Remarks by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at 2017 New Year Reception Hosted by the Chinese Foreign Ministry
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, 24 January 2017
State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Madam Le Aimei,
Your Excellencies Ambassadors, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Representatives of International Organizations and Their Spouses,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Spring Festival is just a few days away. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I would like to extend a warm welcome to all of you, and express my heartfelt thanks to all ambassadors, diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations for what you have done in the past year to strengthen friendship and cooperation between China and the world. I would also like to pay high tribute to all the localities and other government departments for your strong support to China’s diplomacy.
The year 2016 was a momentous year in the process of China’s great national renewal. The Sixth Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee established Comrade Xi Jinping as the core of the CPC Central Committee and the whole Party. The decision was supported by all the Chinese people and received extensive and positive response abroad. The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core led Chinese people of all ethnic groups in a concerted endeavor to pursue economic, political, cultural, social and ecological progress and the four-pronged comprehensive strategy in a well-coordinated way. Supply-side structural reform made further headway and China continued to lead the world in economic growth. We are off to a good start in the decisive phase of completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.
The year 2016 was also a year of tackling serious challenges and blazing new paths for China’s diplomacy. In face of various risks and challenges, we continued to advance on the path of peaceful development with more determined and steady strides. Amid complex changes on the international landscape and fast evolution of global architecture, we firmly safeguarded our national sovereignty, security and development interests and significantly raised China’s standing and influence in the world.
We took an active part in the reform of global governance system. The G20 Hangzhou Summit produced a series of visionary outcomes which will exert a far-reaching impact on promoting innovative growth, deepening structural reform, reenergizing international trade and investment, and promoting sustainable development. The Summit gave a strong impetus to global recovery and charted the way forward. At the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Lima, President Xi Jinping stressed the importance of building an open world economy and rejecting protectionism and pushed for new progress in realizing the FTAAP. Just a few days ago at Davos and Geneva, President Xi again called for rebalancing the process of economic globalization and jointly building a community of shared future for mankind. His remarks reflected the call of our times, sent a reassuring message to the world and boosted confidence and consensus in taking globalization forward. China was among the first group of countries to deposit its instrument of ratification of the Paris Agreement on climate change and release the national plan for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. We worked hard for political settlement to the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and hotspot issues in Afghanistan, Syria and South Sudan. We took an increasingly active part in international counter-terrorism cooperation and played a constructive role in meeting global challenges and maintaining world peace and security.
We made steady progress in our relations with major countries. Heads of state of China and the US held a number of successful meetings and jointly pushed forward the building of a new model of major country relationship. Chinese and Russian presidents maintained close exchanges and China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination was taken to a new high. We successfully hosted the 18th China-EU Summit. China and the UK expressed renewed commitment to opening a “Golden Era” of bilateral relations. Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries entered a new phase. China and other BRICS countries worked hand in hand and sustained the sound momentum of BRICS cooperation.
We worked hard to promote friendly relations with our neighbors. President Xi warmly received President Duterte of the Philippines on his visit to China. The turnaround in China-Philippines relations added impetus to cooperation between China and ASEAN countries. Our relations with countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka went through a smooth transition and assumed new momentum of growth. Our friendship and cooperation with Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries continued to deepen with increased mutual trust. The Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Framework was fully established and produced concrete results. It marked a major step forward in our efforts to build a community of shared future in our neighborhood.
We further expanded our circle of friends with other developing countries. Over the past year, we established new partnerships and upgraded existing ones with nearly 20 countries, the majority of which are developing countries. President Xi paid his first visit to the Middle East, where he laid out plans for cooperation with the region and Arab States. He visited Latin America again and called for the building of a China-Latin America community of shared future. The Coordinators’ Meeting on the Implementation of the Follow-up Actions of the FOCAC Johannesburg Summit was successfully held in Beijing. The ten cooperation plans have brought significant benefits to China and Africa. Our cooperation with developing countries is booming with so much more to achieve.
We made new breakthroughs in building the Belt and Road. With the active support and participation of over 100 countries and international organizations, countries along the Belt and Road are synergizing their strategies and enhancing cooperation on connectivity, production capacity and people-to-people exchange. Construction kicked off on several landmark projects. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank is up and running. The Silk Road Fund launched its first batch of investment projects. The Foreign Ministry held promotion events for Chinese provinces, providing a bridge that links them directly with the rest of the world.
We firmly safeguarded sovereignty and national security. By bringing the South China Sea issue back to the right track of seeking resolution through dialogue and consultation between countries directly concerned, we defended China’s legitimate and lawful rights and interests and upheld the justice and authority of relevant international law and regional rules. We steadfastly upheld the one-China principle, conducted effective diplomacy on issues concerning Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, fended off foreign interference in the affairs of Hong Kong and Macao, and successfully safeguarded our national interests and dignity.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year, the Communist Party of China will hold its 19th National Congress. And the implementation of the 13th Five-year Plan will enter an all-round and intensive stage. Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, we will strive for new progress in conducting major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, create a stable and favorable external environment for a successful CPC National Congress and contribute to the realization of the Chinese dream of great national renewal and to the cause of world peace and development.
We will make utmost efforts to host a successful Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation to pool wisdom and strength from all parties for wider, deeper and better cooperation in building the Belt and Road.
We will play a good host to the ninth BRICS Summit and use the opportunity to build up the important platform of South-South cooperation, and break new ground for world economy and global governance with a new vision of win-win cooperation and interconnected development.
We will continue to deepen friendship and cooperation with countries across the world. We are ready to work with the new US administration on the basis of respect for each other’s core interests to stay focused on cooperation, manage differences and promote sound and sustained growth of China-US relations. We are ready to enhance high-level strategic coordination with Russia on all fronts and further exert the stabilizing role of China-Russia relations in the strategic arena. We will continue to foster the four partnerships with the EU and give strategic support to European integration. We are ready to strengthen good relations and friendship with our neighbors, deepen and enrich Lancang-Mekong cooperation, keep to the right track of seeking settlement to the South China Sea issue through dialogue and negotiation, and actively explore a viable path towards denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. We will uphold justice in the pursuit of interests and enhance solidarity and cooperation with other emerging markets and developing countries.
We will conduct diplomacy in better service of China’s development. The diplomatic agenda will be closely aligned with the overall goal of China’s reform, development and stability and serve to safeguard China’s economic and financial security and its growing overseas interests. We will continue to present Chinese provinces, regions and cities at the Foreign Ministry and bring all parts of China, especially the central and western regions, closer to the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Time flies, yet we shall all stay true to our mission. Building a world enjoying peace and development and boosting China’s exchange and cooperation with the world are the aspirations and tasks that we all share. As ambassadors, diplomatic envoys, and representatives of international organizations, you have worked tirelessly for the friendship between China and the rest of the world. Once again, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks to you all. Since its establishment, the MFA Office of Foreign Missions has been exploring effective ways to better communicate with and serve foreign missions in China. In the coming year, the Foreign Ministry will further improve its services to facilitate the work of foreign missions. This, I believe, will bring the Foreign Ministry closer to diplomatic envoys and representatives of international organizations, make our coordination with relevant provinces and departments more efficient, and open up new prospects for China’s cooperation with the world.
Now, please join me in a toast:
To the friendship between people of China and people of all other countries,
To lasting peace and shared prosperity of the world, and
To the health of all distinguished guests present.