Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on June 5, 2024

China News Service: We have learned that the senior officials’ meetings on East Asian cooperation will be held in Vientiane, Laos. Is there anything you could share about China’s participation?

Mao Ning: Laos, the rotating chair of ASEAN, will host the ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting, East Asia Summit Senior Officials’ Meeting and ASEAN Regional Forum Senior Officials’ Meeting from June 7 to 8 in Vientiane. Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Sun Weidong will lead a delegation to the meetings.

The meetings will focus on the theme of “ASEAN: Enhancing Connectivity and Resilience” and review the results achieved in East Asian cooperation. The discussions will be centered on steering regional cooperation and promoting cooperation under various mechanisms under the current circumstances. Views will be exchanged on international and regional issues of mutual interest. This will prepare the ground for this year’s leaders’ meetings and foreign ministers’ meetings on East Asian cooperation. The Chinese side looks forward to in-depth communication with all parties at the meetings, and striving for new progress in East Asian cooperation and greater contribution to peace, stability and common development of this region.

CCTV: It was reported that on June 4, a cabinet meeting presided over by ROK Prime Minister Han Duck-soo decided to suspend the entire effect of the September 19 Military Agreement until mutual trust between the two Koreas is restored. The ROK military then noted that it has made plans to restart drills in the land and maritime buffer zones as well as no-fly zones with the DPRK, and will resume artillery drills in shooting ranges and regiment-level field maneuvers five kilometers south of the Military Demarcation Line, firing drills by troops stationed in the northwestern border islands, and naval maneuvers and artillery drills near the Northern Limit Line. What is China’s comment?

Mao Ning: We noted the reports. It is in the common interests of all parties to uphold peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Recent months have seen continued tensions on the Peninsula and increasing antagonism and confrontation among relevant parties. China is concerned over the developments. We are committed to safeguarding peace and stability on the Peninsula, support relevant parties in improving relations through dialogue and oppose any word or action that drives up tensions. We hope relevant parties will remain cool-headed, exercise restraint, stay prudent, and play a constructive role in ensuring peace and stability on the Peninsula.

TASS: US President Joe Biden in an interview with Time magazine said he does not rule out using US military force in the case of military conflict between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait. What’s the Foreign Ministry’s comment? 

Mao Ning: Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The Taiwan question is purely China’s internal affair that brooks no external interference. No pressure or threat will erode the determination, will and ability of the Chinese government and people to defend China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to one and the same China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. This is the real status quo in the Taiwan Strait. How to resolve the Taiwan question is a matter for the Chinese people. We urge the US to fully recognize the inherent nature and dangerous ambition of “Taiwan independence” separatists, earnestly abide by the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, honor the commitment of not supporting “Taiwan independence,” stop arming Taiwan and stop sending any wrong signal to “Taiwan independence” separatist forces in any form.

Reuters: Commerce Minister Wang Wentao is currently on a trip to Europe. Can China’s lobbying of European Union member states change the outcome of the European Commission’s probe of China’s electric vehicle industry which is widely expected to see tariffs imposed on Chinese exports to Europe?

Mao Ning: I’d refer you to the Ministry of Commerce on anything specific about Minister Wang Wentao’s visit to Europe. On the EU’s anti-subsidy probe and tariffs, China has made clear our position multiple times. Trade protectionism serves no one’s interest, and the EU should stick to its commitment of upholding free trade and open cooperation. If the EU takes any measure that hurts China-EU trade and economic cooperation, China will not sit by and watch, but will take all measures necessary to firmly safeguard our lawful rights and interests.

Xinhua News Agency: The results of India’s 18th Lok Sabha Elections are out. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP and its National Democratic Alliance have won the election. What’s China’s comment? 

Mao Ning: We noted the results of India’s general election and extend congratulations on the victory of the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the National Democratic Alliance.

A healthy and stable China-India relationship is in the interest of both countries, and conducive to the peace and development in this region and beyond. China stands ready to work with India to act in the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples, bear in mind the overall interest of our ties, look to the future and advance bilateral relations on a healthy and stable track.

Dragon TV: Today is the 53rd World Environment Day. We noted that for some time, some countries have adopted protectionist measures, such as increasing tariffs on Chinese green products, which creates obstacles for global low-carbon transition. What is your comment?

Mao Ning: Today is not only the World Environment Day, but also the Environment Day in China established by our Environmental Protection Law. This year, the theme for China’s Environment Day is “all-round effort for a beautiful China.” Under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Ecological Civilization, China is now seeing a beautiful scroll of harmonious coexistence between man and nature unfolding on its land. China has achieved the most rapid improvement in air quality among the world’s countries. We are enjoying more days with blue sky. China’s forest area and forest stock volume have both been increasing for 40 consecutive years. Our land is greener. In 2023, China’s CO2 emissions per unit of GDP dropped by over 35 percent than that of 2012, and installed capacity of renewable energy accounted for 52.9 percent of the total installed capacity. Our green transition is picking up speed.

China has been actively advancing the global green transition and contributing to global environmental and climate governance. Data released by the International Renewable Energy Agency show that the average capital costs of the construction of wind power and solar PV power plants in the world have fallen by more than 60 percent and 80 percent respectively over the past decade, which is largely attributable to China’s innovation, manufacturing and projects. Earth is the only planet we call home and needs to be protected by all in the world. What we need is environmental protection, not protectionism against green products. Such protectionism cannot lead us to a green future. We hope that the international community will work together through cooperation, so that there will always be blue skies, green mountains and lucid water for all generations to come.

PTI: In the light of what you said about greeting Indian Prime Minister Modi on his reelection, do you think that the election creates opportunities for both countries to rework the relations which are frozen since May 2020? Can we expect some new initiatives from China to break the ice and rework the relations with India? 

Mao Ning: China’s position on its relations with India is consistent and clear. We always believe that a healthy and stable China-India relationship is in the interest of both countries. China extends congratulations on the victory of the BJP led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the National Democratic Alliance. We hope that the two countries will act in the fundamental interests of the two peoples, work in the same direction and work for a healthy and stable China-India relationship.