吴谦先生“华人榜·人文奖”；青年艺术家吴谦毕业于纽约大学社会与文化分析学院，并获得哥伦比亚大学东亚研究所硕士学位。2011年至今，吴谦以综合材料为媒介，在画布上以东方美学为本，表达“东西遇合”的文化意识和水墨艺术的精神蕴涵。作为东西方艺术的摆渡人，吴谦以“结合传统与现代 融会东方与西方”作为基本创作理念，他的作品从东方隐忍的禅意渐变为宏大多维的情绪表达。吴谦曾在纽约、厦门、上海和杭州等地举办个展，作品入选第十三届全国美展综合材料绘画作品展、第三届全国综合材料绘画双年展、脉—中国当代绘画展等群展。吴谦入选第十三届“全美十大华人杰出青年”榜单，被评为罗博报告2020“Best of the Best 罗博之选”年度青年艺术家。
Stockholm, Sept. 6(Greenpost) — August 18th marked the three year anniversary of Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Gui Congyou’s mission in Sweden. Over the past three years, he has visited many places in Sweden and has been engaged with many ordinary people, prominent figures, business people and politicians in addition to foreign ministry colleagues in Sweden. He has impressed many and he said he also learnt a lot from Sweden. What will he do to improve Sino-Swedish relations in his next three years mission? Greenpost founder and chief editor Xuefei Chen Axelsson had a written interview with Ambassador Gui recently.
Q: Hello Ambassador Gui, by August, you have been in Sweden for three years as an Ambassador. During the past three years, you have visited many places in Sweden, what is your impression about Sweden?
A: Over the past three years, I have visited two thirds of the Swedish provinces and have contacted and widely exchanged views with people from all walks of life. I visited many enterprises, factories and farms, got to know Swedish social, cultural and economic characteristics and understood the wish and thoughts of Swedish people on Sino-Swedish relations. I made a lot of friends in Sweden and I got a lot of unforgettable memories on Swedish people. I felt Swedish people are very kind and enthusiastic about China. With very friendly emotion, they all support further cooperation and exchange in various fields. I think most of Swedish people are willing to deepen cooperation and exchange with China.
I was so impressed by Swedish beautiful ecological environment and people’s high awareness in environmental protection. In such an environment with blue sky and clean water, I often discuss with my Swedish friends on how to combine Swedish advanced sustainable development theory and practices with China’s new development concept of being innovative, coordinated, green, open and sharing. We have reached a consensus that China and Sweden shared similar development idea and mutual compatibility in various industries and there will be great potential in environmental and ecological protection. We believe that China and Sweden are able to join hands to play a bigger role in dealing with climate change and pushing forward sustainable development.
Q: How do you comment on current Sino-Swedish relations and what is your prospect on the future of Sino-Swedish relations?
A: This year marks 70th anniversary of Sino-Swedish relations. 70 years ago, Sweden took the lead among western countries to surpass the political system and ideological differences to become the first country to establish diplomatic relations with China. Over the past 70 years, friendly communication and exchange have been the main melody of bilateral relations and China has always treated Sweden as a friend and important cooperation partner.
Now we are the largest trade partners for each other both in nordic region and Asia. Sweden has kept its surplus for many years in trading with China. China and Sweden enjoyed close communication and exchange in science and technology, education and culture. China and Sweden also kept good communication in multilateral relations, jointly advocated multilaterism, free trade, against trade protectionism, in favor of maintaining economic globalization and multilateral trade, devoted in peaceful solutions for regional conflict and hot issues and jointly made positive contributions to world peace and development.
The political foundation for the past 70 years of friendly cooperation was mutual respect, equality and non-interferience in each other’s internal affairs. The experiences over the past 70 years has always proved that as long as the two sides abided by such a principle, the bilateral relations will develop smoothly, bilateral cooperation and exchange will be carried out smoothly. On the contrary, there would be difficulties and the cooperation between the two sides would be affected. Upon the 70th anniversary, we should keep the initial goal to surpass the political system and ideological differences between the two sides, root out the intervention and make joint efforts to push forward Sino-Swedish relations to healthy and stable development.
Q: In your opinion, in which areas can China and Sweden have more cooperation?
A: Currently, the Covid 19 is rampagnt in the whole world. Global economy slows down, there is a lack of driving force in economic increase, there are many unstable and uncertain factors in international environment. This has imposed a new challenge to all countries including China and Sweden. Opening up to the outside word is one of the fundamental policies in China. China has been insisting on opening up and achieving a win-win situation and committed itself to contributing to mankind’s common destiny. As the first cargo trading country and the second foreign investment destination in the world, China’s contribution to the global economic growth has exceeded 30 percent for many years. Facing the current global crisis, China has steadily resumed manufacturing and production, economic revival trend is stable and China has shouldered its responsibility in helping revive world economy. During the second quarter of this year, China’s GDP growth rate reached 3.2 percent. Import and export volume in July increased 6.5 percent compared with that of last year. It is predicted that during the later half of the year Chinese economy will continue to grow. This will provide more opportunities for Sino-Swedish cooperation. China and Sweden can have deep cooperation in high level manufacturing, biological, medical and pharmacieutical field, energy saving and environmental protection, green transportation and communication as well as smart city. Recently due to the Covid 19, medical care and health, transnational online shopping has seen an increase and can become new economic growth sectors. I hope industries in both sides should grasp the opportunities and actively tap the potential for solid cooperation.
Q: Can you briefly introduce China’s efforts and experiences in fighting against Covid 19?
A: Since the beginning of this year, Covid 19 broke out in many countries in the world becoming the most severe public health crisis in the world since the second world war bringing severe impact on the world on many aspects. Covid 19 also brought about unprecedented blow to China’s economic and social development. Facing such sudden and severe test, Chinese government insisted on prioritizing people’s lives and health among other aspects and launched a people’s campaign against the virus and put the virus spreading under control by comprehensive and strict isolation methods. 1.4 billion people acted in concert to isolate the virus by taking well coordinated measures to protect people’s lives and health. Meanwhile, China also well coordinated in pushing forward the work of controlling the virus and resuming the manufacturing orderly and steadily.
China insisted on new development idea and Chinese economy sees a good trend by turning from negative growth into positive growth of 3.2 percent during the second quarter becoming the first country in the world to realize the positive growth. China’s growth has injected confidence and driving force for the world economic growth.
Chinese President Xi Jinping stressed that mankind live in a common community. Unity and cooperation are the most powerful weapon for the international community to defeat the virus. Since the outbreak of the Covid 19, China has held on the mankind common community idea and supported many countries to fight against the disease. President Xi carried out a series of diplomacy with head of state in various countries and voiced his view of joining hands with various countries to deal with the Covid 19 together. China has donated 50 million dollars to the World Health Organization and provided emergency medical material to over 150 countries and international organizations. China will continue to take a series of measures to consolidate international cooperation in fighting against Covid 19. The measures include providing 2 billion dollars of international assistance, establish global humanitarian emergency stockhouse and communication hub, establish hospital cooperation mechanism and make the vaccine as global public product after the successful production of covid 19 vaccine in the future. China will resolutely join hands with the international community including Sweden to deal with the Covid 19 and establish mankind health community.
