|China's Diplomacy in 2021:<br>Embracing a Global Vision and Serving the Nation and its People|
Address by H.E. Wang Yi
Beijing, 20 December 2021
Experts and Friends,
I am delighted to join you again to take stock of international developments and China’s foreign relations during this year. Let me first take this opportunity to thank you for your longstanding interest in and support for our diplomatic work. I sincerely welcome your input and insights on China’s diplomacy.
During the past year, the world has witnessed a persistent and unchecked pandemic, accelerating changes unseen in a century and a period of turbulence and transformation globally. Confronted by unprecedented challenges, countries around the world are looking for answers and humanity are required to make the right choice.
Standing at this crossroads, we have observed two opposite trends at play. One is to revert to a Cold War mentality to deepen division and antagonism, and stoke confrontation between blocs. The other is to act by the common well-being of humanity to increase solidarity and cooperation, advocate openness and win-win results, and promote equality and respect. The tug of war between these two trends will shape the future of humanity and our planet in a profound way.
China has all along stood on the right side of history, and on the side of human progress, the side of international equity and justice, and the side of the vast developing countries. We have drawn experience and wisdom from the 100-year journey of the Communist Party of China (CPC), and forged ahead in keeping with the general trend, overall dynamics and entire course of history. We have chosen cooperation over confrontation, openness over isolation, mutual benefit over zero-sum game, and equality over power politics and bullying. Together with all peace-loving countries and peoples in the world, we have endeavored to keep the wheels of human development rolling toward a brighter future.
For China’s diplomacy, the past year has seen us acting under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core,embracing a global vision and serving the nation and our people. We have opened up new vistas amidst global changes, turned crises into opportunities in a complex world, and steadfastly forged ahead through struggle as well as cooperation. For China’s diplomacy over the past year, the strongest guide of action ishead-of-state diplomacy, the most distinct banner is building a community with a shared future for mankind,the most prominent topic is to tell the world stories of the Chinese people and the CPC, and the most remarkable feature is to adapt to changes properly and keep breaking new ground. Underlying everything we have done, there is one clear theme: to serve national rejuvenation amidst a complex situation and advance peaceful development in a fast-changing world.
Great endeavors have been made on the nine fronts:
First, facing a once-in-a-century, protracted and resurging pandemic, we have conducted effective anti-COVID diplomacy and fulfilled the responsibility of a major country. With the pandemic already claiming over 5.3 million precious lives, it is imperative for the international community to enhance cooperation against the pandemic. China has set a good example of COVID response through a “dynamic zero-COVID” strategy as well as a good example of solidarity against the pandemic through greater international cooperation. With concrete actions, we have spearheaded the path to emerging from the darkest hour of the pandemic and kept moving forward.
We have explored the right direction for global COVID response. From the World Health Assembly to the Global Health Summit, from UN events to bilateral phone calls and virtual meetings, President Xi Jinping has, during the most critical moments, advocated the Global Vaccine Cooperation Action Initiative and the Initiative for Belt and Road Partnership on COVID-19 Vaccines Cooperation. Under President Xi Jinping’s leadership, China has been a pace-setter for strengthening international cooperation, upheld the primary feature of vaccines as a global public good, and been at the forefront of efforts for the equitable distribution of vaccines. This stood in sharp contrast with a certain country’s political manipulation that undermined global solidarity against COVID-19.
We have provided powerful tools for defeating the virus. China was among the first to commit to making COVID vaccines a global public good, to support waiving intellectual property rights on the vaccines, and to start joint production with other developing countries. To date, we have provided close to two billion dosesof vaccines to over 120 countries as well as international organizations, accounting for one-third of the total number of vaccines administered outside China. This is more than any other country in the world. While a certain country has hoarded vaccines and practiced “vaccine nationalism”, Chinese vaccines has become “vaccines for the people”, “vaccines of the world” and “vaccines truly accessible”, bringing hope to the global community.
We have assisted other developing countries in a time of urgent need. The current “vaccine divide” has been the biggest impediment to ending the pandemic, with only five percent of the population in low-income countries fully vaccinated. Showing great care for other developing countries, President Xi Jinpinghas pledged another one billion doses of vaccines to Africa, including 600 million doses as donation, to support the African Union’s goal of vaccinating 60 percent of the African population. An initiative has been put forward to build a “health shield” for ASEAN countries by donating an additional 150 million doses of vaccines to them. Three billion US dollars has been pledged over the next three years to help fellow developing countries contain the virus and revive the economy. China has also supported Chinese companies in transferring technology to other developing countries and carrying out joint production with 19 countries so that vaccines could literally travel across mountains and oceans and win the race against the virus.
