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Diplomacy in the new era full of vitality

By Zhang Qizuo | China Daily | Updated: 2018-01-06 10:07
President Xi Jinping meets with Chinese diplomatic envoys to foreign countries on Dec 28, 2017. [Photo/Xinhua]

At the recent Foreign Ministry's annual meeting in Beijing, which was attended by a group of Chinese diplomats posted abroad, President Xi Jinping elaborated on "major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era" and how to advance it.

The world is undergoing great changes, giving rise to unprecedented opportunities and challenges. The rapid rise of a number of emerging-market and developing economies has accelerated the process of multilateralism and furthered the development of the world order in a balanced manner.

On the domestic front, China's principal contradiction has changed from that between the ever-growing material and cultural needs of the people and backward social production to one between the "unbalanced and inadequate development and the people's ever-growing needs for a better life".

These changed circumstances have necessitated new requirements for China's diplomacy, and highlighted the need to carry out well-orchestrated, major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, in order to realize the Chinese Dream of national rejuvenation.

As an important component of socialism with Chinese characteristics, China's diplomacy has also entered the new era because of the historical changes in its relations with the world. China has transitioned from "standing up" to becoming prosperous and powerful, making national rejuvenation an achievable dream. It has never been so close to the world's center stage, and its international status has never been so high and its influence so widespread.

As the world's second-largest economy and most populous country, China has not only improved the livelihoods of its people, but also made enormous and lasting contributions to world peace and development. Still, China's basic national condition - that it is still in the primary stage of socialism - has not changed, nor has the fact that it is still the largest developing country.

At a time when China has reached a decisive stage of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way and is closer to establishing socialism with Chinese characteristics, it desperately needs to create a long-term peaceful and stable external environment, by coordinating situations at home and abroad.

As the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics starts a new journey in the new era, it is important to understand the global significance of the success of the "Chinese road", which means the development path that best suits China's national conditions.

An increasing number of countries and foreign observers are praising the Chinese development path and governance philosophy, and hold an optimistic view of China's national rejuvenation.

China's experiences in poverty alleviation, corruption elimination, cyberspace management, and strict self-governance of the Party have also been praised by other countries. These achievements best testify that socialism with Chinese characteristics is the only road to China's national rejuvenation.

The success of the socialist development model with Chinese characteristics has expanded the road for developing countries to achieve modernization, and contributed Chinese wisdom and solutions to humankind's exploration for better social systems.

This also means the development roads of different countries should be different, and no country has the right to determine the development path of another country. The world should learn vital lessons from the "color revolution" instigated by the West in some countries, which was aimed at regime change, and created chaos in those countries.

China is committed to building a new pattern of international relations and a community of shared future for humankind. Its diplomatic initiatives, based on mutual respect, fairness and win-win cooperation, are contrary to the "winners-take-all" and zero-sum-game approach. And instead of being confrontational, these initiatives pursue an open and inclusive world with lasting peace, tighter security and common prosperity.

China's diplomatic philosophy, along with its active participation in global governance and efforts to promote the Belt and Road Initiative, is expected to add more vitality to its major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and help create a better external environment for the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

The author is director of the Center for Economic Development Strategy of the G20 and Emerging Countries and a council member of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs.

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