|Chapter about Diplomacy in The Report to the 18th National Congrss of The Communist Party of China|
1. How has China contributed to world peace and development in the 21st century?
The Report to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China titled its part on diplomacy as "Continuing to Promote the Noble Cause of Peace and Development of Mankind". It maps out the future goals and tasks of China's diplomacy and gives full expression to the lofty ideals it has consistently pursued. Since the beginning of the 21st century, China has made important contributions to world peace and prosperity while maintaining its own stability and development.
First, giving a powerful push to global economic development. By keeping a steady and fairly rapid growth at home, China has achieved an average annual contribution rate of over 20% to world economic growth of the 21st century. In the wake of the international financial crisis, China has twice contributed a total of 93 billion dollars to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) capital replenishment and turned itself into an important force driving world economic recovery and international economic and financial restructuring. Dedicated to opening still wider to the outside world, China ranked in 2011 the second place in the world in import and export volume, the second place in foreign direct investment and the fifth place in overseas investment. China has worked actively to promote economic globalization and regional cooperation and oppose all types of protectionism. China is an enthusiastic promoter and practitioner of South-South cooperation. Over the past decade, China has provided a total of over RMB170 billion in a variety of foreign aid programs and helped enhance the independent development capacity of the developing countries by cancelling their debt burdens and other means, thus making an important contribution to the international cause of poverty alleviation.
Second, resolutely safeguarding world peace and stability. Committed to resolving international disputes through peaceful means, China takes an active part in international security dialogue and cooperation, vigorously advocates the new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation and plays a constructive role in maintaining regional peace and stability by actively mediating the Korean nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear issue, the Libyan issue, the Syrian issue and other critical regional hotspots. China is the largest contributor of peacekeepers among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. The People's Liberation Army of China has sent a total of more than 20,000 personnel successively to 15 UN peacekeeping missions and China's People's Police has sent over 1,600 personnel to eight UN peacekeeping operations, making an important contribution to world peace and security.
Third, cultivating friendly relations in an all-round way with other countries. China has vigorously grown relations with other major countries. The cooperative partnership between China and the US has made sound and steady progress with greater convergence of their respective interests, with two-way trade reaching US$446.6 billion in 2011. The comprehensive partnership of strategic coordination between China and Russia has continued to upgrade, with two-way trade growing by over 30% for years running. China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership has deepened steadily as China gives vigorous support for EU efforts to combat the sovereign debt crisis. Committed to friendship and good-neighborliness, China has increased its political trust and integration of interests with the surrounding countries. By pushing for such cooperation mechanisms as the BRICS Forum, the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the Forum on China-Arab States Cooperation and others, China has strengthened its unity and cooperation with major emerging countries and the developing countries at large.
Fourth, steadfastly upholding international justice and fairness. China supports the United Nations in playing a central role in international affairs and stresses strict compliance with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, international law and recognized norms governing international relations. China works to promote greater democracy in international relations while actively safeguarding the rights and interests of the developing countries in international affairs. China has helped make the G20 summit a premier platform for global economic governance in which developing countries can participate in global economic governance as equals. China works for the establishment of a fair and reasonable new international economic order, reflected in the IMF decision to shift at least 6 percentage points of quota shares to emerging markets and under-represented countries and the World Bank decision to shift 3.13 percentage points of voting power from developed countries to developing countries.
Fifth, getting fully involved in meeting global challenges. China has effectively dealt with SARS, Type A H1N1 influenza and other epidemic threats and actively engaged in international cooperation on climate change, food security, energy security and disaster prevention and relief. China has made an important contribution to efforts to counter climate change by announcing the cut of carbon emission per unit of GDP by 40 - 45% between 2005 and 2020. China works hard to build a resource-conserving society. Being 90% self-reliant in energy supply and with an energy intensity that has fallen by 12.9% over the past decade, China works for a stable, economical, clean and secure international system of energy supply. China actively pushes for international cooperation on agriculture and strives to safeguard global food security.
Sixth, working hard to promote inter-civilization dialogue and exchanges in the world. China has got extensively involved in inter-civilization dialogue and carried out multi-channelled and multi-formed cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The Beijing Olympic Games and the Shanghai World Expo, as big events for both China and the rest of the world, went a long way towards increasing the mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and the peoples around the world. Exchanges between China and other countries in education, health, science and technology, sports, tourism and other fields are close and fruitful. China supports other countries in following development paths suited to their own national conditions and endeavors to enhance understanding among all peoples, diversity of civilizations and freedom to choose different development paths.
