During his intensive working visit to New York last month for the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held tens of meetings with his counterparts from all parts of the world. We present here some important highlights from his meetings with the representatives of a number of developing and progressive countries that are friendly to China. All materials are taken from news reports carried on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
In his September 19 meeting with Wang Yi, Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that the upcoming 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China is of historic and milestone significance. He is fully confident that the congress will be a complete success and boost China’s efforts to seek greater prosperity. Pakistan always regards its relations with China as the cornerstone of its foreign policy. This has become a common understanding of the whole Pakistani society. Bilawal expressed appreciation for China’s support to Pakistan in tackling the pandemic and floods. Pakistan is ready to work with China to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, maintain close strategic coordination, consolidate Pakistan-China all-weather strategic cooperative partnership, and deepen all-round cooperation between the two countries.
Meeting Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla the same day, Wang Yi said that China and Cuba are good friends, good comrades, and good brothers with mutual trust and a shared future. The heads of state of the two countries have built their friendship and maintained close communication. The Chinese side stands ready to work with Cuba to follow the guidance of the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, deepen unity and cooperation, and consolidate and develop the special friendship between China and Cuba.
Rodríguez thanked the Chinese side for the long-term support for Cuba’s national course of justice and for the solidarity and assistance when Cuba suffered from the pandemic, disasters, and other difficult times. Cuba is glad about the profound friendship and political mutual trust between the heads of state of the two countries.
Also on September 19, Wang Yi met with Nicaraguan Foreign Minister Denis Moncada. The two sides agreed to take the first anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between China and Nicaragua as an opportunity to elevate bilateral relations to a new level.
Wang Yi said, President Xi Jinping and Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega have drawn a blueprint for bilateral relations since the two countries resumed diplomatic relations in December last year. Bilateral relations have seen rapid development and yielded fruitful “early harvests”. Facts have proved that restoring diplomatic relations between China and Nicaragua fully conforms to the fundamental interests of the two countries and two peoples. China is firmly committed to developing its relationship with Nicaragua and supporting Nicaragua’s efforts to safeguard its sovereignty, independence and national dignity and Nicaragua’s independent choice of development path and will continue to uphold justice on issues related to Nicaragua. China appreciates Nicaragua for its unwavering support for the one-China principle and believes that Nicaragua will continue its support for China’s just stance on issues related to China’s core interests. The Chinese side is willing to strengthen cooperation with Nicaragua under the Belt and Road Initiative and the synergy of respective development strategies, so as to translate the political mutual trust into momentum for comprehensive cooperation. Noting that the arrangement for “early harvests” under a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) has been signed by the two sides, Wang Yi expressed the hope to reach an agreement as soon as possible on a comprehensive FTA, of which the negotiation process has already been initiated. China will continue to support Nicaragua in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic until the virus is completely defeated.
Wang Yi said, the Communist Party of China (CPC) will convene its 20th National Congress next month. It will fully review China’s major achievements made and valuable experience gained in China’s reform and development endeavors and formulate the next programs of action to meet China’s new development goals and the new expectations of the people. The CPC and Nicaragua’s ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front have similar governing ideas. We look forward to enhancing exchanges of experience in state governance between the two parties.
Moncada said that the Nicaraguan side treasures its brotherly friendship with China and will stick to the one-China principle and firmly support China defending independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. Nicaragua wishes the 20th CPC National Congress a full success. Nicaragua is pleased to see the signing of the arrangement for “early harvests” under the bilateral FTA and is looking forward to further strengthening the exchanges of governance experience between the two parties and two countries. Nicaragua is willing to deepen cooperation in various fields and develop a sound bilateral relationship.
In his September 19 meeting with Ethiopian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Demeke Mekonnen Hassen, Wang Yi said that China will continue to uphold justice on issues concerning Ethiopia’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Hassen thanked Wang Yi for his visit to Ethiopia last year at a time when Ethiopia was in difficulties and briefed on Ethiopia’s commitment to advancing the peace talks on the northern conflict, and spoke highly of China’s proposal on the “Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa”.
Wang Yi said, China appreciates Ethiopia’s efforts for peace and supports Ethiopia in independently handling its own affairs. China will continue to provide assistance within its capacity to Ethiopia in dealing with temporary difficulties and jointly uphold the principle of non-interference in internal affairs. China appreciates Ethiopia’s active support for the “Outlook on Peace and Development in the Horn of Africa” and supports Ethiopia’s proposal for the institutionalization of the Horn of Africa Peace Conference. China is ready to maintain close communication with all parties to encourage regional countries to build common ground, independently handle regional affairs and advance the process of regional integration.
