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Radiant Clouds Will Ever Make New Heaven Bright
--State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on President Xi Jinping's State Visit to Greece and Attendance at the BRICS Summit in Brasilia
2019/11/15

From November 10 to 14, 2019, President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Greece upon invitation, and attended the 11th BRICS Summit in Brazil. At the end of the trip, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi briefed the accompanying journalists on the visit.

Wang Yi said, President Xi Jinping resumed his busy schedule soon after the successful convening of the fourth plenary session of the 19th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the hosting of the second China International Import Expo (CIIE). As an old Chinese saying reads, "people with affinity make light of distance even when they are thousands of miles apart." President Xi Jinping visited Europe and Latin America, where the five BRICS countries were brought together to strengthen friendship, discuss the current situation and seek win-win cooperation. President Xi Jinping had in-depth communication and dialogues with leaders from various countries, through which Eastern and Western civilizations meet across time and space, and radiate with new glows of the new era.

I. Cement traditional China-Greece friendship and set an example of mutual trust and benefit.

Wang Yi said, Greece and China are both ancient civilizations, and comprehensive strategic partners. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 47 years ago, the two countries have always respected and understood each other, and firmly supported each other on issues concerning respective core interests and major concerns. President Prokopis Pavlopoulos paid a state visit to China in May, during which he attended the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations. And in early November, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis attended the second CIIE in China. Then, in less than a week, President Xi Jinping visited Greece upon invitation. All of these showed the close relationship between the leaders of the two countries, and the high level of China-Greece relations. Sharing similar views and cultural affinity, China resonates with Greece every time the two sides communicate, just as a Chinese proverb goes "when drinking with a bosom friend, a thousand cups will still be too little". The leaders of the two countries have reached a series of new important consensus through heart-to-heart communication. They agreed to strengthen the bond of practical cooperation and dialogue among civilizations, and to elevate China-Greece comprehensive strategic partnership to new highs. President Xi Jinping's visit created a "Chinese whirlwind" in Greece, with major local media competing to report this visit, and international mainstream media paying close attention to it, saying that "China-Greece relations enter a honeymoon period".

Open up new prospects for the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. The Piraeus Port project of China Ocean Shipping Company (COSCO) is a paragon in the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative. The project has created jobs for over 10,000 local people through both direct and indirect means, and the Piraeus Port has become the largest port in the Mediterranean Region. President Xi Jinping's visit to the Piraeus Port was warmly welcomed by local employees, who excitedly talked about their stories with the COSCO's Piraeus Port project, and extended heartfelt gratitude to the Chinese side for providing them with job opportunities so they could lead a comfortable life. Kyriakos Mitsotakis and other officials from the Greek side said, the Piraeus Port project is mutually beneficial, as it has strongly boosted the recovery of the Greek economy and social development, receiving extensive support from the Greek people. They appreciated China for helping the Greek people when Greece was embroiled in the debt crisis, and it is a story from which the Greek side has come to a deep understanding of the true meaning of "friends", as reflected in the saying "a friend in need is a friend indeed". Greece is willing to work with the Chinese side to further expand and strengthen the Piraeus Port project. President Xi Jinping pointed out that China upholds the right approach to justice and interests. The Piraeus Port project is a successful example of strong China-Greece cooperation featuring complementing each other's advantages, combining forces and achieving mutual benefit. It is hoped that the two sides will make continued efforts to further construct and develop the port, and advance the building of the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line. With the joint efforts of both sides, it is believed that the positive radiation effect of cooperation on the Piraeus Port will be more evident, which will continue to benefit the people of the two countries and the region. Facts have proven that the Belt and Road Initiative is not a slogan or tale, but a successful practice and brilliant reality.

