Highlights of State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi's Remarks on Press Conference for the Fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress
2021-03-09 00:00

Opening Remarks

The global fight against COVID-19 must not stop until the virus gets eliminated in each and every country. Everyone is obligated to help those in need even when there is only one case of infection left.

Solidarity means strength, and perseverance means victory. There is already light at the end of the tunnel. China will continue to cooperate with other countries in solidarity and work tirelessly for humanity's final victory against this pandemic.

1. China's Diplomacy and Head-of-State "Cloud Diplomacy"

The year 2020 has been a most extraordinary journey for China and the whole world. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China's diplomatic service readily fulfilled its responsibilities to the country, the people and the world, by rising to the unprecedented challenges and playing a role befitting China's status.

Among China's diplomatic endeavors over the last year, the most outstanding is head-of-state diplomacy. The most resolute is our determination to defend national interests. The most demanding is the fight against COVID-19 on the diplomatic front. The most concerning is the safety of Chinese nationals abroad. One biggest priority is advancing global governance in the right direction.

A compassionate, committed and responsible China that stands by principles will bring more warmth and hope to the world and lend more confidence and strength to the pursuit of development for all.

We stood firm against hegemony, highhandedness and bullying, and rejected outright interference in China's domestic affairs. China's sovereignty is not to be infringed upon, and the dignity of the Chinese nation is not to be trifled with. The legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese people shall be upheld.

2. China-Russia Relations

In the face of the once-in-a-century pandemic, China and Russia have stood shoulder to shoulder and worked closely to combat both the coronavirus and the political virus. China and Russia standing together will remain a pillar of world peace and stability.

The more unstable the world is, the greater the need for carrying forward China-Russia cooperation. China and Russia should be each other's strategic support, development opportunity, and global partner. This is both an experience gained from history and an imperative under the current circumstances.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia. Our two countries have agreed to renew the treaty and make it more relevant in the new era. This is a milestone in China-Russia relations and, more importantly, a new starting point. The two sides will carry forward the spirit of everlasting friendship and win-win cooperation embodied by the Treaty, keep up the momentum, generate new dynamism, and further expand, broaden and deepen the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.

China and Russia will set an example of strategic mutual trust, an example of mutually beneficial cooperation, an example of people-to-people connectivity, and an example of equity and justice.

3. Centenary of CPC and CPC Leadership

China's diplomacy is conducted under the CPC leadership for the benefit of our people. The CPC is the backbone for the Chinese people and the anchor of China's diplomacy.

The pursuit of happiness for the people and of renewal of the nation is the original aspiration of the Party. It determines the responsibilities and duties of China's diplomacy. Cherishing independence and upholding equity and justice are values that our Party holds dear. They determine the basic principles that China's diplomacy must uphold. To pursue peaceful development and win-win cooperation and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind is a provision in the Constitution of the CPC and the Constitution of the PRC. It is also the goal of China's diplomacy.

The Party's leadership is the biggest political advantage of China's diplomacy and the fundamental safeguard for continued victory in China's diplomatic endeavors. We will continue to uphold the Party's leadership of diplomatic work, fully implement Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, steel the spine of China's diplomacy with the Party's fine traditions, seek inspirations from the Party's history and experience, and keep breaking new ground in China's distinctive major-country diplomacy.

4. China-Africa Relations

China and Africa enjoy a profound friendship forged during the struggle for national independence and liberation. We are comrades-in-arms as well as brothers and sisters. This bond of friendship is growing ever stronger as time goes by. China and Africa are perpetual good friends and good partners with a shared future.

China-Africa cooperation stands as a model of South-South cooperation, and a fine example of international cooperation with Africa.

China will work with Africa to pursue high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and build an even stronger community with a shared future to drive Africa's development and revitalization.

5.Hong Kong-Related Issues

The move to improve Hong Kong's electoral system and ensure "patriots administering Hong Kong" is necessitated by the need to advance the One Country, Two Systems cause and maintain long-term stability in Hong Kong. It is a constitutional power and responsibility of the NPC, and is totally constitutional, lawful and justified.

