China's 'Host Diplomacy' to shine in 2014

By Jin Canrong and Sun Xihui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, April 3, 2014
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CICA is a multilateral forum on regional security, involving 24 member states and 12 observer countries and international organizations. The forum aims to enhance cooperation towards promoting peace, security and stability in Asia. China will assume the chairmanship this year until 2016. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council and Asia's largest economy, China is responsible for promoting mutual trust and cooperation among Asian countries, as well as peace and security in the region. The CICA forum provides a good stage for China to play its role as a "responsible big country".

The APEC Leaders' Informal Meeting is the grouping's highest-level meeting, during which the member economies' leaders exchange ideas on economic issues. Shanghai hosted the 9th APEC summit in 2001. The 22nd summit will be held in Beijing this autumn. After 13 years, the annual summit comes to China once again, giving China an opportunity to promote a more active role of APEC counterbalancing the pressure and challenge from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).

The two "host diplomacy" events are significant for China in its bid to secure a stable, friendly neighboring environment. The Chinese government should adopt the following attitude and measures to make full use of the advantages of "host diplomacy".

First, they should demonstrate China's sincerity in implementing the correct concept on righteousness and interests, which has promoted by the new central leadership. Specifically, China should treat African countries with "honesty, friendliness and sincerity" while handling relations with its neighboring countries with "friendliness, sincerity, benefit and inclusiveness."

Second, there should be a push for economic integrity in the Asia-Pacific region. To meet the competition posed by the TPP, China should urge the APEC summit to further liberalize trade and investment in the region for closer coordination among member economies.

Third, China should consolidate relationship with certain countries. The new central leadership has adopted a more proactive diplomatic strategy and diversified its key diplomatic targets. Beijing needs to further consolidate bilateral relations with countries most important to China.

Fourth, isolating Japan is a possible option. Faced with Japan's recent provocations, China can use the 'host diplomacy" stage to brief participating countries of the facts and origins of the East and South China Seas controversies and historical problems as well as its positions on the issues. With that done, Japan's provocative actions will only serve to isolate itself from the Asia-Pacific community.

Fifth, China needs to explain itself to the rest of the world. "Host diplomacy" provides the best opportunity for China to demonstrate its achievements in economic growth and its defense build-up. Needless to say, China should remain modest and let other countries know that it is powerful but not aggressive.

Jin Canrong is Professor and Associate Dean at School of International Studies, Renmin University of China, People's Republic of China.

Sun Xihui, PhD at School of International Studies, Renmin University of China, People's Republic of China.

This article was first published at the EUobserver. To see the original version please visit


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