1. Interpret the following Chinese idioms into English.
(1)to harbor/have/out of/with ulterior motives; with malicious intent; to have an axe to grind
(2)to go back on one’s words; to play fast and loose; to blow hot and cold; to chop and change; inconsistent/
(3)to lord it over (others/all); to play the tyrant; to dominate/domineer and swashbuckle
(4)to act in bad faith; to play foul/false; treacherous; to go back on one’s words
(5)arrogant and conceited; self-important; to ride the high horse; false pride; to get too big for one’s boots
(6)to work hand in glove with; to band together; to collaborate/collude with sb. in evil doing
(7)Courtesy demands reciprocity; to exchange on an equal basis/footing
(8)The united will of the masses is like a fortress; People with one will are stronger than a fortress; Unity is
(9)blinded by one’s gains (by the lust for gain/the love of gain/self-interests); to bend one’s principles to one’s
interests; to be so obsessed with the idea of profit-making that one loses all sense of righteousness
(10)to eat one’s own bitter fruit (the fruit of one’s own doing/the fruit of one’s own making); to reap what one
sows; to bite off one’s own head; to face the consequences of one’s own action
(11)Honest advice is unpleasant to the ear.
(12)to court one’s own ruin/doom/disaster; to invite one’s own destruction; to cut one’s own throat; to bring
destruction to oneself; to take the road to one’s doom
(13)to go against the trend of the times; to set back the clock; to push a reactionary policy;
(14)to intensify one’s efforts to do sth; to become aggravated; to be further intensified; with ever-increasing
(15)to be obvious to all; as clear as day
(16)as always; just as in the past; as before
(17)to exaggerate just to scare/frighten people; alarmist talk; sensational
(18)to make irresponsible remarks/criticisms
(19)to surrender a country’s sovereign rights under humiliating terms; to humiliate the nation by forfeiting its
(20)to invite/bring a wolf into the house; to open the door to an enemy
(21)no end of trouble for the future; Endless troubles will follow.
(22)to be filled with indignation
(23)the trend of the time; the general trend
(24)to run counter to …
(25)to cling obstinately to one’s course; to act willfully; to insist on having one’s own way
(26)to reap the spoils of victory without lifting a finger; to profit from other’s conflict
(27)Neighbors are dearer than distant relatives. Neighbors are more helpful than distant relatives. A remote
kinsfolk is not as good as a near neighbor.
(28)the same medicine prepared with different water; the same old stuff with a different label; a change in form
but not in essence
(29)to lift a rock only to crush/squash one’s own feet; to tread on one’s own tail
(30)to defy public opinion (the will of the people); to fly/go in the face of the will of the people (public opinion);
to face universal condemnation
(31)Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. Love sees no fault. Beauty lies in the lover’s eyes. Love blinds a man to
(32)Many kiss the baby for the nurse’s sake; The drinker’s heart is not in his cup —he has something else in his
mind. One talks about one thing, but tries to do another.
(33)While the magistrates are free to burn down houses, the common people are forbidden even to light lamps.
One may steal a horse while another may not look over a hedge.
(34)Living near a wolf’s den, you can never be too cautious.
(35)Of all the living things nurtured between heaven and earth, the most valuable is the human beings.
(36)You want the horse to run fast and yet you don’t let it graze.
(37)Storms gather without warning in nature, and bad luck befalls men overnight. The weather and human life are
(38)A person cannot be judged by his appearance, just like the sea cannot be measured with a bucket. A person
can no more be judged by his looks than the sea be measured with a bucket.
(39)Man cannot be always fortunate just as flowers do not last forever.
(40)Blood is thicker than water, the falling leaves settle on the roots.
(41)Haughtiness invites losses while modesty brings profits.
(42)One’s position alters the temperament, just as nourishment affects the body. Honors change manners.
(43)Nothing is so strong as gentleness. Nothing is so gentle as strength.
(44)Like the Eight Fairies/Immortals crossing the sea, each displays his own talent/magic power.
(45)On festive occasion, more often than ever, we think of our dear ones far away.
(46)Among bosom friends, a thousand cups of wine are not too many/enough. A thousand cups of wine are too
few when drinking with close friends.
(47)As the saying goes, “What’s near cinnabar goes red, and what’s next to ink turns black.”
(48)Those who are meant to meet will meet even if they are separated by a thousand miles; those who are not
meant to meet will not get acquainted even if they brush past each other.
(49)Preparedness ensures success and unpreparedness spells failure. Forewarned, forearmed.
(50)Spare the rod and spoil the child.
(51)The well-fed simply have no idea of how the starving suffers. Little does the fat sow know what the lean
(52)Nearest the king, nearest the gallows.
(53)As heaven maintains vigor through movement, a gentleman should constantly strive for self-perfection.
(54)It takes more than a day to freeze three feet of ice. Rome was not built in a day.
(55)No pains, no gains. No gains without pains.
(56)When I walk along with two others, they may serve as my teachers. I will select their good qualities and
follow them, their bad qualities and avoid them. When I walk along with several people, they can serve as my teachers. I select their good qualities and emulate them, their bad qualities and amend them.
(57)Sun Zi said, “War is a matter of vital importance to the state, a matter of life and death. Hence, it is imperative
that it be thoroughly studied.”
(58)I recall my first lesson on calculus in senior high school. My teacher quoted a line from Zhuang Zi, a Chinese
philosopher over 2,000 years ago, which reads: “Cut away half of a rod and keep on halving what is left, and there will be no end to that process.” This gave me a vivid concept of limit.
2. Interpret the following English idioms into Chinese.
(1) Meeting a Visiting US Military Delegation at the Airport
Maj. Gen. Xiao Yang (X), Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the Chinese Ministry of National Defense (MND), is at the airport to welcome a US military delegation headed by Maj. Gen. Smith (外). With him is Maj. Zhao Hua (Z), an interpreter from the Office.
