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Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's Interview with Hubei Media

On 15 November 2010, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi gave an interview to the local media of Hubei Province after attending the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of China, Russia and India in Wuhan. The following is the transcript:

Hubei Satellite TV: Why was the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of China, Russia and India held in Wuhan this time? What is your comment on the achievements of Hubei Province in reform and opening up in recent years?

Yang: First, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Party Secretary Luo Qingquan, Governor Li Hongzhong, the provincial Party committee and the provincial government of Hubei Province for the warm and thoughtful arrangements for the meeting. I also wish to thank the media of Hubei and Wuhan for the extensive coverage of this meeting.

We have chosen to hold the 10th Meeting of Foreign Ministers of China, Russia and India this time in Wuhan mainly for three reasons: First, Wuhan has made substantial progress in economic and social development as well as in foreign affairs in recent years. Holding the meeting here helps to step up Hubei and Wuhan's exchanges and cooperation with Russia and India across the board. Both the Russian and Indian foreign ministers said that this city left a deep impression on them. The Russian Foreign Minister told me that he could tell at first sight, the city is a big and vibrant metropolis with a population as large as that of Moscow. The Indian Foreign Minister told me that he very much enjoyed his stay at the East Lake Hotel. In my words, Wuhan is a beautiful city featuring "a lake in the city and a city by the lake." After listening to the introduction of the provincial leaders, both the Russian and Indian foreign ministers shared the view that Hubei and Wuhan have already had a lot of exchanges and cooperation with Russia and India and there are still huge potentials to tap. They said that when they get back home, they will encourage their countries to increase exchanges and cooperation with Hubei in all areas.

Second, Hubei and Wuhan have with these two countries not only ongoing cooperation but also historical relations. In the war of resistance against Japanese aggression, Wuhan was one of the main battlefields where Soviet aviators fought shoulder-to-shoulder with the Chinese people and some of these young soldiers even laid down their lives. This afternoon, I accompanied the Russian Foreign Minister to lay a wreath at the graveyard of Soviet martyrs. He was touched and said to me: We are very grateful that the people of Wuhan and Hubei have laid to rest our martyrs in such a sublime and beautiful place. During the same war, India sent a medical team here to heal the wounded and rescue the dying, leaving behind many touching stories. And now, new seeds of friendship have been sown. Many Russian and Indian students are studying here. As far as I know, Hubei hosts more international students from India than from any other country. In recent years, Hubei's exchanges and cooperation with different localities of Russia and India in various fields have strengthened and the two countries have become Hubei's important cooperation partners in terms of its external investment and trade. The people-to-people and cultural exchanges between Hubei and the two countries have also been dynamic. Hubei held the event of "Day of Hubei - Year of China" in Moscow and India held a series of activities for the "Indian Cultural Festival" in Wuhan. All these events were well received by the public. More and more Hubei tourists are now traveling to Russia and India. In short, Hubei and Wuhan enjoy great prospects of exchanges and cooperation on all fronts with the two countries.

Third, there are more foreigners who go and visit the eastern part of China. We hope they can get a full picture of China, especially the strategy of "the rise of Central China" and Wuhan is a very typical city in the implementation of the strategy.

I hadn't visited Wuhan for more than ten years and this visit has allowed me to see the city's huge changes and progress on the basis of past achievements. With the implementation of the strategy of "the rise of Central China", Wuhan city cluster has continued to make progress in building an environment-friendly and resource-conserving society. Hubei's overall strength has notably increased with broad development space and huge potential. Wuhan has also made active contribution to China's foreign exchanges and cooperation. Many of our aid projects for foreign countries have involved enterprises from Hubei and some of them have become model projects. Hubei Province and Wuhan are now twinned with more than 60 provinces and cities across the world. The Foreign Ministry will further facilitate the international exchanges of Hubei and Wuhan to serve the development of the province and the city.

Hubei Daily: First, my congratulations on the success of the meeting. In recent years, there have been many highlights in China's diplomacy. Can you share with us the developments in this area? And how do you see the importance and role of stronger China-Russia-India cooperation in the overall context of China's foreign affairs?

Yang: Under the leadership of the Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council, we have continued to make headway on the diplomatic front. We have steadfastly upheld national sovereignty, security and development interests. With the development of China's overall strength, our international standing has been on the rise, further strengthening China's international image as a peace-loving and responsible big country committed to cooperation and development.

In recent years, be it on bilateral or multilateral fora, be it in neighborhood diplomacy or relations among big nations, China's diplomacy has made fresh progress. China has made new achievements in such specific fields as economic diplomacy, people-to-people and cultural diplomacy and public diplomacy. These achievements have been made as a result of the concerted efforts of various government departments under the leadership of the Central Committee of the CPC and the State Council, and with the support and care of all the Chinese people. Although the international landscape is undergoing the most profound and complex changes after the end of the Cold War and China's diplomacy faces all kinds of new problems and challenges, there are still more opportunities than challenges.

Both Russia and India are major emerging countries and our close neighbors, living together with us in Asia. In recent years, our relations with Russia and India have come a long way. Under the new circumstances, further strengthening and developing trilateral cooperation across the board not only will benefit the three countries, but also is of great importance to upholding and promoting world peace, stability and development.

As members of the BRICs and the G20, China, Russia and India share a lot of common language, and hold the same or similar views in such fields as countering the international financial crisis and meeting the climate challenge. Our cooperation is on a solid footing. During this meeting, the three countries all agreed to further step up coordination and cooperation on regional and international issues. We also discussed cooperation in areas such as agriculture, medical and health services, disaster mitigation and relief and energy. We have begun cooperation in some areas and are exploring possibilities in others. All in all, this meeting has enhanced our mutual understanding and deepened our consensus on engaging in mutually beneficial cooperation.

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