We have stood for a collaborative approach to COVID-19 origins-tracing. The coronavirus is the common enemy of mankind, and the “political virus” has been behind the spread of COVID-19. China has taken an active part in the global, science-based efforts to trace the origins of the coronavirus. China and the World Health Organization (WHO) have released a joint report on the origins of the virus, demonstrating a commitment to openness, transparency and international cooperation. The political attacks by a certain country under the camouflage of origins-tracing undermined global solidarity and collaboration against the pandemic, and stimulated the physical spread of the virus. Over 80 countries have written to the WHO to express their opposition to politicization of origins-tracing. More than 25 million Chinese have joined theonline petition calling for the WHO to investigate the Fort Detrick bio-lab. The consensus is becoming global to reject politicization, stigmatization and the use of origins-tracing as an instrument for political maneuvering. In the end, both the coronavirus and the political virus will be defeated by humanity.
Second, facing multiple risks to global development, we have injected new impetus into economic recovery and created new opportunities for common development. Development is an unending pursuit of humanity and economic recovery the shared goal of all countries. At the moment, the global recovery remains fragile and tortuous. Inflation, debt, energy and supply chain crises have become intertwined. The gains of poverty reduction have been seriously eroded. The North-South gap has widened. All this has made it a daunting task to fully implement the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Over the past year, we have focused on development as the solution to all problems and made dedicated efforts toward more robust, green and balanced global development. President Xi Jinping has officially put forth a Global Development Initiative aimed at enhancing all people’s well-being and realizing all-round human development. It dovetails with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and prioritizes cooperation on poverty reduction, food security, COVID response and vaccines, development financing, climate change, green development, industrialization, digital economy and connectivity. We hope to see greater global synergy and support for this Initiative, which will help re-energize efforts for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. In launching this major initiative, China endeavors to contribute to the global development cause. Already, the Global Development Initiative has received endorsement and support from UN agencies and many other international organizations, together withsome 100 countries in the world.
Over the past year, we have opened up China’s economy at a higher level and given a strong boost to global economic recovery. This year marks the 20th anniversary of China’s accession to the World Trade Organization. On many occasions including the Boao Forum for Asia, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the China International Fair for Trade in Services and the China International Import Expo (CIIE), President Xi Jinping have announced a string of new measures, such as a shorter negative list, a more business-friendly environment and greater institutional opening-up, to open wider to the world and share China’s development opportunities with other countries. The fourth CIIE in November drew a record number of 127 countries and regions and as many as 3,000 companies, which speaks volumes about the appeal of the massive Chinese market. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership will enter into force in just 11 days, marking the official launch of the world’s most promising free trade area serving the largest number of people. China has also applied to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, thus taking new steps toward openness and cooperation in the face of protectionist headwinds. These are good news for the outlook of the global recovery.
The year 2021 also witnessed Belt and Road cooperation making headway despite various difficulties. The third symposium on the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has drawn up a new blueprint. In the first ten months of this year, China’s trade in goods with BRI partner countries rose by 23 percent, and China-Europe Railway Express saw accelerated growth in freight services and cargo volume, both bucking the downward trends elsewhere. The China-Laos Railway is officially up and running, fulfilling the long-held dream of the Lao people to turn their land-locked country into a land-linked one. With the support of 144 countries and 32 international organizations, the BRI is fast becoming “a belt of prosperity” benefiting the world and “a road of happiness” benefiting all peoples.
Third, facing the contest between true and false multilateralism, we have held high the torch of true multilateralism, and firmly upheld the authority of the UN and a stable international order.
This year, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of the People’s Republic of China in the United Nations (UN). China’s return to the UN was a major event that changed the world and marked a revitalization of multilateralism. For the past 50 years, China has worked relentlessly for the vision of the UN and become a staunch force for promoting world peace and development.