Z: 请问，您是美国军事代表团团长史密斯将军吗? //
Z: 您好，史密斯将军。我叫赵华，是中国国防部外事办公室的翻译。请允许我介绍一下，这是外事办公室主任肖阳少将。Gen. Xiao, Gen. Smith. //
外& X（边握手边说）：您好！How do you do! //
X: Gen. Smith, I’m very happy to welcome you and all the other members of your delegation to our country. We hope you’ll have a pleasant visit here. //
X: The pleasure is all ours, I assure you. Now, I’d like to introduce to you some officers of our army who are also here to welcome you. //
(In the VIP Lounge at the airport)
X: Gen. Smith, won’t you have a cup of tea? //
X: Which do you prefer, black tea or green tea? //
X: How was the journey? //
X: Glad to hear that. //
X: Yes. The airport has undergone large-scale expansions over the past 15 years. There are now three terminal buildings, three runways and two towers operating simultaneously to meet the needs of our ever-growing tourist industry and the needs of our increasing domestic air traveling. //
X: 73.95 million in 2010. At peak traffic, it can handle 9,000 an hour. Right now, the airport has already exceeded its designed capacity of 60 million. //
X: Yes, compared with the years before China’s entry into the WTO. In recent years, the number of visitors and tourists from abroad exceeds 100 million each year. // Well, we have gone through the formalities and here comes all your luggage. If you are ready, shall we be on our way to the hotel? //
X: This way, please. //
(In Gen. Smith’s suite)
X: We hope you find the accommodations and service here in this hotel satisfactory. If you should want anything changed or done, just speak to Maj. Zhao Hua. He will be staying here to see to your needs and comfort. // 外：太好了。我们中间没有人懂中文，最多能讲几句象“您好”、“谢谢”那样的客套话。这些话恐怕是不够应付的。//
X: I suppose so. Well, Gen. Smith, our Ministry is giving a dinner in honor of your delegation this evening at seven. Maj. Zhao Hua will take you there. We hope every member of your delegation will be able to come. // 外：我看没问题。我们每个人都希望能从这次访问中充分受益。在此，让我代表我们代表团全体成员向您表示感谢。//
X: Not at all. Now, I’ll leave you to your unpacking and rest. See you at the dinner. //
(2) Arranging the Itinerary
Col. Yang Jun (Y), chief of the Protocol Office of the Foreign Affairs Office, comes to see Gen. Smith (外) to discuss the itinerary prepared for the delegation.
Y: This is a tentative schedule we’ve worked out for your tour in our country. Please take a look to see whether it suits you. //
Y: There are two points I’d like to mention in connection with the arrangements. As you’ll presently see from the draft, the tour includes only three cities besides Beijing. We thought with only ten days for the tour, it would perhaps be better to visit fewer places and spend more time at each rather than hurry through a great many. // 外：在现有的条件下作这样的安排，看来是最好的了。//
Y: I’m glad you take it this way. Another point is, at most of the cities, at your request, we’ve arranged visits to an army unit besides the usual round of sightseeing. You may find the schedule a bit too tight. If so, please don’t hesitate to tell us what items you want to left out. You see, we don’t want to tire you out. //
Y: We hope it won’t come to that. Well, I think that’s all I have to say about the schedule, unless you have any questions or suggestions. //
Y: I’m glad to say I shall be accompanying you on the trip, and I look upon this as a good opportunity to learn more from you. //
Y: Before dinner this evening, if it’s all right with you. //
Y: I’ll come around, say, at five. Would that be all right? //
(3) Suggesting Changes
Y: I hope you’ll be frank with us and give whatever opinions and suggestions you may have in regard to the tentative schedule. We’ll see what we can do to meet your wishes. //
外：谢谢！如果您不介意的话，我们想提两个小小的建议。第一，如果有可能的话，我们想看看正在北京举行的全国乒乓球比赛。因为我们中许多人对乒乓球很感兴趣。不过现在买票是不是已经太晚了。// Y: There’s no difficulty about that unless all the tickets are sold out. But the tournament is still in its semi-finals and will remain so for the rest of the time you are in Beijing. Would you still be interested to watch it? //
Y: Then there’s the question of time. All the matches are held in the evening, but your evenings are fully occupied. //
Y: In that case, we can make the change quite easily. //
Y: Let me see. Yes, as far as time is concerned, we can fit it in. But I must first contact the authorities concerned and get them to make some necessary arrangements. I think I’ll be able to give you a definite answer some time tomorrow morning. Would that do? //
Y: On our part, we want to do whatever possible to make your visit pleasant and worthwhile. Now, have you got any other suggestions for improving the itinerary? //
Y: Not at all. //
(4) Army Day Reception
Z: Our Defense Ministry is giving a reception tomorrow evening to celebrate our Army Day, which is the day after tomorrow. You and all the other members of your delegation are cordially invited. Here are the invitation cards. //
Z: That won’t be necessary. Just tell me whether you’ll be able to come or not and I’ll notify the reception committee. //
Z: For us, it would be both an honor and a pleasure to have your presence. //
Z: Yes. And besides our Party, government and Army leaders and our foreign guests, representatives of the people from all walks of life will also be present. //
Z: Yes, it’s a tradition of ours to celebrate our Army Day as well as some other occasions together with the people. //
Z：Yes. After all, we are an army of the people, for the people and supported by the people. Under the leadership and education of the Party, we have always tried to maintain close ties with the people. //
Z: Yes, as water is to fish, so are the people to our army. //
Z: Yes, as an interpreter. //
Z: Shall we say 7:50? //
(In the banquet hall the next evening)
X: Good evening, Gen. Smith. I’m glad all of you could come. //
Z: Won’t you sit here, Gen. Smith? And you, Capt. Clarke, there...//
Z: Yes, over 700. Now, what will you have to drink? There’s Maotai, whisky, brandy, wine, orange juice, tomato juice...//
Z：There. Please do feel at home and help yourself to whatever appeals to you. //
X: To the friendship between our two peoples and armies, and to your health, gan bei ... // Let me fill your glass again ... Won’t you try some hors d’oeuvres? //
X: I’m glad you like them. Now, how’s the visiting so far? //
X: We do want you to have a pleasant time here. But if there’s anything we should have overlooked, please speak up frankly...// Oh, you must try some of this “Peking duck”, it’s a favorite with nearly everybody. //
X: Do help yourself to some more... It’s a pity that the weather is a bit too hot for the sightseeing. //
X: Yes, we could do with a little rain. Now, won’t you have some fried prawns, Chinese style? //
外：谢谢，我自己来。啊，真是色味俱全。// 瞧，贵国的党、政、军领导人都已离开了自己的座位。// X: Yes, they are going round to toast the guests. In a little while our Defense Minister will make the toast. Here, let me fill up your glass. //
(5) Bidding Farewell
Gen. Xiao Yang, Director of the Foreign Affairs Office of the MND, comes to see Gen. Smith on the eve of the delegation’s departure for home.
