|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on October 11, 2022|
At the invitation of the government of Kazakhstan, which holds the presidency of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), Vice President Wang Qishan will lead a delegation to Kazakhstan and attend the Sixth CICA Summit in Astana from October 12 to 13.
ITV News: According to media reports, the Director of GCHQ in London will today give a speech in which he is likely to specifically claim that the Chinese government uses science and technology as a tool and presents a threat to global security. Can I ask you for a response to this?
Mao Ning: The remarks of the British official have no factual basis at all. China’s technological development is aimed at making lives better for the Chinese people. It does not target anyone, still less pose any threat. Subscribing to the so-called “China threat” and stoking confrontation benefits no one and will eventually backfire.
Reuters: POLITICO reported overnight that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit China in early November. Is this accurate? If so, when precisely will Mr. Scholz come and what does China hope will be achieved through this visit?
Mao Ning: I do not have any information to offer at the moment.
AFP: The head of British cyber intelligence unit GCHQ is also expected to warn today that China is seeking to force other countries into “client states”. Do you have any comment?
Mao Ning: That is also a baseless allegation. China does not force anyone into anything.
China News Service: It is reported that hurricane Julia hit Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and other South American and Central American countries, causing damage and casualties in the relevant region recently. What is your comment? Will China provide assistance to these countries?
Mao Ning: Recently, Venezuela, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama and other countries have been hit by hurricane Julia. The hurricane triggered natural disasters such as flash floods and mudslides that caused fatalities and property loss. China mourns for the victims and extends condolences to the bereaved families and the injured. We believe that the governments and people of relevant countries will overcome the disasters and rebuild their homeland at an early date. China is ready to provide disaster relief assistance to the best of its capability.
Reuters: A follow-up on the question on Ukraine. It’s been reported that at least 19 people have died following Russian missiles that caused explosions and at least 105 people have been wounded across Ukraine. What’s China’s comment on this? Is China concerned about the deaths and these people who are being wounded across Ukraine?
Mao Ning: I stated China’s position on the Ukraine issue yesterday, so I will not go over it again. The ongoing developments are worrisome. We call on relevant parties to find proper ways to address differences through dialogue and consultation. China is ready to work with the international community and continue to play a constructive part in deescalation efforts.
Dragon TV: As some Western countries including the US have been calling for decoupling and breaking industrial and supply chains, some in the world are concerned over the potential impact on China’s technological development. What’s China’s comment?
Mao Ning: Just a few days ago I saw a video clip on the Internet showing Earth seen from China’s space station, which is liked by many viewers. It epitomizes China’s sci-tech innovation and how China’s technological development has contributed to the progress of mankind.
The Communist Party of China and the Chinese government attach high importance to sci-tech innovation and see it as the primary driving force for development. We have identified self-reliance and independent development in science and technology as a strategic underpinning of national development. China now stands among the world’s countries of innovators, with cutting-edge technologies such as quantum information constantly breaking new ground, and new industries and business models including AI flourishing. Joint research and sci-tech cooperation between China and other countries has contributed to improving the welfare of humanity and addressing global challenges.
I want to stress that innovation is part of human progress. No country may claim it exclusively for themselves, still less should anyone abuse their sci-tech advantages to suppress other countries’ development. Decoupling and disruption of industrial and supply chains is a double-edged sword that will cut oneself even as it hurts others. China does not see decoupling or disruption of industrial and supply chains as the right choice or something that could stop China’s development. For China, development is always based on our own strength. No restriction or suppression would hold back China’s sci-tech advancement.