Home > Spokesperson's Remarks
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on March 18, 2024
2024-03-18 21:13

Mao Ning: Friends from the press, good afternoon. Welcome to today’s press conference. I’m happy today because I’m not here for taking questions. It is with great pleasure that I introduce my new colleague Mr. Lin Jian, the new Foreign Ministry Spokesperson and Deputy Director General of the Department of Press, Communication and Public Diplomacy. Today he will hold the regular press conference as the 34th Foreign Ministry Spokesperson. Deputy Director General Lin Jian has worked in the Foreign Ministry for 25 years. He is a well-experienced diplomat and good communicator. We hope that you will support him in performing his duty as you have supported me and other spokespersons. Now, I will give the floor to Deputy Director General Lin Jian.

Lin Jian: Good afternoon, friends from the press. It’s a great pleasure to meet you from this podium. In this new capacity, I look forward to learning from the fine spokespersons the ministry has had and all my colleagues, work with the entire team and do my level best to communicate China’s foreign policy and diplomatic vision and action to you and the rest of the world in a timely and accurate fashion. I look forward to connecting and working with you to jointly promote mutual understanding and cooperation between China and the world, help the world understand and appreciate China in the new era, and make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place.

Xinhua News Agency: President of Angola João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço just concluded his state visit to China. Can you further brief us on the visit? What has been achieved between the two sides during the visit? What’s China’s assessment and expectation of the future development of China-Angola relations?

Lin Jian: At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President of the Republic of Angola João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço paid a successful state visit to China from March 14 to 17. During the visit, President Xi Jinping held talks with President Lourenço and Premier Li Qiang and Chairman Zhao Leji met with President Lourenço respectively. During the meeting, the two presidents provided strategic guidance for the future development of the bilateral relations and agreed to elevate the bilateral ties to comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. They witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents on formulating Belt and Road cooperation plan and in such areas as trade, agriculture and green development. After the talks, the two sides issued a joint statement on the establishment of a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Angola. The joint statement has substantive content, follows the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and focuses on joint efforts of implementing the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative. Pooling important common understandings between the two sides on enhancing political mutual trust, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation, reinforcing international coordination and jointly upholding international fairness and justice, the joint statement comprehensively elaborated on the meaning of China-Angola comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

The profound traditional friendship between China and Angola is as strong as ever as the two countries stood the test of the changing international landscape. China and Angola carried out fruitful cooperation with mutual benefit and delivered tangible benefits to the two peoples. This visit injected new impetus to and charted a new blueprint for the growth of China-Angola relationship. Looking forward, China will work with Angola to implement the important common understandings reached between the two presidents, carry forward our traditional friendship, render each other firm support, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation and work together to advance our respective process of modernization.

News 1 Korea: It’s said that people from Taiwan will participate in the Summit for Democracy that opens today in the ROK. What’s China’s comment? My second question is what’s China’s comment on the DPRK this morning firing another ballistic missile in a month?

Lin Jian: On your first question, China firmly opposes the ROK inviting the Taiwan authorities to participate in the so-called Summit for Democracy. There is but one China in the world. Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. The government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China. Any attempts by external forces to interfere in China’s internal affairs, and connive at and support “Taiwan independence” are doomed to failure. China has strongly urged the ROK to abide by the one-China principle and stop providing podium for or supporting “Taiwan independence” forces. The world will not be deceived by the DPP authorities’ attempt to seek larger space for “Taiwan independence” activities under the banner of “democracy” and “human rights,” which will only make itself look bad and is doomed to failure.

On your second question, China noted relevant reports and that the ROK and the US held joint military drill targeting the DPRK. China believes that upholding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula serves the common interests of all sides.

CGTN: March 15 marks the second International Day to Combat Islamophobia. On that day, the UN General Assembly adopted the draft resolution Measures to Combat Islamophobia, calling upon Member States to take all necessary measures to combat hatred and violence against Muslims. What’s your comment?