X: How time flies! It seems as if it was only yesterday when you got off the plane, and now you are leaving us.
I’m really sorry. //
X: You are welcome to visit us again any time. Our door is always open to friends. //
X: It was a real pleasure having you with us. We wish to thank you for coming. Now, is there anything we could do for you before your departure tomorrow? //
X: Glad you think so. Well, Gen. Smith, your plane takes off at six in the morning. I’ll be at the airport to see you off. //
X: No trouble at all. Since you have travelled over thousands of miles to bring us the friendship and experience of your people and army, it seems the least I should do is to drive out to the airport to wish you a bon voyage.
So let us say goodbye tomorrow. //
(At the airport the next morning)
X: Good morning, Gen. Smith. //
X: Oh, it’s nothing. Well, I see everyone is here and all set to go. //
X: It’s very kind of you to say so. Hope you’ll come again before long. //
X: Thank you. I certainly will if such an opportunity should arise. //
X: Goodbye and bon voyage! //
Visiting the Palace Museum
A foreign delegation (外) is visiting the Palace Museum. They are talking about it with their guide (G).
G: Here we are in Tian’anmen Square. This is the centre of Beijing. //
G: To the west is the Great Hall of the People. To the south is the Memorial Hall of Chairman Mao. To the east is the National Museum of China, which is the largest museum in the world. It was established by combining the former Museum of Chinese History and Museum of Chinese Revolution. The project started in 2003 and was completed on March 1, 2011. // In the middle of the square is the Monument to the People’s Heroes. To the north is Tian’anmen, which means the Gate of Heavenly Peace. It was formerly the main gate to the imperial city of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, through which one can go into the Imperial Palace. Now this gate has become the symbol of the new China.//
G: The Imperial Palace was originally called Zijin Cheng, literally the Purple Forbidden City. It was the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties, which were the last two feudal dynasties in Chinese history. The palace was constructed during the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty. The construction first started in 1406 and was basically completed in 1420. It has now a history of nearly six hundred years. // There were altogether 24 emperors who resided in this palace. Though it was rebuilt and expanded many times during the two dynasties, it still retains its original layout. // This former imperial palace has been turned into a museum, keeping more than 1,800,000 pieces of treasures and imperial court relics of various dynasties. They are all important materials for the study of the history of the Ming and Qing dynasties and the art of various dynasties.
G: Before the 1911 Revolution, ordinary people were forbidden to enter the palace grounds. Now, of course, anyone can get in. //
G: There is one on the back of this tourist map of Beijing. //
G: That’s right. This gate was first built in 1420. A visit to the Palace begins here. In the past, passage through the central opening was restricted to the emperor, while civil and military officials as well as imperial clansmen used the two side openings. //
G: You obviously don’t need a guide! These five white marble bridges are known as the Golden River Bridges, and span the Golden River. // Crossing the bridges and ascending a flight of steps, we’ll arrive at the main gate, the Gate of Supreme Harmony. From here we can get an excellent view of the biggest palace —the Hall of Supreme Harmony. // In front of us is the largest courtyard (more than 30,000 square meters) in the imperial city. Here a sea of flagstones surrounded by low buildings and gates gives the tourists an impression of great vastness. //
G: The Imperial Palace is oblong in shape and covers an area of over 720,000 square meters. It is 753 meters wide from east to west, and 961 meters long from north to south. // The palace is composed of dozens of compounds
of various sizes, with 9,999 and a half halls and chambers. It covers a building area of about 150,000 square meters. With its magnificent and parallel imperial halls, painted pillars and carved beams, the whole scenery looks majestic. // The imperial palace is defended on its four sides with a 10.7-meter-high wall, whose total perimeter is about three kilometers. The palace is surrounded by a 52-meter-wide moat which makes it a heavily-guarded castle. // In the four corners of the imperial palace stand four turrets respectively. They are gracefully constructed and pleasing to the eye. The imperial palace is the biggest and best-preserved imperial palace and ancient architectural complex in our country. //
G: Nine thousand, nine hundred, ninety-nine and a half. //
G: It is said that there are a total of 10,000 rooms in the Heavenly Palace. The imperial palace cannot have more rooms than the Heavenly Palace, so the number has to be smaller by half a room. //
G: I only know a few, but I’ve met a person who knows everything about this place. //
外：这个人在哪儿? 我们可以去拜访他吗? //
G: I’m afraid not. He once lived here for 18 years, and then passed away. //
外：（笑）哦，你说的是末代皇帝溥仪，对吧? 这些宫殿原来是干什么用的? //
G: The main buildings of the Imperial Palace are divided into two sections: the Outer Court and the Inner Court. In the Outer Court are three grand halls built on a three-storey terrace of white marbles. They were places where the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties held such elaborate ceremonies as coronation, birthday and festival celebrations, attended to court affairs and received their ministers. // The three grand chambers behind them were the principal part of the Inner Court. They were places where the 24 emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties used to reside and attend to state affairs. On their eastern and western sides are six self-independent units of imperial halls and chambers respectively. // These twelve units of imperial halls and chambers were places where empresses, imperial concubines, princes and princesses lived, amused themselves and worshipped gods. //
G: This hall was first built during the Ming Dynasty and reconstructed during the Qing Dynasty when Emperor Yongzheng was in reign. This was a place where the emperors resided and did daily routine work. // The room in the middle was the place where the emperors received their ministers. The room in the west was the place where the emperors read memorials to the throne and discussed state affairs with their ministers. The room in the east was the place where Dowager Cixi ruled the court in place of the young Emperors Tongzhi and Guangxu from behind a screen. // After the 1911 Revolution, Pu Yi, the last emperor of the Qing Dynasty, decided to abdicate in this very room, which symbolized the ending of China’s feudal dynasties that had lasted several thousand years. //
G: There is a central axis running from north to south in the Imperial Palace. Both the three grand halls of its Outer Court and the three grand halls of its Inner Court are located on this central axis. The other halls and chambers lie on its two sides, so symmetrically and well arranged that they highlight the main buildings on the central axis. // The Imperial Palace is built delicately and gracefully, with an imposing magnificence. It is a centralized indication of the excellent tradition and unique style of China’s ancient architectural art, and also a full reflection of the superb skills and artistic talent of ancient Chinese craftsmen and artisans. The Imperial Palace occupies a very important position in China’s architectural history. //
Foreign Minister Wang Yi on China’s Foreign Policy and External Relations
On 8 March 2014, the Second Session of the Twelfth National People’s Congress held a press conference at its Press Centre and invited Wang Yi, China’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, to answer questions from Chinese and foreign journalists about China’s foreign policy and external relations.
