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Opposing Division Through Solidarity, Promoting Development Through Cooperation
--Video Remarks by State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Global Town Hall on "Managing Competition, Conflict, and Cooperation in a Pandemic World"
2021-11-20 13:06

Beijing, 20 November  2021

Your Excellency Chairman Dino  Patti Djalal,
Distinguished Guests,

Greetings to you all! I am  delighted to join you again in the Global Town Hall.

Last year, against the backdrop  of a severe global pandemic, we had useful discussions on "Rebuilding from the  COVID-19 World" at the first Global Town Hall. One year on, thanks to the  concerted efforts of the international community, important progress has been  made in the fight against the coronavirus, and the world economy is gradually  recovering. At the same time however, the pandemic is still raging, the world is  far from being tranquil, and risks of group politics and cold-war confrontation  are on the rise. Challenged by the current situation, countries must join hands  together to build consensus and form synergy.

We need to stay committed to  solidarity and oppose division. Humanity is a community with a shared future and  a common stake. In face of global challenges, only solidarity can bring hope,  whereas division would lead to a dead end. China does not want to have conflict  or confrontation with any country. Instead, we stand ready to work with all  countries to advocate the common values of humanity, practice true  multilateralism, uphold the UN-centered international system, safeguard  international order based on international law, and together, build a community  with a shared future for mankind who all live in this one and same global  village.

We need to stay committed to the  win-win approach instead of a zero-sum mentality. First and foremost, countries  need to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation and seek common development  and prosperity. While competition may exist in the process of cooperation, it  should be positive and benign in nature, and should be guided by the principle  of seeking mutual benefit and win-win results. No country should arbitrarily  start vicious competition such as decoupling or severing industrial and supply  chains. Still less should one force any third party to take sides in  competitions. China will continue to work with all countries to strengthen  openness and connectivity, promote mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and build a  new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.

We need to stay committed to  boosting common development through cooperation. Development holds the key to  all problems. President Xi Jinping recently proposed the Global Development  Initiative, calling on all countries to jointly advance the 2030 Agenda for  Sustainable Development and achieve more robust, greener and more balanced  global development. The Initiative has been welcomed and endorsed by the United  Nations and a large number of countries. China will work with all countries to  strengthen policy communication and coordination, keep the global industrial and  supply chains stable and smooth, and provide more impetus to world economic  recovery in the post-COVID era.

We need to stay committed to  managing differences through dialogue. Countries have different national  conditions and interests, and it is unavoidable for them to have disagreements  and differences. What is crucial is to properly handle differences, and adapt to  seeking common ground while reserving differences. Over the decades, China has  been committed to increasing mutual trust, resolving disputes and promoting  security through dialogue. We always believe there will be no insolvable  problems as long as there is true sincerity and a commitment to dialogue and  consultation. China will continue to follow this principle, properly handle and  manage differences with other countries, in particular its neighboring countries  with outstanding territorial disputes, and jointly maintain peace and stability  in the region.


China and the United States are  the world's largest developing and developed countries. Whether they can manage  their relations well bears on the future of the world. It is a "question of the  century", and the two countries must come up with a good answer together.

On 16 November, President Xi  Jinping and President Joe Biden had a constructive meeting that was in-depth,  candid, wide-ranging and substantive. The Chinese leader stated China's position  and bottom line, and at the same time also expressed our sincerity about  cooperation and proper management of the differences. Both sides believe that  the bilateral relationship is extremely important and must not be messed up, and  that the two countries need to respect each other and coexist in peace.

At the meeting, in response to  the "question of the century", President Xi underscored the need for mutual  respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between the two countries.  He made an insightful explanation on what the three principles mean and on that  basis, identified four priorities for China and the US to focus their efforts  on. These important remarks reflected the Chinese leader's deep thinking on the  evolution of the China-US relations, and they also outlined the framework for  its development in the future.

Mutual respect is a basic  precondition for state-to-state relations. Every country has its unique history  and culture. It has core interests that it feels most strongly about and cannot  give up. And it has the right to choose the social system and development path  suited to its national conditions. All countries should understand and respect  each other in the spirit of inclusiveness, rather than act condescendingly or  even impose their will on others.

Peaceful coexistence is an  inherent principle in state-to-state interactions. Peace is the biggest shared  aspiration of humanity. Nothing is possible without peace. In particular,  conflict or confrontation for big countries like China and the United States, if  ever happens, will do no good to either country, and will be an unaffordable  disaster for the world. Therefore, no conflict, no confrontation, and  maintaining peaceful coexistence should be a sensible choice that both China and  the United States must firmly uphold. This is also the right way for big  countries with different social systems to get along with each other.

