: A Witness to Chinese Diplomacy Blazing New Paths and Achieving Brilliant Success

China International Studies (English) - - Contents - Su Xiaohui

Chinese Solution is an attempt to elaborate on the development of China’s diplomacy since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. With the rise of its national strength and international influence, China is moving toward the center of world stage, and its diplomacy is thus in the spotlight.

This book tries to perceive the essence of China’s current diplomatic practice by analyzing the external realities. In recent years, interpretations of China’s diplomacy have polarized. Domestically, some people think that Chinese diplomacy is “too soft.” But elsewhere, the public often perceive China’s diplomacy as being “assertive.” These two views are diametrically opposite, uncompromising, but neither is objective and balanced enough. The articles in this book analyze the core features of China’s current diplomacy through detailed analyses of China’s bilateral relations, the South China Sea dispute and other issues, as well as China’s influence on the evolution of international relations and the international order.

The book looks at these issues from China’s perspective, as China’s diplomacy is based on its judgments of the global situation. The world economy is still in the shadow of the 2008 international financial crisis, the recovery of the global economy is weak, downward pressures are lingering, the macroeconomic policies of major economies are polarized, and protectionism has followed. Against this background, boosting the

endogenous power and promoting the recovery of the world economy has become a common challenge for all countries. The United States is hesitating, the European Union is healing, Russia is counterattacking and China is rising, all these combine to create a complex and evolving situation. In 2017, the United States under the administration of Donald Trump will undoubtedly become the biggest variable. Its external strategy will inevitably affect other major powers and their strategic adjustments. The world is facing complex and diverse security challenges. The situation on the Korean Peninsula has worsened and the territorial disputes in the South China Sea have become more prominent. Climate change, energy security, food security and other cross-border issues are intertwined. In the Asia-pacific, the South China Sea arbitration case, South Korea’s deployment of the THAAD antimissile system and other issues are directly impacting on the stability of China’s surrounding environment. The fates of China and the world are now linked. It’s difficult for China to remain aloof from the complicated international environment.

China’s diplomacy has entered a new historical stage, and demonstrates a new form and style. Chinese President Xi Jinping has positioned China’s diplomacy as “major power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics,” and requires China’s work in the field of external relations to have distinctive Chinese characteristics, along with a Chinese style and Chinese manner.

Now the new expressions, proposals and ideas of China’s diplomacy are emerging. China upholds the building of partnerships through dialogue rather than confrontation, cooperation rather than alliances, and the establishment of a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation as the core. On this basis, it proposes countries should work together to jointly build a community of shared future for all mankind. Many articles in this book analyze these concepts and ideas contrasting China’s pursuit of cooperation with the United States’ outdated alliance and zero-sum mindset, and underscoring the far-reaching significance of the new Chinese diplomatic concepts. The author especially emphasizes the Belt and Road Initiative, the magnificent cooperation and development path for the

21st century that is China’s most imaginative foreign strategy, and which reveals its ambition and leadership capabilities.

The book also sheds light on the development of China-us relations. The relative strengths and status of the two countries are changing. In the past, there was a big gap between the strengths of China and the United States. But now China’s economic aggregate ranks second in the world. How to get along with the US has become a sharp and urgent challenge. Whether China and the US will fall into the “Thucydides trap” is a constant question and there has been incessant hyping of a confrontation between China and the US. The author accentuates that the United States is not only a major power, but also in effect one of China’s neighboring countries. Today, many problems facing China are within China’s periphery, and the US across the Pacific is perceived as the driving force behind them. The United States’ “return” to Asia with its rebalancing strategy is the fundamental factor in the evolving situation in the Asia-pacific. At present, China-us relations are facing a new situation. With Trump inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States, the trend of his foreign policy is yet to manifest itself, bringing uncertainties to China-us relations. This book highlights the significant change that has occurred in the bilateral relations, namely that China and the US have gradually formed a new common community that impacts on each other’s policymaking, their mutual demands and interdependence. Many of the articles in the book look at the interaction between China and the United States from different angles, lauding China’s promotion of a new type of major-country relationship with the US that features non-conflict, nonconfrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation.

The book helps us understand China’s diplomatic responses to major international issues. There are articles expounding China’s position and manner in handling the South China Sea arbitration case, analyzing the trends of China-philippines relations, and outlining China’s considerations for opposing the deployment of THAAD system by the United States and South Korea on the Korean Peninsula. Many articles cover hot-spot issues, and they help readers understand why these issues have arisen and potential

approaches to resolving them.

The book is published at the right time. For China, the most important political event in 2017 is the forthcoming 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. Chinese diplomacy must seek a favorable external environment for this event. China will also host the high-level Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and the 9th BRICS Summit this year. What kind of world China wants to build, and how it will shoulder its responsibility as a major power, are questions that the world will be looking to these events for answers.

As this book demonstrates, China is initiating the awareness of a community of shared future for all mankind, opposes the Cold War mentality and zero-sum mindset, continues to build a new type of

international relations featuring win-win cooperation, and is committed to developing cooperative relations with countries all over the world. China is firmly advancing globalization towards a more open, inclusive and mutually beneficial direction. It promotes free trade and opposes protectionism. Meanwhile, China remains vigilant against the serious challenges that may arise and strives to resolutely safeguard its national interests.

The world is too big, and challenges are too many, as Chinese President Xi Jinping said in his 2016 New Year speech, to go without the voice from China being heard, without solution ideas from China being shared, without the involvement of China being needed. The international community expects to hear China’s voice and see China’s plans. China cannot be absent.

Chinese Solution comprises three sections. The first section looks at the new developments of Chinese diplomacy, the second section includes articles expressing the author’s views on China-us relations, and the third focuses on the reshaping of world order. The three sections are closely connected, with their contents covering Chinese diplomatic thoughts and practices, and demonstrating China’s determination to shoulder its international responsibilities.

The author Ruan Zongze is a Senior Research Fellow and Executive Vice President of China Institute of International Studies (CIIS), Chief Editor of International Studies (Chinese) and China International Studies (English), both nationwide leading journals of CIIS. He also serves as member of the Public Diplomacy Advisory Committee of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese member of the ASEAN Regional Forum Experts and Eminent Persons Group (ARF EEP). A well-known expert in international studies for a long time, Ruan was posted to the Chinese embassy in the United Kingdom as second and first secretary (1996-2000), and the Chinese embassy in the United States as Minister Counsellor (20072011), where he accumulated rich diplomatic experience. His experience as a diplomat gives him profound insights into international issues and a more acute grasp of Chinese foreign policies.

Chinese Solution, the latest work by CIIS Executive Vice President Ruan Zongze, collects the author’s insightful reflections on new developments of Chinese diplomacy, new paradigm in China-us relations, and new outlook of world order.

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