|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on February 10, 2023|
CCTV: According to the latest agreement the US has reached with Japan and the Netherlands, the US export control on semiconductor-related products targeting China will be expanded to Japanese and Dutch companies. Some people commented that such practice of limiting export to China in accordance with US domestic law constitutes long-arm jurisdiction. What’s your comment?
Mao Ning: The US’s long-arm jurisdiction is an arbitrary judicial practice, wielded by the US government on the strength of its national power and financial hegemony, to enforce extraterritorial jurisdiction over entities and individuals of other countries on the ground of its domestic law.
By fiscal year 2021, the number of active US sanctions designations had increased to more than 9,400. So far, the “long arm” of US jurisdiction has reached China, Russia, Iran, Syria, the DPRK, Cuba, France, the UK, Germany, Japan, among others. Successive US administrations have abused economic coercion and used sanctions as the preferred solution to diplomatic problems, which have been ineffective and have caused humanitarian disasters. As the Brookings Institution estimated, during the height of the pandemic in Iran, US sanctions could have caused up to 13,000 deaths.
To maintain its economic and technological supremacy, the US has overstretched the concept of national security, abused export control measures, disrupted normal economic and trade activities, and destabilized global industrial and supply chains. This is a complete departure from the principles of market economy and fair competition that the US has long claimed to champion.
Over the past few years, the US has abused long-arm jurisdiction by continuously lowering the threshold and intensifying measures to an unprecedented degree against a wider range of targets. This undermines the principle of sovereign equality, erodes the multilateral order with the UN at its core, distorts normal international trade, and damages the interests of enterprises. The US should renounce its illegal unilateral sanctions and long-arm jurisdiction measures, and truly take up its international responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Yonhap News Agency: The ROK government said that it will resume the issuance of short-term visas to Chinese citizens starting from tomorrow. What is China’s comment? Will China also lift visa restrictions on the ROK?
Mao Ning: By lifting visa restrictions against China, the ROK has taken a right step towards reducing obstacles hindering cross-border travel between the two countries. China will consider resuming issuance of short-term visas for ROK citizens when appropriate. It is hoped that the ROK will work with China to do more to facilitate normal people-to-people exchange between the two countries.
Reuters: Are you able to confirm that Erkin Tuniyaz will visit the UK next week to meet with British officials to discuss the treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang?
Mao Ning: I’m not aware of the visit you mentioned. The Chinese side has made clear its position on Xinjiang-related issues on various occasions. We hope the UK will look at Xinjiang’s strong socioeconomic development in an objective light, stop using Xinjiang-related issues for political manipulation and stop meddling in China’s internal affairs.
AFP: A senior US State Department official has said the equipment found on the Chinese balloon was clearly for intelligence surveillance and inconsistent with the equipment aboard weather balloons. And around the same time, the US House of Representatives also passed a resolution condemning China for using a surveillance balloon over US territory. What is China’s response to this? Could you perhaps tell us what equipment was on the balloon?
Mao Ning: The Chinese side has repeatedly shared information and stated its position on the unintended entry of the unmanned Chinese civilian airship into US airspace due to force majeure. The US Congress’s resolution is purely about scoring political points and dramatizing the whole thing. China deplores it and firmly opposes it.
On your second question, I do not have the information.
AFP: Multiple US states, including Texas and Florida are considering banning Chinese citizens from buying property. This is over national security concerns. What’s China’s response on this?
Mao Ning: China-US economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial and win-win in nature. To overstretch the concept of national security and politicize economic, trade and investment issues runs counter to the principles of market economy and international trade rules, which undercuts international confidence in the US market environment.
Dragon TV: According to reports, Seymour Hersh, a well-known US investigative journalist, exposed in an article with detailed information on every step of the covert operation that the sabotage last September of the Nord Stream pipelines that transport natural gas from Russia to Europe was carried out by US intelligence and military personnel. What’s your comment?
Mao Ning: We have noted the reports. The Nord Stream gas pipelines are vital transnational infrastructure. The explosions have had a serious impact on the global energy market and ecological environment. If Hersh is telling the truth, what he revealed is clearly unacceptable and must be answered for. The US owes the world a responsible explanation.
Beijing Youth Daily: There has been little coverage on Hersh’s revelation among some US media hailed as free, professional and impartial. What do you make of this?
Mao Ning: Indeed. This is nothing new. It only proves that some media outlets care little about the truth. They pretend not to see the truth that really matters and, more often than not, try to sell the false narratives rather than the truth.
Bloomberg: On BRICS. I wonder if there’s been any progress on expanding the BRICS group of nations? If you could share which countries have expressed interest and what criteria the group plans for entry?
Mao Ning: The XIV BRICS Summit Beijing Declaration notes that “We support promoting discussions among BRICS members on BRICS expansion process.” China will continue to work with BRICS partners to strengthen cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries, and jointly advance the BRICS expansion process on the basis of full discussion and consensus through consultation.