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Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Meets the Press

2008/03/14

Invited by Mr. Jiang Enzhu, spokesman of the first session of the 11th National People's Congress, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi answered questions on China's foreign policy and external relations at a press conference held on the morning of 12 March 2008.

Minister Yang: I'm glad to meet you all. Premier Wen Jiabao discussed China's foreign policy and external relations in the Report on the Work of the Government. Now I would like to answer your questions.

CCTV: It is reported that with the growth of China's strength, the guidelines and vision of China's foreign policy are changing quietly and the country is more actively engaged in addressing internationl issues. In your view, what are the guidelines and vision for China's foreign policy in the new era?

Minister Yang: The new guidelines and vision of China's foreign policy in the new era were fully discussed by General Secretary Hu Jintao in the report to the 17th Party Congress and by Premier Wen in his government work report to the current NPC session. I'd like to point out here that peaceful development, exchanges and mutual understanding, mutual benefit and win-win progress, cooperation and harmony are important to China's foreign policy.

First, peaceful development. China is a developing country faced with arduous development tasks. China is unswervingly committed to peaceful development. We hold that all countries, developing and developed alike, should take the path of peaceful development. Countries should solve their differences by peaceful means, live in harmony and strive for common development.

Second, exchanges and mutual understanding. We live in an information age, yet we cannot assume that exchanges among people will automatically bring mutual understanding. Countries should put themselves in each other's position, take a fair and objective view, recognize and accommodate the legitimate interests of others, and this is the way to increase mutual trust, expand common ground and promote cooperation. We in China have a fine tradition of showing mutual respect and trust. We stand ready to deepen friendship and strengthen exchanges and cooperation with the rest of the world.

Third, mutual benefit and win-win progress. This should be our aim not only in the economic field, but also in the political, security, cultural and educational fields. Only by pursuing mutual benefit and win-win progress can we put relations between countries on a more solid footing and maintain their vigor and vitality.

Fourth, cooperation and harmony. China is working to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. I believe this is also the goal mankind pursues. In ancient China, the idea of "peace and cooperation bring harmony" was already a popular one. We should strengthen our exchanges and cooperation to reduce elements of discord and increase elements of concord so as to promote cooperation among nations.

This is a long-term goal for China, and we are working to achieve it. We will work with other countries for a more harmonious and better world.

ITAR-TASS: Mr. Medvedev was just elected President of Russia. Could you comment on the current state of relations between China and Russia? What are your expectations for the strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia?

Minister Yang: The relationship between China and Russia is in good shape. We offer our warm congratulations to Mr. Medvedev on his election as President of Russia. We would also like to express our great appreciation to President Putin for his tremendous contribution to forging closer relations with China over the years.

The Strategic Partnership of Coordination between China and Russia has entered its second decade. The two countries have agreed to strengthen this partnership under the guidance of the Treaty on Good-neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation. We have full confidence in the prospect of this partnership.

I think we should focus our efforts on the following priority areas: first, we should strengthen the high level exchange mechanism. We should maintain the momentum of high level exchange of visits and increase mutual support on issues that are important to each other's core interests. Second, we should advance our economic cooperation and raise our bilateral trade to a new level by improving the trade structure and ensuring order in trade. Third, we should promote people-to-people and cultural exchanges. In particular, we should make the Year of Russian Language in China in 2009 and the Year of the Chinese Language in Russia in 2010 a success to boost our exchanges. There are more people studying Chinese now. I hope that foreign reporters present here today will also learn Chinese. I think Chinese is one of the easiest languages to learn. Otherwise it would be difficult to explain why as many as 1.3 billion people speak Chinese. Finally, our two countries should strengthen cooperation on international and regional issues in order to promote world peace and development.

NBC: As you all know, a high profile Olympic athlete has decided to withdraw from one of the competitions over fears of pollution and another one is contemplating the same thing. Especially on the day like that which we have in Beijing right now, and with the Olympics so close at hand, what would you all say to the athletes of other countries and their governments as to the quality of air by the time the Olympics arrives this August?

Minister Yang: I believe most athletes who are going to take part in the Olympic Games in Beijing will be satisfied with the air quality, environment and sports facilities in Beijing. They have full confidence in these conditions. We may debate whether China is a strong or major sports nation. But one thing is clear. Many Chinese athletes have broken world records when competing in China, especially in Beijing. If foreign athletes cannot break world record in other places, they may have better luck when they come to Beijing. China takes climate change seriously, and the Chinese Government has taken a full range of effective measures to tackle climate change. I am sure the air quality in Beijing and in China will become better and better.

