Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on July 5, 2024

2024-07-05 20:43

At the invitation of Premier Li Qiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Charlot Salwai of the Republic of Vanuatu will pay an official visit to China from July 7 to 12.

At the invitation of Premier Li Qiang of the State Council, Prime Minister Jeremiah Manele of Solomon Islands will pay an official visit to China from July 9 to 15.

At the invitation of Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Minister Maksim Ryzhenkov of Belarus will pay an official visit to China from July 6 to 9.

At the invitation of Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs Maris Sangiampongsa of Thailand will pay an official visit to China and co-chair the second meeting of the Consultation Mechanism between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of China and Thailand from July 9 to 10. 

AFP: The Labor Party has won the UK general election. And the incoming Prime Minister Keir Starmer has previously said that the UK needed to wean itself off China on issues such as trade and technology but cooperate with China on other issues, including climate change. Could we ask what China’s reaction to his election is?

Mao Ning: We noted the result of the UK general election. China has a consistent and clear position on growing China-UK relations. China and the UK are both permanent members of the UN Security Council and major economies in the world. Growing stable and mutually beneficial bilateral ties between China and the UK serves the fundamental interests of both peoples, helps both countries to better respond to global challenges together, and contributes to world peace and development. China hopes to work with the UK to advance China-UK relations along the right track based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

China News Service: This year’s Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit accepted Belarus as a member state. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: As an observer of the SCO for a long time, Belarus highly recognizes the Shanghai Spirit and other core visions of the organization, actively participated in SCO cooperation in various fields, and made important contributions to the development of the SCO. During this year’s summit, President Xi Jinping and leaders of other SCO member states jointly signed a resolution to grant Belarus the status of an SCO member state, making the country the 10th SCO member state. China once again extends warm congratulations to Belarus and looks forward to Belarus’ active, comprehensive and in-depth participation in SCO activities and its new contribution to the organization’s development.

The SCO today stands as a comprehensive regional organization that covers the largest population and area in the world. As more countries became SCO member states, it shows that the Shanghai Spirit has strong vitality, cohesiveness and appeal, and that the SCO follows the development trend of the times, practices an open and inclusive cooperation vision and is welcomed and commended by the international community and countries in the region.

More and more countries now hope to strengthen cooperation with the SCO, and obtain or upgrade their legal status in the SCO. China welcomes more countries that recognize the Shanghai Spirit and the purposes and principles of the SCO to join the SCO family, work together to build an even closer SCO community with a shared future, jointly uphold international fairness and justice, promote world peace and stability, and make SCO’s contribution to global prosperity and development.

Reuters: The European Commission confirmed yesterday that it will impose preliminary tariffs on Chinese manufactured electric vehicles. The Commerce Ministry this morning announced it will continue with its anti-dumping probe into European brandy imports. But does China plan to introduce any further retaliatory measures? 

Mao Ning: I’d refer you to competent authorities on specific issues. China has expressed strong opposition more than once to the EU’s anti-subsidy investigation on China’s electric vehicles. We believe that specific trade issues should be resolved properly through dialogue and consultation. China will also take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its legitimate rights and interests. 

Xinhua News Agency: The 24th Meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was successfully held in Astana. President Xi Jinping attended the Meeting. Can you share more details on the Meeting? What initiatives and propositions did China propose at the Meeting?

Mao Ning: On July 4, the 24th Meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of State was held in Astana. President Xi Jinping attended the Meeting upon invitation, and delivered the important statement titled Joining Hands to Build a More Beautiful Home of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. During the Meeting, President Xi had in-depth exchanges of views with leaders of other countries on global and regional issues of common interest, through which the leaders drew a blueprint and charted the course for SCO going forward with a series of consensus reached.

Over 20 documents were adopted at the summit, including the Astana Declaration, the SCO initiative on world unity for justice, harmony and development, and the statement on the principles of good-neighborliness, trust and partnership. In particular, the Astana Declaration underscores adherence to the Shanghai Spirit, and reaffirms the commitments to building a new type of international relations and building a community with a shared future for mankind. The Declaration represents the common aspiration for greater solidarity and cooperation among SCO member states, and sends the positive message of the SCO shouldering the missions of the new era, and braving risks and challenges together for security and development. The summit delivered fruitful outcomes, gave a strong boost to the development of the SCO, and showcased the increasing appeal and influence of the SCO.

Amidst changes of historical significance across the world during our times unfolding in ways like never before, President Xi Jinping has keen observation of the development trend in the world, and stands at the strategic height of long-term development of humanity with a global vision and people-centered philosophy. He underscored the importance of having the wisdom to see the changes, the ability to deal with the changes, and the courage to make changes to cope with the major transformation.

President Xi pointed out that the SCO region is facing the triple risks of the Cold War mentality, “small yard with high fences,” and external interference and attempts to divide our region. He went on to provide three recommendations to address each of the risks, namely to hold the bottom line of security, safeguard the right to development, and cement solidarity. He called on all parties to uphold the Shanghai Spirit, and work together to keep the SCO on the right course forward.

As President Xi stressed, countries in the SCO need to bear in mind that they live in a community with a shared future, always uphold the Shanghai Spirit, and stay firmly on the development paths that suit their respective national conditions and regional realities. He advocated building the SCO’s common home of solidarity and mutual trust, peace and tranquility, prosperity and development, good-neighborliness and friendship, and fairness and justice.

President Xi’s important speech was well received. The participants at the summit expect China to lend fresh impetus for the SCO as it takes over the presidency of the organization. They stressed that they will stay committed to the mission of the SCO, further tap into the potential for cooperation, fully expand and deepen cooperation, and ensure the outcomes of cooperation can be better delivered to the people. We are convinced that the SCO members will follow the trend of the times, move forward together in solidarity and cooperation to realize the aspirations of our people for a better life and jointly build up strong momentum for upholding world peace and development.

The Paper: Can you share more details on the program and China’s expectations for the visit of Vanuatu’s Prime Minister to China?

Mao Ning: During the visit, the leaders of the two countries will exchange views on China-Vanuatu relations and major issues of mutual interest, and jointly chart the future course for the bilateral relationship.

Since our two countries established diplomatic relations 42 years ago, bilateral relations have come a long way. Our two sides have steadily advanced practical cooperation. China aims to work with Vanuatu through Prime Minister Salwai’s visit to carry forward the traditional friendship, enhance all-round mutual support, take the relationship to a new height and deliver more benefits for the two peoples.

China Daily: On the sidelines of the SCO Summit, President Xi Jinping held a bilateral meeting with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev. The two sides issued a joint declaration and officially established the China-Azerbaijan strategic partnership. Why do the two sides upgrade the bilateral relations now? Could you share more with us?

Mao Ning: China and Azerbaijan established diplomatic relations on April 2, 1992. As President Xi Jinping said, over the past 30-plus years, bilateral relations have enjoyed sound and steady growth, the two countries have had fruitful cooperation, and the bilateral relationship has acquired greater strategic significance. In recent years, in particular, President Xi Jinping and President Ilham Aliyev have maintained frequent exchanges, and provided strategic guidance for the bilateral relations. The two countries have firmly supported each other on issues concerning each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and other core interests. Our bilateral trade has increased from over US$ 1 million to more than US$ 1 billion. The two sides have maintained close communication and coordination under the framework of the SCO, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, and the UN. Against this backdrop, the upgrade of our bilateral relations came naturally.

The two presidents’ announcement of establishing the China-Azerbaijan strategic partnership is an important milestone in the history of our relations. The two sides will take the upgrade as a new beginning, further step up political support, focus on high-quality Belt and Road cooperation to deepen cooperation in various fields, conduct effective coordination in international affairs, and promote the sound and stable growth of China-Azerbaijan strategic partnership to the benefit of the two peoples. 

CCTV: On July 4, the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council adopted China’s report on the fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Could you share more with us?

Mao Ning: On July 4, the 56th session of the UN Human Rights Council adopted unanimously China’s report on the fourth cycle of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UPR is an important platform for countries to carry out equal-footed, candid exchanges and constructive dialogue and cooperation. China attaches great importance to this meeting. We shared our position on recommendations proposed by other countries to China during the UPR and our progress on rolling out 30 new measures that the Chinese government promised to take to safeguard human rights. China made clear its human rights development path, vision and achievements, and stressed that China will follow the people-centered development philosophy, deliver more benefits of modernization to its population in a more equitable way, steadily raise the level of human rights protection as we modernize our country, and make new contributions to the sound development of the global human rights cause. 

Russia, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam, the UAE, Algeria, Zambia, Gambia, Venezuela and many other countries spoke highly of China’s effort and achievement in advancing the human rights cause. They commended China for its open and candid participation in the fourth cycle of the UPR, and affirmed that China accepted the majority of recommendations based on its national realities and the will of its people. They supported the Council’s adoption of China’s report on the fourth cycle of the UPR. Following the adoption, the audience burst into extended applause and many delegates expressed congratulations to the Chinese delegation.

The Human Rights Council unanimously adopted China’s report on the fourth cycle of the UPR, which fully shows that China’s achievement in protecting human rights and its contribution to the international human rights cause is well recognized by the international community. China will stay committed to our human rights development path, continue to raise the level of human rights protection, practice true multilateralism and work for fairer and more equitable, reasonable and inclusive global governance on human rights.

Hubei Media Group: Can you share more details on the program and China’s expectations for the visit of Solomon Islands’ Prime Minister to China?

Mao Ning: This will be the first official visit by Prime Minister Manele to China since he took office in May. During the visit, the leaders of the two countries will exchange views on China-Solomon Islands relations and major issues of mutual interest.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations five years ago, under the strategic guidance of the leaders of both countries, China and Solomon Islands have achieved rapid growth in bilateral ties. The two sides have firmly supported each other on issues concerning our respective core interests and major concerns. The exchanges and cooperation in various sectors between the two sides have delivered fruitful results. Prime Minister Manele’s visit to China is a great opportunity for the two sides to work together to further strengthen strategic communication, expand practical cooperation, and advance our bilateral ties.