Q: What is your expectations on overseas Chinese in Sweden?
A: Chinese home and abroad are forever belonging to the same family. Since long time ago, overseas Chinese in Sweden have kept Chinese traditional morality, self independent, diligent and actively melted in the Swedish society and contributed to the Swedish social and economic development. Meanwhile, Chinese in Sweden also continue to carry on their Chinese culture and put up forward proposals for China’s development pushing forward Sino-Swedish friendly cooperation and exchange. I was impressed. When China encountered the Covid 19 in January, overseas Chinese in Sweden immediately organized donation activities to collect funds and buy medical products and some even help send the products to Chinese hospitals in person. China’s achievements in fighting against Covid 19 so far cannot be separated from overseas Chinese efforts. The motherland will never forget your contributions!
Since the outbreak of Covid 19 in Sweden, many overseas Chinese began to work hard for Sweden’s campaign against Covid 19. Many Chinese associations have actively helped each other and kept yourself healthy. Currently the virus is still spreading in the world including Sweden, I just hope that you continue to protect yourselves from being infected, while deeply melting into the local society, pushing forward Sino-Swedish cooperation and exchange in various fields and actively shouldering the responsibility of being a good bridge between China and Sweden so that bilateral relations will further develop. Your proposal, suggestions and efforts are welcome.
加洛尼：新冠肺炎疫情显然对于中国人民来说是个非常严峻的挑战，同时也蔓延到了世界其他地区。有一些国家对华实行了旅行限制，中国是否面临一场对华信心危机？ 王毅：这场疫情突如其来，确实给中国和世界带来了一次严峻挑战。但在习近平主席领导下，中国政府和人民经受住了考验，用自己的努力甚至牺牲赢得了国际社会的尊重和认可。This sudden outbreak of novel coronavirus pneumonia (NCP, or COVID-19) is a severe challenge to China and the world at large. Under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government and people have withstood the test and won the respect and recognition of the international community with their efforts and even sacrifice. 疫情发生后，中国政府第一时间建立举国体制，汇集全国资源，采取了最全面、最严格、最彻底的措施迎击疫情，其中很多措施都超出了国际卫生条例的要求和世界卫生组织的建议。After the outbreak, the Chinese government immediately set up a nationwide mechanism to mobilize resources from across the country. We have taken the most comprehensive, stringent and thorough prevention and control measures, many of which are well beyond what is required by the International Health Regulations and the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). 我们以中国速度日以继夜抢救每一位患者的生命，用中国力量众志成城阻止疫情的进一步蔓延。经过艰苦努力，疫情总体上得到了控制。湖北以外地区确诊病例数量连续11天下降，下降幅度超过50%，治愈人数快速上升，已经有近7000位患者康复出院，全国病亡率控制在2.2%左右，如果不算湖北则在0.49%。With the Chinese speed, we are working day and night to save the life of every patient. With the Chinese strength, we are united as one to contain the further spread of the epidemic. Through these arduous efforts, the epidemic is generally under control. For example, outside Hubei, the number of confirmed cases has been declining for 11 consecutive days across China. That is a cumulative drop of over 50 percent. There is a rapid increase in the cure rate, and nearly 7,000 people have recovered and been discharged from hospital. The case fatality rate is about 2.2 percent nationwide and just 0.49 percent outside Hubei. 这些事实和数据充分说明，中国采取的果断措施是正确和有效的，这次疫情总体上也是可控和可治的。正如习近平主席指出，我们完全有信心、有能力、也有把握早日战胜疫情。These facts and data show that China’s decisive response is both right and effective, and that by and large, the outbreak is controllable and the disease curable. As President Xi Jinping points out, we have the confidence, capability and determination to prevail over the virus at an early date. 作为一个负责任大国，中国从一开始就采取公开、透明的态度，及时向国际社会通报疫情信息，开展国际合作，努力阻止疫情在全球扩散。截止到现在，在中国境外的确诊病例数量不到总数的1%。中国不仅全力维护了本国人民的生命安全和身体健康，也为全球公共卫生安全做出了贡献，付出了牺牲。世卫组织多次高度赞赏中国的负责任态度，充分肯定中国采取的果断措施，对中国战胜疫情充满信心。As a responsible major country, China has from the start acted in an open and transparent manner in releasing relevant information to the world and seeking international cooperation to prevent the spread of the epidemic worldwide. To date, the number of confirmed cases outside China is less than one percent of the total. We are not only doing our very best to ensure the life, safety and health of the Chinese people, but also making contribution and sacrifice for global public health. WHO has on multiple occasions commended China for its responsible actions, speaking highly of China’s decisive response and expressing confidence that China will overcome this epidemic. 病毒没有国界，需要国际社会共同面对。已经有160多个国家和国际组织负责人发电或发函，对中国表示慰问和支持。几十个国家政府和人民纷纷向中国伸出援手。对于这些善意，我们表示衷心感谢。
Virus respects no borders. It requires a collective response from the international community. To date, leaders of over 160 countries and international organizations have expressed their sympathy and support through telegrams or letters. The governments and peoples of several dozen countries are lending a helping hand, and we are truly grateful for these acts of kindness. 一些国家采取了加强检测的措施，有其合理之处。但也有一些国家反应过度，引发不必要的恐慌，也不符合世卫组织的建议。我相信，随着疫情得到进一步控制，这些国家也会思考放宽限制。毕竟国与国之间需要开展正常的交往与合作。In our view, the enhanced inspection measures taken by some countries are reasonable but some other countries have overreacted. Their overreaction has caused unnecessary panic and is not consistent with the WHO recommendations. I believe as the epidemic is gradually brought under control, these countries may consider relaxing the restrictions. At the end of the day, normal exchanges and cooperation among countries must be maintained. 中国有句话，“烈火炼真金”。我们相信，经过这场疫情考验，中国人民将会更加坚强团结，中国经济将更加稳健可持续，全体中国人民会以更坚实步伐，实现全面小康，迈向现代化进程。There is a Chinese saying: True gold can stand the test of fire. I’m sure that emerging from this test, the Chinese people will become more resilient and united and the Chinese economy will achieve more solid and sustainable growth. The Chinese people will continue to march confidently toward the goal of establishing a society of moderate prosperity in all respects and embark on a new journey of modernization. 中国还有一句话叫做“患难见真情”。在共同抗击疫情的斗争中，中国同各国之间的友谊和信任将得到加强和深化。各国都会意识到，我们身处一个地球村，国与国的命运已经紧密地联系在一起。There’s another Chinese saying, “Adversity reveals true friendship.” As China battles the disease together with the world, its friendship and trust with other countries will be strengthened and deepened. Countries will realize that they live in a global village, with their future interconnected like never before.
