Exploring the Path of Major-Country Diplomacy With Chinese Characteristics
2013/06/27

Exploring the Path of Major-Country Diplomacy With Chinese Characteristics

Remarks by Foreign Minister Wang Yi At the Lunchen of the World Peace Forum

27 June 2013, Tsinghua University

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

It gives me great pleasure to attend the second World Peace Forum. I wish to thank Tsinghua University and the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs for putting together this grand gathering. The Chinese people are peace-loving and China is committed to a foreign policy of peace. In this era of peace and development, our gathering will send the voice and idea of peace to the world and sow the seed for peace. This is what the international community expects from China and what today's China should undertake for the world. In his remarks this morning, Vice President Li Yuanchao expounded on China's propositions regarding the two themes of peace and security. He underscored that China is a staunch force for peace and called for a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination. His words have played an important role in steering the forum discussion. I wish the forum a great success.

The world today is undergoing changes as never seen before. Given the growing trend of economic globalization and the fast emergence of an information society, countries are forming a community of common destiny with more intertwined interests. At the same time, they also face more complex global challenges. How to uphold peace and advance development is the pressing task in front of the entire international community.

China's relations with the outside world are also changing as never before, as the two are increasingly inter-dependent and interact with each other on a larger scale. China needs the world more than ever before to develop itself and vice versa.

Today's China is the biggest trading partner for 128 countries, a major export market with the fastest growth, the most popular investment destination and a major importer of energy and resource products. In 2012, China accounted for more than 50% of Asia's economic growth and has become one of the major engines driving world economic growth. Since the outbreak of the global financial crisis in 2008, China has not only made contribution to the IMF and extended a helping hand to countries in difficulty, but also resorted to its own steady and robust growth and together with other emerging market countries, sustained hope for global economic recovery.

For a big country with 1.3 billion people that enjoys sustained and fast growth, what kind of role will it play in global affairs, what foreign policy will it follow and what impacts will it have on the world? The world is interested in these questions. China is also thinking about and exploring these questions.

China's new central leadership with Mr. Xi Jinping as the General Secretary has, since day one, rallied and led the Chinese people in working hard for the realization of the two centenary goals and the Chinese dream of national renewal. On the diplomatic front, it has taken new measures, put forward new ideas and presented a new image. China's diplomacy in the new era has taken on a more global perspective with a more enterprising and innovative spirit. On the basis of carrying forward the major foreign policies and fine diplomatic traditions of over 60 years since the founding of the People's Republic, today's China, I would say, is actively exploring a path of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

The features of China's diplomacy are based on China's basic national conditions as a developing country. True, China is the second largest economy in aggregate terms. But in terms of per capita income, it is still behind more than 80 countries. And according to UN criteria, over 100 million people in China still live in poverty. Such seeming paradoxical phenomenon is something unseen in world history. We are soberly aware that uneven growth is still the basic reality in China and a big developing country is still what China is. Indeed, China is neither rich nor strong. There is still a long way to go before the 1.3 billion Chinese people can truly live a happy life.

Given this basic reality, when conducting diplomacy, we must first and foremost stay focused on serving and promoting the central task of development. We must work more vigorously and effectively to create a sound external environment for completing the building of a moderately prosperous society. And we must provide stronger safeguard for addressing problems in sustainable development in China and for the extension of China's legitimate rights and interests in the world.

Given this basic reality, when conducting diplomacy, we must be fully committed to development, which holds the key to numerous problems in the world. We must lay more emphasis on mutual benefit and boost common development. We must scale up economic ties and policy coordination with countries around the world, expand complementarity and win-win cooperation with relevant countries and vigorously advance trade and investment liberalization and facilitation.

The features of China's diplomacy are rooted in the socialist ideas that China follows. The path of socialism with Chinese characteristics that we are committed to is grown out of the land of China and consistent with its development trend. It has led China to development and progress and enjoys strong support from the Chinese people. It is a path proven correct time and again by practice. To follow this path and approach means that we must work for fairness, equity, common prosperity and social harmony internally and seek, safeguard and uphold justice externally.

