Braving Ten Thousand Crags and Torrents
——State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Talks About President Xi Jinping’s Visits to Spain, Argentina, Panama, and Portugal and Attendance at the 13th G20 Summit
2018/12/06

From November 27 to December 5, President Xi Jinping paid state visits to Spain, Argentina, Panama, and Portugal, and attended the 13th G20 Summit in Buenos Aires of Argentina at invitation. At the end of the visits, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi introduced the visits to the accompanying reporters.

Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping's visits are a pilot trip in the turbulent international situation. His attendance at the G20 Summit has calibrated the direction for the global economic governance and guided the long-term and stable development of China's relations with major countries. His visits to European and Latin American countries have promoted the development momentum of cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative and opened up new prospects for China-European Union (EU) and China-Latin America relations. President Xi Jinping's visits have followed the trend of multi-polarization and economic globalization, firmly supported multilateralism, and actively promoted win-win cooperation, taking the front line of the history and uttering loudest voice of the times. His visits have added stability to the current international situation which is at the crucial juncture, set course for the international system under profound changes, and injected positive energy into the anxious international community.

Over mountains and seas, President Xi Jinping flew across European and American continents in his 9-day trip covering over 40 thousand kilometers, participating in nearly 70 bilateral and multilateral events. From Madrid and Lisbon, from Buenos Aires and Panama City, places he visited witnessed mutual trust build-up, fruits of cooperation, and hospitality and friendship. President Xi Jinping received prestigious welcome as the most distinguished guests in the countries he visited. Spanish King Felipe VI and his wife invited President Xi Jinping and his wife to a family dinner. President of Panama Juan Carlos Varela and his wife welcomed them at the airport and saw them off. Spain and Portugal dispatched combat aircrafts to escort his plane, and Portugal and Argentina arranged the cavalry guards to escort President Xi Jinping's motorcade. President Xi Jinping received the Order of the Liberator General San Martin from Argentine President Mauricio Macri. President Xi Jinping delivered the opening speech at the beginning of the G20 Summit; President Xi Jinping's meeting with President of the United States (US) attracted the attention of the whole world. Media at home and abroad have closely followed President Xi Jinping's whole visits and praised that the head of state diplomacy had demonstrated the influence and appeal of China in the international arena.

I. Promote the G20 Cooperation and the Development of Major-Country Relations

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the outbreak of the global financial crisis and the establishment of G20 summit mechanism. As the world economic risks are increasing, the international community has paid close attention to the summit this year. President Xi Jinping delivered many important speeches, held multiple bilateral and multilateral meetings, and proposed many initiatives, which had promoted cooperation, enhanced mutual trust, and safeguarded solidarity, demonstrating the vision and sense of responsibility as the leader of a major country.

Strong consensus of multilateralism has been built up. The G20 is an important product and embodiment of multilateral cooperation. The current economic globalization is suffering setbacks and the multilateral system is under impact. As some major economies have shown lack of willingness to cooperate and the international cooperation has lost momentum, the G20 itself is faced with new challenges. President Xi Jinping recapitulated the G20's trajectory and pointed out that multilateralism, consultation on an equal basis, and win-win cooperation are the most effective devices against great crises. He stressed that the G20 members should stand together against whatever difficulties, engage with each other based on the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, strengthen coordination and cooperation in macro policies, and uphold explicitly the multilateral system. President Xi Jinping also participated in the summit discussions on topics including sustainable development and climate change, advocating international cooperation in an active manner. The proposals have, to the greatest extent, demonstrated the willingness of all parties to join hands and work together in times of difficulty, further consolidated the G20's position as a major forum for international economic cooperation and boosted the confidence of all parties in the stable development of the world economy.

Important principles for the global governance have been illustrated. The world economy is at a crossroad with differences and confusion in the international community. President Xi Jinping offered his insightful observations and appealed to G20 leaders to follow the development trend and the law of economy to lead the world economy in a right direction. President Xi Jinping put forward a four-point proposal on the global economic governance. First, uphold openness and cooperation to jointly safeguard and build an open world economy. Second, uphold the spirit of partnership to reduce the negative spillover of macroeconomic policies in major economies. Third, uphold the innovation-driven development and conduct in-depth research on the application and impact of new technologies. Fourth, uphold mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, and continue to take the development issue as a priority. These initiatives follow the spirit of President Xi Jinping's series of speeches on the international stage in recent years, keep abreast of changes in the situation and answer the questions of the times, which are conducive to promoting robust, sustainable, balanced and inclusive development of the world economy.

