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Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Answers Questions from Domestic and Overseas Journalists on China's Foreign Policy
(NPC and CPPCC Annual Sessions 2010)

The 3rd Session of the 11th National People's Congress held a press conference in the Great Hall of the People on the morning of 7 March 2010. Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi answered questions from Chinese and foreign press on China's foreign policy and foreign relations.

Foreign Minister Yang: Good morning, friends from the press. It is a pleasure to meet with you today. Premier Wen Jiabao has elaborated comprehensively on China's foreign relations and foreign policy in the Report on the Work of the Government. Today I will be happy to answer your questions. Thank you.

China News Service: The year 2010 is the first year of the second decade of the 21st century. How do you evaluate changes in the international situation and China's diplomacy in the past 10 years of the new century? What will be the priorities and bright spots in China's diplomacy this year? And what are your expectations?

Foreign Minister Yang: The first ten years of the 21st century is a decade of crisis and transformation. It is also a decade of cooperation and development. There have been a series of major developments in the past 10 years, such as the "9.11" incident, the war in Iraq, the international financial crisis and the rise of the overall strength of developing countries. All these have brought about major changes in international relations and the international landscape. The world is moving towards multi-polarity, multilateralism and greater democracy in international relations. At the same time, a series of global challenges including climate change, energy and resources security and public health security have become more acute. More and more countries have come to recognize that the Cold-War mentality and zero-sum game theory have become anachronistic. And the right way to survive and thrive is to stick together in tough times like passengers in the same boat and pursue mutual benefit and win-win progress.

Over the past 10 years, China's diplomacy has made important progress. In the past few years in particular, we have successfully held the Beijing Olympic Games and played an important and constructive role in countering the impact of the international financial crisis and meeting the climate challenge. As a result, the international community has paid closer attention to China and attached greater importance to China's constructive role in the international community. Over the past 10 years, our friendly relations and mutually-beneficial cooperation with other countries have been further developed. We have worked actively with the rest of the world to meet various global challenges and make the international order more just and equitable.

The year 2010 is a very important year in continuing to tackle the international financial crisis and promote world economic recovery. We will continue to firmly uphold China's sovereignty, security and development interests and conduct all-round diplomacy. I want to stress that we will give priority to summit diplomacy and diplomacy surrounding the World Expo. At the same time, we will work to foster a more favorable external environment for our domestic efforts to maintain stability, promote development, and restructure the economy. As a big developing country, China is presented with unprecedented opportunities and is also faced with many challenges. I believe as China becomes stronger and more prosperous, we will make greater contribution to world and regional peace, stability and development to the best of our ability.

Interfax of Russia: How do you evaluate the current Russia-China relationship? What measures will China adopt to enhance its cooperation with Russia in various fields? And could you update us on the energy cooperation between Russia and China?

Foreign Minister Yang: Relationship with Russia is one of the priorities of China's diplomacy. The two countries have enjoyed mutual support on issues that concern each other's core interests. We have the same or similar views on many major international and regional issues. And we have conducted close communication and coordination. The practical cooperation between China and Russia enjoys bright prospects. Last year, the two countries signed a series of important cooperation agreements covering oil, natural gas, coal, electricity, nuclear energy and high-speed rail. The relevant cooperation projects are now well underway. We expect the China-Russia oil pipeline project to be completed by the end of this year and the pipeline will enter into operation next year. Moreover, the two countries are also committed to promoting cooperation between China's northeast region and Russia's Far East and eastern Siberia region. The two sides have agreed to promote cooperation in a series of cross-border infrastructure projects. I believe these projects will play an exemplary role.

