Remarks at the MFA 2020 New Year Reception
H.E. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of The People’s Republic of China
Beijing, 20 January 2020
Your Excellency former State Councilor Dai Bingguo,
Your Excellencies ambassadors, members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of international organizations and spouses,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to gather with our distinguished guests here to renew friendship and ring in the new year. On behalf of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, let me extend a warm welcome to all the ambassadors, representatives and members of the diplomatic corps who have joined our reception this evening. My sincere thanks also go to our comrades from the various Chinese ministries, provinces and municipalities for your strong support to our country’s foreign relations.
For the Chinese people, 2019 was a year of national celebration and of building on past achievements to forge into the future. We warmly celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. United as one, the 1.4 billion Chinese people closely rallied around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, made unremitting efforts and achieved new progress in the cause of national development and rejuvenation.
For China’s diplomacy, 2019 was a year of pressing ahead despite wind and rain. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, we reaffirmed our abiding aspirations to bring happiness to the Chinese people and contribute to progress for humanity. With strong resolve, we charted the course forward amid uncertainties and tackled challenges head on. Our diplomatic endeavors not only bolstered China’s development and stability but also made important contributions to world peace and prosperity.
During the past year, we deepened friendship and cooperation with countries around the world and strengthened our network of global partnerships. Last year marked the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and Russia. Under the stewardship of the two Presidents, the China-Russia relationship entered a new era of mutual support, deep convergence, continuous innovation and mutual benefit, making important contributions to world peace and prosperity.
The China-US relationship, which just saw its 40th anniversary, has reached a new historical juncture with notably increasing complexities and challenges. While resolutely safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests, China has conducted dialogue and consultations with the US on the basis of equality and mutual respect. The Phase One Trade Agreement thus concluded and signed serves the interests of both countries and peoples and was welcomed by the international community.
China and Europe reached extensive consensus on strengthening global governance, upholding multilateralism and safeguarding free trade, sending a clear message of China and Europe deepening strategic cooperation and jointly addressing global challenges.
China comprehensively improved and strengthened its ties with neighboring countries. China’s traditional friendship with the DPRK was further consolidated. China-India relations kept the momentum of growth. The China-Japan relationship was brought back on track and made new progress. Mutual trust between China and Central Asian countries was further strengthened. China-ASEAN relations were ushered into a new stage of all-round development.
We deepened unity and cooperation with fellow developing countries. The follow-up actions of the FOCAC Beijing Summit were in full swing. China’s relations with Latin American and the Caribbean countries and Arab countries continued to make steady and solid progress. All this has helped to increase trust and cooperation under the South-South framework.
During the past year, we advanced high-quality Belt and Road cooperation to promote development and prosperity for all countries. We hosted a successful second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, at which 283 cooperation deliverables were reached and an initiative to jointly build a global partnership on connectivity was announced. This marked the start of a new journey in Belt and Road cooperation, one of high-quality development. In 2019, another 16 countries and international organizations signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with China, bringing the total number of such documents to over 200.
Steady progress was made in such major projects as the China-Laos Railway, the Jakarta-Bandung High-Speed Railway, the Budapest-Belgrade Railway, the Mombasa-Nairobi Railway, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, and the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor. The second China International Import Expo attracted a record attendance of over 500,000 Chinese and overseas buyers to share in the valuable opportunities created by the expanding Chinese market. At its opening ceremony, President Xi Jinping called for the building of an open economy featuring cooperation, innovation and mutual benefits. He also announced major initiatives for China’s opening-up at a higher level, thus demonstrating China’s commitment to working with the rest of the world for shared prosperity.
During the past year, we stayed committed to multilateralism to uphold and improve the existing international order. From the China-France Seminar on Global Governance to the G20 Osaka Summit, from the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to the BRICS Summit and the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations, President Xi Jinping expounded on the main tenets of multilateralism and its relevance in today’s world. He called for extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in global governance, and expressed firm support for the United Nations in playing a central role in international affairs. China was deeply engaged in the global response to climate change, and had a tripartite meeting with France and the UN on this theme. We took an active part in international cooperation to fight and prevent terrorism and to protect cybersecurity. We fulfilled our international responsibilities and duties in good faith, and contributed more to the global response to global challenges.
During the past year, we played a mediating role in various hotspot issues to effectively promote world peace and stability. On the Korean Peninsula, we stayed committed to safeguarding peace and stability on the Peninsula and to resolving the issue through dialogue and consultation. We called for efforts to properly address the concerns of all parties, in particular, the DPRK’s legitimate concerns over its security and development, and encouraged the DPRK and the US to work out a feasible roadmap for establishing a permanent peace regime and realizing complete denuclearization on the Peninsula.
On the Middle East, we stayed committed to upholding the authority and effectiveness of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and followed a just position in the political settlement of hotspot issues such as Palestine and Syria. We hosted the first Middle East Security Forum, and put forward China’s proposals for promoting greater security in the region.
In South Asia, we conducted shuttle diplomacy on Afghanistan, held the China-Afghanistan-Pakistan and the China-Russia-US consultations, hosted the first China-Russia-US-Pakistan four-party meeting, and supported more intra-Afghan dialogue. We used our good offices between Myanmar and Bangladesh to encourage the two sides to work in the same direction and properly handle challenges through bilateral consultations. All these mediation efforts were made from an impartial and sincere position and for the purpose of building bridges of dialogue and peace for the political settlement of hotspots.
All in all, 2019 saw China’s continued efforts to deepen its friendship and cooperation with other countries and our significant contributions to world peace and development. We have proven time and again with concrete actions that a growing China means a greater force for peace, for justice, and for progress. A China that is firmly committed to the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics and to the pursuit of mutually beneficial cooperation will play an increasing role as an anchor of stability in an uncertain world.