He the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Spain, Yao Jing, considers the situation in Gaza worrying and emphasizes that the formalization of two states is the only way to achieve peace in the Middle East. The diplomat, who first took office in October, visited Gran Canaria, where he participated in an event organized by the Confucius Institute to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the opening of relations between his country and Spain.
What is the state of relations between Spain and China?
This is a very important question. Before speaking to you, I thought about this a lot. This year marks the 50th anniversary of our diplomatic relations, and I think it is time for us to rethink what we have acquired during this period and what we hope for the next 50 years. China and Spain maintain quite strong relations, especially since this year, when we had the honor of receiving the visit of the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, last March, which opened a new stage. I believe that to maintain political ties, mutual respect and fruitful cooperation are important, and these are the key points of our relations.
What do you expect from this connection in the next 50 years?
From the Chinese point of view, great importance is attached to relations with Spain. A strategic partner with whom we wish to continue to cooperate in terms of economic development and the promotion of cultural exchanges.
Currently, Spain’s governability is not going through its best moment. How does this “political crisis” affect Chinese business interests?
As ambassador, I must be informed about national policy developments, but China’s position on other domestic issues is very clear: we follow it, but we never intervene. The only thing I can say is that we send our best wishes to the Spanish people and their government.
How would you define the current state of the Chinese economy and society?
After the pandemic, like Europe and the rest of the world, China is trying to recover. We are quite confident in our economy. If we look at the figures of the first three quarters of this year, we managed to increase GDP by 5.2%, we managed to strengthen the large Chinese market and we ensured the future of foreign cooperation with other countries. country. With this panorama, I believe without a doubt that we will achieve good results.
They are the second world power, will they overtake UNITED STATES and will they get first place before 2030?
Although we are the second largest economy in the world, in terms of power, China remains a developing country. For example, GDP per capita is barely around $10,000 per year. It’s a lot less than Spanish, I think. We have no policy aimed at catching up with the United States, which is a superpower and more advanced than us in certain areas. This is not a Chinese dream or the end of our overseas strategy.
Where are the links with the United States?
To understand them, we must analyze the trajectory they have had over the last decade. Our country works to ensure that these relations are based on mutual respect, on respect for sovereignty. Everyone’s concerns must be taken into account, but in a way, in my opinion, it is reasonable. Both parties must adopt an attitude of cooperation, collaboration and mutual accountability. We must not blame, punish or limit each other. Our populations and our economies are very large, and we both have a great responsibility as permanent members of the UN Security Council. We have a vital role to play in bringing peace and stability to the world, but currently China and the United States follow different models. We want to be more cooperative. I think they should open their minds and fulfill their obligations.
I was talking about achieving peace, what is the Chinese path that China is betting on to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza?
What is happening in Gaza is tragic and worrying. Everyone knows the reason and the context. China condemns any type of attack against the civilian population and considers that the well-known right of self-defense should be limited to what international law dictates. In short, the Middle East peace process must continue on the basis of the formalization of two states. For now, the priority is to achieve a ceasefire. Violence will not be solved by more violence. If peace is the final destination, you cannot wage war. Conversations are the only way to reach consensus. We work with other partners to bring parties to the table and discuss. However, things are developing against our will.
Are you optimistic?
I must be optimistic because this violence is not sustainable. Every day, people on both sides suffer. This is not the situation we want.
A leader of HamasKhaled Meshaal said in an interview that China was planning an attack on Taiwan similar to the one launched on Israel. Is this a hoax?
I don’t know this guy and the comparison he made between the Middle East and Taiwan is very unrealistic. Taiwan is part of China and we are doing everything we can to peacefully resolve this chapter in our history. The problem is that a small number of people on the island, as well as in the international community, want to make this a major conflict. The two situations are not comparable, they are totally different. Our policy toward Taiwan is to seek a peaceful settlement. The Chinese goal is not violence, it is always based on peace.
Would you say that China is a communist country?
Of course, before we were an empire ruled by a dynasty, but since the establishment of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1921, we have been a communist and socialist country. This is the only way to achieve the well-being goals we want in our society. The CCP has gained independence from external powers, achieved full territorial integrity without danger of invasion, and exercises popular leadership over the entire society. It also transformed the country from a poor economy to a relatively developed economy and preserved our cultural independence. So yes, we are a communist society, but with Chinese characteristics. Our goal is not to extend our system to other countries.
Do you think that in the West we have a wrong perception of communism?
If we look at the documents on which the Chinese state is built, their basis is democracy, freedom, openness and rights. This is why I think there is sometimes a misconception of China in the West.
They have entered into force as investors in Africa. Why are agreements with China so attractive for African countries?
Africa is a vast territory, a big land. When China achieves some sort of economic success, it is natural for it to offer aid or development assistance to others. We offer African countries investments in infrastructure and transport, particularly for railways, roads or highways. They are not very rich countries, which is why we also offer certain types of cooperation in the training of professionals or managers. That’s basically what we do. We have good friends in Africa. They supported the Chinese to move towards independence, towards sovereignty, and now, of course, we must give it back to them. In the past, when we were poor, we received your help. And now that we are a little rich, we offer them our money.
Are these economic interests accompanied by geostrategic interests? Above all, to appease the influence of the United States and Russia In the zone.
I don’t think China has a strategic plan to compete with anyone. Africa is very vast and all the other countries, like France, the United States and even Spain, have influence, have their zones of influence. We can’t cover everything, it’s unrealistic. Spain is more present in the northern part, France in the French-speaking areas. Our country only wants to share the responsibility that we, large economies, have in the development of this continent. This is the basic policy.
Looking to the future, what are the challenges facing your country?
Given that we have a large population, we must manage adequate development of our economy, which is based on prioritizing the internal market and international cooperation. One of the challenges is to stimulate internal consumption. The western part of China has a development closer to that of certain African countries than the rich regions of the East. There is an imbalance in the country that we must resolve. Another reason is that we depend a lot on the volatility of the global economy. We are the largest trading partner of most countries with many overseas investments. We should not suffer sanctions, limitations or investigations from other states, we want a fair international environment to carry out transactions. And finally, peace. The economy can only be achieved in peace. If we have these problems in Ukraine, if we have these problems in the Middle East, if we have all kinds of problems, things get complicated.
What about the sustainable development goals?
Of course, sustainable development is a priority for China. We are switching many of our coal-fired power plants to hydrogen or other clean sources.