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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on November 21, 2023
2023-11-21 17:30

At the invitation of the government of the Republic of India, Premier of the State Council Li Qiang will attend the Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit on November 22.

CCTV: You just announced that Premier Li Qiang will attend the Virtual G20 Leaders’ Summit. Can you tell us China’s expectation for this summit?

Mao Ning: The G20 Summit held in New Delhi in September reached important common understandings on adopting actions through partnerships. In the face of the volatile international situation and sluggish economic recovery, it is all the more important for the G20 to reinforce partnership, address global challenges through cooperation and make positive contribution to world economic recovery and global common development. China hopes that the virtual summit can pool consensus and send positive signal to this end.

CNR: It is reported that the delegation of Arab-Islamic foreign ministers visited China yesterday. Could you share with us the outcomes of the visit?

Mao Ning: On November 20, the delegation of Arab-Islamic foreign ministers led by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan visited China. The delegation also included Foreign Ministers of Jordan, Egypt, Palestine and Indonesia and Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Vice President Han Zheng and Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Foreign Minister Wang Yi met and held talks with the delegation respectively. China highly commends the efforts for peace and the call for justice made by the Joint Arab-Islamic Extraordinary Summit and supports the joint ministerial follow-up committee in playing a greater role. The delegation made China its first stop for international mediation, which reflects their trust in China and the tradition of mutual understanding and support between the two sides. 

The Chinese side outlined our proposal on addressing the current crisis in Gaza and resolving the Palestinian question: The pressing task now is to fully implement relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and General Assembly and reach an immediate ceasefire. It is critical to abide by the international law, especially international humanitarian law. China opposes any forced displacement and relocation of Palestinian civilians. Any arrangement concerning the future and destiny of Palestine must be based on the consent of the Palestinian people and accommodate the legitimate concerns of regional countries. Any potential way to address the current situation must not deviate from the two-state solution and should be conducive to regional peace and stability. The UN Security Council needs to heed the call of Arab and Islamic countries and take responsible actions to deescalate the situation. As this month’s rotating president of the Security Council, China will continue to strengthen coordination with Arab and Islamic countries to build consensus and galvanize more meaningful Security Council action on the situation in Gaza. The Palestinian question is at the heart of the Middle East issue. Without a just settlement of the Palestinian question, durable peace and stability will remain elusive for the Middle East. 

The foreign ministers of Arab and Islamic countries spoke highly of China’s long-standing just position on the Palestinian question and commended China’s work as the rotating Security Council president to make possible the first Security Council resolution since the current conflict broke out. They look forward to closer coordination with China to prevent the crisis from spreading and restart the peace talk process.

Global Times: At the 30th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting, President Xi Jinping mentioned China’s economic situation several times. He emphasized that we “have the confidence in, and even more capability of achieving long-term and stable growth” and “invite friends from business communities across the world to invest in China”. We also noted that in the first 10 months of this year, China’s actual use of foreign investment dropped by 9.4 percent year-on-year and foreign media reported that some foreign companies intend to move industrial chains out of China. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: President Xi Jinping pointed out in his speech at the APEC CEO Summit that China remains the most powerful engine of global growth, and will generate one-third of global growth this year. Just as some friends from the business community have said, China has become a synonym of the best investment destination, and that the “next China” is still China.

The reason why China is the place to go for the global business community lies in the strong resilience, ample potential and strong vitality of its economy, the fundamental national policy of reform and opening up and the huge Chinese market. At APEC, President Xi Jinping stressed again that China will improve the mechanisms for protecting the rights and interests of foreign investors, further shorten the negative list on foreign investment and fully ensure national treatment for foreign investors. All of this sends out a strong message about China’s continued expansion of opening up.

The “next China” is still China. We invite businesses from across the world to invest and cultivate success in China.

KBS: I have two questions. First, the DPRK announced it will launch a military reconnaissance satellite. The ROK government believes it to be against UN Security Council resolutions. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, what is China’s comment? Second, ROK President Yoon Suk Yeol stressed several times that China plays an important role in curbing DPRK provocation and upholding peace and stability in northeast Asia. What role will China play in resolving the issues concerning the DPRK?

Mao Ning: On your first question, we have noted relevant reports. We also noted the frequent appearances of US strategic bombers and aircraft carrier battle groups lately in the area of the Korean Peninsula. I want to stress that continued deadlock in the situation on the Peninsula does not serve any party’s fundamental interests. China urges relevant parties to face up to the crux of the Korean Peninsula issues, stop engaging in confrontation and pressuring, take concrete steps to pursue a political settlement of those issues and maintain peace and stability on the Peninsula.

On your second question, about China’s role in the issues concerning the Peninsula, I would like to stress again that the history and crux of the Korean Peninsula issues are clear. China is not the focal point of the issues. It is the US that holds the key to resolving them. As a responsible major country, China is committed to peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and the process of seeking a political settlement of the Peninsula issues. China will also keep working actively for stability and resumption of talks as well as the early realization of lasting peace and security on the Peninsula. 

Kyodo News: It’s reported that Natsuo Yamaguchi, chief representative of Japan’s political party Komeito, will visit China tomorrow and meet with Chinese officials. What’s your expectation for the visit?

Mao Ning: We welcome Komeito Chief Representative Natsuo Yamaguchi and his delegation to China and hope that the conversations and exchanges between the two sides will help improve and grow China-Japan relations.

Bloomberg: You mentioned that China has put forward a peace proposal for Gaza. Can you tell us a little more about that?

Mao Ning: During the Arab-Islamic foreign ministers’ joint visit to China, we outlined our proposal on addressing the current crisis in Gaza and resolving the Palestinian question. Put simply, we believe the pressing task now is to fully implement relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council and General Assembly and reach an immediate ceasefire. It is critical to abide by the international law, especially international humanitarian law. China opposes any forced displacement and relocation of Palestinian civilians. Any arrangement concerning the future and destiny of Palestine must be based on the consent of the Palestinian people and accommodate the legitimate concerns of regional countries. The ultimate answer to the Palestinian question lies in delivering on the two-state solution.

NHK: After consultation among the parties, China-Japan-ROK Trilateral Foreign Ministers’ Meeting will be held in the ROK. How does China view the significance of the trilateral cooperation and what’s China’s expectation for the meeting? 

Mao Ning: The trilateral cooperation serves the common interests of our three countries and is beneficial to regional stability and prosperity. The three sides are in contact on matters related to this meeting.

China Review News: RIA Novosti reported that during an interview on November 20, Diana Mondino, Senior Adviser of Argentina’s President-elect Javier Milei, said cooperation with the Chinese government will be stopped when asked if she would support and encourage trade with China. What’s your comments on that?

Mao Ning: Based on what I have read, your description of her statement is somewhat different from the interview published on the RIA Novosti website. According to the interview, some in the world misread President-elect Milei’s foreign policy; no countries could step out of diplomatic relations and still be able to engage in economic and trade cooperation; and it would be a huge foreign policy mistake for Argentina to cut ties with major countries like China or Brazil. China is Argentina’s important trading partner. According to Mondino, the newly elected Argentine government values its relations with China, especially the business ties between the two countries.

As I stressed yesterday from this podium, the bilateral relations between China and Argentina have shown sound momentum of growth. China is Argentina’s second largest trading partner and the largest export market of agricultural products. The economic complementarity between our two countries means there is great potential for cooperation. China stands ready to work with Argentina to keep our relations on a steady course forward.

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