To follow this path and approach means that in conducting diplomacy, we must advocate equality between all countries regardless of their size and promote democracy in international relations. It means that we must reject any law of the jungle, oppose any form of hegemonism, oppose the big, the strong and the rich bullying the small, the weak and the poor, and oppose interference in other countries' internal affairs. China maintains that international and regional hotspot issues must be addressed through dialogue and negotiation and opposes worship for force or seeking regime change. This is not for our own selfish interests, but rather, for the sake of international justice and the basic norms governing international relations.

To follow this path and approach also means that in conducting diplomacy, we must firmly and unequivocally speak for developing countries and take concrete steps to uphold and expand the overall rights and interests of developing countries.

The features of China's diplomacy originate from the rich and profound Chinese civilization. In its five thousand-year history, the Chinese nation has developed the human-oriented concept of loving all creatures as if they are your kind and all people as if they are your brothers, the political concept of governing with both virtue and rule of law, the peaceful approach of love, non-offense and good-neighborliness, the idea of peace being of paramount importance and harmony without uniformity as well as personal conduct to treat others in a way that you would like to be treated and help others succeed if you want to succeed yourself. These traditional values with a unique oriental touch provide endless source of invaluable cultural asset for China's diplomacy.

Our world today is experiencing more than just a difficult time for development. It is, in fact, also going through a deep crisis of thinking and culture in modern civilization. In response, we hope to promote, through our diplomacy, the Chinese culture, contribute Chinese wisdom to the handling of international relations, share China's governance experience and provide Chinese solution to improve global governance so as to provide more public goods for the humanity to meet a variety of new challenges of the 21st century.

China's diplomacy is deeply rooted in its cultural heritage. By conducting such diplomacy, we hope to advance dialogue between civilizations. We respect the diversity of civilizations and development paths, support people of all countries in choosing social systems and development paths on their own and encourage different civilizations to accommodate and learn from each other so that countries will all make a unique contribution to the progress of mankind.

The unique features of China's diplomacy originate from its fine traditions since the founding of the People's Republic. The diplomacy of New China has traversed an extraordinary journey over the past sixty years and more. During this period, a series of major foreign policies and strategic thoughts have gradually taken shape through practices, including the independent foreign policy of peace, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, commitment to holding high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and win-win progress, the path of peaceful development and efforts to build a harmonious world. These successful diplomatic practices and theories will continue to drive and guide our diplomacy as we go forward.

For more than sixty years, no matter how the international landscape changes, independence and peace have always been the two defining features of China's diplomacy and the cornerstones of its foreign policy. In the new era, China will stay committed to its independent foreign policy and firmly safeguard national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity in its diplomacy. We will decide on our own policies and positions on the merit of an issue without being attached or submissive to any external force. We regard this as the spirit and strength of China's diplomacy. Our diplomacy will continue to serve world peace and play a more active role in promoting peace for the humanity. We regard this as a due responsibility of China's diplomacy. We are also willing to listen attentively to the world, increase our dialogue and communication with the rest of the world with an open mind. We regard this as a demonstration of the broad-mindedness of China's diplomacy.

The unique features of China's diplomacy are in line with the trend of our times and the general direction of the world. The world is undergoing unprecedented changes and adjustments. A group of emerging countries are rising simultaneously. The collective strength of developing countries is increasing steadily. The international balance of power is moving toward greater equilibrium. That being said, the world remains far from tranquil. Traditional and non-traditional security threats are entwined. Financial risks, climate change, food security, cyber security and other global issues are becoming more acute. The international community is in urgent need to enhance coordination and work together to tackle difficult issues. China, as a champion of peace and development, will keep its diplomacy abreast of the times, contribute to the reform of the international system, and facilitate, in an enterprising and innovative spirit, the evolution of the international order toward a more just and equitable direction.

Distinguished Guests,

Dear Friends,

Today, China is already standing under the world's limelight. From the way we are looked at, we can see both appreciation and suspicion, both recognition and criticism. But above all, we see expectation - expectation for a fast-growing China to undertake its due responsibilities and make greater contribution to world peace and common development. Here, let me assure you that, through our more proactive diplomacy, China is ready to respond to this expectation of the international community's expectation by connecting China's domestic situation with the world's situation and identifying the shared interests between China and other parties.

China will actively build a new model of major-country relationship and work relentlessly for durable world peace. World peace depends, to a large extent, on whether there is lasting peace between major countries. Yet historically, it seemed inevitable for major countries, especially emerging powers and established powers, to engage in competition and end up in confrontation or even conflict. As the most important developing country in the world, China does not subscribe to such a pattern. We have the resolve and confidence to prevent and break this so-called pattern through working with other major countries. Our resolve originates from our sense of responsibility and mission to protect world peace and the common interests of mankind. Our confidence is rooted in the fact that in today's our world, which is no longer what it used to be, globalization has bound all countries closely together, greatly diminishing major countries' desire to opt for confrontation and, more significantly, offsetting the risks of conflicts and wars between those countries.

China has already taken concrete actions to build such a new model of major-country relationship. Early this year, President Xi Jinping visited Russia, the first country he went to after taking office. He had in-depth discussions with President Putin at the Kremlin on how to advance the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination. They reached extensive consensus and signed a series of important agreements, setting an example for major countries to deepen trust and cooperation in the new era. Not long ago, President Xi Jinping and President Obama held off-tie strategic discussions at the Annenberg Estate in the United States. They agreed to build a new model of major-country relations between China and the United States. The core elements of this new model are mutual respect, win-win cooperation, no conflict, no confrontation. President Obama stated that the United States welcomes a strong, successful, prosperous and stable China and is willing to work with China as equal partners in dealing with many of the global challenges. President Xi hopes that China and the United States will work together and act as the anchor of stability and propeller of peace in the world. This historic meeting received extensive world attention and is widely welcomed by the international community.

China will continue to take its surrounding region as a priority in its diplomacy and foster a more peaceful, stable and prosperous neighboring environment that sustains development. The process towards peace starts with the surrounding region. Changes in China's relations with the world could first be perceived in China's relations with its neighbors. Whether China can continue to live in harmony with and extend mutual assistance to each other is vital in determining where China's relations with the world will go next. We will increase investment in our neighboring countries as a priority, actively improve connectivity in our surrounding region and explore the establishment of a regional platform for financial cooperation in infrastructure. We are ready to work for the upgrading of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and advance negotiations on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and the China-Japan-ROK Free Trade Area. We will be actively engaged in bilateral and regional maritime cooperation to turn the surrounding seas into seas of peace and friendship. We will strengthen people-to-people and cultural exchanges with our neighbors to strengthen public support for our good-neighborly relations. We will also step up cooperation in traditional and non-traditional security fields and actively expand defense and security exchanges with neighbors. Regarding the outstanding disputes over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests in this region, China maintains that proper solutions must be sought through dialogue and negotiation on the basis of fully respecting historical facts and international law. We are opposed to actions that might expand and complicate the disputes. Pending the settlement of disputes over maritime rights and interests, parties could shelve differences and engage in joint development.

China will vigorously uphold a new concept of morality and interests and establish a community of shared destinies with other developing countries. As China continues to develop, many friends from developing countries may ask, will an ever stronger China still be part of us? Will it still work together with us hand in hand just like before? Here I would like to say that China will always remember where its root is. When our friends, who fought together with us for national independence, have not yet been lifted out of poverty, China shares their feelings; when our friends who once carried China to the United Nations are still beset by wars and turbulence, China shares their feelings. China has never separated itself from other developing countries and will never do so. Just as President Xi Jinping proposed, we emphasize both morality and interests in our exchanges with other developing countries and we put morality before interests. This is an important foundation why China's diplomacy has gained extensive support. We will continue to increase assistance to other developing countries, least developed ones in particular, without attaching any conditions and help them achieve independent and sustainable development. My brothers and sisters from developing countries, please remember that we are all family and when you need China, China will always be there, ready to help.