加洛尼：您刚才谈到透明，但是一开始中方对疫情形势的判断和了解并不是很完整，中国国内有人更早提出了相关预警，最终的决定是怎么做出的？ 王毅：这次疫情是由一个新型病毒导致的，自然有一个认识和鉴定的过程。实际上每次世界上发生疫情，各国政府作出最终决定前，都必须经过认真和反复论证，这是一种负责任的态度。Well, this is a new virus. So naturally it takes time for people to gain more understanding and knowledge about it. The same has happened in other countries. If we look at past epidemics, we will see that the government will eventually make decisions based on serious and repeated tests and study. That is how a responsible government deals with it. 中国政府发现病例后，在第一时间采取措施，并向世卫组织作了通报。同时经过认真评估，在很短时间内确定这是新型病毒疫情，迅速建立起覆盖全国的联防联控机制。我们这次采取的措施非常及时，动作非常迅速。这也是世卫组织总干事到中国考察后得出的结论。After individual cases emerged, the Chinese government took prompt actions and informed the WHO at the first opportunity. At the same time, we have made rigorous assessments. In a short period of time, we identified and decided that this is a new virus. Once that decision was made, a nationwide inter-agency task force was quickly put in place. The measures taken by China are timely and swift. This is also the conclusion of the WHO Director-General after his visit to China.
加洛尼：您说有一些国家实际上做了过度反应，请问是哪些国家？ 王毅：我并不想列举这些国家的名字，各国都有其自己的考虑和理由。我想大家都看得见，一些国家采取的措施远远超出了世界卫生组织的建议，比如全面关闭人员往来，又如不仅从武汉撤出人员，而且还要从疫情并不严重、只有个别病例的地区撤出人员。我们不会干涉别国的决定，但这些措施是否有利于各国共同应对这场疫情，要划一个大大的问号。I don’t want to single out individual countries. They have their own judgments and reasons. Everybody can see that the measures taken by those countries go far beyond the recommendations of the WHO. For example, measures have been taken to comprehensively stop people-to-people exchanges. And not only people in Wuhan are evacuated, people in regions where there are only isolated cases or where the epidemic is not severe are also pulled out. We do not interfere with the decisions of other countries. However, when these measures are taken, we must see whether they are truly beneficial to a joint response to the epidemic. There is a question mark on it.
加洛尼：对于习近平主席来说，这次疫情是一个相当大的挑战。中国政府对此如何回应？ 王毅：这场疫情防控阻击战，是一场总体战，也是人民战争，每个人都做出努力，每个人都发挥作用。在习近平主席亲自指挥部署下，我们迅速建立了覆盖全国的联防联控机制。在中国960万平方公里土地上，14亿人民团结一致，把疫情防控做得如此彻底、如此全面，这是史无前例的，在很多国家也是难以想像的，但是，中国做到了。This is a comprehensive battle and a people’s war, with every person pitching in and playing a role. President Xi is personally overseeing and guiding the response to the epidemic. We quickly set up a national framework of epidemic control on this land of 9.6 million square kilometers and with 1.4 billion people. We are doing everything we can, leaving no stone unturned, in our efforts to contain and mitigate this epidemic. This is an unprecedented endeavor, which is probably unimaginable in many countries. But China pulled this off. 可能仍会有个别人提出质疑，但绝大多数国家都对此表示了高度赞赏，指出只有在中国，只有在习近平主席领导下，才得以有效管控住这场突如其来而且传播速度相当快的疫情，中国不仅有力维护了本国人民的生命健康，也阻止了疫情向世界的快速扩散。There may be certain questions or challenges to China. Yet the overwhelming majority of countries have expressed their appreciation for what China has been doing. They clearly recognized that only in China and only under the leadership of President Xi can there be such effective measures to put this sudden and fast spreading epidemic under control. What we’re doing is protecting the health of the Chinese people and preventing this epidemic from further spreading to other parts of the world.
我举个例子。中国每年最重要的节日就是春节。习近平主席就是在中国农历新年的第一天，亲自主持召开中共中央政治局常务委员会会议，就应对疫情作出全面部署和动员，由此展开了全国范围内疫情防控阻击战。农历新年第一天召开中央政治局常委会会议，在中国历史上前所未有，这恰恰体现了习近平主席本人对这场疫情的敏锐洞察力和卓越领导力，彰显了一声令下中国强大的动员力。I can give you an example. The Spring Festival is one of the most important holidays in China. On the very first day of the Spring Festival holiday, President Xi convened the highest level meeting of the governing body, which is the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Party Committee, to draw up a comprehensive plan on responding to this epidemic, which initiated this nationwide battle against the epidemic. It has never happened before in Chinese history to have the highest level meeting of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau on the first day of the Spring Festival. It shows President Xi’s penetrating grasp of the situation, his outstanding leadership and China’s strong mobilization capability.
加洛尼：美国到现在为止有没有采取一些行动来帮助中方抗击疫情？ 王毅：特朗普总统多次公开表态，支持中国抗击疫情，对中国取得胜利展现信心。他还主动给习近平主席打电话，转达他本人对中国的支持。美国社会各界和民间行动起来，向中国捐款、捐物。这些物资正在陆续运到中国武汉。President Trump has, on many occasions, publicly expressed his support to China’s battle against the epidemic and his confidence that China will win the final victory. He called President Xi to convey his personal support to China. And all sectors in the US and the American people have acted to provide assistance to China, including cash and supplies. Those assistance is being delivered to Wuhan in different batches. 我们近日也听到美国政府宣布准备出资1亿美元帮助中国和其他有需要的国家，我们对此表示赞赏。建议美方尽快将这笔资金用在他们认为需要的地方。The latest news is that the US government is prepared to offer US$100 million to help China and other countries in need. We appreciate this goodwill gesture. We suggest that the assistance provided by the US be channeled and delivered as soon as possible to where the US believes are most in need.
加洛尼：问一个关于贸易的问题，也是跟新冠肺炎疫情有关。中方在履行中美第一阶段经贸协议关于进口更多美国产品和服务的承诺上是否面临困难？ 王毅：中国是一个重信守诺的国家，只要我们同意的事情，都会说到做到。中美第一阶段经贸协议，是在平等和相互尊重基础上达成的。中方愿同美方共同努力，把这个协议落实好，使其真正有利于中国，有利于美国，有利于整个世界。We the Chinese people always honor our commitments. For whatever promise we have made, we will deliver on that. The phase one trade agreement has been reached between the two sides based on equality and mutual respect. We stand ready to work with the US to implement this agreement, which is good for China, good for the US and good for the world at large. 中国已经准备好。我们的市场足够大，尽管疫情对中国经济带来一些暂时的影响，但是疫情过后，积累的消费需求会快速释放，中国经济的动能会强力反弹，市场规模也会持续扩大。我们正在按照自己的时间表和路线图，深入推进改革，扩大开放，实现协议中达成的其他共识，也不存在问题。China is ready for that. The Chinese market is big enough to withstand the impact of the epidemic, which is temporary. When the epidemic is over, the subdued consumer demand will be released rapidly, the dynamism of China’s economy will rebound strongly, and the market will continue to grow. We are advancing reform and opening up according to our own timetable and roadmap. There is no problem on the implementation of other aspects of the agreement. 现在出现的一个新情况是，由于美方全面限制中美人员往来，客观上会对履行协议带来一些困难。我希望美方能思考这个问题，怎么在继续防范疫情的前提下，尊重世卫组织提出的建议，不采取不必要的贸易和人员限制，克服可能会对履行协议带来的不便。双方应共同努力，把协议执行好。中国会履行我们做出的承诺，美方也应履行好他们在第一阶段协议中对中方做出的承诺。I do see one issue that is happening. Given the US’ highest-level travel advisory against China, practically that will bring about some challenges to the implementation of the agreement. We hope the US could think about this. While fighting the epidemic, what it could do to respect WHO’s professional advice and refrain from taking unnecessary trade and travel restrictions in order to overcome the challenges to the implementation of this agreement. As long as the two sides are working together, I am sure that the implementation will be good. China will keep up its end of the bargain. We hope the US will do the same.
