HOME > Spokesperson's Remarks
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on November 20, 2023
2023-11-20 20:24

China News Service: China has announced the upcoming state visit by Uruguayan President Lacalle to China. Could you offer more information about the program and share China’s expectation for the visit?

Mao Ning: At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, Uruguayan President Luis Alberto Lacalle Pou will pay a state visit to China from November 20 to 24. It will be President Lacalle’s first visit to China. During the visit, President Xi Jinping will host a welcome ceremony and a welcome banquet for President Lacalle. The two heads of state will hold talks to jointly blueprint the future growth of bilateral relations and have in-depth exchange of views on issues of mutual interest. They will also jointly attend a signing ceremony of cooperation documents. Premier Li Qiang and Chairman Zhao Leji will meet with President Lacalle.

Uruguay is an important country in South America. Our two countries enjoy a profound traditional friendship. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Uruguay. Over the past 35 years, especially since the establishment of strategic partnership in 2016, bilateral relations have made good progress and delivered tangible benefits to both peoples. We believe this visit will further consolidate our traditional friendship, deepen political mutual trust, elevate practical cooperation to a higher level and bring our relations to new heights.

Yonhap News Agency: I have two questions. First, leaders of the ROK and China did not hold any meeting in San Francisco. Can the Foreign Ministry tell us the reason? Second, Japanese Foreign Minister will visit the ROK and attend the China-Japan-ROK trilateral foreign ministers’ meeting from November 25 to 26. Will Foreign Minister Wang Yi attend the meeting?

Mao Ning: On your first question, President Xi Jinping and President Yoon Suk Yeol interacted briefly during the APEC meeting. To have bilateral interactions at the leaders’ level on international and multilateral occasions is a usual practice, but they are conducted in various forms. 

On your second question, China is positive towards a China-Japan-ROK foreign ministers’ meeting. We will release relevant information in due course.

CCTV: It is reported that another Israeli attack on northern Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp on November 18 killed over 100 people. The Israeli forces also struck a United Nations-run school at a refugee camp in northern Gaza and killed more than 50 people. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: We are deeply shocked and saddened by the attacks against the Jabalia refugee camp and the United Nations-run school. We condemn violence and attacks targeting civilians and children.

Today is the World Children’s Day. It is also a day marking the adoption by the UN General Assembly of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. On such a day, we are deeply concerned that the children in Gaza have frequently been targets of attacks. As of the 15th of this month, more than 4,600 children in Gaza have been killed and close to 9,000 injured in this round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and many more are still trapped in ruins unaccounted for. We urge parties to the conflict to earnestly implement the resolution adopted by the UN General Assembly at its emergency special session and UN Security Council Resolution 2712, observe international humanitarian law, reach an immediate ceasefire, and effectively protect the lives of children and their rights and interests.

AFP: Argentina presidential candidate Javier Milei of La Libertad Avanza has been elected as the President of Argentina. How do you respond to his victory?

Mao Ning: China congratulates Argentina on a smooth presidential election and congratulates Mr. Javier Milei on his election as the President of Argentina.

Over the past 50 years and more since China and Argentina established diplomatic relations, our two countries have treated each other with mutual respect and equality and pursued mutual benefit. Bilateral relations have shown sound momentum of growth. To further grow China-Argentina relations is a widely shared consensus among people across the social spectrum of both countries and has brought tangible benefits to both peoples. China values its relations with Argentina from a strategic and long-term point of view and stands ready to work with Argentina to continue nurturing our friendship, contribute to each other’s development and prosperity through win-win cooperation, and keep our relations on a steady and sustained track of growth for the benefit of the two peoples.

RIA Novosti: Another question on Argentina. Diana Mondino, who was nominated as foreign minister candidate after Argentina’s presidential election, told RIA Novosti that Argentina would not join BRICS. What is China’s comment?

Mao Ning: I am not aware of what you mentioned. BRICS is an important platform for stronger solidarity and cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries to uphold common interest. It is an open platform. We welcome all countries that are interested to become a member of the BRICS family.

Dragon TV: According to reports, the 17th Pacific Games officially opened in Honiara, capital of Solomon Islands on November 19. Will China send delegations to the opening ceremony? Could you share more information on this?

Mao Ning: The 17th Pacific Games is the biggest sports event in the Pacific region. At the invitation of the government of Solomon Islands, Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress Cai Dafeng will lead a delegation to attend the opening ceremony of the Games.

China has provided full support to making the Games a success. We helped build the sports venues and Games villages and we are providing security, meteorological and other services. We wish the Games a full success and we are convinced that the traditional friendship between people of China and of Pacific Island countries will stand the test of time and grow from strength to strength.

Xinhua News Agency: ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol in an interview on November 20 said that China plays an important role in advancing freedom, peace and prosperity in East Asia. China’s seeking trilateral cooperation with the DPRK and Russia, who violate the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and other international rules, does no good to its international reputation and status. The ROK always develops sound and mature ROK-China relations based on mutual respect, mutual benefit and common interests. The Indo-Pacific region faces complex geopolitical risks, including the DPRK nuclear threat, the Taiwan Strait and tensions in the South China Sea. The ROK government has been emphasizing the peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait and the importance of putting in place a maritime order based on regional rules including in the South China Sea. What’s China’s comment?

Mao Ning: I noted the reports. I wish to stress that as a responsible major country, China has played an important, constructive role in international and regional affairs. China knows what its responsibilities and interests are. We don’t need to be told what to do or not to do. The Taiwan question is entirely China’s internal affairs and brooks no foreign interference. On the South China Sea, China and ASEAN countries have the ability, confidence and wisdom to handle this issue well. The ROK is not a party to the South China Sea issue and there’s no point in getting involved.

Reuters: Thailand’s foreign ministry said hundreds of Thai nationals together with some Filipino and Singaporean citizens are being evacuated from Myanmar via China. They will fly to Kunming before going to Bangkok. I have a few questions about the situation. What is the status of the repatriation flights to Kunming and to Bangkok? Has China begun evacuating its citizens from Myanmar as well? What are the arrangements for that? And on the whole situation, what will China do if this becomes a huge humanitarian crisis?

Mao Ning: China is following closely the conflict in northern Myanmar and has been urging parties to stop the fighting. Recently, some countries have asked China for assistance. In a humanitarian spirit, China has facilitated their citizens’ transit through China from northern Myanmar. We will stay in contact with relevant countries and do what we can to help on what’s to be done next.

China’s Foreign Ministry and our embassy and consulate in Myanmar have issued consular alerts, advising Chinese nationals in areas of intense conflict in northern Myanm