Question two: All parties are following closely where China-U.S. relations are headed. Will the Bali summit meeting help stabilize the relationship or, as the U.S. side put it, "build a floor" for the relationship?
Wang Yi: This meeting will not only provide important, practical guidance for China-U.S. relations at the current stage, but will also have a major and far-reaching impact on the relationship in the next stage and even beyond.
First, the meeting identified a clear direction, that is, to prevent China-U.S. relations from getting derailed or out of control, and to find the right way for the two major countries to get along with each other. President Xi Jinping pointed out that the current state of China-U.S. relations is not in the fundamental interests of the two countries and peoples, and is not what the international community expects. China and the United States need to have a sense of responsibility for history, for the world and for the people, to ensure that their relations move forward on the right course without losing direction or speed, still less having a collision. President Biden said that a stable and prosperous China is good for the United States and the world. The United States and China have a shared responsibility to show the world that they can manage their differences, and avoid misperceptions or fierce competition from veering into confrontation or conflict.
Second, the meeting established a framework, i.e., jointly working out the guiding principles, or a strategic framework, for China-U.S. relations. President Xi Jinping said that it would be problematic if two major countries like China and the United States do not have overarching principled common understandings. Only with principles can there be a direction, and only with a direction can the two sides properly handle differences and expand cooperation. It is exactly out of this consideration that the Chinese side proposed that China and the United States should respect each other, coexist in peace and pursue win-win cooperation. President Biden has reiterated his "five noes" (i.e., not seek a new Cold War; not seek to change China's system; the revitalization of its alliances is not against China; not support "Taiwan independence"; not look for conflict with China) and other important statements on multiple occasions. The two presidents agreed on the importance of working out the guiding principles China-U.S. relations, and further explored the topic with constructive discussions. They instructed their work teams to follow this up with consultations and strive for agreement as soon as possible on the basis of the common understandings already in place.
Third, the meeting kicked off a process, i.e., implementing the important common understandings reached by the two heads of state to manage and stabilize China-U.S. relations. Heads-of-state diplomacy is the highest form of diplomacy. The strategic guidance of the Bali summit for bilateral relations is reflected in many aspects, including not only the important preparations for the Bali meeting but also the follow-ups afterwards. Managing and stabilizing China-U.S. relations is an ongoing process to which there's no end. In accordance with the priorities identified by the two heads of state, the two teams will maintain dialogue and communication, manage tensions and differences, and advance exchanges and cooperation, so as to add positive energy and a safety valve to China-U.S. relations, and bring about stability and certainty to this turbulent and changing world.
It must be pointed out that China has its own principles and red lines that it has long upheld, and has legitimate and lawful interests that must be firmly protected. China will not yield to any acts of hegemonism or bullying. The U.S. side should earnestly translate President Biden's positive statements into concrete policies and actions, stop containing and suppressing China, stop interfering in China's internal affairs, and stop undermining China's sovereignty, security and development interests. The U.S. should work with China in the same direction to build pillars for the sound and steady development of China-U.S. relations and jointly cement a strong "floor" for the steady and sustained growth of the relationship.
Question three: The Taiwan question was definitely a focus of this meeting. Can you brief us on the conversation between the two leaders on the Taiwan question?
Wang Yi: Taiwan is part of China, and the Taiwan question is China's internal affair. The reason why China and the United States had to discuss the Taiwan question was because the United States interfered in China's internal affairs. What we ask from the United States is very clear – stop interfering in China's internal affairs and respect China's sovereignty and territorial integrity.
During the Bali meeting, President Xi Jinping shared with President Biden the history of Taiwan being colonized and invaded by external forces in the past several hundred years. He stressed that the very purpose of China's opposition to "Taiwan independence" and its efforts to protect territorial integrity is to guard and look after the land that has always belonged to China throughout the generations. Anyone that seeks to split Taiwan from China will be violating the fundamental interests of the Chinese nation. The Chinese people will absolutely not accept this. They will be united as one to fight such attempt.
President Xi pointed out that China will stay committed to the basic policies of peaceful reunification and One Country, Two Systems, and will strive for peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and the utmost effort. However, should the three types of serious events that are stipulated in the Anti-Secession Law take place, China will surely act in accordance with the Law. China hopes for peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait more than anyone else in the world, but cross-Strait peace and stability and "Taiwan independence" are as irreconcilable as water and fire. For the Taiwan Strait to remain peaceful and stable, there should be staunch opposition to and efforts to curb "Taiwan independence".
President Xi stressed that the Taiwan question is "the core of the core interests of China", the bedrock of the political foundation of China-U.S. relations, and the red line that the United States must not and should not cross in China-U.S. relations. China urges the U.S. side to match its words with action, abide by the one-China policy and the three China-U.S. joint communiqués, fulfill its commitment of "not supporting ‘Taiwan independence'", stop fudging and hollowing out the one-China policy, restrain and stop "Taiwan independence" separatist rhetorics and activities, and prevent the situation from moving to a point of no return.
President Biden said that the U.S. government is committed to the one-China policy, and that the U.S. does not support "Taiwan independence", does not support "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan", and does not seek to use the Taiwan question as a tool to contain China.