Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on June 24, 2024

Beijing Daily: China announced Peruvian President Boluarte’s visit to China. How does China view the current China-Peru relations? Could you share with us the program and China’s expectation of the visit?

Mao Ning: Peru is an important country in Latin America. Our two countries have a comprehensive strategic partnership. Since establishing diplomatic ties over half a century ago, bilateral relations have grown steadily with fruitful cooperation in various fields, delivering tangible benefits to the two peoples.

The visit will be President Boluarte’s first state visit to China. President Xi Jinping will have talks with her, and Premier Li Qiang and Chairman Zhao Leji will have separate meetings with her. China stands ready to work with Peru through this visit to further consolidate political mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, and advance the China-Peru comprehensive strategic partnership toward more good outcomes and greater benefits to the two peoples.

AFP: My question is about the South China Sea. Several incidents have happened recently between the vessels of China and the Philippines in the South China Sea. Philippine President Marcos said yesterday that the Philippines “will never be intimidated or oppressed by anyone.” He also pledged to “continue to exercise our freedoms and rights in support of our national interest, in accordance with international law.” Do you think these comments target China? What is China’s response?

Mao Ning: The merits of the maritime disputes between China and the Philippines are very clear. We have spoken on what actually happened and what our position is many times. The Philippines—if it would truly act in accordance with international law—should first and foremost observe the treaties that define its territory, including the 1898 Treaty of Peace between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Spain, and abide by the DOC. Our message to the Philippines is very clear: stop the infringement activities and provocations, and stop misleading the world.

Bloomberg: The Philippines has said that the encounter on June 17 in the South China Sea was a “deliberate act” by China and its Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro called the incident “an aggressive and illegal use of force.” How does the Ministry respond to that?  

Mao Ning: China has stated what actually happened and made clear its position on the illegal intrusion by Philippine vessels into the adjacent waters of Ren’ai Jiao. Ren’ai Jiao is part of China’s Nansha Qundao. It is Chinese territory. The Philippines should stop the infringement activities and provocations, return to the right track of properly settling maritime differences through negotiation and consultation as soon as possible, and work with China to uphold peace and stability in the South China Sea.

TASS: According to Germany’s Die Welt, last Saturday, China didn’t arrange a meeting between the visiting German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck and Chinese leader. Does the Foreign Ministry know the reason? How does China comment on Vice Chancellor Habeck’s visit and outcomes? 

Mao Ning: We are not aware of the meeting mentioned by the German media outlet. Relevant ministry has released information about German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck’s visit to China, which you may refer to. What I can tell you is that this year marks the 10th anniversary of China-Germany all-round strategic partnership. Since this year, China and Germany have had frequent dialogues and exchanges at various levels and in a wide range of areas, which sends a positive message of China and Germany engaging in mutually beneficial cooperation and jointly opposing trade protectionism. We stand ready to work with Germany to continue to uphold the principles of mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and seeking common ground while shelving differences, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation by showing more confidence and openness, and provide more positive energy for the sound and steady growth of China-Germany relations and China-EU relations.

Al Jazeera: According to what was announced after the first round of talks between Fatah and Hamas in Beijing at the end of April, the second round of talks are expected to be held in mid-June in Beijing. Can you confirm that and what’s the expected outcome?

Mao Ning: I have no information to share on that.

CRI: We noted that the first Plenary Session of the Intergovernmental Committee between China and Nigeria was held last Friday in Beijing. What’s the special significance of the meeting? What’s the influence on China-Nigeria and China-Africa cooperation?

Mao Ning: The China-Nigeria Intergovernmental Committee is the first intergovernmental committee mechanism established between China and an African country. The mechanism speaks to the political consensus between China and Nigeria on deepening strategic partnership as two important emerging markets and major developing countries. It is also yet another vital step to advance strategic cooperation across the spectrum.

