Wang Yi Holds Talks with Maltese Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo

On July 23, 2021, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi held talks with Maltese Minister for Foreign and European Affairs Evarist Bartolo in Chengdu of Sichuan Province.

Wang Yi said, since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Malta have maintained stable relations despite the test of changes in the world. The most fundamental reason is that both sides always treat each other as equals, and respect, trust and understand each other. China is willing to work with Malta to earnestly conclude the experience of the past success, and takes the 50th anniversary of the diplomatic ties next year as an opportunity to open up a new vision for China-Malta ties. China appreciates Malta's long-term adherence to the one-China principle and its support on issues concerning China's core interests. China will work with Malta to adhere to the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, continue to treat each other in an objective, fair and friendly manner, and continuously consolidate the political foundation of bilateral relations.

Wang Yi said, China is ready to work with Malta to continue to promote anti-pandemic cooperation, and strengthen coordination in vaccine and medicine registration, and tries its best to provide necessary assistance for Malta. The origin-tracing of the virus is a scientific matter. Both sides should jointly resist and oppose politicizing the origin-tracing and stigmatizing the virus. Both sides should take the scientific and just attitude and uphold international solidarity. China attaches importance to the geographical advantage of Malta, and it is willing to sign an implementation plan for Belt and Road cooperation with Malta, make plans for practical cooperation in the post-COVID era, and explore three-party and multi-party cooperation. China and Malta share deep friendship. Both sides should increase people-to-people exchange channels, and expand exchanges and cooperation in fields such as education, culture and sports.

Wang Yi pointed out, China supports Malta in playing its due role in international and regional affairs, and it is willing to strengthen cooperation in addressing climate change, and maintaining cyber security. Both sides will jointly uphold true multilateralism, promote democracy in international relations, and oppose forming cliques in the name of multilateralism and hyping up ideological confrontation. Both countries safeguard the international system with the United Nations (UN) at its core and the international order based on international law. There is always room for improving human rights. The situation of a country's human rights shall be judged by its people. All countries should hold dialogues and exchanges with each other based on equality and mutual respect.

Wang Yi emphasized, there is neither major conflict of interests nor past grievances between China and European Union (EU). Both sides adhere to multilateralism, uphold the UN's authority and standing, and advocate peaceful settlement of disputes. China and Europe are partners, not rivals. EU's arguments of "competition, cooperation and confrontation" on China-EU relations conflict and offset with each other. China hopes that the Maltese side will continue to make an objective and rational voice, enhance mutual understanding and trust between China and Europe, and play a constructive role in promoting the healthy development of China-Europe relations.

Bartolo offered condolences to China on the severe floods in Henan Province. He said, the most precious experience of Malta-China relations is to treat each other as equals. Malta will take the opportunity of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties next year to deepen mutual trust, expand common interests, and boost cooperation in various fields such as medicine, finance, ocean, clean energy, higher education and film industry, thus further promoting the Malta-China relations. Malta appreciates China's great achievements in poverty relief and fight against the virus, and thanks China for its strong support for the country's battle against COVID-19. It expects stronger cooperation with China in fighting COVID-19. The origin-tracing should be based on facts, and it shall not be politicized. Solidarity in fight against the virus is not optional but mandatory. The UN Charter is of great significance. Malta agrees with the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence advocated by China, holds that every country should run its own affairs well instead of lecturing others and should not politicize or weaponize human rights. The Maltese side holds the view that Europe and China should strengthen cooperation instead of competing with each other. It hopes to work together with China to address global challenges such as climate change and cyber security.

The two sides also held an in-depth exchange of views on international and regional issues of mutual concern.

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