State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets the press on the morning of March 8 on the sidelines of the second session of the 13th National People’s Congress.
Wang takes questions regarding China’s foreign policy and diplomatic relations.
Here are the highlights:
Chinese diplomacy at new starting point
The world is experiencing profound shifts unseen in a century and the Chinese diplomacy has reached a new starting point.
“We will remain on the path of peaceful development, work for win-win outcome, uphold existing international systems and shoulder more international responsibilities.”
Over the past 70 years since the foundation of the People’s Republic of China, Chinese diplomacy has established a fine tradition with distinctive features.
Korean Peninsula issue
China has been committed to denuclearization and the peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue and its role is irreplaceable.
The Hanoi summit between Pyongyang and Washington was an important step to solve the issue.
The leaders from both countries overcame obstacles and exchanged views face-to-face in a candid way, which is a positive progress and should be applauded.
Beijing to host 2nd Belt and Road forum
The second forum on the Belt and Road cooperation will be held in Beijing in late April, with more comprehensive cooperation.
President Xi Jinping will deliver a keynote speech during the opening ceremony.
The Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, or BRF, will have more foreign heads of state and government than the previous forum and thousands of delegates from over a hundred are expected to attend.
Huawei’s lawsuit case
China supports the company and individual in question in seeking legal redress to protect their own interests and refusing to be victimized like silent lambs.
The Chinese government has and will continue to take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese businesses and citizens.
“This is the duty of the Chinese government.”
Europe is always an important priority on China’s diplomatic agenda and China supports European integration and a united and strong EU.
According to Wang, President Xi Jinping will visit Europe later this month as he kicks off this year’s overseas trip.
China welcomes Italy and other European countries to take an active part in the Belt and Road Initiative.
Cooperation is still the mainstream of the China-US relationship and China has a positive outlook on it.
Wang also refuted statements by some individuals that the two countries should decouple their economies.
“Decoupling from China will mean decoupling from opportunity, from the future and in a sense from the world,” he said, noting that the interests of both countries are inseparable.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, while President Xi Jinping is planning to pay a state visit to Russia this year.
The two countries enjoy deep political trust, win-win economic cooperation, and support each other in international affairs.
Bilateral trade volume between the two last year exceeded $100 billion.
China upholds UN-centered intl system
China sees multilateralism as a cornerstone of the international system and will resolutely uphold a United Nations-centered international system.
China will carry the banner of building a community with a shared future for humanity, continue to stand on the right side of history and on the side of the common interests of a majority of countries.
BRI to benefit all
The Belt and Road Initiative is an “economic pie” that benefits the local people rather than a “debt trap” that some countries may fall into.
It is not a geo-political tool but a great opportunity for shared development. The initiative has enabled countries to grow at a faster pace, improve their people’s lives, and reaped win-win outcomes.
Criticism that China has established a debt trap in Africa, or practices neo-colonialism in the continent, should not be considered seriously, as Chinese-African cooperation is open and inclusive.
China-Africa relations have never been better, and China has demonstrated a role model for international cooperation with Africa.
Wang called on the international community to increase input in Africa to promote development of the continent.
China advised Pakistan and India to quickly turn the page and seek fundamental and long-term improvement in their relations.
China has stressed from the beginning the need to exercise calm and restraint, prevent escalation, find out what has happened and resolve the matter through dialogue.
In the meantime, sovereignty and territorial integrity should be fully respected.
Situation in Afghanistan
There is no vacuum in Afghanistan to be filled, because the land belongs to the people of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan should not again become an arena of great power rivalry, nor should it be subjected to conflicts.
Wang appealed to all parties in Afghanistan to settle differences through dialogues and join hands to push the door to the peace.
China will continue to promote the search of a political settlement to the Venezuela issue and support all parties in Venezuela to carry out peaceful dialogue.
External interference will only escalate tensions and bring back the law of jungle.
The internal affairs of any country should be solved by its own people.
Wang noted that the rights of Latin American countries to develop their relationship with China should be respected and not be interfered with or criticized.
China will be stronger, not assertive
China will protect its lawful and legitimate interests, and will not allow any infringement of its sovereignty and dignity.
Wang was responding to a question from the Bloomberg on “accusations” over some of China’s comments over Canada and Sweden.
“China’s preference and goal is always to interact with other civilizations on the basis of mutual respect and to live peacefully with all countries, and to pursue win-win results with the rest of the world”.
China will surely become stronger, but will not be assertive. China values its independence, but will not go forward alone. China will stand up for its rights, but will not seek hegemony.
No matter how far China develops, China will reach a fair judgment based on the merits of each matter, and act within the bonds of international law.
Ties with Pyongyang
Beijing stands ready to carry forward the traditional relationship with Pyongyang in the new era and jointly safeguard the fundamental interests of the two peoples as well as the peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula.
Developing long-term traditional relationship with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is China’s firm choice and also conforms to the interests of both countries.
China and India should be partners in pursuing their respective dreams and important opportunities for growing each other’s economies.
The current priority is to see that the strategic understanding of the two countries’ leaders trickles down to the people and becomes the common view.
Overseas consular services
China will take new measures in 2019 to offer better consular protection and assistance to Chinese citizens.
One of the measures is that mobile payment will be available in overseas Chinese embassies and consulates to bring more convenience.
South China Sea conduct code talks to be speeded up
China and ASEAN countries will speed up negotiation of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea on the basis of consensus and give updates of the progress to the public at appropriate time.
China and ASEAN countries will stay focused and eliminate interference, and maintain necessary transparency during the negotiation of the COC.
China and Japan are still in the early stage of improving their ties.
Sino-Japanese relations got back on track last year and has seen a good momentum for their improvement.
Wang urges the Japanese side to honestly consider the history, objectively understand the reality and actively create prospects so as to move forward the ties earnestly in the right direction.
China to promote provinces in global arena
As China is still a developing country, facilitating domestic development is an important mission of the country’s diplomacy.
This year, the presentation of Chinese provinces will be continued in various international and domestic platforms to help more provinces embrace the world.