Thanks to the personal commitment and support of leaders of both countries and the joint efforts of both sides, today's China-Russia relationship is a mature, stable and healthy strategic partnership of coordination brimming with vigor and vitality. It has become a model in international relations and in particular in relations between major countries. This year will see frequent high-level exchanges between China and Russia. President Hu Jintao, Chairman Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and other Chinese leaders will have meetings and talks with President Medvedev, Prime Minister Putin, the Federation Council Chairman Mironov, Chairman Gryzlov of State Duma and other Russian leaders on many occasions. At the invitation of Prime Minister Putin, Vice President Xi Jinping will pay an official visit to Russia in late March, during which he will attend the opening ceremony of the Year of Chinese Language in Russia. I believe all these meetings and visits will give new and strong impetus to the further growth of China-Russia relations. And I'm confident that this relationship will become better and better.

China Daily: There have been some twists and turns in China-US relationship and I'd like to ask how you see the differences and frictions between China and the United States. We know that a few days ago, the United States sent two senior officials to China and some believed that it was a sign of the easing of relations between the two countries. What is your comment on this and how do you see the prospects of China-US ties?

Foreign Minister Yang: After President Obama took office last year, China-US relationship had a good start. However, between the end of last year and early this year, the United States sold arms to Taiwan, and US leaders met with Dalai. These moves have caused serious disturbances to China-US ties and posed difficulties to the cooperation between the two countries. Such a situation is not in the interests of either side and the responsibility for the difficulty in China-US relations does not lie with China. A few days ago, US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg and Senior Director Jeffrey Bader for Asian Affairs of the White House National Security Council visited China. During the visit, the two sides had in-depth and candid discussions on China-US relations and relevant issues. The Chinese side further stated in a comprehensive way its principled position on China-US relationship and on major issues including Taiwan and Tibet-related issues. We pointed out that the relevant moves taken by the US side have seriously violated the principles set out in the three Sino-US joint communiqués and China-US Joint Statement. They have undermined China's core interests and the overall interests of China-US relationship and the Chinese side is firmly opposed to these moves. What is pressing now is that the United States should take seriously China's position and show respect for China's core interests and major concerns with credible steps. The United States should properly handle the relevant sensitive issues and work with the Chinese side to return China-US relationship to the track of stable development.

A sound China-US relationship is not only in the fundamental interests of both countries and peoples, but also conducive to peace, stability and development of the region and the world at large. China attaches great importance to China-US relations and we have always been committed to building a positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship between the two countries. We hope that the United States will work with us in a joint effort towards this end.

NHK: My question is related to China-Japan relations. First, what measures does the Chinese side believe should be taken to further enhance the strategic relationship of mutual benefit between China and Japan? Second, what is the view of the Chinese side on the cooperation mechanisms in the Asia-Pacific region, including the Asia-Pacific Community? Third, there are still differences between China and Japan over the issue of the East China Sea and many people in Japan are of the view that it is the passive attitude on the part of China that has made negotiations on a treaty related to this issue unable to get started. What is your view?

Foreign Minister Yang: In my view, China-Japan relations have bright prospects and are faced with important development opportunities. The two countries should work together to push forward the strategic relationship of mutual benefit. We should jointly increase the strategic input in our bilateral relations and have closer communication and cooperation at the bilateral, regional and global levels. In addition, we see great potential in practical cooperation. I want to stress that besides the traditional areas of cooperation, we face new opportunities for cooperation in energy, the environment, circular economy and high and new technologies. These are emerging industries of strategic importance, and there is huge potential in our cooperation in these areas. Both China and Japan are situated in Asia and the two countries should work together to contribute to the revitalization of Asia.

Talking about regional cooperation in Asia-Pacific, I would like to point out that China has actively pushed forward and taken a full part in regional cooperation. We have put forward many initiatives and propositions in this regard and made our due contribution to regional peace, stability and development. Today, regional cooperation in this part of the world is growing with multiple mechanisms, on various levels and at different speeds. China is of the view that all parties should adopt an open and inclusive approach. Each mechanism should have its own focus and different mechanisms should complement and reinforce each other. We are ready to join in the discussions with an open and positive attitude on any initiative that will contribute to regional integration, political mutual trust, practical cooperation and common development. In the meantime, I want to point out that China has always maintained that ASEAN should play a leading role in East Asian regional cooperation, and has supported ASEAN's leadership role. At the same time, we welcome constructive ideas from and active efforts by other parties in promoting regional integration and that is also the approach of China.

