The Paper: Over the past week or so, the America China Public Affairs Institute and USA Table Tennis jointly commemorated the 50th anniversary of China-US Ping-Pong Diplomacy in New York, and Chinese Ambassador to the US Qin Gang visited an elementary school and a university in Utah. Are we expecting more robust people-to-people exchanges between China and the US following the two presidents’ meeting in Bali?
Mao Ning: China-US people-to-people exchange is very important, and the two sides need to encourage the expansion of such exchange in all sectors. This is a common understanding reached between the two presidents at their meeting in Bali. I noted that American players who had participated in Ping-Pong Diplomacy expressed hopes that people-to-people exchange will continue to add momentum to the growth of China-US relations. At the event in Utah’s Brigham Young University, a guest who was member of the university’s artistic group which visited China in 1979 said that the continuing friendship with China and the Chinese people has become the most precious part of life, and that no matter what happens in the world and China-U.S. relations, people will always remember the love and friendship they have with each other. The profound goodwill in those words is truly touching.
Despite the fact that China and the US are two countries with different histories, cultures, social systems and development paths, such differences should not become an obstacle to trust and friendship between the Chinese and American peoples, still less to growing China-US relations. China stands ready to work with the US to follow through on the important common understandings between the two presidents at their meeting in Bali, advance people-to-people exchange and cement the public support for the sound and steady growth of China-US relations.
RIA Novosti: Russia’s Special Presidential Envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentyev said yesterday that China’s participation in the Astana format will help the reconciliation in and reconstruction of Syria. Do you have any comment?
Mao Ning: The Astana format has played a constructive role in coordinating efforts to deescalate the conflicts in Syria and bringing an end to the hostilities. China attaches importance to the Astana format, and stands ready to work with all parties to jointly help Syria realize peace and stability.
Bloomberg: The first question is that it’s reported that the European Council President will travel to Beijing for a meeting with Chinese President Xi next month, and we’re wondering if the foreign ministry has any more information? And the second question is that Japanese newspapers have reported that the Japanese side called on China to ease China’s COVID-19 restrictions during their recent summit. Does the foreign ministry have any comment?
Mao Ning: On your first question, we will release information in due course.
On your second question, while ensuring effective COVID containment, China has been improving the exit-and-entry measures to ease travel for executives and specialized personnel of multinational companies and foreign businesses in China and their families. We will continue to improve COVID measures and ensure they are science-based, targeted and responsive to the latest developments in the COVID situation, and better facilitate cross-border travel and exchanges and cooperation between China and other countries.