CCTV: The 2024 World AI Conference and High-Level Meeting on Global AI Governance is held in Shanghai and received wide attention. Can you give us more details on the meeting?

Mao Ning: The 2024 World AI Conference and High-Level Meeting on Global AI Governance was held in Shanghai from July 4 to 6. Premier Li Qiang of the State Council attended and addressed the opening ceremony. Premier Li Qiang noted that as an important player in global AI development, China has actively embraced the intelligent transformation and explored effective approaches to AI development and governance. To enable AI to better serve global development and human wellbeing, and pave the way for a brighter, more intelligent future, we need to deepen cooperation on innovation and release the dividends of AI. We need to promote inclusive development and bridge the AI divide. We need to strengthen collaboration on AI governance and ensure AI for good. 

The Shanghai Declaration on Global AI Governance was released at the meeting. The document contains a series of proposals on promoting AI development, safety, governance and public participation, and increasing social well-being, making new contribution to building an international framework on AI global governance.

The Conference this year is held amidst rapid global AI development, widening AI divide, and a stronger sense of urgency for AI governance. The Conference represents an important measure for China to implement the Global AI Governance Initiative. It lends a strong impetus for global AI governance, establishes a new platform for international exchanges and cooperation on AI, and comprehensively showcases China’s progress made on AI and AI governance.

China hopes that this Conference will serve as a good opportunity to promote the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution for shared benefit and work with the rest of the world for sound, safe, fair, and orderly global AI development. 

Kyodo News: The Japanese government spokesperson told a news conference today that it was “regrettable” that the Chinese survey ship has set up a buoy in the waters in the Pacific Ocean in southern Japan. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: The Chinese vessel operated and placed a tsunami buoy in the high seas of the western Pacific Ocean for the purpose of scientific research and serving public good. This is a well-established international practice. According to UNCLOS, the high seas are open to all States, and all States can exercise the freedom of scientific research in the high seas. Japan has no right to interfere in such activities.

Shenzhen TV: To follow up on your announcement of Thai Foreign Minister’s visit to China, could you share with us the program and China’s expectation for the visit?

Mao Ning: China and Thailand are good neighbors, friends and partners and close like one family. In recent years, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and Thai leaders, the two sides have maintained frequent high-level exchanges, enhanced political mutual trust, deepened cooperation in various fields, and made new progress in building the China-Thailand community with a shared future. China has remained Thailand’s biggest trading partner for years running and become its biggest source of foreign investment in recent years. As of early June, there have been over 3 million trips by Chinese tourists to Thailand this year. After mutual visa-free entry policy took effect, the two peoples have visited each other even more often.

This will be Foreign Minister Maris Sangiampongsa’s first visit to China since he took office, less than six months following Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Thailand, which further demonstrates that China and Thailand are one family. During the visit, he will meet with senior Chinese leader. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will co-chair with him the second meeting of the consultation mechanism between Chinese and Thai foreign ministers and exchange views on implementing the common understandings between Chinese and Thai leaders, deepening our comprehensive strategic cooperation, and international and regional issues of mutual interest. China looks to working with Thailand through this visit to step up strategic communication, carry forward traditional friendship, deepen practical cooperation and take efforts to build the China-Thailand community with a shared future for enhanced stability, prosperity and sustainability to a new level.

Global Times: It’s reported by ROK media that the DPRK has switched the transmission of state TV broadcasts to a Russian satellite from a Chinese one, resulting in the ROK’s low-quality reception of the DPRK’s TV signals. Does China think that it’s evidence of the DPRK strengthening its cooperation with Russia? What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: I’m not familiar with what you mentioned. Typically, satellite services are commercial activities and when it comes to business cooperation, the decisions are usually made by the parties to the collaboration. It doesn’t sound like something that needs too much reading into it.

Yomiuri: To follow up on the question about the buoy, in July last year, Xiang Yang Hong 22 placed an ocean survey buoy in Japan’s “exclusive economic zone” northwest of Diaoyu Dao without Japan’s consent. Japan asked China to remove the buoy during the talks between the leaders of the two countries, but has not received any response. What is the Foreign Ministry’s comment on this?

Mao Ning: Diaoyu Dao and its affiliated islands have always been part of China’s territory. Its surrounding waters are under China’s jurisdiction. It is legitimate and lawful for China to set hydrological and meteorological data buoy in those waters.

Beijing Daily: The Philippine Army spokesperson said on July 4 that the US Army is currently in the process of shipping out their equipment used during the annual Balikatan exercise. The land-based Mid-Range Capability missile system, known as “Typhon,” deployed in the Philippines will be shipped out by September as planned, possibly even earlier. While Philippine troops were trained on how to handle and maintain the Typhon missile system, it was not employed in live-fire training. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: China noted the report. On US deployment of Mid-Range Capability missile system in the Philippines, we have made clear our position several times. As we have previously stressed, the deployment is a move to turn back the wheel of history, and it gravely threatens regional countries’ security, undermines regional peace and stability, and goes against the common pursuit of people in the region for peace and development. We urge relevant countries to listen to the call of countries in the region and step back from the wrong path as soon as possible.