|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on December 7, 2022|
On December 8 and 9, Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang will hold the seventh “1+6” Roundtable in Huangshan City, Anhui Province with President David Malpass of the World Bank Group, Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva of the International Monetary Fund, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala of the World Trade Organization, Director-General Gilbert F. Houngbo of the International Labor Organization, Secretary-General Mathias Cormann of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Chairman Klaas Knot of the Financial Stability Board. Under the theme of “Strengthening Multilateral Cooperation for Global Common Development”, they will have discussions and exchanges on issues including building an open world economy, boosting global economic recovery and growth and China’s commitment to energizing world economy through deepening reform and opening-up.
CCTV: China announced today that President Xi Jinping will attend the first China-Arab States Summit. What’s the significance of this inaugural summit to be held at this time? What message does China expect to convey to the wider world?
Mao Ning: President Xi Jinping will attend the inaugural China-Arab States Summit. This will be the largest and highest-level diplomatic event between China and the Arab world since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It will be an epoch-making milestone in the history of China-Arab relations.
Amid accelerated global changes and a lingering pandemic both unseen in a century, the world has entered a new period of fluidity and change. To hold the first China-Arab States Summit is a joint strategic decision of both sides to strengthen solidarity and coordination under the current circumstances. We hope the summit will provide an opportunity for both sides to explore ideas for further growing our relations, lay out the blueprint for future cooperation and usher in a bright future of China-Arab strategic partnership. We hope to build more strategic common understandings on major regional and international issues to send a strong message about our determination to strengthen solidarity and coordination, render each other firm support, promote common development and defend multilateralism. We hope to jointly act on the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and contribute to the peace and development of the Middle East and the world at large. We hope to build a China-Arab community with a shared future in the new era and identify the pathways and practical measures together, in order to promote solidarity among developing countries and contribute to a community with a shared future for humanity.
Global Times: President Xi Jinping will attend the China-GCC Summit and pay a state visit to Saudi Arabia. What are China’s expectations for the outcomes?
Mao Ning: GCC countries are important partners for China in its cooperation with the Middle East. China has maintained contact with the GCC ever since its establishment. Our relations have enjoyed all-round, rapid and deep growth over the past 41 years,with fruitful cooperation spanning the areas of economy, trade, energy, financial services, investment, high-tech, aerospace, language and culture, setting the pace for cooperation between China and Middle East countries. The China-GCC Summit will bring the leaders of China and GCC countries together for the first time to discuss important issues related to China-GCC relations. It will have a deep and far-reaching impact on the development of the relations. During the Summit, President Xi Jinping will have in-depth exchanges of views with leaders of the participating countries on China-GCC relations and issues of shared interest. We believe that this Summit will carry forward the traditional friendship we enjoy with GCC countries, further enrich the strategicness of our relations and elevate them to a new level.
China and Saudi Arabia are comprehensive strategic partners, with shared focuses in our development strategies, similar visions for development and mutually complementary development strengths, which makes us natural cooperation partners. In recent years, with the personal commitment and strategic guidance from the leaders of the two countries, China and Saudi Arabia have consolidated political trust, synergized development strategies at a deep level, carried out fruitful practical cooperation, engaged in increasingly closer cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and maintained sound coordination and cooperation on regional and international affairs. President Xi’s state visit to Saudi Arabia will be his first visit to a Middle East country after the successful 20th CPC National Congress and his second visit to Saudi Arabia in six years. During the visit, President Xi Jinping will have in-depth exchanges of views with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman on bilateral relations and issues of shared interest, and elevate the China-Saudi Arabia comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level.
Associated Press of Pakistan: Last week, the Pakistani Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan was attacked. Does China have any comment on that?
Mao Ning: China strongly condemns and is firmly against all forms of violent terrorist activities. We extend sympathies to the people who were injured in the attack. China is closely following Afghanistan’s security situation. We will continue to firmly support Afghanistan’s efforts to combat all forms of terrorism and violence and to defend national security and stability.
AFP: After the State Council’s joint prevention and control mechanism released ten new guidelines today, will there be further changes to policy regarding inbound travel to China? Will the quarantine length be shortened and will travelers still need to present a COVID negative result in order to board flights to China?
Mao Ning: The State Council’s joint prevention and control mechanism has put out the release. You can look up the adjustments that have been made. Over the past nearly three years, the Chinese government has put people and their lives first in its COVID response. We have been improving and updating our response measures in light of the COVID situation, and have continued to pursue socioeconomic development as we fight the virus. By making those adjustments in response to the new circumstances and tasks regarding the COVID response, China has shown that its approach is based on facts and responsive to change. New measures will be worked out on easing cross-border travel and pre-departure requirements in line with those adjustments.
China Daily: According to reports, the second part of the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is about to take place in Montreal, Canada, on December 7. As President of COP15, what goals and expectations does China have in mind for this meeting?
Mao Ning: China attaches great importance to biodiversity protection. Since it assumed the COP15 presidency, China has advanced the COP15 process with the highest level of political will and most vigorous practical actions, a strong contribution China has made to global biodiversity protection. In October last year, China held the Leaders’ Summit of COP15. President Xi Jinping and the leaders of eight other Parties as well as the UN Secretary-General attended and addressed the summit, which significantly galvanized political will at the meeting. At the event, President Xi Jinping put forward a four-point proposal to start a new journey of high-quality development for humanity and announced a series of measures China would take as the host country, including the initiative to invest 1.5 billion RMB to establish a Kunming Biodiversity Fund. These are the ideas and contributions China has provided to global biodiversity protection.
As President, China has spared no effort to lead and coordinate the negotiation process of a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. Since Part I of COP15 began, China has chaired nearly 40 COP Bureau meetings and more than 100 bilateral and multilateral meetings at various levels for consensus building. Besides, China has sought to engage and coordinate with countries for a successful Part II meeting on important occasions including the UN, the G20 and the UN Climate Change Conference in Sharm el Sheikh, which has served to boost the political momentum of global biodiversity governance.
The second part of COP15 will soon begin in Montreal. China will continue to play its role as President, closely cooperate with all Parties and stakeholders towards the conclusion of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework and successful completion of all items on COP15’s agenda, and contribute to the full attainment of the three main objectives of the CBD, namely the conservation, sustainable use and sharing of the benefits of biodiversity.
AFP: The US and Australia said they would welcome Japan to take part in troop rotations. What’s China’s response?
Mao Ning: Cooperation between the countries concerned needs to be conducive to regional peace and stability. The US keeps creating small circles with some of its allies. Such actions would only undermine regional peace and stability. This is neither welcomed nor supported.