|Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning’s Regular Press Conference on November 16, 2023|
CCTV: The international community has been closely following the summit meeting between President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden in San Francisco. Could you offer more information on the meeting, including the outcomes?
Mao Ning: On November 15 local time, President Xi Jinping held a summit meeting with US President Joe Biden in San Francisco upon invitation. The two heads of state had a candid and in-depth exchange of views. They held further discussions about the right way for China and the US to get along, clearly outlined the shared responsibilities of our two major countries, and came up with a future-oriented “San Francisco vision”. The meeting identified the direction and drew up a blueprint for the sound, steady and sustained development of bilateral ties. It was a positive, comprehensive and constructive meeting of strategic and far-reaching significance.
President Xi elaborated on China’s position on stabilizing and improving China-US relations. He pointed out that both sides need to work together to form a correct perception, effectively manage differences, advance mutually-beneficial cooperation, assume due responsibilities as major countries, and promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges. In this way, we will be building five pillars for the stable growth of bilateral ties and embracing a new vision for our relationship. This major event in international relations today will no doubt go down as a milestone in China-US relations.
It was a fruitful meeting with over 20 common understandings in political, diplomatic, cultural and people-to-people exchanges, global governance, military, security and other fields. These important common understandings and deliverables further attest to the wide-ranging common interests shared by China and the US. They also prove that mutual benefit is the defining feature of China-US relations and dialogue and cooperation is the only right choice for both sides.
It was an important opportunity for the two sides to build trust, clear up misgivings, manage differences and expand cooperation and an important meeting that adds certainty and stability for a world going through turmoil and changes. San Francisco can be a new starting point for stabilizing China-US relations. Both sides need to make renewed efforts to translate the new vision into reality, further consolidate the foundation of bilateral ties, build pillars for peaceful coexistence, and realize the sound, steady and sustained growth of our relations.
Anadolu Agency: After talks in San Francisco, China and the US announced reestablishing military-to-military mechanisms which were canceled after Pelosi’s visit last year to Taiwan. I want to ask about what enabled this decision? Has China got any assurances about the Taiwan policy?
Mao Ning: China has always attached importance to China-US military-to-military exchanges. In San Francisco, the two leaders agreed to promote and strengthen dialogue and cooperation between the two countries in various areas, including the resumption of high-level military-to-military communication, the China-US Defense Policy Coordination Talks, and the China-US Military Maritime Consultative Agreement meetings, and conducting telephone conversations between theater commanders on the basis of equality and respect.
Regarding the Taiwan question, President Xi Jinping also set forth China’s solemn position. The Taiwan question has always been the most important and sensitive issue in China-US relations. The US side should follow through on its statement of “not supporting Taiwan independence”, stop arming Taiwan, and support China’s peaceful reunification.
Antara: The White House has released an official statement about President Xi and President Biden’s meeting. Regarding the Israel-Hamas conflict, the President reiterated US support for Israel’s right for defending itself against terrorism and emphasized the importance of all countries using their influence to prevent escalation and expansion of the conflict. But the statement does not mention the violation of international law and international humanitarian law or helping the Palestinian people. Does China have any comment on this?
Mao Ning: The two Presidents exchanged views on the international and regional issues of mutual interest. Regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, we have made China’s position clear on multiple occasions. China always stands on the side of equity and justice, and works actively for ceasefire, cessation of hostilities, protection of civilians and deescalation.
Anadolu Agency: It’s been reported that in the San Francisco meeting, the leaders also discussed about the situation in Ukraine and the situation in Gaza Strip. Can you share any information about these exchange? Were there anything new about the positions of both sides? Is there anything that might resemble an agreement or an angle on the conflicts?
Mao Ning: Indeed, the two Presidents exchanged views on international and regional issues of common concern including the Ukraine crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. China’s position on both issues is clear and consistent. We stand on the side of equity and justice and remain committed to promoting talks for peace and deescalation.
Reuters: What is the latest situation on the China-Myanmar border? Will China evacuate Chinese nationals in Myanmar? Has there been an influx of refugees from Myanmar into China?
Mao Ning: China is closely following the conflict in northern Myanmar. We urge relevant parties to cease fire as soon as possible, settle differences in a peaceful way through dialogue and consultation, avoid escalation of the situation, and take effective steps to ensure security and stability at the China-Myanmar border.
Since the outbreak of fighting in northern Myanmar, some people from Myanmar have crossed the border into China to seek refuge from the conflict. Out of humanitarianism and “pauk-phaw” friendship, the Chinese side has taken care of these people and made every effort to treat the sick and the injured. We condemn any action that endangers the lives of those who have fled the conflict and urge the warring parties in northern Myanmar to cease hostilities as soon as possible so that these people can return to their homes at an early date and resume normal life and work.
CGTN: It was reported that the UN Security Council adopted a resolution on the Palestinian-Israeli issue on November 15. Can you share more about the content of the resolution and China’s position?
Mao Ning: On November 15, the Security Council adopted Resolution 2712 on the Palestinian-Israeli issue. This is the first Security Council resolution on the Palestinian-Israeli question since this round of conflict broke out on October 7. China voted in favor of the resolution. The resolution focuses on humanitarian concerns, underlines the protection of children, and calls for urgent and extended humanitarian pauses throughout the Gaza Strip for a sufficient number of days to facilitate the provision of essential goods and services and to enable urgent rescue and recovery efforts.
China supports all efforts aimed to promote a ceasefire and restore peace, and welcomes any initiative that helps protect civilians and ease the humanitarian crisis. As this month’s president of the Security Council, China actively galvanizes meaningful and responsible actions in the Security Council. China hopes to see, in accordance with the requirements of the resolution, the immediate realization of extended humanitarian pauses, and no hostilities for a sufficient number of days to enable the full humanitarian access for United Nations humanitarian agencies and other humanitarian organizations.
China will continue to step up coordination with relevant parties, build up consensus and play an active and constructive role in ceasing the hostilities, protecting civilians, easing the humanitarian situation, and ultimately realizing durable Palestinian-Israeli peace through the two-state solution.
NHK: China and Japan are coordinating for a possible summit meeting on November 16. Could you share China’s expectation for the talks?
Mao Ning: I have nothing on that.
Anadolu Agency: Do you think that the San Francisco meeting will be the beginning of a détente between the two countries? I mean, after a period of tensions like Cold-War-like incidents, maybe there will be more moderation and diplomacy in the relations?
Mao Ning: The summit meeting is of great significance in the sense that it identified the direction and drew up a blueprint for the future development of China-US relations. It was a meeting for the two sides to build trust, clear up misgivings, manage differences and expand cooperation. We hope the US will work with China in the same direction to further consolidate the foundation of bilateral relations and promote the sound and steady growth of our ties.