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Put simply, our approach is at once peaceful, justifiable and constructive. First, we prefer a political settlement of disputes through dialogue and negotiation, and firmly reject the use of force. Second, we respect other countries' sovereignty and wish, and never meddle in their internal affairs. Indeed, we firmly reject imposing one's own view on others. Third, we do our best to be fair and objective and proceed from the merits of the matter.
We firmly reject pursuing private ends. Our approach is rooted in traditional Chinese culture and our successful diplomatic practice.
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In keeping with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, it shows the right way and provides a good example for resolving conflicts and challenges in the world. Russia's presidential election is scheduled for 18 March. What do you think the result is going to be?
How does China view the prospects of China-Russia relations? The presidential election is of vital importance to Russia and its people. We note that President Putin has overseen important strides in Russia's development and he has strong support from his people.
We trust the Russian people will again make the right choice and advance steadily towards national revitalization. The Russian people are resilient, principled and resistant to pressure. Our best wishes for Russia and the Russian people! We have great confidence in the future of China-Russia relations.
Our confidence comes from the strong friendship and trust between our presidents, which is fundamental to the further growth of our relationship. It also comes from the deepening of our cooperation in so many fields, our firm support for each other's core interests, our close coordination on international affairs and the growing exchanges between our two societies.
In short, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is as unshakable as a mountain.
I ask you to convey this to our friends in Russia: China's influence has been on the rise across the board. The 19th Party Congress gives Chinese people greater expectations about their future. However, some in the world are again trying to paint China as a threat. How would you counter this claim? For decades, the West has made all kinds of assessments and predictions about 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 conjured up new versions, which find dwindling support because facts speak louder than words.
What are the facts? For years, China has been the leading engine of global growth. At more than 30 percent, China's annual contribution is bigger than that of America, Japan and the Eurozone combined.
China accounts for more than 70 percent of poverty reduction worldwide, a miracle in human history. As the largest source of peacekeeping personnel among the permanent members of the Security Council and the second largest contributor to the UN peacekeeping budget, China is bearing a weighty responsibility for maintaining world peace.
Not to mention that in the last five years, with its Belt and Road Initiative and other major proposals, China has come to the fore in championing global governance, free trade and an open global economy.
From these solid facts, those who do not have bias or practice double standards will see in China not a threat, but plenty of opportunities. It's time the "China threat theory" was laid to rest. Since its launch five years ago, the Belt and Road Initiative has made a lot of progress.
However, some Westerners seem to harbor doubts about its transparency and conformity with international rules. What is China's response? The Belt and Road is a transparent initiative launched by China. It follows the "golden rule" of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. Belt and Road cooperation aims to be equal-footed, inclusive and beneficial to all.
The planning and implementation of BRI projects have been discussed by the participants in the open. 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"; every project delivers win-win results. Last May, the representatives of more than countries participated in the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.
The turnout is a clear vote of confidence from the international community. To date, more than 80 countries and international organizations have signed BRI agreements with China. A large number of BRI projects are well underway and adding needed momentum to the economic and social development of our partner countries. For example, China is building over a dozen power stations for Pakistan, the largest of which is supplying electricity to tens of millions of Pakistanis.
When all of them are completed, power cuts and shortages will be a thing of the past in Pakistan. In Serbia, a Chinese enterprise bought a troubled steel mill and turned it around in less than a year, both saving more than 5, local jobs and helping to re-energize the city in which the steel mill is located. In Greece, a Chinese group took over the operation of its largest seaport, ramped up the container volume and put it back in the same league as Europe's largest ports.
China is also partnering with France to build a nuclear power plant in the UK, a stellar example of high-tech cooperation under the BRI. As a global public good, the BRI of course abides by international rules. As a platform for international cooperation, it naturally follows market principles. We sincerely ask for ideas from all parties, so that we will together make a success of the Belt and Road Initiative. Our goal is not only to strengthen the physical connectivity of infrastructure, but also to improve the institutional connectivity of policies, rules and standards.
BRI projects must be high-standard as well as results-oriented, high-quality as well as economically viable, beneficial to the world as well as to China. Premier Li Keqiang emphasized in his government work report that will kick off efforts to put the decisions of the 19th Party Congress into action.
It is the 40th anniversary of reform and opening-up, and a crucial year for securing a decisive victory in establishing a moderately prosperous society in all respects and for implementing the 13th Five-Year Plan. What will the Ministry of Foreign Affairs do in to facilitate China's development goals?
China still being a developing country, facilitating domestic development is part and parcel of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. Keeping in mind our new mission and what is expected of us, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will implement the decisions of the central leadership and be more active in facilitating domestic development.
