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Wang Yi Talks about President Xi Jinping's Visits to Cambodia and Bangladesh and Attendance at the Eighth BRICS Summit

Carrying forward Traditional Friendship, Deepening Mutually Beneficial Cooperation and Opening up Win-Win Prospects

--Foreign Minister Wang Yi Talks about President Xi Jinping’s Visits to Cambodia and Bangladesh and Attendance at the Eighth BRICS Summit

From October 13 to 17, 2016, President Xi Jinping paid state visits to Cambodia and Bangladesh and attended the eighth BRICS Summit in Goa, India. As the trip comes to the end, Foreign Minister Wang Yi briefed journalists on the visits.

Wang Yi said that this October has once again witnessed splendid and fruitful diplomatic actions of China. Following the successful G20 Hangzhou Summit last month, President Xi Jinping started his Asian trip. In Phnom Pen and Dhaka, President Xi Jinping renewed friendships and planned cooperation with Cambodian and Bangladeshi leaders. In Goa, President Xi Jinping and leaders of BRICS countries jointly talked about opportunities, addressed challenges, sought development and created a better future. In 4 days, President Xi Jinping attended more than 40 bilateral and multilateral events, met and held talks with leaders of various countries, delivered multiple important speeches, signed and witnessed several joint statements, declarations and dozens of cooperation agreements. The visit is a complete success and has drawn high attention both at home and abroad. This visit is widely considered as another practice of China’s neighboring diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, another step towards the "Belt and Road" construction as well as another contribution to enhancing the cooperation and influence of emerging markets.

I. Carry Forward Traditional Friendship and Elevate Partnerships to Another New High

Wang Yi said that Cambodia, President Xi Jinping's first stop, enjoys time-honored and traditional friendship with China. President Xi Jinping has stressed repeatedly that the traditional friendship between China and Cambodia, which is a precious treasure and remains stronger as time passes by, was forged and carefully nurtured by Chairman Mao Zedong, Premier Zhou Enlai, King Father Norodom Sihanouk and other older-generation leaders of both countries. Since the establishment of diplomatic relationship 58 years ago, the thriving China-Cambodia friendship has endured the test of the ever-changing international situation, and has been passed down from generation to generation. In recent years, China-Cambodia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership has gone through in-depth development and brought tangible benefits to the two peoples. Both sides have always understood and supported each other on issues involving respective core interests and major concerns. China and Cambodia have become good friends treating each other with all sincerity and good neighbors enjoying brotherly relations. It is the first time for President Xi Jinping to visit Cambodia as president, which has added new impetus to the traditional friendship between China and Cambodia and lifted bilateral cooperation to a new high.

The Cambodian side warmly welcomed the long-awaited visit of President Xi Jinping. The Cambodian royal family and government have made so many exceptional arrangements regarding the reception. When President Xi Jinping arrived in Phnom Penh, in addition to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Royal Palace Kong Sam Ol, Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk and King Norodom Sihamoni specifically entrusted two important members of the royal family, Prince Norodom Chakrapong and Princess Norodom Arunrasmy, to welcome President Xi Jinping at the airport. King Norodom Sihamoni held a grand welcome ceremony and a welcome banquet for President Xi Jinping in the royal palace. Cambodian royal family members and top officials of the Cambodian government and parliament were present. Songs written by King Father Norodom Sihanouk to praise Cambodia-China friendship were performed at the banquet. Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk personally accompanied President Xi Jinping to present a flower basket to the statue of King Father Norodom Sihanouk. After large and small meetings and long talks during the banquet with President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Hun Sen also came to the hotel to have breakfast with him before his departure and bid farewell. The Cambodian side has also placed huge portraits of President Xi Jinping and King Norodom Sihamoni, with shining golden characters saying long-lasting China-Cambodia friendship below, at the square outside the royal palace, a gesture the country has never done before. Thousands of people gathered around the places visited by President Xi Jinping, the airport, the royal palace, and both sides of streets, holding national flags of both countries and leaders’ portraits as well as waving flowers to extend warm welcome. Phnom Penh was permeated with the deep affection of the Cambodian royal family, government and people to China.

