|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on September 19, 2023|
AFP: According to a survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, the proportion of US firms in China that feel optimistic about the next five years is the lowest the survey has ever recorded. And the survey participants said the reasons for their more pessimistic outlook included China’s economic slowdown and pressure from the American government to decouple from China. What does China plan to do to better support American companies operating in China in the next five years?
Mao Ning: I would refer you to competent authorities for your specific question. What I can tell you is that the Chinese economy’s strong resilience, ample potential and strong vitality stay unchanged, the fundamentals sustaining China’s sound economic growth in the long run stay unchanged, and China’s strength in its enormous market and full industrial system stays unchanged. Lately, China has rolled out a host of targeted measures aimed at attracting foreign investment, which have been applauded by domestic and foreign investors.
We welcome, as always, foreign businesses to invest and operate in China, and will stay committed to creating favorable conditions for businesses from all over the world.
Xinhua News Agency: China announced that it will host the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing in October this year. What events will be held and how does preparation for the Forum go?
Mao Ning: The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation will be held in Beijing in October this year. Events during the Forum include the opening ceremony, three high-level forums on connectivity, green development and digital economy, and six thematic forums on trade connectivity, people-to-people connectivity, think tank exchanges, clean Silk Road, subnational cooperation and maritime cooperation. A CEO conference is also to be held.
Preparation for the Forum is well underway. As of today, representatives from more than 110 countries have confirmed that they will attend the Forum. China and BRI partners are in communication on the preparation.
Bloomberg: I’m just wondering, on the BRI, when will we get the dates, because you keep saying in October, but when will we get specific dates?
Mao Ning: We will release information in due course. Please check back for updates.
AFP: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has met Vice President Han Zheng on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Is the Chinese side able to provide any more details about what they discussed?
Mao Ning: I have nothing more to share. Please refer to our press release.
AFP: A high-level delegation from Afghanistan is currently taking part in an official visit to China led by the Afghan office of the deputy prime minister for economic affairs. Is the Chinese side able to confirm that this visit is taking place? And if so, what are its aims and purposes?
Mao Ning: I have no information on that. I’d refer you to competent Chinese authorities.
AFP: Fighting took place yesterday in the Myanmar town of Muse just across the border from the Chinese city of Ruili in Yunnan. Is the Chinese side aware of the fighting and has China taken any countermeasures in response to the fighting on the Myanmar side of the border?
Mao Ning: I am not yet aware of what you mentioned.
AFP: ASEAN nations began their first ever joint military drills off the coast of Indonesia today. China is not taking part in the drills, but I’m wondering if the foreign ministry has a position on these drills given China’s claims to much of the South China Sea and the fact that mostly Southeast Asian nations are taking part in them.
Mao Ning: I’d refer you to competent Chinese authorities for your specific question. China’s position on the South China Sea issue is consistent and clear.