Bring cultural exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations to new highs. President Xi Jinping's visit to Greece marked the interaction between Eastern and Western civilizations, and showed to the world the harmony of China and Greece, the two great and celebrated civilizations. The two heads of state held talks and visited the Acropolis Museum in Athens, where they reviewed history, talked about wisdom of civilizations, learned from the past and looked into the future. President Xi Jinping pointed out, I come to Greece with respect for civilizations and expectations for the future. The China-Greece friendship is not only the cooperation between the two countries but also a dialogue between two great civilizations. Mankind should uphold and pursue noble sentiments. China will never ever seek hegemony and does not agree to a you-win-I-lose zero-sum game. President Xi Jinping emphasized, the Chinese and Greek people are proud of their rich cultural traditions and cherish the contemporary value of their fine traditional culture. The wisdom accumulated by China and Greece for thousands of years has given birth to the policies and principles that the two countries have adopted to adapt to the historical trend. The two sides should keep giving full play to their respective cultural advantages to hammer out a way for harmonious co-existence of various civilizations and peoples of different countries. President Prokopis Pavlopoulos said, the ancient, splendid and great civilizations have linked the two peoples closely together. He thanked President Xi Jinping for his understanding of and respect for the Greek civilization. The Greek people hold high respect for the time-honored Chinese civilization, and admire China's achievements in modernization. Greece is strongly against the so-called "clash of civilizations" theory. And Greece believes that true civilizations neither clash with nor set up barriers for one another, instead they communicate with and learn from one another, and co-exist harmoniously. China has made a forceful fight back against the theories of "clash of civilizations" and "a strong country is bound to seek hegemony" in light of its cultural tradition and the fact that it is now ever more open, advanced and developed. He appreciated the noble moral standards China has upheld on the international stage, stressing that if all countries uphold these standards, the road ahead of mankind will become even broader. The leaders of the two countries both agreed to stick to their fine traditions and encourage creativity, and promote the inclusiveness and mutual learning of different civilizations and countries, so as to let wisdom of ancient civilizations shine through the future, and make due contributions to promoting world peace and development and building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Inject new impetus into the mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the European Union (EU). The destination of President Xi Jinping's first outbound visit was Europe this year, and his last visit of the year also concluded in Europe. Besides, the two sides are preparing for a series of major events next year to fully demonstrate that the Chinese side highly values the development of China-EU relations. Greece is an important member of the EU, and has just joined the cooperation mechanism between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEEC) in April this year. Rejecting those allegations concocted to drive a wedge between China and the EU, President Xi Jinping stressed that China-EU relations are an important part of the relations between major countries in the world today, and that strengthening the sound interaction and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and the EU is in line with respective interests and of strategic significance. President Xi Jinping reaffirmed the Chinese government's firm support for a united, stable, prosperous and strong Europe, and pointed out that China-CEEC cooperation enriches the meaning of the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership, which is conducive to promoting the European integration process. Greek leaders expressed, the Greek side disagrees with the statement that the "17+1" cooperation will divide Europe, instead, the "17+1" cooperation mechanism proposed by the Chinese side helps link Greece and China as well as Europe and China more closely. The Greek side will remain committed to this cooperation, and is willing to serve as the bridge and bond for furthering EU-China overall relations.

II. Draw the blueprint for the BRICS cooperation and deepen strategic partnership.

Wang Yi said, the 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia was held at a time when crucial developments are taking place in the world economy and international landscape. On one hand, the rise of the emerging markets and developing countries represented by the BRICS countries has vigorously promoted the process of global multipolarization. A new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation has created more opportunities for countries across the globe to achieve leapfrog development. On the other hand, protectionism and unilateralism are escalating, while uncertainties and destabilizing factors in the world economy have increased markedly. Under such background, President Xi Jinping put forward the Chinese side's policies and proposals. He stressed to promote the three-pillar-driven cooperation in economy, trade, finance, political security and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, charting the course for the BRICS countries to strengthen solidarity and cooperation and to embark on a second "Golden Decade". A declaration included the Chinese side's position and proposition was issued at the summit.

Maintain close strategic communication and coordination and champion international fairness and justice. During the summit and the bilateral meetings with the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa, President Xi Jinping clearly stated, the BRICS countries should maintain close strategic communication and coordination, deepen the strategic partnership, work together to deal with various risks and challenges, and safeguard respective sovereignty, security, and development interests through the consultation mechanism of all levels. Besides, the BRICS countries should take a constructive part in resolving hotspot issues through equal dialogues so as to push the development of international order forward in a more just and equitable direction. The leaders of the BRICS countries vowed to strengthen strategic cooperation on major international and regional issues, safeguard international fairness and justice, and defend the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries. The Brasilia Declaration made the voice of the BRICS countries heard by systematically elaborating on the clear positions of the BRICS countries in upholding the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations (UN), and adhering to multilateralism and political settlement of hotspot issues, thus injecting stability into the international situation fraught with uncertainties, and providing positive energy for world peace and security.

