new chapter in our bilateral relations on the basis of the one-China principle.

AFP: Canada unveiled on Tuesday restrictions on research funding citing national security concerns. Canada said it wants to prevent the sharing of advanced technologies with the entities of some countries, including China. What’s your response to this?

Mao Ning: The Canadian government has gone after some universities and research institutions of China under the pretext of so-called national security risks. This seriously undermines sci-tech exchange and cooperation between China and Canada and is not conducive to improving and stabilizing the bilateral relations. China strongly deplores and firmly opposes this. 

Sci-tech exchange and cooperation between China and Canada are two-way and mutually beneficial. The relevant policy of Canada is short-sighted and unwise and hurts others as well as itself. We urge Canada to abandon ideological bias and Cold War mentality, stop overstretching the concept of national security, stop politicizing sci-tech cooperation issues and using them as a tool, stop setting up barriers hindering normal sci-tech exchange and cooperation between China and Canada, and create conditions and atmosphere for the improvement and growth of bilateral relations, instead of doing the opposite.

Reuters: Will China offer to help Nauru in security and policing matters in the way that China has helped in their pact with the Solomon Islands?

Mao Ning: After resuming diplomatic ties, the two sides will carry out cooperation in various fields on the basis of equality, mutual respect, mutually beneficial cooperation, openness and inclusiveness. We will not set restrictions for fields of cooperation, and the fields will be determined through talks between the two sides.

Anadolu Agency: Pakistan condemned an air strike inside its territory yesterday. What is China’s comment about tensions between two Shanghai Cooperation Organization allies?

Mao Ning: China believes that the relations between countries should be handled based on the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law, and all countries’ sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be earnestly respected and protected. Iran and Pakistan are close neighbors and major Islamic countries. We call on the two sides to exercise restraint, avoid actions that escalate the tension and jointly keep the region peaceful and stable.

NHK: Last November, Australia accused a Chinese destroyer of causing injuries to Australian naval divers by operating its sonar. China’s Ambassador to Australia just said that it’s the Japanese warship that launched the attack. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: I didn’t know what exactly Ambassador Xiao Qian said. When the incident happened last November, the Chinese military made a response and clarification. 

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