Meeting Foreign Minister of Solomon Islands Jeremiah Manele on September 20, Wang Yi expressed, over the three years since China and Solomon Islands established diplomatic relations, under the guidance of the leaders of the two countries, the all-round exchanges and cooperation between the two sides have yielded fruitful results, bringing tangible benefits to the people of Solomon Islands. The political mutual trust has been continuously enhanced, and the foundation of bilateral relations has become more solid. Facts have proved that the decision to establish diplomatic relations between China and Solomon Islands fully conforms to the fundamental interests of Solomon Islands and its people. China appreciates that the government of Solomon Islands has led the people in standing together, staying committed to independence, and unswervingly following the development path it has chosen. China will always be a trustworthy good friend of Solomon Islands and will continue providing support and assistance within its capacity for Solomon Islands to accelerate common development and realize national revitalization.
Wang Yi stressed, the cooperation between China and Solomon Islands sets a fine example of South-South cooperation. Developing countries also have the right to development, and their people are entitled to a happy life. Intensified efforts have been made to advance cooperation between China and Pacific Island Countries (PICs). Among the six cooperation platforms tailored for PICs, the Reserve of Emergency Supplies, the Climate Action Cooperation Center and the Poverty Reduction and Development Cooperation Center have been completed, while the Demonstration Center for Agricultural Cooperation, the Disaster Preparedness and Mitigation Cooperation Center, and the Juncao Technology Demonstration Center will be open one after another as soon as possible. Solomon Islands is welcome to make good use of these centers to benefit its people.
Manele said that China has become the largest development partner of Solomon Islands, and thanked China for providing strong support for Solomon Islands’ hosting of the Pacific Games, and for helping Solomon Islands improve its infrastructure and change its landscape. Solomon Islands is firmly committed to developing relations with China. Having signed an agreement on Belt and Road cooperation with China, Solomon Islands stands ready to take an active part in the Global Development Initiative and looks forward to strengthening pragmatic cooperation with China in various fields to promote new and greater development of Solomon Islands-China relations.
Also on September 20, Wang Yi met Maltese Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade Ian Borg. Wang Yi said, this year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Malta. Bilateral relations have maintained sound and steady development, and this comes as a result of an always mutual respect and equal treatment of each other, and accommodation of each other’s core concerns, and understanding of the path and development model chosen by each other. The solid mutual trust built between the two countries has provided an important political guarantee for bilateral relations. The Chinese side stays committed to treating all countries, big or small, as equals, and supports the Maltese side in advancing national governance and economic and social development in light of its national conditions. The Chinese side appreciates the Maltese side for its firm commitment to the one-China policy, abiding by the political commitment on the establishment of diplomatic relations, viewing China’s development in a positive and friendly way, and upholding an objective and just attitude on issues related to China. The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Maltese side to expand mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, and continuously elevate the China-Malta relationship to new highs.
Wang Yi congratulated Malta on acting soon as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2023-2024 term. He expressed, Malta is a responsible member of the international community and a stabilizing factor in the European Union (EU). The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Maltese side to strengthen coordination and cooperation in multilateral affairs.
Borg said that Malta firmly pursues the one-China policy, and believes that Taiwan is part of China. The Malta-China relationship is not a temporary fix. The two sides have always understood each other and supported the development path chosen by each other. Over the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, exchanges and cooperation between Malta and China in various fields have made remarkable headway. The Maltese side supports and stands ready to participate in the Belt and Road cooperation and expects to take the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as an opportunity to push the Malta-China relations for greater development. As a positive force in the EU, Malta is committed to advancing cooperation between the EU and China. Malta and China hold similar positions on quite a number of issues, both standing for equality and win-win outcomes and opposing double standards. Malta expects to strengthen cooperation between both sides within the framework of the UN Security Council, and jointly respond to global challenges in fields of climate change, security and others.
The same day, the Chinese Foreign Minister met his Venezuelan counterpart Carlos Faria. Wang Yi said, China appreciates Venezuela for resolutely defending its national interests and national dignity and showing its national character of defying power politics. It is believed that under the leadership of President Maduro, Venezuela will make greater achievements in the cause of national development. China will, as always, firmly support Venezuela in safeguarding its national sovereignty, social stability and national dignity, and firmly supports the Venezuelan people’s independent choice of development path. China is ready to consolidate high-level mutual trust with Venezuela, steadily advance pragmatic cooperation, and push China-Venezuela comprehensive strategic partnership to a higher level.
Faria said that Venezuela cherishes China’s strong and long-term support for Bolivar’s just cause and appreciates China’s timely assistance in Venezuela’s fight against the pandemic and in helping Venezuela achieve nationwide vaccination to protect people’s lives and health. Venezuela resolutely backs China in safeguarding national sovereignty and its legitimate rights and interests, and firmly opposes a certain country’s interference in China’s internal affairs by maliciously creating problems. Venezuela is willing to consolidate friendship and deepen cooperation with China to inject new impetus into bilateral relations. Venezuela proposes to host the meeting of the “Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations” and is ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with China on multilateral affairs to thwart sanctions and coercion by hegemonic countries.
