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Wang Yi Delivers a Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing-Tokyo Forum via Video Link

2022-12-07 21:05

On December 7, 2022, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the 18th Beijing-Tokyo Forum via video link.

Wang Yi recalled that President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida held their first meeting on the sidelines of the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Bangkok not long ago. The two sides shared the view that the importance of China-Japan relations has not and will not change, and expressed their readiness to make joint efforts to build a China-Japan relationship that answers the call of the new era. Noting that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the normalization of bilateral relations and next year marks the 45th anniversary of the signing of the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship, Wang Yi called for taking the two junctures as opportunities to review the original aspiration and mission of the normalization of diplomatic relations, continue fulfilling the purpose of jointly opposing hegemony enshrined in the Treaty, and promote the sustained and steady development of China-Japan relations on the right course.

Wang Yi put forward the following five suggestions:

-- China and Japan should engage each other with trust and remain firm in political commitments. Abiding by good faith is a principle that will never be outdated and should never be forgotten in China-Japan relations. The two sides should adhere to the commitments set out in the four political documents and earnestly translate into policies and actions the political consensus that the two countries should “be partners, not threats”. As major sensitive issues concerning history and Taiwan, among others, bear on the political foundation of China-Japan relations, they must, in particular, be handled in good faith and appropriately. Japan should make sure that there will be no wavering and line-crossing on them.

-- China and Japan should contribute to each other’s success and adhere to win-win cooperation. Economic and trade cooperation between China and Japan is essentially mutually beneficial. This is the result of market rules, coupled with the two countries’ respective needs. China will promote high-quality development, expand high-level opening-up and foster a new pattern of development. Japan is welcome to share the great opportunities arising therefrom and promote the sustained and common development and prosperity of the two countries.

-- China and Japan should treat each other with sincerity and commit themselves to peaceful coexistence. Neighboring relations should not be embroiled in the beaten track of camp confrontation, let alone fall into the trap of zero-sum game. When it comes to differences between the two sides, they should be properly handled in line with the existing common understandings while continued efforts should be made to reach new ones.

-- China and Japan should have sincere exchanges and make intensified efforts to cultivate the foundation of friendship. China and Japan enjoy geographical proximity and cultural affinity. No matter what difficulties and setbacks bilateral relations encounter, there are always a large number of visionary people who devote themselves to the friendship between the two peoples with unwavering commitment and perseverance. Since the beginning of this year, the two sides have carried out a variety of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the normalization of diplomatic relations. Wang Yi called for harnessing the momentum to promote friendly exchanges and improve national feelings. He also expressed the hope that the media of the two countries will play an active role in promoting sincere and friendly mutual perceptions between the two peoples.

-- China and Japan should adhere to principles and uphold fairness and justice. As a Chinese saying goes, “Power may win for the time being, but justice will prevail for the long run.” As important countries in Asia and the world at large, China and Japan should shoulder their due responsibilities, step up communication and coordination, act on true multilateralism, promote peace, stability and integrated development in the region, and jointly address emerging global challenges.

Wang Yi pointed out that the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) has set the course and provided the blueprint for China’s development at the current stage and for a period to come. China will remain committed to its fundamental national policy of opening to the outside world, pursue a mutually beneficial strategy of opening up, and strive to create new opportunities for the world with its own development. China will keep to its policy of neighborhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness as well as building friendship and partnership with its neighbors. China will deepen friendship, mutual trust and convergence of interests with all its neighbors, including Japan. Socialism with Chinese characteristics as well as Chinese modernization will surely inject more impetus into Asia’s stability and prosperity and make greater contributions to world peace and development.

Wang Yi said that the elder generation of leaders of China and Japan demonstrated outstanding historical foresight and political wisdom 50 years ago. Looking ahead to the next 50 years, both sides should make the right choices living up to the elder generation’s expectations, jointly build a China-Japan relationship that answers the call of the new era, and work together to forge a new era of development and revitalization in Asia. China is ready to make new and unremitting efforts with friends from all walks of life in Japan to this end.

Launched in 2005, the Beijing-Tokyo Forum is an annual event held alternately in Beijing and Tokyo. It is a higher-level and larger-scale governmental and non-governmental interactive exchange platform between the two countries. The theme of this year's forum is “The Responsibility of China and Japan to Maintain World Peace and International Cooperation - Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Normalization of Diplomatic Relations”. Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, among others, were present.

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