Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi addresses a session on China at the Munich Security Conference via video link on May 26 (Chinese Foreign Ministry)
Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed on May 25 that China's development should be perceived as progress for the whole world rather than a threat at Munich Security Conference (MSC).
Wang made the remarks in a talk on relations between China and the West hosted by the Munich Security Conference, an annual conference on international security that has been moved online this year due to the pandemic. The meeting was joined by a select group of participants, including Federica Mogherini, Former Vice President of the European Commission, and Chairman of the Munich Security Conference Wolfgang Ischinger.
Understand China objectively
Noting that 2021 marks the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Wang said that the key to understanding China's development is to look at China's history and the CPC objectively.
He recalled China's development in history, saying that it was the CPC that combined Marxism with China's reality in pursuing national independence and liberation and finally found the right path to prosperity and strength.
"That is socialism with Chinese characteristics," Wang said.
China's historic contribution to world progress
The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is a path of development featuring unremitting self-improvement, Wang said.
China feeds nearly 20 percent of the world's population with 9 percent of the world's arable land, has formed a middle-income group of over 400 million people, and has built the world's largest social security and compulsory education system, he said.
Today, 1.4 billion Chinese are accelerating toward modernization, marking a milestone in the history of human development, he stressed.
No 'bullying others'
Wang highlighted that the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics is an unswerving path to peace.
In the more than 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, China has never initiated a war, and is the only country in the world that has written peaceful development into its constitution, Wang said.
As a major and rapidly developing country, China is committed to peaceful coexistence with other countries, he added, saying this is a major contribution to world strategic stability.
Development still the priority for China
In the talk, Wang spoke highly about China's development. According to him, China never pursues national development at the cost of other countries' interests. With the focus on win-win cooperation, Wang said that China has contributed to more than one-third of the global economic growth for more than 10 consecutive years.
Noting that China still has a heavy task for development, Wang reiterated that China still puts its priority on national development while vowing that the country is going to construct a new development pattern and promote a higher level of reform and opening-up that will surely benefit the whole world.
China is not a systematic rival to the West
Rejecting the view that China is a systematic rival to Western countries, Wang stressed that there is no one-size-fits-all model when it comes to a country's development.
"Just like Chinese people use chopsticks, and in the West, people use knife and fork. Each has their own reasons. Different social systems do not make each other rivals," said Wang.
Stand for multilateralism
Wang hailed the mutual support between China and Europe as the parties work jointly to safeguard multilateralism with concrete actions to avoid the world sliding toward confrontation and division when a certain superpower was calling for unilateralism and prioritized its own national interests.
Reiterating China's commitment to multilateralism, Wang called on the two sides, as two-pillar forces in the progress of multi-polarization, to shoulder their common responsibilities and become the model for defending multilateralism.
Cooperation prevails between China and EU
Speaking of China's relationship with the EU, Wang admitted different opinions on the issue but stressed that China has always viewed the European side as a partner rather than a rival.
"We will always firmly support the integration progress of Europe and is willing to extend all-round cooperation with Europe on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit," Wang said.
Speaking of the China-EU investment agreement, the Chinese foreign minister said it is a highly mutually beneficial agreement rather than a one-sided favor.
Noting that some people in the EU attempt to politicize trade issues, he stressed that the move is "not acceptable and will lead nowhere."