The course for the international trade has been set. The G20 shoulders the due responsibility in promoting the sound development of the international trade. In the discussion of trade-related topics in the summit, President Xi Jinping pointed out that we should keep the following focuses: first, we should focus on openness. Win-win outcomes will be achieved in cooperation based on complementary exchanges; second, we should focus on inclusiveness to let globalization deliver more benefits to people from all countries and all classes; third, we should focus on a rules-based approach to provide stable and predictable rules and regulations for the sound development of the international trade. The reform of the World Trade Organization (WTO) has attracted much attention. President Xi Jinping emphasized that the Chinese side supports necessary reforms within the WTO, and the key is to safeguarding the WTO's core values and basic principles including openness, inclusiveness, and non-discrimination to guarantee the interests and flexibility for polices of developing countries. The policies and concepts President Xi Jinping expounded, based on China's role as a major country, have accommodated the common interests and wellbeing of all countries, providing an action guide for an enabling international trade environment.

Sound interaction between major countries has been propelled. The G20 is an important platform for dialogues and coordination among major economies. Strengthening communication and increasing mutual trust among all countries, especially among leaders of major countries, are of particular importance in the current context. President Xi Jinping pointed out that mutual trust among major countries is the most valuable asset of the G20, and that we should preserve and increase the value of mutual trust. President Xi Jinping held many meetings with leaders of all parties, which have promoted cooperation, solved problems, and advanced the sound and stable development of China's relations with relevant countries.

President Xi Jinping held a meeting at invitation with US President Donald Trump, and conducted in-depth exchanges in a friendly and candid atmosphere, making a plan and charting the course for properly resolving the existing issues between China and the US and promoting the development of China-US relations. Both sides agreed to jointly boost China-US relations with coordination, cooperation and stability as the defining features, and propel bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields to achieve more outcomes. The US side reiterated its adherence to the one-China policy. Both sides had a very positive and constructive discussion on economic and trade issues, reaching the principled consensus. The consensus firstly effectively refrains from the expansion of economic and trade frictions; secondly brings both sides return to the track of dialogue and consultation for solving issues; thirdly sets the common goal of win-win cooperation; and fourthly brings major benefits for global trade and world economy. The above four aspects are conducive to maintaining legitimate interests of China, and are in line with the interests of the US as well as expectations of the international community. Facts will prove that the common interests outweigh differences, and cooperation needs triumph over frictions between China and the US. The enhancement of sound interactions and commitment to win-win cooperation between China and the US are not only conducive to the two peoples, but will also benefit people around the world.

President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin of Russia continued their tradition of meeting with each other on important multilateral occasions, and decided to take the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries in 2019 as the mainline to lead China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination to reach higher levels. Both sides reiterated that they will enhance the integration of the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union to promote practical cooperation in various fields to achieve more outcomes. The two heads of state had conducted communication and discussion on international and regional issues of common concern, and agreed to maintain close coordination within multilateral mechanisms. This meeting again reflected the high-level feature and particularity of China-Russia relations.

President Xi Jinping held the fourth meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India this year, and met with President Emmanuel Macron of France, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, which have increased strategic mutual trust and promoted coordination and cooperation. President Xi Jinping attended the BRICS Leaders' Informal Meeting and China-Russia-India Leaders' Meeting, and reached new consensus with relevant parties on improving multilateral cooperation mechanisms, consolidating unity among emerging market economies, promoting the process of democratization of international relations, and boosting world stability and development. President Xi Jinping also exchanged views with Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN) António Guterres, stressing that China upholds the purposes of the UN Charter and supports the UN in playing a greater role.

Wang Yi expressed that under the promotion of the Chinese side, the G20 Summit reached consensus on major international issues and adopted the leaders' declaration, sending the right, positive and reassuring message to the world. Many participating leaders expressed that they agreed to strengthen coordination in adjustment of macroeconomic policies, structural reform, implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, infrastructure construction and other fields, jointly safeguard multilateral trading system, advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and oppose protectionism. It can be said that the success of the summit is a victory of upholding multilateralism, demonstrating once again that China's propositions and solutions are in line with the common aspiration of the people and the trend of the times.

II. Promote China-Spain and China-Portugal Cooperation and Add Vitality to China-European Union (EU) Relations

Both Spain and Portugal are important members of the EU, as well as China's traditional friendly countries and comprehensive strategic partners in the EU. President Xi Jinping's visits this time mark Chinese president's first visit to Spain in 13 years and to Portugal in 8 years, which opened up a new chapter of China-Spain and China- Portugal relations and stimulated the new vitality of China-EU relations.

