Insisting on Win-Win Cooperation and Forging the Asian Community of Common Destiny Together

China International Studies | 作者: Liu Zhenmin | 时间: 2014-06-17 | 责编: Li Xiaoyu
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by Liu Zhenmin


Since the 21st century has been ushered in, the rise of Asian developing countries as a whole has greatly reshaped the political and economic landscapes of the world. As an Asian country, while endeavoring to realize its dream of national rejuvenation, China has also proposed to cooperate fully with its Asian neighbors to jointly build peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Since the Communist Party of China (CPC) proposed to “raise awareness about human beings sharing a community of common destiny” in its Report to 18th National Congress of the CPC, Chinese leaders have elaborated on the concept of “community of common destiny” repeatedly and sought to promote all-round international and regional cooperation. Without a precedent in history, China held a conference on the diplomatic work with neighboring countries, proposing to let the idea of “community of common destiny” take root in China’s neighboring countries.

In certain sense, building a “community of common destiny” has become a banner in the innovations of China’s diplomatic theories and practices in the new era, and building such a community in Asia has become the guideline for China’s neighborhood diplomacy. Much is to be expected since Chinese foreign policy has ascended to a new height.


I. Basic Meaning of the Asian Community of Common Destiny


Peace, development and cooperation are the major trends of today’s world although there are plenty of conflicts and disagreements among states. Economic globalization and regional integration are the predominant trends as well. China has never been so close to the center of the world stage like today, neither has it been so closely connected with the destiny of the outside world. The concept of “community of common destiny” is the proposal China raises for the future welfare of Asia and even the world by focusing on the mighty cause of human development in the era of globalization and on the basis of China’s long-term development and the prosperity and stability of its neighboring countries.

When advocating the building of a community of common des-tiny in Asia, China draws advanced experiences from the West and emphasizes handling interstate relations properly with the awareness that all states share a community of common destiny against the backdrop of regional integration and based on the consensus that countries in the region pursue common development and security. Therefore, the concept sets a higher objective and contains more profound connotations.

First, taking common development as the core essence. Develop-ing economy and improving people’s livelihood are the core tasks all nations have to face. Against the backdrop of economic globalization, all countries’ interests are deeply intertwined and bound together for good or ill, common development thus is the only solution. While pursuing their own development, nations should also propel to connect their development strategies with the process of regional integration, so that they could take others’ concerns into due consideration while safeguarding their own interests, complement each other’s advantages and promote cooperation for win-win results.

Second, safeguarding security through mutual trust and coor-dination. Peaceful and stable international and regional environ-ments are the preconditions for all nations to pursue common development, which thus requires all parties to make joint efforts and take joint responsibility in maintaining regional peace and stability. Under the new circum-stances, the new security perspective of promoting mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation should be upheld while the Cold War mentality be forsaken and no zero-sum game be played in order to achieve all-round security, cooperation security and common security.

Third, promoting institutional building with openness and inclusiveness. Asia is a highly diversified region, with different nations following different paths of development. The social system and development path voluntarily chosen by any country should be respected, since regional diversity could be turned into the vigor and stimulus for complementarity and mutual reinforcement among states.

Asia should continue drawing advanced experiences from other regions of the world and promote the coordination of various cooperative mechanisms. Meanwhile, it should welcome outside countries to participate in Asian cooperation and play constructive roles in promoting stability and development here. All sides should insist on resolving conflicts and disagreements through dialogue and consultations and construct a new regional security framework to maintain long-term peace in Asia.

Fourth, making ideational consensuses converge through cultural exchanges. All nations in Asia have their great cultural traditions while multiple civilizations coexist in the globalized world. The mentality of clash of civilizations should be forsaken and cultural exchanges and assimilation should be boosted. Asian countries shall inherit and carry forward the cultural tradition of keeping one’s promises and fostering harmonious relations, adhere to the Asian way of mutual respect, reaching consensus through consultation and catering to each other’s legitimate needs and encourage cultural exchanges and mutual learning to ensure harmonious coexistence.

Fifth, strengthening spiritual ties through working together with one heart in times of difficulty. Offering mutual help and watching for each other’s back has been the valuable spiritual asset shared by Asian countries. In the globalized world today, various global challenges arise frequently. Faced with such global issues as international financial crises, natural disasters and climate change, no country could survive and flourish on its own. All countries should coordinate to cope with those global challenges; supporting the poor and assisting the weak should be encouraged. With the strong supporting the weak and the rich assisting the poor, all should stand together through thick and thin, which is the righteous way for human progress.

