Today the Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a Press Conference on China’s Foreign Policy and Relations, on the sidelines of the Second Session of the 13th National People’s Congress in Beijing.

US, China Cooperation

China and the United States stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation, Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Friday.  

“This is the most important thing we can learn from the past”

Though a lot of changes have taken place in the world and in both countries since they established diplomatic relations four decades ago, this valuable lesson still holds true today and must be adhered to and safeguarded, Wang added.

He said China and the United States should stay the course without any doubts and work together to build a relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability an important understanding reached by the leaders of the two countries.

2nd Belt & Road Forum

Chinese President Xi Jinping will attend the opening ceremony of the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) in late April in Beijing and deliver a keynote speech, Wang said. He will also Chair the Leaders Round-table.

The number of Foreign Heads of State and Government expected to attend will be much more than that of the first Belt and Road Forum, Wang said, noting that it will be a much bigger event with thousands of delegates from over 100 Countries.

There will be more side events, including 12 Sub-Forums focusing on practical cooperation, and adding that a Conference will be organised specifically for the Business Community for the First Time.

“China looks forward to a full exchange of views on our future cooperation plans,” he said.

With the theme of “Belt and Road Cooperation, Shaping a Brighter Shared Future,” the Second Belt and Road Forum aims to bring about high-quality Belt and Road Cooperation.

Korean Peninsula

So long as parties continue dialogue and stay the course, the goal of denuclearise on the Korean Peninsula will become a reality, Wang said.

The Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam between the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the United States is an important step toward a political settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, Wang made remarks.

That both sides could overcome obstacles to meet again for a candid face-to-face discussion represents a positive development that must be applauded. The international community should encourage both sides to have patience and keep moving toward the goal of denuclearise and establishing a peace mechanism on the Peninsula.

China – Europe Interests

China believes Europe will keep its fundamental long-term interests in mind and pursue a China policy that is independent, consistent and forward-leaning. Europe is always high on China’s Diplomatic agenda, and China supports European integration and a united & strong European Union, Wang said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is to visit Europe on his First Overseas Trip this year, which speaks volumes about China’s support for Europe. China-Europe ties are generally positive and the two parties have more fields to agree than disagree, and in a world full of uncertainties, China and Europe are both for multilateralism and against unilateralism and protectionism, and have common views and concerns on these important issues, he added.

Wang noted that bilateral relationship is not insulated from external interference, and China hopes to have more dialogue with Europe to properly handle and manage the situation.

“We hope that Europe will work with China to deepen all areas of our mutually beneficial cooperation, uphold international rules, and contribute to global peace.”

China welcomes Italy and other European Countries to take an active part in the Belt and Road Initiative, Wang added.

Belt & Road Initiative

The Belt and Road Initiative is not a “debt trap” that some countries may fall into but an “Economic Pie” that benefits local population, Wang said.

“It is not a geopolitical tool, but a great opportunity for shared development”

The Initiative has become the world’s largest platform for International Cooperation and  most welcomed global public goods, he said, noting that a total of 123 countries and 29 International Organisations have signed BRI agreements with China.

“They have cast a vote of support and confidence in the Belt and Road Initiative,” he said.

From the start, the BRI has followed the sound principle of consultation and cooperation for shared benefits, and it has created enormous opportunities for all participants, Wang said.

He cited a raft of examples; “Thanks to the BRI, East Africa now has its first expressway, Maldives has built its first inter-island bridge and Belarus is able to produce sedans, Kazakhstan is connected to the sea, Southeast Asia is constructing a high-speed railway and Eurasian continent is benefiting from the longest distance freight train service.”

Huawei

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, while insisting that assertiveness is not a Chinese characteristic, said on Friday that Beijing would stand by Huawei Technologies & Diplomats taking stands overseas.

“deliberate political move to bring them down”

Referring to recent U.S. actions against the telecommunications equipment maker and Meng Wanzhou, its Chief Financial Officer, as a “deliberate political move to bring them down,” Wang said with a raised fist, “We support the company and individual in question in seeking legal redress to protect their own interests and refusing to be victimised like silent lambs.”

Huawei on Wednesday filed suit in Texas to challenge a law locking it out of sales to U.S. public agencies. This followed Meng’s move a few days earlier to legally challenge whether Canadian authorities had violated her rights in detaining and searching her under a U.S. arrest warrant. U.S. prosecutors allege that she committed bank fraud in relation to sales of equipment to Iran.

“China has and will continue to take all necessary measures to resolutely safeguard the legitimate and lawful interests of Chinese businesses and citizens,” said Wang at a news conference in Beijing. “This is a duty bound on the Chinese government.”

Asked about aggressive recent statements by Chinese diplomats in relation to Huawei, Meng and other issues, Wang said: “Assertiveness has never been part of Chinese tradition. But like all countries, China will protect its lawful and legitimate rights and we will not allow any infringement of our sovereignty and dignity.”

Decoupling from Opportunities

Decoupling from China means decoupling from opportunities and the future, Wang said.

