Views:1 Author:Site Editor Publish Time: 2020-12-30 Origin:CATTI Translation
Reorient and Steer Clear of Disruptions for a Smooth Sailing of China-U.S. Relations
– Address by H.E. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, at the Special Event Hosted by Asia Society
Beijing, 18 December 2020
Greetings to you all! I am delighted to have this virtual conversation with you, friends both old and new, as the year is coming to a close. The Asia Society has been a long-standing supporter of China-U.S. relations. As this relationship is going through a difficult time, Mr. Kevin Rudd and many friends have offered valuable insights on China-U.S. relations and spoken up as a voice of reason. We always value your input, and we look forward to further exchanges to build deeper understanding.
The outgoing 2020 has witnessed the sudden onslaught of COVID-19, a pandemic that has upended the world in almost all aspects. Countries have come to realize more than ever that global challenges require enhanced international coordination and cooperation, and that major countries in particular should lead by example. However, China-U.S. relations have spiraled down to the lowest level since the establishment of diplomatic ties 41 years ago. This is clearly not in the interests of the Chinese and American peoples, nor is it helpful when global efforts are needed to overcome the difficulties.
In retrospect, 2020 might have witnessed the greatest damage to the international order and international relations. Among many others, we see power politics jeopardizing international stability, as arbitrary interference in others’ internal affairs and sanctions have become the biggest destabilizing factor to regional and global security. We see protectionism jeopardizing international trade, as backlash against globalization is gathering momentum, with more barriers impeding trade and investment, and global industrial and supply chains on the cusp of breakdown. We see unilateralism jeopardizing international cooperation, as the “go it alone” approach and walking away from international commitment fracture and cripple the international system, and drag on international efforts against global challenges. And we see McCarthyism jeopardizing international exchanges, as those with radical and entrenched political biases seek to label and stigmatize open and lawful political parties and institutions of other countries, and use ideology to disrupt or even sever international engagement, aiming at starting a new Cold War and forming a new Iron Curtain.
These risks and challenges facing us are unprecedented. China and the United States are two largest economies, permanent members of the UN Security Council, and the largest developing and developed country respectively. What is expected of us is to form the right perception about one another, act in line with the trend of the times, and heed the aspirations of the international community. We need to step up to our responsibilities as major countries and at the same time, work together with other countries to overcome difficulties, meet challenges and pursue development.
I know you all follow China’s diplomacy closely, the style and future direction of which has been the subject of ongoing discussions. What I would underline is that China follows an independent foreign policy of peace, and seeks to engage other countries for friendship and cooperation on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. China is committed to bringing happiness to the Chinese people and contributing to progress of humanity, and seeks to play a constructive role for world peace and development. China has no intention to compete for hegemony. We never interfere in other’s internal affairs. We don’t export our system or model. Not in the least do we seek spheres of influence.
China’s diplomacy is for the development of the nation. As China remains a developing country, our ultimate goal is to meet the aspiration of the Chinese people for a better life. With relentless efforts, all rural residents living under the current poverty line and all designated counties have shed off poverty this year. This means extreme poverty is eliminated for the first time in China’s history of several thousand years. Proud of such an achievement, we are also sober-minded about the long journey ahead if we are to lock in the gains against poverty and bring prosperity to all the people. China’s diplomacy, which starts at home, should help promote the overall development of the country and the new development paradigm.
China’s diplomacy is for equity. Having experienced great humiliation in history, China truly understands how important equity is. We believe that countries, irrespective of their size and strength, are all equal members of the international community. The big and strong must not bully the small and weak. We believe that countries enjoy equal rights to development. Developed countries are obligated to help developing countries increase the capacity for self-development. And developing countries should not be kept forever at the lower end of the industrial and value chains. We believe that global affairs should be handled by all countries through consultation, and that international rules should be made by all countries on an equal footing. There should be more democracy in international relations.
This difficult situation in China-U.S. relations is not something we want to see. The two sides should learn from the ups and downs since the establishment of diplomatic ties. In particular, it is important that the U.S. policy toward China return to objectivity and sensibility as early as possible.
The giant vessel of China-U.S. relationship carries not only the well-being of the 1.7 billion Chinese and Americans, but also the interests of the over seven billion people of the world. The time has come to decide the future course of this giant vessel. As President Xi Jinping wrote in his congratulatory message to President-elect Joe Biden, “It is hoped that the two sides will work together in the spirit of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, focus on cooperation, manage differences, move forward China-U.S. relations in a sound and steady manner and, together with other countries and the international community, advance the noble cause of world peace and development.” This is how we see our relationship and what we expect of it.
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