Building the Asian community of common destiny is a comprehensive and systematic project covering multiple areas like political, economic, security, social and cultural spheres. It is linked with the interests and development of all Asian nations and will determine how the rising Asia would interact with the world and what they would communicate. Therefore, its connotation and detonation would be enriched and expanded continuously with the pass of time.


II. Building the Asian Community of Common Destiny is the Inevitable Choice of Historical Development


Advocating the building of the Asian community of common destiny is the strategic choice made by China based on its own development needs, which conforms to the development law of history and is in line with the common aspiration and interests of Asian countries. A historical retrospect indicates that building the Asian community of common destiny not only embodies profound historical implication but also reflects the salient feature of the times and urgent realistic significance.

(1) The Asian community of common destiny is built on inheriting the quintessence of Asian traditional cultures. Long being ahead of the rest of the world, Asian cultures have made great contributions to the progress of human civilization. Linked by common mountains and rivers and having a long history of contacting with each other, Asian countries have formed unique historical, cultural, economic and social connections.

The land Silk Road and the maritime Silk Road originated from China have become the bridges of friendship carrying economic, trade and cultural exchanges among Asian states. Over 600 years ago, Zheng He, leading the most powerful fleet in the world then, took seven voyages to over 30 countries and regions, implementing a peaceful foreign policy of “promoting good neighborliness by virtue” by exporting porcelain, silk and tea instead of engaging in colonial exploitation. According to statistics collected by Western scholars, Asia’s economic size accounted for 2/3 of the world’s total till the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Although there were wars in Asian history, peace and cooperation have always been the solid foundation for Asia’s prosperity.

In the modern times, missing the chance of the industrial revolution, Asia became backward and vulnerable to attacks and thus was torn by Western invasion and colonization. Coordinating with each other, Asian countries engaged in the great cause of national liberalization. Many social elites started searching for the identities of their own countries and Asia from the perspective of modern international relations and exploring ways of cooperation for Asian countries. Asia suffered tremendously from two world wars and the Japanese fascism left unprecedentedly painful memories to people in Asia. The “Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere” beautifying hegemonic aggression has been thrown into the dustbin of history. After the end of WWII, developing countries in Asia and Africa held high the banner of regional union, and the Bandung Conference greatly encouraged Asian nations to unite for self-strength.

However, since Asia was at the frontline of the Cold War and was split into two different camps—the East and the West Blocs, regional cooperation here was not actually initiated until the end of the Cold War. As being demonstrated by historical experiences, Asian countries benefit from cooperation and lose due to conflicts. It is an arduous task for Asia to achieve rejuvenation and uniting for self-strength is the right path to pursue.

(2) Building the Asian community of common destiny conforms to the trends of global and regional development. With the further development of multi-polarization, economic globalization and social informationization, human beings are living in a global village today. Interests of all nations are intertwined and they share the same fortune.

With the continuous adjustment of the international political and economic orders, the long-term development of the world could never be built on the basis of a few amassing vast amount of wealth while others getting impoverished, the path of common development thus needs to be pursued. Europe has led the world in terms of regional integration, North America, Latin America and Africa have followed suit and promoted regional integration vigorously, deepening regional cooperation in Asia is to follow the trend of the times.

Over 60 years since the end of WWII, overcoming various risks and challenges, Asian nations have shaken off their poverty and weakness and created the universally acknowledged “Asian miracle” and become a region with the most rapid development and the greatest potential for growth. According to the estimation by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), since the outbreak of the international financial crisis in 2008, Asia has contributed two-thirds of the world’s economic growth in five years.

At the same time, regional cooperation has provided strong impetus for Asia’s development, further increasing interdependence among Asian nations. In the new century, intra-regional trade in Asia has increased from 800 billion dollars to over 3 trillion dollars and the trading interdependence has reached over 50%. According to the report of the Asian Development Bank, Asia has become the most dynamic area in the world in the building of free trade areas, with free trade agreements increasing substantially from over 70 in 2002 to over 250 in early 2013. Negotiations on the China-Korea and China-Japan-Korea free trade areas and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) have made new progresses.

East Asian regional cooperation mechanisms led by Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has provided strong incentive for the development of the region. It is the common aspiration of Asian countries to build the Asian community of common destiny, to deepen the convergence of their national interests and to realize common development.

(3) Building the Asian community of common destiny reflects the common interest concerns of Asian states. Peace and development not only are the general trends in Asia but also reflect the shared interests and the popular will of all countries here.