Wang Yi:Good morning, everyone. It is a great pleasure to meet with journalists from the press. At the outset, on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, I would like to thank you for your interest in and understanding of China’s diplomacy. I would also like to thank you for your efforts in reporting on China. // Today is International Women’s Day. I would like to take this opportunity to offer my best festive greetings to all the ladies in this room, including those behind the cameras. //
Early this morning, we received a piece of very disturbing news. A Malaysian civil aviation flight bound for China lost contact with ground control. This has gotten us all very worried. We hope every one of the passengers is safe. The Foreign Ministry and relevant diplomatic and consular missions of China have activated the emergency mechanism. We are doing all we can to get more details. Once we have some information, we will get it out for you immediately. Now, I am ready to take your questions. //
People’s Daily: The year 2013 was the first year of diplomacy under the new Chinese Government. As China’s foreign minister, what has struck you the most about China’s diplomacy in the past year? Could you also talk about how China will pursue its diplomacy in 2014? //
Wang Yi:“Active” is the most salient feature of China’s diplomacy in the past year. // The CPC Central Committee headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping responded to the aspirations of the people and the expectations of the international community, and carried out a series of visible and effective diplomatic activities. // Let me share some figures with you. President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang visited as many as 22 countries, received 65 foreign heads of state and government, met and talked with over 300 foreign dignitaries and reached around 800 cooperation agreements with other countries. //
There are also some facts I’d like to share with you. In the past year, China vigorously defended its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, advanced relations with major countries, unveiled a series of major cooperation initiatives such as the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road”. We played a constructive role in the political settlement of hotspot issues such as Syria and Iran. // For the first time we deployed formed units of our security forces to the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, and for the first time we sent a naval vessel under operational conditions to escort shipments of Syrian chemical weapons. // China’s diplomacy in 2013 was broader in horizon and more active in conduct. It was not just a successful year under the new leadership, but also a year of innovation and harvest for China’s diplomacy. //
In 2014 China will continue to pursue an active foreign policy. We will focus our efforts on two main areas. // First, we will be more active in serving the efforts of comprehensively deepening reform in China. We will strengthen friendly relations with all countries in the world, especially our neighbors, and we will create a more enabling external environment for domestic reform and development. // We will vigorously pursue economic diplomacy, deepen win-win cooperation with other countries and create more favorable conditions for the transformation and upgrading of China’s economy. And we will do all we can to implement the initiative to better protect and serve overseas Chinese, and provide stronger protection for China’s ever-growing legitimate rights and interests. // Second, we will be more active in playing the role of a responsible big country. In our international engagement, we will uphold principles, promote justice and practice equality. In particular, we will advance and
protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries and make the international order more just and reasonable. // We will take an active part in international and regional affairs, put forward more Chinese proposals and play a bigger role in helping to resolve all kinds of global challenges and regional hotspot issues. // Hong Kong Phoenix TV: Over the past year, China has unveiled some new ideas and measures in its diplomacy. It’s clear that there is a shift in China’s diplomatic style. What is your perspective on this as China’s foreign minister? //
Wang Yi: In recent years, the international community is generally interested in how a growing China will handle its relations with the outside world. The CPC Central Committee headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping is committed to innovation in both diplomatic theory and practice. On the basis of maintaining policy continuity and stability, the new Chinese leadership has unveiled a series of major diplomatic ideas and steps. // For example, we proposed building a new model of major country relations. This is to break the historical pattern of conflict and confrontation between major countries and to find a new path in the modern era that seeks win-win cooperation to deliver benefits to all parties. It shows a new approach on the part of China to handle major country relations. It also shows China’s sense of responsibility for the international community. //
Let me give you another example. We have proposed the guideline for our neighborhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. This is to further demonstrate China’s sincerity and goodwill toward its neighbors and our readiness to work with them to build a community of common destiny. It is a new advancement of China’s policy toward its neighbors and shows that China is more open and accommodative. // A third example is that we have proposed a more balanced approach to upholding principles and pursuing interests. It is to put moral principles first when we deal with fellow developing countries and be more sensitive to their needs. It inherits the fine character of China’s external relations and reflects the inherent nature of the socialist system. It has become an important banner of China’s diplomacy. //
These new diplomatic ideas and steps send the following message to the world: China is committed to the path of peaceful development, and we hope other countries will also take the path of peaceful development. The Chinese Dream belongs to the Chinese people, and it is closely connected to the dreams of other nations as our interests are all intertwined. //
