|Toast at New Year Reception for 2014 Of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs|
Foreign Minister Wang Yi
The Honorable State Councilor Yang Jiechi and Madam Le Aimei,
It is a great pleasure to join all of you here to bid farewell to the old year and usher in the new. Let me begin by extending, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, my warmest welcome to all the friends attending today's reception and my heartfelt thanks to all the ministries and departments at home for the strong support they have given to the diplomatic work over the past year. I would also like to pay tribute to all the diplomatic envoys who have made invaluable contribution over the year to stronger ties of friendship and cooperation between China and the countries they represent.
Looking back at 2013, we have seen an even stronger appeal for peace and more vigorous support for change in the international community. World economy has recovered slowly. Changes of regional landscapes have picked up speed. And international balance of power is moving towards greater equilibrium. At the same time, traditional and non-traditional security issues are interwoven with cyber security, climate change and other global challenges becoming a lot more salient. Living in such an era of adjustment, transformation and innovation, the only way for all countries to seize the initiative and find the way to the future is to be highly adaptive and keep pace with the times.
The year 2013 has seen the groundbreaking of diplomacy under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary. With the CPC Central Committee at the helm, China has put forth a series of new concepts, taken new measures and demonstrated a new look in the country's diplomacy. Such diplomacy, showing greater global perspective and being more enterprising and innovative under the new circumstances, has opened up a new vista of friendly cooperation between China and other countries.
We have become more determined in pursuing the path of peaceful development. Earlier this year, the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee conducted a collective study session on adhering to the path of peaceful development. General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that China will unswervingly pursue peaceful development, promote common development, uphold the multilateral trading system and participate in global economic governance. Over the year, Chinese leaders have travelled extensively to Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and North America where they met and contacted over 100 foreign leaders, and invited leaders from several dozen countries to visit China. We have reached several hundred cooperation agreements with various countries and concluded free trade agreements with Iceland and Switzerland. China's peaceful development has been translated into tangible benefits flowing from the win-win cooperation among world's countries of increasing numbers. Achieving world peace and development, needless to say, is not a job for China alone but a shared responsibility of all countries. China stands ready to work with other countries and keep making our due contribution to this end.
We have made greater efforts to build major-country relationships that are healthy and stable. China has the determination and confidence to blaze a new path of major-country relationship based on peaceful co-existence and sound interaction through joint efforts with the relevant countries. Last June, President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama met at the Annenberg Estate, California where they reached the important agreement on building a new model of major-country relationship between China and the United States featuring non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation and pointed out the direction for the long-term development of bilateral relations. President Xi Jinping made Russia the destination of his first overseas trip after becoming China's head of state and has since met President Putin five times, indicating the high level and extraordinary nature of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. Toward the end of the year, China-EU high-level exchanges set off a new upsurge, blessing China-Europe relations with new opportunities of development.
We have made neighborhood diplomacy higher on the priority list of China's diplomacy. The CPC Central Committee has convened this year for the first time ever a neighborhood diplomacy work conference in the history of New China. It reaffirmed such neighborhood policy objectives as amity, security and common prosperity with the neighboring countries and required that the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness be embodied in China's interactions with the neighboring countries. Within a short period of one year, we have conducted high-level exchanges with 21 neighboring countries, put forward a series of important cooperation initiatives such as the Silk Road Economic Belt, the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, and the Asian infrastructure investment bank, and worked with the ASEAN to launch the consultation on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea within the framework of implementing the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, thus bringing China's relations with neighboring countries into a new stage of deepened friendship, good neighborliness and all-round cooperation.
We have consolidated our traditional friendship with other developing countries in a more extensive fashion. By including Africa on the itinerary of his first overseas visit after becoming president, President Xi set the precedent. President Xi, Premier Li Keqiang and other Chinese leaders used multilateral occasions to meet individually with leaders of several dozen developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, which shows the profound goodwill China cherishes towards other developing countries. We stand that in our relations with developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, China should have a right approach on morality and interests, attaching greater importance to morality, sincerely helping developing countries to realize independent development, building a community of shared destiny with them and striving to increase the representation and say of the developing world in international affairs.
We have become more active in playing our role as a responsible major country on hotspot issues. On the Korean nuclear issue, we are committed to denuclearization of the Peninsula, to settling the issue through dialogue and to maintaining peace and stability there and have made due efforts for the relaxation of the situation on the Peninsula and early restoration of the Six-Party Talks. On Syria, the Iranian nuclear issue and Palestine-Israel relations, we have worked actively to promote peace, encourage talks and prevent conflicts, thus playing a constructive role in safeguarding regional stability. Just seven days ago, China, for the first time ever, sent its security troops to Mali for the UN peacekeeping operations. We have also worked hard to reach the UN Millennium Development Goals, put forward China's plans and offered Chinese wisdom for global efforts to tackle climate change and other global challenges.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This year marks the 35th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. The just concluded Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee made a major decision on comprehensively deepening reform and sounded the clarion call for a new round of reform and opening up in China. History has and will continue to prove that China's reform and opening up is a right path that keeps delivering benefits to China and the rest of the world. By comprehensively deepening reform and opening still wider, China will not only inject powerful impetus into its own development, but also provide new and more important opportunities for global stability and prosperity.
In the upcoming year of 2014, under the leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary, we will earnestly implement the spirit of the 18th Party Congress and the Third Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee, act boldly and in a pioneering manner to advance the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, create an external environment more favorable for the comprehensive deepening of reform and national renewal and make still greater contributions to China's cooperation with the rest of the world and to peace and development throughout the world.
As an old Chinese line describes, one is twice as homesick on festive days. Diplomatic envoys, representatives and your spouses may be far away from your home countries. But you are here for friendship and for cooperation. You will find China your home away from home, where you will be showered with the goodwill and sincerity of the Chinese people. What is more, it is due to your hard work that the friendly ties between the Chinese and the people in your countries can grow from strength to strength and that the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and your countries can deepen steadily. In the New Year, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs will, as always, help make your work and life more convenient and comfortable. I personally look forward to knowing you better and working closely together, thus writing a new chapter in the win-win cooperation between China and the rest of the world.
Now, please join me in a toast,
to an in-depth growth of cooperation between China and other countries,
to lasting peace and common prosperity in the world, and to the health of all distinguished guests present!