Dr. Wang Yi, the state councilor and foreign minister of China, conducted a press conference on 24 May 2020 on the sidelines of the third session of the NPC of the 13th convocation.
The press conference, which was held in the video format, attracted journalists from the Chinese and foreign media.
Dr. Wang Yi, who is known for his phenomenal memory and candid style, provided detailed and fact-based answers to all the questions. In doing so, he achieved something that was perhaps not purposely intended: China is silently filling the global leadership vacuum created by the incoherent, shortsighted, and selfish actions of the Trump administration.
The press conference lasted about 100 minutes and the transcript of the event spans nearly 22 pages.
In order to reduce the volume of the translated transcript below, we have removed the questions and answers related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and some other issues that are not of direct interest for Central Asia.
The questions were naturally framed in the backdrop of Covid-19 and how, going forward, China envisions the world.
Wang Yi: Dear friends, correspondents, good afternoon!
This year, our press conference takes place at a special moment when the whole world is struggling in every way against a new coronavirus infection. Taking this opportunity, I would like first of all to express the word of highest respect to the medical workers of the whole world, who are fighting for every life, and to express deep sorrow for the dead. I sincerely thank the government and people of all countries that have shown attention and understanding, have extended a helping hand to China in the fight against the epidemic. The virus will not smash humanity; the epidemic will be defeated. Darkness will pass, and light ahead. Next, I am ready to answer your questions.
The People’s Daily newspaper: What lesson did the epidemic teach mankind?
Wang Yi: The lesson is that the peoples of all countries of the world are more than ever interconnected and interdependent in protecting life and health. More than ever, we soberly understand that all countries live on the same planet and humanity has a common future.
The virus, not knowing borders and nationalities, challenges all of humanity. Political manipulation robs the immune system from the virus. The policy of “ruining a neighbor” will only lead to its own defeat. Neglecting science leaves the virus a loophole for invasion. Chairman Xi Jinping has repeatedly called for uniting together in the fight against a common enemy – the virus, the most powerful weapon for victory over which is solidarity and cooperation.
In the fight against the epidemic, we learned at the cost of human sacrifice that all countries of the world must overcome the geographical, ethnic, cultural and historical differences, despite the differences in social systems, together form a community of the common destiny of mankind, protect the only common planet for us. One of the urgent tasks is to accelerate the creation of the human health community. China, as a responsible state, is ready to give up its strength.
CGTN: Against the backdrop of the pandemic and the US election campaign, there is an escalation of tension in Sino-US relations. Do you have any concerns about the possible deterioration of Sino-US relations?
Wang Yi: Now the United States is experiencing the most difficult epidemiological situation in the world, every day there the virus kills human lives. We experience feelings of deep empathy, sincerely wish the American people a speedy victory over the epidemic and the restoration of a normal socio-economic life.
COVID-19 is a common enemy of China and the United States, mutual support and assistance in the fight against this evil meet the aspirations of the peoples of the two countries. From the start of the outbreak, numerous American public associations, companies, and citizens have provided tremendous assistance to China. After the epidemic began to spread throughout the United States, we extended a helping hand to the American side through government, local authorities and the general public, and provided urgently needed medical supplies free of charge. We have provided assistance and convenience to our American partners in their purchase of medical supplies in China, including 12 billion medical masks, approximately 40 pieces for every American.
Unfortunately, along with the coronavirus, a “political virus” is spreading in the USA, I mean all sorts of attacks and unfounded accusations against China. From the lips of individual politicians sounded a lot of nonsense, which contradicts the simplest facts, all sorts of lies and intrigues are provoked. More recently, all these false words were recorded in a single collection, which has already been posted on social networks for public information. When a new lie arrives, it will be additionally fixed in the collection. It is easy to imagine the more voluminous the collection of false words becomes, the clearer the cynicism of the slanderers, who will only increase shame.
