|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on November 11, 2022|
CCTV: The Chinese side just announced that President Xi will attend the G20 Bali Summit. Could you share China’s expectations for the summit? The Chinese side also released the announcement that the Chinese leader will attend the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. What message does China hope to send at the meeting? What expectations does China have for this event?
Zhao Lijian: The G20 Bali Summit is the first multilateral summit the top Chinese leader will attend after the successful conclusion of the 20th CPC National Congress. Amid accelerated global changes and a lingering pandemic both unseen in a century, and with the world economy on a downward trajectory, global development is beset by challenges. In this context, members of the G20, the premier forum for international economic cooperation, need to strengthen solidarity and cooperation, coordinate macroeconomic policies, and work concertedly for strong, sustainable, inclusive and balanced growth of the world economy. China supports Indonesia’s G20 presidency. Under the theme of “Recover Together, Recover Stronger”, we hope all parties will work to build consensus and advance cooperation on promoting global economic recovery and implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, among others.
President Xi Jinping’s attendance at this year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting is an important act of China’s head-of-state diplomacy towards the Asia-Pacific. This fully shows the high importance China attaches to Asia-Pacific economic cooperation.
With growing instability and uncertainties in the world economy, regional economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific is facing new challenges. APEC is an important platform for economic cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. President Xi Jinping will deliver an important address at the meeting to elaborate on China’s major propositions for deepening Asia-Pacific cooperation and promoting regional and global economic growth. We hope that all parties will embrace the vision of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future, adhere to the founding missions of APEC, deepen solidarity and cooperation, advance the implementation of the APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, and inject new impetus into the economic growth in the Asia-Pacific and beyond. China stands ready to work with all parties to secure positive outcomes at this meeting.
Xinhua News Agency: During President Xi Jinping’s trip to Indonesia and Thailand, what bilateral activities will be scheduled with leaders of the host countries? How does China view its current relations with Indonesia and Thailand?
Zhao Lijian: China and Indonesia are both major developing countries and emerging economies. The two countries have extensive converging interests and broad space for cooperation. Under the strategic guidance of the two presidents, our two countries have further strengthened our new pattern of bilateral relations driven by the “four wheels” of political, economic, cultural and maritime cooperation. We have also made big strides towards the vision of jointly building a China-Indonesia community with a shared future, setting a fine example of major developing countries seeking to strengthen themselves through sincere cooperation. During his trip to Indonesia, President Xi Jinping will hold formal talks with President Joko Widodo. This is another meeting between the two presidents after President Joko Widodo’s visit to China in July this year. Guided by the vision of building a China-Indonesia community with a shared future, China hopes to work with Indonesia to deepen high-level strategic mutual trust, strengthen high-quality cooperation on Belt and Road and practical cooperation in other fields, and advance our comprehensive strategic partnership for more outcomes, to bring more benefits to the two countries and peoples and contribute more positive energy to regional and world peace and development.
China and Thailand are close friendly neighbors. It is a popular belief in both countries that we are as close as one family. In recent years, our high-quality Belt and Road cooperation has delivered fruitful results, and solid progress has been made in major cooperation projects such as the China-Thailand Railway. In July this year, our two countries agreed on building a China-Thailand community with a shared future, adding new dimensions to our family-like bond in the new era. President Xi’s visit to Thailand coincides with the tenth anniversary of the establishment of our comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, and is of great significance for the development of bilateral ties. During the visit, President Xi will hold formal talks with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha. Guided by the vision of building a China-Thailand community with a shared future, we look forward to enhancing strategic communication and deepening exchanges and cooperation in various sectors with Thailand to bring our relations to new heights and inject fresh vitality into the development of our two countries and the wider region.
Bloomberg: Could you elaborate a little bit on the expectations around the meeting with US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping? What sort of items may be on the agenda? What sort of outcomes would China be hoping for?
Zhao Lijian: China views and grows its relations with the US in accordance with the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation as proposed by President Xi Jinping, and calls for establishing the right way forward for bilateral relations. At the same time, we will firmly defend our sovereignty, security and development interests. It is important that the US work together with China to properly manage differences, advance mutually beneficial cooperation, avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation, and bring China-US relations back to the right track of sound and steady development.
The steady growth of China-US relations serves the interests of both sides and meets the expectations of the world. We hope that the US will work with China in the spirit of mutual respect, and play a responsible role in safeguarding world stability and development.
