Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning dismissed on Monday a series of reports published by a Washington-based think tank that label Chinese influence as "malign "in Central and Eastern European nations, saying the reports are filled with slander and groundless accusations against China.
"We also noticed the fact that these reports were drafted and released with generous support from the United States Department of State, and this is interesting," Mao said at the regular news briefing in Beijing.
The deputy director-general of the Information Department under the Foreign Ministry, Mao made her debut as the ministry's spokeswoman at the regular news briefing on Monday.
Since August, the Center for European Policy Analysis based in Washington, DC, has published reports that analyze the relations between China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries. The latest report, published on Friday, is titled "Chinese Influence in Serbia".
"The reports are neither objective nor true," Mao said.
Since the launch of the China-CEEC cooperation mechanism 10 years ago, fruitful results have been achieved in more than 20 fields including trade and investment, interconnectivity, tourism and the response to COVID-19, Mao said, noting that all participants have benefited from such cooperation.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, China-CEEC trade expanded 8.4 percent year-on-year to $103.45 billion in 2020, and bilateral trade maintained an average annual growth rate of 8 percent between 2012 and 2020.
Large projects such as the Belgrade-Budapest Railway, which links Serbia and Hungary, benefit people in both countries, Mao added. The spokeswoman said that China has no geopolitical agenda in Central and Eastern Europe and always opposes the politicization of cooperation.
"We believe people in these countries can see through the malicious intention of sabotaging China-CEEC cooperation behind all the lies and disinformation," she said.