Loyalty to the motherland is a basic political ethic of all public office holders and aspirants anywhere in the world. Hong Kong is no exception.

How can we expect someone who does not love his motherland to truly love Hong Kong? Loving Hong Kong and loving the motherland are consistent requirements.

No one cares more about Hong Kong's democracy and continued prosperity and stability than the Central Government of China. Hong Kong's shift from chaos to stability fully serves the interests of all parties. It will provide stronger safeguards for protecting the rights and interests of Hong Kong residents and the lawful interests of foreign investors. We have the resolve to continue to implement the policy of One Country, Two Systems under which the people of Hong Kong administer Hong Kong with a high degree of autonomy. We also have the confidence to usher in a brighter future for Hong Kong.

6.China-US Relations

The Chinese people are in the best position to tell whether China is doing a good job. The Chinese people can best decide what is the right thing for China to do.

For quite some time, the United States has been willfully interfering in other countries' internal affairs in the name of democracy and human rights. This has created lots of trouble in the world and, in some cases, turbulence and conflict. It is important that the United States recognize this as soon as possible. Otherwise, the world will remain far from being a tranquil place.

As two countries with different social systems, China and the United States naturally have differences and disagreements. What matters most is to manage them effectively through candid communication to prevent strategic miscalculation and avoid conflict and confrontation.

In the interest of the two countries and the whole world, cooperation should be the main goal for both China and the United States.

We hope that the United States will move in the same direction and remove all its unreasonable restrictions on bilateral cooperation as early as possible, not create new obstacles.

On the Chinese New Year's eve last month, President Xi Jinping had a phone call with President Joe Biden. The two heads of state had an in-depth exchange of views on China-US relations and pointed the way forward for bringing the relationship back on track. We are ready to work with the United States to follow through on the outcomes of this important phone call, and set China-US relations on a new path of healthy and steady growth.

7. 50th Anniversary of Restoring PRC's Lawful Seat in UN

Fifty years ago, the 26th session of the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution to restore the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations. With a major country of one-fourth of the world's population rejoining the family of nations, the United Nations finally achieved universality in a real sense. From that day on, the People's Republic of China has contributed its share to world peace and development as a trustworthy and reliable participant in this noble cause.

China champions equity and justice, and stands for equality among all countries regardless of their size. China's vote in the United Nations always belongs to the developing world.

Given the profound evolution of the international situation, the international community is expecting the United Nations to keep pace with the times and improve itself through reform. In our view, no matter how the situation may evolve and how the reform may proceed, the following principles must be preserved: upholding the purposes and principles of the UN Charter; preserving the central role of the United Nations in the international system; and keeping to the basic rule of equal-footed consultations at the United Nations.

The United Nations is not a club for big or rich countries. All countries enjoy sovereign equality, and no country is in a position to dictate international affairs.

8.China-Europe Relations

In the face of crises and challenges, China-Europe relations have demonstrated resilience and vitality, sending out a positive message to the world.

China and Europe share extensive common interests, and win-win cooperation is the main thrust of their relationship; China and Europe are two great civilizations capable of dialogue and exchanges, and they are not systemic rivals; and when embracing cooperation with an independent spirit, China and Europe can accomplish great things.

China and Europe are two important players in this multi-polar world. Their relationship is equal and open, not targeting any third party or controlled by anyone else.

9.Vaccine Cooperation

Vaccines are a powerful weapon against the virus and bring hope for saving lives. They should serve the entire world and benefit all humanity.

China is a firm believer in making COVID vaccines a public good, a committed frontrunner in promoting international vaccine cooperation, and a steadfast advocate for equitable vaccine distribution.

Whether it is a Chinese vaccine or not, it is a good vaccine so long as it is safe and effective.

China opposes "vaccine nationalism". We reject any "vaccine divide" or any attempt to politicize vaccine cooperation.

We hope that all capable countries will do what they can to provide vaccines to countries in need, especially developing countries, so that people all over the world will have access to affordable vaccines, vaccines that truly benefit the people.