We called on the United States to stop wasting precious time. China and the United States should cooperate on a whole range of urgent issues, firstly, we can share experiences and change each other’s best practices to strengthen our fight against COVID-19; secondly, in accordance with the expectation of the international community to participate in multilateral cooperation with its own impact, play a constructive role in global anti-epidemiological activities; thirdly, taking into account the protracted continuation of the pandemic and the constant nature of the control and preventive work, timely coordinate macroeconomic policies to minimize the consequences for the economy of the two countries and the world economy.
Regarding the state and prospects of Sino-US relations, we always support the fact that China and the United States, as the largest developing and developed countries, bear significant responsibility for peace and development around the world. We should, with a sense of duty to humanity, history and our people, take a balanced approach to bilateral relations. The path traveled over decades can be reduced to one thing: cooperation brings mutual benefits, and enmity only causes harm to the parties, which we must not forget.
China and the United States have different social systems, which were the choice of the two peoples, and deserve respect. Although China and the United States diverge a lot, this does not mean the absence of a field for cooperation. There is hardly any global challenge in today’s world that can be overcome without coordination between China and the United States.
We were and are ready to build harmonious, cooperative and stable relations with the United States in the spirit of non-opposition, non-confrontation, mutual respect and mutual benefit. But at the same time, we cannot give up our obligations to protect sovereignty, territorial integrity and the legitimate right to development, and also to uphold the authority and dignity deserved by the Chinese people through a difficult test. China does not pretend to change the United States, especially to replace it. It’s for nothing to count on the imposition of change on China, let alone blocking the irreversible move of the 1.4 billion Chinese people to modernization.
The alarm is that some political forces in the United States are trying to take Sino-American relations hostage to unleash a “new cold war,” such an adventure is contrary to the historical process and may bury the accumulated fruits of cooperation, damage the US’s own development, harm stability and prosperity all over the world. I think that all sane people both in China and in the USA will not accept this in any way.
We have to repeat once more: proceeding from the fundamental and long-term interests of the Chinese and American peoples, for the sake of the future and well-being of all mankind. China and the United States should and must find a way for peaceful and mutually beneficial coexistence of countries with different social systems and cultural traditions.
Xinhua News Agency: Because of the epidemic, the world will not be the same. What does China see the post-pandemic world and the prospects for globalization?
Wang Yi: The world, of course, will not be the same, because history is moving forward. Humanity is growing and tempered in trouble. We believe that if only the countries of the world make the right choice and follow the right direction, then the dawn will come with the defeat of the pandemic.
First, the globalization process needs to be made more inclusive and accessible. Globalization is an irreversible global development trend and a powerful impetus for human progress. The global economy, like the ocean, cannot turn into divided lakes. The rejection of globalization and a return to protectionism leads nowhere.
While striving for the rational distribution of global resources for maximum profitability, more attention should be paid to the shortcomings caused by globalization, including the widening gap between rich and poor, and imbalances in development between regions. To cope with the problems of globalization is possible only in the course of globalization, and for this the constructive direction of globalization is important. Speaking from the rostrum of the Davos Forum in 2017, Chairman Xi Jinping outlined the Chinese side’s vision of economic globalization, and called for its development to be more open, inclusive, accessible, balanced and mutually beneficial. His reasoning is especially relevant and wise for us at the present time.
Second, we must firmly uphold and develop a multilateral approach. The pandemic once again proved that any country, no matter how strong it may be, cannot individually defend itself. Indifference will not save anyone, “to beat the recumbent” only undermines its reputation. “Putting yourself above everything else”, “blame others” – this kind of approach not only does not help in solving one’s own problems, but also infringes on the legitimate interests of others. In the face of growing global challenges, only multilateralism will allow the international community to unite; only solidarity will help overcome the crisis.
Third, a more precise reform and improvement of global governance is needed. The pandemic revealed gaps in the countries’ healthcare systems and the vulnerability of global supply chains, and deficiencies in the system and means of global governance came to light. In this regard, it is important for us to fully identify the central role of the UN, to ensure proper implementation by WHO and other specialized UN agencies of their responsibilities, to deliberately strengthen macro-political coordination, build up management capacity, and strictly observe the fundamental norms and principles of international law and international relations.