Wang Yi said that wherever hegemonism stretches its hand, turbulence and even war will occur. Such retrogressive acts should be resisted and opposed by all countries. China supports Venezuela in hosting the meeting of the “Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations”, which reflects the common aspirations of developing countries and stands on the right side of history. Under the current circumstances, we need to firmly uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations more than ever before. China is ready to work with Venezuela and other countries to jointly promote democracy in international relations.
Meeting Argentine Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero on September 20, Wang Yi, noting that this year sees the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, said that China and Argentina, both as important emerging markets, have common visions, common goals, and common interests, and shoulder common responsibilities. The Chinese side appreciates the Argentine side for adhering to the one-China principle and supports the Argentine side in safeguarding its state sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Chinese side welcomes the Argentine side to join the big BRICS family and stands ready to strengthen communication and coordination between both sides on international and regional affairs.
Cafiero said that over the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Argentina and China have always respected each other and stood together in solidarity. The Argentine side thanks the Chinese side for giving it strong support, is firmly committed to the one-China policy, and welcomes investment from China.
Wang Yi said that the China-Argentina strategic cooperation meets the trend of development, and the Chinese side supports Argentina in playing a bigger role in international and regional affairs, appreciates Argentina for actively fulfilling its duty as the rotating presidency of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), and stands ready to implement the outcomes of the China-CELAC Forum, to bring more benefits of the China-CELAC cooperation to the two peoples.
In his September 21 meeting with Wang Yi, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic once again thanked China for its strong support and help for Serbia’s economic and social development. Serbia cherishes the friendship established with China, firmly pursues the one-China policy, and believes that there is but one China in the world, a position it will never change.
Wang Yi commended the fact that all the people throughout Serbia have stayed united, firmly safeguarded state sovereignty, national dignity and legitimate rights and interests, and made sustained and positive achievements in national development. He continued, China and Serbia are trustworthy and reliable partners to each other. Under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, China-Serbia relations have entered a new era of vigorous development, and pragmatic cooperation has made great strides, boosting Serbia’s efforts to speed up development and revitalization. China and Serbia have further upgraded our friendship, consolidated solidarity and mutual trust while fighting together against the pandemic. China will continue to provide help and support for Serbia in light of its needs, and work together to forge closer China-Serbia relations.
Also on September 21, Wang Yi met with Somali Foreign Minister Abshir Omar Huruse. Wang Yi said that the traditional friendship between China and Somalia is an important part of China-Africa friendship. Somalia is the first East African country to establish diplomatic relations with the People’s Republic of China, and the two countries have always respected each other and supported each other on issues related to each other’s core interests. China has always advocated that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal, and will continue to be a trustworthy friend of Somalia, providing support and assistance to Somalia within its capacity, so as to achieve common development and prosperity.
Huruse said that Somalia and China have long enjoyed their friendship and no word can be enough to describe the friendship between the two countries. The Somali Foreign Minister thanks China for always standing with Somalia at critical moments, especially for firmly supporting Somalia in safeguarding its sovereignty. Somalia unswervingly supports the one-China principle and opposes the interference by external forces in China’s internal affairs. Somalia is proud to have China, a major country with significant international influence, as a friend. Developing relations with China is neither make-shift nor interest-driven. Although Somalia is a small country, it has never wavered in upholding its position in the international arena.
Wang Yi said that China firmly supports the governance of the new Somali government and believes that Somalia’s peaceful development will continue to move forward. China appreciates Somalia’s firm adherence to the one-China principle, supports Somalia in safeguarding its sovereignty, dignity and territorial integrity, and will continue to stand with Somalia in the international arena and support its legitimate demands. China is willing to strengthen solidarity with all developing countries, oppose unilateral bullying and jointly uphold non-interference in internal affairs, which is a basic norm of international relations.
Wang Yi met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Ali Sabry on September 23. Wang Yi expressed, China and Sri Lanka are each other’s strategic cooperative partner. The two countries have always shared weal and woe and sincerely helped each other. This year, which marks the 65th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka and the 70th anniversary of the signing of the Rubber-Rice Pact, is of great significance for inheriting the past and ushering in the future. China is ready to work with Sri Lanka to carry forward the traditional friendship, consolidate strategic mutual trust and deepen and expand pragmatic cooperation. He expressed congratulations to Sri Lanka on its initial results in stabilizing the situation and easing difficulties. China has provided medicines, rice, fuel, and other emergency humanitarian assistance to Sri Lanka, and will continue to offer assistance within our capacity to help Sri Lanka overcome temporary difficulties.
