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Chinese premier calls for a small business-friendly management

Li Keqiang speaks at the meeting on Nov. 21.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has asked grassroots government departments to think of the common people when carrying out bureaucratic tasks. He said administrations should aim for win-win interactions with the public, and that instead of being indifferent, government departments should be heartfelt.

Li delivered his message to senior officials from 11 provinces and cities at a meeting about simplifying administrative procedures and delegating power. The meeting took place on Nov. 21 in Shanghai.

The owner of A Da Scallion Pancake Shop.

Li’s remarks came after two popular but unlicensed shops in Shanghai had been shut down since August 2015. One was 34-year-old A Da Scallion Pancake Shop, and the other was a 20-year-old family wonton shop on Menghua Street. The scallion pancake shop gained a large following after it was featured in a BBC news story. The shutdown of the two shops caused a major stir in China.

Now, Li has asked relevant departments to reflect on how to stimulate the market by creating a friendly environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Li Keqiang chats with a staff member in a bookstore.

The premier has lately been focused on small businesses in China. On April 25, he made a visit to Width Alley in Chengdu, Sichuan province, where he bought several souvenirs and books and introduced a foreign visitor to Tsingtao beer.

Xi Jinping Meets with Incoming UN Secretary General António Guterres

On November 28, 2016, President Xi Jinping met at Diaoyutai State Guesthouse with incoming Secretary General António Guterres of the UN.

Xi Jinping congratulated António Guterres on his election as the next term of Secretary General of the UN, and stressed that China will firmly support António Guterres in fulfilling duties as the Secretary General. Xi Jinping pointed out that as the most universal, authoritative and representative inter-governmental international organization, the UN has played an irreplaceable role in addressing global challenges. The world has achieved peace and sustainable development in general since the end of the World War II more than 70 years ago, to which the UN has made undeniable contributions. As the international situation develops and changes, all countries hold higher expectation towards the UN and support the UN to play a greater role. The UN should take a clear-cut stand to uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, actively safeguard international peace and security, consistently promote common development, and, in particular, well implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. The UN should take care of developing countries’ interests, and give more voice and do more for developing countries.

Xi Jinping stressed that this year marks the 45th anniversary of China’s restoration to its lawful seat in the UN. Over the past 45 years, China and the UN have achieved fruitful results from bilateral cooperation through maintaining high-level exchanges, enhancing strategic communication and deepening practical cooperation. China has made positive contributions to the cause of the UN. The Chinese side will continue to join and back the UN cooperation in various areas, firmly support the UN work, staunchly practice multilateralism, and resolutely uphold the international order with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as the core. We should facilitate China-UN cooperation to continuously reach new levels by giving full play to the leading role of high-level exchanges. We should also push forward the progress in implementing China’s various measures to support the UN cause, which I announced in 2015.

António Guterres thanked China for its willingness to offer valuable support to him in performing duties as Secretary General of the UN. He expressed that China has become an important pillar in the UN cause and multilateralism in the world today. When attending the series of summits marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the UN, President Xi Jinping pointed out that China will fully support the work of the UN and proposed a series of important measures to firmly support the UN’s causes of peace and development, which are inspiring. China has made important contribution to world peace and development by initiating the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, actively participating in UN peacekeeping operations and mediation for conflict resolution, as well as vigorously supporting and helping other developing countries. The UN is willing to conduct closer cooperation with China to commit to maintaining and promoting world peace, stability and prosperity.

State Councilor Yang Jiechi and others attended the meeting.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Li Keqiang Meets with Incoming UN Secretary General António Guterres

On the afternoon of November 28, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang met at the Great Hall of the People with incoming Secretary General António Guterres of the UN.

Li Keqiang congratulated António Guterres on his election as the new term of Secretary General of the UN. He expressed that the world economic and political landscape is undergoing profound changes. The international community should stick to the multilateral cooperation system with the UN as the core and the general direction of economic globalization and political multi-polarization. It is hoped that the UN could continue to staunchly safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, encourage member states to equally participate in global governance, enhance the representation and voice of developing countries in international affairs, well implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and promote the settlement of disputes through political and peaceful manners.

