China's diplomacy in 2012

By Shen Dingli
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 3, 2013
Adjust font size:

As a general rule of thumb, changes in global power bring opportunity. The benefits of competition and policy value are closely related to how power is executed. The new leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) was born at the 18th National Congress of the CPC. And new heads of state will be nominated at the National People's Congress in March 2013, attracting international attention.

The CPC promised at its 18th National Congress that China will continue to follow a peaceful diplomatic policy. Chinese capacity and commitment to promoting and safeguarding national interests is growing hand-in-hand with its continued development.

Over the past year, many countries have experienced a change in their national leadership. In the U.S., if Senator John Forbes Kerry is confirmed as the new secretary of state, U.S. diplomacy will take on a new direction. Kerry is a very capable politician, and has been a senator for nearly 30 years, and is very experienced in diplomatic affairs. He is also the chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Looking at his track record, Kerry has been friendly towards China. He will be a reliable operator in executing Barack Obama's steady and aggressive diplomatic policy in Obama's second term of presidency.

In Japan, after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe takes office, the Japanese government will implement a stable and forward-thinking diplomatic strategy to improve relations with China, South Korea and Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin will face domestic constraints in his new term, and will focus on improving relations with the U.S. and Japan.

In South Korea, President Park Geun-hye will also aim at improving relations with neighboring countries, especially China, North Korea and Japan, in addition to consolidating the bilateral relationship with the United States.

Bilateral relations between sovereign countries in Northeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region have the potential for improvement.

Interstate relations within the European Union will remain opaque in the new year. The Euro zone is still suffering from a myriad of social contradictions and the negative economic outlook created by a handful of member states.

The G20 Financial Summit, born in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, has not made sufficient progress in establishing effective operating mechanisms. Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states will continue to take issue with events in the South China Sea. Outside forces such as the United States will likely lobby for the implementation of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. And the Obama administration's "rebalancing" strategy will continue to ferment.

Sino-U.S. relations

Sino-U.S. relations continued to develop in 2012, and bilateral visits between senior government officials proved to be the primary driver dialogue between the two countries. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping made a high-profile visit to the United States in February 2012, and met with senior government officials, including U.S. President Barack Obama. Xi was accompanied by U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden on a multi-state national tour, visiting Washington D.C., Iowa and California, where he further enhanced bilateral understanding between the world's number one and two economies.

The Sino-U.S. relationship continues to mature, and incidents such as Wang Lijun and Cheng Guangcheng illegally entering U.S. diplomatic missions were handled skillfully by both Chinese and U.S. governments.

In economic and financial sectors, bilateral trade will hopefully exceed US$500 billion in 2012, according to Chinese statistics. Economic ties between the two countries are deepening, and in December, China and the U.S. held the 23rd meeting of the Sino-U.S. Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade. China promised that Chinese enterprises will use licensed software, while the United States committed to increasing the number of hi-tech exports for civil use. Of course this is taking a positive outlook on the relationship. The U.S. has made similar commitments in the past, but has rarely held its side of the agreement.

The 2012 U.S. presidential election saw unprecedented levels of competition between Republican and Democratic parties, and China played the role of scapegoat for an American political process undermined by a high unemployment rate and soaring campaign costs. The United States also aggressively pursued an anti-dumping and anti-bribery investigation into China's photovoltaic, polycrystalline silicon and wind energy industries. Furthermore, Chinese investments by companies including Huawei, ZTE Corporation and the Sany Heavy Industry were thwarted over alleged threats to U.S. national security.

On the issue of Asia-Pacific security, the United States' policy of "rebalancing" continues to generate dissonance within the region. The U.S. has encouraged a select number of ASEAN member states to focus public opinion against China. At the East Asia Summit in Phnom Phem in November, participating countries debated whether maritime safety terminologies should be inserted into meeting documents, resulting in the failure of the Philippines and Vietnam, supported by the U.S., to secure a "yes" vote.


1   2   Next  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from