China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, and win-win cooperation, firmly dedicated to promoting world peace and common development and work together with the people of all countries in still broader range and at still higher level of cooperation so as to make new contributions to the noble cause of peace and development of mankind.
2. What major conclusions are arrived at during the 18th CPC National Congress about the international environment?
The Report to the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China points out that the world today is undergoing profound and complex changes. The in-depth analysis it has made reflects China's latest view on the international environment, which includes the following:
First, it stresses that peace and development remain the underlying trends of our times. As the report puts it, "To pursue peace, development and cooperation and oppose war, eliminate poverty and avoid confrontation in order to build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity - this is what the people of all countries long for." Despite a highly complex international landscape, peace, development and cooperation remain the trend of our times.
Second, it summarizes the overriding global trends as "multipolarity", "economic globalization", "cultural diversity" and "information society". Today, multipolarity has become increasingly visible. Emerging markets and developing countries are on the whole stronger, making the balance of power move toward relative equilibrium. Though world economy remains tested, economic globalization will keep on going albeit with twists and turns. Cultural diversity continues to progress, with exchanges, integration and competition among various thoughts and cultures going in greater depth, which reflects the world's great development. Development of an IT-driven society picks up speed. The wide application of Internet and the new media not only helps social progress but also poses new challenges to national as well as global governance. With the four trends intertwining and interacting with one another, we can see major underlying changes that affect the development of the international environment.
Third, it holds that more favorable conditions are available for ensuring an overall stability in the international environment. In addition to the four trends as mentioned above, new breakthroughs are in the making in the scientific and technological revolution, global cooperation is expanding at multiple levels and on all fronts, and emerging market economies and developing countries are gaining in overall strength, which tips the balance of power more in favor of the maintenance of world peace. All this has created more favorable conditions for ensuring general stability in the international environment. Such judgment helps us find the positive side of the international environment behind the destabilizing factors so as to shore up our confidence in world peace and development.
Fourth, it points out the lack of tranquility in the world. As the report says, "The global financial crisis is producing a far-reaching impact on the world. World economic growth is overshadowed by growing factors of instability and uncertainty, and imbalance in global development has widened. There are signs of increasing hegemonism, power politics and new-interventionism, and local turmoil keeps cropping up. Global issues such as food security, energy and resource security and cyber security are becoming more acute." Hence the major factors affecting world peace and development today and for some time to come are identified together with critical need for countries to join hands in meeting challenges through cooperation.
The above findings and judgments made by the report with respect to international environment will serve as the important basis for China's policy making and work in foreign relations for some time to come.
3. How to understand the statements on China's foreign policy in the Report to the 18th CPC National Congress?
What the Report to the 18th CPC National Congress says about China's foreign policy reflects both continuity and development.
On the one hand, the Report has reaffirmed the major principles guiding China's external relations, showing consistency and continuity of China's foreign policy. The Report stresses that China will firmly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and unwaveringly implement a win-win strategy of opening up, and that China will grow friendship and cooperation in all fields with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and contribute to the building of a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity. These major principles and policies, which have proven correct by practice and compatible with China's national conditions and the trend of the times, will be followed persistently and further enriched in keeping with the times.
On the other hand, the Report has introduced some new ideas, new viewpoints and new judgements concerning China's external relations, enriching and developing the theories, principles and policies guiding China's diplomatic work. First, the Report stresses that "China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit". By adding "mutual benefit", China's foreign policy has acquired richer elements and its objectives are more clear and precise. Second, the Report calls for "promoting equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutually beneficial cooperation in international relations", which holds out China's vision for future international relations and international order. Third, the Report makes it clear what China's diplomacy needs to accomplish: that China should be firm in its resolve to uphold sovereignty, security and development interests, and never yield to any outside pressure; that China should bear in mind both the interests of the Chinese people and the common interests of the people of all countries, get more actively involved in international affairs, play its due role of major responsible country, and work jointly with other countries to meet global challenges; that China should uphold the principle of balancing rights with obligations, take an active part in global economic governance, promote and facilitate free trade and investment, and oppose protectionism in all its forms; that China should improve and grow its relations with developed countries by expanding areas of cooperation and properly addressing differences with them, and strive to establish a new type of relations of long-term stability and sound growth with other major countries; that China should continue to promote friendship and partnership with its neighbors, consolidate friendly relations and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with them, and ensure that China's development will bring more benefits to its neighbors; that China should increase unity and cooperation with other developing countries, work with them to uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, support efforts to increase their representation and voice in international affairs, and remain a reliable friend and sincere partner of other developing countries; that China should actively participate in multilateral affairs, support the United Nations, G20, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and other multilateral organizations in playing an active role in international affairs, and work to make the international order and system more just and equitable; and that China should take solid steps to promote public diplomacy and people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and protect China's legitimate rights and interests overseas.
