In his wide-ranging interview with People’s Daily on Dec. 22 (portions of which have appeared in the English-language press), Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi laid out the achievements of 2016 and pointed to the goals of 2017. The year had been one of “great turbulence with many unforeseen events,” Wang said.
He pointed to the spread of terrorism; the rise of protectionism; conservatism, and strictures on cooperation. In this situation “China remains intent on overcoming the obstacles; continuing opening up; providing a direction for global governance; holding firm its position in the midst of chaos, and, on an intensely complex chess board, to safeguard its interests, in the face of the economic transformation to promote development, and we launched the new Chinese perspective of major power relations,” Wang said. “China is more mature; is firmly moving forward; is entering onto the world stage, and has become a force for stability in chaos, and a force of energy in conditions of crisis,” he said.
And what are the results of China’s efforts in the field of global governance? People’s Daily asked.
“In the face of the historical contrast in the world power relations, change in the global governance system is the trend of the times, and is the will of the people,” Wang said. “The CPC Central Committee took the initiative to actively plan and put forward China’s concept for strengthening global governance in a timely manner, so as to push forward the international political and economic system in a more just and reasonable direction. Over the past year, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee has conducted two collective studies on global governance, and made a top-level design for China’s participation in global governance, setting clear goals and direction.”
In this respect, he pointed to the Hangzhou Summit, the Lima APEC Summit, and to Li Keqiang’s address to the United Nations. Further on in the interview, the Foreign Minister also outlined the other successes of Chinese diplomacy in 2016: the successful meeting with the Philippine President; the initiatives within ASEAN; the continuation of the Belt and Road development; President Xi’s phone call to President-elect Trump, and the successful negotiations with Myanmar and the China-EU Summit.
Wang elaborated in particular on the successes of the Belt and Road, now garnering the support of over 100 countries and international organizations: “The Belt and Road, like a high-speed train, is carrying the countries along its route to a bright future; thus resembling a broad path that attracts countries along its route to move toward a common prosperity,” Wang said. The four tasks for the year include: holding the International Silk Road Belt Summit and the BRICS Summit; creating a secure external environment for continued development; creating a smooth transition in U.S.-China relations with the new administration, and to continue to create “overseas livelihood projects” to better serve national reform and development and opening up.