|Ministry of Foreign Affairs Holds Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Media on President Xi Jinping's Attendance at the Third Nuclear Security Summit and Visits to the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, UNESCO Headquarters and EU Headquarters|
On March 17, 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs held a briefing for Chinese and foreign media. Vice Foreign Ministers Li Baodong and Wang Chao respectively briefed on President Xi Jinping’s upcoming attendance at the third Nuclear Security Summit, state visits to the Netherlands, France, Germany and Belgium, and visits to the UNESCO Headquarters and the EU Headquarters. They as well answered questions from the media.
I. President Xi Jinping's Attendance at the Third Nuclear Security Summit
Li Baodong said that, the nuclear security issue concerns the scientific utilization and development of the nuclear energy, the sustainable economic and social development and the public security of all countries, and the international peace and tranquility. Against the overall background of the continuous advance of the nuclear energy industry and the increasingly complex situation of global anti-terrorism, the nuclear security issue has become a challenge facing the whole international community, which requires stronger international cooperation. Started in 2010, the Nuclear Security Summit has become an important platform for cooperation in the field of international security. This year’s Nuclear Security Summit will be themed “strengthen nuclear security, prevent nuclear terrorism”, and leaders or representatives from 53 countries and the heads of the international organizations will attend the Summit upon invitation. The Summit will be rich in content and forms, including the opening and closing ceremonies, four plenary meetings, interactive topical discussions and others. A communiqué will be issued as the outcome of the Summit.
Li Baodong stressed that President Xi Jinping’s attendance to the Nuclear Security Summit will be an important diplomatic action China takes in the field of international security under new circumstances. President Xi Jinping will put forward China’s “Approach to Nuclear Security”, and introduce measures taken and achievements made by China in promoting nuclear security, so as to promote international cooperation. China has two expectations for this Summit. First, China hopes the Summit can take over from the past while break new ground for the future, to consolidate the achievements made through the last two summits and pool new consensuses. Second, China hopes the Summit can further promote cooperation among all countries, improve the security level of nuclear materials and facilities around the world, and push forward the reasonable development and utilization of nuclear power. During the Summit, President Xi Jinping will also hold bilateral meetings with some state leaders. Li Baodong announced that as China and the US consulted, it has been decided that President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama will hold a meeting during the Summit. This will be the first meeting between the two heads of state this year, which is of great importance to the development of China-US relations in the next stage. China is willing to make joint efforts with the US to push for positive results at the meeting between the two heads of state.
II. President Xi Jinping's Visits to the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and EU Headquarters
Wang Chao pointed out that, China and Europe are two major forces safeguarding world peace, two major markets promoting common development and two great civilizations pushing forward progress of the mankind. Currently, the China-EU relations enjoy a sound overall momentum, and the EU has stayed as China’s largest trading partner for ten successive years. Both China and the EU are at a crucial stage of reform and development, which brings new historical opportunities to China-EU relations. This will be President Xi Jinping’s first visit to Europe after he took office, which will send out the strong message that China attaches great importance to Europe, supports the European integration building and is dedicated to deepening China-Europe relations, and will chart the course for and enrich the strategic substance of the development of China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership under new circumstances.
Wang Chao said that the Netherlands represents the small-and-medium-sized developed countries of the EU. As cooperation between China and the Netherlands is broad in field and large in scale, the Netherlands has stayed as China’s second largest trading partner within the EU for 11 successive years. President Xi Jinping’s visit will be the first time for the Chinese President to visit the Netherlands since the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between China and the Netherlands. President Xi Jinping will meet with King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander and parliamentary leaders, and hold talks with Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Both sides will sign a number of cooperation agreements covering the fields of agriculture, energy, finance and culture.
France is a permanent member of the UN Security Council, a key-figure country in the EU and the first major country in the West that officially established diplomatic relationship with the People’s Republic of China. Being strategic, globally influential and keeping pace with the times, China-France relations have long been at the forefront of China-EU relations and China-West relations, playing an important role in promoting world multi-polarization and world peace, stability and prosperity. President Xi Jinping’s visit coincides with the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between China and France and the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership, which is of great significance in inheriting the past and ushering in the future. The visit will bring the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relationship to the culmination. President Xi Jinping will hold talks with President François Hollande, join him to attend and address the relevant events commemorating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of China-France diplomatic relationship, meet with Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and the presidents of the Senate and the National Assembly, and pay a visit to city Lyon. The two sides will sign cooperative agreements in the fields of nuclear power, aviation, urbanization, agriculture and finance, and promote bilateral joint research and development, joint investment, joint production and joint exploitation of the third-party market. The visit will also give a strong impetus to people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and France.
Germany is a significant country in the EU and is China’s largest cooperative partner in Europe for trade, investment and technology. China-Germany relationship has the guiding and demonstrative effect on China-EU relations. This visit will be the first time for the Chinese President to visit Germany in eight years, which will focus on the development of China-Germany relations in the next five to ten years, chart the course and lay the blueprint for China-Germany relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, and jointly release a positive signal of deepening the comprehensive strategic cooperation between China and Germany. President Xi Jinping will hold talks with German President Joachim Gauck and Chancellor Angela Merkel, attend the event co-hosted by German Federal Foreign Office and the Körber Foundation and deliver a keynote speech, and visit city Düsseldorf. The two sides will also sign cooperative agreements in the fields of industry, aerospace, scien-tech, education, culture and agriculture.
Belgium is a founding member state of the EU, the site of the EU Headquarters and China’s important cooperative partner in the EU. President Xi Jinping’s visit will be the first state visit of the Chinese head of state to Belgium in 27 years, which will further consolidate China-Belgium traditional friendship, deepen political mutual trust, plan and promote practical cooperation. President Xi Jinping will meet with King Philippe of Belgium and parliamentary leaders, and hold talks with Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. The two sides will sign cooperative documents in the fields of economy, trade, scien-tech, telecommunications and education.
At present, China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership enjoys a favorable development momentum. The two sides take the implementation of the “China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation” as the theme to boost practical cooperation in all fields. President Xi Jinping’s visit will be the first time for the Chinese head of state to visit the EU Headquarters, which will “chart the course” for China-EU relations and push China-EU relations for a development along the way of being mature, stable, mutually beneficial, win-win, inclusive and learning from each other. The visit will “speed up” China-EU cooperation and explore new growth points in the fields of scien-tech innovation, new-type urbanization and investment. The visit will "upgrade" China-EU relations strategically, strengthen bilateral exchanges and coordination on major international and regional issues, and make greater contributions to promoting world peace and prosperity. President Xi Jinping will hold talks with President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, meet with President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, and deliver an important address at the College of Europe.
Wang Chao stressed that, President Xi Jinping’s visits will comprehensively upgrade China’s relations with the four destination countries and China-EU relations as well, promote China-EU cooperation in all fields, and become a new important milestone in the history of China-EU relations.
III. President Xi Jinping's Visit to UNESCO Headquarters
Li Baodong introduced that during the visit to the UNESCO Headquarters, President Xi Jinping will meet with the Director-General of the UNESCO. He will deliver an important speech, advocating respect and protection of the diversity of civilizations, as well as exchanges of different civilizations for learning from each other.