The world will not return to the past, China is only going forward. A pandemic is a test on all sides for the strength of the social system and the possibility of public administration in China. Our country has worthily shown itself in aggregate power, in the performance of duty as a responsible power. The Chinese economy will emerge stronger from the pandemic, the Chinese people will more closely and confidently follow the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the great revival of the Chinese nation will advance in full sail.
RIA Novosti: How do you assess Sino-Russian relations in the context of the epidemic? Do you agree that China and Russia will challenge American dominance together?
Wang Yi: The Chinese side is closely monitoring the epidemiological situation in Russia, has provided and continues to provide the Russian side with all possible support and assistance. I am convinced that the unyielding Russian people under the leadership of President Putin will defeat the coronavirus, and the great Russian nation will emerge from the epidemic more strengthened.
Following the outbreak of the pandemic, President Xi Jinping and President Putin spoke on the telephone several times, maintaining the closest contacts among leaders of leading states. Russia was the first to send a group of medical specialists to China. China, in turn, provided Russia with powerful assistance in the form of anti-epidemic drugs. Bilateral trade, despite the epidemic, continues to grow. In terms of export growth to China, Russia ranks first among the main trading partners of our country. Against the background of unsubstantiated attacks and slander, China and Russia rightly speak out in support of each other, rallied into an unbreakable fortress in front of the “political virus”, and demonstrated a high level of strategic interaction.
I have no doubt that the joint fight against the epidemic will give Sino-Russian relations additional dynamics in the post-epidemic period. We are ready with the Russian side to jointly turn the crisis into an opportunity, stabilize cooperation in the energy sector and other traditional areas, fruitfully spend the years of scientific, technical and innovative cooperation, expand cooperation in e-commerce, biomedicine, the cloud economy and other dynamically developing areas, create new growth points for the economic recovery of the two countries after the epidemic. We are ready together with Russia in the context of the 75th anniversary of the United Nations to firmly defend the results of World War II, defend the UN Charter and the basic norms of international relations, categorically oppose any unilateral actions and bullying, increase coordination and cooperation within the framework of the UN, SCO, BRICS, G20 and other international mechanisms to respond together to a new round of transformation in a deeply changing global process.
When China and Russia stand together shoulder to shoulder, peace and stability on the planet will be fully guaranteed, and international justice will be reliably protected.
China Daily: China provides assistance and support to many countries. However, there are some doubts. What do you think about it?
Wang Yi: In the difficult moment of the fight against coronavirus, we received help and support from the international community, which we never forget and are deeply grateful for. When the virus began to strike at other countries, the Chinese people with a sense of empathy immediately extended a helping hand.
Realizing the concept of Chairman Xi Jinping on the formation of a community of the common fate of mankind, in recent months we launched the largest international humanitarian campaign since the formation of the PRC. So far, about 150 countries and 4 international organizations have received Chinese assistance, which helped in removing urgent needs. Themed video conferences were held for more than 170 countries with the participation of Chinese sanitary and epidemiological experts, who, with all frankness, shared their proven experience and best practices in the field of diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control of the epidemic. 26 medical groups were sent to 24 urgently needed countries for face-to-face exchange and discussion. We are producing, at full capacity, scarce medical supplies and equipment for the whole world, subject to all quality standards, including 56.8 billion pieces of medical masks and 250 million sets of protective suits.
We do this because the Chinese people are grateful, who will not remain in debt and will thank friends with kindness. China is always ready to help others and cannot stand aside when friends are in trouble. When Africa was attacked by Ebola, unlike those who hastened to remove their people in the first place, we sent a medical team to the epicenter of the infection to help and delivered the goods of prime necessity; together with the African brothers we brought the fight against the virus to an end.
