Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's Written Interview with South Sudan Press
On August 9, 2011, Al-Masier in South Sudan published a written interview with China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. The text is as follows.
1. This is your first visit to South Sudan. What is your impression of this country?
I am delighted to visit this young nation, the Republic of South Sudan, at the invitation of Foreign Minister Deng Alor Kol. The moment I set foot on your soil, I was showered with the warm hospitality of your people. South Sudan is a vast country with rich natural resources. Though a newborn country with so much to do, your people display optimism, self-confidence and great expectations for the future. We sincerely wish the people of South Sudan remarkable achievements under the leadership of President Kiir on their path of nation building.
2. What is the message you want to convey to the South Sudanese people through this trip? What are your expectations of China's future relations with South Sudan?
My visit, taking place just one short month after South Sudan became independent and our two countries established diplomatic relations, gives testimony to the importance my government attaches to cultivating friendship and cooperation with South Sudan. We hope that the establishment of the diplomatic ties between us will be a new starting point for the promotion of the China-South Sudan friendship and cooperation on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Politically, China will continue to step up friendly exchanges with South Sudan at all levels, particularly at the high-level, to cement political mutual trust. During my visit, I conveyed to President Kiir an invitation to visit China from President Hu Jintao. In trade and economic areas, China will keep providing assistance to South Sudan as its ability permits, support and encourage capable and reputable Chinese enterprises to invest and start businesses in South Sudan, and explore bilateral cooperation in agriculture, mining, housing, telecommunications, water conservancy, road and other sectors. China will also step up human-resources and cultural exchanges and cooperation with South Sudan, by accepting its exchange students and giving positive considerations to dispatching Chinese medical teams here, thus enhancing mutual understanding and a sense of closeness between the two peoples. We are confident that with concerted efforts, China-South Sudan relations will have a splendid future.
3. How will China develop its relations with both the North and the South in a balanced manner?
We always believe that the North and the South are inextricably interdependent, and hope to see that the two sides will, proceeding from the fundamental interests of their peoples and the stability of the region, stick to the peace option and appropriately address the relevant issues through dialogue and consultations in a spirit of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation, so as to achieve amity and goodneighborliness, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has consistently supported the peace process between the North and the South and made positive contributions to it. We will develop friendly relations and cooperation with the North and the South on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, continue to provide assistance to them as best as we can and promote the practical cooperation between China and the two countries in the various areas. We believe that this not only serves the people of both the North and the South, but also contributes to peace and stability of the whole region.
4. What are the main features of China's foreign policy?
China unswervingly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, dedicates itself to building a harmonious world with enduring peace and common prosperity, and advocates peace, development and cooperation in its diplomatic endeavors. The main features of China's foreign policy are as the follows:
First, China sticks to the principle of independence. Second, China opposes hegemonism and upholds world peace. Third, China pushes for the building of a just and reasonable new international political and economic order. Fourth, China is ready to forge and develop friendly relations and cooperation with all countries on the basis of the five principles of mutual respect for each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. Fifth, China pursues a policy of all-dimensional opening to the outside world, and is ready to extensively trade, conduct economic and technical cooperation as well as scientific and cultural exchanges with other countries and regions, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit with a view to achieving common prosperity. Sixth, China takes an active part in multilateral diplomacy as a staunch force for world peace and regional stability.
5. What is China's policy on Africa? How is the relationship between China and African countries?
Strengthening China-Africa ties of friendship and cooperation is an important component and a cornerstone of China's independent foreign policy of peace. It is also China's long-term and firm strategic choice. The overarching principles and objectives of China's Africa policy are: sincerity, friendship and equality; mutual benefit, reciprocity and common prosperity; mutual support and close coordination; learning from each other and seeking common development. They share four key features, namely, equality, good faith, practicality and openness.
In recent years, China and Africa have built on their traditional friendship and made steady progress in their relations. With frequent exchange of high-level visits, political trust between the two sides has grown stronger. Trade and economic cooperation has been elevated to a new level, and cultural exchanges have never become more dynamic. On major international and regional issues, China and Africa have continued to support each other and cooperate closely. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, all follow-up actions of the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) are being implemented in a comprehensive and effective fashion, and preparations for the Fifth Ministerial Conference scheduled for next year are well underway. China welcomes South Sudan's participation in FOCAC and invites South Sudan to send delegates to the meetings.
At the moment, opportunities and challenges facing China-Africa relations are both on the increase. Let me reiterate here that my government's policy toward Africa is both consistent and firm. China is ready to work with African countries, South Sudan included, to move the China-Africa strategic partnership of a new type to still a higher level.
6. What role does China play in Africa and on the international stage?
China has played an important role in Africa and on the international stage in recent years, which includes the following: First, it has actively involved in addressing such global challenges as energy, food, climate change, terrorism, natural disasters, and financial crisis, and such regional hotspot issues as the Korean nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear issue and the Arab-Israel dispute. Second, it has actively involved in the improvement of the international system. As a responsible participant in the international system, China has benefited from it and made contribution to its development at the same time. Yet, the existing international system is by no means perfect. It should be brought to suit changing times with necessary reforms so that it will become more fair and reasonable. China is ready to take a more active part in this process, including the formulation and improvement of international rules, and continue to undertake its international responsibilities and obligations commensurate with its strengths. Third, China has actively involved in the advancement of the development agenda. On the one hand, we have focused ourselves on addressing China's own development issues. China's development is an important part of global development. The more China develops, the more it can benefit the world. In more recent years, China's contribution to global economic growth has surpassed 10%, and to international trade growth 12%, creating tens of millions of jobs in relevant countries and regions. On the other hand, China is not merely an important participant in global development, it is an important facilitator of global development. We are ready to work with other countries to advance the United Nations millennium development agenda and promote world prosperity and progress.