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Yang Jiechi:Advancing China’s Major-Country Diplomacy Under the Guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Foreign Affairs

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Author:Yang Jiechi | Source:English Edition of Qiushi Journal October-December 2019|Vol.11,No.4,Issue No.41

Abstract:


This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Over the past 70 years, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), our initiatives in foreign affairs have traversed ups and downs on its pioneering path forward, and have offered valuable contributions to the country’s development and national renewal. While the world today is facing changes of a magnitude unseen in a century, socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era and the Chinese nation has achieved a tremendous transformation from standing up, to becoming prosperous, and growing strong. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC in 2012, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core has taken up the torch of history and led the whole Party and the Chinese people in forging ahead with determination and an innovative and pioneering spirit. As a result, new horizons have opened up for major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and China’s international status has risen to unprecedented heights. Today, our goal of national renewal is closer than at any other time in history and we have more confidence and capability to realize this goal. At present, China sits at a convergence point of the timeframes of the Two Centenary Goals. All individuals and organizations engaged in foreign affairs must thoroughly study and implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, with particular attention to Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs, as well as fully understand the current historical juncture of China’s development and the general trends of world development, and continue to advance China’s major-country diplomacy, thereby devoting tireless efforts to realizing national rejuvenation and building a global community with a shared future.

Mao Zedong poses with friends from Asian, African, and Latin American countries in 1959. China has always stood firmly with developing countries since the founding of the People’s Republic 70 years ago.

XINHUA (FILE PHOTO)

I. Under the leadership of the CPC, China’s initiatives in foreign affairs have achieved brilliant success in the last 70 years.

In 1949, the PRC was established, ushering China’s relations with the world into a new epoch while at the same time commencing the nation’s extraordinary and historic diplomatic journey. Modern China in the years leading up to 1949 was plagued by poverty and weakness, bullied and humiliated by foreign powers. Consequently, national renewal has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people since the advent of modern times. From the moment of its founding, the CPC has upheld the realization of communism as its loftiest ideal and ultimate goal, and has unhesitatingly shouldered the historic mission of seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. It is this original aspiration and historic mission that has spurred Chinese Communists to constantly forge ahead and lead Chinese people of all ethnic groups in realizing national independence and making China prosperous and strong, and this has profoundly changed the future of the Chinese nation and the developmental landscape and trends of the world.

Chinese Communists represented by Mao Zedong established the PRC after 28 years of bloody but determined struggle. At that moment, the Chinese people stood up and became masters of their own future, and ever since, the Chinese nation has stood tall and firm in the East with a new attitude. From the very outset of its founding, the PRC has stood on the side of the socialist camp and that of world peace and democracy, supported the peoples of various countries in their righteous struggles, and adhered to an independent foreign policy of peace. In its early days, the PRC advocated a new type of international relations based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, put forward the theory of the differentiation of the “three worlds,” offered generous support to national liberation movements in Asian, African and Latin American countries, and opposed colonialism, hegemonism, and power politics. The first-generation leaders of the PRC, such as Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai, personally laid the foundation for China’s diplomacy and directly led and adopted a series of major initiatives in foreign relations, including adjusting the relations with the United States and forming the “great triangle” with the US and the Soviet Union, thereby effectively safeguarding international strategic balance as well as world peace and stability. In the early 1970s, China regained its rightful seat in the United Nations and began to walk into all international arenas with greater strides.

After the Third Plenary Session of the 11th Central Committee of the CPC in 1978, Chinese Communists represented by Deng Xiaoping demonstrated penetrating insight into global trends and the features of the times. They clearly stated that peace and development would be the main theme of the era, that there would be no world war, and that China should seize this opportunity for self-development. It was on this basis that the historic decision was made to shift the focus of the Party and the state to economic development and carry out the reform and opening up program. Accordingly, China promptly adjusted its foreign and domestic policies, ushering in a new phase of development for Chinese socialism. China established diplomatic ties with the US, normalized relations with the Soviet Union, and developed friendly ties with all countries across all aspects, thereby creating a sound external environment for its own reform and opening up and socialist modernization efforts. As the Soviet Union collapsed and dramatic changes swept across Eastern Europe, it was during this critical historical juncture that Deng Xiaoping, in the face of this volatile international situation, introduced the strategic guideline for China’s diplomacy, namely that China must continue to follow the path of socialism while continuing to boost its reform and open up. This guideline has ensured that China has stayed on the right course while sailing forth.

After the Fourth Plenary Session of the 13th Central Committee of the CPC held in June 1989, Chinese Communists represented by Jiang Zemin safeguarded China’s socialism against a grim and complex international situation and opened up new prospects for comprehensive reform and opening up, based on correct analysis and understanding of the trends of global multi-polarity and economic globalization, thus advancing Chinese socialism into the 21st century. During this period, China established a new type of relations with other major countries, actively developed friendly relations with its neighbors, and worked for a new international political and economic order that was fair and equitable. By the turn of the century, a new, comprehensive, and multilayered landscape of China’s diplomatic relations was gradually taking shape.

Over the past 70 years, China has pursued an independent foreign policy of peace. Independence is a proud tradition of China’s diplomacy. We have always held that China’s affairs should be handled by the Chinese people, and international affairs should be managed by all countries through consultation. In the early days of the PRC, pursuing the policies of “making a fresh start” and “cleaning up the house before inviting guests in,” we fully regained our national sovereignty and achieved diplomatic independence. We have long upheld the principle of determining our position and policy on various issues by assessing the merits of each individual matter. In the new era, China’s diplomacy will lay greater stress on upholding fairness and justice and respecting the right of all countries to choose their own path of development. We will never impose our will upon others, nor allow anyone to impose theirs upon us.

After the 16th CPC National Congress in 2002, Chinese Communists represented by Hu Jintao accurately identified that China and the world were moving toward increasingly interconnected relations, and accordingly worked in line with the trends of the times of peace, development, and cooperation. On this basis, they upheld and developed China’s socialist cause in the new century by taking both domestic and international situations into account and seizing important strategic opportunities. Throughout this period, China steadfastly remained on the path of peaceful development, pursued mutually beneficial opening up, promoted building a harmonious world, and worked hard to safeguard world peace and further mutual development. As a result, China played an increasingly important and influential role in international affairs.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core has set forth the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation, while bearing in mind the historical juncture of China’s development and seeking to address profound changes in the world unseen in a century, and has thus led Chinese socialism into a new era. Backed by a deep understanding of major domestic and global development trends, General Secretary Xi has proposed building a global community with a shared future and advocated joint pursuit of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). These two projects have provided guidance for the reform of the global governance system, embodied the pursuit of shared values of all humanity, and charted the way forward for the international community, all of which is of crucial and far-reaching significance for China’s peaceful development and the world’s prosperity and progress. Under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and especially Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs, our diplomatic work has overcome difficulties and forged ahead to resolutely safeguard China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests and actively advance China’s diplomacy on all fronts, thereby writing a new chapter for China’s major-country diplomacy. As such, we have seen a further rise in China’s international influence, strength of appeal, and power to shape; China has become an internationally acknowledged builder of world peace, contributor to global development, and defender of the international order.

During the 70-year history of the PRC, China’s foreign affairs initiatives have both been a part of and borne witness to the historical journey of the country’s development and national rejuvenation. China has blazed its own path of major-country diplomacy, accumulated abundant and valuable experience, and formulated a full set of guidelines and principles that are imbued with Chinese characteristics, follow the tide of the times, and promote human progress. Among these guidelines and principles, the top eight are listed as follows.

First, over the past 70 years, we have remained committed to the leadership of the CPC and to the socialist path.

The leadership of the CPC is the choice made by history and the Chinese people, and the path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, which has been set by the Chinese people under the leadership of the CPC, is the only correct path to follow. This represents the fundamental nature and the greatest strength of China’s diplomacy. Since the founding of the PRC, no matter how international situations ebb and flow, we have unswervingly upheld this principle. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union and upheaval in Eastern Europe, we withstood the pressure from the West and maintained the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system. In the new era, we continue to uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics, offering reference to countries and nations who want to accelerate their development whilst preserving their independence.

Second, over the past 70 years, we have pursued an independent foreign policy of peace.

Independence is a fine tradition of China’s diplomacy. We have always held that China’s affairs should be handled by the Chinese people, and international affairs should be managed by all countries through consultation. In the early days of the PRC, by adopting such policies as “a fresh start” and “cleaning up the house before inviting guests in,” we fully regained our national sovereignty and achieved diplomatic independence. We have long upheld the principle of deciding our position and policy regarding an issue based on that issue’s own merits. In the new era, China’s foreign affairs lay greater stress on upholding fairness and justice and respecting the right of all countries to choose their own path of development. We will never force our will upon others nor allow anyone to impose theirs upon us.

Third, over the past 70 years, we have upheld the basic norms of international relations with the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence at the core.

In the 1950s, China, along with two other countries, proposed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which received strong endorsement from many developing countries. Gradually, more and more countries began to show support and approval, and the five principles became a globally recognized norm of international relations. For many years, China has devoted constant efforts to establishing a new international political and economic order based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and has played an active and constructive role in the international community. Today, as the second largest provider of funding among all member countries of the UN and the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, China is playing an irreplaceable role for the solutions of a series of international hotspot issues, and has become a pillar of strength in safeguarding multilateralism and advancing reform of the international system.

Fourth, over the past 70 years, we have consistently opposed hegemonism and power politics.

Since the founding of the PRC, our nation has remained unintimidated by great powers and taken a stand against hegemonism and power politics in all forms, firmly opposing bullying of the small by the large and domineering over the weak by the strong. Upon entering the new era, China remains committed to the democratization of international relations, the notion that all countries are equal irrespective of size, strength, and wealth, and the principle of settling disagreements and disputes peacefully through dialogue and consultation. Moreover, China opposes the wanton use or threat of force, stands against bullying, solemnly proclaims to reject the antiquated logic that rising powers always seek to dominate, and follows the path of peaceful development together with other countries. Regardless of its stage of development, China will never seek hegemony, engage in expansion, or build its own sphere of influence.

Fifth, over the past 70 years, we have always stood firmly with other developing countries.

China is a socialist country as well as a developing country, which determines its position and role. We have long been a staunch supporter of other developing countries in their struggle for national independence and liberation and pursuit of peace and development, actively encouraged South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue, and pushed for the international order to develop in a more just and equitable direction. Upon entering the new era, we remain faithful to our status as a developing country, support other developing countries to play a more prominent role in international affairs, defend the legitimate rights and interests of other developing countries in the international system, increase aid to other developing countries, and help more countries to achieve shared development through mutually beneficial cooperation.

Sixth, over the past 70 years, we have remained committed to safeguarding national sovereignty, security, and development interests.

Putting our people and our national interests first is the consistent starting point and ultimate goal of China’s diplomatic work. From the early days of the PRC to the launch of reform and opening up, we have defended China’s sovereignty, security, and national independence, consolidated and developed the socialist system, and safeguarded overall national development and stability. In the early 1980s, we formulated the “one country, two systems” policy, which has guided China’s reclamation of sovereignty over Hong Kong and Macao and ushered in a new phase for the peaceful development of relations across the Taiwan Straits. In the new era, we will continue to defend our national interests and dignity, and we are armed with an iron will and steely determination when dealing with maritime disputes, trade frictions, and issues related to Taiwan, Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong. With this in mind, no one should hold the illusion that China will swallow any affront to its interests.

Deng Xiaoping meets with a delegation from the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Beijing on March 4, 1985. During the discussion, he said that the two really great issues confronting the world today, issues of global strategic significance, were peace and economic development. The first involved East-West relations, while the second involved North-South relations. In short, countries in the East, West, North and South were all involved, but the North-South relations were the key question.

PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER MA JUNTIAN

Seventh, over the past 70 years, we have remained committed to combining the protection of our own interests with the common progress of humanity.

The CPC strives for both the wellbeing of the Chinese people and the progress of all humanity. We have consistently taken into account the fundamental interests of both the Chinese people and people around the globe and closely linked China’s future to that of the rest of the world. Moreover, we have always been committed to safeguarding world peace, promoting shared development, and respecting and advancing the diversification of world civilizations. In the new era, we are actively advocating and advancing the development of a global community with a shared future, and working with other countries to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that will enjoy lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity, with a view to jointly creating a bright future for humanity.

Eighth, over the past 70 years, we have adhered to the principles of seeking truth from facts, moving with the times, and pursuing bold initiatives.

Seeking truth from facts, which entails proceeding from reality in all endeavors and testing and developing truth in practice, represents the way of thinking of the CPC and also the fundamental principle guiding China’s foreign affairs. By taking China’s realities into consideration, Mao Zedong led us onto the path of developing socialism independently, and China thus rapidly transformed from an underdeveloped eastern country into a major nation with significant global influence. With a commitment to freeing minds and seeking truth from facts, Deng Xiaoping led China to accomplish its historical transition from a largely closed society to one that is open to the world in all respects and to pioneer a new path of reform and opening up. After the 18th National Congress of the CPC, by building on past successes and continuing to forge ahead, Xi Jinping has led the entire Party and people of all ethnic groups to blaze a trail toward a strong socialist country with Chinese characteristics and open up new prospects for China’s major-country diplomacy, which has had a profound impact on the development of contemporary China and the wider world.

The success of China’s development and the course of our foreign affairs work over the past seven decades fully demonstrate that the leadership of the CPC and the path of Chinese socialism are absolutely correct, and that the Chinese people have the courage, capability, and wisdom to change their own future and contribute more to the world. The rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the building of a global community with a shared future are already underway, and brighter prospects for these endeavors will further unfold.

II. Under the guidance of Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs we have pioneered a new path for China’s major-country diplomacy.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core has implemented the “five-pronged” overall plan and the “Four Comprehensives” strategy in a coordinated manner, leading to major groundbreaking achievements across all fronts and historic changes in the causes of the Party and the state. Standing at a new historical starting point and based on a perception of global change of a scale unseen in a century as well as broad strategic considerations for realizing national rejuvenation, General Secretary Xi has introduced a series of new ideas, propositions, and proposals and led us to write a glorious new chapter for China’s major-country diplomacy in the new era. It has been through this process that Xi Jinping’s philosophy on diplomacy with Chinese characteristics for a new era, known more concisely as Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs, has been shaped and established. This thought represents the theoretical and practical crystallization of China’s diplomacy over the past 70 years, an important component of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and also constitutes the fundamental basis and guideline for China’s diplomatic work in the new era. General Secretary Xi has drawn up strategic plans and blueprints, which he has personally implemented, thus making a historic and decisive contribution to broadening the horizons of China’s major-country diplomacy.

Under the guidance of Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs and the firm leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at its core, we have balanced domestic and international considerations and put forward China’s propositions regarding key world issues, thus demonstrating that China is a major country able to assume responsibility in international affairs. We have brought the strategic and guiding role of head-of-state diplomacy into full play, and successfully hosted a series of major diplomatic events. We have achieved diplomatic coverage over all major regions, major countries, major mechanisms, and major fields by integrating foreign affairs-related work both at home and abroad, combining bilateral and multilateral diplomacy, and promoting diplomacy at all levels, thus improving and expanding our diplomatic strategies. Finally, we have strengthened top-level design, stepped up tactical planning, shown preparedness for worst-case diplomatic scenarios, and formed an effective array of strategic thinking and tactical methods, thereby enhancing the strategic, tactical, and coordinated nature of our diplomatic work. In sum, our diplomatic efforts in the new era have exhibited distinctive Chinese character and style and have secured a range of historic and groundbreaking achievements.

1. We have grasped the development trends of both China and the world in the new era and come to the important conclusion that the world is facing profound changes, never seen in a century.

Taking a global perspective, as the trends of world multi-polarization and economic globalization accelerate and the fourth industrial revolution is starting to gather momentum, all countries are deeply feeling the impact from this wave of changes. At the same time, they seem lost when it comes to deciding on their own direction and on which path the world should follow in the future. At this pivotal turning point in history, General Secretary Xi Jinping has pointed out with penetrating insight that the world today is facing profound changes of a kind unseen in a century, a fact that no country can evade. The key point within this idea of “profound change” is, indeed, “change.” To be specific, the global balance of power is undergoing a historic shift, emerging market economies and developing countries are strengthening as a group, and the world is rapidly becoming multi-polar. China’s development and the world’s development are synchronized, interwoven, and interactive. Today, China’s development is happening in its most favorable historical period since the First Opium War in 1840, is continuously contributing to the evolution of human society, and has become a major driving force behind the significant changes occurring in the world. At the same time, we should also be aware that the international situation is more complex than ever and the international environment contains a markedly increasing number of destabilizing factors and uncertainties, and as such the profound changes occurring in the world cannot be addressed in a single stroke, and will in fact continue to intensify. General Secretary Xi’s important statement has expounded on the nature of the profound changes occurring in the world, demonstrated how to shape and guide these changes, and revealed the trend of world development and the bright prospects for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. Furthermore, his statement has unveiled the features of the current stage, in which the period of transformation of the international system coincides with a historic convergence of the timeframes of China’s Two Centenary Goals, thereby charting the course and boosting our confidence so that we may accurately recognize the underlying world trends and grasp and make the most of this important period of strategic opportunities.

2. We have promoted the building of a global community with a shared future and identified the goals and direction of our work in foreign affairs in the new era.

Today, human interconnectedness is deeper and more extensive than at any other point in history, while at the same time global challenges and deep-seated problems in world development have never been more prominent or complex. Proceeding from a perspective of the historical journey of human development, General Secretary Xi clearly stated in his speeches at the UN General Assembly in 2015 and the UN Office in Geneva in 2017 that we as humans all live in the same global village, that we are more and more becoming a community with a shared future in which we all have a little of others within us, and that no country can face alone the many challenges before mankind, and therefore all countries should cooperate on a global scale and jointly build a community with a shared future. In order to accomplish this goal, all countries around the globe should follow a path of peaceful development, work toward a new form of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation, and build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that will enjoy lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. This important proposition has set the direction and approach for building a human society in which we may enjoy shared development, lasting prosperity, and enduring stability. Accordingly, the proposition has been met with high praise and warm responses from the international community and cited in UN documents multiple times, and has had a sweeping international influence. China is not only an advocate for building a global community with a shared future, but has also actively taken practical steps toward this goal. By tying China’s own development to that of the rest of the world and weaving together the Chinese dream with the dreams of other countries, we are working hard to realize the aspirations of both the Chinese people and people all over the world for a better life. Promoting the building of a global community with a shared future has become a distinctive feature of China’s major-country diplomacy and has earned widespread recognition from the international community, which has in turn led to a higher level of understanding and support for our efforts to realize the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation.

3. We have called for and advanced a joint pursuit of the BRI, thereby creating a new model for China’s comprehensive opening up and a new platform for international cooperation in the new era.

President Xi Jinping delivers a speech entitled “Following the Trend of the Times and Promoting World Peace and Development” at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on March 23, 2013.

PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER DING LIN

In 2013, by carrying forward the Silk Road spirit and accurately identifying new demands of international cooperation and the new trend of China’s opening up, General Secretary Xi proposed a cooperation initiative that entailed building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The BRI not only represents the overarching design for China’s opening up and international cooperation both now and for a considerable period of time to come; it also constitutes an important platform for building a global community with a shared future. In 2017 and 2019, China successfully hosted the first and second iterations of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which delivered fruitful results and helped usher in a historic new phase in which many countries are joining hands to build the BRI. We will continue to follow the principle of achieving shared growth through discussion and collaboration, uphold openness, integrity, and environmental friendliness, pursue high standards, sustainability, and the improvement of public wellbeing, and promote high-quality development of the Belt and Road together with other participating countries. We have signed cooperation documents with over 160 countries and international organizations, and seen a continuous deepening of policy connectivity, expansion of financial connectivity, enhancement of infrastructure connectivity, rise in trade connectivity, and strengthening of people-to-people connectivity between all countries involved in the BRI. The BRI has transformed from a proposal into reality, and from a broad outline into a meticulously detailed blueprint. Although the BRI is a brainchild of China, the opportunities and benefits it brings belong to the world. It not only promotes economic growth in the countries that line its route, but also spurs world economic growth, making it a truly global consensus, platform, and initiative. The BRI has opened up a new path for economic globalization and carved out new space for international cooperation.

4. We have further expanded the layout of China’s diplomatic strategies across all fronts and created a global network of partnerships.

Taking into account the general trend of increasing interdependency between countries, General Secretary Xi has led us to coordinate and advance comprehensive relations with different types of countries, expand the convergence of our interests with those of other countries, and refine China’s diplomatic strategies. We have devoted utmost efforts to coordinating China’s relations with other major countries. For example, we have further developed the China-Russia comprehensive strategic collaborative partnership in the new era, insisted on a China-US relationship defined by coordination, cooperation, and stability as per the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, and actively built upon a China-EU partnership oriented toward peace, growth, reform, and a civilized society, thereby establishing a framework for major-country relations characterized by overall stability and balanced development. In accordance with the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit, and inclusiveness and the policy of forging friendship and partnership with neighbors, we have strengthened relations with our neighboring countries and deepened our cooperation with regional organizations such as ASEAN. We have successfully hosted the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the BRICS Xiamen Summit, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Qingdao Summit, and we have poured our efforts into supporting and developing strategic cooperation with Latin American countries and Arab countries. In this way, we have made continued efforts to promote solidarity and cooperation with emerging market economies and developing countries, thereby consolidating and strengthening positive forces in peaceful development. In addition, we have consistently supported the UN and its Security Council to play their due roles in safeguarding international peace and security and promoting development and stability, actively mediated in regional hotspot issues, and urged all parties to resolve conflicts through peaceful means including dialogue and cooperation, which has won us widespread acclaim and high praise from the international community. So far, we have established partnerships of various forms with 110 countries and regional organizations around the globe, including comprehensive strategic partnerships with 60 of them. It is evident that China has woven a comprehensive, diverse, and multi-dimensional network of global partnerships and a worldwide circle of friends.

5. We have actively offered Chinese wisdom and a Chinese approach and provided guidance for the reform of the global governance system.

With a sentiment and sense of duty to take care of the world around him, General Secretary Xi Jinping has put forward a range of major propositions concerning human development and the future of the world. He has done so on multilateral occasions such as the APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Beijing, the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, the G20 2016 Hangzhou Summit, and the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2017 in Davos, thus providing guidance for world development and international cooperation. China has actively participated in the process of global governance, oriented reforms of the global governance system, resolutely upheld the international system centered on the UN and the international order founded on international law, and supported the efforts of other developing countries to increase their representation and strengthen their voice in international affairs. We have fully engaged with international cooperation efforts in fields including climate change, counterterrorism, and safeguarding cybersecurity and have conscientiously fulfilled our international responsibilities and obligations, contributing significantly to responses to global challenges. We have always advocated multilateralism, opposed unilateralism and protectionism, firmly defended the multilateral trading regime, and strived to build an open world economy. We have established the China International Import Expo, which not only embodies our resolution and sincerity in opening wider to the world, but also injects fresh vigor into global economic growth. Thanks to these efforts, China’s role as a responsible major country is on full display, while our global influence and international institutional power have been enhanced in all respects.

President Xi Jinping delivers a keynote speech entitled “Working Together to Build a Global Community of Shared Future” at a high-level event on mutual consultation and joint efforts for a community of shared future at the Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, on January 18, 2017.

PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER RAO AIMIN

6. We have resolutely defended China’s sovereignty, security, and development interests, thereby guaranteeing the success of our reform, development, and national rejuvenation initiatives.

Taking the bigger picture of national security into consideration, General Secretary Xi has introduced an integrative approach to national security, which requires us to develop worst-case-scenario thinking, increase our awareness of potential dangers, and be well-prepared to overcome all difficulties, as well as to uncompromisingly safeguard China’s core and key interests and security across multiple sectors. We have resolutely defended the leadership of the CPC and socialism with Chinese characteristics. For instance, regarding the Taiwan question, we have firmly upheld the one-China principle and cracked down on separatism in all its forms. On issues concerning Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong, we have refuted the distortions and fabrications of anti-China forces and will never allow any foreign intervention in our internal affairs. Regarding the South China Sea issue, we have upheld our principles and safeguarded our territorial sovereignty and maritime rights. We have appropriately handled economic and trade frictions and effectively protected our development space and long-term interests. By implementing the principle of “practicing diplomacy for the people,” we have further improved the system for protecting China’s overseas interests, thereby providing effective protection for the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals and enterprises abroad. In the face of these issues concerning our core and major interests, our principles have remained firm and our stance clear-cut; we have braved difficulties and fought resolutely. We have not only boosted the morale of the Party, the army, and the people, we have also won widespread respect from the international community and secured a robust guarantee for China’s reform, development, and national rejuvenation. The facts show that the forward march of Chinese socialism is unstoppable.

7. We have promoted exchange and mutual learning with other countries and firmly taken up the international moral high ground.

General Secretary Xi has repeatedly stressed that China will not import foreign models, nor will it export the Chinese model or demand that other countries replicate the Chinese approach. He emphasizes that we should respect the diversity of human civilizations, strengthen exchange and mutual learning between different states, nations, and cultures, and build an open and inclusive world. By successfully hosting the CPC in Dialogue with World Political Parties High-Level Meeting, we have strengthened exchange of experience in national governance with relevant countries. China has been highly praised by developing countries for staunchly supporting them in safeguarding their sovereignty and security and in their efforts to develop independently. We have comprehensively introduced and publicized Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and especially Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs, and expounded China’s development strategies and foreign policy to the world. At the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations hosted by China in 2019, General Secretary Xi elaborated upon China’s outlook on civilization, which advocates equal dialogue, exchange, mutual learning, and common development between different cultures, thereby infusing the world with positive energy to thoroughly overhaul international ideological trends and public opinion and draining away the mud and bringing in fresh water. In this way, General Secretary Xi has provided a formidable theoretical guide for building a community with a shared future for both Asia and the world.

8. We have upheld the leadership of the CPC Central Committee and strengthened the centralized and unified leadership of the Party over China’s diplomacy.

General Secretary Xi stresses that diplomacy is a direct embodiment of the will of the state, and that we must uphold the authority of the CPC Central Committee regarding diplomatic work and strengthen the centralized and unified leadership of the Party over China’s foreign affairs efforts by adhering to the CPC Central Committee’s command. Following the CPC Central Committee’s overall plan on comprehensively deepening reform, the Foreign Affairs Leading Group of the CPC Central Committee has been restructured into the Central Foreign Affairs Commission, representing significant progress in reforming diplomatic mechanisms and systems. The establishment of this commission has strengthened the overall coordination of the CPC Central Committee over diplomatic work across all fields, departments, and localities, and has guaranteed effective implementation of the foreign policies and strategies set forth by the CPC Central Committee. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the Central Committee has convened its first ever conference on diplomatic initiatives concerning neighboring countries and has twice held the Central Conference on Diplomatic Work, further enhancing top-level design, strategic planning, and overall coordination of diplomatic work. As a result, the foreign exchanges involving the Party, government, people’s congresses, Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), armed forces, local authorities, enterprises, and the people have developed vigorously, shaping a dynamic situation in which the CPC holds complete authority over and coordinates every aspect of diplomatic work.

The new era shines on a series of brilliant achievements in China’s diplomacy, creating favorable conditions for China’s reform, development, and stability, bringing in a situation that has not been attained easily. Looking to the future, we are firmly convinced that under the guidance of Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs and the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core, and with the strong support and concerted efforts of people of all ethnic groups, China’s major-country diplomacy will certainly be able to constantly overcome difficulties, reach new heights, and open up new horizons.

III. We must thoroughly implement Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs and spare no effort in carrying out our diplomatic initiatives during the historic convergence period of the Two Centenary Goals.

At present, China is developing in a period of convergence between the timeframes of the Two Centenary Goals, a time of special significance in our nation’s historic path to rejuvenation. Despite enjoying many favorable conditions, China’s diplomacy still faces a range of risks and challenges. With this in mind, we must thoroughly implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and especially Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs. We must strengthen awareness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in terms of the big picture, follow the leadership core and stay aligned with the Central Committee, strengthen confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, resolutely uphold General Secretary Xi’s core position on the CPC Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and resolutely uphold the Central Committee’s authority and its centralized, unified leadership. On this basis and closely rallying around the goal and mission emerging from the historic convergence of the Two Centenary Goals, we should maintain strategic resolve, improve strategic planning, actively perform our duties, uphold worst-case-scenario thinking, and effectively respond to, forestall, and defuse all kinds of risks and challenges, so as to open up extensive new horizons for China’s major-country diplomacy.

1. We must study and implement Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs and firmly grasp the correct orientation of China’s diplomatic work.

Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs defines the historic mission and the fundamental goal of China’s diplomatic work in the new era and provides a series of essential guidelines and principles. Thus, we must earnestly study and thoroughly understand the scientific system, rich connotations, and theoretical essence of this thought, and fully grasp its Marxist standpoints, viewpoints, and methods. We must equip ourselves with this thought and use it to guide our practice, in order to provide a strong impetus for our diplomatic work. New circumstances and new tasks have continually given rise to new requirements for our work. Following the guidance of Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs, we must courageously promote innovation in both the theory and practice of China’s diplomacy, and deepen our understanding of laws governing China’s major-country diplomacy, so as to keep breathing new life into our diplomatic work.

2. We must better serve China’s national development and rejuvenation by focusing on pivotal points of the work of the Party and the country.

