Remarks by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at 2017 New Year Reception Hosted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, 24 January 2017
State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Madam Le Aimei,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Representatives of International Organizations and Their Spouses,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Spring Festival is just a few days away. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you, and express my heartfelt thanks to all ambassadors, diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations for what you have done in the past year to strengthen friendship and cooperation between China and the world. I would also like to pay high tribute to all the localities and other government departments for your strong support to China’s diplomacy.
The year 2016 was a momentous year in the process of China’s great national renewal. The Sixth Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee established Comrade Xi Jinping as the core of the CPC Central Committee and the whole Party. The decision was supported by all the Chinese people and received extensive and positive response abroad. The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core led Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted endeavor to pursue economic, political, cultural, social and ecological progress and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy in a well-coordinated way. Supply-side structural reform made further headway and China continued to lead the world in economic growth. We are off to a good start in the decisive phase of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
The year 2016 was also a year of tackling serious challenges and blazing new paths for China’s diplomacy. In face of various risks and challenges, we continued to advance on the path of peaceful development with more determined and steady strides. Amid complex changes on the international landscape and fast evolution of global architecture, we firmly safeguarded our national sovereignty, security and development interests and significantly raised China’s standing and influence in the world.
We took an active part in the reform of global governance system. The G20 Hangzhou Summit produced a series of visionary outcomes which will exert a far-reaching impact on promoting innovative growth, deepening structural reform, reenergizing international trade and investment, and promoting sustainable development. The Summit gave a strong impetus to global recovery and charted the way forward. At the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Lima, President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of building an open world economy and rejecting protectionism and pushed for new progress in realizing the FTAAP. Just a few days ago at Davos and Geneva, President Xi again called for rebalancing the process of economic globalization and jointly building a community of shared future for mankind. His remarks reflected the call of our times, sent a reassuring message to the world and boosted confidence and consensus in taking globalization forward. China was among the first group of countries to deposit its instrument of ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change and release the national plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We worked hard for political settlement to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and hotspot issues in Afghanistan, Syria and South Sudan. We took an increasingly active part in international counter-terrorism cooperation and played a constructive role in meeting global challenges and maintaining world peace and security.
We made steady progress in our relations with major countries. Heads of state of China and the US held a number of successful meetings and jointly pushed forward the building of a new model of major country relationship. Chinese and Russian presidents maintained close exchanges and China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination was taken to a new high. We successfully hosted the 18th China-EU Summit. China and the UK expressed renewed commitment to opening a “Golden Era” of bilateral relations. Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries entered a new phase. China and other BRICS countries worked hand in hand and sustained the sound momentum of BRICS cooperation.
We worked hard to promote friendly relations with our neighbors. President Xi warmly received President Duterte of the Philippines on his visit to China. The turnaround in China-Philippines relations added impetus to cooperation between China and ASEAN countries. Our relations with countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka went through a smooth transition and assumed new momentum of growth. Our friendship and cooperation with Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries continued to deepen with increased mutual trust. The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Framework was fully established and produced concrete results. It marked a major step forward in our efforts to build a community of shared future in our neighborhood.
We further expanded our circle of friends with other developing countries. Over the past year, we established new partnerships and upgraded existing ones with nearly 20 countries, the majority of which are developing countries. President Xi paid his first visit to the Middle East, where he laid out plans for cooperation with the region and Arab States. He visited Latin America again and called for the building of a China-Latin America community of shared future. The Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit was successfully held in Beijing. The ten cooperation plans have brought significant benefits to China and Africa. Our cooperation with developing countries is booming with so much more to achieve.
We made new breakthroughs in building the Belt and Road. With the active support and participation of over 100 countries and international organizations, countries along the Belt and Road are synergizing their strategies and enhancing cooperation on connectivity, production capacity and people-to-people exchange. Construction kicked off on several landmark projects. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is up and running. The Silk Road Fund launched its first batch of investment projects. The Foreign Ministry held promotion events for Chinese provinces, providing a bridge that links them directly with the rest of the world.
We firmly safeguarded sovereignty and national security. By bringing the South China Sea issue back to the right track of seeking resolution through dialogue and consultation between countries directly concerned, we defended China’s legitimate and lawful rights and interests and upheld the justice and authority of relevant international law and regional rules. We steadfastly upheld the one-China principle, conducted effective diplomacy on issues concerning Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, fended off foreign interference in the affairs of Hong Kong and Macao, and successfully safeguarded our national interests and dignity.