We know that our help cannot satisfy the needs of all countries of the world. We are aware that certain political forces are trying to fabricate the motivation of Chinese aid for unscrupulous purposes. We are open-minded about this very calmly. China, doing a noble work without selfish intentions never pursues any geopolitical goals or economic calculations, and does so without establishing any political conditions.
Our only goal is to save lives as much as possible. We believe that containing the spread of the epidemic in one country does not mean its end. A true victory will come only when the epidemic is completely stopped in all countries.
As the pandemic spreads around the world, China does not act as a savior, but as a trusted partner, whom you can always rely on in the most difficult times. We are ready, as far as possible, to continue to help countries in need, to deepen international anti-epidemic cooperation in the name of a final victory over the epidemic.
EFE Agency: In Europe, they diverge in relation to China, China is sometimes even perceived as Europe’s systemic rival. How does China feel about this?
Wang Yi: Relations between China and the EU, having stood the test of a far from simple and complicated world situation, maintain the main course for cooperation and show the titanic vitality. The most useful experience that we have gained over the past years teaches us that through an equal dialogue we can fully strengthen mutual trust, and through constructive contacts we can completely resolve differences. It must be noted that there is no antagonism between China and the EU. We are constantly increasing the opportunities for mutually beneficial cooperation, expanding understanding on upholding multilateralism. More broadly, from the point of view of human development, China and the EU should develop a comprehensive strategic partnership, and not enter into political and ideological rivalry. Our contacts are aimed at win-win, where there is no winner or loser.
As a European proverb says, true friends do not leave each other in trouble. Since the outbreak of coronavirus infection, China and the EU have strongly supported each other in the fight against the pandemic, and there have been many good touching episodes. In the face of an unprecedented crisis, it is important to get rid of ideological differences, speaking in solidarity and joining forces in the fight against a pandemic.
Due to the epidemic, a number of activities originally planned for this year on the agenda between China and the EU have to be postponed. The parties maintain contacts regarding the holding of the 22nd meeting of the leaders of China and the EU in the near future, positively consider the possibility of organizing a China-EU summit at an appropriate time, along with this, try to complete negotiations on an investment agreement by the end of the year, and expand mutually beneficial cooperation in new industries including interconnectedness, ecology, the digital economy and artificial intelligence. The 45th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and the EU should be a unique opportunity to strengthen and promote Sino-European relations.
Kyodo Agency: How does China look at the future of China-Japan-Republic of Korea relations?
Wang Yi: China, Japan and the Republic of Korea are good and close neighbors, separated, as they say, by a narrow strip of water. From the very beginning of the epidemic, the three countries act in solidarity, maintain close coordination and interaction in the exchange of epidemiological information, development of measures for prevention and quarantine, control of the entry and exit of citizens, in particular through extraordinary meetings between the heads of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health. “The lands are separated, the sky is one”, “The way is not far, no one is alien”, warm episodes of mutual assistance of the peoples of the three countries are not only embodied in these archaic lines, but they are the real life of our time. The cooperation of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea serves as a benchmark for international cooperation and strengthens confidence in the victory over the pandemic.
In addition to maintaining enhanced preventive and control measures, the three countries have a common task to restore economic development as soon as possible. China, Japan and Korea as the leading economies of the world, account for over 20% of global GDP. The sooner the situation is taken under control and production and business activity are restored, the more noticeable will be their role in revitalizing the regional economy and stabilizing the world economy.
First, it is important to prevent the second wave of the epidemic based on antivirus success. In the context of the prevention of coronavirus on an ongoing basis, it is necessary to continue the exchange of information and experience, to improve the mechanism of collective prevention and control. It is important to intensify cooperation on the development of drugs and vaccines, to work on the creation of an emergency communication mechanism and a reserve center for medical facilities. The role of information technology, including the Internet and big data, should be fully identified to continuously improve public health management and strengthen the rapid response capacity.
