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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on June 14, 2024

2024-06-14 19:52

As agreed between China and the EU and at the invitation of Vice Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg, Member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council Ding Xuexiang will hold the fifth China-EU High-Level Environment and Climate Dialogue at EU Headquarters in Brussels and visit Luxembourg from June 17 to 21.

Hubei Media Group: Yesterday, Premier Li Qiang started his official visit to New Zealand. Could you share with us more details?

Lin Jian: At the invitation of Prime Minister of New Zealand Christopher Luxon, Premier Li Qiang started his official visit to New Zealand from June 13. During the visit, Premier Li Qiang met with Governor-General of New Zealand Dame Cindy Kiro, attended the welcoming ceremony held by Prime Minister Christopher Luxon, and had talks with the latter.

Premier Li Qiang said that his current visit to New Zealand coincides with the 10th anniversary of President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Zealand and of the establishment of the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two sides. China and New Zealand have similar visions for development, cultures, values and propositions in international affairs. The development of China and New Zealand means opportunities, not challenges to each other. The two sides should stay partners committed to mutual respect and mutual trust, mutual benefit and mutual learning, and solidarity and coordination. China is ready to work with New Zealand to carry forward the traditional friendship and the spirit of “striving to be the first”, jointly promote development, and further upgrade the comprehensive strategic partnership to deliver more benefits to the two peoples.

Li Qiang pointed out that China is ready to work with New Zealand to continue to scale up trade, tap into the potential of cooperation in such fields as digital economy, green economy, new energy vehicles and creative industry, and jointly promote regional economic cooperation. The two sides should work to remove the disturbance of non-economic factors to bilateral trade and economic relations, and provide stable expectations and a sound business environment for the operation and development of companies. China welcomes more New Zealand businesses to invest and do business in China. China is ready to deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges with New Zealand, include New Zealand into China’s unilateral visa-free policy, and hopes that New Zealand will provide more convenience for Chinese citizens to visit New Zealand. Both China and New Zealand are firm in supporting multilateralism, and both support free trade and building an open world economy. The two sides should strengthen communication and coordination in multilateral settings, and encourage all parties to pull in the same direction toward win-win cooperation.

The two prime ministers agreed that China-New Zealand relations have made satisfactory progress. The two sides will continue to view and handle bilateral relations from a strategic height and long-term perspective, expand bilateral trade and investment cooperation, deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, jointly safeguard multilateralism and free trade, and promote sustained, sound and stable development of bilateral relations. The two sides also agreed to launch negotiations on the negative list of trade in services.

After the talks, the two prime ministers jointly witnessed the signing of multiple bilateral cooperation documents in such fields as service trade, business environment, export of agricultural and food products to China, science and technology, patent examination and migratory birds protection, and jointly met the press. The two sides also issued a joint statement on the outcomes of the meeting. 

Xinhua News Agency: To follow up on your announcement about Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang’s visit to Europe, could you share with us the program and China’s expectation of the visit?

Lin Jian: China and Europe are the world’s two major forces, major markets, and major civilizations. China-EU relations have an impact on global peace, stability, development and prosperity. China always views its relations with the EU from a strategic height and long-term perspective, and regards Europe as an important priority for China’s major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and also an important partner for achieving Chinese modernization. China and the EU share extensive common interests and broad space for cooperation in green development, and have maintained good dialogue and cooperation in this regard. Since the establishment of the China-EU High-Level Environment and Climate Dialogue in 2020, the two sides have successfully held four rounds of dialogue, which has played a positive role in jointly addressing global challenges in environment and climate governance, strengthening communication and coordination on bilateral and multilateral policies, and promoting mutually beneficial cooperation. During the upcoming trip, Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang and Executive Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič will co-chair the fifth high-level dialogue. China stands ready to work with the EU to act on the important common understandings reached by the leaders of the two sides, and through this dialogue, broaden the areas of cooperation, explore new collaboration models and upgrade the level of cooperation. We hope to deepen and solidify our green partnership with the EU and make green the most distinctive color of China-EU cooperation.

In Luxembourg, Vice Premier Ding Xuexiang will meet with Luxembourg’s leaders and attend the Second Zhengzhou-Luxembourg “Air Silk Road” Forum for International Cooperation. Luxembourg is a founding member of the EU and China’s friendly cooperation partner in Europe. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties over fifty years ago, the two countries have respected each other, engaged in mutually beneficial cooperation and jointly promoted development. In recent years, China and Luxembourg have achieved new progress in cooperation of areas such as finance and air freight. Since the Zhengzhou-Luxembourg “Air Silk Road” started operation, it has flown large amounts of goods between China and Europe, brought tangible benefits to the people of China, Luxembourg and the rest of Europe, and helped keep global industrial and supply chains stable. China looks to work with Luxembourg through this visit to step up dialogue and communication, strengthen mutual understanding and trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and further advance our bilateral relations. 

Reuters: It is learned that although China is not attending this weekend’s Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland, it has been lobbying several countries to join its six-point consensus with Brazil on a political settlement of the Ukraine war. One source said that China, in conversations with developing countries, said the Swiss peace summit was unconstructive and would prolong the Ukraine conflict. We do not know the exact developing countries. What is China’s comment?