Win-win cooperation is the right  direction of history. Globalization is an irreversible trend of the times. Those  who practice isolationism and protectionism will hurt both themselves and  others. With their interests deeply intertwined, China and the United States  will both lose in any zero-sum game. Only by pursuing mutual benefit and common  development can the two countries achieve steady and sustained growth.

In response to Taiwan  authorities' attempt to seek US support for their independence agenda and some  Americans' move to use Taiwan to contain China, President Xi Jinping sounded a  warning bell and made clear the firm position of China. There is but one China  in the world and Taiwan is part of China. We will strive for the prospect of  peaceful reunification with utmost efforts. But we will absolutely not tolerate  any "Taiwan independence" moves that aim to separate the country and will  absolutely not accept any attempt to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one  Taiwan" in the world. I hope that you will all agree that the more unequivocal  the opposition against "Taiwan independence" is, and the more resolute the  actions against "Taiwan independence" are, the more hopeful that peaceful  reunification will be achieved, the more possible that the Taiwan Strait will be  peaceful and stable, and the more guarantee that peace and prosperity in Asia  and the Pacific will enjoy.

When talking about the future of  China-US relations, President Xi Jinping compared China and the United States to  two giant ships that are breaking waves and forging ahead. He pointed out that  the two sides must keep a steady hand on the tiller to make sure that the two  ships will not deviate from the route, lose speed, or even collide with each  other. We hope that the US will match its important statements including not  fighting a new Cold war, not seeking conflict or confrontation, and not  supporting "Taiwan independence" with specific policies and real actions. Only  in this way can the China-US relationship achieve steady and long-term growth  and benefit both countries and the whole world.


Attending today's Town Hall are  many friends from the Asia-Pacific region. As we speak, against the backdrop of  evolving international landscape, the Asia-Pacific region faces two very  different trends. One focuses on mutually beneficial cooperation, and advocates  joint efforts for shared development, revitalization, peace and stability in the  region. And the other seeks to stoke estrangement and division, incite conflict  and confrontation, and build political and military blocs. Clearly, the first  trend meets the shared aspiration and common interests of all countries in the  region. The latter will severely undermine the hard-won peace and prosperity in  the Asia-Pacific, and therefore should be firmly resisted by us all.

The Asia-Pacific, in particular  the most dynamic East Asia, is already blessed with a mature regional  cooperation framework. There is the regional cooperation platform with ASEAN at  its center and largely supported by ASEAN's partnerships. Among those  partnerships, China's dialogue partnership with ASEAN has all along been a  pioneer and a good example in regional cooperation. I would like to reiterate  that China supports ASEAN's community building, supports ASEAN centrality in  regional architecture, and supports ASEAN in playing an even bigger role in the  Asia-Pacific region. We have taken note that ASEAN has independently put forth  its own Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, highlighting that it will uphold the  concepts such as openness, transparency, inclusivity, equality, mutual respect,  mutual trust and mutual benefit, and keep to the important principles of respect  for sovereignty and non-intervention. These concepts and principles are  compatible with the purposes of the UN Charter, and align with the thinking  behind China's foreign policy. China and ASEAN have engaged in productive  cooperation on maritime affairs, connectivity, sustainable development and  economy, four priority areas that ASEAN has proposed. We are prepared to further  deepen cooperation in these areas.

In two days, China and ASEAN will  convene a special summit to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their dialogue  relations. The meeting will be an important milestone. President Xi Jinping will  attend in person and together with leaders of ASEAN countries, review the major  achievements and useful experience in China-ASEAN relations over the past three  decades. The leaders will make plans and chart the course forward for future  progress. The summit will further help strengthen and upgrade China-ASEAN  relations, marking new strides to build a closer China-ASEAN community with a  shared future. It will also make new and greater contributions to peace,  stability and prosperity in the region.


This year marks the centenary of  the founding of the Communist Party of China. A week ago, the CPC convened the  sixth plenary session of its 19th Central Committee. The Plenum reviewed the  major achievements and historical experience of the Party over the past century.  It clearly pointed out that China champions opening up over isolation, pursues  mutual benefit instead of zero-sum games, and stands up for fairness and  justice. We will contribute to world peace through our development, and keep the  wheels of history rolling toward a brighter future. As China embarks on a new  historic journey, we will work hand in hand with the whole world and open up an  even brighter future for humankind!

Thank you!

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