加洛尼：中方是否会通过磋商对第一阶段经贸协议做出一些调整？中方对于第二阶段经贸协议磋商的期望是什么？ 王毅：已经达成的协议为什么要做出调整？第一阶段协议不仅涉及贸易，还包括很多其他领域，比如知识产权、汇率和金融等等。这是一个内容很丰富的协议。Since we have this phase one agreement, I don’t see any need to adjust it. The phase one trade agreement is not only about trade, but also concerns other aspects including IPR protection, exchange rates and financial services. So this is a wide-ranging agreement. 现在应当集中精力把第一阶段协议落实到位，看到实实在在的成果，不仅推动中美两国贸易走向正常和健康轨道，同时也促进全球经济的增长。在此过程中双方可以不断积累和总结经验，之后再考虑第二阶段的问题。我认为这是合情合理的处理办法。What we hope to do at the moment is to concentrate on the implementation of phase one agreement. We want to see real tangible results, and that will not only help bring China-US trade onto the track of sound and healthy development, but also help with global economic growth. While we implement the phase one agreement, we will accumulate experience, look back at the experience, and then we can proceed to see how we will enter into phase two trade talks. That would be a workable approach.
加洛尼：昨天，美国宣布了针对华为的一些新指控，包括偷窃美国公司商业机密，中国政府对此有何回应？ 王毅：我们不知道美国这个超级大国为什么要动员国家力量，甚至调动其所有盟友来无端打压一家中国企业。华为是百分之百的民营企业，是靠自己的汗水、智慧，凭借市场竞争发展起来的。美国如此打压恐怕只有一个理由，就是华为发展得太好了。但美国企业可以发展得很好，为什么中国企业就不能凭借自身努力发展得好一些？美国为何不能接受别的国家的企业也能够在经济、科技方面崭露头角？We cannot understand why the United States, a superpower, is employing its state power and mobilizing its allies to attack Huawei, which is a private company. Huawei is a one-hundred-percent private business. It has developed itself in market competition, relying on its own diligence, hard work and wisdom. The only reason that the United States is doing that is maybe Huawei is doing too well. The US companies can excel and succeed, but why can’t a Chinese company succeed by relying on its own efforts? Why can’t the United States accept other countries’ businesses to excel and perform well in their economy and technology? 恐怕内心有一种阴暗的心理，就是不希望看到别的国家发展起来，不希望看到别国的企业也能够做大做强。美方甚至通过编造谣言来诋毁别国企业，总是说华为有后门，损害了美国安全，但是到现在为止，也没有拿出任何实实在在的证据。I’m afraid that the United States has its own dark intentions sometimes. It doesn’t want to see other countries develop. It doesn’t want to see other countries’ businesses grow and succeed. It has been spreading rumors to smear other countries’ businesses. The United States has been claiming that Huawei products have the backdoor that will undermine US national security. But so far it hasn’t produced any credible evidence. 从维基解密和斯诺登事件可以看出，反而是其他通讯企业在做这些事情。华为已经正式、公开地向世界宣示，愿意同任何国家和组织签署无后门协议，通过法律约束力来证明自己的清白和透明。这难道还不够吗？还要继续打压华为吗？这种做法不仅没有道理，甚至是不道德的。As we can see from Wikileaks and the Snowden incident, it is other telecom companies that are doing these things. Huawei has publicly pledged that they could sign no-backdoor agreement with any government and organization if they so wish. Huawei wants to clear its name and show its transparency in this legal form. Isn’t that enough? Why is there still the attempt to attack this company? It doesn’t make sense. And it is immoral. 我们看到很多国家，比如英国和德国，并没有一味听信谣言，在维护好本国通讯基础设施安全基础上，愿意给其他各国企业包括华为提供一个公平竞争的环境。我认为这才是符合市场规则的，也是一个独立主权国家做出的明智和正确选择。
Fortunately, many countries, including the UK and Germany, have not been misled by this rumor. While they are doing their best to ensure the security of their telecommunication infrastructure, they are trying to provide a level playing field for businesses of other countries, including Huawei. I believe this is a practice consistent with market rules. These countries are making the sensible and right decision as independent sovereign states.
加洛尼：中美是不是会不可避免地走向文明的冲突？ 王毅：所谓文明冲突的说法是一个伪命题。人类社会已经进入21世纪，人类文明也已经发展到很高程度，如果现在还鼓吹甚至制造文明冲突，就是开历史的倒车。The so-called clash of civilizations is a false argument. We are already in the 21st century and the human civilization is quite advanced. If anyone is trying to clamor for or even to create the clash of civilizations, he is trying to reverse the wheels of history. 中国历来主张，文明没有高低优劣之分，各种文明都建立在自身深厚的历史人文积淀中，都有其独特的价值。这个世界本来就是丰富多彩的，不同文明应该相互尊重、互学互鉴，共同推动人类进步和发展。We advocate that all civilizations are equal and no one is superior to others. All civilizations are grounded in the unique history and culture of that particular country, and each civilization has its own unique values. The world is a diverse and colorful place. What we call for is mutual respect and mutual learning among different civilizations and joint efforts to seek common progress. 鼓吹“文明冲突论”的人，心灵深处恐怕残留着某种西方文明优越论的潜意识。他们看来没有准备好，也不想接受任何一个非西方国家的发展和振兴。但这是不公平的。任何国家都是平等的，都有发展的权利。西方国家已经先发展起来了，其他国家也要加快发展，这是我们应有的权利。只有所有国家都发展起来，我们这个世界才能够实现繁荣稳定，我们才能共同建设好人类共同居住的这个地球村。For those who clamored for clash of civilizations, subconsciously they still believe in the superiority of Western civilizations. They are not prepared to accept the development and revitalization of non-Western civilizations. This is not fair, because all countries are equal and all countries are entitled to develop. Western countries have developed already and other countries also need faster development. This is our integral right. We believe that only when all countries enjoy development, can our world be a prosperous and stable one, and can we live in peace in this global village and on this planet that we call home.
