Fifth, we have protected and expanded the shared interests of the developing world.
Over the past year, pursuing the greater good above its own interests, China has worked closely with other developing countries in fighting the virus, bolstering economic recovery and embracing a shared future. Such solidarity and cooperation have stood the test of the trying time and demonstrated new vitality.
President Xi Jinping and African leaders held a successful Extraordinary China-Africa Summit on Solidarity Against COVID-19, carrying forward and enhancing the fine tradition of mutual assistance. The two sides have accelerated the implementation of the eight major initiatives announced at the FOCAC Beijing Summit, prioritizing programs in the health sector. The ninth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum was convened, during which all sides agreed to build a community with a shared future for China and Arab states, opening up even brighter prospects of Sino-Arab relations. China and Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) countries held a Special Video Conference of Foreign Ministers on COVID-19, and a China-LAC Special Loan for Combating COVID-19 was launched. Such joint efforts have demonstrated the solidarity and friendship between China and LAC countries.
China has sent medical expert teams to developing countries in need to help them beat the virus and tide over the difficulties. China has pledged to make vaccines a global public good once they are developed and deployed, as a contribution to vaccine accessibility and affordability in developing countries. China has taken an active part in formulating the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) and implemented all debt service suspension requests that are DSSI eligible, ranking the first among G20 members in terms of deferral amount. China has promoted earnest implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the international community, and co-hosted with the United Nations the High-level Video Conference on Poverty Eradication and South-South Cooperation. We have deepened international cooperation in such areas as agriculture, education, women and children, and climate change. These efforts fully attest to our conviction in supporting the solidarity and progress of developing countries and upholding the shared interests of the developing world.
Sixth, we have actively participated in the reform of global governance system.
The past year has witnessed headwinds and setbacks in global governance. Against such a background, President Xi expounded China’s perspectives on global governance in a comprehensive and systematic way while attending major multilateral meetings and put forward China’s proposals on actively tackling global challenges.Together with the rest of the international community, we firmly upheld the international order underpinned by international law, the international system with the UN as the core, and the multilateral trading regime with the World Trade Organization (WTO) as the cornerstone. Following the trend of history, we continued to support UN’s due role in regional and international affairs, stand for greater democracy in international relations, and advocate making economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. China engaged in the international cooperation on climate change in a responsible manner. We announced that we will strive to peak CO2 emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060, demonstrating our readiness to contribute to global ecological preservation.We have also actively participated in the international rule-making in emerging areas. By releasing the Global Initiative on Data Security, we aim to address international concerns over cybersecurity. We will join other countries to foster an international cyberspace featuring peace, security, openness and cooperation.
Seventh, we have firmly safeguarded our national interests and dignity.
Over the past year, by staying committed to an independent foreign policy of peace, we have firmly safeguarded the path and system chosen by the Chinese people and upheld our country’s sovereignty, security and development interests.
We have taken a clear-cut position against any politicization or stigmatization of COVID-19 and held back the global spread of the “political virus”. We have pushed back against slanders and smears against China’s system and path and resolutely defended the security of political authority and system of the Party and the country. We have forcefully defeated the attempts to interfere in China’s internal affairs by external forces through issues related to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, and upheld sovereign independence and territorial integrity of our country. With justice on our side, we have denounced various types of disinformation and laid bare the attempts of scapegoating and blame-shifting in a bid to present and put on record an objective and truthful historical narrative. We have taken firm countermeasures against unilateral sanctions and the so-called long-arm jurisdiction in the name of national security and safeguarded our national dignity and the legitimate rights and interests of our companies and citizens.
Eighth, we have wholeheartedly served our people through diplomatic work.
Over the past year, we have stayed committed to the people-centered principle in our work and showed every concern for the safety and well-being of every fellow countryman and woman abroad affected by the epidemic. We swiftly mobilized and carried out consular protection across the world in a bid to convey the care and solicitude of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council to all the Chinese nationals living, working or studying overseas.
