Upholding Justice While Pursuing Shared Interests

(Foreign Affairs in the New Era)

Updated:2020-01-19 | By:China.org.cn

Upholding Justice While Pursuing Shared Interests

Xi Jinping stressed the importance of upholding justice and pursuing shared interests during his African visit in March 2013. At China's first symposium on neighborhood diplomacy the following October, he spoke of the need to seek common ground with others and identify converging interests, stick to the sound values of justice and benefit, hold to principles it can act upon, cherish friendship and righteousness, and for China to offer assistance to developing countries within its own capacity. Since then, he has more than once talked about this diplomatic philosophy.

Upholding justice reflects our values. China hopes to see common prosperity spread across the world, and in particular, accelerated development in developing countries.

The pursuit of shared interests should be aligned with the need to search for mutual benefit, rather than being turned into a zero- sum game. China has the obligation to provide assistance to poor countries within the scope of its own resources. It is sometimes necessary to work for justice at the expense of self-interest, and to fulfill this obligation despite an unfavorable calculus in financial terms.

A healthy balance to the relationship between upholding justice and pursuing shared interests is a principled approach that values friendship, adheres to moral standards, refuses the temptations of greed, encourages to seek gains only when the justice is not adversely affected, and embraces a readiness to sacrifice self-interest for justice when need arises. This approach is grounded in traditional Chinese culture and China's foreign policy, and embodies the values we cherish. It has won praise from the international community in general and from developing countries in particular. It is a manifestation of China's soft power.


2013年3月,习近平访非期间,首次提出正确义利观。当年10月,中华人民共和国成立以来的首次周边外交工作座谈会举行。习近平强调,要找到利益的共同点和交汇点,坚持正确义利观,有原则、讲情谊、讲道义,多向发展中国家提供力所能及的帮助。此后他又多次强调这一理念。义,反映的是我们的一个理念,中国希望全世界共同发展,特别是希望广大发展中国家加快发展;利,就是要恪守互利共赢原则,不搞我赢你输,要实现双赢。中国有义务对贫穷的国家给予力所能及的帮助,有时甚至要重义轻利、舍利取义, 绝不能唯利是图、斤斤计较。树立和贯彻正确义利观,就是有原则、讲情义、讲道义,见利思义、义利兼得,甚至必要时舍利取义;正确义利观体现了中华民族传统美德和中国外交优良品格,进一步丰富了中国外交的价值观,得到国际社会特别是广大发展中国家的普遍赞誉,成为中国软实力的独特标志。