What the Report to the 18th CPC National Congress says on China's foreign policy embodies the unity between continuity and development and the unity between domestic policy and foreign policy. It will serve as a guide for China's diplomatic work in the new era as it will play a crucial role in promoting China's peaceful development and the noble cause of peace and development of mankind.
4. The Report to the 18th CPC National Congress states that China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit. Why is the emphasis on "mutual benefit"?
The Report to the 18th CPC National Congress says that China will "continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit". It is important that the Report highlights "mutual benefit" as a core proposition of China's foreign policy.
"Mutual benefit" is consistent with the underlying trend of the times. Along with the development of multipolarity, economic globalization, cultural diversity and information society, global cooperation is expanding at multiple levels and on all fronts. Countries are getting increasingly interdependent, and global challenges are becoming more acute than ever before. No country can deal with risks and challenges on its own. Only through win-win cooperation can countries better protect and realize their respective interests and can world peace and development be ensured. What happened in the wake of the international financial crisis shows that unity and win-win cooperation is the best response to major global crises and challenges. He who fails to recognize this or acts in contravention to the trend is bound to pay a big price.
Bearing in mind both the underlying features of the times and the common interests of all countries, China has worked hard all along to promote and practice the concept of mutual benefit. Contrary to the "zero-sum" mentality of certain countries in history that took maximization of interests as the sole purpose and refused to accept anything but complete winning, the concept of mutual benefit is about winning the trust and respect of others through tangible contributions to the world.
"Mutual benefit" is a broad and rich concept. It applies not only in the economic realm but also in political, security, cultural and other aspects of international relations. Economically, mutual benefit means making the pie of common interests still bigger and achieving common development and common prosperity. Politically, it means sharing weal and woe, shouldering rights and obligations together, and promoting the common interests of all mankind. Security-wise, it means advocating common security, collective security and cooperative security and rejecting the pursuit of absolute security and unilateral security. Culturally, it means "appreciating one's own beauty and that of the others", and promoting exchanges, inclusiveness and mutual learning among different civilizations.
"Peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit" are not only basic guiding principles for China, but also its important proposal to all countries. China will continue to hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit, promote peace, development and cooperation in the international arena, and work with other countries to build towards a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.
5. Why does China call for promoting equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutually beneficial cooperation in international relations?
The Report to the 18th CPC National Congress states that China calls for "promoting equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutually beneficial cooperation in international relations and making joint efforts to uphold international fairness and justice". Herein lies a vision of the CPC and the Chinese government on what kind of international relations and international order they would like to see built in the new environment.
Equality and mutual trust constitute the political foundation for the sound and steady growth of international relations in the new environment. Countries, big or small, are all equals. This is a cardinal norm in international relations, which was already enshrined in the UN Charter and universally accepted. In the world today, however, hegemonism, power politics and neo-interventionism are on the increase, the development gap between the North and the South is widening, international political inequality still exists, and the right to development and say of the developing countries are far from being adequately protected. At the same time, ethnic, religious and cultural differences, regional conflicts and ideological stereotypes give rise to new estrangements that hamper trust among countries. We need to keep equality and mutual trust as the basis for developing international relations, and highlight the principle that countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are all entitled to participate in international affairs as equals. We should observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, abide by international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations, and oppose outside interference in the internal affairs of other countries. We should vigorously promote communication and exchanges among countries, abandon the Cold War mentality and reduce mutual suspicion. We should step up international and regional security cooperation, and resolve international disputes and hotspot issues through peaceful means instead of war.