We urged the governments of host countries to attach importance to addressing the difficulties encountered by overseas Chinese citizens, offered prompt support to the treatment of those infected, and set up online telemedicine platforms for that purpose. Our diplomats abroad said this to their fellow countrymen, “The embassy will always be here with you. We will get through this together”. By overcoming all kinds of difficulties, we managed to deliver more than 1.2 million health kits to overseas Chinese students, sent emergency medical supplies to overseas Chinese in 100-plus countries, and arranged over 350 special flights to bring home stranded Chinese nationals. In November, when military conflicts broke out in Ethiopia, we successfully evacuated to safe areas all the 630 Chinese nationals there within 17 days. Since the beginning of 2020, our consular protection hotline 12308 has operated 24/7. It has handled three times the calls compared with the same period last year, with more than 10 calls per minute in peak times. The bond of love linking overseas Chinese with their motherland has now extended to every corner of the world.
Experts and Friends,
The year 2021 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China and the launch of our 14th Five-Year Plan. China will embark on a new journey toward fully building a modern socialist country and realizing its second centenary goal.
As the CPC reaches a centennial milestone full of youthful vigor, we in the foreign service have important missions on our shoulders. No matter how the international situation evolves, China’s diplomacy will continue to advance under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core. We will stay true to our original aspirations to bring happiness to the Chinese people and contribute to human progress. We will hold high the banner of peace, development and win-win cooperation, stick to the path of peaceful development, and pursue friendship and cooperation with other countries in all sincerity. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, we will resolutely forge ahead to explore new opportunities and break new grounds amid crises and changes, pursue all-round progress in major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, foster a new type of international relations, and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
First, we will make our best efforts to serve China’s development strategies. China remains a developing country. Our primary task is to accelerate development and rejuvenation, and our ultimate goal is to deliver a better life to our people. We will foster a keen awareness of the features of China’s new development stage, promote the new development philosophy, and create a favorable external environment for fostering a new development paradigm and implementing the 14th Five-Year Plan. We will actively support the work for both normalized epidemic control and economic and social development. Efforts will be made to open more “fast tracks” for travel and “green lanes” for shipments of cargo, establish joint pandemic response mechanisms with more countries, and expedite cooperation on economic reopening. We will enhance coordination between the foreign service and other departments handling foreign affairs, support Chinese provinces in leveraging their respective resources and strengths, and actively serve China’s overall foreign policy interests. We will host a new round of events to present Chinese provinces and economically important regions that have emerged stronger from the test of COVID-19, and help build bridges with the world for the opening and development of our country and its different localities.
Second, we will strive to facilitate global economic recovery. China will continue to open its door wider to the world, fully tap into the strength of its enormous market and the potential of domestic demand, and make significant contributions to global recovery with its own economic development. We will oppose and resist all forms of protectionism, promote stable and smooth operation of global industrial and supply chains, and work with all countries to build an open world economy. We will vigorously advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, accelerate the development of the Health Silk Road, the digital Silk Road and a green Silk Road, and bring benefits to more countries and peoples.
Third, we will advocate a new type of international relations. We will deepen China-Russia comprehensive strategic coordination, enhance bilateral strategic coordination in all areas and at all levels, and jointly build pillars for world peace and security as well as global strategic stability. We will enhance strategic trust between China and Europe, build consensus on safeguarding multilateralism, upholding free trade and tackling climate change, and expand practical cooperation on digital economy, green development and other emerging sectors.
