Speech by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Opening of the Symposium On International Developments and China's Diplomacy in 2016
3 December 2016
Before we even notice it, we are now approaching the end of 2016. I still remember that I said at last year's symposium that 2016 would see accelerated adjustment and transformation of the international architecture from a new starting point. Looking back today, that assessment has been proven correct on the whole, with some changes even more dramatic than expected. The world economy remains sluggish. Brexit has caught everyone by surprise. The Middle East is mired in aggravating tension. And there is growing backlash against globalization. All these taken into account, I would encapsulate the world situation in 2016 with two words, "volatility" and "turbulence". We are seeing a more volatile and turbulent world, one with greater uncertainty and instability that the international community finds deeply unsettling. On the other hand, we must also recognize that this is the unavoidable result of the realignment and transformation of the international architecture. It brings about not just new challenges, but also new opportunities. For countries around the world, what matters most is how to seize the opportunities, overcome challenges and make the international architecture more peaceful, stable and equitable, and better serve development and prosperity of our world.
For China's diplomacy, 2016 can be summed up as an important year in which China has blazed new paths and made new progress. Facing the complex and fast-changing international situation, under the strong leadership of the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as its core and guided by the foreign policy it sets out, we have forged ahead and overcome various difficulties. We have secured a sound external environment conducive to China's development amidst the grim world situation, and elevated China's standing, influence, and institutional rights in the changing international system. In 2016, China is more proactive, more enterprising, more confident and more mature in the diplomatic arena. It has made steady progress in developing a distinctive diplomatic approach befitting China's role as a major country with a series of important achievements that have made the Chinese people proud and also won international admiration.