Inclusiveness and mutual learning provide an important guarantee for the sound and steady growth of international relations in the new environment. The diversity of the world is based on diversity of civilizations and cultures. Every nation and every culture has its own distinctive features. They may be different from one another, but none is superior or inferior to others. The international financial crisis has once again demonstrated that a culture or development path can achieve greater progress only when it can learn from others' strengths to make up for its own shortcomings. Inter-civilization and inter-culture exchanges and dialogue are vitally important for enhancing understanding and trust among countries, promoting greater democracy in international relations and ensuring prosperity and progress in the world. We should respect diversity of civilizations and development paths, and respect and safeguard the rights of all peoples to independently choose their social system and development path. We should rise above ideological differences and stereotypes, encourage exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations and cultures, draw on each other's strengths through competition and comparison, and promote the development of all countries by seeking common ground and reserving differences.
Mutually beneficial cooperation is the fundamental way to ensure sound and steady growth of international relations in the new environment. As globalization gathers momentum and global challenges become more prominent, countries are finding their destinies connected more closely than ever before, and achieving mutual benefit through win-win cooperation has become the basic policy objective by more and more countries in their handling of international affairs. Countries should actively expand the areas of common interests, jointly tackle climate change, energy and resource security, cyber security and other global challenges, reject the beggar-thy-neighbor approach that seeks to gain at the expense of others. We should deepen cooperation to counter the international financial crisis, promote the establishment of an international financial system that is fair, just, inclusive and orderly, properly handle trade frictions through equal-footed consultation, oppose all forms of protectionism and promote a strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy. We should step up regional cooperation, pursue open regionalism, and build a new type of global development partnership that is more equitable and balanced. While promoting economic and social development by relying on its strengths and through reform and innovation, China will vigorously step up result-oriented cooperation with other countries and share the dividends of development opportunities with them in keeping with the principle of mutual benefit and reciprocity.
6. While the Report reaffirms China's commitment to the path of peaceful development, it also stresses China's firm resolve to uphold its sovereignty, security and development interests and never yield to any outside pressure. Why is that?
The report to the 18th CPC National Congress stated in Section XI that "China will unswervingly follow the path of peaceful development and firmly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace" and that "we are firm in our resolve to uphold China's sovereignty, security and development interests and will never yield to any outside pressure". This statement demonstrates both China's sincere desire to follow a path of peaceful development and its firm resolve to safeguard its national interests. They are not contradictory at all.
In pursuing the peaceful development path, China mainly seeks development through opening-up and cooperation for win-win results, seeks its own development through a peaceful international environment and seeks to uphold and promote world peace with its own development. Internationally, China will firmly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace. China decides its position and policy on an issue on its own merits, stands for peaceful resolution of international disputes and hotspot issues, opposes the wanton use of force or threat of force, rejects terrorism in all its manifestations, oppose hegemony and power politics in all forms, and objects to interference into other countries' internal affairs. It will never seek hegemony or engage in expansion. China's solemn declaration of its commitment to the path of peaceful development to the world has answered two important questions of what kind of development path China will take and what China's development means to the world. This path of peaceful development reflects a high degree of unity between China's domestic and foreign policies under the new circumstances, between the fundamental interests of the Chinese people and the common interests of people across the world, and between the pursuit of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the peace and development theme of our times. This has profoundly explained the peaceful nature of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
To pursue a path of peaceful development does not mean that China gives up its legitimate rights and interests, nor would it sacrifice its national interests for peaceful development. Otherwise it would lead us nowhere. To safeguard sovereignty, security and development interests is the primary goal of the foreign policy for all countries, big or small, strong or weak.
To resolutely uphold national interests is the noble mission of China's diplomatic work. Over the past 60 years and more since the founding of the People's Republic of China, it has remained consistent in its position to uphold national independence, sovereignty and dignity. If China had the courage to stand up for its national interests, oppose power politics in the world and refuse to yield to outside pressure decades ago when it was poor and blank, how would a stronger and much developed China today buckle under external pressure? There is no reason whatsoever to abandon its national interests.
China has been branded as "aggressive", "arrogant" and "tough" when it tries to defend its legitimate national rights and interests. Some have even trumpeted the "China threat" theory. All these allegations do not hold water at all. The Chinese nation has a peace-loving tradition. During the voyages of the Chinese navigator Zheng He to the Western Seas, what he brought with him was seeds for communication and friendship not for plunder and colonization. Recently, there has been growing tension between China and some of its neighbouring countries over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests , but none of the disputes has been stirred up by China. China has responded to these disputes rationally, reasonably and with restraint. China has never illegally taken other's territory, not even an inch .