Most Asian countries are developing ones, for which development is still the key to resolving severe conflicts and problems while developing the economy and improving people’s livelihood are the first priorities. Asia is widely recognized as the most dynamic region with the best development potential throughout the world. However, its external environment is not promising since the profound impacts of the international financial crisis have not been eliminated and the recovery of the world economy is not yet stabilized.

With the US leading the negotiations on building the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the US and the EU initiating talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the global trade landscape is going through significant readjustments, forcing Asia to make more efforts to become a stable third party in the world economic order.

Since Asian states are at different levels of development and confronted with the heavy task of conducting domestic economic reforms, they will find it more difficult in promoting talks on trade liberalization and economic integration. As a result, only by making concerted efforts and advocating the Asian plan together could Asia gain the initiative in global rule-making and win in the long run.

The rapid rise of Asia has attracted increased strategic input by major powers in the world, which offers tremendous impetus for Asia’s development. Meanwhile, regional cooperation and competition are on the rise simultaneously. Asia is confronted with many troubles and problems in the security field, including issues left over by history like the remnants of WWII, the Cold War grudges and the maritime disputes as well as non-traditional security threats such as natural disasters, transnational crimes, internet security and energy and food security. Military alliances in Asia are being strengthened and trust deficits are high among some states. It is the common aspiration of Asian countries to resolve their conflicts and disagreements by increasing dialogue and consultation, to safeguard regional stability based on mutual trust and cooperation and to pursue development in a peaceful and favorable environment.

(4) Advocating the Asian community of common destiny demonstrates the trend of China’s neighborhood diplomacy. In over 30 years since its reforms and opening up, China has gone through the modernization process which took the Western powers over a century to finish and registered remarkable achievements in development. It is attributed to the peaceful and stable neighboring environment and as a result it promotes Asia’s stability and prosperity as well. China’s development and the rise of Asia as a whole are mutually reinforcing and mutually promoting.

China follows a path of peaceful development and implements a policy of good neighborliness and friendship to deepen its cooperation with the neighboring states, thus making great contribution to Asia’s prosperity and stability. The amount of trade between China and East Asian and South Asian countries was over 1.14 trillion dollars in 2013. Among China’s ten largest trading partners, half are from Asia. Almost 70% of Chinese foreign investments are made in Asian countries and regions. China has become the biggest trading partner, the biggest export market and the major source of investment for many Asian states. As an important participant and advocate of Asian security mechanisms, China has been a staunch force to safeguard regional peace and security in Asia. As China further deepens its reforms in an all-round way, its interests and those of other Asian states would be increasingly tied.

Facing a rising China, some Asian countries have experienced gradual psychological changes. On the one hand, they expect to share more dividends from China’s further rise and ask China to shoulder more responsibilities; on the other hand, their suspicion increases, worrying that China would become the dominant power in Asia, seize others’ development opportunities and embark on the old way of seeking hegemony once getting strong.

Historical experiences show that the road to a strong nation starts from its neighboring region. For China to realize its dream of national rejuvenation, it first needs to acquire identification and support from other Asian countries and tie the dream of the Chinese people with those of the Asian nations. The more China develops, the closer is China’s connection with Asia and the world, the more it thus needs to consolidate its strategic reliance on Asia. The Asian community of common destiny is built based on inheriting from and innovating the good-neighborliness policy which it has upheld over time. It aims to embed China’s development and security in the overall development and common security of Asia. This is not only the responsibility taken and promise made by China for Asia’s future and destiny, but also the strategic choice China makes to promote its own development in the long run.



III. Historical Opportunities for Building the Asian Commu-nity of Common Destiny


The development of Asia has been influencing the international political and economic orders in an all-round manner. Many believe that the “Asian hemisphere” is rising, the “Asian century” is coming and the power center of the world is moving eastward. Viewing from the trends of world and Asian development, Asia is bestowed with the opportunity of achieving collective rise in the new era.

First, Asia continues to take the lead in world economy. Asia is expected to be a major engine of the recovery and growth of world economy over a long time. Some research institutes estimate that Asia, as the world’s third largest economic zone, would surpass the EU and North America in the foreseeable future. According to the forecast of the Asian Development Bank, the share of Asian economy in the world economy will increase from 28% in 2010 to 44% in 2035 and to 52% in 2050. The per capita GDP in Asia by then would reach the current level of Europe.

