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Wang Yi Speaks with British First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on the Phone
2021-05-28

On May 27, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a phone conversation with British First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab at the latter's request.

Wang Yi said, President Xi Jinping had phone conversation with Prime Minister Boris Johnson twice last year, charting a course for the development of the two countries' relations. China-UK relations have a deep foundation and strong driving force. China has always attached importance to the international status and role of Britain and is willing to be a partner of a "Global Britain". In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic disruptions, the trade between China and the UK still bucked the trend to grow upward last year. What's more, China became the UK's biggest single import market in the first quarter of this year, fully demonstrating the resilience and potential of China-UK relations. As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and the UK should fulfill the international responsibilities, step up communication and coordination, work together to tackle global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, maintain world peace and stability, and promote global economic recovery and sustainable development.

Noting that it is an objective reality that there are differences between China and the UK due to their different historical and cultural backgrounds, different stages of development and different perspectives on issues, Wang Yi pointed out, what is important is that the two sides should conduct equal dialogue in the spirit of mutual respect, so as to enhance understanding, dispel doubts, clarify facts and distinguish right from wrong. Microphone diplomacy is not advisable, and "group politics" in particular does not meet the requirements of the times.

Wang Yi also elaborated on China's principled position on issues related to Hong Kong and Xinjiang, stressing that the "one country, two systems" policy is China's basic state policy, which China will unswervingly and consistently adhere to. Everything done by China in Hong Kong is to ensure the stability and long-term outcomes of the "one country, two systems" policy. The efforts to improve the electoral system of Hong Kong SAR is gaining wide support from all walks of the Hong Kong society. Xinjiang-related issues are in essence about combating violent terrorism, separatism and radicalization. While the Chinese side welcomes foreign visitors to Xinjiang to learn about the real situation, it does not accept the so-called "investigation" based on the presumption of guilt.

Wang Yi indicated, China is ready to continue exchanges with the UK on sensitive issues with an open attitude, yet the British side should respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity, the development path independently chosen by the Chinese people and China's right to handle its internal affairs without interference.

Raab said that UK-China relations have a deep and solid foundation. Although there are differences between the two sides, the British side is willing to strengthen exchanges and rational communication with China in the spirit of mutual respect and seeking common ground while shelving differences, so as to continuously enhance mutual understanding and let cooperation rather than differences define bilateral relations. The UK lauded the great achievement scored by China in the pandemic battle and is willing to further deepen coordination and cooperation with China across a variety of fields, including public health, the Belt and Road Initiative, economy and trade, and climate change.

The two sides also exchanged views on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the Korean Peninsula issue and the situation in Myanmar.

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