If China traverses along the path of peaceful development steadily, smoothly and successfully, it will benefit not only China but the whole world. It requires not just efforts on the part of China but also understanding and support of the world. We hope that other countries will understand the commitment of the Chinese people to their state sovereignty, security, development and stability, respect China's lawful rights and legitimate concerns, support China in taking the path of peaceful development and create favorable conditions and an enabling environment for China's pursuit of peaceful development.
7. According to the Report, China's position as the largest developing country in the world has not changed, and at the same time China will get more actively involved in international affairs and play its due role as a major responsible country. How to understand this?
The report to the 18th CPC National Congress has made it clear that "China's international position as the largest developing country in the world" has not changed. This is a clear definition of China's international position and an unambiguous clarification to the doubt in the world about whether China is still a developing country.
Since the founding of the PRC more than 60 years ago, in particular since its introduction of reform and opening-up over 30 years ago, China has made remarkable achievements in its development. It has grown into the world's second largest economy. Its aggregate national strength, global competitiveness and international influence have continued to rise, and historic changes have given the country a new look. However, in terms of per capita GDP, China still ranks among the medium- and low-income developing countries, and it still lags far behind developed countries in science, technology, military, finance and other areas. The Report has soberly pointed out that unbalanced, uncoordinated and unsustainable development in China remains a big problem. The capacity for scientific and technological innovation is weak. The industrial structure is unbalanced and agricultural infrastructure remains weak. Resource and environmental constraints have become more serious. The tasks of deepening reform and opening-up and changing the growth model remain arduous. Given all these factors, it is realistic to conclude that China is still a developing country.
China is both the second largest economy and biggest developing country in the world, which is a unique phenomenon unseen in the modern times. We hope that the international community will objectively look at and fully recognize these "special Chinese characteristics". To put too much emphasis on one, to the neglect of the other, is one-sided. With the growth of China's national strength, the international community is expecting China to play a bigger role, which is natural. However, there are also some unrealistic views and even accusations of China as a selective stakeholder that presents itself as an elephant or an ant depending on its own needs. But it is a fact that China is both big and small, both rich and poor, and both strong and weak. Therefore, China has made earnest efforts to shoulder its share of international obligations on the one hand, and has found it difficult to take on responsibilities more than what it can on the other hand.
Being a responsible big country, China is committed to upholding world peace and promoting common development. While defining China as the world's biggest developing country, the Report has also solemnly declared that China will "get more actively involved in international affairs and play its due role of a major responsible country", sending a clear message that China stands ready to make greater contribution to the world. Over the years, China has made important contribution to world peace and common development. China will continue to take into consideration both the interests of the Chinese people and the common interests of people of all countries, balance its own capacity with the expectations of the international community, and play a constructive role in international affairs. China will actively participate in multilateral affairs, support the United Nations, the G20, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS countries and others in playing a positive role, and promote the development of a fair and reasonable international order and international system.
8. Why is it important for China to strive for a new type of relations of long-term stability and sound growth with other major countries?
It is stated in the Report that "we will improve and grow our relations with developed countries by expanding areas of cooperation and properly addressing differences with them; and we will strive to establish a new type of relations of long-term stability and sound growth with other major countries." Amid the complicated evolution of the international landscape and profound adjustments of relations between major countries, China, a fast growing big developing country, has made theoretical studies on what kind of relationship it would develop with other major countries and what kind of relationship major countries should build among them in the new era. The statement also represents a sincere appeal for a new type of major-country relationship.
The idea of a new type of relations among major countries was first raised in China's proposals on China-US relations. In recent years, leaders of the two countries have reached important agreement on working together to explore a new type of major-country relationship based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation. The Report has expanded the proposed new type China-US relationship to cover all major countries and identified the establishment of a new type of relations of long-term stability and sound growth as its goal for relations with all major countries.
Stable major-country relations are vital to world peace and development. The human society has suffered enough from great powers' struggles for hegemony. In history, many big powers opted for external aggression and expansion. In particular, latecomers tended to expand their own interests through wars and colonialism. Today, with a growing trend toward multipolarity, economic globalization and cultural diversity and the extensive application of IT knowledge and skills, the world has become a "global village" with interests of all countries intertwined. No big country can afford seclusion with markets closed to it or outright hostility with other powers. Efforts by big countries for peaceful coexistence and common progress will set a good example for other countries to follow and will play a crucial role in upholding world peace and promoting common development.