At the same time, people have seen the behavior of a certain country bent on building exclusive blocs under the pretext of multilateralism, imposed its own rules on the international community while calling for a “rules-based order”, and drawn ideological lines despite claims of not seeking “a new Cold War”. In response, President Xi Jinping has pointed out unequivocally that in today’s world, there is but one international system, i.e. the international system with the UN at its core; there is but one international order, i.e. the international order underpinned by international law; and there is but one set of rules, i.e. the basic norms of international relations underpinned by the UN Charter. On international, regional and bilateral occasions, we have spoken up to shatter the pretenses of false multilateralism and givenvoice to the common aspiration of people around the world. We have promoted efforts to reform and improve global governance in line with the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and made new progress in making international relations more democratic.
Regarding a certain country’s interference in the internal affairs of other countries in the name of democracy and human rights, and the fabrication of false narratives of democracy versus authoritarianism, we have upheld the common values of humanity, setting forth China’s success in practicing whole-process people’s democracy, and highlighting public satisfaction as the ultimate criterion for measuring democracy. We have refuted the false narratives through multilateral forums and bilateral dialogues, safeguarding the true spirit of democracy and a genuinely right understanding of what democracy is about, while revealing the hidden purpose of a self-important, “so-called” superior model of democracy. Throughout this major debate about true and false democracy, it has become the call of more and more countries to oppose monopolizing the definition of democracy or dividing the world along ideological lines.
Fourth, facing the profound evolution of the international landscape, we have promoted overall steady growth of China’s relations with other major countries and endeavored to build a new type of international relations.
Major countries, which have major influence on international relations and shoulder special responsibility for world peace and stability, are obliged to think in big-picture terms and rise to their responsibilities. China has actively explored and facilitated the building of a framework of major-country relations that features overall stability and balanced development.
China and Russia have scaled new heights in theircomprehensive strategic coordination for a new era. The two countries solemnly commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin officially announced the extension of the treaty, a testimony to the firm resolve of the two countries to be each other’s strategic support, development opportunity and global partner. Over the past year, the two presidents have had four meetings or phone calls and maintained close strategic communication. China and Russia have joined efforts in their fight against COVID-19, adding a timely dimension to the traditional friendship between the two nations. Mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas has provided strong support for innovation-driven development in both countries. Sino-Russian strategic coordinationon international and regional hot-spots has brought greater stability to a worldfraught with uncertainties. The joint strength of China and Russia has become the bulwark of international fairness and justice. Guided by the two presidents, the China-Russia relationship has stood all kinds of tests and grown ever more vibrant. It has set a good example for maintaining strategic trust between major countries, for deepening mutually beneficial cooperation between two neighbors, and for building a new type of international relations. The China-Russia partnership has stayed rock-solid. No matter how the international situation may evolve, China and Russia will remain unchanged in their commitment to an ever-lasting friendship, to joint pursuit of win-win cooperation, and to shared resolve to upholding peace.
China and the United States have explored a new mode of interactions based on mutual respect and equality. Since the beginning of this year, President Xi Jinping has had two requested telephone conversations with President Joe Biden, and the two presidents also held their first virtual meeting recently. President Xi Jinping gave comprehensive exposition of China’s principled position on China-US relations, and clearly outlined a strategic framework of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation for China-US relations, charting the course for the sound and steady growth of this relationship. Chinese and US diplomats have had in-depth communication and interaction in Anchorage, Tianjin, Zurich and Rome, during which the Chinese side pointed out the crux and core issues of China-US relations, set clear “three bottom lines” and put forward “two lists of key concerns”. It was emphasized that China does not recognize any country as being superior to others in the world, and that the United States should drop its old habit of wanton interference in China’s internal affairs. It was underscored that the United States must never challenge China’s path and system, never obstruct China’s development process, and never infringe on China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Through unremitting efforts, Ms. Meng Wanzhou returned safely to China after being illegally held for over 1,000 days, a powerful example of justice prevailing eventually.The US side indicated that it would work with China on the basis of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence to increase communication and manage differences,and that it does not seek to change China’s system,the revitalization of its alliances is not against China, and it has no intention to have a conflict with China.