Wang made the remarks in response to questions about China-US relationship.

Regarding claims of decoupling the China-US economies by some individuals as “wishful thinking,” Wang said “decoupling from China would mean decoupling from opportunities, from the future and in a sense, even from the world.”

Wang said cooperation and frictions have always existed alongside each other in the China-US relations, but cooperation has always outweighed frictions.

“We still have a positive outlook on China-US relations. The two countries will not, and should not descend into confrontation,” Wang said.

“Returning to the outdated Cold War thinking goes against the present-day trend, has no future and will be unpopular,” he said.

Wang said the interests of the two countries have been inseparable, citing figures on bilateral trade, investment and personnel exchanges last year.

Bilateral trade surpassed 630 billion US dollars last year, cumulative bilateral investment exceeded 240 billion dollars, while more than five million trips were made between the two countries in 2018, according to Wang.

Cooperation remains the mainstream of China-US ties, which the leaders of both countries agree on and is supported by people from all walks of life in the two countries, he said.

Wang noted that the ongoing economic and trade consultations have made substantial progress, to the applause of both sides and the international community.

“It shows as long as the two sides stick to mutual respect and equal consultations, solutions to any difficult problems facing the two countries and acceptable to both sides can be found,” he said.

Afghanistan – No ‘Vacuum’

There is no “vacuum” in Afghanistan that needs to be filled because that land belongs to the people of Afghanistan. China calls on the international community to give firm support for the “Afghan-led, Afghan-owned” reconciliation process and play a constructive role from the sidelines to build a momentum for dialogue, Wang said.

“Pursuing peace requires more courage than stoking conflict,” adding that Afghanistan is at a critical moment as there are both the potential dawn of peace and the buildup of risks and challenges.

“We appeal to all parties in Afghanistan to set store by the greater good of the country and the people, seize the major opportunity for political reconciliation, settle differences through dialogue, beat swords into ploughshares, and join hands to push open the door to peace,” he said.

“As Afghanistan’s neighbour and friend, China will respect its people’s wish and needs, continue to do its best for reconciliation and reconstruction in Afghanistan.”

This year marks the centenary of Afghanistan’s independence. Wang said “we ardently hope that this country, after suffering so much, will have a rebirth, take destiny into its own hands from now on, and enjoy genuine independence and lasting peace.”

Afghanistan should not again become an arena of great power rivalry, nor should it be subject to incessant conflict and mayhem, he said.

UN-Centred International System

China sees multilateralism as a cornerstone of the international system and will resolutely uphold a United Nations-centred International system, Wang said.

China will carry the banner of building a community with a shared future for humanity, continue to stand on the right side of history and on the side of the common interests of a majority of countries, Wang said.

India – Pakistan Escalation

China hopes Pakistan and India will replace confrontation with dialogue, settle disagreement with goodwill and create a better future with cooperation, Wang said.

When responding to a question about the recent tension between Pakistan and India, Wang said that China welcomes the willingness expressed by the two countries in recent days to deescalate the situation and start talks.

“China has stressed from the beginning the need to exercise calm and restraint and prevent escalation,” Wang said.

China – DPRK Diplomatic Relations

China will work with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea to build a relationship for the new era, Wang said.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of China-DPRK diplomatic relations, and it is in both sides’ shared interest to carry on and develop the longstanding friendship.

The Foreign Minister noted that China fully supports the DPRK in exploring a development path that suits itself and making continuous progress in socialist construction, in implementing a new national strategy and focusing more on economic growth and better livelihoods.

China will work with the DPRK to solve the Peninsula issue by political means and to maintain peace and stability in the region, Wang told the press.

China – Russia Deep Political Trust

When China and Russia stand together, the world will be a safer and more peaceful and stable place. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the two countries’ establishment of diplomatic ties. China-Russia relations have travelled extraordinary course, Wang said.

China-Russia relationship is marked by deep political trust, win-win economic cooperation and mutual support in the international arena, Wang said.

“It has become a good example of how major countries should interact with one another, bringing huge benefits to the two peoples and contributing significantly to regional and global peace and stability.”

Wang said in 2019, China and Russia will take the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to elevate the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination to a new level.

At the Invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), he said, adding President Xi also intends to pay a state visit to Russia at President Putin’s invitation this year.

Guided by the two Presidents, China-Russia relations will stride into a new era, China and Russia will further strengthen strategic coordination and firmly uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and global strategic security,” he said.

Global Relations

He said China will surely become stronger, but will not become assertive, Wang said.

He stressed that assertiveness has never been part of the Chinese tradition and hegemony will never be its choice, even the country grows stronger.

“Yet like all other countries, China will protect its legitimate rights and interests, and will not allow any infringement of its sovereignty and dignity.”

China-Japan relations have got back on track and show a positive momentum toward improved and stronger ties, which fully meets the common interests of the two peoples.

Foreign Minister also said China-Africa cooperation has grown into a towering tree that no force can topple.And the rights of Latin American Countries to develop normal relations with China must be respected.