“Ironclad friends" and "China-Cambodia friendship" have become frequently-used words during President Xi Jinping’s visit. President Xi Jinping pointed out that China-Cambodia friendship serves as a model of friendly treatment and sincere cooperation between countries. Both sides meet as often as old friends, exchange frequent visits like relatives do, and lend full support to each other like brothers at crucial moments. Both countries should inherit, continue to consolidate and carry forward the traditional China-Cambodia friendship, and be each other’s ironclad friends forever. During his meeting with King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, President Xi Jinping affectionately reviewed the deep friendship and friendly stories between leaders of previous generations of both countries, spoke highly of the special friendship between the Cambodian royal family and China, and praised King Father Norodom Sihanouk, the symbol of China-Cambodia friendship, who is deeply loved by the Chinese people. President Xi Jinping welcomed Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk and King Norodom Sihamoni to continue to view China as their home and second homeland, and often visit, have physical examinations and recuperate in China. During the meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen, President Xi Jinping stressed that China always cherishes the traditional China-Cambodia friendship and is ready to work with the Cambodian side to continue to be a community of common destiny sharing a high-level mutual trust and standing together through thick and thin. King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath Sihanouk recalled Premier Zhou Enlai’s first visit to Cambodia over 60 years ago and both countries’ firm support and help to each other under the ever-changing international situation, and praised that China is Cambodia's greatest and most reliable friend. Cambodia and China are like one close family and bilateral relations are unbreakable. Under joint efforts of both sides, Cambodia-China relations will surely be better. Speaking of China's long-standing support and assistance to Cambodia, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that China has always treated Cambodia with equality, understanding and respect. China always walks the walk instead of talking the talk when it comes to assistance. Cambodia-China friendship has been firmly rooted in the hearts of the Cambodian people.

During the visit, leaders of both countries spoke highly of each other's achievements in economic and social development and agreed to deepen the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries so as to better benefit the two peoples. Both sides have reached broad consensus on strengthening pragmatic cooperation in various fields, and especially formulated clear guiding instructions on cooperation in major projects, including joint construction of the "Belt and Road" initiative, strengthening the docking of development strategies as well as investment cooperation on production capacity, and pushing forward the construction of the Sihanoukville Port Special Economic Zone. Moreover, 31 quality cooperation documents were signed. Both leaders specifically emphasized the need to strengthen friendly exchanges between the two peoples, especially the younger generations, so as to groom successors of China-Cambodia friendship. President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Hun Sen jointly unveiled the nameplate of the first Chinese culture center in Phnom Penh. It is another highlight of the visit that has been welcomed by the two peoples.

Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping’s visit has opened up a new chapter in the history of China-Cambodia traditional friendship and sent out a clear message that China values, supports and keeps its old friends in mind. King Norodom Sihamoni called the visit "an historic visit that will inherit the traditions of sustainability, friendship, solidarity and cooperation in various fields between both countries forged by King Father Norodom Sihanouk and successive Chinese leaders".

II. Deepen Mutually Beneficial Cooperation and Open up a New Chapter for the “Belt and Road” Construction

Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping's visit to Bangladesh is the first visit to the country paid by a Chinese head of state in 30 years. As traditional and friendly neighbors, both China and Bangladesh are developing countries with huge population and prioritize development and revitalization in state administration. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations 41 years ago, the two countries have developed relationship on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence with bilateral cooperation constantly deepening and friendship between the two peoples continuously intensifying. President Xi Jinping's visit this time has lifted bilateral relations and practical cooperation to a new level, which is of great significance to further deepening good-neighbourliness and cooperation, promoting common development in the region and building a community of common destiny with neighboring countries.

President Xi Jinping has conducted extensive and in-depth exchanges with people from all walks of life in Bangladesh, including governments, legislative institutions and political parties, stressing that both sides should enhance political mutual trust, expand mutually beneficial cooperation and deepen non-governmental friendship. The two sides have issued a joint declaration, upgrading China-Bangladesh relations to a strategic partnership of cooperation. China thus has become the first strategic partner of cooperation of Bangladesh, exerting milestone significance in the history of China-Bangladesh relations. Leaders of the Bangladeshi government, parliament and major political parties all highly praise the traditional friendship between the two countries, and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also recalled with emotion presenting flowers to visiting Premier Zhou Enlai with her brother in her childhood. All major political parties in Bangladesh are in favor of carrying out cooperation with China as strategic partners, and look forward to tapping into the potential of bilateral cooperation and expanding cooperation outcomes.

During productive talks with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and other Bangladeshi leaders, President Xi Jinping made top-level design and strategic planning for bilateral cooperation, opening up a new chapter for China-Bangladesh friendly cooperation. Both sides agreed to support each other and intensify cooperation during the endeavor for the “two centenary goals” and the “Sonar Bangla” dream. Leaders of both countries identified key fields of major project cooperation, including production capacity, energy, electric power, transportation, information communication, infrastructure and agriculture, agreed to launch the feasibility study of a free trade zone and set up a series of new mechanisms including one on maritime dialogue and cooperation between the two countries. Both sides also witnessed the signing of over 30 important cooperation agreements.