China and Japan are neighbors facing each other across a narrow strip of water. It is our consistent position that differences between the two countries over the issue of the East China Sea should be properly handled through consultations and negotiations in order to uphold our strategic relationship of mutual benefit and the fundamental interests of people of both countries. China's attitude is positive, not negative. China and Japan have reached a principled common understanding on the issue of the East China Sea. It is the result of long-term efforts of both sides. It has not come easily and should be cherished. I believe both countries should observe the spirit in the principled common understanding on the East China Sea and work to foster favorable conditions for the effective implementation of the common understanding so as to turn the East China Sea into a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation.

CNN: My question is about mutual understanding or lack of it. Hardly any major global issue today can be resolved without US-China cooperation and understanding. And yet lately, the two sides have clashed over critical bilateral issues that perhaps impede such cooperation. The US side, for example, cited human rights, among others, as its core issue. What in your view is China's or are China's core issues? And why? And along the same lines, we foreigners are often told, "You just don't understand China. You don't understand China's history and reality." What do you think is the biggest misunderstanding of China? What are you doing to bridge such understanding gap? Thank you.

Foreign Minister Yang: It is my view that in the 21st century, China and the United States share a common objective in developing their bilateral relationship, that is, to contribute together to peace, stability, development and prosperity in our region and beyond. This is conducive to the region and the world, and to the fundamental interest of people of both countries. I hope both countries will have a very clear understanding about this. I believe the United States knows very well China's core interests and major concerns. There are clear explanations about this in the three Sino-US joint communiqués and China-US Joint Statement. And these documents have also set out the principles in handling sensitive issues in China-US relations and issues concerning each other's core interests and major concerns. China has firm and solid positions on issues of principle. As I said, the Chinese side is committed to pushing forward the China-US positive, cooperative and comprehensive relationship. I hope the United States will make similar efforts.

Mutual understanding forms the basis of state-to-state relations. And much is changing in countries, in the world and in the international situation. Therefore, we all have the task of "adjusting the focus and apertures." In spite of the remarkable achievements China has made in its economic and social development, China remains a big developing country with a big population, weak economic foundation and uneven development. And there is still a long way to go before China can achieve modernization. We want to work with other countries to deepen mutual understanding, draw upon each other's strength and pursue common development. We hope the outside world will appreciate China's uniqueness and national circumstances. We hope that some people will abandon their colored spectacles or stereotyped views about China, and in particular abandon some ideological biases about China. I like both oil paintings and Chinese ink and wash paintings. If one tries to appreciate a Chinese ink and wash painting with the criteria of oil painting, I am afraid he will make a mistake. There are some people in the world who have some misunderstandings about China. For example, some people believe China is becoming tougher and tougher on the external front. Well, I would like to say here that to stick to one's principles and being tough or not are two completely different matters. What is important in dealing with state-to-state relationship is to see whether one follows the widely-accepted principles. It has always been the mission of China's diplomacy to defend China's sovereignty, security and development interests and promote world peace and development. This is the principle that China adheres to in conducting diplomacy. And I believe it is also the principle that is reflected in the norms governing international relations. If one views the actions taken by a country to defend its own dignity and core interests as being tough and takes for granted that the interests of other countries can be infringed upon, how can there be justice?

Now there are over 700 foreign correspondents representing over 400 media organizations working in China. You have all been working very hard and I hope that you will continue to play an active role in helping the Chinese people know more about the outside world and also informing the outside world about China's domestic development and its foreign policy. And I hope that you will all serve as a bridge and bond in increasing mutual understanding between China and other countries in the world. As the foreign minister, I have traveled far and wide and I have been to many famous cities. I can say that the Chinese people have a keen interest in getting to know the world better and in China people have full access to information about the world and about China.

