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China to deepen, broaden economic diplomacy

Updated: 2013-12-26 16:44
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Economic diplomacy is expected to be a priority of China's comprehensive diplomacy endeavor next year with China's increasingly deeper and broader integration with the global economy.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi said recently that, in 2014, China would put more effort into economic diplomacy, aiming to boost domestic prosperity as well as share opportunities with the rest of the world.

Among China's economic diplomacy agenda items next year, priorities will be given to the development of a Silk Road economic belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, bilateral and multilateral free trade zones, and a greater say in establishing standards.

When outlining China's diplomatic priorities for 2014 earlier this month, Wang said China would strive for an "early harvest" in those efforts.

China's Ministry of Commerce will push forward the strategy by accelerating the establishment of free trade areas (FTAs), along with the two Silk Roads, and work with other countries to lay down specific measures.

Yuri Tavrovsky, a prominent political expert from Moscow Friendship University, said China's strategy for the Silk Road economic belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road was a logical extension of the grander Chinese Dream concept.

Christopher K. Johnson, a senior adviser to the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, said China was taking "rather bold" action.

China had found huge business opportunities in the trade and economic area that the United States had not tapped so far, he said.

In order to deepen its economic diplomacy, China also pledged to promote multilateral and bilateral free trade talks, including finishing talks with South Korea and Australia at an early date, pushing forward an upgrade of its FTA with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and concrete progress in talks on a comprehensive economic partnership in the region, and boosting the China-South Korea-Japan FTA talks.

China will also take an open approach to talks with member states of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as well as other regional or cross-region FTA initiatives.

China has set a $1 trillion target for its trade with ASEAN member countries by 2020, while two-way trade volume between the country and Russia is expected to rise to $200 billion in the next seven years.

Julio Rios, a China expert in Spain, said with such strategies, the neighboring countries would be able to share the benefits of China's rise, and China could make its rejuvenation an active factor for Asia as a whole.

China's FTA initiative with ASEAN shows that it is committed to prosperity and mutual benefit in the region, said John Lee, a research fellow at the Center for International Security Studies at Sydney University.

Moreover, China will also actively participate in the reform of international economic governance to attain a greater say in setting standards.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang has said China should have a greater say in developing international trade and economic regulations and standards, so as to push the international economic order in a just, more reasonable direction.

China might build its influence in this area if it carried out a more active opening-up policy, said Jia Kang, director of the Research Institute for Fiscal Science at China's Ministry of Finance.

The Chinese economy has entered a new development stage. In 2014, China will strengthen economic diplomacy in a bid to bolster the domestic effort to pursue comprehensive and deeper reforms.