Question: In November this year, President Xi Jinping chaired the Special Summit to Commemorate the 30th Anniversary of China-ASEAN Dialogue Relations via video link. He and leaders of ASEAN countries announced the upgrade of China-ASEAN relations to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. How do you evaluate the development of China's neighborhood diplomacy this year?
Wang Yi: This year has been a year of progress and harvest for China and other Asian countries. China has strengthened and upgraded its relations with ASEAN. The two sides have stood together in fighting COVID-19. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) has been signed and will soon enter into force. China and ASEAN have stepped up cooperation in the digital economy, blue economy and green economy. Connectivity has been accelerated across the board, and the China-Laos Railway has successfully started operation. The South China Sea issue has been effectively managed under the framework of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), and the freedom of navigation and overflight has been protected in accordance with law. On hotspot issues such as Afghanistan and Myanmar, China has stayed in close coordination with countries in the region to jointly safeguard stability in this part of the world.
Asia has remained a region with the greatest vitality and development potential in the world. This has not come by easily. It is the result of years of hard work in solidarity by China and regional countries, and it deserves to be cherished by all. Meanwhile, we also see new challenges in this region. There are two divergent trends: one is to jointly pursue development and prosperity through mutual trust and cooperation; the other is to create division and confrontation through "erecting walls" and "decoupling". It is important that Asian countries remain clear-eyed, stand firm in their positions, and make the right choice that serves their fundamental and long-term interests. We must not allow any country outside this region to stoke bloc confrontation in the region and push Asia toward a new cold war; we must not allow any country outside this region to undermine existing regional cooperation structure and the regional integration process and replace them with one of their own design; we must not allow any country outside this region to provoke an arms race in the region or even proliferation of nuclear weapons and threaten security and stability in Asia.
Question: The Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was successfully held in November. President Xi Jinping called for building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era. What measures will China take to further develop its relations with Africa and other members of the developing world?
Wang Yi: This year marks the 65th anniversary of the start of diplomatic relations between China and African countries. Not long ago, we successfully held the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the FOCAC despite the impact of COVID-19. President Xi Jinping put forward the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation for the first time, set out four proposals for building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, and announced nine programs for cooperation with Africa. All this marked a new milestone in the history of China-Africa relations.
Meanwhile, China's relations with other members of the developing world, including Latin American and Caribbean countries, Arab countries and Pacific island countries, have made important headway over the year, with fruitful results made in various areas of cooperation.
China is a staunch member of the developing world. No matter how the international situation may evolve, China will unswervingly stand on the side of the developing world and unswervingly deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with other developing countries. China's vote at the United Nations belongs to the developing world. Looking ahead, we will focus on the following priorities:
First, upholding the principle of mutual assistance to jointly develop a shield for immunity. China will continue to make all-out efforts to provide developing countries in need with COVID vaccines and essential supplies to ensure vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries and help boost their capacity, confidence and resolve to fight the virus.
Second, upholding the principle of mutual benefit to jointly develop an engine for development. We will continue to follow the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests, advance strategic coordination with other developing countries, increase trade and investment, and expand practical cooperation to support other countries in enhancing capacity for sustainable and self-generated development.
Third, upholding the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith to joint build a bridge for friendship. We will strengthen exchanges and mutual learning with other developing countries in the fields of political parties and political affairs, poverty reduction and development, and medical and health services, deepen friendship among the peoples, jointly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the developing countries, and pass on the spirit of friendship and cooperation from generation to generation.
Question: The hasty withdrawal of the U.S. forces this year has drawn global attention to the Afghan situation. What role has China played in resolving the Afghanistan issue and other hotspot issues?
Wang Yi: In 2021, the entire world witnessed the Kabul Moment, when the U.S. forces left Afghanistan in a rush. Such irresponsible withdrawal has brought a serious humanitarian crisis to the Afghan people and enormous security challenges to regional stability. The scenes of chaos and even shocking brutality at Kabul airport will stay in the memory of humanity forever as a historic mark on the failure of the so-called "democratic transformation".
