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Highlights: Chinese FM Wang Yi takes questions on China’s foreign policy

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, answered questions from Chinese and foreign media about China’s foreign policy and external relations on Thursday.

The second session of the 14th National People’s Congress held the press conference at the Press Conference Hall of the Media Center in Beijing.

“In this changing and turbulent international environment, China will remain a staunch force for peace, stability and progress of the world,” Wang said before taking questions.

Here are some of the highlights of the press conference:

China’s diplomacy
The year 2023 not only witnessed pioneering efforts but also great harvests in China’s diplomacy, Wang stated.

“We took steps to promote international solidarity and cooperation, and offered solutions to crises and challenges. We contributed to world peace and development, and broke new ground in China’s diplomatic theory and practice,”
Wang told reporters.

China-Russia ties
China and Russia have forged a new paradigm of major-country relations that differs entirely from the obsolete Cold War approach, Wang said.

“On the basis of non-alliance, non-confrontation and not targeting any third party, China and Russia strive for lasting good-neighborliness and friendship and seek to deepen their comprehensive strategic coordination,” Wang added.

China-U.S. ties
Peaceful coexistence is the bottom line of China-U.S. relations, and the consequences of a conflict between the two major countries are unimaginable, Wang said.

The United States should take an objective and rational view of China’s development, and match its words with actions to honor the commitments on China-U.S. relations, Wang said.

Palestinian-Israeli conflict
Noting that the failure to end the humanitarian disaster caused by the Palestinian-Israeli conflict today in the 21st century is a “tragedy for humanity and a disgrace for civilization,” Wang called on the international community to act to give priority to an immediate ceasefire.

“We support Palestine’s full membership in the UN, and urge certain UN Security Council member to stop laying obstacles to that end,” Wang said.

China-Europe cooperation
As long as China and Europe engage in mutually beneficial cooperation, no attempt to create bloc confrontation will succeed, Wang said, adding that deglobalization will not prevail as long as China and Europe stay committed to openness and win-win.

“A strong Europe is in the long-term interests of China. A strong China is also in the fundamental interests of Europe,” Wang told reporters.

Taiwan question
Wang stressed that the bottom line is quite clear that China will never allow Taiwan to be separated from the motherland.

All people of Chinese descent should uphold the overall interests of the Chinese nation, jointly oppose “Taiwan independence” and support peaceful reunification, Wang added.

Ukraine crisis
China supports the holding in due course of an international peace conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine and ensures the equal participation of all parties and fair discussions on all peace plans, Wang said.

He explained that “all our efforts point to one goal, that is, to pave the way for ending the conflict and starting peace talks.”

Visa-free policy
China will adopt a visa-free policy for Switzerland, Ireland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium and Luxembourg on a trial basis from March 14, Wang announced.

“We hope more countries will also offer Chinese citizens visa facilitation and work with us to build fast-track networks for cross-border travels and encourage speedy resumption of international passenger flights,” Wang added.

South China Sea issue
China will take justified actions to defend its rights in accordance with the law and respond to unwarranted provocations with prompt and legitimate countermeasures in the South China Sea, Wang emphasized.

“We will work with ASEAN countries to strive for an early conclusion of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and to ensure that the South China Sea remains a sea of peace and cooperation,” Wang added.

Global governance of AI
Wang said that concerted efforts are needed to advance global governance of AI, and there should be equal emphasis on development and security.

New things and new opportunities should be embraced, while brakes should be checked before setting off, Wang noted.

China-Africa ties
China will continue to stand firmly with African brothers and support an Africa that is truly independent in thinking and ideas, Wang told reporters.

He also announced that a highly anticipated meeting of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation is set to take place in Beijing this autumn.

Belt and Road Initiative
The Belt and Road Initiative, which has become the most popular global public good and the largest platform for international cooperation, has also become a pathway to cooperation, opportunity and prosperity for partner countries seeking joint development, Wang noted.

China will work with all parties to uphold the Silk Road spirit, deliver on the outcomes of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and usher in a second golden decade of Belt and Road cooperation, according to Wang.

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