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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on May 22, 2023
2023-05-22 20:54

Xinhua News Agency: China has announced that the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) will visit China. Can you share more about the program of this visit and what does China expect to achieve through the visit? How does China view the current China-DRC relationship?

Mao Ning: The Democratic Republic of the Congo is an important country in Africa. China and the DRC enjoy a traditional friendship. In the past 50 years and more, our two sides have supported each other on issues concerning our respective core interests and major concerns. In recent years, the two countries have deepened political mutual trust, achieved fruitful outcomes in practical cooperation and maintained close cooperation in regional and international affairs.

President Tshisekedi values the DRC’s relationship with China and actively supports the advancement of bilateral ties. During the visit, President Xi Jinping will hold a welcome ceremony and a welcome banquet for President Tshisekedi. The two heads of state will hold talks and jointly attend a signing ceremony of cooperation documents. Premier Li Qiang and Chairman Zhao Leji will meet with President Tshisekedi respectively. We are confident that this visit will provide new impetus for the comprehensive and deep-going growth of the relationship between China and the DRC, and generate new outcomes in the friendly cooperation between the two countries. 

China Daily: The 32nd Ordinary Session of the Council of the League of Arab States at the Summit Level was held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on May 19. We noted that President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the rotating president King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on the convening of the session. Can you share more information with us? After many years without the presence of Syrian leaders at previous sessions, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad attended this session at invitation. Do you have any comment? 

Mao Ning: The 32nd Ordinary Session of the Council of the League of Arab States at the Summit Level opened in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on May 19. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the rotating president King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abudulaziz Al Saud on the convening of the session. President Xi said that he is glad to see that Arab countries have continuously taken new steps and made new achievements on the path of unity and self-improvement. China is ready to work with Arab countries to carry forward the spirit of China-Arab friendship, follow through on the outcomes of the first China-Arab States Summit, bring the China-Arab strategic partnership to a higher level, and continue to write a new chapter in China-Arab friendship.

We are glad to see that for some time, the spring breeze of reconciliation has been blowing across the Arab world. Countries in the region have put on a new look and people there are seeing new hopes. China offers congratulations on the reunion of the big family of Arab countries with President Bashar al-Assad attending the session. The return of Syria to the Arab League fully shows that enhancing solidarity and cooperation among Arab countries through dialogue and consultation is what the people aspire for and represents the trend of the times. It also fully proves that Arab countries have the capability to hold their future in their own hands.

As a sincere friend of Arab countries, China always supports Arab countries in strengthening strategic autonomy, and seeking strength through unity, and always supports the Arab world in playing a bigger role in regional and international affairs. China stands ready to work with the Arab side to deliver on the outcomes of the first China-Arab States Summit, unleash the strong resilience and vitality of the China-Arab relations and play a positive role in promoting peace, stability and development of the region.

CCTV: The G7 Leaders’ Hiroshima Vision on Nuclear Disarmament issued on May 19 said that “China’s accelerating build-up of its nuclear arsenal without transparency nor meaningful dialogue poses a concern to global and regional stability” and called on “China...to engage substantively in relevant multilateral and bilateral forums” and fulfill its nuclear disarmament obligations. Do you have any comment on this? 

Mao Ning: The international nuclear arms control rules are not the house rules set by the G7. The G7 has no right to dictate to other countries on arms control. China rejects the G7’s finger-pointing. The G7 abandons the basic principles including upholding global strategic stability, undermines the international nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime, feigns innocence and attacks and smears other countries’ nuclear policy. This will only drive up antagonism and confrontation and create obstacles for the international nuclear disarmament process. 

The US possesses the biggest and most advanced nuclear arsenal in the world, but it obstinately insists on a policy of first use of nuclear weapons, invests heavily in upgrading its “nuclear triad”, withdraws from agreements on arms control including the Treaty on the Limitation of Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, seeks to forward-deploy strategic forces and spreads weapons-grade highly-enriched uranium to non-nuclear weapon states. Three of the G7 countries are nuclear weapon states, and the other four either have “nuclear-sharing” arrangements or sit under the “nuclear umbrella”.

What the G7 accuses China of is a false narrative. China is firmly committed to a defensive nuclear strategy and the only nuclear weapon state to pledge “no first use” of nuclear weapons and not to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear weapon states or nuclear-weapon-free zones. We have always kept our nuclear capabilities at the minimum level required by national security. For any country, as long as they do not use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against China, they have nothing to worry about being threatened by China’s nuclear weapons. This is the most meaningful transparency a country can provide. I wonder which one of the nuclear weapon states among the G7 can make this pledge as China does?

Reuters: The Chinese cyberspace regulator said that US memory chipmaker Micron Technology has failed its network security review and China would ban operators of key infrastructure from buying from the company. We would like to ask which key infrastructure in particular will be impacted by this ban on Micron.

Mao Ning: China’s competent authorities have released information on the cybersecurity review on products sold in China by Micron Technology. I would like to stress that the goal of the review is to check cybersecurity issues of relevant products which might threaten the security of the nation’s key information infrastructure. This measure is necessary for safeguarding national security. As for the specifics, I would like to refer you to China’s competent authorities.

Reuters: Another question from Reuters. The Ministry has announced that the Democratic Republic of the Congo President will be visiting. There is a report saying that the President together with his ministers will be here looking to re-negotiate a mineral-for-infrastructure deal. Is there any confirmation on this report?

Mao Nin