Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's Written Interview with Polish Press
2011-08-06 15:45

On August 5, 2011, Rzeczpospolita in Poland published a written interview with China's Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. The text is as follows (provided in late July).

Q: How do you view China-Poland relations? What are the areas where China and Poland have the best cooperation? What are the areas where the cooperation needs to be strengthened?

A: It gives me great pleasure to visit the beautiful country of Poland for the first time at the invitation of Foreign Minister Sikorski. Let me take this opportunity to send my best wishes to the Polish people. Poland was among the first to recognize the People's Republic of China and establish diplomatic ties with China. The Chinese people will never forget this. Sixty-two years have passed. Despite the changes in the international landscape, the traditional friendship between the Chinese and Polish people has remained unchanged.

During President Hu Jintao's visit to Poland in 2004, our two sides established a friendly and cooperative partnership. Our mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields has made continued progress ever since. High-level contacts between the two countries have been close and our mutual understanding and trust have deepened steadily. In 2010, our two-way trade reached US$11.14 billion, up 23.8% year-on-year. Poland remained China's top trading partner in central and eastern Europe. With the Poland Pavilion drawing over eight million visitors, Poland's participation in the Shanghai World Expo was a great success. Poland also organized wonderful events in China marking the bicentenary of Frederic Chopin. By far, China has opened four Confucius Institutes in Poland. There are 19 pairs of sister provinces/cities between us. Our substantive cooperation has proved fruitful.

China places great importance on developing its relations with Poland. We will work with Poland to broaden and deepen our mutually beneficial cooperation across the board and bring about steady progress in our friendly and cooperative partnership. First, we need to maintain exchanges in various fields and at different levels, including those at the high level and between our governments, political parties and legislatures, to deepen mutual trust. Second, we need to expand business ties. China encourages its companies to import more from Poland. We also hope to see more two-way investment for win-win outcomes. We want to learn from Poland its advanced technologies and best practices in such fields as environmental protection, coal extraction and new energy development. We support strong Chinese companies in contributing to Poland's economic development. Third, we need to increase people-to-people exchanges and cooperation in cultural, education, tourist and other fields to enhance mutual understanding between the Chinese and Polish people. Fourth, we need to step up communication and coordination at the United Nations and other multilateral organizations and in international and regional affairs, and jointly work for world peace, cooperation and development.

Q: How do you view China-EU relations? What does China expect from Poland's term as EU's rotating president?

A: The EU is an important force on the global stage. China has been supportive of EU integration and has worked vigorously for the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership. Given the ongoing profound adjustments in the international landscape, the steady and sound growth of China-EU relations not only serves China and the EU in their respective development but also contributes to peace, stability and prosperity in the world.

Since the start of this year, China-EU relations have demonstrated a sound momentum of development. The two sides have maintained close high-level exchanges. It is worth noting in particular that the active measures taken by the Chinese government in support of the EU's response to the sovereign debt crisis have deepened the mutual understanding and trust between the two sides and promoted practical cooperation between China and the relevant countries. In the first half of this year, China-EU trade continued its upward trend to reach US$265.89 billion. The EU's exports to China grew much faster than China's exports to the EU. Colorful events have been held for the China-EU Year of Youth. People of both sides share a stronger desire to learn more about each other.

Generally speaking, China-EU relations enjoy good growth opportunities. The EU's readiness for closer cooperation with China is the mainstream. Having said that, there are differences and problems in our relations, which is, to a large extent, attributable to inadequate mutual understanding. It is important that we respect each other as equals, conduct candid dialogue, accommodate each other's concerns and consult each other on how to properly deal with the differences and problems. We need to accumulate understanding and trust and gradually seek solutions in the course of dialogue and cooperation.

China congratulates Poland on assuming the rotating presidency of the EU. We wish Poland success in promoting fast economic growth and enhancing political cooperation within the EU. We value Poland's standing and role in the EU and stand ready to work with Poland for better and more fruitful relations between China and the EU.

Q: How does China view the sovereign debt issue in Europe? Will China take measures to intervene or adjust its fiscal policy?

A: China has followed very closely the sovereign debt crisis in Europe. We support the European Union and the International Monetary Fund in taking active steps to stabilize the situation and restore growth. We welcome the new measures introduced by the EU at the recent special summit to tackle the debt issue. We hope Europe will overcome the current difficulties and maintain steady economic growth. As a responsible investor in the global financial markets, China has always had confidence in the euro zone and the euro. China has increased its holdings of euro bonds in recent years. It will continue to support Europe and the euro in the future.

As a major developing country, China will continue to strengthen and improve macro-regulation and accelerate the transformation of the economic growth model to ensure balanced and sound performance of the economy. We will adhere to a win-win strategy of opening up and enhance policy coordination and practical cooperation with other countries so as to make contribution to the full recovery of the world economy.

Q: Why does the Chinese government oppose visits of the Dalai Lama to some other countries? Why hasn't there been progress in the contacts and talks with the Dalai Lama?

A: The Dalai Lama is not purely a religious figure, but a political exile long engaged in anti-China separatist activities under the pretext of religion. His real agenda is to establish a so-called "Greater Tibet" area encompassing one quarter of China's landmass, something that never existed in China's history. With this objective, he is actually aimed at seeking Tibet independence or a disguised form of Tibet independence. The so-called "Tibetan Government in Exile" under his leadership is an illegal organization set up by a handful of separatists who fled China after the failed armed rebellion in 1959. It completely violated Chinese law and hasn't been recognized by any country in the world. The Dalai Lama recently announced his plan to retire politically, but he is still busy making visits around the world, advocating his position for "Tibet independence" and undermining relations between China and countries having diplomatic ties with China.

China's policy towards the Dalai Lama is consistent and clear-cut. The door for contacts and talks between the Central Government of China and the Dalai Lama is always open. Since 2002, ten meetings have been arranged in China by the relevant department of the Central Government with private representatives of the Dalai Lama. This has fully demonstrated the utmost sincerity and good will of the Central Government. But on the contrary, the Dalai Lama has openly claimed that the "Tibetan Government in Exile", an illegal organization, represents the Tibetan people. He even announced his decision in November 2008 to stop talks with the Central Government. If the Dalai Lama truly wants progress in the talks, he should fundamentally change his position, stop all separatist and sabotage activities, and take credible steps to win the trust of the Central Government and the people of China.