Xi trans­forms diplo­macy

Se­ries shows Xi as con­fi­dent leader on for­eign trips

Global Times - - Front Page - By Yang Sheng

Ma­jor- Coun­try Diplo­macy, a six- episode doc­u­men­tary se­ries, be­gan broad­cast­ing on Mon­day, dis­play­ing China’s achieve­ments in diplo­macy and its change in strat­egy since the 18th Na­tional Congress of Com­mu­nist Party of China ( CPC) in 2012.

The se­ries, jointly pro­duced by the Pub­lic­ity De­part­ment of the CPC Cen­tral Com­mit­tee, Xin­hua News Agency and China Cen­tral Tele­vi­sion, is avail­able on both TV and new me­dia plat­forms.

The doc­u­men­tary in­cludes an ex­ten­sive range of in­ter­views and sto­ries cover­ing many sig­nif­i­cant diplo­matic events, in­clud­ing the G20 sum­mit in 2016 in Hangzhou and the Belt and Road forum in Bei­jing in 2017.

China has bro­ken new ground in diplo­macy un­der the cen­tral lead­er­ship with a se­ries of new ideas and strate­gies, ac­cord­ing to the pro­duc­ers of the doc­u­men­tary, Xin­hua re­ported. Scenes of Pres­i­dent Xi Jin- ping’s diplo­matic ac­tiv­i­ties are fea­tured in the pro­gram, demon­strat­ing an im­age of a con­fi­dent and hard­work­ing na­tional leader.

The doc­u­men­tary also demon­strates that China will play a more ac­tive role in con­tribut­ing to world peace and sta­bil­ity, as well as pros­per­ity and

progress of mankind, Xin­hua re­ported.

56 coun­tries, five con­ti­nents

Ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­men­tary, in the five years since Xi be­came Chi­nese pres­i­dent, he has spent 193 days on for­eign vis­its to 56 coun­tries across five con­ti­nents.

Dur­ing his busy sched­ule, some­times Xi did not even have time to have a proper meal. Zhou Yu, an in­ter­preter from the for­eign min­istry, said in the first episode that “He [ Xi] usu­ally doesn’t have time to dine. On a for­eign visit, the pres­i­dent’s body­guard gave me a box of bis­cuits be­fore we got in the car to go to the next bi­lat­eral ac­tiv­ity, and he asked me to let the pres­i­dent at least eat some­thing dur­ing the trip.”

Xi has made great ef­forts to pro­mote peo­ple- to- peo­ple ex­changes be­tween China and other coun­tries. Vice For­eign Min­is­ter Zhang Ye­sui said in the doc­u­men­tary that “Pres­i­dent Xi ne­go­ti­ated with for­eign lead­ers 96 times, and gained great achieve­ments to pro­vide Chi­nese cit­i­zens more con­ve­nience to visit other coun­tries.” By July 2017, Chi­nese cit­i­zens could visit 64 coun­tries and re­gions around the globe with­out a visa, the doc­u­men­tary said.

In the first episode, the doc­u­men- tary also showed that Xi is a leader with cul­tural con­fi­dence and a sense of duty over pub­lic­ity and in­her­i­tance of Chi­nese cul­ture. Dur­ing a meet­ing with Ger­man si­nol­o­gists and schol­ars from the Con­fu­cius In­sti­tute in Berlin in 2014, Xi said “Some former lead­ers of China told me that, as China’s lead­ers, we can’t lose 5,000 years of Chi­nese cul­ture and civ­i­liza­tion. We should pass them on to the next gen­er­a­tion.”

“Some for­eign politi­cians talk a lot [ about China], but when I asked one of them ‘ have you been to China?’ He said ‘ Re­gret­tably, no’ and then I asked him ‘ have you been to other Asian coun­tries?’ and he said ‘ No, I haven’t been to Asia yet.’ I told him that I re­ally ad­mire your con­fi­dence be­cause I will not judge and eval­u­ate a coun­try that I haven’t been to,” Xi said at the meet­ing.

Tran­si­tion in diplo­macy

“The Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of China’s diplo­matic pri­or­i­ties can be di­vided into three stages. The first stage, the Mao era, was fight­ing for sur­vival; the sec­ond stage started from Deng Xiaop­ing’s era, which was fight­ing for de­vel­op­ment; now we are in the third stage un­der the lead­er­ship of Xi, which is fight­ing for dig­nity,” Jin Can­rong, as­so­ciate dean of the De­part­ment of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies at the Ren­min Univer­sity of China, told the Global Times.

“In the sec­ond stage, China’s diplo­matic mission was to main­tain a peace­ful ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment for de­vel­op­ment, which is to re­serve and in­crease na­tional power, so we kept a lower pro­file be­fore. Now, times have changed,” said Hua Lim­ing, a former Chi­nese am­bas­sador to Iran.

In 2015, Xi or­dered the Chi­nese naval fleet in the Gulf of Aden to evac­u­ate Chi­nese cit­i­zens from Ye­men, and the navy also evac­u­ated 279 for­eign­ers from 15 coun­tries, in­clud­ing Pak­istan, In­dia, Sin­ga­pore, the UK, Italy and Bel­gium. This was the first time that China has used its naval ves­sels to con­duct an in­ter­na­tional evac­u­a­tion, the doc­u­men­tary said.

Cur­rently, multi- po­lar­iza­tion and glob­al­iza­tion is re­shap­ing the in­ter­na­tional or­der. China is stand­ing on a historic stage to re­al­ize its re­ju­ve­na­tion, so the op­por­tu­ni­ties and the chal­lenges are un­prece­dented, said Su Ge, pres­i­dent of the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies.

“China has started to use its na­tional power to pro­tect its in­ter­ests and peo­ple overseas; to gain lead­er­ship of in­ter­na­tional gov­er­nance, and to re­form the cur­rent in­ter­na­tional po­lit­i­cal sys­tem,” Hua said.

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