Lin Jian: China is the co-sponsor of the resolution Measures to Combat Islamophobia. We welcome the UNGA’s adoption of the resolution and support the UN in playing a positive role in combating Islamophobia.

We always believe that civilizations only vary from each other and no civilization is superior over others. Inciting civilization clashes and attacking religious beliefs will only bring division and turbulence to the world. Discrimination, exclusivity and hostility against other civilizations produce no winner, still less promote peace and tranquility.

Last March, President Xi Jinping put forth the Global Civilization Initiative and clearly stated four aspects that should be jointly advocated. First and foremost, jointly advocate the diversity of civilizations. Countries need to uphold the principles of equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness among civilizations, and let cultural exchanges transcend estrangement, mutual learning transcend clashes, and coexistence transcend feelings of superiority. China stands ready to work with Islamic countries and other parties to advocate the spirit of the Global Civilization Initiative, uphold openness and inclusiveness, promote exchange and dialogue, safeguard the diversity of civilizations, firmly oppose acts of hatred against religions and strive to remove Islamophobia’s breeding ground.

RIA Novosti: The presidential election in Russia was held from March 15 to 17. President Putin won landslide support in the voting. What’s China’s comment? How will the presidential election influence China-Russia relations?

Lin Jian: China extends its congratulations on that. China and Russia are each other’s largest neighbors and comprehensive strategic partners of coordination for a new era. We’re convinced that under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Putin, the China-Russia relations will continue to make progress.

Beijing Daily: This week is the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) Week 2024. What is China’s comment on LMC’s progress and China’s expectation for its future development?

Lin Jian: The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (LMC) is a new type of regional cooperation mechanism launched by China and five Mekong countries based on wide consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. Over the past eight years, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and leaders of the five Mekong countries, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam successively announced with China the building of a community with a shared future, which means that countries in the region have all been committed to building a community with a shared future both bilaterally and multilaterally under the LMC mechanism. The LMC Special Fund has supported the delivery of livelihood projects such as the LMC Bumper Harvest Projects, the Lancang-Mekong Sweet Spring Action, and the Green Lancang-Mekong Initiative, providing quality rice, vegetable and fruit to the people in the region. Cooperation in emerging areas of digital economy, new energy and aerospace has been expanding, and the LMC Innovation Corridor is being built at a faster pace. Cultural, tourism, youth, media and sub-national exchanges have been deepening. China has made all efforts to ensure reasonable river flows of the Lancang River, shared hydrological information throughout the year, and provided strong support for Mekong countries’ response to floods and droughts. The six countries have also worked together to combat online gambling, telecom fraud and other cross-border crimes, which effectively protected the security of the region.

In December last year, the fourth LMC Leaders’ Meeting and the eighth LMC Foreign Ministers’ Meeting were successfully held. The six countries reached important consensus on deepening cooperation in connectivity, green development and non-traditional security, adopted the Five-Year Plan of Action on Lancang-Mekong Cooperation (2023-2027), and pointed the way forward for deeper cooperation in the next stage. In a world fraught with uncertainties and instabilities, building a united, stable and prosperous Lancang-Mekong home is the common aspiration of the six countries. China will remain committed to the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in neighborhood diplomacy, promote deeper and more substantive development of building a community with a shared future for Lancang-Mekong countries, and provide more positive energy to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

To celebration the eighth anniversary of LMC’s launch, China and the five Mekong countries will host diverse events during this year’s LMC Week from March 18 to 24. Over 20 Chinese ministries, provinces and cities will work with the five Mekong countries to hold more than 80 events, including Lancang-Mekong water resources cooperation seminar and field trips, green and low-carbon policy roundtable and practice activities, aquatic life conservation and fisheries cooperation outcomes exhibition, wetland conservation and management forum, Lancang-Mekong book charity event and Lancang-Mekong audiovisual week. If you are interested, please stay tuned.