Li Keqiang pointed out that this year falls on the 45th anniversary of China’s restoration to its lawful seat in the UN. China-UN cooperation has entered into a new stage. As the largest developing country and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China is willing to work with all parties to enhance cooperation, support the UN’s efforts in maintaining authority and strengthening capacity and better cope with all kinds of challenges, so as to advance peaceful, stable, sustainable and inclusive development of the world.

António Guterres expressed that China has achieved remarkable achievements in development, increasingly elevated its international influence and played an important role in the UN affairs. The UN appreciates China for actively implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and is ready to intensify cooperation and jointly deal with challenges with the Chinese side, so as to facilitate economic globalization and inclusive development.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Li Keqiang Holds Talks with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos

On the afternoon of November 28, 2016, Premier Li Keqiang held talks with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos, who was on an official visit to China, at the Great Hall of the People.

Li Keqiang said that China and Laos are friendly neighbors that always trust and support each other. Bilateral relations have been constantly deepened and pragmatic cooperation has achieved steady progress. Both sides conduct sound communication and coordination in international and regional affairs. China will continue to uphold friendly policies towards Laos and firmly support Laos to follow a development path suitable to its national conditions. China is ready to strengthen solidarity and cooperation with Laos to promote common development and safeguard regional peace, stability and prosperity.

Li Keqiang pointed out that China is willing to further integrate development plans and strategies with Laos to push cooperation in key areas for new progress. Both countries should give play to the leading role of major projects in areas such as railway, economic cooperation zone and comprehensive development zone and advance cooperation in production capacity and investment. China and Laos should strengthen cooperation and share experiences in such areas as agriculture, deep processing of agricultural products and poverty-reduction. Both sides should reinforce cooperation in finance, national defense, security and other areas, and enhance exchanges in people-to-people and cultural engagement and other aspects.

Li Keqiang noted that this year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of China-ASEAN dialogue relations. Holding the ASEAN presidency this year, Laos has successfully hosted the series of leaders’ meetings on East Asia cooperation, playing a positive role in advancing China-ASEAN relations. Next year will mark the 50th anniversary of the ASEAN. China firmly supports the construction of the ASEAN Community and the ASEAN’s central role in regional cooperation. China will actively support and participate in relevant commemorative events of the ASEAN. It is hoped that Laos will continue to make unremitting efforts for the steady and healthy development of China-ASEAN relations.

Thongloun Sisoulith expressed that China is a sincere friend and brother of Laos. With frequent high-level exchanges and satisfactory progress from pragmatic cooperation, Laos-China relations are developing very well at present. Laos is willing to take the 55th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations as an opportunity to actively integrate development strategies and deepen cooperation in infrastructure, finance, agriculture, development zone construction and other areas with China. The Laos-China railway is of great importance to Laos, and Laos will spare no efforts in promoting cooperation in relevant projects. Laos is willing to continually make efforts in boosting the development of ASEAN-China relations.

Before the talks, Li Keqiang held a welcoming ceremony for Thongloun Sisoulith at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People. Vice Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Wang Zhengwei and others were present.

After the talks, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith witnessed the signing of cooperation agreements on economy, trade and other fields

On the same afternoon, Thongloun Sisoulith went to the Tiananmen Square and laid a wreath at the Monument to the People’s Heroes.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Yang Jiechi Meets with Incoming UN Secretary General António Guterres

On November 28, 2016, State Councilor Yang Jiechi met at Zhongnanhai with incoming UN Secretary General António Guterres.

Yang Jiechi expressed that as the largest developing country and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will continue to fully participate in UN’s work in various areas, deepen cooperation with the UN, firmly support the UN’s leading role in global governance, build a more fair, just, inclusive and orderly global governance system, lead all member states to pursue win-win, multi-win and joint-win situations, and make positive contributions to building a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation and forging a community of common destiny for mankind. He believed that after assuming the office of UN Secretary General, Mr. António Guterres will make greater contributions to safeguarding world peace, promoting common development and pushing for international cooperation.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Wang Yi and Incoming UN Secretary General António Guterres Jointly Meet the Press

On November 28, 2016, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and incoming UN Secretary General António Guterres jointly met the press after holding talks in Beijing.

