On December 3, 2016, Foreign Minister Wang Yi attended and addressed the opening ceremony of the Symposium on International Developments and China's Diplomacy in 2016 hosted by the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) and the China Foundation for International Studies.
Wang Yi said that 2016 is an important year for China's diplomacy to tackle difficulties and gain further development. Facing the complicated and ever changing international situation, we tackled difficulties and gained further development under the firm leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core. We have not only effectively maintained a favorable external environment for development amidst the chaotic international situation, but also comprehensively improved China's status, influence and institutional rights against the changing international system.
Wang Yi pointed out that in 2016 China's diplomacy was more proactive, more enterprising, more confident, and more mature. We have promoted the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in an all-round manner, achieving a series of important outcomes that Chinese are proud of and all countries admire.
First, we bravely took our duty to lead the reform of global governance system. We successfully held the G20 Hangzhou Summit, leading the development direction of world economy and global governance. We promoted the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting held in Lima to inject new impetus into the construction of the Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP). We demonstrated our willingness to take on responsibility on the climate change issue as a major country.
Second, we seized opportunities to maintain the big picture of stability and cooperation in neighboring areas. The relationship between China and the Philippines has been relived and the South China Sea issue was brought back to the right path of dialogue and negotiation. We stepped up our exchanges and cooperation with important neighbors and tried our best to maintain the stability of neighboring environment and regional situation.
Third, we made proactive efforts to maintain the steady foreign relations with major countries. In the year of US presidential election, we managed to move forward China-US relations towards a sound and steady development along the right course. China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination was upgraded to a higher level. In terms of diplomacy towards Europe, we played a concerto with Central and Eastern European countries. We strengthened the cooperation confidence of the BRICS member states.
Fourth, we expanded our diplomatic layout towards the whole world, and enlarged the friend circle of developing countries. The global partnership network focusing on developing countries has been basically shaped and continuously improved. This year we established new partnership with another 7 countries and upgraded partnerships with 11 countries, most of which are developing countries.
Fifth, we made new breakthrough in joint construction of the "Belt and Road" initiative with active alignment. Over 100 countries and international organizations have showed their willingness to actively support and participate in the initiative and China has signed cooperation agreements on co-building the "Belt and Road" with 40 countries and international organizations.
Sixth, we voiced for just grounds and firmly safeguarded the sovereignty rights and interests over the South China Sea. We resolutely responded to the so-called award over the South China Sea arbitration provoked by the former administration of the Philippines. The righteous stance of China has received understanding and support from nearly 120 countries and over 240 political parties from different countries.
Seventh, we gave due considerations to domestic affairs and launched new measures to serve the reform and opening up. We have held four global promotions for Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Shaanxi Province and Sichuan Province successively.
Eighth, we blazed new trails and improved China's diplomatic theory system. At the G20 Hangzhou Summit, President Xi Jinping systematically stated the outlook on global economic governance and the pattern of governance, mapping out the "Chinese roadmap" in promoting the reform of global economic governance system.
Wang Yi stressed that as for China's development, 2017 will be a significant year, during which we will embrace the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the 13th Five Year Plan will be advanced in a comprehensive and in-depth manner. Under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the core, we will enhance service awareness, increase strategic coordination, step up efforts in implementation, consolidate the active and favorable strategic situation and expand the international space of mutually beneficial cooperation, so as to provide strong support to the successful holding of the 19th CPC National Congress and the building of a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way, as well as make more contributions to the cause of world peace and development.
We must serve the successful holding of the 19th CPC National Congress with all efforts, summarize General Secretary Xi Jinping's thoughts on diplomacy and the diplomatic practices since the 18th CPC National Congress thoroughly, make political and theoretical preparations for the holding of the 19th CPC National Congress from the diplomatic perspective and create a favorable external environment. We must make meticulous preparation for the international cooperation summit forum on the "Belt and Road" initiative to inject strong impetus into in-depth alignment of development strategies of all countries and revitalization of the world economy. We must make the 9th BRICS Summit a success, clarify the direction of the BRICS mechanism and forge an important platform of the South-South cooperation with international influence. We must put efforts in consolidating a favorable external environment and deepen relations with major countries and friendly cooperation with neighboring countries. We must continue the in-depth participation in global governance and promote reform of global governance system. We must be more proactive in serving domestic development and create more beneficiary environment for local reform and development. We must continue the construction of overseas livelihood projects and make every efforts to safeguard the legitimate interests and rights of Chinese citizens and enterprises overseas.