Jiji Press: My questions are about Japan's relations with China. China and Japan have agreed that President Hu Jintao will visit Japan in the cherry flower season. However, it is reported that this visit may be postponed. If that is the case, can China agree to dates of the visit after May? Some people believe that the postponement is due to the poisoned dumpling incident. What impact will this incident have on the visit? My last question is on the oil field in the East China Sea. Is there any chance that this issue will be resolved before President Hu's visit to Japan?

Minister Yang: I heard spring is very beautiful in Japan when the cherry flowers and many other flowers are in full bloom. The people in China and Japan all hope that President Hu will visit Japan in spring when flowers are in full bloom. There is no such thing of postponing the visit. The two countries have agreed that President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Japan in the near future. The foreign ministries of the two countries are having discussions on the dates of the visit. The visit is going to be a historic one. It will surely boost the growth of China-Japan relations.

China-Japan relations have been brought back to the track of normal development and face important opportunities for further growth thanks to a series of visits between the leaders of the two countries, including the ice-breaking, ice-melting and spring-heralding visits. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship between China and Japan. This year is also the year of friendly exchanges between Chinese and Japanese young people. President Hu's visit will be the first by a Chinese president to Japan in the new century. The two foreign ministries are busy making preparations for the visit. We hope that during the visit, a blueprint for the long-term development of this relationship will be drawn, mechanisms for exchanges improved, practical cooperation across the board deepened, and the strategic relationship of mutual benefit between China and Japan will be enriched. We hope this visit will put our relationship on the track of long-term, healthy and stable growth.

The Chinese Government takes food safety very seriously. Our position to both Chinese and foreign consumers is a highly responsible one. We are greatly concerned about the poisoned dumpling incident. The competent authorities in China have taken all necessary measures and carried out serious and responsible investigations into the incident. They have released the initial investigation results. What I want to emphasize here is that the Chinese investigation will continue to find out what really happened. I would also like to say that China-Japan cooperation is crucial to resolving cross-border food safety incident like this. The competent government departments of the two countries, particularly the police departments, should strengthen consultation and cooperation, take a cool-headed, objective, fair, and scientific attitude, and carry out joint investigation to find out the truth, so that we can give a responsible response to the people in both countries.

To ensure more timely and effective cooperation in the future, it is necessary to quickly set up a long-term mechanism for ensuring food safety. I believe that both the Chinese and Japanese peoples hope to see the early establishment of such a mechanism.

With regard to the East China Sea, the issue has a long history and is very complex. The key is for the two sides to find a win-win solution that is mutually acceptable. The leaders of the two countries reached a four-point agreement on this issue during Prime Minister Fukuda's visit to China. They agreed to seek an early solution in the course of promoting China-Japan relationship that serves the overall interests of China-Japan relations. The foreign ministries of the two countries, guided by the agreement reached between the leaders, are discussing new solutions on the basis of progress already made. But we don't think it is a good idea to set a deadline for the consultations.

HK Commercial Daily: There have been some new developments in China's relations with Europe in recent years. There is change of leaders in quite a number of European countries. China and Europe have differences in such fields as human rights, economy and trade and especially Tibet. What is your comment on China's relations with Europe? As the foreign minister, what are you going to do to address these differences? It was reported that US aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk hopes to visit Hong Kong in April. Has the Foreign Ministry received the application? Will it be approved?

Minister Yang: Since China established formal ties with the European Economic Community in 1975, China's relations with Europe have steadily moved forward and we are satisfied with the progress made. In the past three decades, our relations have gone through three stages, from constructive partnership to comprehensive partnership and then to the current comprehensive strategic partnership. Trade between the two sides is over US$300 billion. The EU is China's largest trading partner and our trade has increased by 100 times since 1975. We have great confidence in the future of this relationship.

Of course, as our business ties grow, frictions and disputes are hardly avoidable. They are growing pains and can be addressed. We will soon hold the high-level economic dialogue between China and Europe.

We think it is important to have constructive dialogue with the EU and European countries on human rights on the basis of equality and mutual respect.