We will adapt to the new landscape of high-quality development to create a more favorable environment for external cooperation, including "bringing in" and "going global", and for domestic development.
We will tackle the new challenges presented by the evolution of the principal contradiction facing Chinese society. To tell China's stories in a more compelling way, we will both upgrade the presentation of Chinese provinces and launch a new series on the major initiatives of reform and opening-up. For example, later this year we will host an event to present the Xiongan New Area to the world. In addition, the MFA has been and will continue to be fully engaged in poverty alleviation and do its bit for winning the nationwide battle against poverty.
We will meet the new requirements and leverage our diplomatic and consular assets across the globe to facilitate the Belt and Road Initiative and protect China's overseas interests. All in all, in advancing major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, we aim to be not just the pacesetter of China's international engagement, but also a solid contributor to domestic development.
How will China take forward the relationship? As we celebrate the 15th anniversary, is of particular importance for the future of China-ASEAN strategic partnership.
Last year, our trade exceeded billion dollars and two-way visits totaled 40 million, all of which brought real benefits to our combined population of nearly 2 billion. In the year ahead, we will continue to give the highest priority to cooperation with ASEAN, upgrade our strategic partnership and build a more close-knit community of shared destiny.
We have three priorities. First, we will work out a new blueprint of cooperation. Second, we will foster new highlights of cooperation. Cooperation will be broadened in the political and security, economic and trade, and social and people-to-people areas, with more projects and outcomes in the pipeline. Third, we will forge new platforms of cooperation.
The South China Sea is calm now, but there are still concerns over reports of China's continuing militarization of its islands in the South China Sea. When it comes to maintaining peace and stability in the South China Sea, China's resolve is as strong as its commitment is deep. China's approach to the South China Sea issue is a responsible one that takes into account the interests of the Chinese people, the facts of history, the imperative of regional peace and the international rule of law.
This position is firm and consistent. We all agree to develop a code of conduct in the South China Sea to preserve its hard-won tranquility. Last week, our officials held an inaugural round of consultation on the COC text and made encouraging progress. At least three more rounds have been envisaged for the remainder of this year. China and ASEAN countries are willing and able to draft regional rules on our own, rules which will meet our region's imperatives and be adhered to by all.
There are also challenges in the South China Sea. Some outside forces are not happy with the prevailing calm and try to stir up trouble and muddle the waters. Their frequent show of force with fully-armed aircraft and naval vessels is the most destabilizing factor for peace and stability in our region. It is useful to heed the wisdom of a Chinese verse, "Green hills cannot stop the river flowing; to the vast ocean it keeps advancing.
Cherishing what we have worked so hard to achieve, China and ASEAN countries will speed up the COC consultation, actively explore a mechanism of cooperation among the coastal states, and promote peace and cooperation in the South China Sea. China Global Television Network: Infor the very first time in 12 years, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation will once again be hosted by China. What outcome do you expect from that summit? I am also wondering how China stays true to its policy on honesty and amicability towards Africa in the new era?
General Secretary Xi Jinping once made a powerful statement: Such friends must never be forgotten. As Africa's brother and partner, China will always attach particular importance to the needs and interests of African countries.
Africa's concerns are China's concerns, and its priorities are China's priorities. Africa faces the twin challenges of maintaining peace and security and of promoting development and revitalization.
In response to its needs, China will step up mediation in regional flashpoints. China will also enhance cooperation with African countries on unconventional security threats such as terrorism, piracy and natural disaster, and help them build capacity for ensuring their own peace and security. In our new endeavor to build a global community with a shared future, Africa is an indispensable partner. China welcomes our African brothers and sisters to continue their ride on China's fast train of development.
They will discuss China-Africa cooperation in the new era and focus on jointly advancing the Belt and Road Initiative and turning China and Africa into a community with a shared future. By aligning the Belt and Road Initiative with the UN's Agenda, the AU's Agenda and the development strategies of individual African countries, we will give wings to China-Africa cooperation to help it soar to greater heights.
Will we see an exchange of visits between Chinese and Japanese leaders? How do you see the future of China-Japan relations? In the recent period, Japan has adopted a clearer and more positive policy towards China, resulting in a precious improvement of relations. If Japan does not prevaricate, flip-flop or backpedal, and instead comes to terms with China's development and welcomes it, China will be willing to act in the same spirit and work with Japan to put our relationship back on the track of healthy and steady growth.
It codified the political principles agreed in negotiating the normalization of Sino-Japanese relations, including handling history correctly and following the one-China policy. The treaty also enshrined our joint desire to live in peace and friendship forever. As a saying goes, never forget why you started, and you can accomplish your mission. Forty years on, at another crucial juncture of history, we hope Japan will have political credibility and act accordingly to cement the political foundation of our relations and give effect to the political understanding that "China and Japan see each other as partners, not threats".
