China's Diplomacy Must Befit Its Major-Country Status

Xi Jinping: The Governance of China II Updated: 2021-12-28

China's Diplomacy Must Befit Its Major-Country Status*


November 28, 2014


We must stand firmly for peace, development, cooperation and win-win outcomes, give overall consideration to domestic development and international situation, and adopt a holistic approach to development and security. We must focus on the overriding goal of peaceful development and national rejuvenation. We must devote ourselves to safeguarding China's sovereignty, security and development interests, foster an international environment that is friendly to our peaceful development, and take advantage of this important period of strategic opportunity for China. These efforts will ensure the realization of the Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC held in 2012, the central leadership, bearing in mind both domestic development and international situation, has maintained continuity and consistency of China's foreign policy, strengthened overall planning, and taken bold initiatives. And notable results have been achieved in China's diplomatic work. In view of the new tasks for the new era, we have worked creatively and proactively to break new ground in China's diplomatic theories and practice, and enrich the strategic thinking of peaceful development. We have explained to the international community the global implication and impact of the Chinese Dream. We have advocated a new model of international relations underpinned by mutually beneficial cooperation, proposed and implemented a policy of upholding the greater good and pursuing shared interests, and championed a new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. Moreover, we have endeavored to build a new model of major country relations, and proposed and practiced a policy of building relations with neighboring countries based on amity, good faith, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and a policy of building relations with Africa based on sincerity, affinity, good faith and real results. These accomplishments would not have been possible without the dedication of comrades engaged in China's foreign affairs, especially those posted overseas.

To have a good grasp of global developments and follow the underlying trend of the times is a constant and crucially important task that requires our abiding attention if China is to move forward. It is important to have a global perspective, grasp the pulse of the times, make a sound, accurate and thorough assessment of the changing international environment, and dissect complex phenomena to uncover the essence, and, in particular, have a good understanding of long-term trends. Furthermore, we should be fully mindful of the complexity of the evolving international architecture, and we should also recognize that the growing trend towards a multipolar world will not change. We should be fully aware that the ongoing global economic adjustment will not be smooth sailing; we also need to recognize that economic globalization will not stop. We should be fully alert to the grave nature of international tensions and conflicts; we also need to recognize that peace and development, the underlying trend of our time, will remain unchanged. We should be keenly aware of the protracted nature of contest over the international order; on the other hand, we need to recognize that reform of the international system will not change its course. We should fully recognize the uncertainties in China's neighboring environment, but we should also realize that the general trend of prosperity and stability in the Asia-Pacific region will not change.

Today, the world is changing. It is a world in which new opportunities and new challenges keep emerging, a world in which the international system and international order are going through a profound adjustment and a world in which the balance of international forces is shifting steadily in favor of peace and development. In observing the world, we should not allow our views to be blocked by anything intricate or transient. Instead, we should observe the world through the prism of historical laws. All factors considered, we can see that China is still in an important period of strategic opportunity in which much can be accomplished. Our biggest opportunity lies in China's steady development and the growth in its strength. On the other hand, we should be mindful of various risks and challenges and skillfully defuse potential crises and turn them into opportunities.

China has entered a crucial stage of achieving the great renewal of the Chinese nation. Profound changes are taking place in China's relations with the rest of the world, with closer interactions between China and the international community. As China has increased its dependence on the world and its involvement in international affairs, so has the world deepened its dependence on China and had greater impact on China. Therefore, in projecting and adopting plans for reform and development, we must give full consideration to both domestic and international markets, both domestic and foreign resources, and both domestic and international rules, and use them judiciously.

China must develop a distinctive diplomatic approach befitting its role as a major country. We should, summing up our past practice and experience, enrich and develop our diplomatic theories and practice, and conduct diplomacy with salient Chinese features and a Chinese vision. We should uphold the CPC's leadership and Chinese socialism. We will stick to our development path, social system, cultural tradition and values. We should continue to follow the independent foreign policy of peace, always pursue the development of the country and the nation by relying on ourselves, and follow our own path unswervingly. While pursuing peaceful development, we will never relinquish our legitimate rights and interests, or allow China's core interests to be impaired. We will promote democracy in international relations, and uphold the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We are firm in our position that all countries, regardless of their size, strength and level of development, are equal members of the international community and that the destiny of the world should be decided by people of all countries. We will uphold international justice and, in particular, speak up for developing countries.

We should continue to pursue win-win cooperation, promote a new model of international relations based on such cooperation, follow the mutually beneficial strategy of opening up and adopt the win-win approach to our external relations in the political, economic, security, cultural and other fields. We must uphold the greater good and pursue shared interests. This means we should act in good faith, value friendship, champion moral principles and uphold justice. We will never compromise the principle of non-interference in other countries' internal affairs. We will respect the choices of development path and social system made independently by people of other countries, promote peaceful resolution of differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultation, and oppose the willful use or threat of force.

In conducting China's diplomacy in both current stage and in the time to come, we should take a holistic approach to national security, strengthen the confidence of the Chinese people in the path, guiding theories and system of socialism with distinctive Chinese features, and ensure durable peace and stability in China. We should try to help other countries to understand and support the Chinese Dream, which represents the Chinese people's aspiration for peace, development, cooperation and win-win outcomes. What we pursue is the wellbeing of both the Chinese people and the people of all other countries. We should firmly uphold China's territorial sovereignty, maritime rights and interests, and national unity, and properly handle territorial and island disputes. We should protect China's development opportunities and space, and work hard to form a highly-integrated, mutually beneficial network through extensive economic, trade, and technological cooperation. We should make more friends without prejudice to the non-aligned principle and build a global network of partnerships. We should enhance China's soft power and better present China to the world.

We should promote neighborhood diplomacy, and turn China and its neighboring countries into a community of shared future. In this regard, we should continue to implement the principles of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness in our relations with neighboring countries, promote friendship and partnership with our neighbors, foster an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood environment, and boost win-win cooperation and connectivity with our neighbors. We should manage our relations with other major countries well, build a sound and stable framework of major country relations, and expand cooperation with other major countries in the developing world. We should strengthen unity and cooperation with other developing countries and closely associate our development with the common development of other developing countries. We should actively engage in multilateral diplomacy, and promote reform of the international system and global governance, so that developing countries, China included, will have greater representation and bigger say. We should step up results-oriented cooperation, actively implement the Belt and Road Initiative, work hard to expand the converging interests of various parties, and promote win-win cooperation through results-oriented cooperation. In processing foreign aid, we should act in good faith, value friendship and pursue shared interests. To protect China's overseas interests, we should continue to improve our capabilities for such protection.

To fully advance China's diplomacy in the new era, we must enhance the centralized and unified leadership of the Party, reform and improve foreign-affairs-related institutions and mechanisms, step up inter-sector, inter-department and inter-regional coordination, increase strategic input, regulate foreign affairs management, and improve the training and management of diplomatic officers, so as to provide a strong support for opening new horizons in China's diplomacy.

* Main points of the speech at the Central Conference on Foreign Affairs.

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