DongA Daily of ROK: There has been a flurry of intensive diplomacy among the various parties to the Six-Party Talks concerning the Korean nuclear issue recently. How do you see the prospects of the Six-Party Talks? Secondly, a G20 summit will be held in the ROK this year. In what areas should our two countries enhance coordination and cooperation and what does China expect out of the summit?

Foreign Minister Yang: The Six-Party Talks encountered some twists and turns over the past year, but it is gratifying to see that none of the parties involved has given up the objective of achieving a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and none of the parties involved has abandoned the Six-Party Talks mechanism, which is an effective multilateral mechanism. And they have all made their contribution to the restart of the talks. We believe as long as all parties stick to the objective of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, stay in contact and maintain their patience, continue to work together towards the same objectives, there is much hope in restarting the Six-Party Talks and achieving all the objectives set out in the "9.19" Joint Statement.

With regard to the G20 summit, the G20 has played an important role in encountering the international financial crisis. It was identified as the premier platform for international economic cooperation at the Pittsburgh Summit and this marks an important progress in international economic governance reform. We are happy to see that our neighbor, the Republic of Korea, will host a G20 summit around the end of this year. And before that, another G20 summit will be held in Canada. We hope that all parties will work together to make the two summits successful. I believe it is important for the international community to give priority to the following four issues at the summits. First, meet on schedule the targets for reforming the international financial institutions. Second, facilitate the recovery and growth of world economy and in particular address imbalances in the global economic development. Third, continue to increase coordination on macroeconomic policies and hold discussions on the exit strategy. And fourth, oppose trade protectionism of various forms and work together to facilitate a comprehensive and balanced conclusion to the Doha round negotiations. This year is a year for the G20 to push forward its institutional development. We will work with other parties concerned to make the G20 more democratic, transparent, fair and effective and enable it to play a bigger and more effective role in global economic governance.

CCTV: I noticed that when answering the first question, you stressed that priority will be given in China's diplomacy this year to summit diplomacy and diplomacy in relation to the World Expo. There are 55 days to go before the Shanghai World Expo opens. And you once remarked in an interview that diplomacy related to the Shanghai World Expo will be one of the priorities for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this year. What are your expectations about the Shanghai World Expo? And what has the foreign ministry done to help make this World Expo a success? And what more efforts will be made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs?

Foreign Minister Yang: It is true that diplomatic work concerning the Shanghai World Expo will be one of the priorities of China's diplomacy this year. My colleagues and I have already visited Shanghai many times to help prepare for this big event. Now over 190 countries and more than 50 international organizations will participate in the Shanghai World Expo and there will be 188 national pavilion days and 39 honor days for international organizations during this event. We expect to receive almost 100 foreign political leaders in Shanghai and we also expect that millions of people from across the world will come to the World Expo. This is the first time for a developing country to play host to the World Expo. Therefore it will not only be a big international event in the economic, social, scientific, technological and cultural fields, it will also be a big event in the diplomatic arena. As we often say that you can always find something to learn from the people who keep you company, this World Expo offers us a wonderful opportunity to learn from the world and people of all countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and China's diplomatic missions overseas have been working closely with the Shanghai Municipality and related departments in promoting the participation in the Shanghai World Expo. We have established a strong team to help with the Expo. Some of my colleagues are already working in Shanghai and others will soon join them. We will make intensive preparations to facilitate the visits to the Shanghai World Expo and other places in China by foreign political leaders and our foreign friends. I believe the Shanghai World Expo will be successful, spectacular and unforgettable.

French Televisions: Good morning. Many analysts in Europe deplore the European Union's inability to dominate or influence the change on the political international scene. What is the opinion of the Chinese government with regard to the EU's struggle to become a major player and how would you characterize China-EU relations now? Thank you.