Reuters: According to a Reuters report published today, more than 1,000 shipments of solar energy components from China’s Xinjiang region in total worth hundreds of millions of dollars have piled up at US ports since June as a result of a new US law banning imports from China’s Xinjiang region over concerns about the so-called slave labor. According to the report, it highlights how the Biden administration’s policy towards the Xinjiang region risks slowing the administration’s efforts to decarbonize the US power sector to fight climate change. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this report?
Zhao Lijian: Facts have long proven that the allegation of the so-called “forced labor” in Xinjiang is the biggest lie of the century concocted by a handful of anti-China elements. The malicious legislation the US has promulgated and enforced on Xinjiang based on this lie has seriously disrupted the normal trade in photovoltaic products between China and the US, violated the market laws and international economic and trade rules, and undermined the stability of the global photovoltaic industrial and supply chains as well as the global action on climate change. It will eventually backfire and hurt the US own interests. The US should immediately stop hobbling Chinese photovoltaic companies, and release the detained solar energy components without any further delay. China will continue to firmly safeguard Chinese companies’ legitimate and lawful rights and interests.
CRI: The fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE) successfully concluded yesterday. Could you shed some light on the outcomes and significance of this CIIE?
Zhao Lijian: The fifth China International Import Expo (CIIE) came to a close in Shanghai on November 10. It’s indeed a successful, wonderful and fruitful event as expected.
During this CIIE, a total of $73.52 billion worth of tentative deals were reached, representing an increase of 3.9 percent from that of last year, and covering projects in several emerging industries like green development, energy conservation, and digital production. More than 2,800 enterprises from 127 countries and regions participated in the business exhibition, and 438 new products, technologies and services were released. For the first time a digital CIIE platform was launched this year, which attracted 368 tech firms to exhibit online and engage in business interactions on the “cloud”. Apart from the business exhibition, the Hongqiao International Economic Forum was held at the CIIE, which comprised multiple sub-forums including the high-level session themed “RCEP Spurs Higher-level Opening-Up”, a press conference on World Openness Report 2022 and International Symposium on Current Situation and Prospects of World Openness, and an event themed “New Prospects for China and New Opportunities for the World”. These wonderful events will help foster greater synergy for global openness and shared benefits.
The CIIE is held in China, but its benefits are shared worldwide. Since its inception five years ago, the CIIE’s circle of friends has continued to expand, and more and more friends, old and new, have come to have this “rendezvous with China”. From coin-sized pacemakers to salt lamps from Pakistan and rose essential oil from Syria, from cutting-edge technology to small yet smart exhibits, products from various countries have gone to the market from the CIIE, and found their way to numerous households. Now the sixth CIIE has started to accept applications from business exhibitors, with over 100,000 square meters of the business exhibition area already booked. As an epitome of China’s firm commitment to opening-up, the CIIE has become a showcase of China’s new development paradigm and a public good for the whole world.
Beijing Daily: It is reported that on November 9 local time, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that its Task Force set up to review the disposal of Fukushima nuclear-contaminated water will visit Japan from November 14 to 18 to carry out a comprehensive review of the safety of Japan’s ocean discharge plan. What is your comment?
Zhao Lijian: We have noted those developments. The Chinese side supports the IAEA Task Force in reviewing and assessing the disposal of the nuclear-contaminated water from Fukushima. We hope the Task Force will carry out its task in an objective, just and science-based way and strictly implement the IAEA nuclear security standards in order to ensure absolute safety of the disposal of the nuclear-contaminated water. Japan must fully cooperate with the Task Force on this mission.
I want to stress that although the IAEA has yet to complete the review and concerns of the international community have yet to be effectively addressed, the Japanese side still went ahead and approved its ocean discharge plan and has been accelerating the construction of the facilities for the discharge in an attempt to create a fait accompli. Such practice not only undermines the authority of the IAEA and its Task Force, but also lacks responsibility for the consequence of their action to the international community and Japanese people.
We once again urge Japan to take parties’ reasonable concerns seriously, engage in full consultation with relevant international organizations and stakeholders, including its neighboring countries, and dispose of the nuclear-contaminated water in a science-based, open, transparent and safe manner so as to protect the marine environment and safeguard people’s rights and interests such as food safety and public health in all countries.
Beijing Youth Daily: According to reports, eight chief executives of German industry leaders wrote in a signed article published on November 10 that they are convinced that China’s fundamental growth dynamic will remain, German companies’ sites in China contribute significantly to their competitiveness, and such presence is particularly important in the interest of German economic strength. What’s your comment?
Zhao Lijian: China and Germany are both major economies and each other’s important cooperation partners. Over the past 50 years, our trade increased by nearly a thousand times. From January to September this year, German investment in China grew by 114%. These achievements are a result of our two countries’ commitment to mutually beneficial cooperation. They are also made possible by the strong efforts of the German business community.
