Major-country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era
The overarching goal of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era is to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future. China will take new steps, get on a new look and endeavor to write a new chapter for the well-being of the Chinese people and progress of mankind.
President Xi Jinping declared in his report to the 19th National Congress of the CPC that socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era. This is a new historical context set for China’s development and for its distinctive major-country diplomacy.
This major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era is underpinned by China’s diplomatic practice since the founding of the PRC and in particular by innovations in diplomatic theory and practice after the 18th CPC National Congress.
Since the 18th CPC National Congress and under President Xi Jinping’s guidance and instruction, China has embarked on a path of major-country diplomacy with a distinct vision, style and approach, and has advanced its diplomacy in an all-round and multifaceted way. All this has created a favorable external environment for China’s development and made new, significant contribution to world peace and development.
A new era calls for new missions and goals. In his report to the 19th CPC National Congress, President Xi Jinping expounded on China’s diplomacy in the new era, outlining the blueprint and course for its development. He stressed that the new era will be an era that sees China moving closer to center stage and making greater contribution to mankind; that the Communist Party of China strives for both the well-being of the Chinese people and human progress and to make new
and greater contribution for mankind is our Party’s abiding mission; and that major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era aims to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind.
China’s diplomacy in the new era aims to shoulder the responsibility of the well-being of the Chinese people and progress of mankind. To accomplish this mission, we need to work more vigorously to serve China’s own development and provide strong support to the realization of the “two centenary goals” and the Chinese Dream of national renewal. At the same time, we also need to be more active in our contribution to the rest of the world by promoting common development through winwin cooperation, acting as a responsible major country in international affairs, and providing more public goods to the international community as our ability permits.
The overarching goal of this diplomacy is to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind. This objective is rooted in China’s profound history and culture, and reflects what we make of the realities in China and in the world.
Throughout history, the Chinese nation views the world as one big family. We believe that despite certain differences, or sometimes unavoidable frictions among countries, people across all countries belong to one family as they live on the same planet with a shared home, a shared dream and a shared future.
As we speak, despite the phenomenal progress China has achieved in past decades and the historic evolution in the principal contradiction of its society, the reality that China remains at the primary stage of socialism has not changed, and its international status as the world’s largest developing country has not changed. To secure a decisive victory in building a moderately prosperous society in all respects and to develop a great modern socialist country, China needs persistent and harder efforts and a peaceful and stable international environment.
The world we live in today is full of hopes and challenges. With the ongoing trend towards globalization and a multi-polar world and changes in global landscape and international situation, countries need to act together to address the multiple challenges. It is the shared aspiration of all peoples to live in a world of peace and cooperation rather than turbulence and frictions. With a strong sense of justice and compassion, the Chinese people have been giving selfless care and support to countries and peoples suffering war, turbulence, hunger and poverty, and always stand ready to make our best efforts for peace and development of mankind.
To build a new type of international relations is to take a new approach to developing state-to-state relations with mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation at its core. It is founded on mutual respect, follows the principle of fairness and justice, and aims at win-win cooperation. Such a philosophy calls for communication, not confrontation, and partnership, not alliance. It rejects the Cold War mentality of bloc confrontation, the old thinking of zero-sum game and the law of the jungle. It meets the shared aspiration of people across the world and echoes the call of our time. Forging a new type of international relations will pave the way for a community with a shared future for mankind.
Building a community with a shared future for mankind, an initiative China advocates in its diplomacy in the new era, answers an important question of our time: Where should the human society go? To build such a community is to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. Such an initiative rises above borders as well as partisan and institutional differences, reflects the shared expectation of most countries, serves the common interests of the international community, and is therefore increasingly recognized and supported by various parties.
To achieve the vision for a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind, China will continue to
hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit and uphold its fundamental foreign policy goal of preserving world peace and promoting common development. China remains firm in its commitment to strengthening friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. We will stay on the path of peaceful development and a win-win strategy of opening-up. China remains firm in pursuing an independent foreign policy of peace. We respect the choice of the people of all countries and endeavor to uphold fairness and justice. We believe that countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal. We will never seek hegemony or expansion. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will always safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and uphold international order.