Second, it is useful to stimulate cooperation to restore business activity in the interests of stabilizing production and supply chains. Subject to the requirements for prevention and control, China is ready to establish an “express corridor” for entry of citizens and a “green corridor” for goods and with other countries, similar to the Republic of Korea, to restore practical cooperation as soon as possible, to remove failures in the domestic and regional economic circulation.
Last, it is necessary to adapt to post-viral circumstances with an emphasis on increasing the level of regional economic cooperation. It is important to uphold multilateral approaches and free trade, mitigate customs duties, remove barriers and open the market on a reciprocal basis. It is important to strengthen cooperation in such areas as healthcare, smart manufacturing, 5G in order to create new points of economic growth. It is necessary to accelerate free trade negotiations between China, Japan and the Republic of Korea, to achieve the conclusion of the Comprehensive Regional Economic Partnership (RCEP) by the end of this year in favor of deepening economic integration. It is necessary to use the potential of regional multilateral mechanisms to prevent financial risks and increase economic stress tolerance.
China is ready to strengthen cooperation with all partners, including Japan and the Republic of Korea, in order to win the final victory over the epidemic as soon as possible, revive the economy of East Asia and devote the forces and minds of the “East” to regional and global development.
CNN Channel: The verbal skirmish between China and the United States is intensifying. Will “War Wolf Diplomacy” be the prospect of Chinese foreign policy?
Wang Yi: Although I respect your right to ask a question, the very formulation of the question would probably be worth revising. In any case, you need to weigh the pros and cons. A person who does not distinguish good from evil does not deserve trust. It is difficult for a state that does not know the truth and untruth to find a place for itself in the world.
There are various interpretations and comments around Chinese diplomacy. As Minister of Foreign Affairs, I can officially tell you with all responsibility that China is firmly committed to an independent, and peaceful foreign policy. No matter how the international situation has changed, we have always been and continue to bear high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, strictly abide by the goals and principles of maintaining peace and joint development throughout the world, develop friendly cooperation with all countries, fulfill a glorious mission to make a worthy contribution to human development.
China’s foreign policy is based on a 5,000-year-old brilliant civilization and tradition. China is known as a country with an ancient history of etiquette and courtesy. The Chinese people advocate peace, harmony, honesty and trust. We never offend anyone, and do not allow ourselves to be offended and insulted. In response to slander and gossip, we will follow by the most resolute rebuff in defense of the honor of the state and feelings of national dignity. We refute any unfounded accusations with the genuine truth and arguments in the upholding of justice and human conscience.
In building the prospects for Chinese diplomacy, we are aimed at the joint formation of a community of the common destiny of mankind with all partners. Being on the same planet, all countries should coexist peacefully and equally, discussing topical issues together, without giving a final word only to individual countries. In this regard, China stands for a multipolar world, for the democratization of international relations. Our position fully coincides with the tendency of the development of civilization and the progress of mankind, and meets the aspirations of the vast majority of countries. Regardless of the level of development of the country, we in no way claim to dominate, we will always stand on the side of the common interests of all countries of the world, in the right trajectory of the development of history. Anyone who is trying in every possible way to stick the label of hegemon on China is himself an apologist for hegemony.
Today’s world is experiencing unprecedentedly profound change and turbulence. In the face of growing global challenges, it would be useful in the spirit of the concept of a community of the common destiny of mankind, to support and cooperate with each other more, to blame and oppose each other less. It is important that everyone truly begins to unite in the name of a beautiful future for the planet.
China International Radio: How does China assess the role of WHO? What are the proposals of China to reform this organization?
Wang Yi: WHO, as a specialized UN body, plays a central role in coordinating global public health efforts. Mr. Tedros Gebreisus was elected Director General with a high percentage of votes, and earned the full confidence of the international community. The election of a native of Africa indicates the growing status of developing countries in international organizations.
At the recent World Health Assembly, Chairman Xi Jinping, in his opening remarks, gave a positive assessment of WHO’s significant contribution to the global fight against the epidemic, and all WHA participants supported WHO. As they say, justice will prevail in the end. The international authority of WHO and the historical assessment of its activities are independent of the preferences of individual countries. Those who douse WHO with mud disgrace themselves.