Second, peace and stability are the trends of the times. Peace is the foundation for development. Asian countries have conflicts and divergences, but they all attach importance to maintaining regional peace and stability and are committed to resolving disagreements appropriately through friendly consultation and putting hotspot issues under effective control. The regional security situation in Asia is heading increasingly towards cooperation security and common security.

Third, institutions and mechanisms offer the strong support needed. Various cooperation mechanisms have developed rapidly in Asia. In East Asia, a range of cooperation mechanisms, such as the ASEAN+3 cooperation, multiple ASEAN+1 arrangements, the China-Japan-Korea dialogue and cooperation, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the East Asia Summit (EAS) and the Six-Party Talks, have been formed. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) covering eight South Asian countries has been developing with a strong momentum. Cooperation mechanisms in the political, economic, security, people-to-people and cultural fields complement each other and develop jointly, offering an effective platform for the building of the Asian community of common destiny.

Fourth, the Asian awareness has been strengthened. The cooperation of Asian countries in multiple areas complements each other and their interests converge deeply. As Asian countries are rising robustly, their sense of belonging to Asia and identification with Asia is growing. The relationship between two countries is based on the affection between their civilians. For most of the Asian economies, over 80% of their inbound tourists are from Asian countries. The intra-regional interactions and exchanges have cemented an increasingly solid social and popular foundation for building the Asian community of common destiny.

However, we are aware of historical and practical obstacles. First, the diversity of Asia is prominent. In terms of development levels, political systems, social cultures and religious beliefs, Asian countries differ significantly, thus increasing the difficulty in promoting regional integration.

Second, there remain uncertain-ties in Asia’s security situation. Hotspot and sensitive issues cluster, and issues regarding the Korean Peninsula, the East China Sea, the South China Sea and Afghanistan remain sensitive and complicated. Japanese leaders challenged the results of WWII and provoked the post-war international order by blatantly paying homage to the Yasukuni Shrine where Class-A criminals of the World War II are consecrated, causing tensions in international relations in the region.

Third, the building of a regional infrastructure is stagnant, making it difficult to forge a unitary governance institution like the EU in the short term. The existing mechanisms for cooperation would coexist in the long run and it is difficult to reconcile the interests of all parties concerned.

Moreover, the “noodle bowl” effect resulting from many free trade agreements is prominent, reflecting the rivalry in the approaches to promoting economic integration. Security cooperation in Asia has long lagged behind economic cooperation among states, and a regional structure for security cooperation suitable to the reality and catering to the needs of all sides has not yet been established.

The existence of such difficulties and obstacles reflects the urgency and significance of building the Asian community of common destiny. All nations uniting and coordinating to cope with challenges would be an inalienable part of building the Asian community of common destiny.

Opportunities and challenges coexist. Looking into the future, we see both unprecedented opportunities and unprecedented challenges. The difficulty in seizing the opportunities, coping with the challenges and turning crises into opportunities is also unprecedented. This requires all nations in Asia to make elaborate plans and strive for the great cause together. We have every reason to be confident with building the Asian community of common destiny.


IV. China is the Major Force in Building the Asian Community of Common Destiny


Building the Asian community of common destiny is the common cause of Asian nations. For China, maintaining its own stability and sustained development while promoting good neighborliness and cooperation would inject great vigor to the building of the Asian community of common destiny. China should also play the leading and exemplary role, contributing more Chinese wisdom and proposing more Chinese initiatives for the resolution of regional affairs while promoting other nations to firmly establish the awareness of sharing a community of common destiny so that they could take the building of the community as the common goal and take conscious actions for its building.

(1) Promoting good neighborliness through high-level exchanges. The neighborhood where China finds itself is what China depends on for survival, development and prosperity. It is also the place from which the great power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics sets sail. The new Chinese leadership attaches great importance to the neighborhood diplomacy. In 2013, President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and other high-level leaders engaged in frequent diplomatic activities and have basically had high-level exchanges with almost all Asian countries. Seeking to deepen relations with other Asian countries in an all-round way, China has forged comprehensive strategic partnerships with Indonesia and Malaysia and upgraded cooperative relations with Brunei and Sri Lanka. Chinese Premier and Pakistani Prime Minister exchanged visits within two months. Chinese Premier and Indian Prime Minister exchanged visits in 2013, the first time the mutual visits were finished in the same year since more than fifty years ago.

