Last week, a conference on the diplomatic work with neighbouring countries was held in Beijing. The conference was held by the CPC Central Committee with the goal of guiding China’s diplomatic work with neighbouring countries in the new situation.
Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee, President of China and Chairman of the Central Military Commission, made important remarks at the conference. He stressed that doing well in the diplomatic work with neighbouring countries is out of the need to realise the two “centenary goals” and achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation. China needs to work hard to advance the diplomacy with neighbouring countries, strive to win a sound surrounding environment for China’s development, and enable neighbouring countries to benefit more from China’ development for the purpose of common development.
Li Keqiang, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of 18th CPC Central Committee and Premier of the State Council, moderated the conference. Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee: Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, and Zhang Gaoli, also attended the conference.
The main tasks of the conference were to summarise experiences, look into the situation, unite the thinking, and build the future; identify the strategic goals, fundamental policies, and general arrangements of China’s diplomatic work with neighbouring countries in the coming 5 to 10 years; and clarify the thinking and execution plans for major issues facing China’s diplomacy with neighbouring countries.
Xi Jinping pointed out that since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the first generation of the central collective leadership with Comrade Mao Zedong as the core; the second generation of the central collective leadership with Comrade Deng Xiaoping as the core; the third generation of the central collective leadership with Comrade Jiang Zemin as the core; and the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as the General Secretary, all attached great importance to the diplomacy with neighbouring countries and raised a series of important strategic thoughts and guiding policies.
Jinping further said that they created and developed a generally favourable environment for China’s development and laid a solid foundation for the future diplomatic work with neighbouring countries. Since the first session, the 18th CPC Central Committee, on the basis of ensuring continuity and stability in China’s major foreign policies, has actively planned and managed China’s diplomacy, and has carried out a series of major diplomatic activities with particular attention given to the important roles of neighbouring countries in China’ s overall development and diplomacy.
Xi Jinping placed emphasis on the strategic significance of neighbouring countries to China no matter in terms of geography, environment and relations. When thinking about and dealing with the diplomacy with neighbouring countries, China should have a three-dimensional, multi-element perspective going beyond time and space. While reviewing China’s situation, Xi Jinping said that great changes have taken place in China’s surrounding environment and China’s relations with neighbouring countries. The economic and trade links between China and neighbouring countries are getting increasingly closer, with unprecedented interactive exchanges. Such situation requires China to keep pace with the times and be more active in devising diplomatic strategies and undertaking diplomatic work.
Xi Jinping stressed that China’s neighbourhood is full of vigour and vitality and boasts obvious advantages and potentials in development. The neighbouring region is generally stable and most of the neighbouring countries have a friendly and mutually-beneficial relationship with China. China must understand the trend of the time and have strategic thinking and overall planning to do a better job in the diplomatic work with neighbouring countries.
Xi Jinping emphasized that the basic principle of diplomacy with neighbours is to treat them as friends and partners, to make them feel safe and to help them develop. The concepts of friendship, sincerity, benefit and inclusiveness should be highlighted, he said, adding that developing good-neighbourly relations with surrounding countries is the consistent principle of China’s diplomacy with its neighbours. He said that China needs to treat neighbouring countries with sincerity so as to win more friends and partners.
Underlining the importance of inclusiveness, Xi Jinping stressed that the Asia and Pacific region is big enough for all countries to develop and that countries in the region must promote regional cooperation in an opener mind and with greater enthusiasm. China itself must embrace and practice these ideas so that they will become the shared belief and norms of conduct for the whole region.
Xi Jinping stressed that to do well in the diplomatic work with neighbouring countries in the new situation, the Party must analyze and deal with issues from a strategic perspective, improve the abilities in overall planning and operational execution, and advance the diplomatic work with neighbouring countries in a full-fledged manner. Great efforts need to be made to safeguard peace and stability in the region. The path of peaceful development is the Party’s strategic choice in line with the times and the fundamental interests of the country. Safeguarding peace and stability in the neighbouring region is a major goal of the diplomacy with neighbouring countries. He suggested, “We should make joint efforts with relevant countries to accelerate infrastructure connectivity, to build Silk Road economic belt and Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century. We should speed up the implementation of the free trade zone strategy, on the basis of neighbouring countries, to expand cooperation space in trade and investment, and to build a new pattern of regional economic integration.”
Xi Jinping pointed out that policies and strategies are the lifeline of the Party, and the lifeline of the diplomatic work. To get diplomatic work well done, we should bear in mind the overall domestic and international situations. The overall domestic situation is the Two Centenary Goals to realise the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation; the overall international situation is to fight for good external conditions for China’s reform, development and stability, to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, to safeguard the world peace and stability, and to promote common development.
Xi Jinping stressed that neighbouring diplomacy task is arduous and formidable, and comrades engaging in the diplomatic work should strengthen their sense of responsibility, sense of mission, and sense of urgency, keep in mind the tenet, improve abilities and work style, be dedicated, dare to take responsibilities and make innovations, and take more positive actions to do a good job of diplomatic work on neighbouring countries.
When chairing the meeting, Li Keqiang pointed out that the CPC Central Committee made overall plans of the overall international and domestic situations, and decided to hold this meeting, which is of great significance for us to fully carry out the spirit of the 18th CPC National Congress, to further consolidate the overall good surrounding environment for China, and to well maintain and make good use of the period of important strategic opportunities in China’s development.
CPC General Secretary Xi Jinping’s important speech covers the overall situation, has rich thoughts and connotations, underlines the great significance of doing a good job of diplomatic work on neighbouring countries under the new situation, from a strategic height, and is of important significance in guiding diplomatic work under the new situation, especially the diplomatic work on neighbouring countries. We hope that comrades seriously study and comprehend the spirit of the speech, unify the understanding, and make great efforts to carry it out, based on their respective work.–(Contributed by Chinese embassy)