Reuters: Russian President Putin called Russia and China relations “sustainable” and he was sure ties “will be stronger in coming years”. What are the next steps in China-Russia relations and in which direction would bilateral ties grow next?

Lin Jian: As I’ve stated just now, under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Putin, the China-Russia relations will continue to make progress. This year marks the 75th anniversary of China-Russia relations. The two presidents will continue to maintain close interaction, lead the two countries in upholding everlasting good-neighborliness and friendship, deepen comprehensive strategic coordination and advance the China-Russia relations in the new era.

AFP: A follow-up question on the presidential election in Russia. Did President Xi Jinping personally congratulate Mr. Putin? If so, what did he tell him?

Lin Jian: We will release relevant information in due course. Please stay tuned.

CCTV: It’s reported that on March 15 when attending an online seminar held by a US think tank, US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns said that the summit meeting between the two presidents in San Francisco led to a relatively more stable relationship between the two countries. “It didn’t resolve many of the outstanding differences on major issues, but it confirmed the judgement of both countries that we are competitors.” “This relationship remains highly competitive. We will very likely be systemic rivals well into the next decade. It’s very important that we manage the differences between us responsibly. We don’t agree with those in China who say that the East is rising and the West is declining. That’s not how we see our power position in the Indo-Pacific. There is just no way that anybody can make the charge that somehow the United States is declining. We are strengthening both strategically, militarily as well as economically.” Besides, the US is closely following Hong Kong’s legislation under Article 23 of the Basic Law. What is China’s comment? 

Lin Jian: We noted that Ambassador Burns has recently made negative comments on China on multiple occasions. These statements deviate from the important common understandings reached by the two presidents of China and the US at the summit meeting in San Francisco. They go against the spirit of the summit meeting in San Francisco and don’t serve the sound and steady growth of China-US relations, still less aligned with the right way for the two countries to get along with each other.

China always believes that the bilateral relations should not be a zero-sum game where one side outcompetes the other or thrives at the other’s expense. We oppose defining the bilateral relations with competition, and smearing and attacking China. We stand against the US interfering in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of human rights and values, and restraining China’s legitimate right to development in the name of competition.

China always follows the principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation proposed by President Xi Jinping in handling and growing the bilateral relations. We hope that the US will work with China in the same direction and implement the important common understandings and vision reached by the two presidents at the summit meeting in San Francisco to promote the steady, sound and sustainable growth of the bilateral relations.

TASS: My first question is that Russian President Putin today in a press conference following the president election said that attempts made by China’s enemies, such as provocations around Taiwan, are doomed to failure. What’s the Foreign Ministry’s comment? My second question is that Putin was elected as President. Does China expect him to visit China?

Lin Jian: On your first question, China highly commends President Putin’s statement. There is but one China in the world, the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory. This is a prevailing international consensus and a basic norm governing international relations.

On your second question, I have nothing to offer at the moment.

JoongAng Ilbo: The Third Summit for Democracy opens in the Republic of Korea today. China’s official news agency condemned the ROK and the US yesterday. What’s your comment?

Lin Jian: I would not comment on media’s viewpoints. Broadly speaking, China always opposes drawing lines on ideological grounds and using democracy-related issues as tools or weapons. These practices themselves go against the spirit of democracy. What the world needs today is not to create divisions under the pretext of democracy, but to enhance solidarity and cooperation on the basis of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter for greater democracy in international relations. China stands ready to work with other countries based on mutual respect to have exchange and mutual learning on democracy and other issues, and make new contributions to the democracy of humanity. Countries in the world need to jointly strive for harmonious coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation instead of damaging the solidarity in the international community. 

Rudaw Media Network: Iran and China have an agreement for Chinese companies to build housing projects in Iran. What is the content of this agreement? And when are these projects scheduled to be implemented?

Lin Jian: I do not have specific information on that. I’d refer you to competent authorities. China and Iran have friendly relations and normal cooperation between the two countries under the framework of international law serves the common interests of the two peoples.

