|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on May 24, 2023|
CGTN: Xie Feng, the new Chinese Ambassador to the US, arrived in the US on May 23. He spoke to Chinese and foreign reporters and people from various sectors at the airport. US State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on the same day that the US welcomed Ambassador Xie’s arrival and “We look forward to working with the ambassador designate and his team. We remain committed to maintain channels of communication with the PRC to responsibly manage competition”. Do you have any response?
Mao Ning: China’s new Ambassador to the US Mr. Xie Feng has arrived in the US to take on his new mission. Ambassadors are an important bridge and bond between China and the US. We hope the US will provide support and facilitation for Ambassador Xie Feng as he carries out his duty.
The China-US relationship is vitally important to both countries and the world. China views and grows its relations with the US in accordance with the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation put forward by President Xi Jinping. We also remain committed to defending our sovereignty, security and development interests. We hope the US will bear in mind the shared interest of people in the two countries and the world, work with China to enhance dialogue, manage differences and boost cooperation and bring China-US relations back to the right track of sound and steady growth.
People’s Daily: Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen reportedly said on May 22 that the Belt and Road Initiative has brought great benefits to Cambodia. China has helped Cambodia build an array of infrastructure including roads and bridges. China’s stable raw material supply has supported Cambodia’s export and millions of jobs for the country. He added that, “If we look at China’s policy, no declaration of enmity has been made with any country and China has never set out a policy of blocking or hostile to other countries.” Do you have any comment?
Mao Ning: The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is aimed at boosting connectivity and common development. As Prime Minister Hun Sen said, there is no part of China’s policy that declares itself the enemy of any other country or looks for ways to hinder other countries’ development. It’s always about helping and supporting other countries’ development.
Since its launch ten years ago, guided by the principle of wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, the BRI has deepened mutually beneficial cooperation with Cambodia and other partners and has become a popular global public good and international cooperation platform. To date, over three quarters of countries around the world have joined this initiative, which has generated 420,000 jobs in these countries and helped more and more countries speed up economic growth. All those fruitful outcomes fully indicate that the BRI is a pathway toward common development.
We believe that the advancement of high-quality BRI cooperation will create more opportunities for the common prosperity of countries. China will follow through on the important common understandings between the Chinese and Cambodian leaders to further enhance our cooperation under the BRI and bring more benefits to our peoples.
Reuters: Two questions on chips. The US government has said that China’s ban on Micron is not based in fact. What’s China’s response? And secondly, US House Representative Mike Gallagher told Reuters that the US should sanction a Chinese chip-maker in response to the Micron ban. What’s China’s response?
Mao Ning: On your first question, the cybersecurity review by relevant Chinese authorities on Micron’s products sold in China is carried out in accordance with the law and the latest decision is based in facts. China’s cybersecurity review does not target any particular countries or regions, nor does China seek to exclude technologies or products from any specific country.
The US used national security as a pretext to put more than 1,200 Chinese companies and individuals on various lists and subjected them to all kinds of restrictions despite the lack of hard evidence of wrongdoing. This is what constitutes economic coercion. This is unacceptable.
As to your second question, China strongly opposes the US’s unjustified suppression of Chinese companies by over-stretching the concept of national security and abusing state power. The discriminatory and unfair practice seriously hurts normal trade and economic exchanges and cooperation between China and the US, violates market rules and the international trade order and severely disrupts global industrial and supply chain stability. The Chinese side will continue to do what is necessary to firmly safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese companies and institutions.
Beijing Daily: Myanmar was recently hit by a cyclone. What’s China’s consideration on providing disaster relief assistance to Myanmar?
Mao Ning: China expresses sincere sympathies to Myanmar over the fatalities and serious financial loss caused by the tropical cyclone. As a friendly neighbor and “pauk-phaw” brother of Myanmar, China provided disaster relief supplies to Myanmar soon after the cyclone hit. The Red Cross Society of China also provided assistance to the Myanmar Red Cross Society. This reflects the spirit of China-Myanmar community with a shared future of supporting each other through thick and thin. Looking forward, China will continue to do what it can to provide humanitarian assistance in response to Myanmar’s need to help the local people overcome current difficulties and rebuild their home soon.
AFP: Can you confirm reports that Commerce Minister Wang Wentao will visit the US this week and can you provide any details of this visit?
Mao Ning: I would like to refer you to the Ministry of Commerce of China on that visit.
Reuters: Japanese Prime Minister Kishida said that Japan is considering opening a NATO liaison office, but it will not join NATO itself. What’s China’s response?
Mao Ning: We have responded to this question before. NATO claims to be a regional organization and should not extend its geopolitical reach. The Asia-Pacific does not welcome bloc confrontation or military blocs.
Given Japan’s history of aggression, it needs to be prudent on military and security issues and make sure its actions are conducive to regional peace and stability.
AFP: The US State Department has said it’s signing a deal with Micronesia to extend a 20-year-old security agreement and give the US the right to locate military facilities across a large part of the central Pacific. What’s China’s reaction to this?
Mao Ning: We do not object to normal exchange and cooperation between relevant parties and Pacific island countries. We believe the rest of the world needs to pay more attention and give more support to the development of Pacific island countries. Any cooperation should serve this purpose.
China has no interest in competing for influence with anyone and we oppose attempts by any country to bring geopolitical contest into that region.
Tokyo Shimbun: It was reported that the Hangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee canceled a press conference in Aichi Prefecture aimed at promoting the Asian Games, without explaining the decision. Could you tell us why this event was canceled?
Mao Ning: I have no information on this.
AFP: Canada has announced that it will not hold a public probe into alleged foreign interference in Canadian elections. A Canadian official, David Johnston, said that foreign governments are undoubtedly attempting to influence elections in Canada, but these efforts did not change voting outcomes. Do you have any response to this?
Mao Ning: As we have repeatedly stressed, China follows a foreign policy of non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs. We are also firmly against interference by any country in other countries’ internal affairs. We have no interest in interfering in Canada’s internal affairs, including its elections, nor will we do any such thing. We urge Canada to abandon its ideological bias and Cold War mentality and stop keeping making an issue of China.