The new era calls for new accomplishments and spurs new progress. We will promote coordination and cooperation with other major countries and work to put in place a framework for major country relations featuring overall stability and balanced development. Shouldering special, important responsibilities in maintaining world peace and development, major countries must co-exist in harmony and cooperate with each other in order for the world to achieve peace and development.
China and the United States are the largest developing and developed countries in the world. A long-term, healthy and stable China-us relationship not only serves the fundamental interests of our two peoples, but also meets the common aspiration of the international community. With our two countries cooperating in so many areas and competing in just a few, our shared interests far outweigh our differences. Working together, we both win; fighting each other, we both lose. China has all along valued its relationship with the US and is ready to work for a relationship based on no conflict or confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation. It is only natural for our two countries to have disagreements. One cannot blame the other side for one’s own problems
or make fundamental mistakes of strategic misjudgment. That will hurt both sides and the world. The right thing to do is to be objective and reasonable, put oneself in the other’s shoes and accommodate each other. Most importantly, both sides need to observe the three joint communiqués and the one-china principle, respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, and resolve and manage our differences to prevent any damage to the overall China-us cooperation.
The economic relationship between China and the United States is, in nature, mutually beneficial, and has brought real benefits to people of both countries. With the rapid growth of our economic cooperation, it is not surprising that trade imbalances may occur. Efforts should be made to find a mutually acceptable solution through consultation. The United States has recently announced the result of the 301 investigation against
China that it had unilaterally initiated. This move is against WTO rules and the desire of the Chinese and American business communities for cooperation. China’s position on this is very clear. We don’t want a trade war, but we are not afraid of it. We are determined and fully prepared to defend our national interests. China calls on the US side to follow a rational approach and work with China on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit to seek a proper solution. This is a better approach for both countries and the rest of the world.
China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners of coordination. Under the current circumstances, the role of Chinarussia relationship as an anchor of international balance and strategic stability is all the more important. With the personal guidance of the two presidents, the relationship has entered its best period in history. China is ready to work with Russia to advance bilateral cooperation across the board, take our strategic coordination to an even higher level, and see that China-russia relations go from strength to strength.
China and Europe share extensive common interests. China has all along valued Europe’s strategic standing and role. We will continue to firmly support the European integration process, enrich the strategic dimensions of the China-eu partnerships for peace, growth, reform and inter-civilization exchange, and usher in greater progress in Chinaeurope relations.
We will deepen our relations with neighboring countries in line with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, which was articulated by President Xi Jinping, and the policy of forging friendship and partnership in our neighborhood put forward by President Xi Jinping. “Having a close neighbor is more important than having a distant relative”; this Chinese saying suggests how important relations with one’s neighbors can be. Overall, situation in China’s neighborhood is in good shape. The two major events held in China this year, the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Qingdao Summit, will offer
us good platforms to build regional consensus for mutual support and lend new impetus to regional cooperation. This year will also mark the 15th anniversary of CHINA-ASEAN strategic partnership. We will use it as an opportunity to upgrade our cooperation with ASEAN members. Committed to both the implementation of the DOC and consultations on a COC, China stands ready to work with other regional countries to safeguard stability in the South China Sea and advance maritime cooperation. We will also move ahead with the negotiations on the RCEP and work for an early consensus to open a new chapter in Asia-pacific cooperation.
We will deepen win-win cooperation with fellow developing countries in keeping with the philosophy of striking a proper balance between friendship and interests and the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, both put forward by President Xi Jinping. In complementing each other’s strengths and pursuing common development, China endeavors to help fellow developing countries enhance their capacity for self-generated development. For many years, China has provided a considerable amount of selfless assistance to other developing countries, especially the LDCS, without any political strings in response to the development needs of the recipient countries, and delivering real benefits to their peoples. In the past 60 years and more since China started foreign assistance, we have trained over 12 million personnel of various professions for other developing countries and sent over 600,000 professionals abroad on assistance programs. The latest State Council institutional reform plan envisages the establishment of an international development cooperation agency. Once established, it will better organize China’s foreign assistance efforts and enable China to contribute even more to international development. Earlier this year, China, together with Latin American and Caribbean countries, successfully held the CHINA-CELAC ministerial meeting. Later this year, we will hold the next FOCAC summit and a ministerial meeting of the China-arab States Cooperation Forum. Through these gatherings,
we will keep the cooperation mechanisms between China and the aforementioned regions relevant and vibrant.
