New Chi­nese diplo­macy has two-way dy­namic

China Daily European Weekly - - Cover Story - Xu Fangqing

Na­tion has be­come an in­flu­en­tial in­ter­na­tional player, and any in­ward or out­ward change of pol­icy will rip­ple through­out the world

The in­side dy­namic, in syn­chro­niza­tion with in­ter­na­tional forces, is re­mold­ing China’s diplo­macy as the coun­try steers into new fron­tiers dur­ing the new era.

Fac­ing the new sit­u­a­tion at home and abroad, the Chi­nese lead­er­ship has been promis­ing to open its door wider to the world and con­tin­u­ously and com­pre­hen­sively carry out re­form.

As the sec­ond-largest econ­omy, China today is an im­por­tant in­ter­na­tional power after fast growth since 1978. More­over, this year wit­nesses the 40th an­niver­sary of China’s re­form and open­ing-up pol­icy, as chaos and tur­bu­lence loom over the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity in the aftermath of pushes for de­glob­al­iza­tion and un­bal­anced de­vel­op­ment world­wide.

There­fore, the diplo­macy of China needs a new stance in a bid to reach the new tar­get for “a new par­a­digm of in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions and a com­mu­nity of com­mon des­tiny for all mankind”. This in­di­cates that China will not only safe­guard its in­ter­ests at home and abroad, but also con­trib­ute more to global so­ci­ety.

First of all, with more in­ter­ac­tion with the out­side world, more play­ers like tourists and over­seas work­ing staff from China take the role as “Chi­nese diplo­mats”. Mil­lions of Chi­nese tourists, stu­dents and work­ers now travel across the world as Chi­nese peo­ple get rich and its en­ter­prises go abroad, with the in­her­ent de­mand for big­ger markets and the ad­vance­ment of com­pe­ti­tion ca­pac­ity.

It’s es­ti­mated that 130 mil­lion Chi­nese tourists went over­seas and spent as much as $115 bil­lion (98 bil­lion euros; £86 bil­lion) in 2017. Re­gard­ing out­bound in­vest­ment, China had set up more than 6,230 com­pa­nies, with a to­tal of $120 bil­lion in­vested, in 174 coun­tries and re­gions as of last year.

Thus, the Chi­nese image will not only de­pend on well-trained diplo­mats, but also be in closer as­so­ci­a­tion with each or­di­nary Chi­nese abroad. Each coun­try or re­gion has its own cul­ture and laws, and Chi­nese trav­el­ers should re­al­ize and re­spect that now. On the one hand, sys­tem­atic pro­mo­tion is badly needed through pub­lic me­dia and travel agen­cies. On the other, a re­lated course should be brought into cur­ricu­lums, be­gin­ning with pri­mary school.

A neg­a­tive image would make China and its peo­ple un­wel­come by lo­cals in the short term, while Chi­nese in­ter­ests would be in peril in the long run.

Sec­ond, China now has more in­flu­ence than ever be­fore, so diplo­matic aware­ness and poli­cies need to re­flect such a dra­matic change.

As one of the five per­ma­nent mem­bers of the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, China is also a lead­ing player of the in­ter­na­tional econ­omy. In 2017, China re­took the No 1 trade ti­tle with a to­tal of $4.1 tril­lion in goods, ac­cord­ing to the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion. Ac­cord­ing to China’s Na­tional Bureau of Statis­tics, China ac­counts for 15.3 per­cent of the world econ­omy and more than 30 per­cent of global growth.

China has be­come an in­flu­en­tial player in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity, and any in­ward or out­ward change of its pol­icy will rip­ple through­out the world.

Un­der such cir­cum­stances, more out­side doubts or chal­lenges against China will fol­low, with some even to­ward China’s in­ner poli­cies. Aware­ness should be up­dated, there­fore, and per­cep­tions need to be im­proved to see that

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