ITAR-TASS of Russia: Last month, President Xi Jinping traveled specially to Sochi to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games. This is the second time since 2013 that he visited Russia at the start of the year. How do you assess the current China-Russia relationship, and what will be the priorities for China-Russia relations and cooperation in 2014? //
Wang Yi: Speaking of the Sochi Winter Olympics, I’d like, first of all, to offer my congratulations to our Russian friends on hosting a memorable and spectacular winter Olympics. // The China-Russia relationship is at its best period in history, characterized by a high level of mutual trust, firm support for each other and intensifying cooperation in various fields. Our two presidents have established a deep friendship and it plays an important role in guiding China-Russia relations. //
As for China-Russia relations in 2014, I believe the most important task is to make sure that our comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination will continue to grow in strength. We will further strengthen mutual political trust and intensify our strategic cooperation. On that basis, we must focus on following priority tasks. // Firstly, we must do all we can to upgrade practical cooperation and make new breakthroughs in our cooperation on some big projects in particular. Secondly, we must organize a successful China-Russia year of friendly exchange between the young people to consolidate and deepen the social foundation for China-Russia friendship. Thirdly, we must work together to uphold the outcomes of the victory of the Second World War and the post-war international order and make good preparations for 2015, which will mark the 70th anniversary of the victories of the World Anti-Fascist War and the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression. //
Xinhua News Agency: This year, China will host two important international conferences, the Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) and the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting. Can you talk about these two important internatio nal conferences and share with us your expectations for them? //
Wang Yi: A key feature of China’s diplomacy in 2014 is that we will play host to two major international conferences in Shanghai and Beijing respectively. In May, we will hold the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) Summit in Shanghai. The CICA is a very important security cooperation forum in Asia. And then in November, we will hold the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing. It is a primary platform for discussing economic and trade cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. // So you can see that the two conferences focus on security and economic issues respectively. And both will be key priorities for China’s diplomacy this year. We will make the most of our role as the host country, put forward China's proposals, pool Asia’s wisdom and work with the participants to inject new momentum into these two mechanisms. //
At the CICA Summit, we hope to call for common security, cooperative security and comprehensive security, bring into being a new Asian security concept and work together to build a new Asia of peace, stability and cooperation. // At the APEC meeting, we will focus on the theme of “Shaping the Future Through Asia-Pacific Partnership” and achieve new outcomes in advancing Asia-Pacific economic integration, adopting a blueprint for connectivity and promoting economic innovation and development. In particular, we will strive for a new breakthrough in launching the process of the Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific. //
National Broadcasting Company of the United States: China-US relations are the most important bilateral relations in the world. How do you assess the development of the relations in the past year? What major challenges do you see this year? And how exactly do you propose to build the new type of great-power relationship? Will there be more transparency and more coordination between China and the United States in the spirit of the new type of great-power relationship and joint responsibility in maintaining peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region? //
Wang Yi: The biggest highlight of China-US relations in 2013 was the historic meeting between President Xi Jinping and President Obama at the Sunnylands. The two sides reached important consensus on working together to build a new model of major-country relations between China and the United States. At the heart of this new model of major-country relationship is no conflict or confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. This is the common direction the two sides have set. It is a positive strategic outlook the two countries show to the world and a solemn commitment we’ve made to the international community. //
The China-US relationship is both very important and very complex. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States. Over these past 35 years, China-US dialogue and cooperation has increasingly deepened. And the needs for cooperation far exceed our differences. Our experience and lessons of the past 35 years come down to one point, that is, we need to respect each other. // If one compares the new model of major-country relations between China and the United States to a building, then mutual respect is the foundation of that building. I believe when the two sides truly respect each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, social system and development path, and core interests and major concerns, the foundation will be a solid one that can withstand storms and truly grow into an edifice of win-win cooperation. That will not only benefit China and the United States but also the whole world. //
We stand ready to work with the United States to uphold peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and carry out positive interactions in this region. As in our view, the Asia-Pacific should be the testing ground of our commitment to build a new model of major-country relations, rather than a competitive arena. // Lianhe Zaobao of Singapore: The situation in China’s neighborhood is closely watched by many people.
