People’s Daily: The Chinese side announced this morning that the Prime Ministers of Barbados, Mongolia, New Zealand and Viet Nam will visit China. Could you share more about the programs and China’s expectations for the visits?
Mao Ning: At the invitation of Premier Li Qiang, Prime Minister Mottley of Barbados, Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene of Mongolia, Prime Minister Hipkins of New Zealand and Prime Minister Pham of Viet Nam will attend the 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Tianjin and pay an official visit to China.
Barbados is an important country in the Caribbeans and China’s important cooperation partner in that region. Our two countries enjoy a traditional friendship. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 46 years ago, we have had deepening political mutual trust and fruitful cooperation in various sectors, which has brought tangible benefits for our two peoples. Prime Minister Mottley’s visit provides a good opportunity for the two sides to further enhance political mutual trust, expand practical cooperation, bring bilateral relations towards greater heights and brighter prospects. During Prime Minister Mottley’s visit, leaders of the two sides will have in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest and share governance experience.
China and Mongolia are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers. In recent years, bilateral relations have maintained a sound momentum of growth with frequent high-level exchanges and deepening cooperation across the board. During President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsuh’s state visit to China last November, President Xi Jinping reached important common understandings with him on working together to advance modernization and building a China-Mongolia community with a shared future featuring peaceful co-existence, mutual support and win-win cooperation. China attaches high importance to the upcoming visit by Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene and looks forward to further deepening political mutual trust, enriching our comprehensive strategic partnership, and continuing to build a China-Mongolia community with a shared future through the visit.
China and New Zealand are each other’s important cooperation partners. Last year, we jointly celebrated the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties. Next year, we will mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of our comprehensive strategic partnership. Over the course of more than half a century, China-New Zealand relations have enjoyed sound and steady growth, creating many “firsts”. Cooperation in various fields has delivered benefits to both peoples and made significant contribution to regional peace, stability and prosperity. This will be Prime Minister Hipkins’s first visit to China after taking office. Leaders of the two sides will hold in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest. We hope this visit will be an opportunity to enhance mutual trust, expand exchanges, advance cooperation, and further deepen our comprehensive strategic partnership to the greater benefit of both countries and peoples.
Viet Nam is our socialist neighbor. In 2022, after the 20th National Congress of the CPC concluded, General Secretary Xi Jinping invited General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong to visit China. The two leaders jointly charted the course for the China-Viet Nam comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in the new era. Since the beginning of this year, there has been frequent high-level interaction between the two sides, exchange and cooperation between various departments and at the subnational level has quickly resumed, and high-level common understandings are being steadily translated into concrete results. During Prime Minister Pham’s visit, the two sides will discuss ways and steps to act on the top party leaders’ common understandings and in particular, exchange views on deepening Belt and Road cooperation, enhancing connectivity and stabilizing industrial and supply chains. We believe the visit will strengthen the sound momentum of growth in bilateral relations and promote solid progress in our deepening comprehensive strategic cooperation.
Hubei Media Group: On June 24 last year, President Xi Jinping hosted the High-level Dialogue on Global Development and announced 32 practical cooperation measures in China’s effort of implementing the Global Development Initiative (GDI), which was actively supported and echoed by the international community. We noted that as we mark the anniversary of the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, the Center for International Knowledge on Development released the Progress Report on the Global Development Initiative today. Could you share more information with us?
Mao Ning: In September 2021, President Xi Jinping proposed the Global Development Initiative (GDI), which was warmly supported and echoed by the international community. Last June, President Xi hosted the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, charting the course for implementing the GDI and achieving a series of fruitful results. In the past one year and more, thanks to concerted efforts, the GDI developed a clearer cooperation pathway and more effective cooperation mechanisms. Cooperation in the eight priority areas has been advanced steadily with a growing list of projects and an expanding pool of development resources, demonstrating a good momentum of all-round progress with clear priorities. The GDI has been an effective tool to build international consensus on development and galvanize cooperation actions, which has produced many early harvests.
One year on since the High-level Dialogue on Global Development, the Progress Report on the Global Development Initiative, written by the Center for International Knowledge on Development, has been released in Beijing. As the first progress report on GDI, the document holds unique significance. Diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations in China attended the event. Many praised the GDI’s active and important role in pooling global consensus on development and accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, expressed satisfaction on the progress of advancing the GDI and recognized that practical GDI cooperation effectively increased people’s wellbeing in developing countries, especially members of the Group of Friends of the GDI. Many also expressed willingness to continue to work with China to implement the GDI so as to help realize all Sustainable Development Goals as scheduled.
