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Wang Yi Attends the 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting
2019-12-16

On December 16, 2019 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the 14th ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Madrid, and made lead remarks at the First Plenary Session, expounding on the Chinese side's position and proposition on multilateralism.

Wang Yi said, the theme of today's meeting, "Together for Effective Multilateralism", embodies our shared aspiration for greater unity and coordination. The 53 ASEM members gathered here today will join hands in sending a strong message and rallying powerful energy in support of multilateralism.

Wang Yi pointed out, in pursuing multilateralism, we need to aim for promoting peace and development. Multilateralism is the "golden key" to addressing global challenges. No matter what approach it takes, all acts of multilateralism have as their ultimate objective the promotion of world peace and development. Asian and European countries should lead by example in defending multilateralism. We should firmly stand for the international system built around the United Nations and the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime. We support necessary reforms to the WTO and efforts by parties to resume the functioning of its appellate body. We need to encourage innovation cooperation to foster new drivers of growth, and reject technological monopoly, digital hegemony, and the attempt to create technological divide or decoupling of development. Countries are duty-bound to provide a fair, equitable and non-discriminatory environment for foreign businesses to invest, operate and pursue cooperation. In 2020, China will host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. We hope the conference will produce ambitious outcomes and make important contributions to the international response to climate change.

Wang Yi expressed, in pursuing multilateralism, we need to adhere to international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations. The international order shall not be trampled upon, nor shall international agreements be willfully discarded. We should uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and honor the commitment of upholding the international rule of law. We are opposed to acts of putting one's own interests above those of others, and arbitrary distortion of international law. Long-arm jurisdiction and unilateral sanctions should be rejected.

Wang Yi said, in pursuing multilateralism, we need to live up to the overarching principles of fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. We need to hold equality and mutual respect, abandon the outdated cold-war mentality, and respect other countries' choice of development paths that suit their national conditions. We should enhance the synergy between initiatives such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Eurasian Economic Union, the EU Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia, and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. Next year, China will host the second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference. We hope that it will contribute to the connectivity and common development in Asia, Europe and beyond.

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