|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on January 18, 2023|
CNR: Yesterday, the National Bureau of Statistics published statistics about China’s national economic performance in 2022. Foreign media commented that with the adjustment of COVID response measures, China’s economic growth will notably speed up this year. Do you have any comment?
Wang Wenbin: In 2022, despite the recurring and lingering pandemic and sluggish global economic growth, China effectively coordinated COVID response with socioeconomic development, stepped up macro regulation, and effectively handled the impact of factors beyond expectation. We were able to stabilize the overall performance of macroeconomy and continue to expand China’s economic output both in aggregate and per capita terms. These are hard-won achievements and reflect the Chinese economy’s strong resilience, ample potential and strong vitality and the fact that the fundamentals sustaining China’s sound economic growth in the long run stay unchanged.
Recently, some international investment institutions have said that with China’s adapting of COVID response measures, the Chinese economy is expected to pick up rapidly throughout 2023. We are convinced that with China’s COVID response moving into a new phase and life and work returning to normal at a faster pace, the internal drivers of China’s economy will gather greater momentum and the dividends of efforts to deepen reform and opening-up will continue to be unleashed. In 2023, China’s economy will see a significant improvement, make bigger strides and contribute more to world economic recovery.
AFP: Do you have any details to share today on a reported visit by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China?
Wang Wenbin: I have nothing to share at the moment.
AFP: We’ve also seen reports that State Councilor Wang Yi will visit Europe. Can you confirm these reports and share any details?
Wang Wenbin: We will keep you posted if anything comes up. China-EU relations enjoy steady development at the moment. In the final months of last year, China hosted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and President of the European Council Charles Michel on their successful visits to China, which once again demonstrated that both China and Europe attach great importance to their relations. China looks to strengthen cooperation with Europe on the basis of mutual respect and make new progress together in advancing the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.
Bloomberg: Australia is supposed to take delivery of 40 Black Hawk military helicopters from the US this year. This is part of a growing strengthening of military ties between Australia and the US. Does the foreign ministry have a comment on this?
Wang Wenbin: When having defense and security cooperation, countries must always make sure that such cooperation contributes to regional peace and stability and does not target any third party or come at other countries’ expense.