Focus on cooperation in scientific and technological innovation and promote the BRICS Partnership on the New Industrial Revolution. Centering around the summit's theme "BRICS: economic growth for an innovative future", President Xi Jinping called for the five countries to grasp the opportunities of reform and innovation, continue to promote the BRICS Partnership on the New Industrial Revolution, and fully tap into the potential of practical cooperation on the "Innovative BRICS" network and future network research institutes, develop new growth points in such fields as digital economy and connectivity, strive for new cooperation outcomes, and enhance the independent development capabilities of the five countries. The Brasilia Declaration welcomes the establishment of an "Innovative BRICS" network and a new structure for BRICS cooperation in scientific and technological innovation, marking an important step for the BRICS countries to promote the BRICS Partnership on the New Industrial Revolution, which will help the transformation and upgrading and high-quality development of the five countries' economy.

Carry forward the "BRICS Plus" spirit and expand the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries. In his speech, President Xi Jinping emphasized, the five countries should leverage "BRICS Plus" cooperation as a platform to promote the mutual support of emerging markets and developing countries, increase exchanges and dialogues among different civilizations and countries, and win BRICS more friends and partners. The leaders recognized for the first time the expansion of the membership of BRICS New Development Bank and put it on the agenda of BRICS members. The "BRICS Plus" cooperation has made important progress in key areas, which will further enhance the vitality of the BRICS mechanism and help strengthen the unity and self-reliance of emerging markets and developing countries.

III.Demonstrate China's responsibilities as a major country and share China's vision and wisdom.

Wang Yi said, in the face of profound changes unseen in a century, President Xi Jinping has summarized China's successful experience from the perspective of the course of human history and the evolution of international landscape, and proposed China's solutions that meet the expectations of the international community and serve the common interests of all parties concerned, thus playing a leading role in improving global governance.

Elaborate the epochal connotation of multilateralism. With different ideas vis-à-vis each other, all parties had in-depth discussions on whether we should adhere to multilateralism and what kind of multilateralism should be upheld. In his speech, President Xi Jinping called for the implementation of multilateralism. He pointed out, to adhere to multilateralism, we need to take it our aim to safeguard world peace and promote common development, uphold fairness and justice, promote mutual benefit and win-win results, advocate the international law and the widely recognized basic norms of international relations, and defend the central role of the UN in the international system, so as to push forward the building and reform of the global governance system. President Xi Jinping stressed, the essence of multilateralism is that the international issues should be addressed by all stakeholders through consultation rather than decided by one country or a few. President Xi Jinping's exposition of the goal and purpose of multilateralism is of great guiding significance under the current international circumstances.

Share the opportunities of openness and win-win cooperation. President Xi Jinping emphasized, developing countries should maintain steadfastness and confidence, integrate into the trend of globalization, grasp the progressive development of technology, unswervingly follow their own path, expand opening-up, pursue mutual benefit and win-win results, and build an open world economy. President Xi Jinping encouraged all countries to seize the important opportunities of China's further opening-up and huge market potential, and actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative so as to achieve more fruitful results from cooperation.

Advocate the building of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future. The BRICS member countries come from Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Following the proposal of jointly building a closer China-Africa community with a shared future and a China-Latin America community with a shared future for common progress, President Xi Jinping has for the first time put forward the building of an Asia-Pacific community with a shared future of openness and inclusiveness, innovation-driven growth, greater connectivity and mutually beneficial cooperation. The proposal follows the trend of times featuring openness and integration, charts the course for cooperation among countries in the Asian-Pacific region, enriches and expands the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind and will surely demonstrate strong vitality.

During the visit, President Xi Jinping's wife Peng Liyuan has attended relevant bilateral events and the spouses' activities of the BRICS leaders, which shows the affinity and unique charm of China in the new era and plays an irreplaceable role in promoting the mutual understanding and friendship between China and the countries concerned.

Wang Yi said, President Xi Jinping has paid seven visits and presided over four home-field diplomatic events in 2019, which fully displays the great achievements China has made over the past 70 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China and the charm of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. Facing an ever-changing international situation, President Xi Jinping takes on the responsibilities as the leader of a major country with a great political vision of firm confidence, ponders on the future of mankind, and writes a remarkable chapter in China's diplomacy, which effectively improves China's appeal and influence.

As a Chinese poem goes, "radiant clouds will ever make new heaven bright." For seven decades, China's diplomacy has experienced difficulties and obstacles and embarked on an extraordinary path of success. Shouldering important responsibilities in its prime, China's diplomacy in the new era will certainly lead to a more extraordinary future. Let us closely unite around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, work hard together to forge ahead, and make new contributions that do justice to the new era and live up to the expectations of the CPC and the people, so as to write a brilliant new chapter for the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

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