The back and forth between China and the United States over the past year shows once again that the fundamental reason for the serious difficulties and multiple challenges in the relationship lies in the strategic misjudgment by the United States regarding China and China-US relations. Some Americans, deep in their hearts, are reluctant to recognize other countries’ right to development, to accept China’s growing strength and progress, and to acknowledge that the two countries may work together for mutual benefit. They even attempted to gang up with other countries to contain and suppress China. Such wrong words and acts have undermined the interests of the two peoples, and had repercussions on world peace and stability. China’s attitude is consistent and clear-cut: dialogue may be conducted, but it should be based on equality; cooperation is welcome, but it should be for mutual benefit; competition may exist, but it should be healthy in nature; confrontation, which China does not fear, will be met in kind. The two countries stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. This is the most important experience the two countries have learned through their half-century-long interactions, and will continue to be proved by what will happen in the time ahead. It is hoped that the US side will follow through on the common understandings of the two presidents, honor its commitment, earn trust from others, and work with China to explore a way of peaceful coexistence between the two major countries.
China and the European Union have overcome challenges and made new progress in their comprehensive strategic partnership. President Xi Jinping has attended two video summits with French and German leaders. A China-CEEC Summit has been held successfullyvia video link. The China-EU agreement on geographical indications has come into force. Steady progress has been made in flagship Belt and Road projects such as the Piraeus Port and the Budapest-Belgrade Railway. China and the EU are seeing a greater convergence of their economic interests. The two sides share extensive consensus on such issues as upholding multilateralism and enhancing global governance, and have achieved positive outcomes in tackling climate change and jointly responding to COVID-19. Although China and the EU differ in history, culture, social system and development stage, their common interests far outweigh their differences. China has unbending sincerity in growing relations with the EU. In the meantime, China remains firm when it comes to safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests. We hope that the EU will continue to maintain strategic autonomy, steer clear of obstacles, and work with China for long-term and steady progress in China-EU cooperation.
Fifth, facing peoples’ call for peace and development, we have joined force with our neighbors to build a beautiful homeland and uphold regional peace and tranquility. Asia is the most vibrant region in the world. To promote regional peace and common development is the shared aspiration of countries in the region. However, to borrow a Chinese saying, “While the tree prefers calm, the wind will not subside.” A certain non-regional power has unveiled an Indo-Pacific strategy to stoke confrontation and create rival blocs in the region, thus causing the greatest impediment to regional peace and stability. China has always followed the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in relation to its neighbors. We will continue to work with neighboring countries to deepen cooperation and pursue tangible progress in bilateral and multilateral ties.
We have focused on regional cooperation to cement the foundation of friendship. President Xi Jinping and leaders of ASEAN countries have jointly cerebrated the 30th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations and announced the elevation of the China-ASEAN relationship to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,marking a big step forward. We were among the first to ratify the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. We have promoted synergy between the BRI and the priority areas of cooperation outlined in the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, and set up a new architecture for Lancang-Mekong Cooperation in all dimensions. Premier Li Keqiang attended the leaders’ meetings on East Asian cooperation to un cover new potential in cooperation on digital economy, blue economy and green economy. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization has, on its 20th anniversary,launched procedures to admit Iran as a member state, and the first offline foreign ministers’meeting between China and five Central Asian countries (C+C5) was held, both being solid steps toward greater unity in the region. In a phone call initiated by the new Japanese Prime Minister, President Xi Jinping and the Japanese Prime Minister reached common understandings on developing a bilateral relationship that answers the call of the new era. They also pointed the way for overcoming impediments to the sound growth of bilateral ties. China and India have maintained dialogue through diplomatic and military channels, and effectively managed and controlled frictions in certain border areas, under a shared commitment to improving and developing the bilateral relations. China’s friendship and cooperation with the DPRK, the ROK, Mongolia and other neighboring countries has also sustained a good momentum, serving as a positive factor in regional stability.
We have played a constructive role to actively mediate in hotspot issues. The United States and its allies made a hasty withdrawal from Afghanistan, and the regional situation has experienced profound changes. As a friendly neighbor and a responsible major country, China has taken the initiative to exert a positive influence by advocating the launch of the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on the Afghan Issue among the Neighbouring Countries of Afghanistan, a new mechanism that harnesses the strengths and unique role of the neighboring countries. We have provided emergency humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan, opened an air freight corridor for Afghan pine nuts, and helped Afghanistan improve its people’s lives. We have encouraged the new Afghan administration to follow a policy of inclusiveness, counter-terrorism and good-neighborliness and to resolutely fight all terrorist organizations including the East Turkistan Islamic Movement. We have supported Afghanistan in preventing chaos, maintaining stability, fighting terrorism, ending violence, and developing in the right direction. Myanmar is a neighbor that shares a pauk-phaw friendship with China. Despite changes in Myanmar’s domestic politics, China has always supported Myanmar in working with ASEAN, gradually implementing the five-point consensus proposed by ASEAN, and firmly rejecting undue external intervention. We have also conducted mediation to promote talks, helped stabilize and deescalate the situation, and encouraged parties in Myanmar to resolve differences properly through peaceful means and to restart the democratic transition process.