10.China-Arab States Relations

As an Arab saying goes, friendship is a tree with good faith as roots and goodwill as branches. China will work with Arab states in solidarity, pursue common progress, make good preparations for a China-Arab states summit, add new dimensions to the China-Arab states strategic partnership, and strive for more achievements in building a Sino-Arab community with a shared future.

11.Multilateralism and Global Governance

Four years ago, in response to the debate over whether to continue globalization, President Xi stepped forward to send a strong message in support of economic globalization. Four years later, in response to the uncertainties of the future of multilateralism, President Xi shed light on the issue by putting forward China's proposal for upholding multilateralism and building a community with a shared future for mankind. The two important speeches have pointed the way forward for our times and cleared doubts for many in the world. Both are widely commended by the international community.

Multilateralism has remained a firm commitment of China, a commitment that has never wavered despite changing times or circumstances.

The way to address the various challenges in our world is for countries to uphold true multilateralism.

True multilateralism means observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, upholding the UN-centered international system, and making international relations more democratic. It means openness and inclusiveness instead of closeness and exclusion; and equal-footed consultation instead of supremacy over others.

Multilateralism is a banner, not a pretext; a conviction, not a rhetoric. Building small circles in the name of multilateralism is in fact "group politics". Multilateralism with one's own interests taking precedence is still unilateral thinking. "Selective multilateralism" is not the right choice.

China hopes that all members of the international community will work together to light up humanity's way forward with the torch of multilateralism.

12.Difference in Ideology and System

Progress of human civilization cannot be achieved with only one pathway, nor should there be only one model. Choice of system should be made in a tailor-made way, rather than through trimming the feet to fit in the shoes.

Whether a path works for a country depends on how it fits the country's conditions.

To smear or attack others for their different system or even claim superiority is in essence "hegemony of system".

Our world cannot afford to fall apart, still less return to conflicts.

Diversity is the integral feature of human civilization, and difference in system should not be the ground for antagonism or confrontation. Exchanges and mutual learning can enhance mutual understanding and drive common progress.

In Chinese culture, seeking harmony without uniformity is a philosophy of the virtuous. Western culture values respect as a quality of a gentleman.

Countries should treat each other with mutual respect and inclusiveness so as to prosper respectively and together.

13.20th Anniversary of China's Accession to WTO

Accession to the WTO was a milestone in China's opening-up as well as in the process of economic globalization.

The past two decades have taught us four important things: we must stay committed to the fundamental policy of opening-up; we must stay committed to the principle of win-win cooperation; we must stay committed to the right direction of economic globalization; and we must stay committed to the central role of the WTO.

Facing the new problems and challenges in globalization, the answer is not to retreat into protectionism, isolation or decoupling, but to work together to make globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all.

14.China-Japan Relations

For the China-Japan relationship to be more mature and stable, the two countries need to stay focused without being distracted by any single event.

I hope that Japanese society will embrace a more objective and rational perception of China so as to solidify public support for long-term steady progress in China-Japan relations.

As the two countries will host the Olympic Games this year and the next, the two sides have every reason to support each other in hosting the two grand events, and make the Olympics a platform for deepening friendship between the two peoples and an opportunity for furthering the relationship between the two countries. Let's focus our eyes on Tokyo this summer and meet in Beijing next year.

15.Xinjiang-Related Issues

Speaking of genocide, many people would have in their minds the native Americans of the 16th century, African slaves of the 19th century, the Jewish people of the 20th century, and the aboriginal Australians who are still struggling even today.

The claim that there is genocide in Xinjiang couldn't be more preposterous. It is just a rumor fabricated with ulterior motives, and a lie through and through.

Some western politicians chose to believe in the lies made up by a few, instead of listening to the voice of 25 million Xinjiang residents of various ethnic groups. They chose to dance with the few anti-China elements in their clumsy dramas, instead of acknowledging the progress in Xinjiang. This only shows that they do not care about the truth. They are only interested in political maneuvering, and creating the so-called Xinjiang issue to undermine security and stability in Xinjiang and hold back China's development.

16.China-ASEAN Relations

Confucius once observed, "One should be able to establish himself at the age of thirty." After 30 years of cooperation through rain or shine, China and ASEAN have established a shared belief in solidarity, equality and mutual assistance. We have developed a sense of a shared future and a partnership through thick and thin. And we have embraced a shared vision to revitalize Asia and usher in a brighter future for our region.

