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Wang Yi On Neighborhood Diplomacy: Making Friends with Heart, and Resolving Differences with Sincerity and Promoting Cooperation with Persistence

2019/07/18

On July 18, 2019, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended the reception in Beijing hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the diplomatic envoys of Asian countries to China and delivered an impromptu speech.

Wang Yi said, neighboring countries have always been the main direction of China's diplomacy. To well manage the relations with neighboring countries, first, we need to make friends with heart. Different countries are different in sizes, but all are equal. Despite all sorts of contradictions and differences, Asian countries will always be neighbors. As long as we sincerely engage with and trust each other, our relations will be firmly guaranteed. Second, we need to resolve differences with sincerity . Since the Asian countries have a long history of their relations, problems of one kind or another are hardly avoidable. If we follow the right approach of candidacy and friendly consultation, we can certainly find proper solutions to these problems. Third, we need to promote cooperation with persistence. Cooperation among neighboring countries is neither a one-time deal, nor a short-term activity. For this reason, we should take a long-term view and conduct sustainable cooperation. No matter what difficulties and setbacks we may encounter, we should constantly promote mutually beneficial cooperation.

Wang Yi noted, this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and the 70th anniversary of China's neighborhood diplomacy as well. China, India and Myanmar jointly initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in those days, providing basic norms for the extremely complicated relations among Asian countries after the Second World War. Then we agreed on the Ten Principles of Bandung Conference, further enriching the connotation of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Since the reform and opening up, the Chinese government has put forward for its neighborhood diplomacy the policy of developing amicable relationships and partnerships with our neighbors, fostering an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood, which has greatly promoted the friendly cooperation between China and its neighboring countries, pushed the relations between China and its neighboring countries to a new level and built a close partnership network. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, President Xi Jinping has put forward the concept of neighborhood diplomacy, namely amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness. This concept has recapitulated the tradition and useful experience of China's neighborhood diplomacy over the past decades and provided the fundamental course for further deepening China's friendly and cooperative relations with its Asian neighbors. President Xi Jinping further proposed to jointly build an Asian community with a shared future, thus contributing to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. These important initiatives proposed by President Xi Jinping have responded to the common aspirations of Asian countries, served the common interests of all countries and should be the direction of our joint efforts.

Wang Yi said, in the current international situation full of uncertainties and instabilities, we are all thinking about the solutions. The consensus and broadest common ground among Asian countries is to hold high the banner of multilateralism, uphold international fairness and justice, give better play to the core role of the United Nations, and uphold the international law and the basic norms governing international relations. In this process, China is ready to develop closer relations with other Asian countries, because we live next to each other and all belong to the Asian family. If China does well, so will Asia. If Asia develops well, China will be even better. In fact, we are becoming a community of converging interests and shared destiny. Diplomatic envoys of different countries have undertaken the important task of promoting the development of relations between their countries and China and promoting solidarity and cooperation in Asia. We thank everyone for your hard work and contributions and hope you will continue to play a positive role in this regard.

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