Lin Jian: China welcomes and supports all efforts for peace. Our position on the Summit on Peace in Ukraine to be held in Switzerland is fair and just and we’ve been open and clear about our position. China has maintained close communication with Switzerland, Ukraine and other parties on issues related to the summit and encouraged equal participation and fair discussion of all plans at the summit.

The six common understandings by China and Brazil have received positive response from over 100 countries. They reflect the universal expectation of the world and represent the broadest common ground of countries in the world on this issue. We welcome more countries to support and endorse the six common understandings.

Beijing Daily: The Hong Kong SAR government on June 12 exercised the powers conferred by the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance to specify six individuals who have absconded, namely Law Kwun-chung, Mung Siu-tat, Lau Cho-dik, Cheng Man-kit, Fok Ka-chi and Choi Ming-da, and describe the measures to be applied against such absconders by notices published in the Government Gazette. The US, the UK, Canada, Australia and the EU claimed that the SAR government’s action erodes rights and freedoms and expressed concerns over the extraterritorial application of the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong SAR. What is China’s comment?

Lin Jian: We strongly deplore and firmly oppose relevant parties’ blatant smear of the national security law and ordinance and interference in Hong Kong’s rule of law. Let me reiterate that Law Kwun-chung and the other absconders have long engaged in anti-China activities and sought to destabilize Hong Kong. What they did gravely undermines national security and Hong Kong’s fundamental interests and has a serious impact on One Country, Two Systems which is a bottom line that must not be crossed. The Hong Kong police took measures in accordance with the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance, which is the right and necessary thing to do in order to uphold the rule of law in Hong Kong and national security. This is fully justified, legitimate and lawful. The Law on Safeguarding National Security and the Safeguarding National Security Ordinance target the very few criminals who severely endanger national security. They protect the rights and freedoms that all Hong Kong residents enjoy in accordance with the law. The extraterritorial application of the Law on Safeguarding National Security is in strict compliance with international law and the common practices of countries and regions across the world. It is beyond reproach.

Let me stress that Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and brook no interference by external forces. We urge relevant parties to earnestly respect China’s sovereignty and the rule of law in Hong Kong, stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs, stop emboldening the anti-China individuals seeking to destabilize Hong Kong, and stop harboring criminals.

Reuters: Israel’s public broadcaster reports that Hamas has demanded that China, Russia and Türkiye serve as guarantors for any agreement it reaches with Israel among alternations to a proposed ceasefire and hostage release deal. Israeli media says the US and Israel have both rejected this demand, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called some of Hamas’s demands “unworkable.” China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi previously has said that China would continue to play a constructive role in handling global hotspot issues. So what is China’s position on the idea it could work with other countries to guarantee a ceasefire? And is Beijing mediating with other powers to see this happen?

Lin Jian: Since the ongoing fighting began in Gaza, China has been working closely with all parties, including the Arab and Islamic states, to jointly promote ceasefire, call for the protection of civilians and do everything we can to ease the humanitarian disaster.

I would like to stress that the current situation in the Gaza Strip is unsustainable and the most urgent priority is to fully and effectively implement relevant UN Security Council resolutions, achieve an immediate ceasefire, protect civilians, ensure access to humanitarian assistance and realize the early release of all those held captive. China will continue to work with all parties to make unremitting efforts to end the fighting in Gaza as soon as possible, ease the grave humanitarian situation and deliver the two-State solution.

Bloomberg: Earlier today, the Ministry of Commerce criticized Türkiye for implementing 40 percent tariff on Chinese car imports. Does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have anything further to add to the Ministry of Commerce’s statement on this? And there is a follow-up. It’s not just Türkiye and the EU that are implementing tariffs on Chinese cars. And there are a number of countries that have already announced tariffs on Chinese steel exports as well, including Brazil, Chile and Mexico and Colombia. Is China concerned that more countries around the world are putting tariffs on Chinese exports? And do you have a response?

Lin Jian: For your specific question about tariffs between China and Türkiye, China’s Ministry of Commerce has made clear our position. Recent years have seen rapid growth of trade and economic cooperation between China and Türkiye. Deepening practical cooperation in various fields between the two countries has boosted Türkiye’s economic and social development and brought tangible benefits to the peoples of the two countries. Türkiye’s decision to increase tariffs is not consistent with WTO rules or the momentum of steady growth of bilateral ties. 

You mentioned China’s economic and trade relations with several Latin American countries, including Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Colombia. Let me reiterate that China and Latin American countries, including Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Colombia, enjoy a sound momentum of growth in bilateral relations, and our trade and economic cooperation is fruitful. Steady and sound economic and trade ties serve the fundamental interests and meet the common aspirations of China and the above-mentioned countries. As For more details about the tariffs between China and the Latin American countries you mentioned, I’d refer you to competent authorities.

Reuters: China and South Korea are expected to hold “two plus two” talks of their senior foreign and defense officials early next week. Are you able to confirm the date or what will be on the agenda?

Lin Jian: China and the ROK agreed on holding the first 2+2 vice-ministerial level diplomatic and security dialogue in due course and are in communication on working out the specifics. I have nothing further to offer at the moment.

Bloomberg: German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck is meant to come to China next week for a visit from, I think, Wednesday or Thursday. Do you have anything that you can tell us about what China might speak to him about when he is here?

Lin Jian: I’d refer you to competent authorities for anything specific.

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