Wang Yi said that Bangladesh is an important country in South Asia and the Indian Ocean region. Located at the junction point of south and east Asia, it is also where the land and maritime Silk Roads meet. With rapid economic growth in recent years, Bangladesh has great demands in external cooperation and is paying more attention to coordinated development in the region. Bangladesh explicitly supports the "Belt and Road" initiative, and is willing to actively participate in as well as make positive contribution to this great project. During the visit, leaders of both countries mainly reached important consensus on carrying out mutually beneficial cooperation and joint promoting the "Belt and Road" construction in line with respective development strategies, and agreed to enhance cooperation in such fields as marine economy, port construction and connectivity and push for early harvests from the construction of Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor as soon as possible. Such efforts not only are beneficial to respective economic development, enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation and forging a new model for South-South cooperation, but also inject fresh impetus into the “Belt and Road” construction.

III. Open up Win-win Prospects and Revitalize the BRICS Cooperation

Wang Yi noted that it takes ten years to grow a tree. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the BRICS cooperation mechanism. After ten years of rapid development, BRICS countries have continuously expanded cooperation areas and improved cooperation mechanism, playing a positive role in pushing forward global economic growth, improving global governance, strengthening cooperation among developing countries and advancing the democratization of international relations. Meanwhile, affected by the sluggish world economic recovery, fluctuations in the financial market and other macro-environment, the BRICS cooperation also faces many challenges recently. Against such background, BRICS leaders held an informal meeting during the G20 Hangzhou Summit last month, where President Xi Jinping’s initiative on enhancing unity and cooperation of the BRICS mechanism received positive responses from all parties. This time President Xi Jinping attended the BRICS Summit in Goa upon invitation and delivered an important speech, in which he further elaborated China’s stance and propositions on boosting the BRICS cooperation, offered Chinese concepts and synergized consensus from all parties. It has charted the course for the future development of the BRICS, manifested the magnanimity and responsibility of a major country, as well as received wide approval from attending leaders.

Invigorating confidence for the BRICS cooperation. From a strategically advantageous position, President Xi Jinping reviewed and concluded the progress of the BRICS cooperation with detailed and accurate examples and data, stressing that after 10 years of development, the BRICS cooperation has grown into a big tree with luxuriant foliage and deep roots. Constantly striding deep and solid, it has become an important international mechanism with major influence and fruitful outcomes. In light of challenges brought by the international environment, BRICS countries should stay confident and work together to overcome difficulties. President Xi Jinping’s speech has powerfully responded to the doubts and negative views from the outside, cementing the confidence of BRICS member states in cooperation, consolidating the BRICS members’ unity and blazing bright prospect for the BRICS cooperation.

Offering an effective prescription for the BRICS development. Seizing up the situation and assuming a general view of the whole situation, President Xi Jinping took the pulse and offered a prescription for advancing the BRICS cooperation by putting forward a five-point proposal, including jointly building an open world, mapping out a shared development vision, coping with global challenges, safeguarding fairness and justice, and deepening partnerships. He proposed to push forward structural reform, innovate in growth patterns and construct an open economy. By employing new ideas, new concepts and new measures, BRICS countries can inject new impetus into and open up new space for international development and cooperation. We should strengthen coordination and communication in major international issues and regional hotspot issues, take joint actions, continue to elevate the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries, deepen and extend economic cooperation in various fields, well implement the Strategy for BRICS Economic Partnerships, and well build the two fronts of the BRICS cooperation, namely the BRICS New Development Bank and the Contingent Reserve Arrangement, so as to lift the overall competitiveness of BRICS countries. These important initiatives have offered Chinese plans for the development direction of the BRICS mechanism from a macroscopic and long-term perspective, which were incorporated into the Goa Declaration, the outcome document of the summit, demonstrating China’s leading role.

Adding driving force into the BRICS mechanism. President Xi Jinping stressed that we should strengthen the construction of people-to-people and cultural cooperation mechanisms among BRICS countries and advance all-round and friendly exchanges and people-to-people and cultural communication of all circles from BRICS countries in order to offer robust impetus to the overall BRICS cooperation. We should actively facilitate media exchanges among the five countries and tell the true “BRICS stories” to the world, thus heightening the influence and public appeal of the BRICS cooperation. President Xi Jinping also encouraged business representatives from the five countries to actively participate in and push forward economic cooperation among BRICS countries, actively invest and establish business in BRICS countries, give play to respective advantages and exemplary roles, help all countries implement innovation-driven development strategies, explore major projects with economic and social benefits and build a network of mutually beneficial cooperation, so as to push for stable and sustained economic development of BRICS countries and bring tangible benefits to the people of the five countries.