China-US relations have come to a new historical juncture. Bearing in mind the fundamental interests of both peoples and the common good of the whole world, the two sides need to review the experience of mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries since the establishment of diplomatic ties, reflect on the lessons from setbacks in bilateral relations in recent years, and rebuild a strategic framework for the sound and stable growth of the bilateral relations. The two countries need to make concerted efforts to achieve this goal. First, we need to reopen dialogue. Dialogue and communication are effective ways to get the right perception of each other’s strategic intentions as well as domestic and foreign policies. China stands ready to open up dialogues on an equal footing with the United States at all levels and in all areas to promote sincere, in-depth and constructive exchanges. The two countries need to seek common ground while reserving differences, and prudently manage their differences. Second, we need to restart cooperation. Mutually beneficial cooperation is the anchor and booster of China-US relations. It is high time for the two sides to coordinate and cooperate on COVID-19 response to defeat the virus. At the same time, both countries are duty-bound to step up communication on global economy, climate change, counter-terrorism, cyberspace and other major issues, and provide more public goods for global peace, stability and economic recovery. Third, we need to rebuild trust. Mutual trust is the prerequisite for the healthy and stable growth of bilateral ties, and trust could only be based on objective and rational perceptions. The US side should put China in the right strategic perspective rather than viewing it as a threat, and see China’s development in a positive and constructive way. China always believes that as long as both countries adopt an objective and rational attitude, and seek greater mutual understanding and broader convergence of interests, we will surely be able to find a path of peaceful coexistence in this world between countries of different social systems and cultural backgrounds.
Fourth, we will further deepen international and regional cooperation. As we mark the 20th anniversary of the SCO, we will carry forward the Shanghai Spirit, and consolidate and strengthen the positive momentum of stability and cooperation in the region. We will work for the early entry into force of the RCEP agreement, promote mutually beneficial China-Japan-ROK cooperation, and advance the building of the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Economic Development Belt. We will take an active part in COVAX, deliver our commitment of sharing Chinese COVID-19 vaccines, once available, as a global public good, and work to build a global community of health for all. We will contribute our share to the poverty alleviation, debt reduction and disaster mitigation of developing countries, and actively support fellow developing countries in capacity building for self-generated development.
Fifth, we will proactively engage in the reform of global governance. Next year marks the 50th anniversary of the restoration of China’s lawful seat at the UN and the 20th anniversary of its accession to the WTO. We will continue to uphold multilateralism, follow the principles of openness and inclusiveness, carry out mutually beneficial cooperation, and move forward with the times. We support bringing into full play the UN’s central position and role in international affairs, and enhancing the effectiveness and authority of the WTO. We will actively participate in the reform of the global governance system, and work with all parties in formulating rules on global digital governance and making the global governance system more equitable, reasonable, inclusive and beneficial for all.
Sixth, we will promote mutual understanding between countries. China will enhance friendly interactions with the rest of the world. We call on all countries to overcome differences, seek common development, and facilitate the exchange, mutual learning and harmony among civilizations. As we celebrate the historic 100th birthday of the CPC, we will better communicate to the world the CPC’s track record of governance, the Chinese people’s extraordinary journey toward the Chinese dream and China’s commitment to peaceful development. Through better communications, we hope the world will get a more objective view of the CPC and a more accurate understanding of socialism with Chinese characteristics. China will continue to enhance mutual understanding with the rest of the world, and increase mutual trust between the Chinese and the peoples around the world.
Seventh, we will make continued efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind. President Xi Jinping has elaborated on the building of a community with a shared future for mankind on many occasions and further laid out the profound connotations of this vision. Actions to promote this community have been well underway. At the national level, China is forging bilateral communities with a shared future with more and more partners. At the regional level, China has reached agreement with the relevant parties on building communities with a shared future in its neighborhood and the Asia-Pacific, and with ASEAN, Africa, Arab states, and Latin American and Caribbean countries. At the global level, China’s proposals for building communities with a shared future in the fields of cyberspace, nuclear security, ocean and health have been warmly received. The inception and promotion of the vision of a community with a shared future for mankind reflects the development trend of the times and the shared aspiration of people across the world, and is winning ever broader understanding and support. We call on all countries to rise above differences of ideology, social systems and development stages, jointly protect the planet Earth, our only homeland, uphold the values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom shared by all of us, and work together for an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world of lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity.
Experts and Friends,
Winter can never block the coming of spring, just as night can never prevent the break of dawn. Whatever adversaries may come in humanity’s way, the wheels of history will always move forward, and nothing can stop the overwhelming trend of the times. China will, as always, stand on the right side of history and on the side of justice in international relations, and work with all countries to make the world a better place. In pursuing its foreign relations, China will continue to shoulder its responsibilities for the country and for the world, and make new and bigger contributions to the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.