As a matter of fact, there is a lot of common ground between China and Europe on human rights. Our differences stem from differences in social system, history, culture and different levels of social and economic development. With regard to the Dalai Lama, more countries and people in Europe have recognized that the Tibet issue is important to China's sovereignty and territorial integrity. It is not a religious or ethnical issue. Recently, the German government explicitly reiterated that it recognizes Tibet as part of China and it will not encourage or support any attempt to seek Tibet independence. I believe that more countries will do the same and more people will see through the Dalai Lama's scheme to split China.

I'd like to mention the 7th ASEM Summit to be held in Beijing this October. This is the first time that China will host such a meeting. It will be a grand gathering of over 40 heads of state and government from Asia and Europe. We hope the meeting will help enhance cooperation between Asia and Europe in international affairs, strengthen economic exchanges and trade and promote dialogues among different civilizations. We also hope that the meeting will make fresh contribution to improving the international system and strengthening the human cause of peace and development.

You asked about aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk's visit to Hong Kong. We haven't received any application from the US side for the visit. If we receive such an application, it will be handled according to the principle of sovereignty and due procedures.

China Daily: Some people overseas say that China should shoulder more responsibilities in addressing international issues. As China develops relations with Africa, it should also pay closer attention to good governance and human rights in Africa. And China should undertake more international obligations in tackling climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. What is your response to these views?

Minister Yang: China is a responsible member of the international community. We handle international affairs in a serious and responsible manner. Frankly, as a developing country, China cannot undertake the level of obligation that is beyond its capacity. What I want to emphasize here is that we don't undertake international responsibilities to serve the interests of certain countries or a group of countries. Our international responsibilities should not be judged by the criteria of certain countries or a group of countries. In fulfilling our international obligations, we act in the interest of the Chinese people, the world and the future. As China becomes stronger, it will certainly take more international responsibilities, and China will continue to work with other countries to promote peace and development.

On Africa, first let me say that China is an old and good friend of the African people. Interests are important to countries, but friends and moral principles are equally important. If countries have only interests and no friends, they will be lonely and dull. China has many friends in Africa. We regard African countries as our sincere friends, and we are committed to building a new strategic partnership with Africa based on sincerity, friendship, equality, mutual support and common development.

Second, we believe that African countries have the right to choose partners for cooperation. They have the right to translate their strengths in resources into strengths in development and release their potential through cooperation. The African countries and people welcome cooperation with China. There is no question about it. If one wants to comment on cooperation between China and Africa, he should first respect the will and view of the African people. There wasn't adequate such respect in the past.

China's cooperation with Africa not only serves as a driving force for African development, it has also drawn greater international attention to Africa. What I have learned is that the African people welcome China's cooperation with them.

As to climate change, it is mainly attributable to the long-term historical emissions by developed countries and their current high per capita emissions. China's aggregate emission is large, because China has the largest population in the world. But China's per capita emission level is quite low.

The emission by three Chinese is less than that by one person in developed countries. It's like one person eating three slices of bread for breakfast, while three other people having one slice each. Who should be on diet? If we see per capita energy consumption in the context of the principle that all are born equal, I don't think those people are justified to talk about how big China's emission is as if they hold the moral high ground.

Shouldn't people in developing countries work to improve their living standards? To make life better for the Chinese people, we are working hard to achieve not only the vision set out by the Chinese Government, but also the UN Millennium Development Goals. China's emission in the course of development will inevitably increase for some time to come. China has made tremendous efforts to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. Our efforts have been productive. We will work even harder to achieve these goals.

A lot of Chinese products are exported to the benefit of consumers around the world. I hope when people are using these high quality yet inexpensive Chinese products, they will not forget that China is under increasing pressure of transfer emission.

When talking about emissions, one should not look only at the aggregate amount and not per capita level, only present and not history or only production and not consumption, because this is not fair and not scientific.

Finally let me emphasize that China welcomes the "Bali Roadmap". China has made every effort to tackle climate change and will continue to act responsibly and intensify such efforts.

The Times: In this Olympic year, how will China make the international community and foreign visitors confident in the safety to travel here with this new threat of terrorism? And why should these visitors feel comfortable when the plane involved stopped for only one hour and there are no other reports on measures taken to ensure that flights in the air were grounded or checked?

