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Regular Press Conference of the Ministry of Commerce (October 22, 2020)

Gao Feng: Friends from the press, Good afternoon. Welcome to the MOFCOM regular press conference. Since I don’t have any announcement to make today, we can proceed directly to the Q&A. The floor is open.

MNI: The National People’s Congress recently adopted the Law on Export Control, according to which China may, in light of the actual situation, take countermeasures against any country or region that abuses export control measures and poses a threat to its national security and interests. Why is this law promulgated? What items may be included in the export control list?

Gao Feng: Export control is a common practice to fulfill such international obligations as non-proliferation. In order to fulfill China’s part, since late 1990s, China has formulated six export control-related administrative regulations, including the Regulations on the Administration of Controlled Chemicals, Regulations on the Control of Nuclear Export, and Regulations on the Control of Nuclear Dual-Use Items and Related Technologies Export. A legal framework for the control of nuclear, biological, chemical, missile, and military export has since been in place.

To better carry out international obligations, meet the requirements of export control under new circumstances, and protect China’s national security and interests, we have launched legislation for a law on export control since 2017. Based on past experience and international practices, we have formulated the Law on Export Control, a law that is of a higher level than previous administrative regulations, as an overall guideline and effective legal safeguard for China’s export control.

The Law clearly stipulates the scope, system, and measures for export control, as well as international cooperation. We will finalize and publish the control list when appropriate, in accordance with law. Thank you.

Phoenix TV: The 22nd session of the Standing Committee of the 13th National People's Congress has passed the Export Control Law which will enter into force on December 1, 2020. What measures will MOFCOM take to implement of the ECL? How will the law come into play against the backdrop of escalating China-US tensions in the sector of technologies?

Gao Feng: We will actively push for the legislation of supporting regulations for the ECL in a bid to make sure the systems established by the ECL are well-implemented. Thank you.

CNS: According to the latest statistics of Germany, German export to China in August only declined by 1.1% from the same period last year, far below the drop in exports from the US, UK and other trading partners of China. What makes China-Germany trade resilient?

Gao Feng: China and Germany enjoy strong economic complementarity, broad cooperation and enormous potential. Germany is China’s largest trading partner in Europe. German statistics show that China has been Germany’s largest trading partner for four running years. In the second quarter this year, China became the largest export market of Germany for the first time. The two countries can work together broadly not just on traditional manufacturing, but also on digital economy, environmental protection, new energy vehicles, artificial intelligence and other emerging areas.
Since the beginning of this year, President Xi Jinping and Chancellor Angela Merkel have held three telephone calls, charting the course for further commercial cooperation between China and Germany. We will work together with Germany to implement the important consensus reached by the leaders, tap into the cooperation potential across the board, and jointly stand for the multilateral trading system and against protectionism so as to uphold secure and smooth global industrial and supply chains and build an open world economy. Thank you!

China Business News: Chinese companies’ investment in certain sectors in some regions surged in January-September this year. For instance, non-financial ODI in Belt & Road countries increased by 29.7% year-on-year, and ODI in the wholesale and retailing sector grew by 41.1% year-on-year. How do you explain such remarkable growth?

Since the beginning of this year, the uncertainties and destabilizing factors including COVID-19 have imposed serious impacts on global cross-border investment. From January to September, China’s outward investment remained stable and Chinese companies’ investment in certain sectors in some regions overseas grew despite the general downward trend. Investment in Belt & Road countries increased markedly as the non-financial ODI amounted to USD 13.02 billion, a year-on-year increase of 29.7%; Outward investment in the wholesale and retailing industry also registered a remarkable rise. This fully demonstrates the high economic complementarity between China and the Belt & Road countries, and their huge resilience and potential of commercial cooperation. Chinese companies and their counterparts from relevant countries have deepened and substantiated the Belt and Road cooperation and delivered benefits to the businesses and peoples of the two sides despite the difficulties of the pandemic.

We will continue to encourage and support Chinese companies to further investment cooperation with relevant countries and businesses in accordance with international rules and the principle of “extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits”, pursue high-quality Belt & Road cooperation and bring the economy back to the track of growth, so as to achieve mutual benefits, win-win results and common development. Thank you!

Nikkei: The Export Control Law of the People’s Republic of China was adopted by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee on the 17th of this month. The draft of the Law was released by MOFCOM in 2017. Could you tell us when the export control list will be published?

Gao Feng: MOFCOM spearheaded the drafting of the Export Control Law at the instruction of the State Council. In order to broadly solicit opinions and suggestions from the public, MOFCOM published the draft law online from June to July in 2017. During that window, MOFCOM received 252 pieces of feedback from foreign embassies, businesses, commerce chambers and business associations, and law firms from home and abroad. The reasonable suggestions were considered and accepted in the subsequent lawmaking process. After going through essential legalization procedures, the Export Control Law was adopted by the 22nd session of the 13th National People’s Congress Standing Committee on October 17th, 2020.
As for the export control list, we will release it at a proper time in accordance with the law. Thank you.

Gao Feng: This is the end of the press conference. Thank you.

(All information published in this website is authentic in Chinese. English is provided for reference only. )