加洛尼：中方如何能够说服美方，中国以及中国的政治制度对美国并不构成、也不应该构成威胁？ 王毅：美国的制度和模式，是美国人民的选择，我们从不干涉美国的内政。同时，中国特色社会主义制度，是中国人民的选择，并且已经在中国大地上取得巨大成功，美方也应尊重中国人民的这一选择。The US system and model are the choices of the American people. We do not intervene in the internal affairs of the US. By the same token, socialism with Chinese characteristics is the choice of the Chinese people, and it has already been proved hugely successful in China. The United States should also respect this choice made by the Chinese people. 只要双方都遵守联合国宪章的宗旨和原则，特别是恪守不干涉内政原则，尊重各国的主权，不同社会制度的国家并不会相互构成威胁。中方始终愿同美方遵循和平共处五项原则，建立和发展长期稳定的友好合作关系。这是中方的既定政策。但美国恰恰相反，不断向中国施加压力，动辄指责和抹黑中国。事实就摆在我们的面前。
For countries with different systems, as long as they observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, particularly the principle of non-interference in internal affairs, and respect countries’ sovereignty, there won’t be any threat to anyone. For China, we stand ready to work with the United States on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence to build and grow this long-term and stable relationship of peace and friendship. That is our set policy. However, the United States is doing the opposite. It has been upping its pressure on China, and it has been blaming and bashing China, and the facts are clear for everyone to see. 比如，中国全国人民代表大会从来没有通过任何涉及美国内部事务的提案，而美国国会却一个又一个地审议通过各种粗暴干涉中国内部事务的议案；中国的军舰和飞机从来没有到美国周边去展示力量，但恰恰是美国不断派遣军舰飞机到中国家门口来耀武扬威；中国从来没有制裁过任何一家美国企业，我们欢迎美国企业赴华投资兴业，并为他们提供良好营商环境，但美方却千方百计打压中国的企业，并对中国企业实施所谓单边制裁和长臂管辖，限制中国的发展权利。因此，如果说到威胁，不是中国在威胁美国，而是美国在威胁中国。要解决的也是如何消除美国对中国的各种威胁。
For example, China’s National People’s Congress has never introduced any bill on the internal affairs of the United States. However, the US Congress has reviewed and adopted one bill after another that blatantly interferes in China’s internal affairs. China has never sent its military vessels and aircraft to the neighborhood of the United States to flex muscles, yet the US naval ships and airplanes have been flexing muscles at China’s doorsteps. China has never sanctioned any US businesses. On the contrary, we welcome US businesses to invest in China, and we have provided them with a sound business environment. However, the United States has tried every opportunity and means to suppress Chinese companies. It has introduced unilateral sanctions against Chinese companies by exercising long-arm jurisdiction, and tried to limit China’s development rights. So talking about threat, it is not that China is threatening the US, but the US is threatening China. And the issue is how to address the US threat to China.
王毅：如果说美国为中国以及其他国家依赖美国在中东提供安全保障，我想很多中东国家都不会认可这种说法。Well I’m afraid that many countries in the Middle East would not agree that the United States is providing security guarantee for China and countries in the region. 试问，几十年来，美国在中东发动了多少战争？造成了多大损失？给中东各国人民带来了多大灾难？这是在为中东提供安全保障吗？美国的做法不仅没有使中东保持稳定和发展，反而陷入了无尽无止的动荡或贫困中。美国的做法实际上只是在维护自身利益，并没有惠及中东国家。
Think about this: In the past decades, how many wars has the US started in the Middle East? How much damage and devastation has it brought to the people of the region? Is the US providing security guarantee in the Middle East? What the US has been doing is not bringing stability and development to the Middle East, but rather endless turbulence and persistent poverty. In addition, the United States is taking actions out of its own interests, which has not benefited countries in the Middle East. 我认为，国与国之间建立起相互信任，同时通过互利合作形成利益融合，这才是长久也是可靠的安全保障，而不是仅仅依靠军事力量的威慑。In our view, the most enduring and reliable security guarantee would be for countries to build mutual trust and align their interests through mutually beneficial cooperation. Security guarantee just cannot be achieved only with military power. 就地区安全而言，中方根据联合国决议以及中东地区国家愿望，一直在努力为中东的安全稳定作出贡献。比如，中方向中东派出了1800位维和人员，遍布地区各国；中方已经坚持十多年在亚丁湾护航，保护所有过往亚丁湾的各国船舶；我们还同中东国家举办中东安全论坛，提议摆脱陈旧的冷战思维，探讨打造共同、综合、合作、可持续的新安全框架。中方将会继续为促进中东的和平、安全与发展发挥建设性作用。Responding to the call of the United Nations and based on the will of countries in the region, China has been working to contribute to the security in the Middle East. For example, we have sent over 1,800 peacekeepers to the Middle East in every corner of the region. Our naval vessels have been conducting escort missions in the Gulf of Aden for over a decade, protecting ships of all countries passing that body of water. We have also initiated a Middle East Security Forum with regional countries, calling on countries to reject the old-fashioned cold-war mentality and put in place a new security architecture that underpins common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. Going forward, we will continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace, security and development in the Middle East.
加洛尼：关于气候变化问题，中方在气候变化问题上发挥了领导作用，特别是在美国退出巴黎协定之后，中方是否愿意进一步提高减排目标？是否愿意为格拉斯哥气候变化大会作出贡献？ 王毅：中国是世界上最大的发展中国家，我们的工业化进程还没有完成，需要加快发展进程，让中国人民也能够过上更加美好的生活。同时，我们意识到中国作为一个大国，应该承担应尽的国际责任和义务。China is the world’s largest developing country, and our industrialization process is still ongoing. We need to develop faster to make life even better for the Chinese people. At the same time, we do realize that as a major country, we must shoulder our due international responsibilities and obligations. 因此，中国积极参与了巴黎协定谈判，在谈判最关键的时候，为促成最终达成巴黎协定发挥了重要作用。中方既然签署了，就一定会履行承诺，百分之百地完成我们向世界宣布的减排目标。Therefore, China took an active part in the negotiation of the Paris Agreement, and played a major role in securing the final agreement at the most critical moment of the negotiation. About the Paris Agreement, since we have signed it, we will implement it 100 percent. We have announced to the whole world our emission reduction targets, and we intend to meet these targets. 同时，我们已经确定了新的发展理念，追求绿色、环保、可持续的发展，也就是说改变过去只追求GDP的增长速度，而是寻求实现更高质量的发展。For China’s own development, we have been shifting to a new philosophy. We want to seek green, environmentally-friendly and sustainable development. In the past, the attention was paid to high GDP growth, but now we focus on achieving high-quality development. 中方愿同国际社会一道，排除各种困难干扰，继续推进落实巴黎协定。今年，中方将主办生物多样性公约缔约方大会。我们愿为会议成功作出自己的贡献。同时我们也将同法国等志同道合的国家一道，为推进全球应对气候变化发挥作用。China will continue to work with the international community to overcome all challenges and difficulties to ensure that the Paris Agreement will be implemented. This year, China is going to host the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 15) to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and we will make our own contributions to ensure its success. We will also work with other like-minded countries like France to contribute to the global fight against climate change.