Sixth, facing the developing countries’urgent aspiration for revitalization, we have worked vigorously to further develop the potential of South-South cooperation. The developing countries are China’s natural partners and reliable allies. Over the past year, guided by the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, amity and good faith, bearing in mind their need to fight COVID-19 on the one hand and achieve recovery and development on the other, and by providing both immediate, much-needed assistance and expertise for long-term benefits, China has wholeheartedly facilitated the sustainable development of developing countries and unequivocally supported them in defending their legitimate rights and interests.
Cooperation between China and Africa has reached a new climax. China and African countries have overcome the impact of COVID-19 and held a successful Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. While attending the conference via video link, President Xi Jinping highlighted the spirit of China-Africa friendship and cooperation, spelt out four proposals for building a China-Africa community with a shared future in the new era, and announced nine programs for cooperation with Africa. This is a new milestone in China-Africa relations and a full expression of China’s sincerity in supporting Africa’s development and revitalization. Over the past year, China-Africa trade and investment have both grown despite the headwinds. Efforts have been made to synergize the Global Development Initiative with the Agenda 2063 of the African Union and development strategies of African countries, to set up a platform for China-Africa private investment promotion, and to open “green lanes” for African agricultural exports to China, in a bid to help Africa with faster post-COVID recovery. China and Africa have also jointly launched an Initiative on Partnership for Africa’s Development and formulated a China-Africa Partnership Plan on Digital Innovation, adding new dimensions to China-Africa cooperation.
Relations between China and Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries have made steady progress. President Xi Jinping had telephone conversations with the heads of state or government of a number of LAC countries, and addressed the Third Ministers’ Meeting of the China-CELAC Forum (CCF) via video link, setting the direction for future development of China-LAC relations. A three-year roadmap for cooperation was formulated at this CCF; high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with LAC countries has been further substantiated; new progress has been made in energy, electricity, transportation, communications and other areas of cooperation; and China-LAC trade has remained above US$300 billion for four consecutive years. The two sides are stepping up efforts to foster a China-LAC relationship for a new era characterized by equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness, and benefits for the people.
The strategic partnership between China and Arab states has scaled a new height. China has maintained close communication with Arab states at the leaders’ level, and had interactions with the entire Arab world at the foreign-minister level. China has proposed a five-point initiative on achieving security and stability in the Middle East, a four-point proposal for the political settlement of the Syrian issue, and a three-point vision for the implementation of the two-state solution, contributing positive energy to peace and stability in the Middle East. This year, we have held the first China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which yielded important outcomes including the setup of a jointemergency supplies reserve, a poverty reduction and development cooperation center, and a climate action cooperation center. The emergency supplies reserve was officially launched early this month.
Facts have shown that China is always a staunch member of the developing world. It will keep forging ahead hand in hand with fellow developing countries toward a shared future.
Seventh, facingthe common challenges for humanity, we have held high the banner of a community with a shared future for mankind and actively promoted reforms of the global governance system. Under the combined impact of a pandemic and changes both unseen in a century, there has been a growing call for reforms of the global governance system. In response to challenges of our times, President Xi Jinping has offered distinctive Chinese solutions. At various important international fora including the 15th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the second UN Global Sustainable Transport Conference, the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly and the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome, President Xi Jinping put forwardmajor initiatives on building a global community of health for all, a community of life for man and nature, and a global community of development with a shared future. These proposals have further enriched the vision on a community with a shared future for mankind, and injected vitality to the reform of the global governance system.
