|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on December 6, 2022|
Shenzhen TV: In his article published in the Foreign Affairs magazine, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz noted that China’s rise does not warrant isolating Beijing or curbing cooperation. He added that he doesn’t subscribe to the view that the dawn of a new cold war is approaching, one that will pit the US against China. Do you have any response to that?
Mao Ning: We noted Chancellor Scholz’s views in the article.
China’s foreign policy stands for world peace and common development. China is committed to friendly cooperation with countries across the world. Facts have shown that China’s development contributes to the world’s force for peace. It energizes and creates opportunities for global development.
Isolating China and curbing cooperation with it serves no one’s interest. In this day and age, the tide of economic globalization is a trend that cannot be turned back and the world needs more win-win cooperation. China has been deeply integrated into the world economy and the international system, and the world will not go back to the days of mutual exclusiveness and division. It is impossible for any country to prosper behind closed doors. Pushing for decoupling and disruption of industrial and supply chains and building “small yards with high fences” benefits no one and will eventually backfire.
China cannot develop in isolation from the world, and the world also needs China for its prosperity. China will continue to pursue high-level opening up and share development opportunities with other countries. As President Xi Jinping noted in his meeting with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, China has upheld and promoted world peace through its own development. In this process, the development of China and that of other countries have become more interconnected and mutually reinforcing.
Reuters: Does the foreign ministry have any details on President Xi Jinping’s trip to Saudi Arabia?
Mao Ning: I have nothing to share at the moment.
TASS: Protests took place in Mongolia’s capital Ulaanbaatar yesterday. People protested against alleged corruption in coal exports to China and alleged theft of export coal. I wonder if the Chinese foreign ministry has any comments on this?
Mao Ning: I am not aware of what you mentioned. As a friendly neighbor, China believes the government of Mongolia will properly probe and handle the incident. If Mongolia makes such a request, the competent authorities in China will provide necessary assistance in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.
Bloomberg: I have two questions. One is on Japanese defense spending. Japanese Prime Minister has ordered a sharp defense spending hike that could see the country’s defense budget balloon to near the levels of Russia. Kishida instructed ministers to put together a budget of $318 billion for the five-year period starting from 2023. Does the foreign ministry have any comments? The second question is that in the US, Republicans are warning the Biden administration not to prioritize green energy goals over enforcing federal import restrictions meant to discourage China’s alleged human rights abuses. Does the foreign ministry have any comments?
Mao Ning: On your first question, Japan has been increasing its defense budget for ten consecutive years. It has also been hyping up regional tensions to seek military breakthroughs. This is a very dangerous development, and has led to serious doubts among Japan’s Asian neighbors and the wider international community about whether Japan will stick to its exclusively defense-oriented policy and the path of peaceful development. Japan needs to earnestly reflect on its history of aggression, respect the security concerns of Asian neighbors, act prudently in the field of military security, and do more things that are conducive to regional peace and stability.
On your second question, the US legislation on Xinjiang is based on lies and has seriously disrupted normal China-US trade in photovoltaic products. It violates the market laws and international economic and trade rules, and undermines 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’s own interests.
AFP: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that “we want China to get COVID right; it’s in the interests of the Chinese people first and foremost, but it’s also in the interest of people around the world, so you want them to succeed.” What’s China’s response?
Mao Ning: What has happened in the past few years shows that China’s COVID policy has provided maximum protection to people’s lives and health, minimized COVID’s impact on socioeconomic development, and bought precious time for understanding the virus on the basis of science, for research and development of vaccines and therapeutics, and for vaccinating more people across the country. China has the lowest COVID infection rate and death toll among all major countries. We have achieved the most effective results at minimum cost. As has been proven by facts, China’s approach to COVID response over the past few years has been right, science-based and effective.
Reuters: We were just wondering whether China had any comment on the reports that say that the US and the EU are considering tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum?
Mao Ning: I’m not aware of the specific reports. So I would just like to say broadly in principle that China is against unilateral tariffs that violate WTO rules, which serve no one’s interest. We will take all measures necessary to defend our legitimate rights and interests.
AFP: A group of Australian lawmakers have arrived in Taiwan for a five-day visit. What’s China’s response?
Mao Ning: Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The one-China principle is a universally recognized norm in international relations and the prerequisite and political foundation for the development of friendly relations between China and other countries. The Australian side should earnestly adhere to the one-China principle, stop all forms of official interaction with the Taiwan region and stop sending wrong signals to “Taiwan-independence” separatist forces.