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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on May 5, 2023
2023-05-05 16:51

CCTV: A delegation of US defense contractors attended the Taiwan-US Defense Industry Forum on May 3. Head of the delegation Steven Rudder, who was in charge of the US Marines operations in the Pacific, said in his speech that US defense contractors “want to be part of the self-defense capabilities of Taiwan” to increase its deterrence so that “we may never have to go to war”. What’s your comment?

Mao Ning: US arms sales to the Taiwan region seriously violate the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, especially the August 17 Communiqué. China firmly opposes them.

Lately the US and the Taiwan authorities have been stepping up military collusion. A delegation of 25 US arms dealers swarmed to the island and held with the DPP authorities the “defense forum”. It is further proof that the US is turning Taiwan into a “powder keg”, which only spells trouble for our Taiwan compatriots. And they have made clear their position. As the “forum” was being held, people from all walks of life gathered nearby to protest the warmongers peddling conflict, oppose those soliciting US support for independence and opening the door to the devil, call on young people in Taiwan to refuse to be enlisted, and voice support for one China on both sides of the Taiwan Strait and cross-Strait peace. The DPP authorities need to hear these voices and immediately stop trading our Taiwan compatriots’ fundamental interests for selfish gains.

We once again urge the US to abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, stop arms sales to and military contact with Taiwan, and stop creating factors that could cause tensions in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese side will take strong and resolute measures to firmly defend our sovereignty and security interests. Any external forces that interfere in China’s internal affairs and undermine peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait shall bear the consequences and pay for their erroneous acts.

China News Service: The Subcommittee on Africa of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee recently held a hearing, expressing concerns about the debt risks posed by China’s economic activities in Africa. It also accused China of lacking transparency in cooperation with Africa, disrespecting workers’ rights and environmental standards and engaging in business corruption. What’s China’s comment? 

Mao Ning: China has long been following the principle of transparency and openness and expanding new areas of and creating new dynamism for practical cooperation with Africa in light of Africa’s needs. Cooperation outcomes can be found in various parts of Africa. The Kafue Gorge Lower Hydropower Project in Zambia, built by China, can reduce carbon emissions by 663,500 tons per year and yield revenue of more than $1 million USD in power generation per day. The Mombasa-Nairobi Railway in Kenya has created 46,000 local jobs. Over 80% of the employees there are locals. The Railway brings nearly 7,000 passengers and about 18,000 tonnes of cargo to their destination every day. China actively supports the Great Green Wall initiative in Africa and has made new progress in helping relevant countries in desertification treatment. In addition, the Chinese government has encouraged Chinese companies doing business in Africa to actively fulfill their social responsibilities. The African people are in the best position to tell whether China-Africa cooperation is good or not.

International financial institutions and commercial creditors hold the bulk of Africa’s debts. We have noted that the US benefits from its dollar hegemony on the one hand, and jabs fingers at African countries’ normal financing cooperation on the other. This is nothing but double standards. In fact, the massive interest rate hikes by the US has pushed up the cost of financing and debt repayment facing African countries. This is the main cause of African countries’ debt issue.

When viewing China-Africa cooperation, the US needs to have less jealousy but more openness and inclusiveness. It needs to make fewer groundless accusations, but provide more tangible support. It needs to engage in less zero-sum game, but more win-win cooperation. As an old Chinese saying goes, “As he contends for nothing, none in the world could contend with him.” Any cooperation that is truly beneficial to the African people can naturally prevail.

AFP: The Canadian government summoned the Chinese ambassador to Canada yesterday over a Chinese diplomat’s alleged intimidation of a Canadian lawmaker who had criticized Beijing. What’s your response?

Mao Ning: We deplore and reject the Canadian side’s groundless smear of the Chinese diplomatic and consular mission in Canada, which is merely fulfilling its duties. The Chinese ambassador to Canada has stated China’s stern position on this and lodged a strong protest to a senior official of the Global Affairs Canada. A senior official of the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China has also made serious démarches to the Canadian ambassador to China. 

A handful of Canadian politicians and media have hyped up a fabricated story of “China targeting a Canadian lawmaker”, which is nothing but a political stunt that grew out of ideological bias. In March 2021, China decided to sanction the Canadian lawmaker concerned in response to the Canadian side’s imposition of sanctions on Chinese individuals and entities based on lies and disinformation and under the pretext of so-called human rights issues in Xinjiang. It is the Canadian side that made provocations and severely undermined China’s interests first. China’s strong response is fully justified and necessary. 

I want to stress that the Chinese diplomatic and consular personnel in Canada always abide by relevant international conventions and perform their duties in accordance with the law. The Chinese side will take necessary measures to firmly safeguard its own interests.

NHK: Could you share with us the program and what’s on the agenda of the first China-Central Asia Summit to be held in Xi’an soon?

Mao Ning: Thank you for your interest in the China-Central Asia Summit. We are in close communication with the five Central Asian countries and jointly making preparations for the bilateral and multilateral events at the Summit to ensure the Summit will be a full success and produce fruitful outcomes. As for the specifics about the Summit, we will release information in due course. Please check back for updates.

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