FM sheds light on diplomacy in 2021
Beijing hopes that the new administration in the United States could return to a sensible approach, resume dialogue with China, restore normalcy to bilateral relations and resume cooperation, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has said.
Wang voiced this expectation when shedding light on agenda items of China's foreign policy this year in an interview with media published on Saturday.
"China-US relations have come to a new crossroads, and a new window of hope is opening," he said in response to a question about the record-low relations.
Bilateral trade registered 3.65 trillion yuan ($559.5 billion) in the first 11 months of last year, up 6.9 percent year-on-year.
The US is now China's third largest trade partner, next to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the European Union, the first and second largest, according to the General Administration of Customs.
Noting that China is ready to work with the US in developing a relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability, Wang said that some people in the US are uneasy about China's rapid growth.
"The best way to keep one's lead is through constant self-improvement, not by blocking others' development," Wang said.
"The future world should not and will not allow China to become another US; instead, the US should try to become a better self, while China will surely be a better self," he added.
Once Washington "draws timely lessons from the past" and works together with Beijing, the two countries will be able to resolve their differences through dialogue, shore up common interests through cooperation and figure out a model of engaging one another that benefits them both and the world combined, Wang said.
Speaking about ties with Russia, Wang said the two neighbors have seen their relationship "reach an all-time high" by withstanding the tests of the COVID-19 pandemic and unprecedented changes in the global landscape.
In 2020, President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held five phone conversations and exchanged correspondence a number of times.
This, in a strategic sense, navigates and guides the steady growth of bilateral relations, Wang said.
"In developing China-Russia strategic cooperation, we see no limit, no forbidden zone and no ceiling to how far this cooperation can go," Wang said, adding that the two countries will continue to be the example of major countries sharing a great neighborly friendship, and they will inject vitality to global recovery and underpin global strategic stability.
Over the past year, China became the EU's largest trading partner for the first time, and they completed negotiations on the landmark bilateral investment treaty as scheduled at the end of last month.
"This shows that the two sides can yield broader prospects for China-EU cooperation by mutually understanding, accommodating one another and consulting on an equal footing," Wang said when asked about ties with the EU.
In this volatile and changing world, China will as always support European integration, greater strategic autonomy of the EU, and a bigger role for the EU in international affairs, Wang said, adding that China is prepared to enhance coordination with the EU to keep their relations on the right track.
The past year has seen rising allegations that China's diplomats have been more assertive, as they publicly spoke out to hit back at attempts to smear and scapegoat China and interfere in its internal affairs.
In response, the state councilor said his colleagues are "fair and square" as they fulfill their duty of safeguarding national interests, defending national dignity, advancing international cooperation and preserving world peace.
"We have always listened to constructive criticism and have always responded to helpful advice. But we surely have to hit back at groundless discrediting and vicious attacks," Wang said.
"And more importantly, we must speak up for justice when faced with power politics and bullying. This is a part of the responsibility of China's diplomacy and of the national character of the Chinese people," Wang added.