Minister Yang: China is of course one of the safest places in the world. If you don't believe, ask your ambassador, ask the UK and US ambassador, ask any ambassador from Western countries whether they feel safer here in China or elsewhere? More and more people come to visit China every year. I've learned that during the Olympic Games, the hotel rooms in Beijing will be difficult to book despite rise in charges. This shows that people regard China as a safe place. Of course hotel rooms are more expensive in other countries. For instance when I attended the inaugural ceremony of the Bush Library, the hotel rooms there were three times more expensive. But I had to pay charges. The country paid more foreign exchanges for my visit.

I don't know which particular incident you were talking about. I was asked about what happened to China Southern Airlines flight CZ6901. I was informed that on March 7th China Southern Airlines flight CZ6901 flew from Urumuqi, Xinjiang to Beijing. During the flight, the crew member found some passenger in possession of suspicious liquid. To ensure passenger safety, the plane landed at Zhongchuan Airport, Lanzhou and the passengers and the crew were safe. Then the plane resumed its flight to Beijing and arrived safe and sound. The investigation is still under way.

Yonhap News Agency: I have two questions. The first is that the relations between China and the Republic of Korea have entered a new stage. What is meant by this new stage? Will the comprehensive partnership between the two countries be transformed into a strategic partnership? The second question is Mr. Christopher Hill and Mr. Kim Gye Guan will have discussions on the declaration of the nuclear facilities. It is said that China proposed that the issue be solved along the line of the China-US Shanghai Communiqué of 1972. What is the content of China's proposal? How do you see the future of the Six-Party Talks? It seems that there is some strange development in China's relations with the DPRK. Could you comment on that?

Minister Yang: We wish to congratulate President Lee Myung Bak on taking the office as president of the Republic of Korea. When State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan attended the inaugural ceremony for President Lee as special envoy of President Hu Jintao, he had an in-depth conversation with President Lee. State Councilor Tang's visit was successful. The comprehensive and cooperative partnership between China and the ROK is moving forward at a steady pace. We stand ready to work with the ROK to advance this relationship, which serves the fundamental interests of the peoples of both countries. We hope that our two countries will work together to strengthen high-level exchanges, maintain the momentum of high-level visits, strengthen our cooperation in economic affairs, trade, science and technology, culture, education and health. We should step up consultation and cooperation in international and regional issues.

Talking about China's relations with the DPRK, they are on a track of normal development and I don't see anything strange or abnormal. We have noted that Mr. Hill and Mr. Kim will soon meet in a third country. We hope they will work together and their meeting will improve the relations between the United States and the DPRK and advance the process of the Six-Party Talks.

With regard to how to promote the Six-Party Talks, China believes that all the stakeholders should be patient, work creatively, meet each other half way and ensure that the second phase actions be taken in a balanced way. All the parties should redouble efforts now. China will continue to play an active and constructive role for the denuclearization, peace and stability of the Korean Peninsula and for ensuring harmony in Northeast Asia.

Italian TV: Recently, some countries, including Italy, have introduced in the United Nations a request for a moratorium on the death penalty or a freeze on executions. China is opposed to this. Why? And why is it impossible to know the exact number of executions in China?

Minister Yang: Whether there should be death penalty or not is decided by countries in light of their national circumstances. Many countries still have death penalty. China is not the only country.

China is very prudent, serious and responsible in implementing the system of death penalty. As you may know, the Supreme People's Court of China has taken back the power to approve death penalty.

With regard to information on the number of death penalty cases in China, I am sorry I don't know it. I suggest that you may ask the competent Chinese authorities.

CRI: In recent years, the Foreign Ministry has given higher priority to economic diplomacy and public diplomacy. It has helped Chinese companies go global and invited the public to visit the Foreign Ministry. How does the Foreign Ministry view work in these two areas? What has it done and what will it do in the future?

We saw you sing Suzhou opera with a Member of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference on TV, which gave us a deep impression. What do you do during the spare time? The media described you as being scholarly yet witty, cool-headed yet humorous. Is it your natural personality or a style shaped by your many years of diplomatic experience? What kind of a diplomat do you think you are?

Minister Yang: I think the first part of your question is easier to answer than the second.

In recent years, the Foreign Ministry and its overseas missions have fully tapped their strengths and worked with other government departments to promote China's economic cooperation and trade with the rest of the world.

People like to do business with friends. As diplomats, we should, first and foremost, work to deepen the strategic and political mutual trust between China and other countries so that we can create a sound international and neighboring environment for China's economic cooperation and trade with other countries.

Second, we have worked vigorously to promote economic cooperation and trade at the multilateral, bilateral and regional levels and resolve economic and trade issues, frictions and disputes through dialogue and consultation.