According to incomplete statistics, China has had about 70 mutual visits with East Asian and South Asian countries at the level of foreign minister or above, with talks and meetings on bilateral and multilateral occasions of about 300 person times. For the first time since its founding, China has held the “Conference on the Diplomatic Work with Neighboring Countries”, which clarifies the guidelines and general principles for conducting neighborhood diplomacy under new circumstances.

China would continue its commitment to building good- neighborly relationships and partnerships with its neighbors and bringing harmony, security and prosperity to them, actively practice the new concept of “closeness, sincerity, sharing in prosperity, and inclusiveness” in its neighborhood diplomacy. China would take the lead to cooperate fully with other Asian countries so as to make peace, cooperation and win-win outcome the shared ideas and code of conduct complied by all countries in the region.

(2) Promoting Asia’s common development on the basis of China’s own development. In recent years, China has contributed more than 50% of the economic growth of Asia, thus becoming the major stimulator for the overall development of Asia. The Third Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee has laid out an overall plan for deepening reforms comprehensively. The new round of reforms is not only in the interests of China itself but also will promote China’s cooperation with foreign countries. China will keep pushing its economic transition, explore its market potential and increase investment abroad, bringing new opportunities for the whole world. Enjoying a favorable geographical position, no doubt Asian countries would benefit first.

Following the development trend of Asia and focusing on the points where the interests of Asian countries converge, China has put forward a series of major initiatives, including building the Silk Road Economic Belt, the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor, the China-ASEAN “2+7” cooperation framework, as well as preparing to establish the Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, etc. China will work closely with other Asian countries to ensure these initiatives be put into effect and become effective as soon as possible. In that way, stronger impetus would be offered for the economic development of Asia and people in all nations could benefit as well.

Guided by the proper view of righteousness and benefit, China will increase its assistance and support of other Asian countries. We will continue increasing our aid provision to Asian developing countries with no strings attached, especially to those least developed ones, and help them achieve autonomous and sustainable development. We will encourage Chinese enterprises with enough capacity to expand investments in Asian nations and actively take part in their economic development. When Asian nations are faced with such difficulties as natural disasters, China would offer a helping hand as usual.

(3) Promoting the building of the community of common destiny via regional cooperation. China has always actively participated in and promoted regional cooperation. The existing cooperative mechanisms in Asia, like the ASEAN, the ASEAN+3, the EAS and the SAARC, have their distinct features and priorities. They should give full play to their own advantages while complementing each other to form a combined force. China will continue to firmly support the construction of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and support ASEAN’s leading role in promoting regional cooperation. China has put forward the China-ASEAN “2+7” cooperation framework and held talks with ASEAN member states on the signing of treaties of good-neighborliness and friendly cooperation. It is also striving to establish an upgraded version of the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. All these initiatives would help increase China-ASEAN cooperation substantially. China is willing to deepen its pragmatic cooperation with the SAARC by forging the China-South Asia Expo as a platform for cooperation.

China is accelerating the implementation of the free trade agreements with its neighbors, actively promoting the comprehensive economic partnership in the region while negotiating on the building of China-Korea, China-Sri Lanka, China-Mongolia and China-Japan-Korea FTAs. We would also strengthen coordination with other Asian countries, and jointly seek to establish the Asian currency stability system, the Asian credit system and Asian investment and finance cooperation system to promote regional economic integration and enhance the capacity of Asian countries in jointly resisting external risks and challenges.

In 2014, China will host many significant international conferences, including the APEC Informal Leadership Meeting, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, the Annual Conference of Boao Forum for Asia, etc. Many leaders of the neighboring countries would come to China to attend these conferences, renewing friendship and discussing cooperation with China. The regional cooperative mechanisms would be the solid foundation for the building of the Asian community of common destiny.

(4) Safeguarding Asian peace and stability through security cooperation. China adheres to the path of peaceful development and plays its role actively as a responsible major power. It advocates the new security perspective of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation while pursuing all-round security, cooperation security and common security. China is dedicated to making concerted efforts with its neighbors to create a peaceful and stable regional environment featuring equality, mutual trust and cooperation for win-win results. China engages in active contacts with other Asian countries on defense and security issues, takes full part in regional and sub-regional security cooperation and acts to promote and build regional multilateral security mechanisms. It will seek to provide more security public goods for Asia and the world as a whole.

