China's foreign minister stresses need for unity, cooperation among countries

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said countries must join hands to build consensus and form synergy due to the current Covid-19 situation. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (XINHUA) - Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday (Nov 20) stressed the need for unity and cooperation for all countries, calling for dialogue to manage differences.

Mr Wang made the remarks when delivering the speech "Opposing Division Through Solidarity, Promoting Development Through Cooperation", via video link at the Global Town Hall themed "Managing Competition, Conflict, and Cooperation in a Pandemic World".

Noting that the world is still in the middle of a raging pandemic, Mr Wang said countries must join hands to build consensus and form synergy due to the current situation.

The world is far from being tranquil, and the risks of group politics and Cold War confrontations are on the rise.

He called for all parties to stay committed to solidarity and oppose division, remain committed to the win-win approach instead of a zero-sum mentality, stay committed to boosting common development through cooperation, and stay committed to managing differences through dialogue.

"China and the United States are the world's largest developing and developed countries. Whether they can manage their relations well bears on the future of the world. That's the 'question of the century'. and the two countries must come up with a good answer together," Mr Wang said.

He noted that Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden had a constructive, in-depth, candid, wide-ranging and substantive meeting on Tuesday, and hoped that the US would match its critical statements, including not fighting a new Cold War, not seeking conflict or confrontation, and not supporting "Taiwan independence" with specific policies and real actions.

"Only in this way can the China-US relationship achieve steady and long-term growth and benefit both countries and the whole world," Mr Wang added.

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Regarding mutual respect as a basic precondition for state-to-state relations, Mr Wang said all countries should understand and respect each other in the spirit of inclusiveness, rather than act condescendingly or even impose their will on others.

Peaceful coexistence is an inherent principle in state-to-state interactions, he said.

He added that no conflict, no confrontation, and maintaining peaceful coexistence should be the sensible choice that both China and the US must firmly uphold.

"This is also the right way for big countries with different social systems to get along with each other," he said.

"Win-win cooperation is the right direction of history. Globalisation is an irreversible trend of the times.

"Those who practice isolationism and protectionism will hurt both themselves and others. With their interests deeply intertwined, China and the United States will both lose in any zero-sum game."

He elaborated further, saying that only by pursuing mutual benefit and common development can the two countries achieve steady and sustained growth.

"There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is part of China. We will strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with utmost effort.

"But we will absolutely not tolerate any 'Taiwan independence' moves that aim to separate the country and will, without question, not accept any attempt to create 'two Chinas' or 'one China, one Taiwan' in the world," Mr Wang said.

"I hope that you will all agree that the more unequivocal the opposition against Taiwan independence is, and the more resolute the actions against Taiwan independence are, the more hopeful we can be that a peaceful reunification will be achieved. In turn, the more possible for the Taiwan Strait to be peaceful and stable, and consequently, more peace and prosperity in Asia and the Pacific," he explained.

Mr Wang reiterated that China supports Asean in community building, its centrality in regional architecture, and in it playing an even bigger role in the Asia-Pacific region.

"We have taken note that Asean has independently put forth its own outlook on the Indo-Pacific, highlighting that it will uphold the concepts such as openness, transparency, inclusivity, equality, mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit, and keep to the important principles of respect for sovereignty and non-intervention," Mr Wang said.

He added that these concepts and principles are compatible with the purposes of the United Nations Charter, and align with the thinking behind China's foreign policy.

Mr Wang also said China and Asean will convene a special summit to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their dialogue relations in two days, and the meeting will be an important milestone.

"The summit will further help strengthen and upgrade China-Asean relations, marking new strides to build a closer China-Asean community with a shared future. It will also make new and greater contributions to peace, stability and prosperity in the region," he added.

Noting the Communist Party of China convened the sixth plenary session of its 19th Central Committee a week ago, Mr Wang said the Plenum reviewed the major achievements and historical experience of the Party over the past century.

"It clearly pointed out that China champions opening up over isolation, pursues mutual benefit instead of zero-sum games, and stands up for fairness and justice.

"We will contribute to world peace through our development and keep the wheels of history rolling toward a brighter future," Mr Wang stressed.

"As China embarks on a new historic journey, we will work hand in hand with the whole world and open up an even brighter future for humanity," he added.

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