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Wang Yi's Comments on Some Topics in China's Current Diplomacy
2015-10-21 17:33

On October 16, 2015, Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave interview to Chinese media upon concluding his official visit to the Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria.

China's diplomacy toward Europe will take on a more colorful, balanced and practical look

Wang Yi said that the visit to the three Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) is with an important background that recently China will carry out a series of intensive high-level exchanges with three major countries, namely, the UK, France and Germany. Meanwhile, China's diplomacy toward Europe is all-dimensional and open to all European countries. We hope that China's diplomacy toward Europe will take on a more colorful, balanced and practical look. We hope to send a message through this visit that China attaches importance not only to the UK, France and Germany as traditional major countries, but to its relations with other European countries as well. The CEEC in particular are on an upward track with many of them being newly emerging markets. China's relations with Central and Eastern Europe gain increasing importance in China's relations with Europe.

Parties and statesmen friendly to China are gaining increasing public opinion support

Wang Yi said that during the visit I conveyed the regards of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang to leaders of the three countries, and discussed the plans and blueprints of strengthening bilateral practical cooperation with them. The visit went smoothly with a series of important consensus being reached.

Wang Yi said after visiting the three countries I strongly feel that all circles of the three countries are attaching increasing importance to exchanges with China and developing cooperation with China, and being friendly toward China is becoming the mainstream in public opinion. This positive change is influencing the direction of the three countries' policies toward China to different degrees. At the previous stage, President Miloš Zeman of the Czech Republic removed interferences and pressure and resolutely attended China's commemoration on September 3, giving rise to various comments from all sides. But the Chinese Embassy in the Czech Republic told me that the public support rate of President Miloš Zeman raised rather than fall after he returned from China. And this serves as a typical case.

Wang Yi said that many countries that bear relations with China are now engaged in electoral politics. Our visit to Poland this time was on the eve of its general election. Despite their tight schedule in election, leaders of Poland still made time for in-depth and specific exchanges with us. It is China's principle that we never interfere with the internal affairs of other countries. Yet I said half-jokingly that I hope the Chinese delegation's visit will bring positive factors to your respective election. We hope to see a situation that through our unremitting endeavors and with continued convergence of each other's interests, statesmen in support of friendly relations with China can get more votes and parties pursuing friendly policies toward China can get more supports from the voters. The phenomenon that taking China as the target and criticizing China for attraction and votes once elections are approaching is abnormal and not likely to last. Sooner or later, it will be discarded by various countries' increasing mainstream public opinion of supporting cooperation with China.

Wang Yi said that this is because of China's clear diplomatic principles which aim for mutual benefits and win-win results. This has gained recognition and support from governments and people of more and more countries.

Push for sustainable development of 16+1 Cooperation

Wang Yi said that another purpose of the visit to the three Central and Eastern European countries is to prepare for the fourth China-CEEC Meeting of Heads of Governments to be held in China next month. As a new mode of sub-regional cooperation pioneered by China, the 16+1 cooperation gains increasing attention from the international community. The economic development of China and the Central and Eastern European countries complements each other, resulting in both sides' common and strong desires for the 16+1 cooperation. The advancement of the 16+1 cooperation has improved the status and impact of the Central and Eastern European countries and promoted cohesion and solidarity among the countries. As the cooperation deepens and the economic development of the Central and Eastern European countries further accelerates, the cooperation will conduce to the balanced development of each sub-region in Europe and to the European integration process. So after these years' interaction, the European Union (EU) has gradually understood, acknowledged and supported this cooperation mode.

Wang Yi said that through endeavors in the first three years, the 16+1 cooperation now witnesses an improved situation, a developed trend and established mechanisms. As to the next step, the most important thing is to bring the initiative of the 16 countries into play, mobilize their respective advantages, promote the sustainable development of the 16+1 cooperation, and get more support from cooperation in major projects such as the Hungary-Serbia high-speed railway.

Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping's proposal of jointly building the "Belt and Road" adds new power to the 16+1 cooperation. During the visit, leaders of the three countries all expressed their willingness to support and join in the construction of the "Belt and Road", which will add richer connotations to this Meeting. He believes that the Meeting will achieve complete success.

Promoting China-EU four major partnerships will be a historical course of human society's development and progress

Wang Yi said that China always attaches importance to China-EU relations. First, as the world gradually moves forward to multi-polarization, the development and prosperity of Europe is the most outstanding part of the multi-polarization course. Second, there are no conflicts of fundamental interests between China and Europe, and both sides hope to strengthen mutual understanding to realize common development and common prosperity. More importantly, compared to ten years ago, the European countries take a more positive view on China's development and growth and agree more with China's own choice of development path. During the stay in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian President said that he highly appreciates President Xi's philosophy of state governance and attended personally the launching ceremony of the Bulgarian edition of "Excerpts of President Xi Jinping' Elaboration on the Chinese Dream of the Great Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation", which reflects a change of tendency and will promote closer relations between China and Europe.

Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping visited the EU headquarters last year, and both sides reached the important consensus that China and the EU as two major forces will jointly build four major partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization. Promoting the building of the four major partnerships will be a historical course of human society's development and progress, and will surely have a vital and far-reaching influence on the development and evolution of the international situation. China is optimistic about the prospect of the development of China-EU relations.

Forging China-UK "golden age" conforms to the trend of the times

Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping's upcoming state visit to the UK is a major diplomatic activity China takes this year. Although the visit hasn't come yet, it has sparked a lively discussion and received positive expectations from the international community. This highlights a trend that the world's major countries like the UK have took the lead with a keen sense in seizing the inevitable trend that China is to continuously develop and become stronger, are good at grasping the opportunities that China's development has brought to other countries, and conform to the trend of the times as international situation evolves. Leaders of the UK hope to forge a "golden age" of China-UK relations, and expressed their willingness to be a strong supporter of China in the West. Such change is above all based on the positive change of public opinion in the UK, and on the mutual need between China and the UK. I believe that the visit is bound to be satisfactory, smooth and successful, not only promoting China-UK comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level and benefiting the two peoples with more visible and tangible cooperation achievements, but also playing a positive and leading role to China's relations with other major countries and China's interactions with the international community.

Trilateral cooperation between China and Europe enjoys vitality

Wang Yi said that China and the European countries are exploring third-party cooperation, a more active and open idea of cooperation. For example, China and France are expected to jointly develop construction of nuclear power facilities in the UK. During Premier Li Keqiang's visit to France, the two sides reached consensus on conducting third-party cooperation in Africa. Of course, such trilateral cooperation shall be above all based on the third party's consent and participation, which is the premise of cooperation as required in China's diplomatic policy. This new model of cooperation is now being explored and will be carried out gradually in the future. With vitality, it will become a new way of international cooperation.

Climate Change Conference: Paris is not the same as Copenhagen

Wang Yi said that climate change requires joint response from the international community, which has already become a consensus among all countries. As the largest developing country, China will make efforts to this end. In the meantime, China must also stick to principles and fulfill the "common but differentiated responsibilities", which safeguards the just rights and interests in development of not only China but also all the developing countries. The good news is that such principles have been understood and agreed upon by most countries including the US and France, which lays a sound foundation for the success of the Climate Change Conference in Paris.

Wang Yi said that China is a responsible major country and is taking its responsibilities as much as possible based on sticking to the principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities". Over the recent years, we have provided enormous support and assistance to small island countries in building their capacity of dealing with climate change. The latest example is that when attending the UN Sustainable Development Summit, President Xi Jinping announced that China will set up the South-South Cooperation Fund on Climate Change to earnestly help other developing countries better deal with climate change and achieve sustainable development.

Wang Yi said that the Climate Change Conference in Paris enjoys a sound foundation. We believe that Paris is not the same as Copenhagen. With the efforts of China and other parties, this Conference will achieve success. We believe that friendly consultations among all parties can bring about an international agreement which can both meet the development demands of all parties and effectively deal with climate change.

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