Sabry said that the Sri Lanka-China friendship has a solid foundation. China has provided strong support for Sri Lanka’s economic and social development for a long time. In particular, China has offered timely help to Sri Lanka when it encountered difficulties. Sri Lanka will never forget that. China is an important development partner of Sri Lanka, and Chinese enterprises have made positive contributions to Sri Lanka’s efforts to accelerate development. The so-called “China’s debt trap” claim is an entirely groundless rumour. Sri Lanka welcomes investment from all countries, including China, and will strive to ensure the safety and reasonable returns of foreign investment.
Wang Yi said, the cooperation between China and Sri Lanka is part of South-South cooperation based on equality and mutual benefit. Certain countries created and spread the narrative of “debt trap”. But by so doing, they bring developing countries an “underdevelopment trap” in essence. China and Sri Lanka will continue the understanding of and support to each other, and stand firmly together on the issues of sovereignty, independence and national dignity.
The two sides agreed to jointly advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation and give play to the effects of flagship projects such as the Hambantota Port and the Colombo Port City, so as to boost Sri Lanka’s economic recovery.
The two sides will speed up negotiations on a free trade agreement and strive to reach a deal at an early date, so as to inject strong confidence and stable expectations into economic and trade cooperation.
On September 24, Wang Yi met with Foreign Minister Simeon Oyono Esono Angue of Equatorial Guinea. Wang Yi said that under the joint guidance of the heads of state of the two countries, China-Equatorial Guinea relations have witnessed sound and smooth development, setting a good example of relations between countries of different sizes characterized by equality, solidarity, mutual help and sincere friendship. The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Equatorial Guinean side to jointly carry forward the traditional friendship, and better synergize development strategies to the benefit of the two peoples. The Chinese side will continue to firmly support the Equatorial Guinean side in safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests on the international arena, and in playing a bigger role in regional and multilateral affairs to safeguard the common interests of developing countries, uphold solidarity and cooperation on the African continent, and jointly safeguard the “golden rule” of non-interference in others’ internal affairs in international relations, which also underpins the very survival of developing countries.
Oyono said that China is a reliable friend and a strong partner of Equatorial Guinea. Under the care and guidance of the heads of state of the two countries, Equatorial Guinea-China relations have progressed smoothly. Oyono thanked the Chinese side for providing valuable support to Equatorial Guinea in economic and social development, which has brought real benefits to the Equatorial Guinean people. Equatorial Guinea is firmly committed to the one-China policy, supports the policy of “one country, two systems”, highly appreciates and supports the Global Development Initiative and other important visions put forward by President Xi Jinping, and looks forward to strengthening synergy between the two countries’ development strategies and deepening cooperation with China in various fields.
The same day, Wang Yi met with Algerian Foreign Minister Ramtane Lamamra. Wang Yi said that China and Algeria enjoy a special and deep friendship, which has stood the tests of the evolving international situation and further strengthened during the fight against the pandemic. The two countries are friends in need and friends in good faith. China is ready to work with Algeria to carry forward the traditional friendship, and advance side by side along the path of development and revitalization, to open up new prospects for bilateral relations.
Lamamra said that China and Algeria are good friends enjoying a high-level and strong comprehensive strategic partnership; the two sides follow the same set of principles in international affairs and share the same goal of national revitalization. He thanked China for providing strong support to Algeria in implementing national strategies and expressed readiness to further deepen and expand exchanges and cooperation with China in various fields. He noted that Algeria highly appreciates and actively supports the Global Development Initiative (GDI) proposed by President Xi Jinping and has joined the Group of Friends of the GDI. Algeria looks forward to strengthening cooperation and expanding common understanding with China with a view to achieving common development and prosperity. Algeria appreciates the objective and just position China has held on the Ukraine issue, and is in favour of solving the issue through negotiation to restore peace and stability.
Wang Yi said that under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, China and Algeria have cemented mutual trust, maintained frequent and close contacts, and deepened bilateral cooperation, which has fully reflected the high quality of China-Algeria comprehensive strategic partnership. Algeria is a major developing country and a representative of emerging economies. China appreciates that Algeria was one of the first countries to join the Group of Friends of the GDI and has been active in implementing the initiative. China is ready to work with Algeria to play a constructive role in promoting world peace and development.
The two sides agreed to accelerate the negotiation and conclusion of the five-year plan for China-Algeria comprehensive strategic cooperation, the plan for the Belt and Road cooperation, and the three-year plan for cooperation in major areas, among others, so as to inject new impetus into the expansion of practical cooperation between the two countries.
The two sides agreed to deepen cooperation between China and Arab states. China supports Algeria in playing its role as the rotating presidency of the League of Arab States and in holding a successful Arab League summit and welcomes Algeria joining the BRICS family.
The two sides agreed to strengthen solidarity, jointly uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, jointly safeguard the principle of non-interference in others’ internal affairs, and jointly promote international fairness and justice.