加洛尼：中方是否做好准备提升减排承诺？会不会有更加有雄心的目标？因为很多国家在格拉斯哥会议之前都被呼吁进一步提升减排目标。中方是否做好了准备，何时愿意这样做？ 王毅：中国是一个负责任的国家，既然说了，就会做到。我们不会像有些国家那样，说得好听，但实际上做不到。比如应对气候变化基金，发达国家承诺每年向发展中国家提供1000亿美元，但是到现在还没有实现。China is a responsible country; we will match our words with concrete deeds. Unlike other countries, they may talk a lot but they don’t deliver. For example, in terms of climate change fund, for developed countries, they pledged to provide US$100 billion annually to developing countries. But so far they haven’t done that. 中方不需要说很多大话，去赢得所谓赞誉。我们准备踏实实地把承诺的事情做好。如果一个14亿人口的大国履行好减排承诺，那本身就是对世界的最大贡献，也是对人类发展的最大贡献。Rather than talking big and fishing for praise, we will take concrete measures to deliver our commitments. China has 1.4 billion people. If we can meet our target in emissions reduction, that in itself would be the biggest contribution to the world and to the development of humanity. 我可以举几个数字。比如，单位GDP减排强度指标，中国每年都提前完成计划。又如新能源汽车保有量，中国已经占有全世界的一半；可再生能源装机量，中国已经占到全世界的1/3。这些工作我们都在扎扎实实地做。中国不是用口号，而是用行动，参与国际社会应对气候变化的努力。
To give you some examples, in terms of the emission intensity of China’s GDP, we have met the target every year ahead of schedule. In terms of new energy vehicles, we have over 50 percent of the world’s total. And China has about one third of installed capacity of the world’s renewable energy. So China has taken solid steps to fight climate change. We are not making big statements, but we are making a big difference with concrete measures. And we are contributing our share to the international response to climate change.
加洛尼：中欧将于今年9月举行一次非常重要的峰会，气候变化协议有望成为峰会成果的一部分。中方是否期待从欧方那里得到一些什么积极的成果，作为应对气候变化总体协议的一部分？ 王毅：这是一个很具体的问题。昨天我同德国外长马斯专门就此进行了讨论。我们注意到新一届欧盟机构提出“绿色新政”，雄心勃勃，要赶超时代发展潮流。欧盟国家都是发达国家，有必要也有能力在全球绿色发展上发挥更加重要的示范作用。This is a specific issue. I discussed it with German Foreign Minister Maas yesterday. We have noticed that the new EU institution has introduced this ambitious green deal. Indeed, this is what we need given the current trend of the world. The EU is mainly composed of developed countries, so it must and can play a more important exemplary role in implementing green development in the world. 同时实现绿色发展，走可持续发展，也已成为中国的既定国策。比如中方积极倡议建设绿色“一带一路”，并为此出台了很多政策和支持措施。
At the same time, China is promoting green and sustainable development at home. We have made it a state policy. For example, the BRI is designed to pursue green development and we have introduced a lot of policies and measures for this purpose.
今年预定举行的中欧峰会议题很多，我们首先要共同发出维护多边主义、维护自由贸易、维护国际法权威和国际公平正义的声音，共同应对当前国际社会面临的各种风险挑战。同时中方也愿意同欧盟探讨在绿色经济方面加强互利合作。在这一问题上，中欧优势互补。欧盟有绿色发展的技术，中国有巨大的绿色产品市场，欧洲设备可以在中国市场上发挥应有作用。我们还可以探讨建立中欧绿色伙伴关系。我认为这会得到大多数欧洲国家的支持。There will be a packed agenda during this year’s summit. China and the EU should send out a joint message to support multilateralism, free trade, the authority of international law, international fairness and justice, and work together to address the risks and challenges confronting the international community. Meanwhile, we are ready to work with the EU to explore mutually beneficial cooperation on green economy. In this area, we each have our comparative advantages. The EU has the technologies and know-how on green development, while China has a huge market for green products. We believe that European equipment can play its role in China. We can also explore the possibility of a China-EU green partnership. I believe most countries in Europe will support this initiative.
Well, there is a long list of evidence. Anyone who sees what is happening on the streets of Hong Kong will arrive at the right conclusion.比如，一些西方国家的外交人员，包括一些非政府组织，频繁跟那些街头暴力分子会见，给他们撑腰打气。再比如，一些西方势力不仅不批评那些严重违法犯罪分子，反而指责依法执法的香港警察，企图摧毁香港的法治。还有些国家的议会甚至通过了干涉香港内部事务的法案。这些不都是事实吗？不容抵赖。As we have seen, diplomatic personnel and NGOs of some Western countries have had many meetings with the rioters to embolden them. And instead of criticizing the law-breaking activities of some radicals, they are criticizing the police in Hong Kong for performing their duties according to law, with the aim of compromising the rule of law in Hong Kong. The legislatures of some countries have even introduced bills that interfere in Hong Kong’s internal affairs. These are all clear facts that cannot be denied. 这些以双重标准干涉中国香港内部事务的做法实际上并没有得逞。香港形势目前正在逐渐恢复稳定，香港的法治也在重新走上正轨，“一国两制”方针将会继续坚定贯彻执行。香港绝大多数同胞都会意识到，“一国两制”才是香港长期繁荣稳定的最重要保障。Such double standards and practices trying to interfere in the internal affairs of China’s Hong Kong have not succeeded. The situation in Hong Kong is gradually improved and law and order is being restored. And “one country, two systems” will continue to be implemented resolutely. The majority of people in Hong Kong have realized that “one country, two systems” is the most important guarantee for Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.
Hong Kong is part of China. The “one country, two systems” is established by the Basic Law of the Hong Kong SAR. So everything must be done in accordance with the law. Some young people in Hong Kong have been misled. They have even waved the flags of foreign countries, imagining themselves as citizens of certain countries and hoping that foreign countries will come and rescue them. By doing that, they have completely betrayed their own roots and forgotten the identity of themselves as Chinese. This is disgraceful. They do not represent the majority of people in Hong Kong.