Facing the sudden changes in Afghanistan, China did not sit by, but extended a helping hand. We immediately reached out to the Afghan people with emergency humanitarian assistance, especially vaccines, food and winterization supplies. The Afghan people have suffered from years of war and turmoil, and should not have to endure the ravages of the pandemic, hunger and cold any more. China has actively facilitated international coordination and played a constructive role in a stable transition of the Afghanistan situation. These efforts have been welcomed and praised by people across Afghanistan. As we speak, Afghanistan still faces serious challenges in economy, people's livelihoods, security and governance. China will continue to pursue the policy of friendship toward all Afghan people. We support Afghanistan in building an inclusive government, ending turbulence, restoring stability and rebuilding the country, so that the Afghan people will be able to enjoy the benefits of peace and tranquility.
I want to stress that major countries shoulder special and important responsibilities for world peace and stability. In handling hotspot issues, major countries should uphold justice, not seek selfish interests; promote peace, not abuse the use of force; encourage dialogue, not resort to willful sanctions; and respect the views of the countries concerned, not throw their weight around.
Over the past year, China has kept firmly in mind and fulfilled its responsibility and mission. We have proposed a five-point initiative on promoting peace and stability in the Middle East, with a view to encouraging countries in the region to escape geopolitical rivalry between big powers and achieve self-strengthening through unity. We have put forward a three-point proposal for the implementation of the two-state solution to facilitate a just settlement of the Palestinian question and effective governance in the State of Palestine. We have introduced a four-point proposal for the settlement of the Syrian issue, and supported Syria in accelerating reconciliation and reconstruction as well as returning to the Arab family. We have facilitated the resumption of compliance with the JCPOA to safeguard the international nuclear non-proliferation regime. We have promoted dialogue among relevant parties in Myanmar to encourage a relaunch of democratic transition. We remain committed to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and have worked for synchronized progress in the establishment of a permanent peace mechanism and the denuclearization of the Peninsula.
What has happened proves that China's growing strength increases the force for peace and the rise in China's influence contributes more constructive factors. China will continue working with the rest of the world, play its due role and make greater contribution to international and regional peace.
Question: President Xi Jinping put forth a Global Development Initiative (GDI) for the first time during the General Debate of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, which received extensive attention from the international community. What is the relationship between the GDI and the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind? How will China implement the GDI?
Wang Yi: Development is at the top of governance agenda and the permanent theme of human society. Without development, nothing would be possible. The GDI is an international public good from China. It is an important effort to implement the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. And it demonstrates President Xi Jinping's global vision and people-centered philosophy. The most central concept of the GDI is to put the people front and center. Its most important goal is to overcome the challenges brought by the pandemic and accelerate the implementation of the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Its most fundamental pursuit is to meet the aspirations of people around the world for a better life and realize the common values of humanity. In just over three months since it was proposed, the GDI has won the endorsement and support of multiple international organizations including the UN agencies and nearly 100 countries.
China not only has put forward the GDI, but will also take action to deliver on this major initiative. Through the platform of the UN and multilateral and bilateral channels, we will further synergize development cooperation strategies with other parties and promote collaboration between the development processes of various countries, regions and mechanisms. We will deepen practical cooperation in the eight priority areas of the GDI to generate strong synergy for attaining the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals on schedule. We will actively deliver our commitment to provide an additional three billion U.S. dollars of international assistance in the next three years, and earnestly support other developing countries in fighting COVID and restoring economic and social development. And we will work with all parties to build a global community of development with a shared future.
Question: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of New China in the United Nations. How do you assess China's role on the international stage in the past 50 years? Why is the practice of multilateralism being highlighted in the current circumstances?
Wang Yi: Fifty years ago, the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China was restored in the United Nations. It was a victory that belongs not only to the Chinese people, but also to all the forces for peace and justice in the world.
Fifty years on, as the world's largest developing country and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China is playing an increasingly important role in safeguarding world peace and making more and more contributions to human progress.
