Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi illustrated China's foreign policy and external relations at a press conference on March 9 during the First Session of the 12th National People's Congress, the nation's annual parliamentary session. Edited highlights follow:
As world multi-polarity, economic globalization and scientific and technological advancement gather momentum, countries have become more interdependent as their interests more closely entwine. We all live in a global village. As we travel along, we must sit together as passengers in the same boat rather than trying to crowd each other out.
Compared with what we had last century, we believe that the international multilateral system in the 21st century should become more representative, more just and more result-oriented. China has participated in and contributed to the building of the international system, and we will be more actively involved in international affairs.
China supports multilateral meetings to be held this year, including the Group of 20 (G20) Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, and the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Bali, Indonesia.
We hope the G20 and its summit will focus on growth and employment, continue to push forward reforms in the international financial system, improve the multilateral trading regime and address development issues on a priority basis.
We are optimistic that the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting will make committed efforts to promote sustainable and fair growth, push forward regional connectivity and advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, as well as economic and technological cooperation, in a balanced manner.
China and Russia are each other's biggest neighbors, seeing in one another significant opportunities for development and a priority partner for cooperation.
We would like to join hands with Russia, and take the opportunity presented by the upcoming visit of China's new president to Russia to inject a strong impetus to the comprehensive Sino-Russian strategic partnership.
Disputes With Japan
A long-term, sound and stable China-Japan relationship serves the fundamental interests of both nations. We are willing to promote strategic and mutually beneficial China-Japan ties on the basis of the four political documents signed by both countries.
We have urged Japan to make concrete efforts to improve its relations with China and play a positive and responsible role to maintain peace, stability and development in the region.
Diaoyu Island and its affiliated islands have been China's inherent territory since ancient times. The root cause of the Diaoyu Islands issue lies in Japan's illegal seizure and occupation of China's territory. The current situation has been single-handedly caused by the Japanese side. The actions of Japan have violated China's territorial sovereignty, posed a challenge to the outcome of the victory of the World War II and the postwar international order, greatly damaged China-Japan relations and undermined stability in the region.
The firm measures taken by the Chinese side have shown the will and resolve of the Chinese Government and the Chinese people to defend our territorial sovereignty. The Japanese side needs to face the reality, take real steps to correct its mistakes and work with China to properly handle and resolve the relevant issues through dialogue and consultations to prevent the situation from further escalating or even getting out of control.
Japan should correctly recognize and reflect on its history and take that as an important foundation for China-Japan relations. The war of aggression waged by Japanese militarists brought untold suffering to the people of China and other victimized Asian countries. Only by respecting history and showing remorse regarding that episode of history can Japan develop good relations with its Asian neighbors.
Working With the United States
The Sino-U.S. relationship has on the whole maintained a momentum of steady development in recent years thanks to the joint efforts of both countries.
We welcome a constructive role of the United States in the Asia Pacific, but at the same time the United States needs to respect China's interests and concerns in the region. The U.S. side, in particular, needs to properly handle Taiwan and other sensitive issues.
We hope the United States will work with China to build a new type of major-country relationship between the world's two biggest economies. Today, in the 21st century, our world is confronted with many problems and challenges. It is all the more important now for China and the United States to show big vision and strong courage, seek common ground while shelving differences and work together to build a relationship that is inspiring for the next generation and for generations to come.