Foreign Minister Yang: I believe, over the years, the EU has played an important role on the international stage. And I believe it will play an even more important role in the future. We highly value our relations with Europe. We attach importance not only to developing relations with the EU as a whole, but also to pushing forward our relationship with EU member states. In recent years, China-EU relationship has been on the whole moving in a positive direction. We have achieved much success in our practical cooperation in various fields. The European Union is China's largest trading partner. Last year, two-way trade volume exceeded US$360 billion. We now have nearly 200,000 Chinese students studying in European countries. Having said that, I should point out that it is impossible for us not to have any difference in developing our relationship. But differences do not represent the mainstream in our relations. China and the EU differ in terms of cultural heritage, historical background, stage of development and social system. Therefore it is only natural for the two sides to have some divergent views or differences over some issues. What is important is for both sides to properly handle differences through consultations on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit and highlight the common interests between the two sides in a wide array of areas. In that way, I believe China-EU relationship will get better and better day after day, month after month and year after year. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the European Union. China-EU relationship is a mature relationship. Many European political leaders and people from European countries will come to the Shanghai World Expo and they will be warmly received. I can also tell you that we are considering visits to European countries by major Chinese state leaders this year. The two sides should work together to enhance the momentum of improvement and development of China-EU relationship that has taken shape since last year. The two sides should work together to further enrich the comprehensive strategic partnership. We should make joint efforts to enhance the comprehensive and strategic nature of this relationship and put it on a more solid footing. And I believe that with concerted efforts, China-EU relationship will make big strides forward and enjoy many new areas for growth.

Xinhua News Agency: I have two questions. We know that the 4th ministerial meeting of the China-Arab Cooperation Forum will be held in China this year. What is China's consideration for developing its relations with Arab countries? My second question is about the Iranian nuclear issue. Some countries have put forward a new sanctions plan regarding Iran. I wonder if there is still room for a diplomatic solution to this issue and how do you think this issue should be resolved?

Foreign Minister Yang: Like you said, the 4th ministerial meeting of China-Arab Cooperation Forum will be held in China in mid-2010 and the host city is Tianjin. As the largest coastal open city in northern China, Tianjin has enjoyed dynamic development and it is the fitting place for holding this meeting. We welcome the 22 foreign ministers from Arab countries and the Secretary General of the Arab League to China to attend the ministerial conference. The Chinese leaders will have meetings with the foreign guests. We are of the view that this meeting will play an important role in promoting collective cooperation and raising the overall level of cooperation between the two sides, and we have full confidence in consolidating and advancing the friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Arab countries.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, let me stress here that it is our consistent position to uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the relevant region. We have always called for a peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear issue through consultation and negotiation, and we have been playing an active part to that end. There are some difficulties surrounding efforts to settle the Iranian nuclear issue at present, but we don't think diplomatic efforts have been exhausted. As you know, pressure and sanctions cannot solve this issue in a fundamental way. We hope that all the parties concerned will stick to the overall objective of seeking a diplomatic solution to the issue through negotiation and give full play to their political wisdom to find a comprehensive, reasonable and fair solution to the issue.

Phoenix TV: My question is about China's relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both Afghanistan and Pakistan are China's neighbors and China has maintained friendly relations and cooperation with these two countries. But we have also noticed that this region has been plagued by many uncertainties. I'd like to ask where China's cooperation with the above-mentioned two countries will go in the future. In particular, if the United States withdraws its troops from Afghanistan in the second half of next year, will China consider sending peacekeeping troops to that country? There have been some comments in the world saying that given the fact that China and Afghanistan are neighbors, if the situation in Afghanistan is not stable, it will also pose a threat to China's national interests and security and pose a threat to the SCO member states. Will the SCO or China send troops there?

