Wang Yi's trip to Europe, Russia, attendance of Munich conference to convey China’s security vision
Top diplomat to visit Europe, Russia, attend Munich Security Conference
Published: Feb 13, 2023 09:59 PM Updated: Feb 13, 2023 10:00 PM
Wang Yi at the symposium on the international situation and
China's foreign relations on December 25, 2022. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Wang Yi at the symposium on the international situation and China's foreign relations on December 25, 2022. Photo: Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Wang Yi, director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, will visit France, Italy, Hungary and Russia from Tuesday to February 22 at the invitation of the governments of the four countries, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced on Monday.

Wang Yi, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, will also attend the 59th Munich Security Conference, and deliver a speech at its China session to communicate the vision of a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security advocated by President Xi Jinping, make clear China's abiding commitment to peaceful development and share China's position on major international issues in light of the theme of the Conference.

The key of Wang Yi's trip to the four countries and the attendance of the Munich Security Conference is to convey China's vision on security in a face-to-face fashion not only to European countries, but also to the world, which will help it better understand China's stance on global security issues, especially on the Ukraine crisis, promoting China's image as a peace builder as well as crisis resolver, Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Monday.

As this year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the China-EU Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Wang's trip will be a start for this year's high-level exchange between the two sides, spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Monday during a daily press conference. 

Wang Yi will conduct in-depth strategic communication and push forward new development in bilateral ties with the three European countries during his trip, enhance China-EU mutual trust and exchange opinions on major global issues, the spokesperson revealed. 

On Wang Yi's Russia visit, Wang Wenbin said that China will work with Russia to push forward the development of bilateral ties on the track agreed upon by the two countries' leaders, safeguard the legitimate rights of the two countries and together make contributions to world peace.  

This year's Munich Security Conference is of particular significance, as the world sees not just the Russia-Ukraine conflict approaching its one-year mark, but also the US incessantly hyping up tensions across the Taiwan Straits, Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Monday. 

"The world wishes to hear China's voice and know more about China's stance on these issues and questions," the expert said.

With the senior Chinese diplomat's trip, China could play a constructive role in mediating peace between Russia and the NATO and help the world find common ground in post-COVID recovery, Lü Xiang, research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday. 

"In fact, Wang Yi's decision to first visit some major European countries and then Russia shows the active endeavors China is making. China is hoping to help the relevant parties engage in more dialogue and increase mutual trust through diplomatic activities, as China is the only major power in the world that can play a mediating role in promoting talks between Russia and the West," Cui told the Global Times.

Several global leaders, including US Vice President Kamala Harris, will be attending the Munich conference, media reported. 

Whether Wang and Harris will have a bilateral interaction during the event is not yet known, but Li believed that participants of the Munich conference will be keen to discuss the development of China-US relations, and it will be a focal point of the event.

China-US ties have been undermined by Washington's irrational moves highlighted by its recent use of force in shooting down a Chinese civilian unmanned airship, while China has shown reason and been responsible in handling its relations with the US. Whether the two sides can ease tensions in bilateral ties depends on whether the US can correct its wrongdoings, Li noted.