“We will remain committed to the path of peaceful development, work for win-win outcomes, applaud the international system and shoulder more international responsibilities. We will both strive to create a better environment for China’s rejuvenation and make new and greater contributions to world peace and human progress,” he said addressing media at the Beijing Media Centre today (08).
He also said that China never seeks hegemony, but will never compromise sovereignty or dignity.
The minister was responding to queries of local and foreign journalists in the sidelines of annual meetings known as the 'Two Sessions' by two of China's political bodies, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) and China's legislature - the National People's Congress (NPC) are currently in progress. The 'Two Sessions' is China's biggest political event of the year.
BRI, an ‘economic pie’
Speaking on the Belt and Road Forum (BRF) scheduled to be held in Beijing in late April this year, minister Yi said that this year’s forum would involve thousands of delegates from hundreds of countries.
Noting that Chinese President - Xi Jinping would deliver the keynote address at the event, the minister said that in addition to high level meetings and forums, this year’s event would also feature a separate forum for the business community.
He also said that 06 years on, 123 countries and 29 organisations are working China under the Belt and Road Initiative, which improves infrastructure and creates jobs globalwide, contrary to ‘debt trap’ allegations levelled.
“Six years since it was proposed, the BRI has become the largest platform for international cooperation and the most welcomed global public good,” he said noting that it was a 'economic pie' that benefits local population rather than a ‘death trap’ which some countries fall into.
“As president Xi has said, the Belt and Road Initiative originates in China but its benefits are shared by the world. We have reason to hope and believe that the second BRF will be a great success,” he added.
Sino - Russia relations
Speaking on the 70 year of diplomatic relationship between Russia and China, the minister said,
“A strong Sino - Russian relationship both delivers huge benefits to our two people and contributes significantly to peace and stability in our region and globally… Guided by our presidents, the relationship will stride into a new era... When China and Russia stand together, the world will be a safer, peaceful and more stable place.”
China - US, inseparable
Also referring to 40 years of diplomatic relations with the US, Minister Yi said that “The most important thing we can learn from the past is that China and America stands to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation.”
“Cooperation and rifts have always existed alongside each other in China - US relations. But in our view, cooperation has always outweighed frictions… Our two countries should not and will not descend into confrontation. A return to the outdated cold war thinking goes against the present day trend, has no future and will be deeply unpopular…” What we are seeing is that the interests of China and America are already inseparable. Last year, our two-way trade exceeded 630 billion dollars… Some individuals vow to decouple our economies. This is just their wishful thinking. Decoupling from China would mean decoupling from opportunities, from the future and in the sense, even from the world.”
- Shanika Jayasekara reporting from Beijing