China Daily: Western media reported that protest erupted in Santiago, Cuba yesterday over food and power shortages. What’s China’s comment?

Lin Jian: We noted relevant reports. China firmly supports the party and government of Cuba in improving people’s life, and upholding stability and firmly opposes external interference in Cuba’s internal affairs. As a good friend, good comrade and good brother of Cuba, China will continue to provide assistance for Cuba to overcome the current difficulties.

I wish to point out that the US’s longstanding blockade against Cuba inflicted severe difficulties on Cuba’s national development and people’s life. China calls on the US to immediately lift its blockade and sanctions on Cuba and stop all attempts of intervention.

Reuters: China’s Embassy in Singapore today urged Chinese citizens there not to gamble, saying that gambling overseas violates Chinese laws. The Embassy said that cross-border gambling by Chinese citizens is suspected of violating laws in China. We wanted to find out what stipulates Chinese citizens breaking domestic laws on gambling when they are in another country.

Lin Jian: China’s position on cross-border gambling is consistent and clear. China allows no Chinese capital to be invested in overseas casinos, allows no Chinese nationals to engage in operating overseas casinos, and allows no overseas casinos to entice Chinese nationals into gambling. China is willing to continue advancing cooperation with relevant parties, step up the fight against cross-border crimes, and safeguard regional social stability and order, and people’s life and property.

On your specific question, I’d refer you to relevant legal provisions or competent authorities.  

PTI: You have referred to China’s resolution on Islamophobia in the UN. There are several countries abstaining from it on the ground that the phobia against religions exists and is also happening against other religions that include Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity. And why the exclusivity, as far as Islam is concerned? It could have been an inclusive resolution, probably including all religions.

Lin Jian: I just stated China’s principled position. The Global Civilization Initiative put forth by President Xi Jinping last March is the best answer. The initiative stresses that countries need to uphold the principles of equality, mutual learning, dialogue and inclusiveness among civilizations, and let cultural exchanges transcend estrangement, mutual learning transcend clashes, and coexistence transcend feelings of superiority.

Kyodo News: You are appointed as the spokesperson. There will be four spokespersons in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, won’t there?

Lin Jian: Thank you for your interest in China’s diplomacy and spokespersons’ work. You may refer to the official website of the Foreign Ministry where relevant information is released.

Bloomberg: China is considering to take part in a Ukraine peace process that’s planned by Switzerland. This is according to the Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland who said this in an interview with the Swiss publication. My question to you is can you elaborate a little bit more on this and the Chinese participation? And when can we expect a concrete decision from China as to whether it will participate or not?

Lin Jian: China supports the holding in due course of an international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine and ensures the equal participation of all parties and fair discussions on all peace plans. China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear. China will continue to play a constructive role for the ceasefire and political settlement of the crisis. 

Bloomberg: First of all, I’d like to welcome you here today. To be honest, at the beginning, I missed a little bit of the introductory details. I was wondering if you could maybe give some more remarks about your previous experience and also what you’re looking to achieve here in this position. One specific question I have is your background with the Xinjiang Production Corps. Is that something that observers should be concerned about or note given your background with the Xinjiang Production Corps?

Lin Jian: What I can tell you is that China’s central state organs, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, have programs to send some officials to China’s provinces, regions and municipalities on secondment every year. This work arrangement helps diplomats better learn about national conditions and society and better contribute to subnational development. On the other hand, such practice also helps those regions to build bridges of communication and cooperation with the world. 

Reuters: A follow up to the question about the peace conference that Switzerland is looking to arrange this year. The Ambassador in Switzerland said in his interview that we should support Russia and Ukraine in resuming direct dialogue. And since Russia has also said that the conference is doomed to fail without Moscow’s participation, I’m wondering if China is brokering any talks to encourage or to help with Russia or push Russia to participate in this peace conference?

Lin Jian: I just stated China’s position. China will continue to play a constructive role for ceasefire and political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

Suggest To A Friend: