Innovations in China’s Diplomatic Theory and Practice Under New Conditions

by Yang Jiechi
(Final and Third Part)

3. Putting forth the right approach to upholding justice and seeking interests with a view to enhancing friendship and cooperation with neighboring countries and developing countries.

To strike a balance between upholding justice and seeking interests is at the heart of traditional Chinese culture and a moral benchmark observed by the Chinese nation throughout the centuries. This important principle governs both personal conduct and China’s relations with other countries.

Inheriting the fine traditions of Chinese culture and the diplomacy of New China and keeping in mind the new tasks in the new period of China’s relations with other developing countries and its neighbors, Comrade Xi Jinping underscores the need to adopt the right approach to upholding justice and seeking interests in growing relations with these countries.

Politically, we should uphold justice and fairness as a guiding principle. Economically, we should pursue mutual benefit and common development. In growing relations with our neighbors and other developing countries that have long been friendly towards China yet face daunting challenges in development, we will accommodate their interests rather than seeking benefits at their expense or shifting troubles unto them.

We will follow the right approach to upholding justice and seeking interests in strengthening relations with our neighbours and other developing countries. During his visit to Africa, Comrade Xi Jinping had sincere and cordial discussions with African leaders, in which he expounded on China’s Africa policy and stressed China’s commitment to cooperation with Africa with sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith. In particular, he emphasized the win-win nature of China-Africa cooperation.

He reiterated that China will fully honour its commitment to Africa, attach no political strings to aid to Africa, help African countries translate their strength in natural resources into progress in development and achieve diverse, independent and sustainable development.

Comrade Xi Jinping’s remarks struck a chord among African leaders and people. Many of them said that China’s help to Africa is sincere and aims at boosting Africa’s development and that Africa has full trust in China.

During Comrade Xi Jinping’s visit to Trinidad and Tobago and Costa Rica, a large number of major co-operation projects were agreed upon, which testifies to China’s sincerity in helping Central American countries to achieve development.

Comrade Xi Jinping announced that China would provide preferential loans and special infrastructure loans to Caribbean countries having friendly ties with China, and this was warmly received. Comrade Xi Jinping’s visit to Mexico boosted bilateral business ties, and the two sides announced the upgrading of China-Mexico relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership.

4. Proposing stronger top-level designing and strategic planning in diplomatic work including the bottom line thinking with a view to resolutely upholding China’s core interests.

Comrade Xi Jinping has repeatedly called for stronger top-level designing and medium to long-term strategic planning for China’s diplomatic work.

The Party Central Committee, demonstrating a long-term and broad vision and bearing in mind the underlying trend and major events, has stepped up such efforts by integrating China’s relations with the world’s major countries, its neighbours and other developing countries and multilateral diplomacy through a series of major initiatives.

This has promoted an all-round growth of China’s relations with various parties, meeting our target of a good start and solid layout in our diplomatic work and setting the stage for the medium and long-term pursuit of our objectives.

The Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary attaches great importance to the details of implementing China’s foreign policy. It calls for the need to follow new trend in strategic planning, to make timely policy adjustments in light of shifting international developments and the changing external environment, and to properly address new issues and problems in our diplomatic work.

We must keep in mind the bottom line, working for the best but preparing for the worst. Comrade Xi Jinping has stressed that while firmly committed to peaceful development, we definitely must not forsake our legitimate interests or compromise our core national interests.

No country should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit that undermines our sovereignty, security and development interests. In our diplomatic work, we will not dodge disputes or problems as there may be. Rather, we will endeavour to properly handle the differences and problems with relevant countries, while working to promote exchanges and co-operation in various fields to expand common interests and maintain good relations with neighboring countries and peace and stability in the region as a whole.

5. Putting forth the need for enhanced coordination in diplomatic work to ensure unified central leadership over the operations.

To better coordinate the country’s domestic and international agenda, the Party Central Committee attaches great importance to a holistic management of foreign affairs.

It calls for balanced considerations, overall planning, unified command and coordinated implementation. It requires the central and local governments, non-governmental organisations and all foreign-related agencies to work together to form synergy, with each performing their respective functions.

We should fully motivate all the parties involved and spark their creativity, and at the same time subject their activities to the unified management guided by national interests. Efforts should be made to ensure the smooth exercise of leadership by the Party Central Committee in decision-making, management and specific handling of foreign-related affairs so as to realise its strategic intentions in diplomatic work.

In the past six months, by strengthening institution-building, sorting out relevant systems and mechanisms and formulating clear-cut regulations, the Party Central Committee has succeeded in improving the management of foreign-related work with stronger and better coordinated operations.

III. We must earnestly study and apply the achievements of innovations in diplomatic theory and practice to make new progress in diplomatic work.

China’s diplomatic work under new conditions, which got off to a good start, has proceeded from a stage of planning to one of all-round implementation. Taking stock of the overall developments, we find ourselves still in an important period of strategic opportunities in which much can be accomplished. Yet we also face complex and daunting challenges.

The important achievements of innovations in diplomatic theory and practice made by the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary have not only laid a solid foundation for our diplomatic work in the immediate future, but also pointed out its correct direction.

We should earnestly study and fully appreciate the essence of these innovations, draw inspirations from them and apply them in our diplomatic practice. We should build on the good beginning and forge ahead in a pioneering spirit. While continuing to improve on the strategic planning, we should give greater play to the leading role of leadership diplomacy, vigorously grow relations with other major countries, step up friendship and win-win cooperation with our neighbouring countries and other developing countries and move the international order in a more just and equitable direction.

We should work hard to popularise the new thinking and new ideas of Chinese diplomacy, implement the Party’s mass line and people-oriented diplomacy, and endeavour to make new progress in our diplomatic work, thus creating a more enabling external environment to make the Chinese dream, the great renewal of the Chinese nation, come true.

(Yang Jiechi is State Councilor and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Leading Group of the CPC Central Committee.)


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