China will open up still wider and share opportunities and deliver common prosperity with the world. The reform and opening up of the past three decades and more has shown that if China's development cannot be shared by the world, its development will surely be unsustainable. Clenching our fist, we will get nothing; but opening our arms, we will embrace more opportunities. China is making great efforts to develop and unleash the huge potential of its domestic demand. It is expected that in the next five years, China will import US$10 trillion worth of goods and make overseas investment totaling US$500 billion. Over 400 million Chinese people will make outbound trips. These are significant opportunities that China's development brings to the world. In the future, we will focus more on win-win cooperation and common prosperity in opening up. We will upgrade not only the Chinese economy, but China's opening up and its international cooperation. While advancing the new type of industrialization, IT application, urbanization and agricultural modernization, we will keep exploring mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries, making our own contribution to the strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy.

China will take a more active part in the handling of international and regional hotspot issues and shoulder its due responsibilities for world stability and tranquility. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China is always conscious of its international responsibilities and obligations and stands ready to offer more public products and play its unique and positive role in addressing various issues and challenges in the world. We will continue to firmly promote denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and maintain peace and stability there. We also hope that relevant parties will work towards the same goal and strive for an early resumption of the Six-Party Talks. We will continue to combat pirates in the Gulf of Aden and ensure safety of the important international sea lanes. As the permanent member of the Security Council that has sent the largest number of personnel to the UN peacekeeping missions, we will, for the first time, dispatch organic security and peacekeeping troops to Mali, making greater contribution to peace and security in Africa. We will actively implement the Four-point Proposal put forward by President Xi Jinping for the Settlement of the Palestinian Question and endeavor to advance the Middle East peace process. We will continue to resolutely condemn terrorism and actively participate in the international anti-terrorism cooperation. We will also take an active part in the realization of the UN Millennium Development Goals and jointly address such global issues as climate change, cyber security, polar regions and the outer space.

China will continue to maintain the present international order and the universally recognized international norms and more actively participate in the reform and improvement of the international system. The post-war international order, built by the peace-loving people across the world with their life and blood, has not come easily and the norms governing international relations represented by the UN Charter is truly precious. We should respect sovereignty, safeguard peace, uphold dialogue, support equality, and oppose interference, aggression, violence and power politics. These ideas, never outdated and always vibrant, are long-term principles in China's diplomacy. We will follow them when deciding our position in international affairs and act accordingly to firmly safeguard our sovereignty, security and development interests. At the same time, we will join the rest of the international community to continue our support to the UN, the G20, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, APEC and BRICS in playing a bigger role, advancing the process toward multi-polarity in the world and enriching and improving the international governance system.

We will adhere to the concept of putting people's interests first and conducting diplomacy for the people and earnestly safeguard the lawful rights and interests of Chinese nationals overseas. The people are the foundation of a nation and the interests of the country and of the people are inseparable. Only by merging with and benefiting the people can we win trust and support from the people, ensure that our cause is put in an invincible position and keep moving forward. There are now 20,000 Chinese enterprises operating in nearly 200 countries all over the world and over 80 million overseas visits by Chinese nationals every year. It is estimated that by 2020, the annual umber of overseas visits by Chinese nationals will reach 150 million or more. All our compatriots cherish their own dreams when they travel abroad; far away from home, they will inevitably encounter various kinds of difficulties or even risks. So it is natural that we should give them reliable and strong backing. We should make every diplomatic effort to help Chinese tourists have safer journey, work for better education for Chinese students overseas, create more favorable business environment for Chinese business people, bring warmth and regards to overseas Chinese, seek broader market for Chinese goods, strive for better conditions for Chinese workers overseas, and help all Chinese people realize their "Chinese dream". The fulfillment of everyone's "Chinese dream", when added up, will build into the realization of the dream of our country and nation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Over 2,000 years ago, China's great philosopher Confucius said, "the virtue of the sage will last long and the cause of the sage will thrive". To promote peace and development of mankind is just such a lofty and everlasting cause. We will actively explore major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, make joint efforts with people of other countries and work for the establishment of a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.

Thank you.

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