On March 8, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi held a press conference, answering questions on China's foreign policy and foreign relations in Beijing during the annual session of the National People's Congress. An edited bilingual excerpt follows:
The Belt and Road Initiative
Connectivity of policy, infrastructure, trade, finance and people
It's very important that we rise above two things. First, we need to rise above the differences in our social systems. Second, we need to rise above the zero-sum mentality. China and the United States have a growing set of common interests. The areas where we need to work together far outweigh our differences. In many ways, our interests are closely intertwined. So we should pool our efforts to enlarge our shared interests, rather than building success at the expense of the other because it's just not possible.
It's been 38 years since China and the United States normalized diplomatic relations. The Chinese people often say, when turning 30, one should be able to stand firm, and when reaching 40, one should no longer have any doubts. We hope China and the United States can truly rise above the old ideas, open up new horizons and build a more robust and mature relationship [as their relationship] turns 40, so that we can put the minds of our two peoples and the whole world at ease.
China's diplomacy since the 18th CPC National Congress
China will continue to be an anchor of international stability, an engine of global growth, a champion of peace and development, and a contributor to global governance.
The Korean Peninsula
On the one hand, the DPRK has ignored international opposition and insisted on advancing its nuclear program and launched ballistic missiles in violation of Security Council resolutions. On the other hand, the U.S. and the ROK are conducting military exercises of enormous scale and ramping up military pressure on the DPRK. The two sides are like two accelerating trains coming toward each other with neither willing to give way. The question is, are the two sides really ready for a head-on collision? Our priority now is to flash the red light and apply brakes to both trains.
To continue my earlier railway metaphor, China will continue to be a switchman—we will switch the issue back onto the track of seeking a negotiated settlement. And I wish to emphasize that nuclear weapons will not bring security. The use of force is no solution. Talks deserve another chance and peace is still within our grasp.
The BRICS are like five fingers, each with its own strength. When we come together, we form a fist that can punch. As long as we stay united, the BRICS will not lose its luster, rather, it will shine more brightly.
China, Russia and the U.S.
The China-Russia-U.S. relationship should not be a seesaw game in the new era; the three countries should work with each other rather than against each other. We should pursue win-win, rather than zero-sum outcomes.
We strongly advise some elements in the ROK not to pursue this course of action. Otherwise, they will only end up hurting themselves as well as others. China urges the ROK to cease and desist, halt THAAD deployment, and not to stray further down the wrong path.
Forum on China-Africa Cooperation
China-Africa cooperation is undergoing three shifts: from government-driven to market-driven, from trading goods to cooperation on production capacity, and from engineering contracts to capital investment and operations.
The South China Sea
If someone should try to make waves and stir trouble, then he will have no support other than meet the common opposition of the entire region.
Your question reminds me of the recent shipwreck in Malaysia. One of the rescued Chinese told journalists that when they were floating on the vast ocean, with food and water about to run out, she encouraged her fellow Chinese by saying, "If the [Chinese] embassy knows about us, [they] will come looking for us and we will be saved." At a time of life and death, our people pinned their hopes on the embassy and it's what helped them persevere. Our people have great trust in Chinese diplomats. This is an enormous responsibility for us. We must never betray their trust, and we must spare no effort to meet our responsibility.
The Middle East
The issue of Palestine is an open wound in the Middle East. Peace may be delayed, but justice cannot be denied.