Third, we have worked with other government departments to ensure the successful launching of a number of important projects of mutual benefit. We have also worked to protect the legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese companies and nationals.

We will continue to promote economic diplomacy, an important area of our work, and make our due contribution to promoting China's modernization drive.

Turning to public diplomacy, I would like to emphasize that China's diplomacy is people's diplomacy. It is people oriented. We have paid special attention to soliciting public views and suggestions on China's diplomacy through a variety of channels. We have kept the public informed of China's foreign policy through the Internet and other means.

In recent years, the Foreign Ministry has hosted Open Days for the general public. We will continue such efforts and try to do an even better job.

The Chinese people have shown great support for China's diplomatic work, which deeply touched my colleagues and me. It is a source of strength and vision for us.

Public diplomacy contributes to world peace and common development in its own way. Our leaders have set good examples for us in conducting external exchanges and public diplomacy. When they visit other countries, they always have extensive and in-depth contacts with the general public of host countries.

Our ambassadors, consulars-general and diplomats posted overseas also spend much time and energy on public diplomacy. I know that one ambassador has given about 100 speeches and interviews a year. Every year, the Foreign Ministry receives dozens of non-official delegations from other countries.

Given its importance, we will continue to work hard and do an even better job conducting public diplomacy.

Talking about personal style, I think each of the successive foreign ministers of China had his own personal style. But they had one thing in common. They were loyal to the country and the people, keen to make as many friends as possible and to promote world peace and development.

As the new foreign minister, I will faithfully fulfill my duty and live up to the expectations of me from the country and people. I will better serve the interests of the country and the people and promote the mutually beneficial cooperation and friendly relations between China and other countries and between the Chinese people and peoples around the world.

I was born in the year of the tiger, but when I meet my colleagues from other countries, I always calmly discuss with them ways to promote bilateral and multilateral relations and work with them to solve international and regional issues. Of course, they know that I'm absolutely firm in upholding China's interests.

I don't think there should be conflict between work and personal life. Life should be colorful and I have many hobbies.

I want to improve myself and do a better job, so I always try to find time to do some reading in the evening. I also like calligraphy, I play table tennis, and I enjoy listening to different local operas, especially Beijing opera and Suzhou opera. But it is getting more difficult for me to find time to have such activities.

AP: You have said that you oppose the politicization of the Olympic Games. Yet many people argue that it is impossible to separate politics from such an enormous international and global event. Others would also say that China itself has politicized the Games in a way by using them to promote patriotism and to raise China's international stature. I just want to ask: Do you honestly believe you can keep politics out of the Olympic Games? Do you intend to continue to reject all of the criticism and pressure or will you see this as an opportunity to perhaps engage some of your critics as well as your supporters at the Olympics? May I ask you also to comment a little on some of the statements made by candidates in the US presidential primaries who accuse China of harming US interests through its trade practices and also criticize China over human rights? Is China concerned it may be a scapegoat or it may be unfairly abused in the election?

Minister Yang: First of all let me say, patriotism and the politicization of the Olympic Games are completely different matters. Do you think the Chinese Government is forcing the Chinese people to support the Olympic Games? I think any fair-minded people will recognize the enormous, sincere and warm support the Chinese people have demonstrated to the Olympic Games as something from the bottom of their hearts. Second, I do not think the international community is politicizing the Beijing Olympic Games. It is a small number of people who are anti-China and very biased towards China that are attempting to do so. They cannot speak for the international community. Third, not to politicize the Olympic Games is what is laid down in the Olympic Charter. Those people who attack China often talk about the importance of abiding by laws and regulations. Then why are they openly violating the relevant provisions of the Olympic Charter?

We would like to discuss with people from around the world and people from different sectors ways on how to make the Beijing Olympic Games a unique and well run event. We welcome suggestions and criticism offered out of goodwill. However, if some people want to tarnish the image of China, they'd better heed what I say. They will never get their way, because what they are doing is opposed by people in China and people around the world. By so doing, they are putting themselves against the Chinese people and the world people. Those people who want to tarnish China's image will only end up tarnishing their own image. I wish to point out that the countries and governments around the world, leaders and the public of different countries all support the Beijing Olympic Games. They have demonstrated profound friendship towards the Chinese people.