We will continue to advance international cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) following the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. The BRI is an initiative put forward by President Xi Jinping. It is a major step China has taken to further open itself up to the rest of the world. It is a concrete example of China’s commitment to building a community with a shard future for mankind and has become an important new platform for international cooperation. To date, we have signed BRI cooperation agreements with 80-plus countries and organizations and institutionalized our production-capacity cooperation with more than 30 countries. A new landscape of opening-up under the rubric of BRI has taken shape. Looking ahead, we will make good on the commitments made at the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF), develop follow-up mechanisms, and ensure the success of key ministerial meetings to prepare the ground for a second BRF in 2019. We look forward to reaching consensus with more countries, seek greater synergy between development strategies, complement each other with our respective strengths, and deliver solid progress on key projects. By doing so, we will make the BRI a symphony of all participating countries, from which all will gain from cooperation and share in the benefits of China’s reform and opening-up.
We will actively take part in the reform and building of the global governance system. China’s participation in global governance reform is not meant to overhaul the system or start a new structure, but to improve the current system in keeping with the times to make it more relevant and equitable and increase the representation and voice of developing countries. China maintains that issues in the world must be resolved through consultation by people of all countries and that the benefits of global governance must be shared by different countries and people of different social strata and groups. We stand for multilateralism,
resolutely uphold the authority and stature of the United Nations, and support the UN in playing an active role in international affairs. We support the multilateral trading regime and will work to make economic globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial for all. We firmly oppose protectionism in trade and investment. For emerging areas like ocean, polar regions and cyberspace, China maintains that countries should work together to establish new mechanisms, new rules and new platforms for win-win cooperation.
We will continue to play an active role in addressing hotspot issues. Currently, there are still many regional hotspots around the world, which have jeopardized peace and stability. Properly resolving these issues is a shared responsibility for the international community. In recent years, China has taken an active part in efforts to address hotspot issues, including the Iranian nuclear issue, South Sudan and Afghanistan, and become a major troop and fund contributing country of UN peacekeeping missions. Based on our experience, we have developed a Chinese approach to resolving hotspot issues, which can be summed into three words, i.e. peaceful, justifiable and constructive. To be more specific we call for political settlement and reject the use of force; we believe one should not meddle in others’ internal affairs and reject imposing one’s will on others; we do our best to be fair and objective and reject pursuing private ends. The situation on the Korean Peninsula is showing signs of de-escalation. We urge all relevant parties to seize the opportunity to advance denuclearization by showing greater sincerity for dialogue and negotiation and doing more things to facilitate positive interactions.
We will step up efforts to better serve domestic development and protect our overseas interests. Serving domestic development is a central task of China’s diplomacy, and serving the people is our abiding goal. In keeping with the new vision of development and the needs for high quality development, we will work to create more enabling conditions for external cooperation and a better international environment for domestic development. We will continue to present Chinese provinces, regions and
cities to the world, exert all efforts to promote coordinated development of Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei Province, and make our contribution to the planning and building of the Xiongan New Area and the hosting of the 2022 Winter Olympics. We will also do our share of work for winning the battle against poverty. Taking a people-centered approach, we will deepen the reform of consular work, continue to improve consular mechanisms and build a system for ensuring the safety of Chinese nationals overseas, in order to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and companies.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up and kicks off the implementation of the decisions of the 19th CPC National Congress. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we in the diplomatic service will take new steps, get on a new look and endeavor to write a whole new chapter of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, to the greater benefit of the people of China and beyond.
Confucius taught us that a helpful friend is upright, honest and knowledgeable. China Development Forum, with the purpose of hearing the voice of the world and exploring the development path of China, has become an important window for the international community to know more of China, an important platform for exchange and mutual learning between China and the outside world, and an important source of friendly forces for China’s reform, development and external cooperation. I am confident that this year’s forum will make new contribution to enhancing the mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between China and the rest of the world. China looks forward to strengthening exchange and cooperation with other countries to realize the grand vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind.
On March 26, Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang is invited to address “Major-country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era” at the 19th Annual Session of the China Development Forum hosted by the Development Research Center of the State Council.