The 30th anniversary provides a new starting point, from which China is ready to work with ASEAN to build an even closer community with a shared future, and open up another 30 years of even greater cooperation.

17. Taiwan-Related Issues

The two sides of the Taiwan Strait must be and will surely be reunified. This is the trend of history and the collective will of the entire Chinese nation. It will not and cannot be changed.

The one-China principle is the political foundation of the China-US relationship, a red line that should not be crossed. On the Taiwan question, there is no room for compromise or concession from the Chinese government.

We hope the new US administration will appreciate the great sensitivity of the Taiwan question, and will abide by the one-China principle and the three Sino-US communiqués. We would hope to see a clear departure from the previous administration's dangerous practice of "crossing the line" and "playing with fire", and we hope that the Taiwan question will be handled prudently and properly.

18.Belt and Road Cooperation

Since last year, the pandemic has affected the world in many respects. Yet despite the headwinds, Belt and Road cooperation has not paused, but forged ahead with new outcomes, strong resilience and great vitality.

We have honored the principle of joint discussion, acted on the principle of joint construction, and prioritized the principle of joint benefit-sharing.

Together, we are building a Health Silk Road. Our cooperation on pandemic response has turned the Belt and Road into a corridor for life-saving supplies. We are building a digital Silk Road, a corridor of smooth information flow that will keep BRI partners digitally connected. We are also building a green Silk Road, under which we have intensified cooperation on green energy, green infrastructure and green finance. Our goal is to make the BRI a robust engine for low-carbon transformation and green recovery in the post-COVID world.

COVID-19 has changed the world in profound ways, but the need for Belt and Road cooperation has not subsided, and China's commitment to cooperation has not changed. As we pursue a new development paradigm, we will explore better pathways for Belt and Road cooperation and offer greater opportunities to BRI partners. We are ready to work with all stakeholders to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with renewed commitment and greater resilience. Together, we can turn Belt and Road cooperation into a journey toward common development and prosperity for all.

19.New Development Paradigm

China will create a more pro-business environment, pursue opening-up at a higher level, and work with all countries to accelerate the building of an open world economy.

To use a train analogy, China in the new development stage is like an express train with greater driving force and load capacity accelerating toward a new goal. We welcome all countries to get on board and move toward a future of shared prosperity.

20.China-India Relations

The China-India relationship is essentially about how the world's two largest developing countries get along and pursue development and rejuvenation together.

China and India are each other's friends and partners, not threats or rivals. The two sides need to help each other succeed instead of undercutting each other; we should intensify cooperation instead of harboring suspicion at each other.

What happened again proves that initiating confrontation will not solve the problem, and that returning to peaceful negotiation is the right way forward.

21.Consular Protection

The unexpected pandemic stopped our compatriots overseas from returning home and put their life and health in jeopardy. Here I wish to extend my heartfelt sympathies to all of them.

The worst situation often brings out the best of love and compassion. The Party and the government care deeply about the life and health of each and every Chinese national abroad. The Foreign Ministry and our missions all over the world rose to the occasion and swung into action. All of us in the diplomatic service worked around the clock, with many on the front line, to launch a special campaign of consular protection for Chinese nationals in every corner of the globe.

With concrete actions, we have reassured our compatriots overseas: Our mission is to serve the people and we will leave no one behind; our diplomats will not stand back until the pandemic is completely defeated.

We will launch a "spring sprout" program to assist and secure vaccination for our citizens with Chinese or foreign vaccines.

We will roll out health certificates for international travelers to facilitate safe and orderly flow of personnel.

We will realize full digitalization of our overseas consular services. With a click on the digital devices at home, overseas Chinese can access 24/7 online services for travel documents application and consular assistance and protection.

22.Climate Change

Building a green and livable planet and pursuing sustainable development is a responsibility for all members of the international community. Facing the challenges of our times, protecting the environment is not a choice to make, but a call that we must answer.

China has all along made efforts to promote ecological progress and taken concrete actions on global climate governance.