Generally speaking, China's relations with the United States have been on an even keel and have steadily moved forward. Our bilateral trade has also grown a lot in recent years. Such economic and trade relations benefit both countries. We believe many factors contribute to trade imbalance between China and the United States. One is globalization and the trade structure of the two countries. Second, with its good investment environment, China is favored as a destination of international investment. Over 60% of China's exports to the US are actually produced by foreign companies or joint ventures in China. Many of them are US companies. So the United States has directly benefited from Chinese exports. Third, China has a surplus in trade in goods. But if you look at trade in services, the United States has a surplus. The United States still has tight control over its high-tech exports to China. This is also an important factor causing China's surplus and US deficit. We would like to increase import from the United States. As a matter of fact, China is the fasted growing export market for the Untied States. We will strengthen consultation and cooperation with the Untied States and reinforce our economic and strategic dialogue and other mechanisms so that they will play a more important role. In short, we are committed to developing our economic cooperation and trade so as to bring more benefits to peoples of the two countries.

With regard to human rights, China stands ready to have human rights dialogue with the Untied States on the basis of equality and mutual respect. However, we are strongly opposed to such practices as clinging to the Cold War mentality, drawing lines on ideological ground, provoking confrontation, practicing double standards or interfering in China's internal affairs in the name of human rights. China-US relations are very important bilateral relations. I hope the two countries will stand high, look far and work together to move forward this constructive and cooperative relationship.

Lianhe Zaobao: I have two questions. The first is on sovereign wealth funds (SWF). The EU and the IMF are reportedly working on a set of code of conduct. China has expressed its opinion that this set of code of conduct is unfair. How do you see this dispute concerning international financial issue? Some people say China's opposition reflects that China wants to have a bigger say in the making of international rules of the game. My second question is about relations between large and small countries. China and Vietnam have disputes over territorial resources, causing concerns from some small countries. In terms of China's foreign policy, what is your policy toward developing relations with smaller countries? And what are you doing to make the small countries feel reassured in developing relations with China?

Minister Yang: Sovereign wealth funds are not new. Actually, several dozen countries have SWF. The China Investment Corporation was only set up recently. It operates according to international commercial rules. And it is welcomed by many countries. Recently, the president of the China Investment Corporation visited the UK and he was warmly received. To make good use of SWF in keeping with international rules is in everyone's interest. Talking about the rules of the game, of course they should be made by all the participants.

With regard to China's relations with Vietnam, if you are talking about the South China Sea, let me say the following: China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters. Our position is that the difference should be resolved in the spirit of putting aside differences and pursuing common development. To play up the differences is no good because it will not resolve the problem. We hope that all stakeholders will implement the follow-up actions on the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea and can act in cooperation. We would like to have more discussions with them on this issue. It is our long-held position that all countries are equal whether they are big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor. China is ready to develop relations with other countries, big or small, on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and other norms governing international relations. I think China's relations with Singapore are quite good.

Xinhua News Agency: China's development has attracted wide attention. At the same time, profound changes are also taking place in the world. How do you see China's relations with the outside world? As you see it, what are the opportunities and challenges for China's diplomacy in the coming five years?

Minister Yang: The world is undergoing extensive and profound changes. China is also undergoing extensive and profound changes. China faces both opportunities and challenges on the diplomatic front. But there are more opportunities than challenges.

This, I believe, is the general trend in the coming five years. I wish to stress that peace and development remain the general trend of our times. The international architecture of power has changed in favor of world peace and development. The world situation is on the whole stable. But the world is not entirely peaceful. It is still faced with challenges and difficulties. As China becomes stronger and historic changes are taking place in China's external relations, most countries see China as an opportunity for development. But some people still have doubts. Some even want to hold back China's development. This is the international environment in which we find ourselves.

As the foreign minister, I am keenly aware that the international situation will become more complex in the next five years, with both positive and negative factors emerging. But no matter how the international environment and China's external environment may change, China is unswervingly committed to the foreign policy set at the 17th Party Congress. We are ready to meet challenges, seize opportunities and translate challenges into opportunities and opportunities into reality. We will continue to work to accelerate China's drive of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects. We will work with people in the world to create a better future. We have full confidence in the future of China and the future of the world.

Finally, I wish to thank you for attending the press conference. I hope to have more such opportunities to meet you in the future and learn more about your views. And I want to thank Mr. Jiang Enzhu for hosting today's press conference.

The press conference lasted for two hours and was attended by over 600 Chinese and foreign journalists.

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