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Highlights of foreign minister's press conference

(Chinadaily.com.cn)    15:12, March 08, 2018

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi answers questions on China's foreign policy and external relations at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress in Beijing, March 8, 2018. [Photo by Kuang Linhua/chinadaily.com.cn]

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met the press Thursday morning on the sidelines of the first session of the 13th National People's Congress.

Wang briefs journalists from home and abroad on China's foreign policies and answer questions on a wide range of diplomatic issues.

China-LAC cooperation does not target anyone

The cooperation between China and Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) does not target or seeks to replace anyone, Wang Yi said.

"China will not move anyone's 'cheese,'" Wang said on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress. "China and LAC are helping and supporting each other as fellow developing countries."

Wang hopes nations behind Indo-Pacific Strategy will honor their promise

China hopes that the four countries involved in the Indo-Pacific Strategy will honor their pledge that the strategy targets no one, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Wang made the remarks when asked to comment on the strategy that involves the United States, Japan, India and Australia, and whether he believes it aims to contain China or offset the Belt and Road Initiative.

"Contrary to the claims made by some academics and media outlets that the Indo-Pacific Strategy aims to contain China, the four countries official position is that it targets no one," Wang said. "I hope they mean what they say and their action will match their rhetoric."

Stoking a new "Cold War" is past its time, Wang said, adding that there is no market for forming little blocs and inciting confrontation.

Wang seeks stronger China-EU relations

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that he hopes the China-EU relations will be as strong at the end of the year as they were at the start of the year.

"China and EU share the responsibility to safeguard the global free trade system and negotiation needs to be speeded up to conclude a China-EU investment agreement," he said.

"There are some disagreements between China and the EU, but both sides have realized the need to put themselves in the each other's shoes and to be more open, tolerant and understanding of one another," he said.         

Adhering to one-China principle in other countries interest

It is a correct choice and an "overriding and unstoppable" trend for countries to sever diplomatic ties with Taiwan and establish relations with the government of the People's Republic of China, the sole legal representative of the whole China.

The move also conforms to the long-term interests of those countries and their people, Wang added.

"There is only one China in the world. Taiwan is an inseparable part of China. This has been the consensus of the international community for decades. Adhering to the one-China principle and not having official ties with Taiwan has become a generally observed norm in international relations," the foreign minister said.

"The key to unlocking the cross-straits stalemate lies in recognizing the 1992 Consensus and acknowledging that the two sides of the Taiwan Straits belong to one and the same China," Wang said urging the Taiwan authorities to return to the consensus as soon as possible.

Chinese FM calls for mutual trust with India

Foreign Minister Wang Yi called mutual trust "an issue that needs to be addressed urgently" between China and India.

"With political trust, not even the Himalayas can stop us from friendly exchanges. Without it, not even level land can bring us together," Wang said.

When China and India, the two largest developing countries in the world, each with a population of more than 1 billion, become modernized,the two countries must do everything to empathize with and support each other, he said.

Chinese and Indian leaders have developed a strategic vision for the future bilateral ties, which is the Chinese "dragon" and the Indian "elephant" must not fight but dance with each other, he said.

Stressing that shared understanding between the two countries far outstrips difference and common interests far outweigh frictions, Wang said China is willing and ready to carry on traditional friendship.

He said he hopes the two sides will replace suspicion with trust, manage differences through dialogue and build a future through cooperation.

Inciting bloc confrontation will find no market

Wang Yi said Thursday that stoking a new Cold War is out of sync with the times and inciting bloc confrontation will find no market.

Wang made the remarks in response to media reports on the "Indo-Pacific" strategy, which claimed that it was introduced to contain China.

Wang cited the official positions of the United States, Japan, India and Australia as "it targets no one."

"I hope they mean what they say and their actions match their words," said Wang at a press conference.

"There's never a shortage of headline-grabbing ideas, but they are like sea foam in the Pacific or Indian Ocean," said Wang.

"They may get some attention but will be short-lived," he said.

Japan urged to see China as partner, not threat

Wang Yi said that Japan should earnestly implement the political understanding that "China and Japan see each other as partners, not threats".

China is willing to work with Japan to restore the relationship to healthy and steady growth, as long as Japan "does not prevaricate, flip-flop or backpedal and instead accepts and welcomes China's development," Wang said.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship.

"Never forget why you started, and you can accomplish your mission. At this important juncture, we ask Japan to have political credibility and act accordingly to cement the political foundation of its relations with China," Wang said.

China to boost ties, advance Belt and Road Initiative in Africa

China will step up cooperation with African countries and will jointly advance the Belt and Road Initiative to help Africa address challenges of maintaining peace and security and promoting development, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

Wang said that the profound friendship between China and Africa will remain unbreakable, quoting President Xi Jinping's statement that China and Africa are friends tested by adversity and such friendship must not be forgotten.

"Africa faces challenges of maintaining peace and security, and of promoting development and revitalization. In response to the needs, China will step up mediation in regional hotspots as well as cooperation with African countries on unconventional security threats such as terrorism, piracy and natural disaster," Wang said.

The Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will be held in September in Beijing where Chinese and African leaders will discuss their cooperation in the new era and focus on jointly advancing the Belt and Road Initiative and turning China and Africa into a community with a shared future, according to Wang.

"Africa is an indispensable partner in our effort to build a global community with a shared future. China welcomes our African brothers and sisters in getting on board of the fast train of development," the minister said.

China determined to maintain peace in South China Sea

China always firmly and consistently deals with the South China Sea issue by taking into account the interests of its people, the facts of history, the regional peace and the international law, Wang Yi said.

China's determination to maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea is unshakable and sincere, Wang said.

"The situation in South China Sea is turning better, China and ASEAN countries have reached a consensus on maintaining the hard-won tranquility through making the Code of Conduct (COC) in the South China Sea," the minister said.

China and ASEAN countries have conducted the first round of consultation about the COC text and have made positive progress, he said, adding that the two sides agreed to conduct at least three rounds of consultations this year.

Wang said that "China and ASEAN countries are willing and able to independently draft regional rules that meet the reality and be adhered to by all parties".

There are challenges, he said, noting that some outside forces are not happy with the calm and try to stir up trouble and muddy the waters by sending aircrafts and vessels to the sea to show off their military power, which are the biggest destabilizing factors in the area.

China and ASEAN countries will seize the opportunity, broaden cooperation, prevent interference and overcome challenges, and speed up the consultation and explore a cooperation mechanism with coastal countries for the peace and cooperation in the South China Sea, he said.                       

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Kou Jie, Bianji)

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