China ‘anchor of global stability’

By Bai Tiantian Source:Global Times Published: 2017/3/9 0:03:39

Country has weathered a few crises in the past year: expert

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi attends a press conference in Beijing on Wednesday on the sidelines of the ongoing sessions of the National People's Congress. Photo: Kyodo

As much of the world is showing uncertainties and a tendency to slide toward turbulence, China continues to demonstrate consistency and stability, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday.

During a press conference on the sidelines of the ongoing annual sessions of the National People's Congress, Wang summarized China's diplomatic policies in the past year and answered questions on key geopolitical issues. Wang called on North Korea to suspend its missile and nuclear tests and condemned the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system in South Korea, but also gave assurances over Sino-US relations in the Trump era, and welcomed the improvement in South China Sea tensions.

Wang said China will continue to be an anchor of international stability, an engine of global growth, a champion of peace and development and a contributor to global governance.

He summed up Chinese diplomacy under President Xi Jinping with three key words: vision, initiative and consistency. Analysts said Wang's remarks showed China's confidence in containing possible crises.

"In the face of instability and conflict in many parts of the world, we have adhered to the path of peaceful development in the face of skepticism of the existing international order and system … In face of rising anti-globalization and protectionism, we have called for multilateralism, openness and inclusiveness. The consistency and continuity of China's diplomacy showed our due responsibility as a large country. It can offset uncertainties in the world and demonstrate China's confidence and firmness," Wang said.

Jin Canrong, associate dean of the Department of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, commented Wednesday that the tone of Wang's comments suggests that "China has the overall situation under control."

"His words showed confidence. Whether it's Sino-US, Sino-Japanese or European-related issues, Wang's answers seem to indicate that none of them pose a severe problem for China," Jin said.

Jin noted that Chinese diplomacy has managed to contain a few crises in the past year.

"Many people were concerned that Sino-US ties may take a plunge under the new US administration. It didn't happen. Some were worried about the South China Sea disputes after the arbitration award last year. China managed to turn it around. What remains unclear now is North Korea, but it doesn't mean China has lost complete control," Jin said.

With Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in office, the tension created by the South China Sea arbitration has eased and Sino-Philippine relations have quickly improved.

Wang said China and the ASEAN  have made notable progress in solving the South China Sea dispute. He said that in a work meeting last month, China and the 10 ASEAN countries have worked out the first draft of a South China Sea Code of Conduct framework.

China is willing to extend a friendly hand in response to Duterte's kind gesture, Wang said, adding that China has imported over 200,000 tons of fruits from the Philippines in the past six months and the number of Chinese tourist groups increased by over 1,000.

Dialogue, not confrontation

During the press conference, Wang hailed a series of new ideas and thoughts put forward by President Xi, including forging partnerships that replace confrontation with dialogue, building a new type of international relationship featuring win-win cooperation, and jointly building a community of shared future for all mankind.

These new ideas and thoughts "reject the old concepts of alliance and confrontation, rise above the old approach of zero-sum games, and have distinct Chinese characteristics and major implications for the world," the foreign minister said.

Wang also hailed China's greater proactivity, adding that the One Belt and One Road initiative has opened a historic chapter in cooperating with the outside world.

Jia Qingguo, an international relations professor from Peking University, told the Global Times that the new ideas come at a time when China's economic clout and global influence are rising quickly.

"The rise of China's global status has triggered systematic reactions. Especially it has spurred wariness from current world leader, the US. The call to transcend a zero-sum mentality is an effort that will help the world avoid the possible tragedy of major power politics," Cheng Cheng, a scholar with the Chongyang Institute of Financial Studies under Renmin University, wrote in an article sent to the Global Times.

Newspaper headline: China ‘anchor of stability’


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