Wang Yi: Friends from the media, good afternoon. This year, we are again having a special press conference via video link. While COVID-19 has been effectively contained in China, many countries are still battling the coronavirus. 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. On this note, I’m ready to take your questions.
China Central Television: How would you describe China’s diplomacy over the past year? What diplomatic priorities and highlights could we expect to see this year?
Wang Yi: The year 2020 has been a most extraordinary journey for China and the whole world. Under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of China (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. Through a creative means of “cloud diplomacy”, President Xi Jinping explored cooperation opportunities with other world leaders, demonstrating the global vision of the leader of a major country and giving both direction and momentum to the international fight against COVID-19.
Over the last year, the most resolute is our determination to defend national interests. 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 of the Chinese people shall be upheld.
Over the last year, the most demanding is the fight against COVID-19 on the diplomatic front. We did our utmost to facilitate the domestic COVID response and stood with the rest of the world in a joint fight, carrying out the largest emergency humanitarian operations since the founding of New China and making China’s contribution to the global response.
Over the last year, the most concerning is the safety of Chinese nationals abroad. In the face of COVID-19, we provided timely assistance to Chinese nationals overseas and did whatever we could to protect and help them. We have thus lived up to our responsibility and put into practice the principle of serving the people through diplomacy.
Over the last year, one biggest priority is advancing global governance in the right direction. China was unequivocal about countering the surge in unilateralism, and upheld multilateralism and norms governing international relations with concrete actions. In response to mounting protectionism, we committed ourselves to greater openness and harnessed the strengths of China’s enormous market to provide more development opportunities to the world.
For China, 2021 will be a year of epoch-making significance. We will celebrate the centenary of the CPC, and start a new journey in China’s diplomacy.
We will keep in mind what the Party and the nation expect of us. We will develop friendly relations with all countries, enhance mutual understanding between China and the world, and continue to foster a favorable external environment for the great renewal of the Chinese nation.
We will focus on the country’s top priorities. We will preserve and extend the period of important strategic opportunity for China’s development, work all-out for a good start of the 14th Five-Year Plan, facilitate the domestic and international circulations, and contribute to the new development paradigm.
We will set our eyes on the post-COVID era. We will promote international cooperation against COVID-19 and work for a global community of health for all. We will advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, facilitate an early recovery of the world economy, and strengthen the global response to climate change and other global challenges.
We will follow the trend of history. We will promote a new type of international relations, advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom as the common values of humanity, and work with other countries for a community with a shared future for mankind.
This year is the Year of the Ox in the Chinese zodiac, and ox symbolizes perseverance and strength. In the year ahead, with head-of-state diplomacy setting the direction, China’s diplomacy will create a more splendid chapter. 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.
TASS: China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners of coordination. What’s the impact of the pandemic on Russia-China relations?
Wang Yi: 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 for us. 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.
We will set an example of strategic mutual trust, by firmly supporting each other in upholding core and major interests, jointly opposing “color revolution” and countering disinformation, and safeguarding national sovereignty and political security.
We will set an example of mutually beneficial cooperation, by further synergizing the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, upgrading trade and economic investment and cooperation, and expanding collaboration in innovation, digital economy and other emerging sectors.
We will set an example of people-to-people connectivity, by preserving the longstanding friendship, promoting cultural exchanges and carrying forward the friendly ties from generation to generation.
We will also set an example of equity and justice, by jointly upholding multilateralism, the authority of the UN, international law and basic norms governing international relations, and global strategic stability.
People’s Daily: You underscored the CPC leadership as the soul of China’s diplomacy. As we mark the 100th anniversary of the CPC, how should we understand the significance of the CPC leadership of China’s diplomacy?
Wang Yi: China’s diplomacy is conducted under the CPC leadership for the benefit of our people. The CPC is the backbone of the Chinese people and the anchor of China’s diplomacy.
The pursuit of happiness for the people and of great 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 major decisions and achievements in China’s diplomacy are all attributable to the coordination and leadership of the CPC Central Committee. In particular, since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, General Secretary Xi Jinping, with his global vision, strategic commitment and a great sense of responsibility, has broken new ground in diplomatic theory and practice, and drawn the blueprint for China’s diplomacy. Under his stewardship, China has all along moved on the right course of the historical trend.
The 100th anniversary is just a prelude to the CPC’s long-lasting cause, and the best is still ahead of us. It has been proven that 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.
Middle East News Agency: The next session of FOCAC will be held in Senegal this year. How will China help African countries respond to COVID-19? And what is China going to do in order to further upgrade China-Africa cooperation?