We have pushed for the improvement of the global health governance system. We have supported strengthening the role of the UN and the WHO, enhanced our capacity in five key areas including on monitoring, early-warning and emergency response, on treatment of major pandemics, on contingency reserve and logistics, on fighting disinformation, and on providing support to developing countries, and played an important role in global health cooperation. We have fulfilled our responsibility for global climate governance, by rolling out a policy framework for carbon peak and carbon neutrality,by making the announcement on not building new coal-fired power projects abroad, by facilitating the agreement on the Glasgow Climate Pact, by releasing a joint declarationwith the United States on enhancing climate action, and by setting up and investing in a Kunming Biodiversity Fund.We are committed to being a promoter of ecological conservation and a doer in global governance.We have also taken an active part in global digital governance, by raising the profile of the Global Initiative on Data Security, by issuing a China-League of Arab States Cooperation Initiative on Data Security, and by applying to join the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement, with a view to promoting a global digital governance system that is fairer and more equitable.
Eighth,facing external interference and provocations, we have resolutely defended our national sovereignty, security and dignity. Over the past year, the Chinese foreign service has lived up to the expectations of the people, fulfilled its mission, and rebuffed all sorts of infringements and bullying,demonstrating the self-confidence, self-reliance and perseverance of the Chinese people, and the ambition, determination and integrity of the Chinese nation.
With regard to the new round of tensions across the Taiwan Straits, the crux lies in the attempt by the Taiwan authorities to seek American support for independence and the intention of the United States and a very few other countries to use the Taiwan question to contain China. The connotation of the one-China principle is at risk of being obscured or even written off. These perverse moves have changed the status quo, undermined peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, and run counter to the international consensus and basic norms governing international relations. In response, we have issued stern warnings and taken forceful countermeasures, deterring the separatist forces for “Taiwan independence”. Ten days ago, China restored diplomatic relations with Nicaragua, raising the number of countries having diplomatic relations with China to 181 and further consolidating the international consensus on one China. Taiwan is a long lost son who will eventually return home. It should not be used as a pawn to serve others’ agenda. The reunification of China must be achieved and will definitelybe achieved.
Over the past year, we have also invited people from around the world to Xinjiang, and busted lies and falsehoods with facts. We have resolutely opposed externalinterference in Hong Kong affairs, and sustained the good momentum of Hong Kong returning to law and order. We have fought back moves to stir up trouble at multilateral fora under the pretext of human rights, including at the UN Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly. By presenting to the world China’s achievements in human rights advancement, and exposing the poor human rights record of certain countries, we have prevailed over false narratives with indisputable facts, winning the support of nearly 100 countries. We have successfully rallied 173 countries in co-sponsoring and adopting an Olympic Truce resolution, securing strong international support for the Beijing Winter Olympics.
Ninth, facing a grave and complex external environment, we have worked all-out to serve domestic development and acted on our commitment of serving the people through diplomacy. Serving domestic development is an inherent goal of China’s diplomacy. This year, the Foreign Ministry has successfully hosted promotion events for Hubei and Tibet, and supported the China International Fair for Trade in Services, the China International Import Expo, and other international events hosted by China, in a bid to build new bridges for different localities to open up wider to the world and unlock new development opportunities for them. To support the building of a new development paradigm and ensure unimpeded domestic and international circulations, we have opened “fast tracks” for the travel of essential personnel and “green lanes” for the shipment of emergency COVID-19 supplies. We have also introduced targeted COVID-19 protocols for incoming travelers prior to their trips to secure the gains in pandemic control at home.
The people-centered principle is the defining feature of China’s diplomacy. We have always kept in mind the well-being of Chinese nationals abroad and lived up to our commitment of serving the people through diplomacy. We have launched a Spring Sprout program this year to get Chinese nationals abroad vaccinated against COVID-19, so far benefiting millions in 180 countries. Our consular service hotline 12308, running 24/7 to help Chinese nationals facing difficulties abroad, has received over 500,000 calls this year. Our diplomatic missions abroad have processed about 60,000 consular protection and assistance cases of various kinds. We have done our best to protect the lives and safety of Chinese nationals abroad, including through risk assessment and alert services around the globe, helping Chinese enterprises and personnel operating overseas enhance security and self-protection capabilities, timely evacuation of Chinese from high-risk areas, proper handling of major terrorist attacks, and all-out rescue operations of Chinese hostages. In response to the challenges brought by a prolonged pandemic, we have rolled out “Internet plus consular services” at a faster pace, including such measures as online passport application, virtual notarization, andmobile payment. The China Consular Affairs app, also launched this year, already has over 2.8 million downloads. As Chinese netizens observed, the great motherland would always give strong backing to every Chinese.
