Minister Wang Yi Elaborates on China’s Foreign Policies
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
On Friday, 8March 2019, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers questions on China’s foreign policies and foreign relations at a press conference on the sidelines of the second session of the 13thNational People’s Congress in Beijing. The following are excerpts from the whole text:
1. Achievements and experience of China’ s diplomacy
2019 marks 70 years since the founding of the PRC. Under the strong and correct leadership of the CPC, our people have forged ahead as one in the last 70 years and made great strides that have truly impressed the world. On the diplomatic front as well, we have broken new ground, overcome many difficulties and traveled an extraordinary journey. As General Secretary Xi Jinping has rightly stated, China is ever closer to the world’s center stage.
Our diplomatic accomplishments are due, first and foremost, to the leadership of the Party, which is the fundamental political guarantee for China’s diplomacy. For seven decades, the Party has advanced with the times, developed a rich body of diplomatic theories with Chinese characteristics and established a fine tradition with distinctive features. They include: independence as a cornerstone of China’s foreign policy, concern for the common good of humanity, pursuit of equity and justice, commitment to win-win outcomes, the mission of facilitating domestic development, and dedication to serving the Chinese people. At last year’s Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy was established as our guideline, an epoch-making milestone in the development of New China’s diplomatic theories. It sets the fundamental course for our diplomacy in the new era and points the way for navigating through the complex array of issues in today’s world.
The world is experiencing profound shifts unseen in a century. Chinese diplomacy has reached a new starting point. Led by the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, we will fully implement Xi Jinping Thought on diplomacy, uphold our founding principles and keep our mission firmly in mind. We will remain committed to the path of peaceful development, work for win-win outcomes, uphold the existing international system and shoulder more international responsibilities. We will both strive to create a better environment for China’s rejuvenation and make new and greater contributions to world peace and human progress.
2. China-Africa Relations
China and Africa have a long-standing friendship. We are good brothers whose destinies and fortunes are entwined. China’s relationship with Africa is at the best it has ever been. China-Africa cooperation continues to be a pace-setter for the rest of the world.
After decades of diligent nurturing, the sapling of China-Africa cooperation has grown into a towering tree that no force can topple. Going forward, we will fully implement the eight major initiatives announced at last year’s FOCAC Beijing Summit and continuously deepen our BRI cooperation. Seizing these two opportunities, we can build an even stronger China-Africa community with a shared future.
China-Africa cooperation is becoming more and more successful, and this brings some criticisms and smears. But there’s deep mutual trust between our two sides, our friendship is time-tested and the fruits of our cooperation can be seen across the African continent. You may have noticed that some African leaders and individuals have come out against the ludicrous claim that China is setting up a “debt trap” or acting like a “neo-colonial power”. It shows that such slanders have no audience in Africa.
China-Africa cooperation has always been open and inclusive. Africa’s development requires more input from the international community. The exemplary effect of China-Africa cooperation can be leveraged to encourage more countries to give greater attention, weight and input to Africa. When all of us combine our strength, we can contribute more to peace and development in Africa.
3. China-US relations
The 40th anniversary is an important opportunity to review the past and plan for the future. The China-US relationship has gone through a lot in the last 40 years. We have made historic progress, but also face new challenges. The most important thing we can learn from the past is that China and America stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. Although a great deal has changed in the world and in both countries, this valuable lesson still holds true today and must continue to guide our interactions. We must stay the course without any doubts. We have a clear sense on our future path: the two countries will work together to build a relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability. This is an important understanding reached by our presidents. It should be what unites both nations and what the two sides work together to accomplish.
Even as China and America engage in cooperation, there may also be some competition. This is normal in international relations. The key is to put things in perspective. Exaggerating our competition out of all proportion would squeeze our space of cooperation. The right attitude is to focus on expanding our cooperation. This is both in our mutual interests and what we owe to the world. We hope the US will reject its zero-sum approach, pursue shared goals with China, foster healthy competition while deepening our cooperation, and strive for win-win outcomes as we seek our own countries’ development.