A new phase of bilateral relations has been initiated. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Spain and the next year will be the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Portugal. China-Spain relations and China-Portugal relations have stepped into the best period in history and are faced with new development opportunities. President Xi Jinping held talks and met with King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Pérez-Castejón of Spain, President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and Prime Minister Antonio Costa of Portugal and others, during which they summed up the experience earned in the development of bilateral relations, drew blueprints for future cooperation, and agreed to intensify high-level exchanges, deepen political mutual trust, improve the level of cooperation, consolidate traditional friendship, and enrich the connotation of comprehensive strategic partnership, so as to elevate bilateral relations to new stages in the new era. Leaders of Spain and Portugal all expressed that they cherished their friendly exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese side. They believed that President Xi Jinping's visits this time are of milestone significance for inheriting the past and ushering the future, and have become a new starting point for the development of bilateral relations. The joint statement between China and Spain as well as that between China and Portugal were respectively issued, sending out the clear signal of committing to enhancing comprehensive strategic partnership and improving the level of bilateral relations.

New space for practical cooperation has been expanded. Both Spain and Portugal have actively participated in the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and gained early harvests. Seizing the historic opportunity of co-building the Belt and Road Initiative, China and Spain as well as China and Portugal look forward to strengthening the integration of development strategies, expanding trade and two-way investment, promoting bilateral cooperation for optimization and upgrade, and jointly expanding the third-party market, so as to foster new growth points for cooperation. China and Spain will give play to the demonstration role of the Yiwu-Xinjiang-Europe cargo line, and strive to achieve the greater connectivity integrating sea, land and air between China and Spain and between China and the EU. The China-Spain Business Advisory Council was officially established, providing a new platform for deepening bilateral economic and trade cooperation. China and Portugal signed the memorandum of understanding on jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative, which will exert positive demonstration effect on Europe. China and Portugal agreed to expand maritime cooperation to be the pioneers in establishing the "blue partnership". China signed about 20 cooperation agreements with the two countries respectively, covering economy and trade, technology, finance, energy and other areas, which fully demonstrated the great potential of bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation.

A new bridge of people-to-people and cultural exchanges has been built. China is located at the east end of Eurasia, while Spain and Portugal are located at the west end, but friendly exchanges among our people enjoy a time-honored history, and the bond of civilization has made bilateral friendship become even firmer as time goes by. Recalling the past in light of the current situation, President Xi Jinping told the moving stories of nongovernmental exchanges between people of both sides, reviewed the historical highlights of bilateral cultural exchanges and mutual learning, bringing the hearts of the Chinese and Spanish people as well as that of the Chinese and Portuguese people even closer. President Xi Jinping received the golden key of the City of Madrid in Spain and visited a cultural relics exhibition of the Maritime Silk Road in Portugal. President Xi Jinping expressed the willingness to carry forward traditional friendship and spirit of mutual learning with the two countries, injecting the spirit of the times and vigorous impetus into China's cooperation with Spain and Portugal. President Xi Jinping and leaders of Spain and Portugal agreed to expand people-to-people and cultural exchanges, facilitate personnel exchanges, enhance communication and cooperation in such areas as culture, education, sports, tourism and youth, and give play to the role of cultural center, Confucius Institute and other platforms to cultivate more friendship envoys, so as to enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the people of both sides.

New synergy of multilateral cooperation has been forged. China, Spain and Portugal share similar and same positions on many major international and regional issues. While meeting with the leaders of the two countries, President Xi Jinping stressed that China has all along firmly supported the European integration, and is pleased to see a united, stable, open and prosperous Europe. Both China and Europe could strengthen the integration of the Belt and Road Initiative and the development strategies of the EU and work together to promote Asia-Europe connectivity. Both sides should support each other and strengthen coordination in jointly safeguarding international order and boosting global governance. Highly commending this position, the leaders of Spain and Portugal expressed their willingness to reinforce strategic coordination with the Chinese side and deepen China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual benefit and win-win results. In the meantime, we should adhere to the common idea of openness and inclusiveness, steadfastly support the process of multilateralism and free trade system and join hands to cope with global challenges.

Wang Yi expressed that President Xi Jinping's visits this time are the first ones to Europe since he was re-elected as Chinese president. Since the visits coincide with the 15th anniversary of the establishment of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, they help mobilize the greater initiative of the European countries to cooperate with China. China and the EU, as two major stabilizing forces and major economies in the world, should remain committed to building China-Europe partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization, safeguard multilateralism through China-EU cooperation as well as jointly build an open world economy. This is the objective need of safeguarding the common interests of both sides, and the realistic requirement for promoting world peace, stability, development and prosperity, which meets the common expectations of all parties.