Some people see numerous problems. Some believe China is more assertive in handling its disputes with its neighboring countries. What is your response to these views? //
Wang Yi: This is quite a critical question which everyone is interested in. Let me first say that the general situation in China’s neighborhood is both positive and stable. // Last year, China held its first neighborhood diplomacy conference. We made it clear that the neighborhood tops China’s diplomatic agenda. We unveiled a whole set of diplomatic guidelines to show we are more friendly and accommodative. And we have put forward a series of major cooperation proposals aimed at delivering win-win results. This fully shows that China attaches a great deal of importance to neighboring countries. //
China has been interacting with its neighbors for thousands of years. And all along, we have valued harmonious relations and treated others with sincerity. When others respect us, we respect them even more. // Going forward, we will more actively practice the guideline of “amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness”. We will help our neighboring countries and peoples benefit more from China’s reform and opening. We will help them better appreciate China’s commitment to peaceful development. We are willing to listen to voices from our neighboring countries and respond to their doubts about China’s neighborhood policy. //
As for China’s territorial and maritime disputes with some countries, China would like to carry out equal-footed consultation and negotiation and properly handle them by peaceful means on the basis of respecting historical facts and international law. There will not be any change to this position. // We will never bully smaller countries, yet we will never accept unreasonable demands from smaller countries. On issues of territory and sovereignty, China’s position is firm and clear. We will not take anything that isn’t ours, but we will defend every inch of territory that belongs to us. //
China Central Television: The issue of Ukraine has been the focus of international attention in recent weeks. We know that you’ve been on the phone with the foreign ministers of some countries discussing this issu e. Can you talk about China’s view on the current situation in Ukraine and how do you think the Ukrainian crisis should be resolved? //
Wang Yi: First, let me tell you that China follows a just and objective position on the issue of Ukraine, and we have stated our position on multiple occasions. // It is regretful that the situation in Ukraine has come to what it is today. Yet it is not by accident that the situation has reached this point. There is a complex history behind it as well as conflicting interests. The more complex the problem is, the more necessary that it be handled in a prudent way. // China urges that keeping in mind the fundamental interests of all ethnic communities in Ukraine and the interests of regional peace and stability, all the parties involved should make it a top priority to exercise calm and restraint and prevent further escalation of the situation. Dialogues and consultations should be conducted to put the issue on the track of a political settlement. // China is in communication with various parties, and we will play a constructive role in bringing about a political settlement of the Ukrainian issue. //
Paris Match of France: Mr. Minister, at the end of this month, President Xi Jinping will be in Europe. What kind of message does he want to deliver to the countries he will visit? And also, what will be the intention of President Xi Jinping when he goes to the European institutions in Brussels? //
Wang Yi:Europe has a priority place on China’s diplomatic agenda this year. As you said, President Xi Jinping will visit Europe in late March. This will be yet another major diplomatic action taken by China to advance major-power relations. The visit will open a new chapter in the history of China-Europe relations. // “Cooperation”is the key word in China-Europe relations. China and Europe are two major forces in the world. We are two large civilizations and two big markets. So it’s only right and proper that our cooperation is comprehensive and strategic in nature. Particularly when China shifts its development pattern and embarks on comprehensive and in-depth reform, Europe is a strategic partner with whom our cooperation will have great potential. //
Through the historic visit of President Xi Jinping to Europe, the two sides will work intensively to align our
respective development strategies. I believe the two sides will strengthen win-win cooperation in some priority areas, such as scientific and technological innovation, energy and environmental conservation, a new type of urbanization, connectivity and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. // We also hope to speed up the negotiation on a China-EU investment agreement, with a view to future free trade arrangements between China and Europe. And of course, we’d like to increase strategic communication with the Europeans in international affairs and work together to promote democracy in international relations and a more multi-polar world. // I think all of you will agree with me in saying that China-Europe cooperation will make the world a safer, more balanced and better place. //
China Radio International: Foreign Minister, you made a whirlwind visit to Afghanistan recently, which generated a lot of interest from the international community. This year, the United States and the NATO will wind down their troop presence in Afghanistan. How do you see the situation in Afghanistan playing out? And what role will China play in the reconciliation and reconstruction process of Afghanistan? //
Wang Yi: This year will be a crucial one for Afghanistan. The country will go through political, security and economic transitions all at the same time. Of course, it’s mainly up to the Afghan people to realize the triple transitions, but they cannot do without the care and support of the international community. // China is Afghanistan’s biggest neighbor. Afghanistan’s peace and stability has a direct bearing on security in China’s western region. We hope to see a united, stable, growing and amicable Afghanistan. // For this purpose, we’ll work with the international community to actively facilitate political reconciliation in Afghanistan, support the peace and reconstruction efforts and encourage Afghanistan to be more involved in regional cooperation. We’ll also work with Afghanistan and other neighbors of China to resolutely fight all terrorist forces. // In August this year, China will for the first time host a ministerial conference of the Istanbul Process on Afghanistan. We’ll send invitations to the 14 member states and 28 supporting parties of the Istanbul Process. We hope that through this conference, the parties will build more consensus and work together to support Afghanistan’s efforts to complete the triple transitions and help the situation in Afghanistan to move toward lasting peace. //
Asahi Shimbun of Japan: I have a question about the China-Japan relationship. In his Government Work Report, Premier Li Keqiang mentioned the issue of history. He said that we need to uphold the outcomes of the victory of the Second World War and the post-war international order, and no one will be allowed to reverse the course of history. The China-Japan relationship is in a lot of difficulties and the outside world is quite concerned. How do you think the relationship can emerge from its current impasse? And someone has likened the current China-Japan relationship to Germany-Britain relations before the First World War. What is your view? // Wang Yi: Premier Li Keqiang spoke the mind of the Chinese people and showed that China shoulders the responsibility to uphold peace. We fully support his statement. // China and Japan are next-door neighbors. We have every reason to have an amicable relationship. The current situation is not something we want to see and is not in the interests of the people in either country. // When China and Japan normalized diplomatic relations in 1972, the two sides reached important common understanding and consensus on properly handling history, Taiwan, Diaoyu Islands and other issues. This was the precondition for the normalization of diplomatic relations and the basis for a return to friendly relations between China and Japan. // Yet the recent comments and actions of the Japanese leader betrayed the spirit of 1972 and undermined the foundation of China-Japan relations. Of course, the Chinese people cannot and will not accept it. // On issues of principle such as history and territory, there is no room for compromise. If some people in Japan insist on overturning the verdict on its past aggression, I don’t believe the international community and all peace-loving people in the world will ever tolerate or condone that. // As for the analogy that some people have drawn between the current China-Japan relations and the Germany-Britain relations before the First World War, I wish to emphasize that 2014 is not 1914, still less 1894. Instead of using pre-WWI Germany as an object lesson, why not use post-WWII Germany as a role model? // Only