Over the past year, China’s diplomacy has forged ahead in a volatile international environment, maintained composure and confidence in major-power interactions, and scored a succession of hard-won achievements. This has been made possible with the strong leadership of General Secretary Xi Jinping and the clear guidance ofXi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy.
Over the past year, members of the Chinese foreign service have earnestly participated in the campaign on studying the Party’s history, continued to develop the Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy Studies Center, compiled and published a Study Outline for Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, and intensified efforts to study and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, which provides the fundamental guidance for conducting major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era.
The upcoming year of 2022 marks a critical year in the Chinese people’s march toward the second centenary goal. The Party will hold its 20th National Congress, which will be a most important event in the political life of the Party and the country. Members of the Chinese foreign service will rally even more closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core and keep in alignment, enhance confidence in the path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, firmly uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core position in both the Party Central Committee and the Party as a whole, and firmly uphold the Party Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership. We will keep firmly in mind what is most important for our countryand endeavor to foster a more stable and favorable external environment for the great cause of the Party and the country.
Firstly, we will make utmost efforts to ensure success of the Beijing Winter Olympic Games.The Winter Olympics has entered “Beijing time”. China is confident in presenting to the world a streamlined, safe and splendidGames. We stand ready to work with the international community to promote the Olympic spirit of “mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play”, observe the UNGA resolution on Olympic Truce, reject thepoliticization of the Olympics, and make the Winter Games a global event that enhancesmutual understanding and friendship and brings countries “together for a shared future”. It will give our world greater confidence, joy, courage and strength as we continue to battle the pandemic.
Secondly, we will take proactive steps to tackle the many challenges in the post-COVID era. We will continue to promote the spirit of solidarity in fighting COVID-19 and build a global community of health for all featuring both robust COVID response and heart warming cooperation. We will make good use of vaccines, a most effectiveweapon, to address the immediate priority of closing the immunization gap. We will also make greater effortsto advance cooperation on drug research, and work with all countries to build lines of defense against the virus and generate global synergy for guarding against future pandemics.
Thirdly, we will push for the implementation of the Global Development Initiative. The Global Development Initiative is a public good open to the world. We will work closely with UN agencies and other countries to align the Initiative with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and follow through on cooperationin the eight key areas of the Initiative. We will champion the development-first concept and reinvigorate global development cooperation so that no country or individual will be left behind.
Fourthly, we will expand and deepen global partnerships. We will continue to deepen shoulder-by-shoulder, back-to-back strategic cooperation with Russia, making it a pillar of global stability, a bedrock for peace, and a force for fairness and justice. We will strengthen high-level strategic communication with the EU, focus on the mainstream of dialogue and cooperation,stick to the keynote of mutual benefit, and continue to be partners and not adversaries. We will pursue integrated development with our neighbors and deepen our convergence of interests and people-to-people affinity to build a peaceful, safe and secure, prosperous, beautiful and amicable home together. We will continue to be a sincere and reliable partner forother developing countries, support them in building capacity for self-generated development, and defend their legitimate rights to development.
Fifthly, we will stay committed to promoting the steady growth of China-US relations. The year 2022 marks the 50th anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s visit to China. The two countries should review the spirit of that ice-melting trip, follow through on the common understandings reached between the two presidents, observe the three principles of mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation, abide by the three China-US Joint Communiqués, steer America’s China policy back to reason, and bring China-US relations back on the right track. The two sides need to jointly explore how two major countries with different systems, cultures and development stages can coexist in peace, for the good of the people in both countries and around the world.
Sixthly, we will firmly safeguard China’s core interests. We will resolutely fight off any threats and challenges that may undermine China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, and we will firmly fight back against any despicable attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs or discredit the country. China will continue to follow an independent foreign policy of peace, keep to the path of peaceful development, and pursue equality and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries. We have never been subordinate to anyone, and we have never plundered others. In the meantime, we will never give in to any coercion or blackmail.
The wheel of history keeps turning and justice will always prevail. Seen in the broader context of human progress, the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation represents an unstoppable trend. On our new historic journey ahead, we in the foreign service will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy,and continue to strive for the goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind,in order to make greater contributions to our country and to the world, and write new chapters for history and for the future.