I am hopeful that with the steady improvement of our relations, high-level visits will naturally come about, and peace and friendship will again be the dominant theme of China-Japan relations. Do you see it as an attempt to "contain" China?
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It seems there is never a shortage of headline-grabbing ideas. They are like the sea foam in the Pacific or Indian Ocean: Contrary to the claim made by some academics and media outlets that the "Indo-Pacific strategy" aims to contain China, the four countries' official position is that it targets no one. I hope they mean what they say and their action will match their rhetoric.
Nowadays, stoking a new Cold War is out of sync with the times and inciting block confrontation will find no market. Press Trust of India: Last year has been a very difficult one in India-China relations. How do you see India-China relations shaping up this year? Despite some tests and difficulties, the China-India relationship continues to grow. In the process, China has both upheld its legitimate rights and interests and taken care to preserve the relationship.
Chinese and Indian leaders have developed a strategic vision for the future of our relations: In that case, one plus one will equal not only two, but also eleven. The international situation is experiencing its biggest change in a century. More and more far-sighted people have come to realize that as the largest two developing countries become modernized — each with a population of more than one billion — China and India must do everything to empathize with and support each other and to avoid mutual suspicion and attrition.
In this sense, mutual trust is the most precious commodity in China-India relations. With political trust, not even the Himalayas can stop us from strengthening friendly exchanges; without it, not even level land can bring us together.
Let me put this to our Indian friends: China is willing and ready to inherit and take forward our traditional friendship and be a friend and partner of the Indian people.
I hope the two sides will be free from mental inhibitions and meet each other halfway. Let us replace suspicion with trust, manage differences through dialogue, and build a future through cooperation.
What is your thought on this? However, China has been a strong advocate of trade liberalization and a key player of Asia-Pacific cooperation and economic integration. China has also been working actively for the conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, a free trade pact that will cover more populations and involve more diverse economies than any similar initiative.
We hope to see better communication, coordination and interaction between the various free trade initiatives in our region, so that they may complement one another, help resist trade protectionism and contribute to a more open global economy. Do you think France could give a new direction to China-EU relations? This year will mark the 15th anniversary of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership.
The year started with President Macron paying a state visit to China and Sino-French relations in excellent shape. We hope at the end of the year, China-EU relations will be as strong as we have started it. We hope France will make a substantial contribution to the furtherance of China-EU cooperation.
Global governance has emerged as a new dimension of such cooperation, China and the EU have a joint responsibility to safeguard the global free trade system, and negotiation needs to be speeded up to conclude a China-EU investment agreement. There are also some disagreements between China and the EU. But both sides have realized the need to put oneself in the other's shoes and to be more open, tolerant and understanding of each other.
China has always appreciated the importance of Europe. We support European integration and have confidence in Europe's future. Given all the uncertainty around us, China is ready to partner with Europe to provide more stability and make the world a better place.
Chinese people are speaking favorably of the consular assistance and protection they are getting, but they also expect more to be done. At the same time, there are appeals for a more rational understanding of consular service. What is your view? Consular assistance and protection seems to be a must-have question at my annual press conference. Indeed, it potentially concerns the interests and well-being of every Chinese and their family. Making a good job of it is the unshirkable responsibility of the foreign service.
President Donald Trump says Canada's steel industry poses a national security risk to the United States. Speaking on NBC's Sunday morning news show Meet the Press, Trudeau said he wants to make sure Americans, and more specifically Trump supporters, hear the message that they are going to feel financial strain and pain from the steel tariffs Trump imposed on Canada last week.Bill Maher on NBC's 'Meet The Press' - 3/16/2014
Trump imposed 25 per cent import duties on steel and 10 per cent on aluminum in early March, citing national security concerns about the impact those imported products were having on the American domestic industries. On Thursday the White House said the exemptions were being lifted because no satisfactory arrangement had been reached. But, Trudeau said, the idea the Americans would even muse that its closest friend and ally could be a security threat is ridiculous.
In the reports from the U. Department of Commerce on the steel and aluminum national security investigations, the American concerns have little to do with fears that Canada or Canadian steel directly pose a threat. Instead, they argue, the increase in foreign imports has shut down U.
The documents also discuss concerns about the impact on national security from economic threats and unemployment. They cite a 35 per cent drop in steel industry jobs in America over the last 20 years as foreign steel displaced U. Trudeau added that he does not know what Trump wants Canada to do in order to remove the tariffs, because the U. Canada recently instigated an anti-dumping investigation on Chinese steel, and in March introduced greater powers for Canada customs agents to search for steel products attempting to dodge duties with various measures like incorrect labelling or slight modifications.