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Wang Yi Delivers a Speech at the French Institute of International Relations
2020-08-30

On August 30, 2020 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech entitled "Upholding the Trend of Peace and Development of Our World with Unity, Cooperation, Openness and Inclusiveness" at the French Institute of International Relations.

Wang Yi said, in the past six months, the world was swept up in an unexpected coronavirus epidemic. The disease has held up a mirror to a complex international scene where heartwarming acts of partnership and collaboration such as those between China and Europe are juxtaposed with the undertows of blame games, unilateralism and bullying. Yet, what is even more alarming than the coronavirus is a political virus that is stoking hatred and confrontation. Politicizing and attaching a geographical label to the epidemic, and even stigmatizing a specific country will not solve one's own problems. It will only erode international solidarity and cooperation.

Wang Yi emphasized, China's rejuvenation is to achieve national prosperity, national rejuvenation, and people's happiness, to return Chinese civilization to the forefront of human development and progress, and to open a new era of openness and integration between China and the world. Some people say that China's revival is to change or even conquer the world. This is ignorance of Chinese history and Chinese civilization. There has never been a gene of aggression in the blood of the Chinese nation. The pursuit of peace and harmony is rooted in the spiritual world of the Chinese people, and it is also the cultural origin of China's vigorous advocacy of a community with a shared future for mankind.

Wang Yi said, since the founding of the People's Republic of China more than 70 years ago, especially the 40 years of reform and opening-up, the Chinese people have achieved world-renowned achievements along the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Following this path, China has achieved leapfrog development and seen continued rise of its comprehensive national strength. We the Chinese people have mastered our own fate and enjoyed a better life. China's development has not only benefited its own people, but also the whole world. China has all along been a promoter of world peace, injecting positive energy into the evolving international architecture. China has all along been a defender of the international order, bringing stability to the global governance system. China has all along been a facilitator of globalization, making major contributions to building an open world. China has all along been a contributor to world development, providing sustained driving force for global growth. The development path chosen by the Chinese people meets the aspirations of the 1.4 billion Chinese people and conforms with the trend of peace and development of our times. It is a path that serves the interests of not only China but also the entire world. We have every reason to keep following this path.

Wang Yi said, given the evolving global environment, we have set out the goal of fostering a new, dual-cycle development architecture with the domestic cycle as the mainstay and with domestic and international development reinforcing each other. Such a development structure draws from the strengths of China's mega-sized market and the huge potential of domestic demand. China will further tap into its domestic demand, expand opening-up and share more of its development dividends with the rest of the world. We hope our recovery and development will fuel common recovery and development of the world.

Wang Yi said, China will stay committed to peaceful development. What China pursues is a new model of state-to-state relations featuring dialogue and partnership, not confrontation or alliance. We hope to forge broader partnerships. China will stay committed to open development. We will upgrade our open economy and pursue openness and cooperation in all directions, at all levels and in all forms. China will stay committed to cooperative development. We will work closely with all countries to pursue greater security, better development and meet common challenges together. China will stay committed to win-win development. We believe that global governance should be based on consultation, cooperation and shared benefits. We will make the pie of cooperation bigger and pursue common development with all countries. China is committed to inclusive development. We do not seek to export our system or model of development, nor are we interested in ideological confrontation. We will continue to take concrete actions to protect the diversity of civilizations and promote exchanges and mutual learning between development models.

Faced with changes and a pandemic unseen in a century, humanity needs to once again make a crucial choice, a choice between progress and regression, between solidarity and division, and between openness and seclusion. China and Europe should and must keep in mind our responsibilities for mankind's future and the fundamental interests of our people. We must say no to hatred and confrontation. We must stand firm on the right side of history. Together, China and Europe can bring more stability to this complex and volatile world.

First, we need to resolutely safeguard peace and development and oppose global divisions. China firmly opposes any schemes to create a new Cold War, and will not allow any force to deny the right of the Chinese people and people around the world to pursue development and a better life. The Chinese side hopes to join hands with Europe to send a strong message of our times, a message for solidarity and against division, for progress and against regression, for peace and development and against conflict or confrontation.

Second, we need to firmly uphold multilateralism and oppose unilateral acts of bullying. No matter how the international landscape may evolve, China will always stand firmly for multilateralism, and advocate extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits in global governance. China regards the European Union as a major force for a multi-polar world. We are prepared to work with the EU to uphold the effectiveness and authority of the multilateral system, promote fairness and justice and maintain the international order.

Third, we need to further expand mutually beneficial cooperation and oppose seclusion and decoupling. With China deeply interconnected with the world, decoupling from China means decoupling from development opportunities and from the most dynamic market. As two major economies in the world, China and Europe must stay committed to free trade, safeguard the stability of global industrial and supply chains, and play a key role in promoting development and prosperity in the post-COVID-19 world.

Fourth, we need to join hands to tackle global challenges and oppose the beggar-thy-neighbor approach. China and Europe need to set an example of advancing global governance by jointly strengthening the UN's coordinating role in international affairs. We need to reject the practices of putting one's own country first at the expense of others. We need to jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.

Wang Yi said, this year marks the 45th anniversary of China-EU diplomatic relations. The development of our relations over the past 45 years tells us that there is no fundamental conflict of interests between China and the EU; our cooperation far outweighs competition, and there are far more areas of common understanding than disagreements. Over the 45 years, an important experience we have gained is: China and the EU are entirely able to enhance trust through dialogues on an equal footing, achieve win-win outcomes through mutually beneficial cooperation, properly address differences through constructive communications, and jointly tackle global challenges through stronger coordination.

Wang Yi said, China always values the status and role of the EU and always supports Europe in playing a greater role in international affairs. At this crucial moment of fighting COVID-19 and pursuing post-COVID-19 recovery, China and Europe should strengthen solidarity and cooperation. We should press the "restart button" to resume dialogue and cooperation across the board and act as twin engines of the world economy, to inject strong impetus to international solidarity and cooperation. To that end, I propose that we develop our partnership in the following four areas.

First, we need to build an anti-COVID-19 partnership. China and the EU should strengthen cooperation on the development and production of vaccines, medicines and testing kits and support the WHO and other international institutions in playing their roles. The Chinese side is willing to speed up the construction of a "fast lane" that facilitates personnel exchanges and a "green channel" for the exchange of goods, so as to help the EU's economic recovery.

Second, we need to enhance our investment partnership. China and the EU should follow the principles of flexibility, pragmatism and meeting each other halfway, conclude a comprehensive, balanced and high-standard agreement within this year, conduct a joint feasibility study at an early date to kick-start the FTA process, and conclude the China-EU 2025 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation as early as possible to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results.

Third, we need to foster a green and digital partnership. China and the EU are highly complementary in green development and digital field, and enjoy a broad cooperation prospect. The two sides should deepen cooperation in such areas as environmental technology, circular economy, clean energy, and sustainable finance. We should strengthen cooperation in areas like information and communications technology, artificial intelligence, e-commerce, big data, and cloud computing to create new growth areas of China-EU cooperation.

Fourth, we need to deepen our international partnership. China and the EU should further strengthen dialogue and cooperation on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development, and work together to tackle global challenges. We should also jointly uphold the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian Nuclear Issue, promote political settlement of regional and international hotspot issues, strengthen third-party cooperation with Africa, and contribute more to a safer and more sustainable world.

Wang Yi said, at present, the historic responsibility of maintaining peace and development and promoting world progress falls on the shoulders of the two major forces, China and Europe. We sincerely hope that China-EU relationship, a world-class relationship, will embrace a steady and long-term development and move to a higher level, so as to add more stable factors to the unstable world and create a better future for human society!

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