Since the outbreak of the epidemic, the WHO, led by the Director-General Tedros Gebreisus, has taken a science-based approach, without missing a single key point, without delay gave professional advice, and honorably fulfilled its obligations. The facts proved that in those countries where the WHO recommendations are respected and observed, the epidemiological situation is taken under reliable control. And those who ignored or completely abandoned the advice of WHO, paid a fierce price.
I would like to emphasize that the WHO, which includes 194 sovereign states, cannot serve exclusively any particular country, all the more subordinate to the one who pays the most contributions. In the face of the epidemic, any pressure, or blackmail, deprived of elementary humanism, is considered unacceptable to the international community.
Life is above all; saving life is a priority. The support for WHO means support for saving lives. This is a natural choice for any country that acts conscientiously and responsibly.
With regard to WHO reform, in fact, after every major epidemic, WHO does comprehensive analysis and evaluations. This work should aim to support a multilateral approach, and not vice versa, to support WHO, and not to the detriment of it. This is already clearly stated in the resolution adopted at the end of the 73rd World Health Assembly. In this regard, we consider the following three areas of priority: firstly, to eliminate political obstacles in terms of institutional support and rules, to respect scientific and professional opinion, to abandon the actions of politicization and discredit. Secondly, to provide WHO with sufficient resources, and to increase its ability to respond to the global health crisis. Third, adhere to the concept of the human health community, increase support and investment in the public health of developing countries.
Kazinform: How is China going to restore the dynamics of cooperation under the “One Belt, One Road” framework in the context of the epidemic?
Wang Yi: The epidemic does have some impact on cooperation under the “One Belt, One Road” framework, but the negative impact is only temporary and partial. In the long run, cooperation under the BRI, having stood the test of a pandemic, will become even more sustainable, vibrant and promising.
OBOR (One Belt, One Road) is based on the vital interests of the peoples of the participating countries. Over the 7 years since the initiative was launched, China with 138 countries has signed cooperation documents under the OBOR framework, more than 2000 joint projects have been launched, hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created. A number of infrastructural and directly related to the life of the population OBOR projects during the rampant of the virus proved its relevance. For example, due to the smooth operation, energy projects within the Sino-Pakistan economic corridor provide 1/3 of Pakistan’s electricity supply. In the context of a large-scale termination and cancellation of air traffic in the region from January to April on the China-Europe route, the number of container trains and cargo turnover not only did not fall, but grew by 24% and 27%, respectively, compared to the same period last year. And the passage itself, along which approximately 8,000 tons of anti-epidemic cargo was delivered in 4 months, has become a truly “vital artery” connecting the European and Asian continents.
The gravity of the countries participating in the OBOR Initiative towards joint development is a source of strength for its movement. Over the 7 years of the initiative, trade between China and the countries along the Belt and Road exceeded $ 7.8 trillion, and China’s direct investment in the economies of these countries exceeded $ 110 billion. Despite the negative consequences of the epidemic, for the first quarter of this year China’s investment in the economy of the member states of the OBOR increased by 11.7%, and commodity circulation – by 3.2%. Projects such as the China-Laos Railway, the Hungary-Serbia Railway, a dual-fuel power station in Cambodia, and the development of the new administrative capital in Egypt are successfully advancing. A huge number of temporarily suspended projects are returning to a normal rhythm of work, which greatly helps in defeating the coronavirus and revitalizing the economy.
The ever-expanding scope of cooperation opens up the excellent perspective of OBOR. In the post-viral period, one can expect an increase in the relevance of economic development and the welfare of the population, as well as a significant increase in interest in cooperation in public health. China is ready, together with all partners along the OBOR, to work on building the Silk Road of Health. It would be useful to conduct a video conference of OBOR at a high level with an aim to ensure the health and safety of the peoples of all countries. Much attention should also be paid to the formation of the Digital Silk Road, which is intended to serve as another point of growth in the national economy and an additional incentive for the restoration of the global economy.
