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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on September 8, 2023
2023-09-08 19:13

At the invitation of the government of the Russian Federation, Zhang Guoqing, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Vice Premier of the State Council, will attend the eighth Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia from September 10 to 12.

CCTV: China has announced Venezuelan President Maduro’s visit to China. How does China view the current China-Venezuela relations? Can you share the program and China’s expectations for this visit?

Mao Ning: China and Venezuela are each other’s comprehensive strategic partners. In recent years, thanks to the personal commitment of President Xi Jinping and President Maduro, the China-Venezuela relations have withstood the test of the evolving international landscape and remained rock-solid. The two countries’ political mutual trust has grown more solid, and our cooperation in various sectors has further deepened.

Through President Maduro’s visit, China hopes and stands ready to work with Venezuela to draw a blueprint for the growth of bilateral relations in the new era, bring the comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level, and make new contribution to world peace and stability as well as international fairness and justice.

Xinhua News Agency: China just announced that the Zambian President will visit China. Could you share with us the program of this upcoming visit and China’s expectations? How does China view its relations with Zambia?

Mao Ning: Zambia is an important country in southern Africa. China and Zambia enjoy a traditional friendship. The two countries have deepened political mutual trust, achieved fruitful outcomes in practical cooperation and maintained sound cooperation in international and regional affairs. The year 2024 will mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Zambia. 

During President Hakainde Hichilema’s visit, President Xi Jinping will hold a welcome ceremony and banquet for him, and the two heads of state will hold talks and jointly attend a signing ceremony of cooperation documents. Premier Li Qiang and Chairman Zhao Leji will meet with President Hichilema. President Hichilema will also travel to Jiangxi, Fujian and Shenzhen. We believe that President Hichilema’s visit will give a new boost to the all-round, in-depth growth of China-Zambia relations and further advance our friendly cooperation. 

CRI: China just announced that Vice Premier Zhang Guoqing will attend the eighth Eastern Economic Forum in Russia. Could you elaborate further on China’s expectations for this visit?

Mao Ning: Under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Putin, China-Russia relations have been strong and robust with steady progress of cooperation in various sectors. The Eastern Economic Forum serves as an important platform for countries in the Asia Pacific to pool consensus on cooperation and seek common development. President Xi Jinping attended the Eastern Economic Forum twice in 2018 and 2021 upon invitation and delivered important speeches. In his remarks, President Xi elaborated on China’s proposals for growing China-Russia relations, participating in Far East development, and advancing regional cooperation, which were warmly received.

Vice Premier Zhang Guoqing will attend events under the framework of the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia and meet Russian leaders. China hopes to work with Russia through this visit to deliver on the common understandings between the leaders of the two countries, deepen Northeast China-Russian Far East cooperation, and jointly advance the development of the region.

Beijing Youth Daily: We noted that China International Communications Group announced today that 10 foreign nationals are given the inaugural Orchid Awards. Do you have more details on that? What’s the significance of the awards to people-to-people exchanges between China and the world?

Mao Ning: China supports cultural exchanges and mutual learning with the rest of the world. We noted that China International Communications Group presented inaugural Orchid Awards to 10 foreign friends, including sinologist, translator, educator, artist, civil society founder and documentary director. Despite their different nationalities and life experience, the laureates, as friendly envoys of enhancing understanding, exchanges and cooperation, are committed to promoting global cultural exchanges and the development of human civilization.

China stands ready to work with the international community to uphold the spirit of the Global Civilization Initiative, advocate the common values of humanity and promote cultural exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations with concrete actions.

Reuters: Zambia’s President is visiting China from Sunday. In order to formalize the debt restructuring deal, Zambia reached with its bilateral creditors, including China, at the Paris summit in June, it needs bilateral creditors to sign a memorandum of understanding. Will China offer Zambia further guarantees on providing debt relief and sign the required MOU next week? 

Mao Ning: Thanks to the joint efforts of the Creditor Committee for Zambia and other parties recently, significant progress has been made in the settlement of Zambia’s debts and China made important contributions. China will maintain close communication with the Creditor Committee and other sides and jointly advance the following work.

DPA: Last year’s G20 statement included a part on the war in Ukraine, saying that most members strongly condemned the war in Ukraine. I wonder if China is going to agree to a similar part on Ukraine at this year’s G20 summit?

Mao Ning: We believe that the G20, as a premier forum for international economic cooperation, needs to focus on its mandate, enhance macroeconomic policy coordination and boost world economic growth.

On the issue of Ukraine, China’s position is consistent and clear.

Hubei Media Group: The 160th Arab League Council of Foreign Ministers passed a resolution recently which reiterates that Arab countries support the one-China principle and the Belt and Road Initiative, stand ready to step up cooperation with China and appreciate China’s diplomatic effort in promoting regional peace and security. Do you have any comment?

Mao Ning: This is the 43rd time in a row that the League of Arab States adopted such a friendly resolution related to China at the level of foreign ministers. We highly appreciate that. The resolution takes stock of what Arab countries and China have achieved in our cooperation and reiterates that Arab countries support the one-China principle and the Belt and Road Initiative and stand ready to step up cooperation in various fields with China, which fully indicates Arab countries’ commitment to growing their ties with China.

The resolution commends China’s diplomatic effort in supporting the Arab cause, advancing the peaceful settlement of regional crises, and promoting international and regional peace and security. It applauds the reconciliation agreement signed in Beijing and restoration of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran as a result of President Xi Jinping’s initiative, which shows once again that strengthening dialogue and consultation and enhancing solidarity and coordination is the shared desire of China and Arab countries.

China and Arab countries