Foreign Minister Yang: I believe the Afghan government and people have made important headway in promoting the peace and reconstruction process in their country. At the same time, it is true that Afghanistan does face a series of problems at home, such as drug trafficking and terrorism. China supports the Afghan government in its efforts to promote peace, security and stability in Afghanistan. We have provided various kinds of assistance to Afghanistan without any condition attached within the realm of our capabilities. For example, we have helped Afghanistan in building hospitals and water conservancy projects. We have also trained professionals in various fields for Afghanistan. Not long ago, representative of the Chinese government attended the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's international conference on the issue of Afghanistan held in Moscow. I myself attended relevant international conferences on Afghanistan in Turkey and London. I should point out here that during the conferences, I had the honor of having conversations with President Karzai and Afghanistan's foreign minister and security advisor, and they all spoke highly of China's position on Afghanistan and China's assistance to their country. Representatives of many countries at the conferences were of the view that military means does not offer a fundamental solution to the Afghanistan issue. Many countries and China shared the view that the international community should give full support to efforts made by the Afghan government and people. We believe that eventually Afghanistan will be a peaceful, stable and independent country enjoying development and progress and living in harmony with its neighbors. I believe the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and its member states will continue to follow the situation in Afghanistan. There are still some uncertainties in the situation at present. I believe the SCO and its member states will continue to support efforts made by the Afghan government and people. The Security Council of the United Nations plays an important role in addressing the Afghanistan issue. We hope the Security Council will continue to play its constructive role in this regard, and as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to play its part to that end.

I believe the government of Pakistan has effective control over the situation in Pakistan. China and Pakistan will continue to expand practical cooperation in various fields on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, and China will continue to support the stability, development and prosperity in Pakistan.

Morocco News Agency: During the last Sharm El Sheikh conference on China-Africa cooperation, Premier Wen Jiabao announced eight new measures to help Africa. Could you update us on the progress China has made since then and the future of this China-Africa cooperation?

In your opinion, why the western countries are afraid of this China-Africa cooperation? Why they are always accusing China of going there only for energy and resources?

Foreign Minister Yang: China-Africa cooperation has entered a stage of sound development. You may recall that back in 2006 in the Great Hall of the People, the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was held. Chinese and African leaders gathered together to discuss how to push forward cooperation between the two sides. At the summit, President Hu Jintao announced, on behalf of the Chinese government, eight measures to enhance practical cooperation between China and Africa. A large part of these eight measures has been completed and some are near completion. I believe that meeting and the eight measures announced by President Hu have raised China-Africa relations to a new and much higher level.

Last November in Sharm El Sheikh, the fourth ministerial conference of FOCAC was held. Premier Wen Jiabao attended the opening ceremony of the conference and explained China's propositions on enhancing cooperation with African countries. His statement at the opening ceremony was warmly received and supported by the various countries that attended the conference. Premier Wen Jiabao announced eight new measures in enhancing China-Africa cooperation. At present, the various follow-up activities to the ministerial conference are well on track. As far as I know, good progress is being made in debt cancellation and tariff exemption. The China-Africa Science and Technology Partnership Program has been officially inaugurated. The China-Africa Joint Research and Exchange Program will also soon start. I believe the various plans will all be implemented and China-Africa cooperation will become even more fruitful.

I have noted that some people in the world do not want to see development of China-Africa relations, and they keep making an issue out of the China-Africa energy and resource cooperation. The fact is that China's import of oil from African countries takes up only 13 percent of Africa's total oil export. And the figures of European countries and the US are each above 30 percent. China accounts for only 1/16 of the total external investment in Africa's oil sector. We are far behind the US and European countries. We support other countries in carrying out cooperation with African countries in the energy sector on the basis of equality and mutual benefit. But I don't see any reason for some countries to oppose China in carrying out the equal and mutually beneficial cooperation with Africa. Moreover, China's cooperation with African countries covers both resource-rich countries and non-resource countries. I want to point out that Africa belongs to the African people. African people are the masters of the African continent and all other people are only guests. I believe guests should respect the will and freedom of the hosts in choosing their cooperation partners and friends.

I believe, to be Africa's friends, one should do more concrete and good things for Africa and save the empty talk. China's cooperation with African countries has helped African countries to translate its latent advantage in energy and resources into real advantage in development. We have also helped African countries build railways, roads and bridges, thus improving infrastructures in African countries. And all these have brought real benefits to the African people. Not long ago, President Banda of Zambia remarked that no one can deny the contribution from Chinese investors in Africa, and they are the people who truly help us. President Kagame of Rwanda remarked that China's investment and loans have brought in what Africa needs. I believe these are fair statements.

