Chinese FM Wang Yi defends domestic and foreign policies in press conference

World Today

As China’s political season continues in Beijing, focus has turned to China’s role on the international stage. Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave a thoughtful, wide-ranging defense of China’s domestic and foreign policies in a lengthy news conference.

CGTN’s Elmira Jafari has a look at the highlights.

Wang touted China’s rising international influence and added that it’s key to solving many global problems.

Wang said President Xi Jinping has been very visible on the international stage, visiting nearly 60 countries and hosting more than 100 foreign heads of state. Wang called the situation on the Korean Peninsula the “hottest topic in the world today.”

“The recent developments may seem baffling to some people, but actually within the bounds of reason,” he said. “During the Winter Olympic Games, the DPRK did not conduct any nuclear tests, and the United States and ROK suspended their joint exercises targeting the DPRK.

“This proves that China’s proposal of ‘suspension for suspension’ was a right prescription for the problem and created basic conditions for the improvement of inter-Korean relations.”

Wang said China’s peaceful leadership on this and other issues should be noted – and finally put to the rest the theory that China is a threat to anyone.

“For decades, the west has made all kinds of assessments and predictions on China. To some westerners, China is either collapsing or threatening. As China continues to grow, the first theory has collapsed and become an international laughing stock. Meanwhile, proponents of the second theory have developed different versions, which find dwindling support. Let us not forget, facts speak louder than words,” said Wang.

Among those facts, Foreign Minister Wang outlined China’s central role in four upcoming economic events.

The Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan next month will focus on China’s reform and opening up. At the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Qingdao this June, China will focus on “revitalizing the Shanghai Spirit.” The Belt and Road Initiative will be the focus at this September’s Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing. And, Wang said, at the First China International Import Expo in Shanghai, China will focus on further market opening.

“The Belt and Road Initiative is a transparent one launched by China,” he said. “No country is dominating the process. All parties have an equal say. There is no back-room deal, everything is transparent. There is no ‘winner takes all’, and every project delivers win-win results.”

Wang said human society is at a crossroads between openness and isolation; cooperation and confrontation.

He posed the question about which path the world would rather take, hinting that China hopes to help lead the way.

Paolo von Schirach talks about FM Wang Yi’s policy speech

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Paolo von Schirach, president of the Global Policy Institute, about the significance of Thursday’s policy speech by Foreign Minister Wang Yi.