What's New in China's Diplomacy? -- Interpretations of Xi Jinping: The Governance of China

By Du Yanjun
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, February 17, 2015
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Ⅳ.New Model of Major-country Relations Characterized by Equality, Mutual Trust, Inclusiveness, Mutual Learning and Win-win Cooperation

Major countries have the power to shape world peace and development, so building the new model of major-country relations becomes an important area of diplomacy. It is stated in the Report to the 18th NCCPC that when dealing with foreign relations, the basic principles are equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and win-win cooperation. For two years, China's new leadership strives for the new model of major country relations and achieved many successes in developing relations with U.S., Russia, India and EU, etc.

Sino-U.S. relationship is one of the most important bilateral relations for China. United States is the most powerful country in the world and China's biggest trading partner. China and U.S. have established over 90 dialogue mechanism at all levels in the fields of economy, politics and culture. China is the largest foreign holder of U.S. treasury. The new Chinese leadership attaches much importance to ensuing long-term stability and healthy development of Sino-U.S. relations. When Xi Jinping defined the "New Type of Great Power Relations" in his stay in United States in 2012, he described it in four points: 1) no conflict or confrontation, through emphasizing partnership and treating each other's strategic intentions objectively; dealing with disagreements through dialogue and cooperation 2) mutual respect, including for each other's social system, development path, core interests and major concerns; 3) mutually beneficial cooperation, by abandoning the zero-sum game mentality and advancing areas of mutual interest; and 4) control disagreements. Considering the many fields China and U.S. has disagreements, controlling disagreements and crisis is significant to two countries, and even to the world. Despite some fluctuations, Sino-U.S. relationship moves forward amidst twists and turns. During the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) in July 2014, the two countries signed over 300 agreements on strategic, economic and cultural cooperation. Last November when President Obama visited China, he and President Xi reached 27 agreements covering military exchanges, emission reduction cooperation, bilateral investment negotiation, joint counter-terrorism, joint anti-corruption, business and trade, tourism and visa rules. As ancient Chinese saying goes, cooperation brings gains while confrontation brings loss. How to enhance mutual respect and trust, promote cooperation and steadily develop bilateral relationship? This is a question raised to the new model of major country relationship as well as leaders from both countries.

The China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has set a good example for international relationship. When President Xi visited Russia in 2013, he claimed: "The relationship between China and Russia is the best relationship between major countries." The first country Xi visited as Chinese president is Russia, reflecting how China values this relationship. Both China and Russia are permanent members of the UN Security council. On the premise of equal political status and mutual trust, China and Russia share similar or close views on many major international issues. Besides, both sides support and respect the core interest of each other. The complete end of boundary problems between China and Russia, together with Sino-Russian Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, lays solid foundation for two countries to develop long-term stable and comprehensive partnership of coordination. It also creates favorable conditions for all-round cooperation in military, technology, economy, culture and other areas. The key lesson from China-Russia relationship is no confrontation, no conflicts, not targeting third country and win-win cooperation.

The China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership enjoys constant improvement. European Union is an indispensable power in the global stage. It is also one of China's biggest trading partners. As President Xi described when he met EU leaders in Beijing in November 2013, China and EU are two major powers safeguarding world peace, two big markets promoting common development together, and two major civilizations contributing to the progress of mankind. Principles to build the China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership include mutual respect, equality, inclusiveness and mutual trust. In the year 2014, many Chinese high-ups visited Europe; China and EU released joint declarations and signed cooperation agreements on trade, finance and high-speed railways, which laid a solid foundation for building the China-EU partnership featuring mutual benefit. Moreover, China and EU have very good interactions on issues like peacekeeping in Mali, Iran nuclear negotiation and fight against piracy. The two countries join hands to build a balanced multi-polarized world.

China-India strategic partnership is steadily enhanced. India is the largest country in the Indian subcontinent. In recent years bilateral relationship between China and India is improved in a stable manner that leaders from two countries have frequent mutual visits and contact, bilateral trade volume grows rapidly and the level of bilateral strategic dialogue and military exchanges keeps rising. For obvious reasons, boundary disputes and Tibet problem are stumbling blocks to China-India relationship. When President Xi was interviewed by Indian press in March 2013, he offered five suggestions to improve bilateral relationship: stabilizing bilateral ties, expanding cooperation, promoting cultural exchanges, improving coordination on international affairs, concerning each other's core interest and properly deal with bilateral problems. In May 2013, Premier Li Keqiang paid his first foreign visit to India after taking office. During this stay he has sighed eight agreements covering trade, culture and water resources. In addition, he published a joint declaration with Indian government. After PM Modi won the election in 2014, President Xi visited India to make progress in bilateral political relations and economic cooperation. Modi highly appreciated Xi's visit and claimed it "opened a new chapter" in China-India economic ties. In Modi's signed article he even said that India and China are two bodies in one spirit. Although China and India has not yet eliminated disagreements, the two sides will focus on development, cooperation, mutual benefit and disagreement control when building the new type of partnership.

Apart from above examples, China also pays much attention to diplomacy with developing countries, For instance, African countries, China-Latin America, etc. Due to limit of time, I will not elaborate on this.

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