China will be global 'force for peace': foreign minister | World News - Hindustan Times

China will be global 'force for peace': foreign minister

Mar 07, 2024 08:48 AM IST

China will be global 'force for peace': foreign minister

China will be a global force for peace and stability, the country's foreign minister Wang Yi said Thursday in a wide-ranging press conference where he hit out against US "suppression" and expressed support for Palestinians.

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"In the face of complex turmoil in the international environment, China will persist in being a force for peace, a force for stability, and a force for progress in the world," Wang told reporters.

Wang met the press on Thursday on the sidelines of China's largest annual political gathering, which opened in Beijing earlier this week.

The "Two Sessions" -- parallel meetings of China's rubber-stamp parliament and political consultative body -- offer a rare glimpse into the strategy of the Communist Party-led government for the year ahead.

This year's gathering is being closely watched for signals as to Chinese leaders' confidence in current geopolitical conditions, as tensions persist across the Taiwan Strait and Russia's war in Ukraine enters its third year.

China's expanding political reach has sparked friction on multiple fronts, with Wang's press conference coming after Southeast Asian and Australian leaders warned this week against Chinese actions that "endanger peace" in the South China Sea.

China has increasingly flexed its muscles in the South China Sea, which it claims almost entirely despite an international arbitration ruling that declared its stance baseless.

Chinese coast guard boats were accused on Tuesday of badgering a flotilla of Philippine ships on a resupply mission.

"We resolutely oppose all acts of hegemony and bullying, and will strongly uphold national sovereignty and security as well as development interests," Wang said on Thursday.

He hit out at what he called efforts by Washington "to suppress China", saying "the desire to heap blame under any pretext has reached an unbelievable level".

And the top diplomat warned that people seeking independence for self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing claims as its territory, would be "liquidated by history".

Wang reiterated China's support for Palestinians when asked about the ongoing conflict in Gaza, saying Beijing supports full United Nations membership for a Palestinian state.

"The catastrophe in Gaza once again reminded the world that the fact that the Palestinian territories have been occupied for a long time can no longer be ignored," Wang said.

"The long-cherished wish of the Palestinian people to establish an independent country can no longer be evaded, and the historical injustice suffered by the Palestinian people cannot continue for generations without being corrected," he added.

Beijing has been calling for an immediate ceasefire since the start of the current Israel-Hamas war in October last year.

Wang on Thursday also defended Beijing's close relationship with Moscow, saying that "China and Russia have set a new paradigm for major power relations that is completely different from the old Cold War era."

The foreign minister said that bilateral ties rested on "the basis of non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third parties".

Western powers have criticised Beijing for refusing to condemn Moscow for its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.

China says it is a neutral party in the Ukraine war, but its strategic partnership with Russia has grown closer since the start of the war.

Wang also told reporters on Thursday that the European Union's portrayal of China as a rival was "not factual or feasible", amid efforts by the bloc to fend off competition from China in areas including technology, energy and electric vehicles.


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