Language : English 简体 繁體
Foreign Policy

Creating a Favorable New Landscape for Diplomacy

Nov 13 , 2013

From October 24-25 2013, a conference on diplomacy with neighboring countries was held in Beijing, and President Xi Jinping made important remarks. We are now in a key period for China’s rise, and a sensitive period of Sino-foreign interactions, in particular those with our neighbors. And the order in China’s surrounding areas is going through a profound and complex re-structuring. Against this backdrop, the conference, attended by top national leaders, was the most important meeting on Chinese diplomatic work following the NPC and CPPCC sessions in March. The conference addressed the following areas: 

First, the conference accurately defined the strategic position of diplomacy with neighboring countries. Xi pointed out that doing well in diplomatic work with neighboring countries is out of the need to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. By so doing, China will secure a sound surrounding environment for its development and enable more neighboring countries to benefit from its development for the purpose of common prosperity. 

Second, the situation and environment were analyzed and assessed. Xi stressed that the surrounding environment and China’s relations with its neighbors have undergone major changes with even closer economic and trade ties, and close interaction. On the whole, the surrounding environment is stable. Good-neighborly friendship and mutually-beneficial cooperation represent the mainstream of neighboring countries’ relations with China. 

Third, the strategic objectives of diplomacy with neighboring countries were identified as serving the goal of realizing the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation; comprehensively developing relations with neighbors to consolidate good-neighborly friendship; deepening mutually-beneficial cooperation; maintaining and using the important strategic opportunity period for China’s development; safeguarding Chinese sovereignty, security and development interests; and striving for friendlier political ties, stronger economic links, deeper security cooperation and closer people-to-people contact with neighbors. 

Fourth, the conference elaborated on the strategic approach for diplomatic work with neighboring countries . China is committed to forging friendship and partnership with its neighbors and fostering an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood by adhering to the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. Xi proposed that China should do four things in this regard. It should pursue good-neighborly friendship and mutual help with greater affinity, charisma and influence so that neighboring countries will show greater support to China. It should treat neighboring countries with sincerity and strive for more friends and partners. It should conduct cooperation with neighbors according to the principle of mutual benefit, so that neighboring countries will benefit from Chinese development and that China will benefit from the development of the neighborhood. It should advocate the philosophy of inclusion by emphasizing that the Asia Pacific is big enough for the development of all countries in the region, and promoting regional cooperation with a more open and active attitude.

Fifth, operational guidance was given for further diplomatic work with neighboring countries. Economically, the stress is on deepening a mutually-beneficial and win-win situation by speeding up infrastructural connectivity with the Silk Road economic belt and maritime Silk Road of the 21st century, accelerating FTA strategies, actively preparing for the creation of an Asian infrastructural investment bank and opening up border areas. In the security field, the focus is on regional security cooperation, by adhering to the new security concept, advocating comprehensive, common and co-operative security, and taking an active part in regional security cooperation to enhance strategic mutual trust. Culturally, China should take the initiative to increase exchanges so as to enhance friendly sentiment and win over people’s support, thereby consolidating and expanding the social and public opinion basis for long-term development of relations between China and neighboring countries. Specific actions include friendly exchanges in tourism, science and education, as well as cooperation between different localities. The goal is for the Chinese dream to be linked to the desire of people in neighboring countries for a better life and the regional development prospect, and that the idea of a common destiny will take root in neighboring countries. 

The conference took place at the right time, will have great significance, and promise far-reaching influence. Chinese diplomacy with neighboring countries will now enter into a new historical stage of proactive action. 

Chen Xiangyang is Deputy Director of the Institute of World Political Studies at CICIR.


You might also like
Back to Top