China has been demonstrating its distinctive diplomatic style in recent months.
The country insisted on its stance during talks with the United States on textile trade disputes, and has expressed an unambiguous attitude towards reform of the United Nations - especially the powerful Security Council.
A recent article titled "Peace, development and co-operation - the banner of China's diplomacy in the new periods," written by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, and a series of ideas put forward by President Hu Jintao at the UN General Assembly in September, have drawn up a clear diplomatic roadmap for the country and made clear to the whole world that China has embraced a peaceful diplomatic ideology.
China badly needs a stable international environment in which to develop its economy.
To this end, the nation will endeavor to foster and strengthen ties with all countries in the world, developed or developing. To promote its own development and common prosperity in the world, China will pursue co-operation with other countries.
China will never relent in its efforts to develop friendly ties with developing countries.
The Shanghai-based Wen Hui Bao newspaper recently ran an article outlining what some Chinese experts and scholars think about China's approach to diplomacy.
"China is the world's largest developing nation with a low per capita gross domestic product. This status will not change in the years to come," said Zhu Weilie, director of the Institute of Middle East Studies under Shanghai Foreign Studies University. "That national condition will tightly bind the fate of China to that of other developing countries."
China has shared similar experiences to those of other developing nations, which are all facing the pressing task of boosting their economy and improving the living conditions of their people.
Over the past half a century since the Bandung Conference was convened in 1955, the country has been attaching utmost importance to its relations with this group of nations and has regarded these ties as the solid foundation of foreign policies.
At last month's UN assembly, President Hu Jintao announced China's five measures to support and aid developing nations - a solemn commitment to them and the whole of mankind. He also put forward the new security concept of "mutual trust, equality, mutual benefit and co-ordination" and the concept of the "harmonious world."
"China has always built its ties with developing countries on mutual respect, mutual support, unity and co-operation; and common development," Zhu said.
On many international issues and occasions, China and other developing countries firmly stand in the same camp and give support to each other. In economic and trading fields, the ties are also booming.
Last year, the trade volume between China and Asian and African countries surpassed US$400 billion, one-third of the country's total volume of foreign trade.
Economic globalization is booming and democratization of international relations is an irreversible trend.
"In the process, the status and influences of the vast number of developing countries will gradually increase," Zhu said. "China thus needs to become an all-weather friend for them to serve its interests and interests of the world as a whole."
A prospering bilateral relationship in all dimensions will benefit not only China but also developing countries.
In the increasingly interdependent world, China has also accelerated efforts to promote people-to-people diplomacy with the outside world while focusing on governmental diplomacy.
With international exchanges increasingly deepened, non-governmental diplomacy has already become an important part of the foreign strategy of every member of the international community.
"Under the general globalization context, diversified diplomatic forms become irreversible," Feng Shaolei, a professor at East China Normal University, said in the same Wen Hui Bao article.
"Such a pluralistic diplomatic pattern has certainly added more difficulties to government management of foreign affairs, but it has also expanded opportunities for a country's foreign exchanges, thus testing its diplomatic wisdom and improving its diplomatic efficacy," said Feng.
China is going all out to prepare for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 World Expo to be held in Shanghai, both highly significant multilateral gatherings.
The large-scale events will serve as rare opportunities to test not only the diplomatic ability of the Chinese Government, but also the wisdom of ordinary Chinese people, according to Feng.
The country will continue to make efforts to dispel outside misgivings relating to the alleged "China threat."
China has long adhered to a peaceful diplomatic principle, winning high praise from foreign governments and peoples.
But for a long time, "China threat" advocacy has been spreading, while some of the country's domestic and foreign policies have been misunderstood or even distorted.
"The 'China threat' advocacy is a heritage of the Cold War mentality, but we should not respond to it with the same psychology," Yu Xintian, director of the Shanghai Institute of International Studies, said in the article. "We should stick to the policies of peace, development and co-operation and firmly go along the drafted path."
There is no doubt China's rapid and sustained development will influence world politics and the economic order. A certain period of time is needed for some countries and their people to accept the rise of China's influence.
During this period, China's national force will be exaggerated from time to time and the country's policies demonized.
"What China should do is to carry out more active communications, co-ordination and co-operation with other nations to reach a win-win result, which will make the 'China threat' theory lack the needed ground and prove China's development should be seen as an opportunity instead of a challenge," Yu said.
China should also make great efforts to develop and improve relations with the world's leading powers and make its due contributions to the "harmonious world," just as President Hu Jintao suggested at the UN assembly.
"The president's idea has drawn up a long-term picture for China's international obligations and code of behavior," Huang Renwei, deputy director of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said in the article.
(China Daily October 21, 2005)