by making a clean break with the past and stopping going back on one’s words, can the relationship emerge from the current impasse and have a future. Only by truly committing to a peaceful path and stopping saying one thing and doing something else, can a country gain the trust of its neighbors and the world. // I hope Japan’s leaders can understand these basic points and respect human conscience and the bottom line of international justice. // China Daily: There have been a lot of interactions between China and Latin American and Caribbean countries in the past year, and we have learned that this year the China-CELAC forum will be formally established. Can you share with us your expectations for the furtherance of China’s ties with Latin America and the Caribbean in the year ahead? //
Wang Yi:The best line to describe China’s relationship with Latin America and the Caribbean is the following: “A bosom friend afar brings a distant land near.” This year, we face a historic opportunity for taking this relationship to the next level. // Firstly, President Xi Jinping will attend the BRICS Leaders’ Meeting in Brazil and visit some Latin American countries. Secondly, the recent summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) adopted a special statement supporting the establishment of a China-CELAC Forum. In 2014, we will work hard to formally launch this forum and hold its first ministerial conference. This will be an important breakthrough in the relations between China and Latin America and the Caribbean. // I am full of expectations about China-Latin America relations this year, and I’m sure many football fans in China are full of expectations about this year’s Brazil FIFA World Cup. //
Korean Broadcasting System of the Republic of Korea: The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is quite tense. How do you look at the situation? What are the chances of the resumption of the Six-Party Talks? What specific steps will China, the host country, take to help restart the Six-Party Talks? //
Wang Yi: The Korean Peninsula is right on China’s doorstep. We have a red line all along: that is, we will never allow war or instability on the Korean Peninsula. This, I believe, is in full keeping with the interests of both the south and the north of the Peninsula and the common interests of all countries in the region. // As for the best way to handle the current situation on the Korean Peninsula, if I may use some metaphors, I believe we need to do three things: climb a slope, overcome a stumbling block and follow the right way. //
First, we need to climb the slope of denuclearization. The nuclear issue is the crux of the matter. Only with denuclearization can the Korean Peninsula enjoy genuine and lasting peace. So no matter how long or steep the slope is, we must keep climbing it without any stop. //
Second, we need to work hard to overcome the stumbling block of mutual mistrust. There is a woeful lack of mutual trust between the parties, especially the DPRK and the United States. This is the stumbling block before us. It has caused sustained tension on the Korean Peninsula and several disruptions to the Six-Party Talks. We hope that the parties will exercise restraint, show goodwill and build mutual trust little by little. //
Third, we must follow the right way forward, which is dialogue. Confrontation will only bring tension and war will only cause disaster. Equal-footed dialogue, consultation and negotiation is the only right way forward. The Six-Party Talks is the only dialogue mechanism acceptable to all the parties. As the host country, we hope it can be resumed as soon as possible. Some dialogue is better than none, and better early than late. // ETV of South Africa: As you are aware, China has become very active in Africa in recent years, but there are different opinions about this engagement between China and the African continent, especially emanating from the West. What is your opinion? //
Wang Yi: Let me make three points to sum up the China-Africa relationship. First, China and Africa are good brothers who share weal and woe. When China was a poor country, we tightened our belt to support the cause of national independence and liberation of our African brothers. It’s our African brothers that got the People’s Republic of China back into the United Nations. // Second, China and Africa are good friends who engage in cooperation as equals. In its cooperation with Africa, China has never been condescending, never
interfered in the internal affairs of African countries and never given any empty promise. Let me tell you one figure. So far, we have helped African countries build over 1,000 projects and we have never attached any political condition to these projects. This fact alone can show that the groundless accusations against China are pale and hollow. // And third, China and Africa are good partners for common development. When I visited Africa in January this year, many African friends told me in person that an important reason behind Africa’s sustained economic growth in recent years is the boost provided by China-Africa cooperation. And this has gotten other countries to increase their attention to Africa. // This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of Premier Zhou Enlai’s first visit to Africa. Since then, China-Africa friendship has been handed down from one generation to another. Last year, President Xi Jinping made a successful visit to Africa. Later this year, Premier Li Keqiang will also step on the soil of Africa. This will be the first visit to Africa made by the premier of the new Chinese Government. China-Africa cooperation is entering a new phase of development. //
China News Service: Foreign Minister Wang, shortly after you took office, you visited the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Service and Protection Centre. You stressed that Chinese diplomats must listen to the voice of the people at all times and uphold their interests. You also expressed your wish to make it easier for people to travel on a Chinese passport. Going forward, how will the Foreign Ministry protect the lawful rights and interests and safety of Chinese institutions and nationals abroad? //
Wang Yi:It is the abiding purpose of China’s diplomacy to serve the people. My colleagues and I often receive letters from the public. A lady from Henan Province wrote a letter which has moved me a great deal, and I would like to share this story with you. // Her husband was working in a foreign country. He was thrown into prison under false charges. Our embassy in that country argued hard for him, cleared his name and got him released so that he could reunite with his family. His wife wrote to us: “You saved our broken family. You are the people closest to us.” // The people see us as closest to them: there is no higher honor for Chinese diplomats. // Every year, close to 100 million Chinese travel abroad, and there are over 20,000 Chinese companies operating overseas. It is our bounden duty to protect their legitimate rights and interests. // I don’t know whether you’ve noticed or not: when Chinese nationals go abroad, the first text message they will receive on their mobile phone is from the Foreign Ministry, reminding them of the things to be careful about and informing them of the telephone number of the Chinese diplomatic and consular missions in that country. // Every year, we handle tens of thousands of consular cases. It could be a small thing like helping our nationals to get their documentation in order or get into contact with their relatives and friends, or it could be a big operation such as rescuing Chinese hostages or carrying out large-scale evacuation of overseas Chinese nationals. Whenever our compatriots abroad need us, no matter how difficult or dangerous it is, Chinese diplomats will appear before them and do all we can to help. // In the new year, we will continue to do our best to implement the initiative to better protect and serve overseas Chinese, and we will further improve consular protection and service. Let me disclose a piece of news to you. In 2014, the Foreign Ministry will establish a global emergency call centre for consular protection and services. It will be a 24-hour telephone hot line. // In the future, when our compatriots go abroad, no matter in which part of the world they are, if they run into an emergency, they can get into contact with their motherland right away and hear the voice from their motherland. // Only by sinking its roots in the people and delivering benefits to the people, can China’s diplomacy be in an invincible position. We would like to shield wind and rain for every one of our compatriots who travel abroad with their dreams, and become the firm support they can count on. //
