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Wang Yi Briefs CFR Forum on Need for ‘Focusing on Cooperation and Managing Differences’

April 24 , 2021 (EIRNS)—China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended an international virtual dialogue with members of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) today, explaining China’s policy and his view on U.S.-China relations. Under the title, “Focusing on Cooperation and Managing Differences: Bringing China-U.S. Relations Back to the Track of Sound and Steady Development,” Wang Yi presented China’s policy and the principles on which it bases its policy, and steadily countered the misconstrued views of the United States, but without for a moment withdrawing the hand of peace, cooperation and mutual development. His remarks were posted to the Foreign Ministry website.

Wang began by congratulating the CFR and its President Richard Haass, “my old friend,” on its centenary: “First of all, let me take this opportunity to express warm congratulations on the Council’s 100th anniversary. Over the century, the CFR has witnessed the vicissitudes of the world and made important contributions to China-U.S. relations. Given the current difficulties in bilateral relations, we hope that the CFR will uphold an objective and just position and continue to play a constructive role in bringing China-U.S. relations back to the right track...

“The Presidents of the two countries had an important phone conversation on the eve of the Chinese New Year, charting the course for the relationship. The Anchorage dialogue kicked off face-to-face interactions at the high level in the context of COVID-19. Our two countries recently issued a Joint Statement Addressing the Climate Crisis. Yesterday, President Xi Jinping attended the Leaders Summit on Climate at the invitation of President Joe Biden, demonstrating the sense of responsibility of our two countries in joining hands to tackle global challenges. At the same time, we have noted that the new U.S. administration has described China as its ‘most serious competitor.’ The United States still interferes in China’s internal affairs, including Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong-related matters. To be frank, the United States, in shaping its China policy, has not stepped out of the shadow of the previous administration, has not got over its misperception of China, and has not found the right way to engage with China. With this in mind, I’d like to share with you the following points from a strategic perspective.”

The Foreign Minister proceeded with five points:

“First, we hope that the United States will view China’s development in an objective and rational way.

“China is committed to a path of peaceful development, one that underlines peaceful coexistence and mutually beneficial cooperation with countries around the world. China never seeks global hegemony....

“Second, we hope that the United States will work with China to explore a new path of peaceful co-existence and mutually beneficial cooperation.

“China and the United States should uphold the spirit of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation, and actively explore a way of peaceful co-existence between two major countries with different social systems....

“China-U.S. relations are at a new crossroads. The key is whether the United States can accept the peaceful rise of a major country with a different social system, history and culture, and in a different development stage; whether it can recognize the Chinese people’s right to pursue development and a better life. The future of China-U.S. relations largely hinges on the answer of the United States to these two questions....

“Third, we hope the United States will respect and accommodate the path and system China has chosen for itself.

“What has happened shows that China’s socialist path with its own characteristics has not just leveled up the 1.4 billion Chinese people from poverty and backwardness, it also marks another major contribution of the Chinese nation to human progress. No one is entitled to negate the development paths of other countries, and no country will mold its system to others’ liking....

Fourth, we hope that the United States will practice true multilateralism....

“Fifth, we hope that the United States will not interfere in China’s internal affairs.

“Sovereignty and territorial integrity are a country’s core interests. Like any other country, China has no room for compromise on such a major issue of principle. The United States should not repeatedly challenge China’s rights and interests on issues related to Taiwan, Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and at the same time expect China to cooperate with it on issues of its own concern.

“The Taiwan question is the most important and sensitive issue in China-U.S. relations. ... Reunification is the historic trend. We will continue to work with the greatest sincerity and utmost efforts to strive for peaceful reunification. At the same time, we firmly oppose any separatist activities for any form of ‘Taiwan independence.’ We hope that the United States will abide by the one-China principle and the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, and not send any wrong signals to the ‘Taiwan independence’ elements, or try to challenge, still less cross, China’s policy red line.

“The Xinjiang-related issues are not about human rights, ethnicity or religion. They are about fighting violent terrorism, separatism and extremism. Faced with a grave situation of violent terrorism in Xinjiang a few years ago, the Chinese government acted to strike down on terrorist activities in accordance with law. It has taken a series of de-radicalization measures and resorted to education to remove the breeding ground for terrorism. These efforts have paid off. There hasn’t been a single terrorist attack in Xinjiang for over four years. People of all ethnic groups now live a safe and happy life....

“With regard to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), the Law on Safeguarding National Security in the HKSAR enacted last year and this year’s decision to improve Hong Kong’s electoral system both serve to improve the system of One Country, Two Systems, ensure the sound and steady implementation of One Country, Two Systems, ‘Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong’ and a high degree of autonomy, and achieve long-term security in Hong Kong....”

Wang concluded:

“We hope that in developing bilateral relations, China and the United States will send out more confidence in this warm spring, plant more seeds of cooperation for the benefit of people in our two countries and beyond, and reap harvests of global stability and development At this critical moment, we hope all of you will continue to speak out for objectivity and reason, and contribute your wisdom and strength to promoting China-U.S. cooperation and upholding world peace.”

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