For China, a new type of relations of long-term stability and sound growth with other major countries is a necessary external condition for its peaceful development. We are sincere and firm in having such a relationship established. Never in history has China ever expanded externally, nor does China have the will or capacity to contend for hegemony or "spheres of influence". China has the second biggest aggregate GDP in the world, yet its per capita GDP only ranks behind the 80th place - no other major country in the contemporary history has ever had a similar experience. The further China grows, the more necessary for it to cooperate with other countries and adopt a new major-country development model.
The proposed new type of relations of long-term stability and sound growth among major countries embraces mainly the following elements: First, mutual respect and equality. All countries should respect each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity, each other's choice of social system and development path, and each other's core interests and major concerns. They should assess each other's strategic intention objectively and rationally, and regard each other as partners and friends, not opponents or rivals. Second, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. It is important for countries to conduct all-dimensional, wide-ranging and high-level economic cooperation. They should stick to open trade and investment policies, oppose protectionism, and appropriately address economic and trade frictions. They should step up coordination in macroeconomic policies, and work together to promote a strong, sustainable and balanced growth of the world economy. Third, mutual trust, inclusiveness and shared responsibility. All countries should, in the spirit of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, increase communication, coordination and cooperation over major international, regional and global issues, and make joint efforts to cope with traditional and non-traditional security issues and safeguard world peace and tranquility. Fourth, exchanges, mutual learning and mutual reinforcement. All countries should learn from and draw upon each other's cultural achievements, respect others' historical development, culture, traditions and features of different development stages, promote dialogue and integration among diverse civilizations and innovations in them, and work together to uphold world diversity and promote human development. Fifth, peaceful coexistence in the spirit of seeking common ground while shelving differences. All countries should try to increase mutual trust and dispel suspicions through candid and sincere communication. They should, transcending ideological barriers and shaking off the restraints of misunderstanding and bias, seek harmony in diversity and pursue progress through exchanges.
In the 21st century, major countries have seen their destiny gradually fused together. China will, together with other major countries, work hard to develop a new type of major-country relations of long-term stability and sound growth, thus setting a good example and laying the foundation for the establishment of a new type of international relations.
9. How will China consolidate friendly relations with neighbors and ensure that its development will bring more benefits to the neighbors?
The Report has made it clear that China "will continue to promote friendship and partnership with neighbors, consolidate friendly relations and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with them, and ensure that China's development will bring more benefits to its neighbors." This fully embodies China's consistent policy of good-neighborliness and it is a reaffirmation of its solemn commitment to its neighbors. All this demonstrates China's commitment to common development with them.
China, with its rapid economic growth in recent years, has increasingly become a driver for the growth of others. And neighboring countries have been the first to benefit from this. China has become the biggest trading partner and export market and an important source of investment for most of its neighbors. Several regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms have been put in place between China and its neighboring countries. China's trade volume with neighboring countries increased fivefold from US$164.7 billion to US$885.7 billion from 2000 to 2010. From 2002 to 2011, China's trade volume with ASEAN rose by 20% annually from over US$50 billion to US$362.8 billion, and its investment in ASEAN jumped from less than US$100 million to almost US$3 billion. From 2001 to 2011, the trade volume between China and other member states of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was up by 900% from US$12.1 billion to US$113.4 billion. In 2010, China had a trade deficit of US$95.5 billion with other Asian countries. Some neighboring countries have registered a fast economic growth in recent years, which should be attributed to the chain effect of China's growth. When confronted with the Asian financial crisis and the international financial crisis, China, in the spirit of helping each other and sharing weal and woe together, adopted a host of measures to help its neighbors, such as refusing to devalue the RMB and setting up the Asia Regional Cooperation Fund and China-ASEAN Investment Cooperation Fund. China has made an effort to help neighboring countries out of the crises, and contributed significantly to economic recovery and development in Asia and the world at large.
Practice has proven and will continue to prove that sustained development and prosperity in China will bring significant development opportunities to the neighborhood. China has no ambition to covet its neighbors or expand its interests at the expense of others'. On the contrary, China has all the sincerity to seek common development with them. In the second decade of this century, China will develop its open economy further, which will benefit its neighbors better.
China will further deepen business cooperation with neighboring countries. During the Twelfth Five-Year Plan period, China's total import and outward direct investment are expected to exceed US$10 trillion and US$500 billion respectively. China-Russia and China-ASEAN trade is estimated to reach US$100 billion and US$500 billion respectively in 2015. China will further promote regional trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, increase two-way investment with neighboring countries, expand practical cooperation in emerging industries, finance, science and technology, health care and environmental protection, and cultivate new cooperation highlights.