加洛尼：自从1997年回归之后，我们看到有很多努力让香港融入中国大陆，大陆也调动了很多资源努力赢取香港民心，但是我们看到这些做法在香港受到了一些抵制，您对此怎么看？ 王毅：这恰恰再次证明有一些外部势力唯恐香港不乱。他们千方百计想搞乱香港，进而影响甚至干扰中国的整体发展。为此无所不用其极，频繁制造街头暴力，导致香港法治受到严重损害。但这一现象是暂时的，不可能长久。在香港同胞自身努力下，在中国中央政府支持下，香港会很快恢复稳定和法治，大陆和香港之间的经济联系也会更加紧密。It once again shows that some foreign elements are trying whatever they can to stir up trouble in Hong Kong. They want to destabilize Hong Kong in order to hold back and even disrupt the overall development in China. They have exploited every opportunity to bring violence to the streets, which seriously undermines the rule of law in Hong Kong. But these situations are temporary and will not last long. With the effort of the people of Hong Kong and the support from the central government, stability and law and order will soon be restored in Hong Kong. The economic ties between the mainland and Hong Kong will only grow closer and stronger. 中央政府已经制定了一个宏大的经济战略，就是香港、澳门和广东形成一个大湾区，大湾区的建设启动，将会成为中国发展的又一重要引擎，不仅将给香港发展注入持久动力，也会带动整个中国经济的发展。英国、美国等很多国家在香港都有重要利益。维护好香港的繁荣、稳定和法治，符合所有各方利益。
The central government has introduced an ambitious economic development initiative, the Greater Bay Area of Hong Kong, Macao and Guangdong. With that, we will build another important engine for China’s development. It will provide sustained impetus to Hong Kong’s development and it will also contribute to China’s economy in the long run. Many countries including the UK and the US have major interests in Hong Kong. It therefore serves everyone’s interests to uphold prosperity, stability and the rule of law in Hong Kong.
The issue is not about China’s patience, but about the sincerity of the US and the DPRK to reach out and meet each other halfway. 中国的立场是一贯和清晰的。我们主张通过对话实现半岛无核化，同时维护半岛的和平稳定，在此过程中解决好朝鲜方面的合理和正当关切。
China’s position has been consistent and clear-cut. We have called for dialogue to achieve denuclearization, and peace and stability of the Peninsula. And in that process, the reasonable and legitimate concerns of the DPRK need to be addressed. 特朗普总统同金正恩委员长在新加坡达成了一个很好的协议。其中有两条重要共识：一是要在半岛建立永久和平机制；二是要实现半岛的完全无核化。中方对此表示支持，因为这两条恰恰是我们多年来希望达成的目标。President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un reached a good agreement during their Singapore meeting, which includes two important common understandings: first, to establish a permanent peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula and second, to achieve full denuclearization. China supports both of them. They are exactly what China has been working for over these many years. 如何实现这两个目标？需要一个切实可行的路线图。中方提出了我们的建议，就是按照“分阶段，同步走”的思路，并行推进并最终同时加以实现。这是中方总结20多年来经验提出的建议，是合情合理的。To achieve these two objectives requires a practicable roadmap. That is why China has put forth a dual-track approach, that is, the US and the DPRK will take phased and synchronized steps to proceed and advance these two processes together, so that the two objectives can be achieved in parallel. This is a reasonable proposal that is based on our experience of dealing with the issue for the past two decades and more. 俄罗斯同中方持有同样立场，韩国也接受了这一建议。据我们了解，美国不少人士，包括处理半岛核问题的一些关键人物，也开始认为要“分阶段，同步走”，但目前美国内似乎还没有形成真正的共识。Russia is on the same page with China and the ROK has come on board as well. We also know that inside the US, many people, including some key figures who have been dealing with the nuclear issue, also see the value of this phased and synchronized approach. However, there is yet to be a real consensus within the US. 我们希望美朝之间能够就路线图尽快达成一致。中方愿为此继续发挥积极作用。我们不能让来之不易的缓和局面再次失去，也不能够让和平的窗口再度关闭。We hope that the US and the DPRK can come to an agreement on the roadmap as early as possible. China is ready to continue to play a positive role for that to be realized. We just cannot afford to let the de-escalation that has been so hard to achieve slip away. We cannot afford to let the window of opportunity for peace be closed again.
加洛尼：回到最开始的问题，中方从应对疫情过程中，吸取了什么样的经验或者教训？ 王毅：人类社会就是在同各种疾病进行抗争的过程中不断发展起来的。任何国家都会有这样一个过程，中国也不例外。Human society has evolved in the fight against various epidemics. That is the case for all countries and also for China. 病毒今天可能发生在这个国家，明天也许发生在另一个国家，因此，公共卫生安全是国际社会的共同挑战。应该说，中国在这方面已经做得很好了。疫情之后，中方当然会认真总结经验，进一步提高公共卫生水平，包括这方面的能力建设。The epidemic may happen in one country today and it may happen in any other country tomorrow. Public health security is therefore a common challenge for the world. But to be fair, China has done a good job so far in responding to the epidemic. When the epidemic is over, we will of course look back and summarize experiences to see what can be done to improve the public health services in China, including our capacity. 同时，我们也会帮助世界上其他卫生系统脆弱的国家提升能力。中国同非洲正在开展八大合作计划，其中就有公共卫生合作计划。中方将继续同非洲国家开展卫生领域合作，就像当年我们挺身而出帮助非洲国家抗击埃博拉疫情一样。As we improve ourselves, we will also help with the capacity building of other countries that are still weak in public health system. For example, we have introduced the eight major initiatives for China’s cooperation with Africa, one of which focuses exactly on public health. So we will continue to promote public health cooperation with countries in Africa, just like what we did to help during the Ebola outbreak. 其他国家同样如此。美国2009年发生的甲型H1N1流感造成了很大损害，影响到214个国家和地区。美方也需要认真总结经验，吸取教训。总之，公共卫生是个国际社会共同面对的课题，需要各国加强合作，形成合力。Other countries also have a part to play in this regard. When the H1N1 flu started in the United States in 2009, the virus also caused serious damage, affecting 214 countries and regions in the world. The US also needs to look back and learn from the experiences and lessons. All in all, public health is a common subject for the entire world. We need to work together to combine our strengths.
STOCKHOLM, Nov. 27(Greenpost, chineseonline) — While the dark and rainy weather made people sad and lonely, a warm Xinjiang Photo Exhibition has been held in Stockholm recently.
The exhibition was held by Green Post(www.greenpost.se) and Chinese Online(www.chineseonline.se) in cooperation with China Europe Cultural Association and ABF(Swedish Workers Association) at the citykonferensen in Stockholm.
Xuefei Chen Axelsson, Chief Editor and photographer of Green Post and freelance journalist said the exhibition came against the background that she was invited to attend a journalistic trip to Xinjiang in August 2018 together with journalists from 13 countries along the belt and road routes. And after that she went to Xinjiang twice respectively in March to Turpan after the National People’s Congress and National Day celebration in Beijing to personally experience the atmosphere in Urumqi city, capital of Xinjiang Ugyor Autonomous Region.
“I was impressed by the journeys and felt that Xinjiang now is very safe to travel and the cultural and tourist resources were rich. During my journey, I can feel business in Grand Bazar is booming and the ugyors dancing and singing were wonderful. Thus, I like to share this feelings and impressions with all the people who are interested in Xinjiang. “said Chen Axelsson.
