China to continue to promote global cooperation to fight COVID-19
China will continue to promote international cooperation to fight the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 and develop friendly ties with all nations, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday.
Wang made the remarks at a press conference on the sidelines of the fourth session of the 13th National People's Congress, China's top legislature.
Summarizing China's diplomatic efforts last year, he said the most outstanding endeavor was head-of-state diplomacy and the most resolute effort was the country's determination to defend its national interests.
"Through creative means of 'cloud diplomacy,' President Xi Jinping explored cooperation opportunities with other world leaders, demonstrating the global vision of the leader of a major country and giving both direction and momentum to the international fight against COVID-19," Wang said.
In 2020, Xi had 87 virtual meetings and phone calls with foreign leaders and heads of international organizations and attended 22 bilateral or multilateral events in the form of "cloud diplomacy," calling for solidarity and cooperation to tackle the crisis, Wang said in an earlier interview with CGTN.
China did its utmost to facilitate the domestic COVID-19 response and stood with the rest of the world in the fight, Wang said at the press conference, adding that the country carried out the largest emergency humanitarian operation since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
Last year, China also made great efforts to counter the surge of unilateralism, uphold multilateralism and fight against protectionism, he said.
"We stood firm against hegemony, highhandedness and bullying, and rejected outright interference in China's domestic affairs," Wang stressed. "China's sovereignty is not to be infringed upon, and the dignity of the Chinese nation is not to be trifled with. The legitimate rights and interests of the Chinese people shall be upheld."
In 2021, China will develop friendly relations with all other countries and enhance mutual understanding with the world, he said.
"We will promote international cooperation against COVID-19 and work for a global community of health for all," he said, stressing that the fight must not stop until the virus is eliminated in each and every country.
China will advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom as the "common values of humanity" and make joint efforts with other countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind, said Wang.
"A compassionate, committed and responsible China that stands by principles will bring more warmth and hope to the world and lend more confidence and strength to the pursuit of development for all," Wang said.
(Cover: Chinese medical team experts and Italian doctors pose for a photo in Padua, Italy, March 18, 2020. /Xinhua)