We have followed a path of peaceful development. China has never waged a single war, and is always committed to political settlement of hotspot issues. China has contributed more peacekeepers than any other permanent member of the Security Council, and has become the second largest financial contributor to both the United Nations and UN peacekeeping operations.
We have upheld international fairness and justice. China has defended the basic norms of international relations based on the UN Charter, upheld the rights of people from different countries to choose their development paths and political systems according to their respective national conditions, and never hesitated to speak up for other developing countries.
We have implemented a win-win strategy of opening-up. Twenty years after joining the World Trade Organization, China has done more than its commitments on tariff reduction and market access. It has contributed around 30 percent to global growth for many years.
We have actively participated in international affairs. China has been deepening cooperation with the United Nations. To date, it has joined almost all intergovernmental organizations and over 600 international conventions. We have earned the world's recognition and respect with real action, and the Chinese nation now stands proud in the family of nations.
Five decades on, multilateralism is faced with severe challenges. Certain countries, using multilateralism as a cover, are actually taking unilateral moves. Members of the international community need to jointly call out false multilateralism in various forms, unequivocally uphold the international order underpinned by international law, and make unswerving efforts to promote greater democracy in international relations.
Question: The Beijing Winter Olympic Games will be held soon. The U.S. and a handful of other countries have said that they would not send officials to the Games. What is your take?
Wang Yi: The Olympic spirit is about friendship, mutual understanding, solidarity and fair play. The politicization of the Olympics by certain countries completely violates and discredits the Olympic spirit. At the recent 76th Session of the UN General Assembly, a resolution on Olympic Truce for the Beijing Winter Olympic Games was adopted by consensus. This document, co-sponsored by 173 Member States, speaks volumes about the collective commitment of the international community to the Olympic spirit and their strong support for the Beijing Winter Olympics. Athletes of all nationalities are the real stars on the Olympic stage, cheered on by hundreds of millions of sports fans around the world. The political maneuvering of a few Western politicians will do no harm to a splendid Olympic Games, but only expose their ugly intention.
Following a green, inclusive, open and clean approach, China will ensure high-standard, high-quality preparation for the Winter Olympics, and present to people of all countries a streamlined, safe and splendid Games. We believe that whatever interference there may be, the Beijing Winter Olympics will promote the Olympic spirit, help enhance understanding and friendship between people of different countries, demonstrate the strength of international solidarity and cooperation, and bring more confidence and courage to a world still under the shadow of a pandemic.
Question: This year, China resumed diplomatic relations with Nicaragua and downgraded relations with Lithuania to the level of charge d'affaires, which showed China's firm will to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity. What is your view of the prospects of diplomatic contests regarding Taiwan?
Wang Yi: Recently, Nicaragua resumed diplomatic relations with China and returned to the right track of the one-China principle. China has gained a new friend in the world. This fully proves that the one-China principle is a universally recognized principle and represents people's aspiration and the trend of the world. On the Taiwan question, let me also emphasize the following:
There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is part of China. This is an undeniable historical and legal fact. Though there is political antagonism between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait as a result of the civil war fought many years ago, China's sovereignty and territorial integrity has never been severed and will not be severed. This is the true status quo of the Taiwan question and also the essence of the 1992 Consensus reflecting the one-China principle, and therefore forms the foundation for pursuing peaceful development of cross-Strait ties. The DPP authorities, however, have been bent on undermining this status quo and foundation. They are the ones responsible for current tensions in the Taiwan Strait. The U.S. has gone back on its commitment made when it established diplomatic relations with China, condoned and abetted "Taiwan independence" forces, and tried to distort and hollow out the one-China principle. This will put Taiwan into an extremely precarious situation and bring an unbearable cost to the U.S. itself.
The reunification of China is an unstoppable trend. Attempts to seek "Taiwan independence" will inevitably end up in failure. There is no other way out for Taiwan than to reunify with the mainland. This is an inexorable trend of history and the only practical and logical outcome.
