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2016: An important year for China

Updated: Dec 23,2016 10:27 AM

Foreign Minister Wang Yi has given an interview to the People’s Daily, talking about China’s diplomacy this year. He said the international situation in 2016 was unstable and unpredictable. But he said China’s diplomacy was more confident and mature, and China played a positive role in international affairs.

Wang Yi said the international situation is constantly changing, and in this context, China’s diplomacy in 2016 was more mature and confident.

“We have put forward, in a timely fashion, China’s own plan to enhance global management to steer the international political and economic system in a more just and rational direction,” Wang said.

He said President Xi Jinping hosted the G20 Hangzhou Summit and put forward a series of suggestions for the development of the world economy and global governance. At the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Lima, President Xi proposed new efforts to create a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific. He stressed that China opposes protectionism.

Wang Yi said China maintained its relations with major countries this year and managed to move them forward.

“Right after the US presidential election, President Xi had a phone conversation with US President-elect Donald Trump. The two leaders both pledged to advance bilateral ties,” Wang said.

China also strengthened relations with Central and Eastern European countries, enhanced cooperation of the BRICS member states and enlarged its circle of friendship in the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa.

On the issue of territorial disputes, Wang Yi said China firmly safeguarded China’s sovereignty and interests in the South China Sea, and resolutely responded to the arbitration initiated by the former government of the Philippines.

“China promoted the solution of the dispute back to the direct communication and consultation of the related parties, and maintained the national sovereignty, dignity, and the stability of the region,” Wang said.

Asked about the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, Wang Yi said more than 100 countries and international organizations have expressed a desire to take part.

Wang Yi stressed that 2017 will be a significant year for China’s development, which will include the 19th National Congress of the CPC and the 13th Five-Year Plan.