Shenzhen TV: According to reports, Indonesia’s Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto said at a press conference with US Secretary of Defense Llyod Austin recently that Indonesia is honored to be good friends with both China and the US, and maintain friendly relations with both of them. What’s your comment on this?
Zhao Lijian: China and Indonesia are both major developing countries and representatives of emerging economies. We share extensive mutual interests and a broad space for cooperation. Not long ago, President Xi Jinping attended the 17th G20 Summit in Indonesia and met with President Joko Widodo. The two leaders reached the important consensus of jointly building a China-Indonesia community with a shared future. The China-Indonesia high-level strategic cooperation has set a fine example of major developing countries seeking to strengthen themselves through sincere cooperation.
What the Defense Minister said also points to regional countries’ shared aspiration for openness and inclusiveness and opposition to being forced to pick sides. The Asia-Pacific is a pacesetter of cooperation rather than a chessboard for geopolitical contests. China is ready to work with all parties to strengthen dialogue and communication, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, and jointly defend regional peace and prosperity.
Xinhua News Agency: On November 21, a 5.6-magnitude quake hit Indonesia’s West Java Province. According to reports, 268 people have been killed in the quake so far. Will China provide quake relief assistance?
Zhao Lijian: Yesterday, President Xi Jinping sent a message of condolences to Indonesian President Joko Widodo. China and Indonesia are friendly neighbors. China is ready to provide necessary support and assistance for Indonesia’s disaster relief. We believe that the Indonesian people will prevail over the disaster and soon rebuild their home.
Bloomberg: There are reports that Chinese regulators allowed a Korean movie to stream online in China for the first time in six years. Is this the result of the Chinese and ROK leaders’ meeting at the G20? And will more Korean shows and movies be approved in the future?
Zhao Lijian: During their bilateral meeting on the margins of the G20 Summit, President Xi Jinping and President Yoon Suk-yeol had an in-depth exchange of views on China-ROK relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest and reached a series of important common understandings, which have pointed the direction for China-ROK relations. China is ready to work with the ROK to follow through on the important common understandings of the two presidents and deepen bilateral ties.
As to your questions, let me reiterate that there has never been a so-called ban on ROK entertainment content on China’s part. China is open to cultural and people-to-people exchange with the ROK. According to our knowledge, over the course of this year and last, China has introduced multiple films and TV series from the ROK and made them available to the Chinese audience. Cooperation is a two-way street. We hope the ROK side will continue to work with China for more robust cultural exchange and stronger mutual understanding and friendship between our two countries.
CNR: At a recent workshop co-sponsored by the China National Space Administration (CNSA) and the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), Niklas Hedman, acting director of UNOOSA, commended China’s achievements in space exploration. Do you have any comment?
Zhao Lijian: I appreciate Mr. Hedman’s remarks. On November 21, the 2022 United Nations/China 2nd Global Partnership Workshop on Space Exploration and Innovation opened in Hainan. President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the event, which shows the high importance China attaches to international space cooperation and the role the UN plays in this endeavor.
Outer space is a domain shared by humanity and space exploration is humanity’s common endeavor. China is committed to space exploration cooperation driven by equality, mutual benefit, peaceful use and inclusive development. We have signed cooperation agreements with space agencies and organizations in multiple countries and regions and carried out cooperation projects in various forms. Open to all UN member states, China’s space station is an important part of the UN’s “Access to Space for All” initiative and widely recognized by all parties.
China stands ready to work with all countries and regions committed to the peaceful use of outer space to advance the building of a community with a shared future in the domain of outer space and jointly extend the footprint of human civilization into the vast universe.
Associated Press of Pakistan: According to media reports, a high-level meeting has been asked to expedite implementation of CPEC projects including ML-1, KCR and early completion of Gwadar international airport by Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal. Do you have any comment on that?
Zhao Lijian: China has noted relevant reports. Minister Ahsan Iqbal has been deeply committed to CPEC cooperation, which is truly appreciated. We are ready to work with Pakistan to follow through on the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to China and the outcomes of the meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee of CPEC. We will accelerate the building of major projects and industrial cooperation under the CPEC framework, expand cooperation areas and foster new highlights of cooperation, and build CPEC into a demonstration project for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, so as to bring more benefits to the people of the two countries.
MASTV: It is reported that on November 21, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that “We see growing Chinese efforts to control our critical infrastructure, supply chains and key industrial sectors.” He also claimed that “We cannot give authoritarian regimes any chance to exploit our vulnerabilities and undermine us”. What is China’s comment?
Zhao Lijian: NATO has been expanding its reach since the end of the Cold War. NATO has extended its collective defence clause to the domains of cyberspace and outer space, which should be handled by the UN and specialized international institutions. It has also stepped up intervention across a full range of civil domains including climate change, infrastructure, technological innovation, supply chains, health and energy. As a regional organization, NATO needs to stay within its geographical parameters and not attempt to impose rules that suit itself or seek to push or even cross the boundary.
The global industrial and supply chains come into shape as a result of both the law of the market and the choices of businesses. In recent years, China has had sound and equal-footed cooperation in relevant fields with companies and countries across different regions, including those in NATO, which has greatly benefited people on both sides. Bringing ideological difference into economic and trade cooperation and drawing lines based on values does not serve the common interests of the international community, and will only backfire.
Beijing Youth Daily: As we have learned, China held the Ministerial Dialogue on Police Capacity Building and Cooperation with some South Pacific Island countries yesterday morning. Can you share more details with us?
Zhao Lijian: On November 22, the first Ministerial Dialogue on Police Capacity Building and Cooperation between China and some South Pacific Island countries was held via videolink. Wang Xiaohong, Member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and Minister of Public Security, and Anthony Veke, Minister of Policy, National Security and Correctional Services of Solomon Islands, co-chaired the meeting and made keynote speeches. Fiji, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Tonga and Papua New Guinea represented by police chiefs or deputy or acting chiefs attended and addressed the meeting.
China noted that President Xi Jinping’s group meeting with the leaders of Pacific Island countries (PICs) having diplomatic ties with China back in 2018 opened a new chapter in China-PICs relations. Driven by the shared desire for stability, cooperation and development, China hopes that such a dialogue will enable China and the PICs to build even more friendly partnerships, cooperate more efficiently and develop more professional law enforcement capacity, so as to contribute to regional socioeconomic development. Representatives of the PICs at the meeting expressed their readiness to deepen police cooperation with China, and promote regional security, development and prosperity.
With social stability and post-COVID economic recovery high on their agenda, the PICs look to the international community for more support and resources. As a responsible major country, China has always been there for the PICs. We are a good partner they can trust. China grows its relations with the PICs in line with the principles of equality, mutual respect, win-win cooperation, openness and inclusiveness. China’s cooperation with the PICs is open and transparent. Our cooperation is complementary and non-exclusive vis-a-vis existing regional cooperation mechanisms. It does not target any country and is not to be disrupted by any country. China remains open to trilateral or multilateral cooperation with interested developed countries in the PICs, which will benefit all sides.
MASTV: On November 22, a powerful earthquake rattled Solomon Islands. What’s your comment on that? Are there any Chinese casualties reported? Will China provide assistance for the country?
Zhao Lijian: China has been following the earthquake in Solomon Islands. We have expressed sympathies to the country, and will provide support and assistance to Solomon Islands in light of its need.
In the wake of the earthquake, the Chinese embassy in Solomon Islands immediately issued a consular notice, activated the contingency mechanism, and verified the safety status of Chinese nationals and institutions. No Chinese injuries have been reported so far.