China remains steadfast in its commitment to expanding opening-up and fostering a business environment that is market-oriented, law-based, and up to international standards. This will create more opportunities for German and other foreign companies who are looking to invest and operate in China. We welcome them and look forward to sharing China’s development opportunities with them for win-win results and adding more vitality and confidence for the steady, sound and sustainable growth of the world economy.
TASS: US President Joe Biden said that he doesn’t think that China and Russia are forming an alliance and China has been “keeping their distance”. What’s your comment?
Zhao Lijian: I can tell you that China’s relations with Russia are rock-solid. As each other’s largest neighbors and comprehensive strategic partners of coordination for a new era, the two sides have always followed the principle of non-alliance, non-confrontation and non-targeting of any third party, and advanced bilateral relations and cooperation in various areas on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. The long-term sound and steady advancement of China-Russia relations is primarily built on a high degree of mutual trust and strong internal dynamics. China will continue to work with Russia to move forward bilateral relations on a right and steady track. China is committed to advancing friendship and cooperation with all countries on the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence, promoting a new type of international relations, and enhancing coordination and positive interaction with other major countries.
Bloomberg: Earlier today the Chinese authorities announced a relaxation of COVID rules for inbound travelers and also scrapped some other rules related to inbound flights. So I wonder if you could help perhaps the international community to understand what these moves might mean? For example, does it point to a pivot away from dynamic zero COVID? And does it mean that Chinese people will now be able to resume international travel without restrictions, including for tourism?
Zhao Lijian: The world continues to witness new coronavirus variants and the pandemic is very much still ongoing. In China, new cases keep emerging and the fight against COVID-19 remains a formidable task. We must keep our strategic resolve strong and apply science-based and precision-oriented methods as we ensure effective containment. The Chinese government will remain committed to a people-first and life-first philosophy, to an approach featuring preventing imported cases from abroad and resurgence at home, and to a dynamic zero-COVID policy. We will follow the requirements of ensuring effective COVID control, stable economic performance and safe and secure development to effectively pursue pandemic response and socioeconomic development in parallel, provide maximum protection to people’s lives and health, and minimize COVID’s impact on socioeconomic development.
Yesterday, the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee held a meeting on this issue. Today, China’s National Health Commission announced 20 measures to further improve COVID containment. These measures are aimed at more science-based and targeted response. They certainly do not mean we can slacken in our response or even simply end COVID restrictions and lie flat. China has improved and adjusted its containment measures in response to the way the virus mutates. The adjustment is not only science-based, but also necessary. We hope everyone will continue to show understanding and support for our response efforts.
As for the matters concerning flights and cross-border tourism, I believe the improved measures China has just rolled out will help improve cross-border tourism and travel, and ease the travel of global investors to China.
MASTV: US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the US will have the opportunity to brief Taiwan on the results of the meeting between the Chinese and US leaders. He said he is confident that Taiwan will feel “secure and comfortable” in the US’s position when it comes to US support for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait and the US’s commitment to the Taiwan Relations Act, which “does commit the United States to ensure we’re providing the articles for Taiwan’s defense.” What’s China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: There is only one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The root cause of the tensions in the Taiwan Strait is that the Taiwan authorities have been soliciting US support to seek “Taiwan independence”, and that some people in the US intend to use the Taiwan question to contain China. It is moves like this that are undermining the peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
The official interaction between the US and Taiwan goes against the US’s commitment of maintaining only unofficial ties with the Taiwan region. What the US said about briefing Taiwan on the meeting between the Chinese and the US heads of state gravely violates the one-China principle and the stipulations of the three China-US joint communiqués. This is truly egregious, and China firmly rejects this.
The so-called “Taiwan Relations Act” unilaterally concocted by the US runs counter to the principles of the three China-US joint communiqués and the basic norms governing international relations. China has been firmly against it from the very beginning. The US has no right to place its domestic law above international law, still less use it to interfere in China’s internal affairs. When it comes to the Taiwan question, what the US should abide by is the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, not the so-called “Taiwan Relations Act”.
China urges the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, stop official interactions and military ties with Taiwan, stop arms sales to Taiwan, follow through on the commitment of not supporting “Taiwan independence” with real actions, and avoid dragging China-US relations into a dangerous situation.
Yonhap News Agency: According to ROK media reports, leaders of China and the ROK may hold a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit and the APEC meeting next week in Southeast Asia. What’s your comment?
Zhao Lijian: I have nothing to announce at this moment. Please follow our updates.