The philosophy proposed by President Xi Jinping that "blue waters and green mountains are indeed gold and silver mountains" is now a vision shared by all Chinese people.

This year, China will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) in Kunming, Yunnan Province. As the host country, China is ready to work with all parties to ensure positive outcomes of the Conference. Together, we will draw a new blueprint for global biodiversity conservation in the next decade and pledge new actions for building a shared future for all life on Earth.

China welcomes US return to the Paris Agreement and expects that the US will shoulder its responsibility and make its due contribution. We hope that renewed China-US cooperation on climate change will bring positive "climate change" to the relations between China and the United States.

23.Iranian Nuclear Issue

The Iranian nuclear issue is a sensitive issue that affects the whole situation in the Middle East and the Gulf region.

We hope the US side will demonstrate sincerity by taking actions as quickly as possible, including removing the unjustified unilateral sanctions and the "long-arm jurisdiction" on third-party entities and individuals.

The US and Iran can move forward in a step-by-step and reciprocal manner.

24.South China Sea Issue

Countries in the region and around the world can all see clearly in recent years that the factors of instability and security risks in the South China Sea come mainly from outside the region.

China and ASEAN countries need to continue to "walk with two legs" on the South China Sea issue. First, remove distractions and press ahead with COC consultations, and work toward the early conclusion of a set of regional rules that are more substantive and effective, consistent with international law and serve the needs of all parties. Second, continue with the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) in order to build consensus, enhance mutual trust, advance cooperation, and maintain overall stability in the South China Sea.

25.Situation in Myanmar

Peace and stability are the prerequisites for a country's development. I hope that the relevant parties in Myanmar will keep calm and exercise restraint, act in the fundamental interests of the people, address their differences through dialogue and consultation within the constitutional and legal framework, and continue to advance the democratic transition. The immediate priority is to prevent further bloodshed and conflict, and ease and cool down the situation as soon as possible.

China and Myanmar are "pauk-phaw" brothers connected by the same mountains and rivers, and are a community with a shared future through thick and thin.

China's friendship policy toward Myanmar is for all the people of Myanmar. Over the years, we have maintained friendly exchanges with various political parties in Myanmar, including the National League for Democracy. And developing friendship with China has also been a consensus across all sectors of Myanmar.

No matter how the situation evolves, China will not waver in its commitment to advancing China-Myanmar relations, and will not change the course of promoting friendship and cooperation.

26.China-LAC Relations

China and Latin American and Caribbean countries have stood alongside and supported each other in COVID-19 response and economic recovery. Our cooperation best illustrates that "a bosom friend afar brings a distant land near".

The pandemic has not hindered our cooperation. Instead, our peoples have grown closer and are bound by broader common interests.

The Chilean poet Pablo Naruda wrote, eternal friendship makes you believe in good things in the world and convinces you that there is a door ready for you to open.

27.CPC in Eyes of Foreign Journalists

The media is an important bridge that helps countries communicate with and understand one another. Since COVID-19 started, many foreign journalists have stayed on their post and worked non-stop to help the world know the Chinese people's fight against the virus. Your efforts are deeply appreciated.

Snow was not a communist. Yet when looking at the CPC, he carried no ideological bias, stayed truthful and objective and stood by justice and conscience. With admirable professionalism and moral ethics, he devoted his life to enhancing mutual understanding between the Chinese and American peoples. The Chinese people have fond memories of him even to this day.

China today needs to better understand the world, and the world needs to better understand China.

However the world changes, the media should stand by their professional ethics. I hope that when reporting on China, foreign journalists will not apply any filter to their camera, beauty or gloomy. Truthful, objective and fair stories will always appeal to people and can stand the scrutiny of history.

China hopes to see and welcomes more Edgar Snows of this new era among foreign journalists.

Closing Remarks

The heroic people of Wuhan and Hubei, bearing in mind the greater good, made enormous sacrifice for a national victory over COVID-19 and contributed significantly to the global COVID-19 response.

In April when spring comes, the Foreign Ministry will hold a special promotion event for Hubei. It will present a new Hubei that has emerged stronger from the difficulties, and build new bridges connecting it to the world.