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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China Radio International: Some say that the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) seems to have lost some momentum due to COVID-19 and other factors. What is your view?

Wang Yi: Despite the impact of the pandemic and other factors, Belt and Road cooperation has maintained a sound momentum. Over the past year:

The physical connectivity of infrastructure made solid progress. Major projects such as the China-Laos railway and the new Haifa port in Israel were completed. The construction and operation of projects in relation to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Piraeus port, the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed rail and the Budapest-Belgrade railway advanced steadily. The China-Europe Railway Express reached new records in the number of freight services and the amount of cargo transportation, providing a strong boost to economic recovery in relevant countries.

The institutional connectivity of rules and standards yielded fruitful results. Since the start of last year, 10 more countries have signed Belt and Road cooperation documents with China, extending the BRI family to 180 members. A successful Asia and Pacific High-level Conference on Belt and Road Cooperation was held, and the initiatives for Belt and Road partnership on vaccine cooperation and green development have both received wide support.

The people-to-people connectivity featuring mutual help and assistance continued to deepen. We have given strong support to other countries in their fight against COVID-19, and are working on joint vaccine production with 20 developing country partners, most of which are BRI partner countries. A large number of "small yet smart" assistance programs have been steadily carried out to help people in partner countries improve income and livelihood.

What I have shared with you can aptly show that Belt and Road cooperation is moving forward with more partners, stronger foundation and brighter prospects. It is sure to bring new development opportunities to the post-COVID world.

Going forward, we will do as President Xi Jinping said at last year's third symposium on the BRI and work with the international community to continue advancing high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. We will aim for higher-level cooperation, better cost-effectiveness, higher-quality supply and stronger development resilience, to make the BRI a "belt of development" to the benefit of the world and a "road to happiness" for people of all countries.

Lianhe Zaobao: What is China's take on the US concepts of the Indo-Pacific region and the Quad and their implication for the region?

Wang Yi: The US Indo-Pacific strategy is becoming a by-word for "bloc politics". The US professes a desire to advance regional cooperation, but in reality it is stoking geopolitical rivalry. It talks a lot about returning to multilateralism, but in reality it is forming exclusive clubs. It claims to uphold international rules, but in reality it is setting and imposing rules that suit itself and its acolytes. From strengthening the Five Eyes to peddling the Quad, from piecing together AUKUS to tightening bilateral military alliances, the US is staging a "five-four-three-two" formation in the Asia-Pacific. This is by no means some kind of blessing for the region, but a sinister move to disrupt regional peace and stability.

The real goal of the US Indo-Pacific strategy is to establish an Indo-Pacific version of NATO. It seeks to maintain the US-led system of hegemony, undermine the ASEAN-centered regional cooperation architecture, and compromise the overall and long-term interests of countries in the region. The perverse actions run counter to the common aspiration of the region for peace, development, cooperation and win-win outcomes. They are doomed to fail.

The Asia-Pacific is a promising land for cooperation and development, not a chessboard for geopolitical contest. With its root struck deep in the Asia-Pacific, China is committed to the region's stability and prosperity. We welcome all initiatives that meet regional realities and the needs of relevant parties, and resolutely oppose all acts that lead to confrontation and rival camps in the region. China wants all parties to join us in doing the right thing and staying on the right course. Together, we will reject attempts to create small, divisive circles in the Indo-Pacific and, instead, foster a broad, inclusive platform for Asia-Pacific cooperation leading to an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future.

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