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Generating global opportunities: Chinese FM on int'l situation, foreign policy

(Xinhua)    10:46, January 03, 2021

Experts of the Chinese medical team and local medical staff pose for a photo amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo, May 26, 2020. (Xinhua)

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated China's firm resolve to safeguard national interests, while stressing the Chinese side is obliged to speak up for justice when faced with power politics and bullying.

Wang clarified the stance in a recent interview with Xinhua News Agency and China Media Group on the international situation and China's diplomacy in 2020.

"In 2020, we in the foreign service have forged ahead and tackled the challenges head on," Wang said, noting China's diplomacy has worked tirelessly in fighting the coronavirus and the "political virus" at the same time.


"We accord friends with hospitality and partners with cooperation. But we also have to stand our ground when dealing with those who are not so friendly. We are happy to take well-intentioned criticism and go with helpful suggestions. But we have to respond to defamations and attacks," he said.

Noting that in 2020 China has made more friends in the world, Wang stressed China has been firm in safeguarding national interests.

"We have responded resolutely and rationally to unjustified moves by the United States. We have handled issues relating to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet with justified, strong and proportionate countermeasures and won one fierce battle after another in international organizations, vigorously safeguarding China's sovereignty, dignity and development interests," he said.

The Chinese side hopes that the next U.S. administration will return to a sensible approach, resume dialogue with China, restore normalcy to the bilateral relations and restart cooperation, said Wang.

"China-U.S. relations have come to a new crossroads, and a new window of hope is opening," he said.

He said in recent years, China-U.S. relations have run into unprecedented difficulties. Fundamentally, it all comes down to the serious misconceptions of U.S. policymakers about China.

"We know that some in the United States are uneasy about China's rapid development. However, the best way to keep one's lead is through constant self-improvement, not by blocking others' development," he said, adding that the Chinese side believes that as long as the United States can draw lessons from the past and work with China in the same direction, the two countries are capable of resolving differences through dialogue and expanding converging interests by cooperation.


Looking ahead to China's diplomacy in 2021, Wang noted that China will further upgrade opening-up and cooperation, expressing the readiness to share with the world China's "development dividends".

"We will advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, tap into the strength of China's enormous market and its potential of domestic demand, boost global recovery with our own growth," he said.

In 2020, China has signed the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and concluded negotiations on a China-EU investment agreement.

China also has vigorously advanced high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. The China-Europe Railway Express has completed more than 10,000 services, transporting more freight in the first 10 months of 2020 than the whole of 2019. The Silk Road in the Air has enabled shipments of over 1,700 tonnes of medical supplies from China, opening up a lifeline in the air. In the first three quarters of 2020, China's non-financial direct investment in countries along the Belt and Road reached 13 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of nearly 30 percent year-on-year.

"More and more members of the international community now choose solidarity over division, openness over isolation and cooperation over confrontation," he said, stressing that China will work for steady progress in relations with major countries, cement solidarity and friendship with neighbors and other developing countries, and further deepen international and regional cooperation.

Wang said the year 2021 is a year of special importance for China-Russia relations, as both countries will enter a new development stage.

"In developing China-Russia strategic cooperation, we see no limit, no forbidden zone and no ceiling to how far this cooperation can go," he said.

On China-EU relations, he said China and the EU are comprehensive strategic partners, not systemic rivals, adding that China will remain a supporter of European integration, greater strategic autonomy of the EU, and a bigger role of the EU in international affairs.

"China is prepared to enhance coordination with the EU to keep our relations on the right track," he said.

China and ASEAN will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their dialogue relations in 2021. Wang said China looks forward to the new opportunities it will bring for enhancing China-ASEAN ties and stands ready to work with ASEAN to further enrich the partnership and usher in a new era of peace, development and cooperation for the region.

In 2021, China and Africa will have the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meetings in Senegal. He said in this context, China will work with Africa on the three priority areas of vaccine cooperation, economic recovery and transformative development to build new consensus on solidarity, break new ground for cooperation, and deliver new benefits to the people.


The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the once-in-a-century transformation in an increasingly fluid and changing world. The virus, economic recession and governance difficulties are clear challenges, and unilateralism, protectionism and power politics are standing in the way of international cooperation.

"Unswerving in advocating multilateralism, China has supported international cooperation on climate change. We have announced our ambitious goal to peak carbon dioxide emissions and achieve carbon neutrality in the upgraded Nationally Determined Contributions. We have put forward a Global Initiative on Data Security to advance the reform of the global governance system," Wang said.

With regard to China's role in global responses to COVID-19, Wang said that China provided assistance to over 150 countries and 10 international organizations, sent 36 medical teams to 34 countries in need, provided funding to WHO and other relevant UN agencies, and provided countries around the world with over 220 billion masks, 2.25 billion protective suits and over 1 billion testing kits.

"We were the first to pledge to make vaccines a global public good, bearing in mind the greater good of humanity," he said.

"People across the world have increasingly come to see that all countries share a common stake and need to stand together in the face of difficulties," he said.

Noting the year 2021 marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China's lawful seat at the UN and the 20th anniversary of its accession to the WTO, Wang said China will continue to practice multilateralism, host a successful UN Biodiversity Conference, meet global challenges in partnership with others, and promote a more equitable and sound global governance system.

"We are confident that through concerted efforts, the people in China and across the world will prevail over the virus, end the crisis and win an ultimate victory. China, on course toward national rejuvenation, is generating global opportunities and embracing openness and cooperation," 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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