Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on November 15, 2022
CCTV: For some time, food security has been a focus of the international community. We have noted that the International Forum on Hybrid Rice Assistance and Global Food Security was held in Beijing a few days ago. What message has the forum sent to the world as global food security is facing increasing challenges? What measures has China taken to protect global food security?
Mao Ning: On November 12, the International Forum on Hybrid Rice Assistance and Global Food Security was successfully held in Beijing. President Xi Jinping sent written remarks, and State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the forum. President Xi noted in his remarks that half a century ago, hybrid rice was first successfully developed and planted widely in China. Thanks to this technology, China has managed to feed nearly one-fifth of the world’s population with less than 9 percent of the world’s arable land. Over the years, hybrid rice has been introduced to the world, benefiting nearly 70 countries across five continents. This has been a remarkable contribution to their grain output increase and agricultural development, and offered a Chinese solution to food shortages in developing countries.
China attaches great importance to global food security. In the Global Development Initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping, food security is one of the eight major areas of cooperation. China has put forth a cooperation initiative on global food security under the G20 framework, and put forward China’s suggestions in eight areas on establishing a cooperative partnership of bulk commodities and on safeguarding global food security. At the 25th China-ASEAN Summit that just concluded, the parties unanimously adopted the China-ASEAN Joint Statement on Food Security Cooperation, in which the parties reached important common understandings on strengthening cooperation on food availability, access, utilization and stability.
Food security is a fundamental and existential issue. China is ready to continue to work with the rest of the world, stay committed to a shared future of the human community, advance the Global Development Initiative, and strengthen cooperation on food security and poverty reduction, so as to make greater contributions to accelerating the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and building a world free from hunger and poverty.
CCTV: We have noted that cooperation between China and Pacific Island countries (PICs) in various areas has made positive progress. For example, China has provided a batch of police vehicles for Solomon Islands and a shipment of fertilizers for Fiji. The ground-breaking ceremony of the Samoa Police Academy, a China-assisted project, was held. Can you share more information?
Mao Ning: The Pacific Island countries (PICs) are now working to achieve post-COVID economic recovery and make their people’s lives better, which requires more attention and input from the international community. China has been taking concrete actions to help PICs with utmost sincerity. The projects you just mentioned, including police vehicles to Solomon Islands, fertilizers to Fiji and the police academy in Samoa, are all carried out in light of the countries’ urgent needs and aimed at improving the PICs’ capability of boosting economic development and defending their own safety. Apart from the projects, China also facilitated the skills training of the police from Solomon Islands in Fujian. And the first group of diplomats from PICs are now attending a training program in China. Such cooperation exemplifies China’s efforts in building a human community with a shared future in the South Pacific. China will continue to uphold the principles of mutual respect, equal treatment, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development, promote sustained development of our comprehensive strategic partnership, build an even closer community with a shared future for China and Pacific Island countries, and deliver benefits to the two peoples.
Yonhap News Agency: Could you share with us China’s expectation for the meeting between the Chinese and ROK Presidents today?
Mao Ning: As agreed by China and the ROK, President Xi Jinping and ROK President Yoon Suk-yeol, both in Bali to attend the G20 Summit, will have a bilateral meeting this afternoon local time. This will be the first official meeting between the two heads of state and will bear great significance. The two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on China-ROK relations and issues of shared interest.
China and the ROK are close neighbors and important cooperation partners. To advance the sound and steady growth of bilateral relations is in the shared interest of both sides. We hope this meeting will produce positive outcomes, and chart the course and provide the impetus for the future growth of China-ROK relations.
MBC: The US government said that China can hardly “control” North Korea. And if the DPRK does not stop its military provocations, the US will strengthen its military presence around the Korean Peninsula. It added, the actions the US takes “would not be directed against China” but North Korea. What is China’s stand on this?
Mao Ning: The crux and history of the issues of the Peninsula are very clear. It is China’s consistent belief that the right way forward is to resolve the legitimate concerns of all parties in a balanced way through meaningful dialogue. We will bear in mind the larger interest of upholding peace and stability on the Peninsula and continue to play a positive role in promoting the political settlement of the issues of the Peninsula.