China will further step up connectivity with neighboring countries. Connectivity is an important foundation for deepening business cooperation and people-to-people contacts. The Chinese Committee on China-ASEAN Connectivity has been established. China will strengthen institutionalized exchanges with relevant ASEAN organs to upgrade in infrastructural connectivity and network in such areas as transport, telecom, power grid and energy, so as to enhance regional economic integration and the competitiveness of the region. China will continue to work for greater connectivity with Central Asian countries and inject new vigor to the ancient Silk Road.
China will further advance regional cooperation in its neighborhood. At the recently concluded East Asia Summit (EAS) in Cambodia, China proposed the Phnom Penh Declaration on the East Asia Summit Development Initiative and had it adopted. China will take an active part in negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), increase input, promote practical cooperation within the frameworks of 10+1, 10+3, EAS, APEC and SCO, and work toward a multilevel and all-dimensional regional cooperation structure.
China will increase its assistance and support to neighboring countries. In recent years, China has given strong support to them by providing a large amount of grants and low-interest loans and setting up cooperation funds to grant credit. As its national strength increases, China will have a greater capacity to help its neighbors with their economic development and social progress. China will, as always, provide various forms of assistance for neighboring countries hit by major natural disasters.
China will continue to promote exchanges and cooperation with neighboring countries in the cultural, education, science and technology, health and other areas, take an active part in addressing regional hotspot issues, and safeguard peace and stability in the neighborhood. This is also another important channel through which China's development benefits its neighbors.
Political mutual trust is an important foundation for stronger relations between China and neighboring countries. China will continue high-level exchanges and dialogue at various levels, exchange experience on governance, increase mutual understanding and trust, expand consensus and deepen cooperation in various fields with neighboring countries. China will continue to settle disputes with relevant neighboring countries through dialogue and negotiation.
10. What will China do to remain a reliable friend and sincere partner of other developing countries?
The Report to the 18th CPC National Congress declares that China "will increase unity and cooperation with other developing countries, work with them to uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries and support efforts to increase their representation and voice in international affairs. China will remain a reliable friend and sincere partner of other developing countries." This shows China's sincere wish and firm determination to deepen unity and cooperation with other developing countries.
Developing countries are China's important partners in pursuing peaceful development and a major force for a multipolar world and greater democracy in international relations. Over the years, China and other developing countries have treated each other as equals and supported each other. In the course of seeking national liberalization and revival, in particular, they sympathized with and helped each other and forged strong relations and profound friendship. China has taken concrete steps to support other developing countries in achieving development. By the end of 2011, the Chinese government had completed over 2,200 aid-projects in recipient countries, projects that are of great significance to the local economic activities and people's life; cancelled debts owed by 50 heavily indebted countries and least developed countries; and trained over 60,000 people of various professions for 173 developing countries and 13 regional and international organizations. These efforts have contributed to the economic and social development of developing countries. A study conducted by the British FT shows that China provided more loans to other developing countries than the World Bank in 2009 and 2010.
China has come a long way in development through over 30 years' reform and opening-up, but China is still in the primary stage of socialism and will long remain so. This basic condition of China has not changed. China is the largest developing country in the world, which has not changed either. China and other developing countries still share many common interests, positions and aspirations. China will always stand side by side with them, stay committed to enhancing the traditional friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with them, and continue to support them in maintaining stability and achieving development.
China will remain a reliable friend of other developing countries. We will faithfully observe the principle of mutual respect, equality and mutual non-interference in internal affairs, uphold the principle that all countries, big or small, are equal, and respect other developing countries' choices of social system and development path. We will continue to advocate democracy in international relations, enhance coordination and cooperation with developing countries in international affairs, promote unity of developing countries and safeguard their overall interests. We will work with the international community to build a fair, rational and nondiscriminatory international trading regime and a new-type global development partnership that is more equitable and balanced. We will promote the institution of a global economic governance system with the reform of the international financial system at its core and work for an early implementation of the governance and quota reforms of the International Monetary Fund and other financial institutions, with a view to increasing the representation and say of the emerging market countries and developing countries.