Blazing a new trail for the BRICS in the future. During the summit, President Xi Jinping attended the outreach summit between leaders of BRICS countries and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries, thoroughly expounding China’s policies on developing the relationship between the two mechanisms. He pointed out that member states of the two mechanisms all belong to the big family of developing countries that share common desires in safeguarding world peace and regional security as well as common demands in developing economy and improving people’s livelihood. We should join hands and make joint efforts to achieve advantage complementarity, push for regional economic integration, boost connectivity, advance the organic docking between the “Belt and Road” construction and the BIMSTEC, realize common development, intensify communication and exchanges and deeply nurture the foundation of partnerships. These important initiatives, fully embodying the BRICS spirit featuring openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation, not only are conducive to improving the “Belt and Road” pattern, pushing forward regional countries’ economic and social development and opening up new prospects for the BRICS cooperation and Asia cooperation at large, but also exert positive significance in advancing the South-South cooperation and elevating the overall strength and international discourse right of emerging markets and developing countries.

During the summit, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India. Speaking positively of recent development of China-India relations and practical cooperation in various fields, the two leaders agreed to conduct regular strategic communication on major issues, constantly elevate the level of exchanges and cooperation and properly control and handle specific differences. Both leaders also reached important consensus on deepening the BRICS cooperation. During their meeting, President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin of Russia reached consensus on safeguarding the status and function of the BRICS mechanism as an important platform for cooperation between emerging markets and developing countries. They agreed to intensify communication and coordination in dealing with major issues, jointly propel a more just and reasonable international order and safeguard the interests of emerging markets and developing countries.

President Xi Jinping also met respectively with President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal of Nepal, President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka, and State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar, reaching new consensus on cementing practical cooperation and pushing forward the development of bilateral relations with leaders of all countries.

VI. Push forward Global Governance Reform and Lead the New Era of the Post-Hangzhou Summit

Wang Yi noted that the G20 Hangzhou Summit, which concluded not long ago, provides ideas and charts the course for getting rid of the current world economic predicament as well as for deepening international economic cooperation. During the Summit, President Xi Jinping for the first time comprehensively elaborated China’s concept on global economic governance, which offers “Chinese prescription” for world economy and demonstrates Chinese spirit and Chinese strength to the world.

During the visits, leaders of various countries congratulated on China’s successful hosting of the Hangzhou Summit and appreciated China’s positive efforts and important contributions to ensuring the outcomes from the summit. All the initiatives and concepts proposed by President Xi Jinping during his visits, whether when he discussed cooperation plans with visiting countries, or sought approaches of common development with other countries in multilateral occasions, share the same core value and enjoy converging points with the consensus reached during the Hangzhou Summit, which embodies China’s firm confidence and determination to push for global economic governance and construct global partnerships.

President Xi Jinping announced during the BRICS Summit that as next chairmanship of the BRICS cooperation mechanism, China will host the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen, Fujian Province next September. China will, by following the new vision the Hangzhou Summit drew for world economic growth, continue to be the participant, promoter and leader in global governance reform process as well as make greater contribution to the lofty cause of peace and development of mankind.

Wang Yi said that focusing on domestic and international overall situations, relying on friendly neighbors, facing to neighboring countries, radiating to multilateral arena and consolidating good-neighborly friendship, President Xi Jinping’s visit this time has pushed forward integration between the “Belt and Road” construction and development strategies of all countries, strengthened unity and cooperation of emerging markets and developing countries, and expanded influence of the Hangzhou Summit outcomes. As a successful practice of neighboring diplomatic concept featuring “amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness”, the visit not only improves China’s ability to participate in global governance, but also writes a new chapter for major-country diplomacy featuring Chinese characteristics. We should continue to earnestly learn and implement President Xi Jinping’s important diplomatic concept, further expand the “friend circle”, push for more outcomes from the “Belt and Road” initiative and constantly reinforce China’s voices and sayings in international affairs, so as to create more beneficial conditions and favorable external environment for the smooth implementation of the 13th Five-Year-Plan and the building of a moderately prosperous society in all aspects.

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