Question: In 2022, the CPC will convene its 20th National Congress. As China embarks on a new journey toward meeting its Second Centenary Goal, how will China's diplomacy serve domestic development? What are China's diplomatic priorities in 2022?
Wang Yi: China will embark on a new journey in 2022 toward meeting the Second Centenary Goal. We in the diplomatic service will rally more closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, and we will fulfill our duty to the Party, help resolve our country's concerns and dedicate ourselves to the well-being of the people. We will focus on eight priorities:
First, we will make every effort to create a favorable external environment for the CPC's 20th National Congress. The 20th CPC National Congress is the biggest priority and the most important political event for the Party and the country in the coming year. We will firmly guard against and address all sorts of external risks and challenges and actively tell the stories of the CPC and the Chinese people, so as to foster a secure and stable external environment for the success of the 20th CPC National Congress. This will be the main focus of our diplomatic work throughout 2022.
Second, we will make solid efforts for the success of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. Beijing is heading into the Olympic cycle. We will uphold the Olympic spirit, foster a positive, amicable and harmonious international atmosphere for the Games, and present a streamlined, safe and splendid Olympic Games to the world.
Third, we will actively shape the course of reform of the global governance system. In the next year, Asian countries will host a series of multilateral events. China will take over as the chair of BRICS and host the BRICS summit. The APEC economic leaders' meeting and the summits of G20 and SCO will also be held in Asian countries. "Asia's time" will come in global governance. We will take an active part, suggest ideas for the way forward, continue to hold high the banner of true multilateralism, and contribute more Chinese wisdom and Asian energy to the reform and improvement of the global governance system.
Fourth, we will take proactive steps to tackle the many challenges in the post-COVID era. We will fully implement the Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative, actively carry out cooperation on COVID drug research and development, uphold international solidarity, and foster international synergy to enhance preparedness against future pandemics. We will also strengthen communication and coordination with other countries and the United Nations, enhance support for realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and promote comprehensive implementation of the Global Development Initiative.
Fifth, we will deepen and expand global partnerships. Next year, China will celebrate important anniversaries of its diplomatic relations with a number of countries. We will take them as the opportunity to consolidate traditional friendship and expand cooperation bilaterally, strive to maintain overall steady and balanced growth of China's relations with other major countries, continue to advance interconnected development with neighboring countries, and offer full support for all developing countries in sharing the benefits of development.
Sixth, we will continue to resolutely safeguard China's core interests. We will faithfully fulfill our duties and responsibilities, and fully live up to the expectations of the Party and the people. We will resolutely and forcefully fight off any attempt to undermine China's sovereignty, security and development interests. And we will firmly and effectively fight back against any move to undermine the Chinese people's legitimate rights and interests.
Seventh, we will actively serve China's opening-up and development. We will promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and safeguard the stable and smooth functioning of global industrial and supply chains. We will take an active part in global climate governance, and lend a stronger impetus to China's domestic endeavor promoting green and low-carbon transition and development. We will implement well the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and work to advance China's accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership. We will facilitate free trade arrangements with the Gulf Cooperation Council as soon as possible, speed up China-Japan-ROK free trade negotiations, and explore ways to promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation with Europe, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. In so doing, we will contribute to the national effort of boosting domestic and international economic circulations and fostering a new development paradigm.
Eighth, we will serve the people wholeheartedly through diplomatic work. We will deepen the reform of consular services, improve the working mechanisms and systems for consular protection, step up legislation concerning consular protection, and accelerate the development of smart consular services and digital consular services. We will speed up efforts to build a system for the protection of Chinese nationals and interests overseas, and take concrete actions to protect the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals and institutions overseas.
The year 2022 is the Year of the Tiger in the Chinese lunar calendar. We in China's diplomatic service will maintain a global vision, forge ahead in confident strides and take concrete actions. We will work in solidarity and collaboration with the international community to bring dynamism to world peace and development with "the vitality of the tiger", and promote greater progress and "a tiger's leap" in human development. Enditem