CNR: We see that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi has had offline diplomatic events with foreign ministers of eight Southeast Asian countries since August 2020. Now he is again visiting four Southeast Asian countries. Can you tell us more about his visit and China's expectations?
Zhao Lijian: We announced yesterday that State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will visit Myanmar, Indonesia, Brunei and the Philippines from January 11 to 16.Southeast Asian countries are China's friendly neighbors and important partners for BRI cooperation connected by land and sea. China attaches high importance to relations with Southeast Asian nations and makes ASEAN a priority in neighborhood diplomacy. Since last year, President Xi Jinping has had exchanges with all Southeast Asian state leaders via various means including phone calls, exchange of letters and messages. Premier Li Keqiang and ASEAN leaders attended the East Asia Summit and held the Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders' Meeting with leaders of Mekong River countries. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, China has also been working with ASEAN countries to fight the virus. Trade and investment between China and ASEAN has increased despite the pandemic, and ASEAN has become China's biggest trading partner. Just as you said, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi chose Southeast Asian neighbors as part of the destinations of his first overseas trip in 2021. By then China will have offline bilateral exchanges with all ASEAN nations after the pandemic broke out.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the dialogue relations between China and ASEAN, and our friendly exchanges will move toward greater maturity. Through this visit, China looks forward to implementation of the important consensus reached by President Xi and leaders of the four countries, deepening of BRI cooperation and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind with the focus on development and the fight against the virus, continuous momentum of regional cooperation and development, and efforts to enhance China-ASEAN relations and the relationships between China and the four countries at the major historical juncture. China will work with ASEAN countries and make greater contributions to upholding multilateralism, advancing free trade and safeguarding regional stability.