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC is the underlying theme governing all our work throughout the entire year of 2019. In the year 2020, China will achieve its first centenary goal of becoming a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and embark upon a new journey toward the second centenary goal of becoming a modern socialist country. The year 2021 will mark the centennial anniversary of the founding of the CPC. With this in mind, we must fully grasp the features of the different stages of the historic convergence of the Two Centenary Goals, accurately interpret the international situation and global development trends, and follow the general principle of pursuing progress while ensuring stability. Moreover, centering on the aforementioned major timestamps and events, we must devote more efforts to making overall plans for diplomatic work by taking all respects into consideration, with a view to ensuring the smooth progress of national development and rejuvenation.

On April 27, 2019, President Xi Jinping presides over and delivers an opening address at the roundtable summit of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held at Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in Beijing.

PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER LI XUEREN

3. We must comprehensively deepen our diplomatic strategies and engineer a more favorable external environment.

We must remain committed to being completely open to the outside world, encouraging the development of a new type of international relations, comprehensively developing friendly cooperation with all countries, and constantly improving China’s network of global partnerships. We should develop relationships with other major countries in a comprehensive and balanced manner, so as to provide a stable foundation and strategic guarantee for world peace and development. We should maintain good diplomatic practice and deepen friendly cooperation with neighboring countries, so as to create a favorable environment for the development of both China and the Asia-Pacific region. We should uphold justice while pursuing shared interests, and bolster solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries. We should adhere to principles of mutual consultation, joint development, and the sharing of benefits, and promote the high-quality development of the BRI in a way that achieves deep and practical significance and progresses steadily over the long term. Furthermore, we should remain committed to building a global community with a shared future and push the global governance system in a fairer and more equitable direction.

4. We must balance domestic and international considerations and continually strengthen awareness of forming synergy in our diplomatic work at all levels and across all fields.

Remaining committed to the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC in our diplomatic work, we should coordinate foreign interactions conducted by the Party, government, people’s congresses, CPPCC, armed forces, local authorities, and the people, and enhance cooperation and synergy between various fields, departments, and local governments at a higher level and standard. We must firmly uphold the authority and centralized, unified leadership of the Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core, and fully implement the CPC Central Committee’s major policies and decisions on diplomacy, ensuring strict and unified enforcement of orders and prohibitions. Moreover, we should further implement and continue to deepen reforms of diplomatic mechanisms and systems and boost the quality and effectiveness of our diplomatic initiatives.

5. We must uphold worst-case-scenario thinking and forestall and defuse risks and challenges in the external environment.

China’s development is still happening within an important period of strategic opportunity, and this will remain the case for a long period of time to come. At the same time, however, we must stay clear-headed and keep vigilant against potential dangers, seize the initiative, and fight resolutely to forestall and defuse major risks. We must focus on the overall requirement of advancing the great struggle, the great project, the great cause, and the great dream in a coordinated manner, and fully recognize the long-term, complex, and arduous nature of the great struggle, which contains many contemporary characteristics. We must cultivate a fighting spirit in our diplomatic work, and hone our courage and adroitness. We should strengthen and sharpen our strategic planning, and improve our fighting skill.

6. We must strengthen organizational guarantees by building a contingent of diplomatic personnel who are loyal to the CPC, the country, and the people.

According to the general requirements set forth by General Secretary Xi on building a contingent of diplomatic personnel for the new era, we must cultivate diplomatic officials whose political character demonstrates loyalty, honesty, and a sense of responsibility, in line with the criteria that they should be politically solid, professionally competent, and strictly disciplined in their conduct. Moreover, we must reinforce their ideals and convictions, strengthen their sense of mission, and stimulate their enthusiasm, initiative, and creativity, so as to keep their morale high and gather their strength for the great cause of national rejuvenation. With political competence building as the overarching principle, we should enhance both the professional and overall competence of diplomatic officials in an all-round way, so that they are worthy of the trust of the CPC Central Committee and able to bring satisfaction to the people.

On the historical journey of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the diplomatic contingent shoulders a glorious mission, weighty responsibility, and arduous tasks. Rallying closely around the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping at the core and upholding Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and especially Xi Jinping thought on foreign affairs, we must remain true to our original aspiration, bravely undertake our mission, immerse ourselves in our work, and forge ahead with a pioneering spirit. In this way, we will achieve brilliance in carrying out China’s major-country diplomacy, commemorate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the PRC with outstanding achievements, and contribute in new and even greater ways to realizing the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation and to promoting peace and development for all humanity.

(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, No. 17, 2019)

From:English Edition of Qiushi Journal October-December 2019|Vol.11,No.4,Issue No.41


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