Q3. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. How do you see the challenges for the relationship?
Wang Yi: The 40th anniversary of China-US diplomatic relations should have made this year an important opportunity for joint commemoration and new progress. Regrettably however, the US has taken a string of actions to obstruct and repress China in trade, science and technology, and has been meddling in a series of issues concerning China’s territorial integrity and sovereignty and smearing China. The US actions not only undermined the mutual trust that the two sides built over four decades, but also swayed stability and development of the whole world. I would like to stress again that China will resolutely safeguard its core interests and legitimate rights to development. No one and no force can stop the historic march of the 1.4 billion Chinese people toward modernization. This said, regarding the problems and disagreements in bilateral interactions, China is always ready to have consultations with the US on the basis of mutual respect. The fact that China and the US recently reached agreement on a phase one trade deal shows that, when both sides demonstrate good faith, work in concert and communicate as equals, we can always find a solution to whatever issue that may come our way.
The China-US relationship has been through rain and shine and moved ahead amidst ups and downs in the past four decades. The most important thing that this period has taught us is that both countries stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. As President Xi Jinping has stressed repeatedly, cooperation is the only correct choice for the two countries. It is our hope that the US side will return to a fact-based and correct perception of China and a sensible and pragmatic policy toward China. We urge the US to work with us to put the relationship back on the track of sound development and realize the goal of no conflict or confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. Considering both the long-term interests of the Chinese and American peoples and the international responsibilities we shoulder as major countries, both sides need to and must find a way of peaceful co-existence between the world’s largest developing and developed countries. Together, we must embark on a path of mutual benefit and win-win results that serves China, the US and the whole world.
Q4. What is your assessment of China’s relationship with Europe? And your expectations for next year?
Wang Yi: The year 2019 has been a year of harvest for China-Europe relations. President Xi Jinping’s successful overseas visits in 2019 started with Europe, and concluded with Europe as well. The leaders of Germany, France and Italy all made visits to China. The China-EU Summit and the China-CEEC Summit were both very successful. These intensive high-level interactions speak volumes about how both China and Europe value their relationship, and lend strong impetus to the deepening of cooperation between the two sides. China and the EU concluded negotiations for an agreement on geographical indications as scheduled. We are speeding up negotiations for a China-EU investment agreement. We are making progress in the Belt and Road cooperation. The membership of China-CEEC cooperation was enlarged for the first time. China and European countries reached consensus on strengthening global governance and many other major issues. Following the official inauguration of the new EU leadership earlier this month, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang have had phone calls respectively with President Charles Michel and President Ursula von der Leyen. These interactions between Chinese and EU leaders have built consensus and set the course for the further development of China-EU relations.
As the world’s two major civilizations and major forces, China and Europe stand together for a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations. We stand together for multilateralism and the basic norms of international relations. And we stand together for free trade and an open world economy. Our cooperation far outweighs our competition, and we agree much more than we disagree. We are partners, not rivals. We are friends, not enemies. Next year will mark the 45th anniversary of China-EU diplomatic relations. China is prepared to strengthen high-level exchanges with Europe to jointly take China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership to a new level. Working together, China and Europe can provide more stability to an otherwise uncertain world.