Wang Yi said that China welcomes Mr. António Guterres to visit China as the incoming UN Secretary General. Mr. António Guterres is a senior statesman with rich experience and outstanding capabilities and has held important posts in the UN for a long time. It is believed that Mr. António Guterres will definitely become an excellent Secretary General.

Wang Yi expressed that just now Mr. António Guterres and I have exchanged in-depth views on current international situation, the UN’s role, China-UN cooperation and other topics, reaching extensive consensus. We both propose to further safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, which synergize the precious experience obtained from war-induced chaos and turmoil in the human society. They are basic principles guiding contemporary international relations, and must be abided by unswervingly. The collective security mechanism established in the UN Charter is an important guarantee of eliminating the war and boosting peace, and must be safeguarded constantly.

We both advocate further giving play to the UN’s influence and role. When it comes to coping with increasing and various global challenges, no country can achieve victory by fighting alone. The UN is an effective platform to collectively deal with global challenges, and also a core mechanism for all countries to manage international affairs through cooperation. Facing the world with emerging chaos, all countries hold higher, instead of lower expectation towards the UN. The UN’s role should be reinforced, not weakened.

We both call for further improvement in the UN’s governance competence and efficiency. The UN should comply with the appeal of the international community, strengthen its capability for coping with global challenges, improve work efficiency and elevate the level of emergency response in a bid to enable the over 10 billion dollars of regular budget and peacekeeping assessments to be properly used as well as let more than 160,000 UN staff and peacekeeping personnel work to their full potential.

We all agree to further deepen China-UN cooperation. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the restoration of the lawful seat of China in the UN. China-UN relationship is at a new historical starting point. We should make joint efforts to speed up the implementation of the important outcomes from President Xi Jinping’s attendance at the series of summits marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN last year and well manage all the follow-up works after Premier Li Keqiang’s attendance at the high-level meetings of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly this year, so as to elevate China-UN cooperation in various fields to another level.

In conclusion, as a founding member of the UN and permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will always firmly uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, safeguard the UN’s authority and position and maintain its core role in international affairs.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Wang Yi Holds Talks with Incoming UN Secretary General António Guterres

On November 28, 2016, Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks in Beijing with incoming Secretary General António Guterres of the UN. Both sides exchanged views on the current international situation, the future development direction of the UN, China-UN cooperation and other topics.

Wang Yi said that with weak recovery of the world economy and complicated regional hotspot issues, the economic globalization is encountering headwinds. The more prominent global challenges are, the greater the need for the UN to advance with the times. The role of the UN can only be strengthened, not weakened. China hopes and believes that after taking office, you will lead the UN to fulfill its responsibilities imparted by the UN Charter and play a more positive and constructive role in promoting international peace and development, strengthening and improving global governance and other aspects.

Wang Yi noted that as a founding member of the UN and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has always been a firm supporter to the UN cause, resolutely safeguards the international system with the UN as the core and abides by the principles governing international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. Last year, President Xi Jinping attended the series of summits marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of the UN, and proposed to establish the new type of international relations with win-win cooperation as the core as well as build a community of common destiny for mankind. This important proposition fully conforms to the spirit of the UN Charter and provides Chinese solutions to resolve current problems facing the world. China will continue to comprehensively participate in the UN’s work in various fields, well implement the pragmatic initiatives announced by Chinese leaders of supporting the UN cause, constantly expand cooperation with UN agencies and make greater contributions to promoting world peace, security and sustainable development.