Kazaag News Agency of Kazakhstan: Last year, when President Xi Jinping visited Kazakhstan, he proposed to build a Silk Road Economic Belt. Later, he proposed to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. These have been called the new concepts of China’s diplomacy. What is t he thinking behind these two initiatives? How will China put them into practice? //
Wang Yi:The Silk Road was first traveled by the Chinese people 2,000 years ago, but it belongs to the whole world. At the core of the Silk Road spirit is peace, friendship, openness and inclusiveness, which have become the common assets of human civilization. // As you mentioned, President Xi Jinping proposed to build a Silk Road Economic Belt when he was on a visit to Kazakhstan. And later, when he was visiting Indonesia, he proposed to build the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. These two initiatives of overland and maritime Silk Roads aim to seize the opportunity of the further opening up of China, especially opening in the westward direction. We want to update the spirit of the ancient Silk Road and work with relevant countries to add two powerful wings to the rejuvenation of Asia as a whole. // These two initiatives will focus on economic cooperation and people-to-people and cultural exchanges and prioritize connectivity and trade and investment facilitation. We will pursue these initiatives through equal-footed consultation and incremental progress, with a clear goal to deliver benefits to all and build a community of shared interests. // The door of these two initiatives is wide open, and it will proceed in parallel with the existing cooperation mechanisms and ideas in the region. We welcome countries in the region and other interested countries to take an active part in these two initiatives so that together, we will discuss and build them and benefit from them. //
China National Radio: From what you’ve said, Foreign Minister Wang, we can all see that China had a full diplomatic agenda in the past year. You’ve been in the position of Foreign Minister for a year now. Can y ou talk to us about your personal experience and impression? //
Wang Yi: This is the first time I give such a big conference and I thought that such a question would come up. Let me say in relation to your question that I’m a member of China’s diplomatic service. Like my colleagues, I feel a heavy responsibility and a glorious mission to engage in diplomatic work at an important time when our nation is marching toward rejuvenation. // We Chinese diplomats must live by the core values of loyalty, responsibility and devotion. Our task is to face the problems and solve them. Our job is to act responsibly for the nation, win honor for the country and serve the people. //
To conduct diplomacy well in the new era, first of all, we must have confidence. Confidence comes from the strength and prosperity of our motherland. Today’s China is marching ever faster toward what we call the “two centenary goals”. The motherland and the people are our firm backing, and peaceful development is our firm commitment. We have every confidence and ability to create an even more favorable external environment for the rejuvenation of our nation. //
We must also have backbone. The backbone comes from our national pride. Gone is the century of humiliation in China’s modern history. We feel passionately about our sovereignty and national dignity. We have our own judgment about international affairs. // We follow the independent foreign policy of peace. We uphold our national interests as well as international justice. This is the character of Chinese diplomats and why we have so much support in the world. //
We must also show generosity. Generosity comes from the self-confidence of an old civilization. The Chinese civilization has thrived for 5,000 years without any interruption. An important reason is that we are like the ocean that admits all rivers and streams. // Today, as we pursue major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, it is even more important to draw nourishment and strength from China’s rich and profound cultural heritage and show to the world that the Chinese people are poised, confident, open and enterprising. //
1. Washington Post’s Interview with Premier Wen Jiabao on China’s Political Reform
November 21, 2003
Wen: China embarked on the road of reform and opening up in 1978. Our reform is a comprehensive one which includes both economic and political restructuring. Just as Mr. Deng Xiaoping pointed out, without the guarantee of political reform, economic reform will not be successful. In essence, political restructuring in China aims at integrating the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party, the rule of law in the conduct of public affairs and the people’s role as masters of their own affairs. //
At present, it is particularly important to do a good job on the following. First of all, we should develop democracy to safeguard people’s democratic rights and to respect and protect their human rights. Secondly, we should improve the legal system through better legislation, better administration according to law, and greater judicial reform. // Thirdly, we should run the country according to law, making our socialist democracy more institutionalized, standardized and proceduralized. In this way we can make sure that it will not change because of changes in the leadership and changes in the views and focus of attention of leaders. // Fourthly, we must strengthen supervision, and we should make sure that the government is placed under the supervision of the people. We have to develop democracy and strengthen supervision. Only in this way can we make sure the government will not relax its efforts, and the situation whereby the policy fails when the leadership changes will not occur. // China is a big country with 1.3 billion people. Political restructuring has to be conducted in an orderly and well-organized fashion. Now there exist many misunderstandings. For instance, with regard to freedom of religious belief, freedom of religious belief is actually written into China’s constitution. China currently has over 100 million religious followers, with over 100,000 religious sites. //
Since the beginning of reform and opening up, one religious site has been either newly built or restored every three days. You may just take a walk around the Zhongnanhai compound, and you can see many religious sites. For instance, the Wangfujing Catholic Church to the east, the Niujie Mosque of Islam to the south, the Yonghegong Buddhist Temple to the north and the Baiyun Taoist temple to the west. // Nearest to Zhongnanhai is the Xishiku Church with a long history. You may visit these religious sites. You will see many people practicing their religious faith there. //
Over the past 5,000 years of Chinese history, China has been very tolerant toward the development of religion. Among the five major religions in China, only Taoism is an indigenous religious belief. The other four actually came from overseas. For instance, Buddhism came to China from India, Catholicism and Protestantism from the West, and Islam from the Middle East and West Asia. //
Wen: At the moment, we have introduced the practice of self-administration and direct elections in 680,000 villages. This is a great innovation, and it is also very good practice for Chinese farmers. // We have also introduced suffrage for the election of people’s deputies at the level of townships, counties and cities without districts. Indirect elections are held for the leadership of the provinces, autonomous regions, municipalities with districts, as well as the central authorities. // Why? This is because China is such a huge country. It has a big