Wang Yiwei: Nation sets diplomatic goals for 2024


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Wang Yiwei: Nation sets diplomatic goals for 2024


Source: CD Published: 2024-01-10

When previewing China's diplomacy for the new year, many officials and scholars have voiced hopes that Beijing will play a greater part in fulfilling its due role by expanding its global partnership network, advancing the world's multipolarity and facilitating economic globalization.

In the year ahead, China will 'enhance friendship, mutual trust and integration of interests with neighboring countries', and will 'walk hand in hand with developing countries and unite and revitalize with BRICS countries', Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in Beijing on Tuesday at a symposium on the global situation and China's diplomacy.

The nation's diplomats will also 'firmly safeguard China's sovereignty, security and development interests' and work for an enabling external environment, Wang said in a speech that shed light on Beijing's foreign policy in 2024.

According to its detailed plan, China will tap into the strategic role of head-of-state diplomacy, host four key regional and international events and present the unique charm of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, according to Wang.

The four events will be the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the annual Boao Forum for Asia, the annual China International Import Expo and the Forum on Global Action for Shared Development.

Analysts said the four events will touch on the four themes of seeking common prosperity with the vast number of developing countries, especially those in Africa; getting along well with neighbors; boosting trade and globalization; and spurring global growth by implementing the China-proposed Global Development Initiative.

Such events help cover many of the priorities of China's foreign policy, and President Xi Jinping has noted the value of and paid attention to these events over the years, they noted.

'What impressed me most over the past year is the leading role played by head-of-state diplomacy, and I'm very much looking forward to the homegrown diplomatic events to be held by China in the new year, such as FOCAC,' said Wang Yiwei, a professor at the School of International Studies and director of the Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University of China.

Beijing has long been seeking to make the global governance system more reasonable and fairer, and the plan for this year's diplomacy is evidence of China's rejection of anti-globalization impulses and Cold War mentality, he added.

China's great sense of purpose is underpinned by its distinctive role as the world's largest developing country, he said.

'The nation represents one-fifth of the total global population, contributes more than one-third of global economic growth annually, and has a critical vote on the United Nations Security Council representing the interests of the vast number of developing countries,' he said.

Dec 31 marked the 70th anniversary of China's proposing the landmark diplomacy philosophy known as the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

The principles ask countries for 'mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual nonaggression, noninterference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence'.

China looks to take this anniversary as an opportunity to 'promote the building of a new type of international relations', Wang Yi said.

Speaking on advocating the building of an equal and orderly multipolar world, Wang said Beijing will continue to practice true multilateralism and fully implement the Global Security Initiative.

In particular, Beijing will 'adhere to fairness and justice, actively promote peace and talks, constructively participate in resolving global and regional hot spots such as the Palestine-Israel conflict and the Ukraine crisis, put forward more Chinese proposals, contribute more Chinese wisdom, and provide more public goods that are conducive to world peace and development', the foreign minister added.

Wang Huiyao, president of the Beijing-based Center for China and Globalization, said that China, 'as the second-largest economy in the world and a responsible major country, has been faithfully fulfilling its principle of peaceful coexistence and its commitment to win-win cooperation'.

Over the past few years, China has played an increasingly important role in mediating for peace, such as its success last year in facilitating the rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and it hopefully will play a bigger role in this regard, he said.

'China has never invaded these countries and is also one of the largest trade partners with Middle East countries, which makes possible its good relations with all these countries and makes it an ideal partner for reconciliation and making peace,' he added.

When elaborating on enhancing China's bilateral relations with specific countries or regions, the foreign minister said Beijing will 'always adhere to openness and inclusiveness, and consolidate and expand its global partnership network'.

In his speech, Wang Yi mentioned the United States, Russia and the European Union in particular.

On China-US relations, he said China plans to implement the consensus reached at the summit between President Xi and US President Joe Biden in San Francisco in November and 'explore forming a proper way for the two major countries to get along'.

Beijing will work with Moscow to 'deepen China-Russia strategic mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation' to strengthen their comprehensive strategic partnership in the new era, he said.

China and the EU will 'work closer in high-level exchanges and strategic communication, and promote the steady and lasting progress of China-EU relations', Wang added.

Yang Bojiang, director-general of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that one of the top priorities for China's diplomacy this year is 'securing the steady growth of its relations with other major countries and the strategic stability of major-country relations'.

Washington and Tokyo should work with Beijing to channel efforts for rolling out the leaders' consensus as well as expanding pragmatic cooperation, such as through economic and trade collaboration, Yang said.

'Economic and trade relations have been a cornerstone of China's political relations with the rest of the major countries, and none of them should seek economic decoupling,' he added.

Another major task for Chinese diplomats is to deal with uncertainties about how elections that will be held this year in some major countries, such as the US, could affect ties with China, Yang said.