Dragon TV: According to Pakistani media, the local court of Pakistan recently made sentences on several suspects that organized and participated in the Dasu terrorist attack on July 14 last year. Certain heads of the group were sentenced to death. What’s China’s comment?
Mao Ning: I have noted the reports. Pakistan has carried out the investigation of last year’s July 14 terrorist attack in Dasu with utmost seriousness and made every effort to get to the bottom of the case and bring the perpetrators to full justice. This is much appreciated by China. Now that the criminals have been held accountable, we know that justice has prevailed and our fellow compatriots who lost their lives in the attack can now rest in peace. China will remain firmly supportive of Pakistan’s counterterrorism efforts and hope the safety of Chinese nationals, institutions and projects in Pakistan will be duly protected.
The CPC and the Chinese government follow a people-centered approach to governance. We have applied a holistic approach to national security with the people’s security as our ultimate goal. Protecting the security of overseas Chinese nationals, institutions and projects is of great importance to us, and we have made tremendous efforts in that regard. We will further increase input, improve risk alerts, enhance emergency response capabilities, and work with relevant countries to resolutely protect the security of overseas Chinese nationals, institutions and projects.
Tokyo Shimbun: Yesterday the Japanese government announced that Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will meet with President Xi Jinping on November 17. What’s China’s expectation for the meeting? What will they mainly discuss?
Mao Ning: We will release the information once it becomes available.
Prasar Bharati: According to Pakistani media reports, it was agreed between China and Pakistan that the Chinese workers working for CPEC projects will be moving in bulletproof cars for the sake of their safety. What’s your comment?
Mao Ning: I am not aware of the specifics you mentioned. I can tell you that China and Pakistan always maintain close cooperation, and the two sides will make every effort to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens, institutions and projects in Pakistan.
Bloomberg: A Hydro-Quebec employee who was working on battery material research has been charged with espionage by the Canadian police for allegedly obtaining trade secrets for China. Does the foreign ministry have any comment on this?
Mao Ning: I’m not aware of what you mentioned. The Canadian side needs to handle individual cases in accordance with the law and avoid politicizing them.
Prasar Bharati: According to Pakistani media reports, there is a huge protest going on in the port city of Gwadar for the last 20 days. The protesters threatened to block the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, if their demands are not met within a week. Is the Chinese government in communication with the Pakistani government in this regard as protests are threatening CPEC?
Mao Ning: These reports do not reflect the truth. The organizers have stated publicly that the protests are not directed at China or the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The Gwadar Port is a flagship project of CPEC with a clear focus on development and benefiting people’s livelihood from the very beginning. The Chinese side has adhered to the principles of mutual respect and consensus-building throughout the cooperation process. The cooperation has effectively boosted local socioeconomic development and improved people’s livelihood, ranging from projects like the Gwadar Free Zone, the desalination plant, the Pak-China Technical and Vocational Institute, the Pak-China Friendship Hospital and the Faqeer primary school to the Chinese-donated solar power generation units. China stands ready to work together with Pakistan in the high-quality development of CPEC. We will build and operate CPEC projects well, including the Gwadar Port. This way, our cooperation will bring even more benefits to the people of both China and Pakistan.
Prasar Bharati: According to a report from Nepal, Chinese Vice Minister for Culture and Tourism visited Nepal with a delegation for a five-day Nepal visit over the weekend, despite the Nepali government asking the Chinese side to postpone the visit until after the November 20 elections in Nepal. The report said the Chinese side declined the request and proceeded with the visit. Can you share some information about the visit?
Mao Ning: This visit you mentioned was agreed upon beforehand by the competent authorities of both countries. With the concerted effort from both sides, this visit has achieved the intended results. What you mentioned is not true.
Follow-up: Actually, this was said by the media reports from Nepal. What kind of results and agreement as you mentioned just now were reached during the visit?
Mao Ning: The Chinese side has issued a detailed press release about the visit. I would refer you to that.