The purpose is to share the information about the living picture in Xinjiang. The exhibition focuses on Xinjiangs infrastructure such as the fast train, subways and wide road, busy business in Grandbazar, music and art, dancing, beautiful scenery and environmental protection.
To let people have a taste of Xinjiang music and song, Luan Dehan played violin Why the flower is so red.
Artist Zhu Yingying sang the song which was about love between a woman and a ugyor soldier and moved all the audience. A whole generation of people were moved by the film and the song in China’s 80s.
Duan Maoli, President of Swedish Anhui Sci-Tech and Commerce Association expressed his appreciation for the exhibition.
“I would like to say thanks to Xuefei for holding such an exhibition. The media under her leadership is a professional media. With this exhibition, we can see the beautiful Xinjiang and the safe Xinjiang. I like to say it should be A beautiful Xinjiang forever!”
Zhu Jinchuan, General Manager of Air China in Stockholm also looked at the exhibition.
He said it was impressive to see these photos. Watching these beautiful pictures let people feel the life there is quite colourful and it is easy to visit there with Air China because the airlines can fly there directly from Beijing. It can also fly directly to other cities.
Journalists from PROFOCA and FPA attended the exhibition. Swedish innovation entrepreneur Skycab manager Åker Aredal also attended the exhibition. He was quite excited to see President Xi’s photo with Ugyor people and even recalled the moment when he was with President Xi and presented him a letter.
During the exhibition, Xuefei Chen Axelsson also made a presentation about the pictures and added more pictures about the daily lives there in the Grand Bazar. She illustrated the stories behind every photo.
During the exhibition, Axelsson also answered some questions.
Many visitors said they learnt a lot about Xinjiang and felt glad that the situation is safe and secure and life is lively there. Some even said they like to visit Xinjiang some day.
Many diseases caused by a dysregulated immune system, such as allergies, asthma and autoimmunity, can be traced back to events in the first few months after birth. To date, the mechanisms behind the development of the immune system have not been fully understood. Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet show a connection between breast milk, beneficial gut bacteria and the development of the immune system. The study is published in Cell.
“A possible application of our results is a preventative method for reducing the risk of allergies, asthma and autoimmune disease later in life by helping the immune system to establish its regulatory mechanisms,” says the paper’s last author Petter Brodin, paediatrician and researcher at the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health, Karolinska Institutet. “We also believe that certain mechanisms that the study identifies can eventually lead to other types of treatment for such diseases, not just a prophylactic.”
The incidence of autoimmune diseases such as asthma, type 1 diabetes and Crohn’s disease is increasing in children and adolescents in parts of the world. These diseases are debilitating, but not as common in low-income countries as they are in Europe and the USA.
It has long been known that the risk of developing these diseases is largely determined by early life events; for instance, there is a correlation between the early use of antibiotics and a higher risk of asthma. It is also known that breastfeeding protects against most of these disorders.
There is a link between specific, protective bacteria on the skin and in the airways and gut and a lower risk of immunological diseases. However, there is still much to learn about how these bacteria form the immune system.
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet, Evolve Biosystems, Inc, the University of California Davis, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, and University of Nevada, Reno studied how the neonatal immune system adapts to and is shaped by the many bacteria, viruses, nutrients and other environmental factors to which the baby is exposed during the first few months of life.
Earlier research has shown that bifidobacteria are common in breastfed babies in countries with a low incidence of autoimmune diseases.
Breast milk is rich in HMOs (Human milk oligosaccharides), which babies are unable to metabolise on their own. The production of these complex sugars are instead associated with the evolutionary advantage of nourishing specific gut bacteria that play an important part in their immune system. Bifidobacteria are one such bacterial class.
“We found that babies whose intestinal flora can break down HMOs have less inflammation in the blood and gut,” says professor Brodin. “This is probably because of the uniquely good ability of the bifidobacteria to break down HMOs, to expand in nursing babies and to have a beneficial effect on the developing immune system early in life.”
Babies who were breastfed and received additional bifidobacteria had higher intestinal levels of the molecules ILA and Galectin-1. ILA (indole-3-lactic acid) is needed to convert HMO molecules into nutrition; Galectin-1 is central to the activation of the immune response to threats and attacks.
According to the researchers, Galectin-1 is a newly discovered and critical mechanism for preserving bacteria with beneficial, anti-inflammatory properties in the intestinal flora.
The results are based on 208 breastfed babies born at Karolinska University Hospital between 2014 and 2019. The researchers also used novel methods to analyse the immune system even from small blood samples. Additionally, a second cohort developed by the University of California in which infants were exclusively breastfed and half were fed B. infantis supplement were analyzed for enteric inflammation.
One limitation of the study is that the researchers were unable to study the immune system direct in the gut and had to resort to blood samples. Not all aspects of the gut immune system can be seen in the blood, but it is not ethically defensible to take intestinal biopsies from healthy neonates.
The researchers now hope to follow the participant babies for a longer time to see which ones develop atopic eczema, asthma and allergies.
“We’re planning a new experiment using bacterial substitution to see if we can help all babies have a healthier immunological start in life,” says professor Brodin. “We’re also working with other researchers to compare the development of the immune system in Swedish babies with babies who grow up in rural sub-Saharan Africa, where the incidence of allergies is much lower.”
The study was financed by the European Research Council, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Karolinska Institutet and Swedish Research Council.
Petter Brodin, Axel Olin, Jaromir Mikes and Tadepally Lakshmikanth are the founders of Cytodelics AB, Sweden. Petter Brodin is advisor to Scailyte AG, Switzerland. Ryan D. Mitchell, Stephanie Chew, Johann Prambs, Heather K. Brown, Steven A. Frese and Bethany M. Henrick are employed by Evolve BioSystems. Jennifer T. Smilowitz has received a grant for the IMPRINT experiment and Amy M. Ehrlich received funding for assisting with the writing of the manuscript. Bruce J. German is co-founder of Evolve BioSystems. Steven A. Frese are Bethany M. Henrick are affiliated with the Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA.
Publication: “Bifidobacteria-mediated immune system imprinting early in life”. Bethany M. Henrick, Lucie Rodriguez, Tadepally Lakshmikanth, Christian Pou, Ewa Henckel, Aron Arzoomand, Axel Olin, Jun Wang, Jaromir Mikes, Ziyang Tan, Yang Chen, Amy M. Ehrlich, Anna Karin Bernhardsson, Constantin Habimana Mugabo, Ylva Ambrosiani, Anna Gustafsson, Stephanie Chew, Heather K. Brown, Johann Prambs, Kajsa Bohlin, Ryan D. Mitchell, Mark A. Underwood, T. Smilowitz, Bruce J. German, Steven A. Frese, Petter Brodin. Cell, 17 June 2021, doi:10.1016/j.cell.2021.05.030.
Xuefei Chen Axelsson is an independent media person. She has been a journalist for 30 years. She studied English, International politics, and sustainable development. She has been to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and America, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and all the nordic countries including Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Britain. She is good at talking with all kinds of people and exchange ideas and serves as a bridge between China and the world.