Estado de São Paulo: In April, Brazil will host the second summit of the BRIC countries. I'd like to know if the relevance of the BRIC for China has increased after the financial crisis and the Copenhagen Summit. Is it possible for countries so different as China, Brazil, India and Russia to form a group with genuine common interests?

I have another question about Latin America. In recent years, China has increased its trade, investment and cooperation with Latin America. I'd like to know which aspects of Latin America made the region relevant to China.

Foreign Minister Yang:It is true that the BRIC countries each have their own features. But I'd like to point out that the four countries are at a similar level and stage of economic development and their positions on major international issues are close. In the face of increasing global challenges, the BRIC countries have enhanced cooperation among themselves and with other countries in the world in an active, pragmatic, open and transparent manner. I believe that is in the interests of the whole world. We wish the second BRIC summit to be held in Brazil this April full success.

Talking about Latin America, I believe Latin America and China are highly complementary to each other in terms of economy and trade and social development. There are good prospects for cooperation between the two sides.

Reuters: A hot topic in the international community this year will be the climate negotiations after the Copenhagen Conference. I would like to know: what is China's expectation about the relevant negotiations? And is China of the view that even at the end of this year, there will not be an effective treaty on climate change?

Foreign Minister Yang: It is a view widely held by the international community, not just by China, that important and positive outcomes were achieved at the Copenhagen Conference, and at the same time, much work remains to be done. China will work actively with other countries and organizations to meet the climate challenge according to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Kyoto Protocol, the Bali Roadmap and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, so that efforts of all countries in the world in meeting the climate challenge will yield more results this year. And we hope that the Mexico conference will produce important and positive outcomes.

People's Daily: We have noticed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has adopted the practice of establishing a press center of the Chinese delegation when attending international conferences. And the ministry has been holding the Open Day events, making China's diplomacy closer to the ordinary Chinese people. I wonder if this means that the Foreign Ministry has intensified its work of public diplomacy. And if so, what is the purpose and importance of conducting public diplomacy? My second question is a personal question. This year is the year of the tiger. And you were born in the year of the tiger. How do you feel about it and what plans do you have for this year?

Foreign Minister Yang: Public diplomacy has become an important area of endeavor in China's diplomacy. We are of the view that public diplomacy has emerged as our times require and has a big role to play. In my view, an important part of public diplomacy is to introduce one's domestic and foreign policies to people both at home and abroad through media exchange and other means with a view to increasing mutual understanding and reducing misunderstandings. Last year, we engaged in a series of public diplomacy activities in connection with the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and 60 years of New China's diplomacy. These activities achieved a lot. I should also mention here that Chinese leaders attach great importance to public diplomacy, particularly when they visit foreign countries or attend international conferences. They have engaged in in-depth and broad exchanges with the local people. And these efforts have produced very good results. Chinese diplomats have also been very active in doing public diplomacy. This year, we will encourage our diplomats at home to be more active in having interactions with the general public. They will visit colleges and universities and give interviews to media organizations. We will encourage our diplomats posted abroad to be more active in reaching out to the local communities, explaining to them China's foreign policy and domestic development. I believe public diplomacy will achieve new and greater success in this new year.

I should like to point out here that China's diplomacy is people's diplomacy. And people have always been the source of wisdom in our effort to carry out public diplomacy. I should thank all Chinese people for their support to China's diplomacy. And we will continue to do a good job on the diplomatic front under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the State Council.

As you said, indeed, I was born in the year of the tiger. I hope that our great motherland and our friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries will forge ahead with the vigor and vitality of the tiger. Tomorrow will be the centenary of the International Women's Day. I would like to take this opportunity to send festive greetings and pay my tribute to all the ladies.

The press conference lasted nearly two hours. More than 500 journalists from home and abroad attended the press conference.

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