The world has responded to China’s GDI with global action. China welcomes attention and support to the GDI from all corners of the globe and looks forward to any contribution of ideas, projects, funding and action to the GDI. China stands ready to work with the international community to promote the sound and steady growth of practical GDI cooperation and contribute to faster implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, so that no country or individual will be left behind.
Reuters: Following State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s meeting with US Secretary of State Blinken, China and the US have agreed to discuss increasing passenger flights and welcoming more students and business people to each other’s countries. What are the measures underway to put these into effect? And when will both countries start increasing flights and by how much?
Mao Ning: State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Secretary of State Antony Blinken reached a positive common understanding on promoting people-to-people exchanges. Both sides agreed to encourage more people-to-people and educational exchanges, and had positive discussions on increasing passenger flights between the two countries. Both sides welcomed more mutual visits by students, scholars and business people, and agreed to provide support and facilitation to this end. Competent departments of China and the US have been in communication on increasing passenger flights. China stands ready to work with the US on increasing flights with flexibility and pragmatism.
Yonhap News Agency: At a press conference on June 19, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed China’s important role in pressing Pyongyang to engage in dialogue and to end its dangerous behavior. What’s China’s position on this?
Mao Ning: The crux of the Korean Peninsula issues is very clear. All parties need to face the crux of the issues squarely, step up to their respective responsibilities, and address the legitimate concerns of all parties in a balanced way through meaningful dialogue. China’s position on the Peninsula issues is consistent and we will continue to play a constructive role in promoting the political settlement of the Peninsula issues.
CCTV: It was reported that leaders of African countries, including South Africa, Senegal, Zambia, Comoros, Egypt, the Republic of the Congo and Uganda, visited Ukraine and Russia to mediate on the Ukraine issue. Ukrainian President Zelenskyy invited African countries to the global peace summit proposed by Ukraine. Russian President Putin noted that Russia welcomes the balanced approach of African countries towards the Ukraine crisis. How does China view African countries’ mediation efforts on the Ukraine issue?
Mao Ning: China supports all efforts conducive to a peaceful settlement of the Ukraine crisis and commends the positive role South Africa and other African countries have played in this regard. Their efforts well reflect the international community’s shared call for an end to hostilities and deescalation of tensions. Facts have shown that war and sanctions will not solve any problem; dialogue and negotiation is the only viable way out. China stands ready to work with all parties, including African countries, to create favorable conditions for a political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.
Bloomberg: China and Cuba are negotiating to establish a new joint military training facility on the island. This is according to a report from The Wall Street Journal that cites US officials. The report also said that the talks were at an advanced stage. How does the foreign ministry respond to this report?
Mao Ning: I’m not aware of what you mentioned. We hope relevant parties will focus their time and efforts on doing things that are conducive to mutual trust and regional peace, stability and development.
RIA Novosti: The Prime Minister’s Office of Bangladesh said to RIA Novosti on June 19 that Bangladesh had officially applied to join the BRICS. What’s China’s comment?
Mao Ning: As an important platform for cooperation among emerging markets and developing countries, BRICS is committed to upholding multilateralism, vigorously advancing the reform of the global governance system and increasing the representation and say of emerging markets and developing countries. The expansion of BRICS is a political consensus reached by all five BRICS members. China is committed to advancing the BRICS expansion and stands ready to bring more like-minded partners into the big family of BRICS.
Reuters: US Secretary of State Blinken has said that the US is continuing talks with China on the release of three US citizens detained in China. The US said these three Americans were wrongfully detained. What is the progress on the talks?
Mao Ning: China is a country under the rule of law and relevant cases are handled in accordance with the law. There isn’t an issue about individuals being “wrongfully detained” .
Reuters: More than 100 heads of state and government are expected to attend the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris from June 22 to June 23. China’s confirmed its participation in the summit during President Macron’s visit in April. Given that Premier Li Qiang is in Europe right now, will he be attending the summit?
Mao Ning: China has announced last week that Premier Li Qiang will visit Germany and France. During his visit to France, one of the important activities on his schedule is to attend the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact proposed by President Macron at France’s invitation.