In general, China has been and remains committed to the joint promotion of “One Belt, One Road”. We will continue to pursue the principles of joint discussion, joint implementation and sharing, and with an open, environmentally friendly and anti-corruption approach, to achieve the goals of high standard and sustainable development for the benefit of the population so that “One Belt, One Road” leads to development, cooperation and health.
Yonhap Agency: According to the Chinese side, how will the situation on the Korean peninsula and the dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington develop?
Wang Yi: Maintaining contacts and dialogue between the DPRK and the USA is the most important prerequisite for eliminating the contradictions and disagreements between the two countries and resolving the problem of the Korean peninsula. No matter how trite it sounds, dialogue is still better than isolation. We always welcome contacts between the leaders of the DPRK and the USA; we are interested in the speedy restoration of the constructive dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington. At the same time, it is necessary to understand that establishing mutual trust between Pyongyang and Washington and breaking the deadlock are impossible without practical steps. In other words, in resolving the problems on the Korean peninsula, it is not so much desk discussion as practical action that helps.
It is necessary to take into account the positive steps taken by the DPRK in recent years to mitigate tensions and denuclearization, which, unfortunately, were left without counter steps by Washington; this is the main reason for the stagnation of the dialogue. At present, uncertain factors are more or less accumulated around the nuclear issue of the Korean peninsula. For a long time, we, together with Russian partners, as co-authors of a draft Security Council resolution on a political settlement of the Korean Peninsula problem, have repeatedly suggested discussing in the Security Council the issue of easing sanctions against the DPRK in order to alleviate the social and economic difficulties of the DPRK and create the necessary conditions for a political settlement. We are counting on serious reflection on all sides, including the United States, otherwise it would be in vain to spend the existing developments, which were not at all easy for us. Since the approaches to solving the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula have already been clearly defined – I mean the parallel promotion of denuclearization and a peaceful mechanism, the speedy development of a roadmap for this on the principles of “phased and synchronized” – how can you afford to miss a unique chance of settlement.
Associated Press of Pakistan Agency: How do you assess the current situation in Afghanistan?
Wang Yi: The heart of Asia, represented by Afghanistan, significantly affects peace and stability in the region. Today, the situation in Afghanistan is changing rapidly, and the peace for this country has turned out to be closer than ever. However, the path ahead is still thorny, five tasks are urgently needed.
First, strengthening solidarity in government. We welcome the consensus between President Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on the creation of a coalition government, we hope that soon it will begin regular work. Second, the formation of a plan for peace talks. We urge all the forces of Afghanistan to begin an immediate ceasefire and agree on inter-Afghan negotiations in favor of agreeing on the future configuration of the country’s authorities. Third, ensuring an orderly withdrawal of military contingents. The United States must responsibly withdraw its troops, without prejudice to the interests of Afghanistan and other countries in the region. Fourth, the fight against terrorism. It is important to continue efforts in the fight against terrorism, preventing the resurgence of various terrorist groups. Fifth, external support. The improvement of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan and other countries should be continued, and efforts should be made to build up international support for the peace process in Afghanistan.
We believe that in carrying out the above tasks it is necessary to be guided by three principles.
The first is a commitment to the leading role of the Afghans themselves, because they have the future of Afghanistan and the fate of the Afghan nation. Second, the priority of the peace. It is imperative to refrain from the use of force in the advancement of one’s interests. Third, inclusiveness. The future of Afghanistan should be more inclusive, cohesive and powerful.
The Afghan people have the right to leave behind the clouds of war and live a happy life. In this sense, the Chinese people, as a close neighbor and brother, are always on the side of the Afghan people. We will continue to play a positive and constructive role in promoting inter-Afghan negotiations, restoring peace and stability, resuming the economy in Afghanistan, as well as involving it in regional cooperation. /// nCa, 26 May 2020