China will remain a sincere partner of other developing countries. We will continue to increase mutually beneficial cooperation with other developing countries, expand areas of cooperation, explore ways of cooperation and improve the quality of cooperation with them. We are committed to narrowing the North-South gap and supporting other developing countries in enhancing their capacity for self- development. We will continue to assist other developing countries to the best of our ability and ensure people of both sides benefit more from such cooperation. We will make more efforts for multi-tiered and multi-form exchanges with them, forge closer ties between youth, women, NGOs, media and academic institutions of the two sides so as to deepen cooperation and friendship between China and other developing countries.
11. How to see the solid steps China is taking to promote public diplomacy and cultural and people-to-people exchanges?
The Report to the 18th CPC National Congress indicates that China will take solid steps to promote public diplomacy and cultural and people-to-people exchanges. This is the first time that public diplomacy is written into the Party's report. It is an important step taken by China to enhance communication and increase mutual understanding with other countries against the backdrop of profound changes in China's development and the international landscape.
In recent years, China's aggregate national strength and international influence have grown steadily and historic changes have taken place in its relations with the world. China needs to know more about the world and vice versa. Public diplomacy and cultural and people-to-people exchanges will help the international community to have a better knowledge of China's history, culture, development path, concepts of governance and its domestic and foreign policies and look at China more objectively and comprehensively. At the same time, as China integrates and interacts with the outside world, it will need to know and appreciate the world through public diplomacy and cultural and people-to-people exchanges and obtain a richer and form a more plural and diverse outlook on the world. What is more, in the information age, public opinions and media have an increasingly bigger impact on the making of policies. In this context, China should, in its diplomatic work, not only enhance exchanges and cooperation with governments of other countries, but also promote friendly contacts between people so as to build a solid social and public support for the development of state-to-state relations.
In recent years, China has made a lot of efforts in the field of public diplomacy and cultural and people-to-people exchanges. The Chinese leaders have led the efforts and set a good example in this regard. When making overseas visits or attending international events, they would give speeches and interviews and engage in extensive contacts with the local people from all walks of life, informing the audience of China's national conditions, policies, ideas and principled positions on major regional and international issues, which has helped people outside China to know more about and feel closer to China. What Chinese leaders have done has won wide acclaim. We successfully hosted the Beijing Olympic Games, the Shanghai World Expo and other major cultural events and carried out large-scale exchange activities such as the "cultural year", "country year" and "language year". We have had cultural and people-to-people exchange mechanisms with the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom and the European Union and we have set up nine overseas Chinese cultural centers. By 2011, China had signed governmental agreements on cultural cooperation with 149 countries, and established 387 Confucius institutes and 509 Confucius classes in 108 countries with an enrollment of over 500,000 students. There have been steadily increased exchange students between China and other countries. The number of Chinese students studying abroad totaled 1.42 million at the end of 2011, making China the biggest source of international students. In the same year, the number of foreign students in China for the first time exceeded 290,000, the highest record since the founding of the People's Republic. At the same time, China has become the third largest tourism country in terms of the inbound and outbound tourists. In 2011, China received 135 million inbound tourists and the number of outbound Chinese tourists reached 70.25 million. The frequent and close people-to-people exchanges and contacts have played an important role in enhancing mutual understanding between China and the world. There has been increasingly more active interaction between China's diplomatic work and the media and the public. The Lanting Forum of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Wai Jiao Xiao Ling Tong (Diplo-Chat) microblog, websites of the MFA and Chinese diplomatic missions overseas, Wai Jiao Fu Wu Zhan (Diplomatic Service Station) broadcasting, Meeting the Diplomats online interviews, open day and other activities have brought China's diplomatic work closer to the international community and the general public.
Public diplomacy and cultural and people-to-people exchanges have become part and parcel of China's overall diplomacy and are an important area for future development of its diplomatic work. In this regard, we need to work on three aspects. First, we should enrich the concepts of peaceful development, mutual benefit, and a harmonious world in keeping with the call of the times and the trend of the world, put forward ideas and program for solving the difficult issues in the world and make our share of contribution in the joint world efforts to tackle global challenges. Second, we need to increase publicity on China's national conditions, development path and domestic and foreign policies and to effectively present the China story in international language and show the true China to the world. And third, we need to further enhance personnel exchanges and people-to-people contacts with other countries, promote dialogue between different civilizations and cultures, encourage more exchanges between political parties, parliaments, think tanks, social groups, business sectors and media organizations of different countries, so as to increase mutual understanding and friendship between China and other countries through multiple channels of external exchanges.EndFragment