Press Conference on December 21, 2022 Held by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning

Hubei Media Group: Recently, the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia issued a media statement on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia, stressing that Australia-China relations has brought enormous benefits to both countries. Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong is visiting China, coinciding with the 50th anniversary. The high-level interaction and the growth of relations between the two countries have generated great interest. What are China’s expectations for the future of bilateral relations?

Mao Ning: Today marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia. To mark this important occasion, President Xi Jinping exchanged congratulatory messages with Governor General David Hurley and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese of Australia. Premier Li Keqiang exchanged congratulatory messages with Premier Anthony Albanese.

President Xi Jinping noted that since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia 50 years ago, practical cooperation in various fields has achieved fruitful results, bringing tangible benefits to the people of both countries. country. The healthy and stable development of relations between China and Australia, two important countries in the Asia-Pacific region, is not only in the fundamental interests of their people, but also contributes to the promotion of peace, stability and development of the region and the world. Premier Li Keqiang expressed the hope that the two countries will take advantage of the 50th anniversary to promote the healthy and stable growth of China-Australia relations and bring more benefits to the two peoples.

The Australian side said it took courage and foresight for Prime Minister Gough Whitlam’s Australian Labor Party to decide to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China in 1972. This wise decision paved the way for for building a stable, lasting and mutually beneficial relationship between the two countries. In the future, Australia is committed to building a stable and constructive relationship with China, guided by mutual respect and benefit, and consistent with the two countries’ comprehensive strategic partnership.

We noted Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s editorial in The Australian on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of China-Australia diplomatic relations, in which he wrote that the establishment of Australia-China diplomatic relations 50 years ago allows to Australia looking forward to a world of greater opportunity and prosperity and that Australia now continues to seek to strengthen Australia-China relations and build a better future.

Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong is visiting China on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet with him this afternoon and hold a new round of China-Australia diplomatic and strategic dialogue. This is another important high-level engagement between the two countries. We are confident that this visit will help the two sides to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries when they met in Bali, and take advantage of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations to intensify dialogue, expand cooperation. and manage differences based on mutual respect, mutual benefit and finding common ground while setting aside differences, so as to put bilateral relations back on the path of sustainable development.

AFP: The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines said it is seriously concerned by Bloomberg’s report that China is reclaiming land around the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. What is China’s response to this?

Mao Ning: The Bloomberg report is completely false and baseless. Refraining from any action on the currently uninhabited islands and reefs of the Nansha Islands is a serious understanding between China and the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in the Declaration on the conduct of parties to South China Sea ( DOC), and China has always strictly adhered to it.

The development of China-Philippines relations is currently enjoying good momentum, and the two sides will continue to deal properly with maritime issues through friendly consultation.

NHK: According to reports, on December 19, State Councilor Wang Yi said in his virtual meeting with French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna that China will take new measures to facilitate cross-border travel in response to the new round of epidemic of COVID-19. Does China plan to adjust its quarantine policy for incoming travelers soon?

Mao Ning: Since the outbreak of COVID-19 almost three years ago, by adopting a coordinated response strategy and engaging in win-win cooperation, China was one of the first countries to reopen enterprises around the world, and actively pursued high level. opening up China has made travel easier by establishing “fast lanes”, optimizing visa policy, increasing the number of international flights in an orderly manner and streamlining pre-departure detention measures . It has contributed significantly to the stability of global industries and supply chains. We will take additional measures to facilitate cross-border travel in light of the evolving situation.

AFP: The US State Department says it is ready to share vaccines with China to help fight rising COVID-19 infections. Is China considering approving the use of foreign vaccines in China?

Mao Ning: Over the past three years, putting people and lives first, the Chinese government has developed its COVID-19 policy in light of China’s national situation to serve the interests of the majority of Chinese people. Our policy protects people’s lives and health to the fullest extent and minimizes the impact of COVID-19 on socio-economic development. It gave the best results at the lowest cost. We are optimizing our COVID-19 response measures in relation to the latest changes in the COVID-19 situation, to better link the COVID-19 response and socio-economic development. Booster vaccination injections are now proceeding smoothly in China, and drugs and test reagents are generally meeting demand. We believe that with the unity and collective efforts of the Chinese people, we can usher in a new era of stable and orderly economic and social development.

We stand ready to continue working with the international community to meet the challenge of COVID-19, better protect people’s lives and health, promote global economic recovery, and build a global community of health for all.

Please contact the relevant Chinese departments for specific questions.

TASS: Yesterday, US Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Julianne Smith, said that the United States is concerned about the possible exchange of shared assets and strategies between Russia and China aimed at undermining NATO’s unity. What is China’s comment?

Mao Ning: China has always been committed to safeguarding world peace, stability and prosperity. Relevant parties should stop making baseless accusations and slandering China, igniting confrontation and creating imaginary enemies, using NATO as a tool to continue hegemony and destabilize the world, abandon the cold war mentality and inter-bloc confrontation, and to make more efforts for world peace and stability.

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