Rising to Challenges Together for a Shared Future
– Virtual Address by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the 58th Munich Security Conference
I am delighted to attend the Munich Security Conference (MSC) once again and to meet with old and new friends on the “cloud”.
In the past few years, the most frequently discussed topic at the MSC was “uncertainty”. And this year it has been replaced by a sense of “helplessness”. All this reflects the deep confusion among nations about the current state of the world, as well as their widely shared concern about its future. Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres cautioned expressly many times that the world is at risk of division, and major countries are expected to shoulder their responsibilities and live up to international obligations.
As China sees it, this warning is no alarmism. Indeed, our world faces once again the danger of division and confrontation. Certain big power is reviving the Cold War mentality and stoking confrontation between blocs. It willfully wields unilateral sanctions and undermines international rule of law. It puts together various circles and stirs up antagonism. It gets zealous about decoupling and building walls and acts against the trend of globalization. It boasts of its strength and power and glorifies hegemony and bullying. This should not be allowed to continue, because it runs counter to the advancement of history.
So what shall we do? The answer lies in greater solidarity and cooperation under the banner of multilateralism. As President Xi Jinping highlighted at the World Economic Forum earlier this year, “Amidst the raging torrents of a global crisis, countries are not riding separately in some 190 small boats, but are rather all in a giant ship on which our shared destiny hinges.”
Only when countries row the oars together and cheer up each other, rather than undercut and come after one another, can we overcome the current challenges and sail into a bright future. In this process, the role and action of major countries are critically important. Let me share with you three points.
First, to make the world a better place, major countries must lead by example. President Xi Jinping has stressed time and again that major countries should act like major countries. We expect all major countries to take the lead in supporting multilateralism, living up to their international commitments, acting on the purposes of the UN Charter, and contributing to world peace and development. China has all along honored its international responsibilities and obligations with real actions.
Facing the persistent global pandemic, China has acted on President Xi Jinping’s announcement of making vaccines public goods. China was among the earliest to provide vaccines to countries in need, and has so far provided over 2.1 billion doses of vaccines to more than 120 countries and international organizations. We are now focusing on providing a new round of large-scale vaccine assistance to Africa.
Facing the sluggish global economic recovery, China has put actions behind the vision of common development. It has worked to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, and pursue green, open and clean development as well as high-standard, people-centered and sustainable progress.
Facing the impact of COVID-19 on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, China has put forward the Global Development Initiative and called on all countries to take action together and lend fresh impetus to the realization of the Agenda.
Facing the complex governance challenge, China has taken an active part in developing global governance systems on climate, environment, health and in the digital sector and worked to make globalization more open and beneficial to all. It has been a staunch stalwart of the international system with the United Nations at the center and the international order based on international law.
Facing the volatile global landscape, China upholds the new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and has worked for political settlement of regional hotspot issues, playing a constructive role in maintaining international peace and security.
Facts have proved that China’s development has increased certainty in the world and expanded the force for peace. China, with higher quality development and better capability to deliver, will provide stronger impetus for global recovery beyond COVID and greater contribution to international peace and stability.
Second, to make the world a better place, countries must work in sync.
We need to work together for a new type of international relations based on mutual respect, equity, justice and win-win cooperation. State-to-state relations should not be simplistically defined by competition only. And no country should be fixated on turning back the wheel of history and repeat past mistakes of forging rivaling alliances.
We need to work together to champion and act on true multilateralism. The authority of the United Nations must be guaranteed, and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter must be upheld. No country, not even a super power, should replace international norms with its own will, still less put itself above international norms.
We need to work together to promote balanced and robust recovery of the world economy. What is urgently needed is further openness and integration, not isolation and decoupling, and to remove trade barriers, bring down “exclusive yards with high walls”, promote open, green and common development, and foster and maintain an open world economy.
We need to work together to safeguard global peace and tranquility. Security of a country should not come at the expense of that of another country. And security of a region cannot be realized by beefing up military blocs. The idea of exclusive security and absolute security must be rejected. We all must guard against and oppose any attempt for a “new Cold War”, and strive for a world of enduring peace.
Third, to make the world a better place, China and Europe must play their part. China and Europe are two major forces and great civilizations. We can, and we must, provide more stability and positive energy for the world.
The two sides need to stay committed to the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, and should not be swayed by any turn of event. China will continue to support European integration, support an EU with greater unity and prosperity, and support European strategic autonomy. At the same time, we hope that Europe could move forward from the “partner-competitor-rival” characterization of its relations with China, focus on the mainstream of dialogue and cooperation, stick to the keynote of mutual benefit, and view the China-Europe relationship from a strategic and long-term perspective to ensure the overall direction of a healthy relationship.
The two sides need to respect each other’s core interests and adhere to the basic international norm of non-interference in internal affairs. Given the differences in our history, cultural background and development stage, it is natural that we do not always see eye to eye with each other. China is ready to, on the basis of mutual respect and equality, enhance dialogue with the European side and seek common ground in spite of the differences, and find a mutually acceptable path forward.
The two sides need to expand mutually beneficial cooperation across the board. China and Europe are linked by highly complementary development edges, and a cooperation foundation built over the years. We should look beyond the pandemic to unlock further potential and room for cooperation, and give substance to our partnerships for green and digital cooperation, so as to bring about greater possibilities and sustained momentum for China-Europe relations.
The Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022 is drawing to a successful conclusion. I wish to take this opportunity to express my hearty appreciation to all those who have warmly supported and participated in the Games. The success of Beijing 2022 is an accomplishment for China, and even more so for the world. The Games, which attracts the eyes of the world, not only brings warmth and hope to people of all countries who are caught in the chilly winter of the pandemic, but also injects the much-needed strength of peace and unity into this volatile world.
“Together for a Shared Future” – this is the official motto of the Olympic Winter Games Beijing 2022. As we have seen in the field of play, even the strongest contenders can compete peacefully and cheer for one another, because their goal is not to beat others but to surpass themselves. The same spirit should also ring true when it comes to relations between states. In this spirit, China is ready to work with all countries as passengers in the same boat and, with unity as the sail and cooperation as the oar, sail through the pandemic and toward a brighter future!
Thank you! Now, I am ready for your questions.
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