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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on February 27, 2024
2024-02-27 18:00

China Daily: The 55th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council commenced yesterday. Under the current circumstances, how does China view the role of the UNHRC? What is the consideration for China’s participation this time? We noticed that Foreign Minister Wang Yi made remarks at the high-level segment of the session. Can you give us more details? 

Mao Ning: The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a core platform for discussing human rights issues. At the moment, the world is becoming more turbulent, crises and conflicts keep flaring up, and deficit in global human rights governance is widening. There is an urgent need for all parties to build consensus and enhance solidarity and cooperation. China always attaches great importance to the work of the UNHRC and will take an active part in the discussions of all agenda items at this session, encourage all parties to have constructive dialogue and cooperation on human rights issues, and work for fairer and more equitable, reasonable and inclusive global governance on human rights.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the high-level segment of the session and made remarks via video link. He pointed out that protecting and promoting human rights is a common cause for all humanity. It falls upon the entire international community to protect the human rights of all ethnic groups and all people in a fair, equal and effective way. We must put people first. Safeguarding people’s interests must be the basis and goal of the human rights cause. People’s right to survival and development should be protected as a priority and pursued with a greater sense of urgency. We must stand against the attempts to use human rights as a pretext to interfere with other countries’ internal affairs or curb others’ development. We must stay open and inclusive, respect the diversity of world civilizations, and respect all countries’ right to independently choose their paths to human rights development. Countries should not impose their own values or development models on others. We must pursue cooperation that benefits all. Consensus should be built through dialogue, and mutual learning enhanced through exchanges. Human rights must be protected and promoted by ensuring security, advancing development and enhancing cooperation. Emerging issues, such as the relationship between artificial intelligence and human rights, must be properly handled. UN human rights bodies need to be fair and objective and serve as platforms for constructive engagement and cooperation for all sides, rather than a battleground for group politics or bloc confrontation.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed that China is now working to deliver the fruits of modernization to its population in a more substantive and equitable way, and raising the level of human rights protection. As our future is closely tied to that of people around the world, we will actively champion the common values of humanity, and work with all sides to build a community with a shared future for mankind, and make new contributions to the healthy development of the global human rights cause.

Swedish Television: Sweden is about to join NATO. How will this impact China-Sweden relations?

Mao Ning: On European security, China hopes that all parties will work for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, follow the principle of indivisible security, and build a balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture through dialogue and consultation and on the basis of respecting each other’s legitimate security concerns, so as to realize peace and lasting security in the region.

On China-Sweden relations, our position is consistent. We value our friendly cooperation with Sweden.

AFP: According to media reports, the Serbian President said yesterday that Chinese leader will visit Serbia this year. Can the Foreign Ministry confirm the visit and provide more details?

Mao Ning: China and Serbia are iron-clad friends. Our relations have been highly robust with solid political mutual trust and fruitful cooperation in various fields. China greatly values its relations with Serbia. We stand ready to work with Serbia to strengthen exchanges at various levels and across the board to elevate the China-Serbia comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level, deliver more benefits to the two peoples and contribute to the efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind. On the specific visit that you mentioned, I have no information to offer.

The Paper: It’s reported that in its recent report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Nvidia included Huawei in its current competitors in AI, chips and various areas for the first time, and said that its competitive position may be further harmed if there’re further changes in the US government’s export controls. What’s your comment? 

Mao Ning: What has happened shows that “small yard and high fence” will not stop China’s innovation-driven development, nor will it do any good to US companies or the entire semiconductor industry. Open cooperation is the core driving force for the growth of the semiconductor industry. China is one of the major semiconductor markets in the world. To fragment the market, destabilize global industrial and supply chains, and stymie efficiency and innovation serves no one’s interests. The US needs to follow the principles of market economy and fair competition, and support companies around the world in advancing science and technology through healthy competition.

Reuters: The US-China Science and Technology Agreement was set to expire today after the US extended the pact originally expiring in August 2023 by six months for re-negotiations with China. Please could you tell us whether the pact has been renewed now while the expiration date has passed?

Mao Ning: China-US exchange and cooperation in science and technology is mutually beneficial in nature. What I know is that the two sides have been in communication on the renewal of the agreement. For the specifics, I’d refer you to competent Chinese authorities.

Bloomberg: The Department of Homeland Security is expanding its scrutiny of solar companies in the US. It’s asking for more information about their supply chains. This would appear to be an indication that the Biden Administration is poised to toughen its enforcement of a ban on products linked to Chinese “forced labor.” How does the Ministry respond to this?

Mao Ning: We’ve stated on multiple occasions that the so-called “forced labor” in Xinjiang is nothing but an egregious lie. The US uses the made-up story of “forced labor” to enforce the malicious legislation on Xinjiang and create “forced unemployment” in the region. Such moves seriously violate people’s basic human rights in Xinjiang and the international trade rules. They have also disrupted global industrial and supply chains. The US needs to immediately stop smearing China, stop meddling in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and stop politicizing and weaponizing economic and trade issues.

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