António Guterres thanked China for its support in his running for Secretary General of the UN and said that China always upholds multilateralism. As a firm partner of the UN, China plays an increasingly important role in international peace, security, development and other fields. Under the current international situation, only multilateralism can effectively improve global governance and solve various hotspot issues. Many of China’s ideas and thinking are fully in line with the direction and priorities of the UN’s work. The international community needs China to participate more in UN affairs and exert greater influence. The UN needs sincere partners like China to make greater contributions to the peaceful development of mankind.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Wang Yi: UN Should Stay True to Its Mission and Safeguard Purposes and Principles of UN Charter

On November 28, 2016, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and incoming Secretary General António Guterres of the UN jointly met the press after their talks. When answering questions on the UN’s role under current international situation, Wang Yi stressed that the UN should stay true to its mission and safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.

Wang Yi said that the first thing the UN should do is to promote peace and development in a more proactive manner. There are many problems in the world, which all come down to peace and development. As to the work related to these two issues, the UN should give equal emphasis with neither aspect neglected. The three main tools for the UN to promote peace are conciliation and meditation, peace-keeping operation and peace-building, which should be used properly and thoroughly. At the same time, the UN shoulders due responsibility of coordinating the implementation of two historic documents, namely, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The UN should make stronger efforts to advocate fairness and justice. The UN is a place where we speak and act fairly, while fairness and justice constitute the core of the UN Charter. Whether in addressing hotspot issues or developing international relations, the UN should implement and carry forward principles of the UN Charter such as sovereign equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of states and peaceful resolution of international disputes, treat big and small countries the same, and safeguard international fairness and justice.

The UN should also be more active in advocating cooperation and win-win results. It’s an important purpose of the UN to promote international cooperation. The concept of win-win cooperation echoes the development trend of the times, conforms to the spirit of the UN Charter, and is also written in UN documents. The UN should promote its member states to abandon the old mentality of zero-sum and confrontation in international relations, practice the new concept of win-win cooperation, and find a new path of working together with one heart.

How can the UN play the above-mentioned roles? One sentence said by President Xi Jinping came to my mind, “stay true to your mission and move forward”. For the UN, this means to stay true to the series of purposes and principles jointly established by its member states. As we review the past, these purposes and principles are not outdated today and are still good recipes for solving all kinds of international problems. The root of various turbulence and chaos in the world today lies in the failure to implement or even violation of these purposes and principles. Therefore, China is willing to work with all countries to support the UN in staying true to its mission, moving forward and playing a greater role in world peace and development as well as human prosperity and progress through constant reform and innovation.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

Zhang Dejiang Meets with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos

On November 28, 2016, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Zhang Dejiang met at the Great Hall of the People with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith of Laos.

Zhang Dejiang said that in recent years, China-Laos relations have continuously developed towards a deeper and higher level. This year marks the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries. President Xi Jinping and President Bounnhang Vorachith have reached new and important consensus on deepening China-Laos comprehensive strategic cooperation during their two meetings this year. Both countries actively carry out the “Belt and Road” construction and cooperation in production capacity and maintain close cooperation in international and regional affairs, enabling bilateral friendship to take deeper roots in people’s hearts. The NPC pays attention to developing friendly relations with Lao National Congress, and is willing to, together with the Lao side, continuously maintain close exchanges at different levels, well implement the important consensus reached by both heads of state, enhance experience exchanges on state governance and administration as well as legislative work, promote economic and trade cooperation and deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges, so as to make greater contributions to the development of China-Laos relations.

Thongloun Sisoulith expressed that Laos is ready to make joint efforts with the Chinese side to carry out the consensus between both heads of state, deepen practical cooperation and enhance communication between both legislative bodies, so as to boost the development of bilateral relations.

Wang Chen attended the meeting.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)

The 4th China-ROK Public Diplomacy Forum Successfully Held in Yangzhou

On November 28, 2016, the 4th China-ROK Diplomacy Forum, under the theme of “Strengthening Exchanges and Enhancing Mutual Trust” was held in Yangzhou. The forum was jointly held by the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea (ROK), organized by China Public Diplomacy Association and the Korea Foundation, and co-organized by Yangzhou Municipal People’s Government and Yangzhou Public Diplomacy Association. Assistant Foreign Minister Qian Hongshan, Vice President of China Public Diplomacy Association Lv Fengding, Ambassador for Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ROK Cho Hyun-dong, President of the Korean Foundation Lee Sihyung and other guests were present and delivered speeches. Around 200 people attended the forum, including representatives from the two countries’ governments, think tanks and media.

