At the invitation of Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion and French Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development Jean-Marc Ayrault, Foreign Minister Wang Yi will pay an official visit to Canada and attend the first annual meeting between Chinese and Canadian Foreign Ministers, and then travel to Paris for the foreign ministers’ meeting of the international support group on the Palestinian issue from May 31 to June 4.
Q: What is China’s expectation for the foreign ministers’ meeting of the international support group on the Palestinian issue?
A: At present, the conflict between Palestine and Israel is still going on and peace talks have come to a standstill. China follows that closely and is very concerned. The Palestinian issue has a fundamental impact on peace in the Middle East. Therefore, this issue must not be neglected, even less forgotten. China hopes that this foreign ministers’ meeting can focus the attention of the international community back on the Palestine-Israel issue and move forward the settlement of this issue. Foreign Minister Wang Yi will lead a delegation to the meeting and work for the peace process in the Middle East.
Q: The wash powder ad of a Chinese company in Shanghai implies racism. Many foreigners consider this ad as very offensive. Has the government of any African or other foreign country protested against it? Does China believe that it owes those that might be offended an apology?
A: I have seen the report you mentioned. It is an inappropriate behavior of a commercial company, which is an isolated case. The company involved has issued a public statement to apologize for its behavior. I want to stress that China, as a signatory party to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, has been earnestly fulfilling its obligations under the convention and working to eradicate all forms of racial and ethnic discrimination. We have friendly exchanges with people of all ethnicity and nationality and the countries they live in. We treat each other equally with respect.
Q: Has any African country protested with China against this wash powder ad?
A: I have said that it is an inappropriate behavior of a commercial company, which is an isolated case. As far as I know, no country has lodged protest with us. It is clear for all to see that China treats all countries as equals and with respect. We are good brothers with African countries, and we have sound communication and cooperation with them on international political and economic issues. Therefore, I hope that people can stop intentionally exaggerating this case.
Q: An international symposium on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was held in Nyingchi, Tibetan Autonomous Region today. Do you have more information on this symposium? And why was it held in Nyingchi, Tibet?
A: This morning, the International Symposium on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development jointly organized by the Foreign Ministry of China and the UN System in China was convened in Nyingchi, Tibet, attended by over 100 people from home and abroad.
Foreign Minister Wang Yi and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made video speeches for the symposium respectively. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that this year is the first year for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. All countries need be outcome-oriented, innovative and cooperative in ways that best suit their national conditions. We can afford to waste no time in implementing the agenda. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that China’s 13th Five-Year Plan incorporated the agenda into China’s overall development plan. He hopes to see China continue to lead the world in implementing the agenda.
Attendees of the symposium had in-depth discussions on how to synergize the agenda with national development strategy, achieve early harvest of the implementation efforts, and power the implementation process through innovation, contributing helpful advice and suggestions to advancing the worldwide implementation of the development agenda.
As for why this symposium was held in Nyingchi, Tibet has very special geographical features. For many years, Tibet has done a lot of work and made remarkable achievements in realizing economic growth and eradicating poverty. At the same time, it made many useful attempts and gathered rich experience in protecting the environment and realizing sustainable development. The purpose for the Chinese Foreign Ministry and the UN to jointly organize this symposium in Tibet is to enable all attendees to exchange ideas and share experience on the implementation of the 2030 Development Agenda in light of the successful practices of Tibet and altogether find a path leading to sustainable development.
Q: The G7 Summit talked about the world economic issues. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the economic slowdown in emerging markets is dragging down world economic growth. How do you respond to that? China is about to host the G20 Hangzhou Summit in September. Do you think that the G20 is more effective than the G7 as a platform for global economic governance?
A: Last Friday I have made clear our position on the relevant remarks by the Japanese side. We have noted that the G7 Summit which was just concluded discussed some issues on the world economy. Different parties have different opinions on the challenges faced by the world economy and the solutions, and no country can manipulate the situation for the benefit of its own. Under the current circumstances, what the international community looks forward to is the partnership that enables us to tide over the crisis altogether and concrete actions that generate growth and pump up confidence.
The G20 is a well-recognized major forum for international economic cooperation. Its representativeness and influence cannot be replaced by any other mechanism. China will host the G20 Summit this September which we hope can pool consensus and face up to the world economic challenges so as to chart the course for the world economic growth and international economic cooperation. This meets the aspiration of the international community and the need to boost the world economy. As the host country, China expects to see cooperative efforts from all parties.
Q: It has been announced that the King of Cambodia is going to visit China. Can you give us more details about the visit?
A: It has been 11 years since King Sihamoni’s previous state visit to China. The Chinese side attaches great importance to that. President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders will hold talks and meet with King Sihamoni for in-depth discussions on China-Cambodia relations and issues of shared interest.
China and Cambodia are good neighbors, friends, partners and brothers. The bilateral relationship enjoys a sound momentum of growth. The two sides have frequent high-level exchanges of visits. Cooperation in different fields has yielded fruitful results. To substantiate the comprehensive strategic cooperation between China and Cambodia serves the fundamental interests of the two peoples and contributes to development and prosperity of the region. China highly values its relationship with Cambodia and believes that the visit by King Sihamoni will give a boost to the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Cambodia.
Q: While giving a speech at the US Naval Academy, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter mentioned China 22 times, saying that China could be erecting “a Great Wall of self-isolation”. Some US media said that the US is good at weaving a story, turning daytime into night. What is your comment?
A: We have noted US Defense Secretary Carter’s remarks on China, which reflect the typical American thinking and hegemony. Some from the US side, while living in the 21th century, are still thinking with the Cold War mentality. They fabricate alarming news and stories and seek and create opponents for themselves around the world. This time, their target is the Asia-Pacific, because they want to send large amounts of highly-advanced weapons to the region, as Mr. Carter himself pointed out in his speech. I want to say that given the level of globalization, clinging to the Cold War mindset will lead nowhere. We have no interest in any form of Cold War, nor do we intend to star in any of the “Hollywood blockbuster” scripted and directed by some officials of the US military. But China is not afraid of and will definitely respond to any action that threatens or undermines China’s territorial sovereignty and security.
China and the US have extensive common interests and face common challenges in the Asia-Pacific region. The two sides have everything to gain from cooperation and to loose from confrontation. Non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation best serves the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples as well as peace and development of the region and beyond. In fact, the two sides have reached important consensus on constructively managing and controlling disputes. It is hoped that the US could work with China, enhance dialogue, communication and cooperation, interact with China in the Asia-Pacific region in a positive, inclusive, and cooperative way and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity along with regional countries.
Q: The Indonesian army said yesterday that they had on last Friday detained a Chinese fishing boat in waters off the Natuna Islands. Are you aware of this? Are you in contact with Indonesia about the boat?
A: China and Indonesia have different opinions on the waters where the incident took place. The Chinese fishing boat was conducting normal production operation in the waters. The Chinese side has lodged solemn representations with the Indonesian side. The two sides are communicating and consulting with each other on how to handle the issue.
Q: It is reported that during the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), China sent a special envoy to Pyongyang to negotiate with the DPRK side. The outcome was that the DPRK halted its nuclear test in exchange for China’s food assistance. Can you confirm that?
A: I don’t know where you got this information. I haven’t heard of it. As close neighbors, China and the DPRK have been in close contact with each other through various channels.