Over the past five decades and more since our two countries established diplomatic ties, our relationship has made solid progress and our practical cooperation has been a pacesetter for China-Africa cooperation. Our two countries are strategically important to each other, for we respect, trust and support each other politically. Economically, our two countries have pioneered in cooperation, playing a demonstrative role and achieving coordinated progress in various fields. In the past three years and more since the committee was established, competent authorities of the two sides have fully worked together and achieved extensive cooperation outcomes. Foreign Minister Wang Yi and visiting Nigerian Foreign Minister Yusuf Maitama Tuggar co-chaired the first Plenary Session of the Intergovernmental Committee, where they reached important common understandings on delivering on the outcomes of the leaders’ meetings, enhancing political mutual trust, deepening cooperation across the board, and making full use of the committee mechanism. The meeting is yet another first in China-Nigeria and China-Africa cooperation. It helps strengthen China-Nigeria exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and sets a new example for and injects new impetus into China-Nigeria and China-Africa relations.

The next meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) will be held in Beijing this autumn. China stands ready to work with Nigeria and other African countries to hold a successful FOCAC and make new contribution to building an even closer China-Africa community with a shared future.

CCTV: It was reported that the foreign affairs office of the Taiwan region released a statement on June 20, criticizing the recent Joint Statement Between the People’s Republic of China and Malaysia on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership towards China-Malaysia Community with a Shared Future, which reiterates Malaysia’s commitment to the One China Policy, and says that “Taiwan is an inalienable territory of the People’s Republic of China,” and Malaysia “will not support any call for the independence of Taiwan.” Taiwan’s statement claims that this undermines the “sovereignty” of Taiwan. The Taiwan side also trumpeted once again that Taiwan “is a sovereign and independent country. Neither it nor the PRC is subordinate to the other.” What is the Foreign Ministry’s comment on this?

Mao Ning: The one-China principle is a basic norm in international relations and a prevailing international consensus. It is the political foundation for China to establish and grow diplomatic relations with all countries in the world, including Malaysia. In the 1974 joint communiqué between China and Malaysia on establishing diplomatic relations, the government of Malaysia unequivocally acknowledged the position of the Chinese government that Taiwan is an inalienable part of the territory of the People’s Republic of China. The Malaysian side reiterated this position in the recent high-level exchanges with China. This fully shows that the one-China principle is where global opinion trends and the right thing to do. The Taiwan authorities’ statement advocating Taiwan’s so-called “country” status further exposes their “Taiwan independence” agenda. That, however, will only be rejected and disdained and will not shake the abiding commitment of the international community to the one-China principle.

Hubei Media Group: It was reported that on June 23, two Orthodox churches, a synagogue and a police post in the cities of Makhachkala and Derbent in Russia’s Republic of Dagestan were attacked. At least 15 people and at least six gunmen were killed. The Investigative Directorate of the Investigative Committee of Russia for the Republic of Dagestan has launched a terror investigation into the attacks. What is China’s comment? 

Mao Ning: We noted relevant reports. China opposes all forms of terrorism and condemns violence and attacks against civilians and law enforcement personnel. We deeply mourn for the lives lost and extend heartfelt sympathies to the injured and the bereaved families.

CCTV: On June 21, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a decision on its website on countermeasures against Lockheed Martin’s entities and senior executives. Do you have any further comment?

Mao Ning: The US arms sales to China’s Taiwan region seriously violate the one-China principle and the three China-US joint communiqués, interfere in China’s internal affairs, and undermine China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. In accordance with the law, China took countermeasures against relevant company’s entities and senior executives that are engaged in arms sales to Taiwan.

Let me stress that the Taiwan question is at the core of China’s core interests, and the first red line that cannot be crossed in China-US relations. No country, organization or individual shall underestimate the strong determination, will and ability of the Chinese government and people to defend our sovereignty and territorial integrity, or be under the illusion that they could tread or even cross the line on the Taiwan question without any consequence.

AP: A report released today from the cybersecurity firm Recorded Futures has claimed that Chinese hackers have stepped up cyberattacks and attempted hacking of dozens of Taiwanese organizations, including government and critical technology companies. These attacks were observed between November 2023 and April 2024. The report also states that these hacks are likely “state-sponsored.” Does the Foreign Ministry have any comment on the report?

Mao Ning: I am not aware of the specifics you mentioned. What I can tell you is that this is not the first time that the company you mentioned has fabricated disinformation on so-called “Chinese hacking operations.” There is absolutely no professionalism or credibility to speak of in what the company does.