4. China-Russia relations
China and Russia will mark the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations this year. Our relationship has traveled an extraordinary course and, emerging from trials and tribulations, it has become more steady and mature. Our two countries have found a way of getting along. Marked by deep political trust, win-win economic cooperation and mutual support in the international arena, our relationship is held up as a good example of how major countries should interact with one another. A strong Sino-Russian relationship both delivers huge benefits to our two peoples and contributes significantly to peace and stability in our region and globally.
In this important anniversary year, China and Russia will take our comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination to a new level.
In terms of high-level engagement, President Vladimir Putin will attend the second BRF at President Xi Jinping’s invitation, and President Xi intends to pay a state visit to Russia at President Putin’s invitation. Guided by our presidents, the relationship will stride into a new era.
In terms of win-win cooperation, our two-way trade passed the US$100 billion mark last year. This year will be one of harvest, notably the completion of three major projects. The eastern route of the China-Russia natural gas pipeline, known as “a project of the century”, will be operational within the year. Our first cross-border highway bridge through Heihe will be opened to traffic, and our first railway bridge through Tongjiang will be completed. China and Russia will also seek greater complementarity between the BRI and the Eurasian Economic Union to strengthen the internal drivers of our practical cooperation. While consolidating traditional areas of cooperation such as energy, we will explore new areas such as high technology, agriculture, e-commerce and financial services. Upgraded Sino-Russian cooperation will better enable our countries’ development and deliver greater benefits to our two peoples.
In the area of international affairs, China and Russia shoulder important responsibility and mission as major countries in the world and permanent members of the UN Security Council. Our two countries are in constant communication on almost all the major issues and we invariably have common or similar views. In the year ahead, we will strengthen strategic coordination, and firmly uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and global strategic security. When China and Russia stand together, the world will be a safer and more peaceful and stable place.
5. China to host the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation
The much-anticipated second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) will be held in Beijing in late April. It’s the most important diplomatic event China will host this year and an international gathering that will capture the world’s attention. President Xi will give a keynote address at the opening ceremony and chair a leaders’ roundtable. There will also be a high-level meeting, thematic forums and a CEO conference.
The second BRF has three things to watch for: First, the number of foreign heads of state and government expected to attend will be much larger than that of the first BRF. Second, it will be a much bigger gathering with thousands of delegates from over 100 countries. Third, there will be more side events including 12 thematic forums focusing on practical cooperation and, for the first time, a conference organized specifically for the business community.
With the theme of “Belt and Road Cooperation: Shaping a Brighter Shared Future”, the second BRF aims to bring about high-quality cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China looks forward to a full exchange of views on future cooperation plans.
China will build consensus with the parties on high-quality development, follow the principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits, champion an open, transparent and inclusive approach to BRI cooperation, and strive for green and sustainable development.
China and the participating countries will seek greater complementarity between the BRI and their development strategies, agree on a line-up of key cooperation projects, promote the implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and pay more attention to improving the lives of the ordinary people as we deepen our cooperation.
China will act in the spirit of win-win, focus on improving physical connectivity, build a stronger momentum for common development and forge an even closer partnership.
China will champion open and inclusive cooperation, support economic globalization, uphold multilateralism and work with all to make the world economy an open one.
As President Xi has said, the BRI originates in China, but its benefits are shared by the world. We have reason to hope and believe that the second BRF will be a great success and another milestone in BRI cooperation.
6. China upholds UN-centered international system
In the last few years, unilateralism and protectionism has reared its head and returned with a vengeance. The good news is that more and more countries are stepping forward to resist and oppose this disturbing trend. There’s a growing realization that in the age of globalization, all countries share the same destiny – we rise and fall together. Therefore, instead of each going his own way, we should act as a team; instead of each minding his own business, we should help each other as passengers in the same boat. Championing multilateralism is the overwhelming consensus of the international community. China sees multilateralism as a cornerstone of the existing international order. The practice of multilateralism will, over time, make international relations more democratic and our world a more multi-polar one. China will carry the banner of building a community with a shared future for mankind, continue to stand on the right side of history and support the common interests of the majority of countries. China will work with all nations under the principle of multilateralism to resolutely uphold the international system centered on the UN and the international order underpinned by international law