III. Tighten China-Argentina as well as China-Panama Bonds and Improve the Landscape of China-Latin America Cooperation

Latin America is an important emerging force in international landscape. Under the guidance and promotion of President Xi Jinping, China-Latin America relations have achieved historic leaps in recent years. This is President Xi Jinping's fourth visit to Latin America and his second visit to Argentina. This is also the first visit paid by Chinese president to Panama, which has laid a solid foundation for, opened up broad prospects for and added rich connotations to bilateral relations and overall cooperation between China and Latin America.

Foundation of political mutual trust has been continuously consolidated. As China's old friend and new partner in Latin America respectively, Argentina and Panama regard deepening their relations with China as a significant strategic opportunity. The five meetings between President Xi Jinping and President Mauricio Macri in the past two years have provided robust political guidance for China-Argentina relations. Both sides decided to plan bilateral relations with broader visions, deepen and add more substance to cooperation in various fields, and open up a new era for China-Argentina comprehensive strategic partnership. The realization of mutual visits between President Xi Jinping and President Juan Carlos Varela has further consolidated the foundation of China-Panama relations. Both sides spoke highly of the fruitful achievements during the past one and a half years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and will steadily push for the comprehensive development of China-Panama relations to forge a model of friendly cooperation between countries. President Xi Jinping and the leaders of the two countries agreed to constantly and resolutely support the development path independently chosen by each side, understand and support each other's core interests and concerns, jointly promote the overall development of China-Latin America relations, and safeguard the legitimate interests of developing countries. China and Argentina as well as China and Panama respectively released a joint communiqué and a joint press release, reflecting the high consensus of both sides.

The development strategies have been accelerated rapidly. The Belt and Road Initiative is being extended to Latin America in an all-round way. During the visits this time, President Xi Jinping welcomed the active participation of Latin American countries in the building of the Belt and Road Initiative to optimize and upgrade China-Latin America cooperation with innovative development, receiving a warm response from Latin American countries including visiting countries. China and Argentina agreed to expand their comprehensive strategic partnership to the Belt and Road Initiative, work together to promote the building of the Belt and Road Initiative, integrate bilateral development plans and promote exchanges and cooperation at all levels and in various fields in a coordinated manner. Panama, which is founded on connectivity, is a natural cooperative partner in the Belt and Road Initiative. President Xi Jinping and President Juan Carlos Varela jointly visited the Panama Canal and looked forward to the bright future of the alignment of development strategies between both sides. China and Panama agreed to take the Belt and Road Initiative and the National Logistics Strategy of Panama 2030 as an opportunity to continuously open up cooperation space and forge cooperation highlights.

The mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation has been continuously deepened. China and Argentina are both emerging market economics with great complementary strengths in economy and huge potential for cooperation. China and Argentina signed a joint action plan for the next five years and about thirty cooperation documents, providing guidance and impetus for bilateral cooperation in the next stage. The two sides agreed to elevate trade level, expand energy cooperation, propel connectivity, and safeguard financial security in the light of their respective strengths and development needs. Both sides agreed to enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges and promote people-to-people bonds at the same time. Although the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Panama has not been long, bilateral cooperation has shown a trend of comprehensive progress. During the visit, both sides reached a large number of new agreements on cooperation in such fields as e-commerce, trade in service, economic and trade fairs, maritime affairs, financing, agriculture and animal husbandry, justice, culture and education, and science and technology, confirming once again that the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Panama is entirely correct and that the potential for cooperation continues to be released. President Xi Jinping met with representatives of entrepreneurs attending the China-Panama Business Forum, and encouraged the business communities in the two sides to seize favorable opportunities of the times, the favorable geographic position and the harmonious relationship and make efforts to expand cooperation.

The connotation of China-Latin America relations has become even richer. President Xi Jinping, focusing on the changes in the situation in Latin America and the adjustment of relations with the outside world, pointed out that China is full of confidence in the development prospects of Latin America. He stressed that China will adhere to the principle of equal treatment, and mutual benefit and win-win results to jointly build China-Latin America relations featuring equality, mutual benefit, innovation, openness and benefits for the people in the new era with friends in Latin America. China's policy towards Latin America, elaborated by President Xi Jinping, is consistent and keeps pace with the times, which gives rich connotation of the times for China-Latin America comprehensive cooperative partnership. It is conducive to better promoting bilateral cooperation, better guiding the building of a community with a shared future between China and Latin America, and better benefiting our respective peoples. All walks of life in Latin America strongly supported this, and they held that China attaches importance to Latin America's demand for realizing independent and sustainable development, has never told Latin American countries what to do, has always treated countries as equals, and is an indispensable friend, and sincere and reliable partner on the road to Latin America's development and revitalization.

Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping's visit to the South and the North Latin America this time is a refinement of the overall arrangement of China-Latin America cooperation, and also a reflection of the vigorous development of China-Latin America relations. We deeply feel that China and Latin America share a high degree of consensus in deepening friendly cooperation and achieving common development. Latin American countries warmly embrace the Belt and Road and look forward to tightening bonds and deepening interest integration with China. China-Latin America cooperation is a form of mutual assistance among developing countries. It has a strong endogenous driving force. It will not touch anyone's cheese, but will only expand the cake of common interests. It will make more positive contributions to international and regional peace and development.

IV. Expound on China's Path and Philosophy, and Show a Confident and Inclusive Image

This year marks the beginning of implementing the spirit of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, and the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up. The international community cares for the domestic and foreign policy direction as well as the future development prospects of China. During the visits, President Xi Jinping gave an incisive interpretation on China's development path and philosophy, and shared and exchanged experience in state governance and administration with leaders of various countries, which have enhanced the international community's understanding and recognition of China and demonstrated the demeanor of a wise, determined, open and confident of the leader of a major country.

The visits have carried forward the reform and opening up and showcased the opportunities brought by China. President Xi Jinping introduced the process of reform and opening up as well as the situation of China's economic and social development, poverty alleviation and reduction and others, and stressed that China will, through a new round of high-level reform and opening up, provide more opportunities for the common development of all countries and make greater contributions to the cause of global development while realizing its own development. President Xi Jinping emphasized that the Chinese side will hold China International Import Expo annually to further open up China's market to the world, calling on all countries to work together for a free, open, inclusive and orderly international economic environment. All parties congratulated China on its achievements in reform and opening up, and believed that it is commendable for China to further deepen market-based reform and take the initiative to expand imports against the situation of sluggish global economic growth and rising de-globalization trend, which is of far-reaching significance for both China and the international community.

The visits have adhered to peaceful development and demonstrated China's role. President Xi Jinping expounded on China's philosophy of diplomatic policy to foreign leaders, and stressed that China adheres to peaceful development and will always play its part in promoting world peace and development and upholding the international order. President Xi Jinping planed and promoted bilateral and multilateral relations from the height of promoting the building of a new type of international relations and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, emphasized that all countries provide opportunities of cooperation and development for one another, and advocated building partnerships and deepening mutual benefit, win-win and multi-win results, receiving extensive and positive responses. Facts have proven once again that the concept of jointly building a community with a shared future for mankind put forward by President Xi Jinping is accumulating the biggest common divisor of the yearning for peace, development and prosperity of the people in all countries, which has gradually taken deeper roots in the hearts of people in the world and become more popular.

During the visits, Prof. Peng Liyuan carried out first lady diplomacy and attended people-to-people and cultural as well as charity activities, which have deepened China's friendship with relevant countries and demonstrated China's distinctive soft power.

At last, Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping's visits show another successful practice of the major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. Since the beginning of this year, President Xi Jinping has visited for four times successively and has planned four major home-field events in person, further improving the layout of the all-round, multi-dimensional and multifaceted external work. With big-picture and strategic thinking, President Xi Jinping has well planned the major country diplomacy, neighborhood diplomacy, diplomacy with developing countries and multilateral diplomacy in an overall manner, constantly expanded global network of partnerships, comprehensively advanced the construction of the Belt and Road Initiative, and taken in-depth participation in the process of global governance. President Xi Jinping stays focused, has the confidence, keeps a clear head and takes the initiative amid the complex and fluid international landscape. If you aim high and look far, you will see a broader world and become resourceful in diplomacy. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, China will not slow its steps toward national rejuvenation no matter what external situation it may face and no matter what hardships and difficulties it may encounter. Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. We will follow the course guided by Xi Jinping's thought on diplomacy, firmly grasp the purpose of serving national rejuvenation and promoting human progress, and constantly break a new ground of China's diplomacy in the new era, in a bid to create favorable conditions for and make due contributions to building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and moving on to all-out efforts to build a great modern socialist country.

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