State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi meets the press

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Ministry of Foreign Affairs, March 8, 2022
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NBC: It has become a bipartisan consensus in the United States to intensify competition with China across the board. Aren't you worried that the bilateral relations could only worsen in the months and years ahead?

Wang Yi: Since the start of last year, President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden have had a virtual meeting and two phone conversations. Meanwhile, the two sides have had dialogue and interactions at other levels. US leaders and senior officials have stated that the US has no intention to seek a new Cold War or change China's system, that the revitalization of US alliances is not anti-China, that the US does not support "Taiwan independence", and that it is not looking for conflict or confrontation with China. Regrettably, however, these statements are just verbal assurances and have yet to be put into practice. The reality we have seen is this: the US is going to great lengths to engage in intense, zero-sum competition with China, it keeps provoking China on issues concerning our core interests, and it is taking a string of actions to piece together small blocs to suppress China. These actions undermine the overall China-US relations and disrupt and erode international peace and stability. This is not how a responsible power should act or how a credible country does things. China is an independent sovereign country. We have every right to do what is necessary to firmly defend our legitimate interests.

In China's view, major-country competition should not be the order of the day and zero-sum game is not the right choice. In a globalized and interdependent world, how China and the US find the right way forward and manage to get along is both a new question for humanity and a formulation that must be worked out by China and the US together.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Shanghai Communiqué. Looking back, China and the US, in a spirit of seeking common ground while reserving differences, were able to replace confrontation with cooperation, advance the interests of our two peoples and make the world a more peaceful and prosperous place. Looking ahead, the two sides need to re-embrace the conviction that helped us break the ice 50 years ago and set out on a new journey. We must replace the "competitive-collaborative-adversarial" trichotomy with the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, return the China policy of the US to the right track guided by reason and pragmatism, and to put China-US relations back on the right path of healthy and stable development.

Agencia EFE: Does China believe that its ever closer relations with Russia and the conflict in Ukraine may affect its relations with Europe and the European Union (EU)?

Wang Yi: China and Europe are two major forces for world peace, two big markets for common development and two great civilizations for human progress. The China-Europe relationship is not targeted at any third party, nor is it subjugated to or controlled by any third party. Dialogue and cooperation between the two sides on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit will add more stabilizing factors to an unstable world.

China and Europe had fruitful cooperation in 2021. Let me give you two examples. China-EU trade exceeded US$800 billion last year for the first time, underscoring the high complementarity of the economic and trade ties. The China-Europe Railway Express ran more than 15,000 cargo trips, up by 29 percent year on year, and played an active role in promoting international cooperation against COVID-19, ensuring the stability of industrial and supply chains, and facilitating global economic recovery.

That said, some forces are unhappy to see the steady growth of China-Europe relations. They fabricate the narrative of "China threat", play up competition with China, clamor for seeing China as a "systemic rival", and even impose sanctions and provoke confrontation with China. Both China and Europe must be on high alert against these developments. China-Europe cooperation, going through decades of ups and downs, is deeply rooted in solid public support, extensive common interests and similar strategic needs. Such cooperation enjoys great resilience and potential. It cannot be reversed by any force.

China views its relations with Europe from a strategic, long-term perspective. China's policy toward Europe is firm and consistent. It will not be affected by any turn of events. We will continue to support the independence of Europe and a united and prosperous EU. In the meantime, we hope that Europe will develop a more independent and objective perception of China, adopt a more pragmatic and rational China policy, and work with China to oppose a new Cold War and uphold and act on true multilateralism.

Going forward, the two side need to work together for the success of the China-EU Summit and other important events on the political agenda. We will seek greater strategic synergy, expand practical cooperation, advance multilateral coordination, deepen people-to-people exchange, and properly manage differences, so as to jointly deliver more concrete benefits to the world.

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