–State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s Exclusive Year-end Interview with People’s Daily
Q1. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of New China. What is your view of the international situation and China’s diplomacy in 2019?
Wang Yi: The year 2019 is significant in the course of China’s development. The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core led the whole Party and people across the country to solemnly celebrate the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China. A more united, stable and prosperous China is proudly embarking on a new journey toward brighter development prospects. Standing in stark contrast to the effective governance of China is the disorder in many parts of the world. In 2019, quite a number of countries have seen political and social turmoil. Instability and uncertainty are on the rise in the international situation. A tug of war between unilateralism and multilateralism is unfolding across the world, and it will determine the future and destiny of humanity.
In 2019, China, weathering rain and storm, has forged ahead on the diplomatic front. Under the wise leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the CPC Central Committee, we have pressed ahead, overcome challenges and achieved new, important advances.
In the face of external interference and provocation, we have stood firm, resisted them head on and never backed down. We have effectively defended our country’s sovereignty, security and development rights and interests, and resolutely upheld the dignity of the country, nation and people.
In the face of volatility in the international situation, we have stayed committed to multilateralism and championed equity and justice. We have steadily developed relations with other major countries, and vigorously advanced mutually beneficial cooperation with neighboring and developing countries. We have spearheaded global governance and actively mediated various regional issues.
In the face of the sluggish world economy, we have continued to adhere to the principle of mutually beneficial cooperation, and successfully held the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. At the second China International Import Expo, which attracted more participants than the first one, we announced new, major measures of opening-up. In this way, we have made new contributions to building an open world economy.
On the complex international stage, China has become a true pillar of world peace and stability and a key engine for global development and prosperity.
Q2. This year has seen close exchanges between Chinese and Russian leaders. What is your comment on the current China-Russia relations?
Wang Yi: This year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Russia. The relationship has broken new ground in a number of areas:
First, there has been a new characterization of our bilateral relations. President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin, with their vision and political resolve, have upgraded the China-Russia relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era. This elevation has brought political trust between the two sides to an unprecedented level.
Second, practical cooperation has made new breakthroughs. Smooth progress has been made in creating synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union. Steady advances have been made in major bilateral projects in energy, aviation, space and connectivity. The east-route natural gas pipeline has gone into operation. Bilateral trade has exceeded the mark of US$100 billion.
Third, friendly exchanges have made new progress. The China-Russia year of sub-national cooperation and exchanges has been brought to a successful conclusion. The number of friendship states/provinces and cities has reached 146 pairs. The Chinese language has been included in Russia’s unified state exam. Friendship between our peoples has been further strengthened.
Fourth, strategic coordination has reached a new level. China and Russia have shown firm mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests, and worked together to resist attempts by external forces to keep us down. The two sides signed a joint statement on strengthening global strategic stability. We have enhanced back-to-back coordination in international affairs, and stood shoulder to shoulder in opposing power politics and bullying practices.
In the world today, the China-Russia relationship is the closest, strongest, most mature and most stable one between two major countries. It sets a high standard and a prime example for harmonious co-existence and win-win cooperation between countries. The China-Russia relationship has not reached its full potential; we can do still better. There is no limit to our cooperation; we must always strive to expand it. I am confident that under the guidance of our Presidents, China-Russia relations will continue to make history and scale new heights. They will bring more benefits to our two countries and peoples and play a vital role in international peace and stability.