Assistant Foreign Minister Qian Hongshan pointed out in his speech at the opening ceremony that China and the ROK enjoy time-honored friendship and stories about exchanges and mutual learning between the two peoples are widely spread. The memorial hall of Choe Chiwon, a famous poet who traveled to China in the Silla Dynasty, is located in Yangzhou, which is a witness to the history of friendly exchanges between the two countries. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the ROK 24 years ago, bilateral relations have achieved leapfrog development and yielded fruitful results. Now the two countries have established a strategic cooperative partnership. Against the current backdrop of sluggish economic growth around the world and frequent occurrence of international and regional issues, China-ROK cooperation goes beyond bilateral level and is endowed with more importance. However, recently, because of the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense missile defense system, China-ROK relations face severe challenges that are rarely seen since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations. It is hoped that both countries can always bear in mind the general direction of promoting friendly cooperation between the two countries, unswervingly stick to the general principle of bringing benefits to both countries and peoples and contributing to peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and regional prosperity and development, unite people of insight from all walks of life from both countries and work together for long-term and sound development of China-ROK relations. Next year will witness the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the ROK. It is hoped that the forum this time could put forward suggestions on boosting people-to-people and cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between both peoples and make positive contribution to the further development of China-ROK relations.

Ambassador for Public Diplomacy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the ROK Cho Hyun-dong stated that since the ROK and China established diplomatic relations 24 years ago, bilateral relations have obtained leap-forward progress, laying a sound foundation for people-to-people and cultural exchanges. Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations, and it is believed that ROK-China strategic partnership will continue to develop. Meanwhile, as the two countries are required to jointly resolve many common external challenges, public diplomacy based on friendship between the two peoples attracts tremendous attention. The development of ROK-China relations is an irresistible trend. It is hoped that this forum can explore and discuss joint solutions to the challenges, ensure the mutual trust and friendship between the two countries, and contribute to the further development of bilateral relations.

President of the Korean Foundation Lee Sihyung expressed that Yangzhou and the ROK share a special cultural connection. Choe Chiwon and Yangzhou have become symbols of public diplomacy between the two countries. Now as ROK-China relations face difficulties, it is more necessary to enhance mutual trust between the two peoples. Personnel and academic exchanges between the two countries should be expanded instead of being reduced or cut down. It is hoped that constructive advice can be presented at this forum.

Host of the opening ceremony and Vice President of China Public Diplomacy Association Lv Fengding elaborated in detail the schedule and agendas of this forum to the guests. Chairman of Yangzhou Municipal Committee of Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference Hong Jinhua delivered a welcoming speech to attending Chinese and ROK guests.

On the same day, experts from both countries carried out in-depth discussions and exchanges on China-ROK youth exchanges, economic and trade cooperation, cultural exchanges and other aspects. They also proposed valuable opinions and advice on specific subjects including the shared responsibilities for cultural inheritance and exchanges of both young people, enhancing bilateral cooperation in economy and trade to cope with new challenges brought by the Asian economy, and complementary advantages in both cultural industries and innovation. A white paper on the forum results will be released after its conclusion. At the China-ROK media roundtable meeting held on November 27, representatives from both sides had dialogues on public opinion exchanges and media responsibilities over sensitive issues between China and the ROK.

Both countries take turns to host the annual China-ROK Public Diplomacy Forum since its establishment in 2013. Through this platform, the two countries continuously strengthen communication and exchanges in such fields as economy and trade, culture, media, and youth, making positive contributions to promoting mutual understanding and cooperation between both countries as well as enhancing the connection between the two peoples.

(This article is published on the official website of Chinese Foreign Ministry)