On March 22, 2022 local time, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi was invited to attend and speak at the opening ceremony of the Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). This is the first time for China’s foreign minister to participate in the OIC-CFM meeting. It fully demonstrates the sincere desire of China and the Islamic world to strengthen exchange and cooperation, and will surely lift our relations to a new level.
Key words 1: Solidarity and mutual support
Both Chinese and Islamic civilizations are ancient civilizations with significant global influence. The exchanges between us date back centuries. Our exchanges have withstood the test of international vicissitudes, and enjoy a deep historical foundation and solid support from our peoples. Friendship has been the mainstream of our relations, equality the basis of our interaction, and mutual benefit the goal of our cooperation. Over the years, we have always respected and trusted each other, and supported each other on issues involving our respective core concerns. China will never forget that when Algeria and other countries jointly tabled a resolution at the United Nations, nearly 30 Islamic countries firmly supported it, carrying China into the Organization.
We have always stood in solidarity and mutual support, and shared a commitment to common development. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Islamic countries have immediately rendered China valuable support, and China has promptly provided 1.3 billion doses of vaccines and a large quantity of supplies to 50 Islamic countries. Belt and Road cooperation has become a bridge and bond connecting our two sides for development and prosperity. To date, China has signed BRI cooperation documents with 54 Islamic countries and launched nearly 600 large-scale projects worth of US$400 billion. The cooperation has delivered real benefits to the people of China and Islamic countries.
Key words 2: Diversity of civilizations
We have always learned from each other and shared the commitment to safeguarding the diversity of civilizations of the world. Both Chinese and Islamic civilizations have made remarkable contributions to human civilization in history. Both have been treated unjustly in modern times. And today both are moving forward hand in hand on the journey toward development and rejuvenation. We should vigorously advocate equal-footed dialogue, exchange and mutual learning among civilizations, so as to draw wisdom from each other’s time-honored civilization, resist “civilization profiling”, and reject the notion of clash of civilizations.
China and the Islamic world have found a path of friendship and win-win cooperation among civilizations. This is a fine example of how to practice the new type of international relations. And it also provides useful experience on how different countries and civilizations can interact with each other.
Key words 3: Four partnerships
China will work with Islamic countries to uphold true multilateralism, defend the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and safeguard the UN-centered international system. In the pursuit of national rejuvenation, China and Islamic countries will always stand with each other to overcome challenges and forge ahead together. China is ready to work with Islamic countries to build the following four partnerships.
We need to be partners upholding unity and coordination. Our two sides need to firmly support each other in defending national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, firmly support each other in independently exploring the development path befitting our respective national conditions, and firmly support each other in safeguarding legitimate development rights and interests and the common interests of the developing countries at large.
We need to be partners advancing development and rejuvenation. We should stay united to defeat COVID-19. China will continue to provide 300 million doses of vaccine to Islamic countries to help them build a line of defence for health. We will foster greater synergy among our development strategies. We will pursue high quality Belt and Road cooperation and the Global Development Initiative (GDI) as “twin engines” to enhance cooperation in traditional areas and foster new highlights, so as to facilitate the development and rejuvenation of China and Islamic countries, guide South-South cooperation, and give a strong impetus to realizing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
We need to be partners promoting security and stability. China will continue to support the efforts by Islamic countries to use Islamic wisdom to solve current hotspot issues and to hold the key to peace and stability firmly in their own hands. China respects the choice of the Afghan people, and supports Afghanistan’s efforts to usher in an inclusive political structure and moderate governance and open a new chapter of peace and reconstruction.
We need to be partners enhancing mutual learning among civilizations. The two sides need to advocate peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom, which are the common values of humanity, and reject the practice of stoking division and confrontation by drawing ideological lines. We need to advocate mutual learning among civilizations, reject notions such as superiority of certain civilizations and clash of civilizations, and oppose attempts to distort or vilify non-Western civilizations. We need to deepen cooperation on preventive counter-terrorism and de-radicalization efforts, resist double standards on fighting terrorism, and oppose associating terrorism with any particular ethnic group or religion.
History has proven, and will continue to prove, that China is a sincere friend and cooperation partner of the Islamic world. We stand ready to work with Islamic countries to promote multipolarity in the world, democracy in international relations and diversity of human civilizations, and make unremitting efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind.