|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on September 13, 2023|
AFP: DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Putin met today in eastern Russia. Kim said that growing relations with Russia will be the DPRK’s top priority. What does this mean for ties between China and the DPRK?
Mao Ning: The DPRK leader’s visit to Russia is something between their two countries and concerns DPRK-Russia relations.
As to China-DPRK ties, China and the DPRK are friendly neighbors connected by mountains and rivers. Our bilateral relations are making sound progress. Both sides are working to act on the important consensus reached by our top leaders, deepen exchanges and cooperation across the board, and strive for new and greater progress in our traditional friendship and cooperation.
CCTV: We have noted the Proposal of the People’s Republic of China on the Reform and Development of Global Governance released by the foreign ministry today. Do you have more on that?
Mao Ning: The 78th session of the UN General Assembly opened a few days ago. The General Debate will be held from September 19 to 26. Against the backdrop of an international landscape fraught with instability and changes and various global challenges, the international community is looking to the UN to play an active role in international affairs and make new progress in reforming and improving the global governance system. The 78th UNGA session presents an important opportunity for the international community to build political consensus, enhance solidarity and cooperation, and jointly tackle challenges.
The Proposal of the People’s Republic of China on the Reform and Development of Global Governance elaborates on China’s position and proposition on global security, development, human rights and social, and new frontiers governance as well as on reform of multilateral institutions, and calls on the international community to jointly act on the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative and build a community with a shared future for mankind. The document demonstrates China’s sense of responsibility as a major country and constructive role in international affairs. By releasing it as the 78th UNGA session gets underway, China is contributing its ideas to global governance reform. We stand ready to work with all sides to practice true multilateralism and make new contributions to world peace, development and the human rights cause.
Hubei Media Group: September 12 is the UN Day for South-South Cooperation. How does China see the significance of South-South cooperation? And what will you do to further promote South-South cooperation?
Mao Ning: South-South cooperation embodies the spirit of solidarity and cooperation for a shared future in the developing world. To promote South-South cooperation is conducive to upholding the common interests of developing countries, accelerating sustainable economic, social and environmental development around the globe, and realizing more equitable and inclusive global governance.
As the largest developing country, China has always been a champion of South-South cooperation. We have worked actively to advance South-South cooperation in such fields as poverty reduction, food security, agritech, public health, industrialization and climate response, contributing to global growth in the process of our own development. In 2021, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative (GDI). Under this framework, China has worked closely with all parties, especially developing countries, and supported other countries in accelerating efforts to realize the sustainable development goals. Over 200 GDI cooperation projects have borne fruit, and more than 70 countries have joined the GDI Group of Friends. At the recently concluded BRICS meetings, President Xi Jinping noted that China has allocated more resources and set up a Global Development and South-South Cooperation Fund, and Chinese financial institutions will soon set up a special fund dedicated to the implementation of the GDI. China will continue working with relevant parties to advance South-South cooperation and build a community with shared development so that all countries can share in the development outcomes.
AFP: US and Canadian warships transited the Taiwan Strait last week. Recent reports say China staged large-scale military exercises around the Taiwan island. Could you offer more information?
Mao Ning: On the US and Canadian warships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait, the PLA Eastern Theatre Command spokesperson already released a statement, which you may refer to.
I want to stress that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory and China is unwaveringly determined to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Relevant sides should immediately stop such provocative acts and stop being a trouble-maker disrupting peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait.
Kyodo News: Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida reshuffled the Cabinet today. Yoko Kamikawa, Acting Secretary-General of the LDP, has been appointed the new foreign minister. What’s your comment?
Mao Ning: Japan’s Cabinet reshuffle is its internal affair. China and Japan are each other’s important close neighbors. Keeping bilateral relations on a track of sound and steady development serves the common interests of both countries and the wider region. Both sides need to be guided by the important common understandings reached by our leaders and take the 45th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship this year as an opportunity to enhance dialogue and communication, deepen practical cooperation, manage and control differences, and work together to build a stable and constructive China-Japan relationship that meets the requirements of the new era.
RIA Novosti: The adviser to the head of the Office of the President of Ukraine said that India and China “do not analyze the consequences of their own steps.” What is China’s comment on this?
Mao Ning: I don’t know the context of these remarks and will leave it to the speaker to offer explanations. On the Ukraine crisis, China always acts in a responsible manner to promote talks for peace and facilitate a political settlement. The individual you cited should view China’s position correctly based on accurate interpretation.
TV Asahi: According to reports, some Chinese government agencies have banned the use of iPhone. Can you confirm this? Does the foreign ministry ban the use of iPhone?
Mao Ning: China is committed to advancing high-level opening up. We protect foreign companies’ rights and interests in accordance with the law and strive to foster a first-class market-oriented, law-based and internationalized business environment. We always treat foreign companies with openness and welcome them to seize the opportunities presented by China’s development and share in the outcomes of China’s economic growth.
China did not issue any law, regulation or policy document that bans the purchase and use of cellphones of foreign brands, such as iPhone. However, recently we did notice media reports about security issues related to iPhone. The Chinese government attaches great importance to cyber and information security and treats Chinese and foreign companies as equals. We hope all cellphone companies operating in China will strictly abide by China’s laws and regulations, such as the Data Security Law of the People’s Republic of China and the Personal Information Protection Law of the People’s Republic of China, enhance information security management, protect consumers’ data stored in the cellphones against theft by any individual or organization, and ensure information security.
Kyodo News: Which Chinese leader will attend the UN General Assembly this year?
Mao Ning: We will release information in due course. Please check back for updates.
EFE: According to the Vatican, the Papal envoy Cardinal Zuppi is in China to seek diplomatic efforts to help end the Ukraine conflict and could meet with Chinese leaders. Can China confirm this visit? What comments do you have about the Vatican’s efforts to mediate in the war in Ukraine?
Mao Ning: Cardinal Matteo Zuppi is coming to China as Pope Francis’ special envoy to seek peace in Ukraine. Li Hui, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs, will meet with him. On the Ukraine issue, China is always committed to promoting peace talks. We stand ready to work with all sides and continue to play a constructive role in deescalating the situation.
AFP: Viet Nam’s official news agency reported today that a fire in an apartment building in Hanoi has killed more than ten people. Can the foreign ministry confirm if there are any Chinese nationals among the casualties?
Mao Ning: I’m not yet aware of the specifics concerning the fire you mentioned. I’m sure our embassy in Viet Nam will closely follow the situation, provide timely assistance to Chinese nationals in need, help keep them safe and protect their rights and interests.
NHK: According to reports, the Russian foreign ministry announced at a press conference that Wang Yi will visit Russia on September 18 and hold talks with the Russian foreign minister. Can you confirm this?
Mao Ning: China and Russia have been in close communication. Please stay tuned for updates.
TV Asahi: The DPRK launched two ballistic missiles this morning. How does China comment on that?
Mao Ning: China is closely following the developments on the Korean Peninsula. We hope relevant parties will keep to the direction of political settlement and address each other’s legitimate concerns in a balanced way through meaningful dialogue and strive for lasting peace and stability on the Peninsula at an early date.
AFP: Could you update us on Venezuelan President Maduro’s ongoing state visit in Beijing?
Mao Ning: For more details on the specific program on President Maduro’s visit, we will release information in a timely manner. Please stay tuned.