China is dedicated to resolving hotspot issues in the region. Regarding the North Korean nuclear issue, China has been promoting peace talks actively and making unremitting efforts to maintain peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Interactions among relevant parties on the reopening of the Six-Party Talks are increasing and the situation on the Peninsula tends to ease now. China supports Afghanistan in promoting extensive and inclusive national reconciliation and participates actively in its rebuilding and regional cooperation relevant to Afghanistan. China will hold the fourth foreign ministers’ meeting on the Istanbul Process of the Afghanistan issue, seeking to make greater contribution to the peace and development of Afghanistan and South Asia.

China will continue properly handling disputes with some countries over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. On issues regarding its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, China would adhere to its principles and stick to the bottom line. Bearing in mind the interests of all and with the greatest sincerity and patience, China has always insisted on resolving disputes and divergences through friendly consultations. With respect to the Diaoyu Islands issue, China was forced to take measures to safeguard its sovereignty on solid legal basis. Establishing the East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is the legitimate right of China as a sovereign state and conforms to international laws and international convention.

Along with ASEAN countries, China would continue imple-menting the “Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea” (DOC) while promoting the formulation of the “Code of Conduct in the South China Sea” (COC) in an active and steady manner. We will also implement the important consensuses reached with Brunei and Vietnam, make full use of the China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund, expand maritime cooperation with relevant countries in an all-round manner, play down our divergences through cooperation and create conditions for the ultimate resolution of the disputes.

(5) Enriching the meaning of the community of common destiny via people-to-people and cultural exchanges. The closeness of two countries depends on the affection of their people. The people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and its Asian neighbors have been unprecedentedly active in recent years, with their areas of cooperation expanding and exchanges increasing consistently. The new concept of “closeness, sincerity, sharing in prosperity, and inclusiveness” proposed in the Conference on the Diplomatic Work with Neighboring Countries reflects China’s way of fostering good neighborliness.

“Closeness” means to consolidate friendships resulting from geographical proximity and affection among different people. “Sincerity” means to treat people with sincerity and evaluate people with trust. “Sharing in prosperity” means to implement the cooperation idea of benefiting the neighboring regions and pursuing mutual benefits and win-win results. “Inclusiveness” means to exhibit the great power mentality of being open and inclusive and seeking common ground while putting aside differences. To our neighboring countries, we should stress the principle of equality, try to foster affection with them, engage in frequent exchanges with them and do more heartwarming and heart-winning things so that our neighbors could be friendlier to us, identify more with us and be more supportive of China.

China attaches importance to expanding people-to-people and cultural exchanges with its Asian neighbors. By the end of 2012, China had set up 66 Confucius Institutes and 32 Confucius Classes in Asian countries. Exchange students between China and its Asian neighbors were almost half a million. The personnel contacts between China and other Asian countries have reached over 30 million person times. Asian visitors came to China over 15 million person times, making up 57% of the inbound foreigners in China. In the first ten foreign countries from which China received visitors, seven are Asian states.

China will continue expanding people-to-people and cultural exchanges in an all-round way, strengthening exchanges with our neighbors in fields such as culture, tourism, science and education and local cooperation, making more friends and forming new friendship. The year of 2014 is the Year of Friendly Exchange between China and ASEAN, Mongolia, India and other countries. China, India and Myanmar will commemorate together the 60th anniversary of the release of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Making joint efforts to hold these activities successfully would enhance mutual understanding and friendship among people of all nations.

Catering to the practical needs of Asian countries, China would continue providing scholarships and conducting training programs, helping to train more specialized experts for Asian nations. We would like to exchange experiences with Asian nations on nation building and governance, spread the voice of China and tell the story of China well. We will strive to link the China dream with people in our neighbors wishing to have a good life and Asia enjoying a sound development prospect and compose a new chapter of people-to-people and cultural exchanges.


V. Conclusion


As a new phenomenon in the globalized age, building the community of common destiny reflects the general trend of international relations in the new era. Building the Asian community of common destiny is the common task bestowed upon Asian nations by history, which would set a reference and an example for the construction of the community of common destiny for human beings. We need to have wisdom and courage, overcome the zero-sum game and the Cold War mentality, and open a new path for human beings to make concerted efforts to tackle challenges and realize sustainable development.

China advocating the building of the Asian community of common destiny is based on its inheritance from and innovation of its good neighborliness policy and reflects the essence and direction of the great power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. China will continue deepening mutual trust and mutual assistance with other Asian nations, promote all-round good neighborliness and friendly cooperation. China also hopes other Asian nations to join it and explore the Asian path, display the Asian wisdom and jointly build a prosperous Asia so as to make greater contributions to the peace and development of human beings.


Source: China International Studies March/April 2014 5-25