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Wang Yi Delivers a Speech at the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing-Tokyo Forum
2020/11/30

On November 30, 2020, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the 16th Beijing-Tokyo Forum via video link.

Wang Yi said that he has just wrapped up the official visits to Japan and the ROK. During the visit to Japan, both sides have confirmed that we need to look into the future and build solid bilateral relations that meet the requirements of the new era, in accordance with the spirit of the important consensus reached by the leaders of both countries. Five-point consensus and six concrete outcomes were achieved during the visit. Among them, the "fast track" for personnel exchanges was officially launched today, which is believed to provide important support for accelerating cooperation in resuming work and production and helping economic recovery in the context of the pandemic.

Wang Yi said that COVID-19 has made all countries in the world deeply feel that mankind is a community with a shared future, and has once again demonstrated the traditional friendship between the people of China and Japan. We will never forget that at the beginning of the outbreak in China, all parts of the Japanese society donated pandemic prevention supplies. The touching words of "miles apart, but close at heart" have brought warmth to the people who were battling against the virus. After the pandemic broke out in Japan, the Chinese people shared their feelings and returned the favor. We also recalled the strong connection between the two peoples during the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake in China and the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake. When one family is in trouble, its neighbors all come to lend a helping hand. We always remember how important it is to have a good neighbor at any time under any circumstance, and we are grateful to those people of the two countries who are working so hard to promote Sino-Japanese friendship.

Wang Yi said that friendship between the two peoples has always been an important cornerstone of China-Japan relations. However the current contrast in sentiment between the two peoples deserves attention and deep thinking. There are broad common interests between the two countries, and conflicts and differences that need to be handled properly. We need to expand and promote common interests to make them the solid connection between the two countries. We should put our differences and sensitive issues in the proper position and impose constructive control. We need to respect each other on internal affairs, and show our understanding and tolerance as close neighbors.

Wang Yi stressed that in a new era of information and intelligence, the mass and social media play an important role and bear a special responsibility in the mutual understanding and emotional interaction between the two peoples.

First, report real stories. The media of the two countries should avoid deliberate tailoring when covering the other country, but fully present the real situation. China has won battle against poverty and eliminated absolute poverty for the first time in history with the efforts of the whole nation. It is building an environment-friendly society with a new concept for development and following the path of green, low-carbon and sustainable development. China is resolutely combating corruption and upholding integrity, which has resulted in a more transparent working style of the Party and the government. Independent surveys from various international organizations showed the Chinese people's satisfaction with the Party and the government has stood at over 90 percent for many years. These vivid facts should also be reported by the Japanese media in an objective manner.

Second, convey goodwill. "Treasuring harmony" and "being kind to others" are the moral doctrines followed by the two peoples since the ancient times. They should also be the work ethic pursued by the media outlets of the two countries. As a public instrument, the media can affect the peaceful coexistence and ever-lasting friendship of the two peoples. We need to overcome the differences in social systems and concepts, be more tolerant and friendly to each other, and promote better mutual understanding between the two peoples.

Third, create the future together. When the world is undergoing tremendous changes unseen in a century, the media of the two countries need to think about how to make a better world and how to bring people closer, rather than pushing them apart and instigating suspicions. Asia, home to both China and Japan, has become the most dynamic economy in the world and is committed to building a community with a shared future. Wang hopes the media of the two countries will aim high and look afar, gather positive energy for cooperation between China and Japan, and show a new vision for the development in Asian and the world.

Launched in 2005, the Beijing-Tokyo Forum is held once a year in Beijing and Tokyo alternately. It is a higher-level and larger-scale governmental and non-governmental interactive exchange platform between the two countries. The theme of this forum is "Post-pandemic International Order and the Role of China and Japan".

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