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Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lin Jian’s Regular Press Conference on May 9, 2024
2024-05-09 18:31

CCTV: Can you share with us more details, outcomes and highlights of President Xi Jinping’s visit to Serbia?

Lin Jian: President Xi Jinping just wrapped up his state visit to Serbia. During the visit, President Xi attended a grand welcoming ceremony held by President Vučić and the two presidents held talks before jointly meeting the press. The two heads of state announced the decision of deepening and upgrading the comprehensive strategic partnership between China and Serbia and of building a China-Serbia community with a shared future in the new era. 

President Xi noted that the ironclad friendship between China and Serbia has stood the test of changing international environment with its deep roots in history, solid political foundation, extensive common interests and great affinity between the two peoples. In recent years, bilateral relations have achieved leapfrog development and historical results. Under the new circumstances, Serbia becomes the first European country to build a community with a shared future with China. This speaks volumes about the strategic, special and high-level relationship between the two countries. The two sides should focus on the strategic nature of the relations between the two countries and grasp the general direction of the bilateral relationship; adhere to the pragmatic nature of the cooperation between the two countries for the benefit of the people of the two countries; carry forward the innovative nature of the relations between the two countries, open up new prospects for cooperation, and turn innovative cooperation into a new growth point of the bilateral relations.

President Xi announced the first batch of six practical steps China will take to support the building of a China-Serbia community with a shared future in the new era. First, as a result of the two sides’ joint efforts, the China-Serbia Free Trade Agreement will take effect on July 1 this year. Second, China supports Serbia in hosting the Specialized Expo 2027, and will send a delegation to attend the event. Chinese businesses will also be encouraged to take part in relevant construction projects. Third, China will import more high-quality agricultural specialties from Serbia. Procedures for the export of dried plums and blueberry to China have already been completed, and the restrictions related to highly pathogenic avian influenza have been lifted. Fourth, China will support 50 young Serbian scientists in taking part in scientific research exchange in China in the next three years. Fifth, China will invite 300 young Serbians to study in China in the next three years. Sixth, China welcomes the opening of direct flights from Belgrade to Shanghai by Serbia, and encourages the two countries’ airlines to open direct flights from Belgrade to Guangzhou.

The two presidents signed the Joint Statement on Deepening and Elevating the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and Building a China-Serbia Community with a Shared Future in the New Era. They also witnessed the exchange of multiple cooperation documents including on Belt and Road cooperation, green development, digital economy, e-commerce, infrastructure, economic and technical cooperation, information and communication, agri-food, and the media.

As President Xi Jinping stressed, the China-Serbia community with a shared future in the new era is an upgrade of the ironclad friendship between China and Serbia. It also represents our common values and objectives, namely joint pursuit of development, win-win corporation and mutual success. These are the common aspirations of China, Serbia, and all countries that are committed to independence, peace and development. China will work with Serbia, share weal and woe like passengers in the same boat, carry forward the spirit of the ironclad friendship, maintain and grow our friendship, and jointly safeguard the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries. As the two sides pursue their respective national development and revitalization, China will join hands with Serbia to advance the building of a community with a shared future in the new era.

TV Asahi: A video footage that was shot by a drone over a Japanese destroyer of Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force was shared online in China. However, flying a drone over the Self-Defense Forces’ bases without permission is prohibited by law in Japan. Sources at Japan’s Defense Ministry said the footage is likely to be authentic. What’s your comment? 

Lin Jian: I don’t know where the footage you mentioned came from.  

China Review News: International Monetary Fund First Deputy Managing Director Gita Gopinath said on May 7 that escalating tensions between the US and China have caused global ripples and countries are reevaluating their trading and investment partners based on economic and national security concerns, leaving the world divided into three blocs: a US leaning bloc, a China leaning bloc, and a bloc of nonaligned countries. The trend of economic fragmentation may lead to a broad retreat from the rule-based global trading system and a significant reversal of the gains from economic integration. She mentioned that the US and China need pragmatic steps to rebuild trust. The first step is to keep open the lines of communication. Dialogue between the US and China can help prevent the worst outcomes from occurring. What’s China’s comment?

Lin Jian: As President Xi Jinping stressed, we live in an interdependent world and rise and fall together. With their interests deeply intertwined, all countries need to build maximum consensus for win-win and all-win outcomes. This is the basic starting point for China to view the world and the China-US relationship. To overstretch the concept of national security, and weaken or sever one’s economic ties with other countries leads nowhere, and will only destabilize global industrial and supply chains, disrupt international trade order, and end up harming one’s own interests. The US needs to act on its commitment of not seeking to hold back China’s economic growth and create an enabling environment for its relations with China and cooperation in various fields.

The world economy faces the risk of fragmentation and confrontation, but more importantly, it is presented with opportunities for solidarity and cooperation. The course of history will be shaped by the choices we make. In the face of rising unilateralism and protectionism, China advocates a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization. We will always choose solidarity and cooperation, and stand on the side of openness and mutual benefit. We stand ready to work with the rest of the world to uphold the international system with the UN at its core and the multilateral trading system centered on the WTO, and strive for a world with a common purpose and a shared pursuit for global development. 

China Daily: It is reported that the elected-leader Lai Ching-te of the Taiwan region said that he looks forward to strengthening cooperation with Japan after May 20 and that any contingency for Taiwan is a contingency for Japan and vice versa. What’s China’s comment?

Lin Jian: “Any contingency for Taiwan is a contingency for Japan.” This is a dangerous but apparently miscalculated notion preached by some in Japan. By repeating and hyping that rhetoric, the DPP authorities are essentially telling the world that their underlying logic is to ingratiate themselves with Japan, sell Taiwan out and seek “Taiwan independence” through soliciting foreign support. It once again reminds people that “Taiwan independence” and foreign interference are the biggest undermining factor for peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait. Let me stress that the one-China principle is a universal consensus. No separatist attempt for “Taiwan independence” will get anywhere, whatever its form or pretext.

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