China Has Become More Confident in Diplomacy | 作者: Su Xiaohui | 时间: 2016-03-14 | 责编: Wang Jiapei
Adjust font size: + -


On March 8, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi gave a press conference for the fourth session of the 12th National People’s Congress in Beijing. He responded to 18 questions raised by media present at the conference and one question selected from new media. The questions covered various perspectives of China’s diplomacy and presented an overall picture of the country’s designs and performances in foreign affairs.

Mr. Wang Yi stated that China has been performing major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. Major-country diplomacy means that a great power should shoulder some responsibility that the small countries cannot bear. China has become a major actor in the international arena and is more active in shaping the world. At one of the big events of this year,China will host the G20 summit in Hangzhou and is planning to promote new dynamics, new vitality and new prospects during the meeting. In the context of a sluggish world economy, China does not concentrate on its own interests but attaches importance to the global recovery. China will endeavor to make the G20 summit an opportunity for sustainable development and renew the role of the G20 as the main institution for global governance.

At the same time, China’s major-country diplomacy has its own features. China supports equality and justice in world order. This explains why countries in the Middle East expect an enlarging role of China in regional affairs. China respects the role of the United Nations and insists that disputes should be resolved according to basic principles of UN Chapter. China also believes that pressure is not the solution for distrust and hostility. Peaceful approaches such as talks are the right way for addressing problems. As for the DPRK nuclear issue, Wang Yi reaffirmed that the international community should not be satisfied with agreed sanctions, which are part of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2270. He stressed that the resolution is comprehensive and balanced. It also called for related parties to remain restrained and pay more attention to the risk of increasing tension. China also proposed new thinking for negotiation to deal with the deep-rooted problems.

What is more, China’s major-country diplomacy attaches importance to people’s interests. With growing number of citizens traveling around the world and enterprises operating in other countries, China has developed its capacity in protecting overseas interests. Wang Yi talked about the logistical support facilities in Djibouti in a frank way, underlining the fact that China aims at playing a more positive role in maintaining security. China’s Foreign Ministry is seeking to support domestic development and the progress of the Belt and Road Initiative. The activity “Foreign Ministry’s Ningxia Day” held a few days ago was a pioneer activity for promoting regional development.

Talking about the relationship with major powers, China’s foreign minister emphasized the achievements of cooperation. Meanwhile, he did not avoid touching upon difficulties, especially the differences between China and the Untied States. China believes the two countries have worked out certain manners to manage the problems. Wang Yi did not rule out the possibility of further maritime cooperation with the US, but he pointed out that it takes two to tangle. He suggested that the two countries are able to “transform frictions into opportunities for cooperation”. The cooperation on climate change is a persuasive example. Chinese Foreign Minister made illustration on this case to ask the United States to work with China.

China is more experienced in responding to “penetrating questions”. Two journalists brought up the South China Sea issue. Wang Yi clarified China’s positions and warned related countries about China’s “red line” in policies. It was also smart that he used the chance to give the audience a better view of current developments. A press conference is not just an occasion for China to be questioned and challenged. It is also a platform for China to better communicate with the world. This is a remarkable improvement in China’s diplomatic performance in President Xi Jinping’s term.

The press conference sent out two important signals to the world. The first is that China is rising. China does not want to hide the status and the future of its development. The Foreign Ministry has made it clear that the country is entering the center of the world stage and will have more weight in the international political, economic and security systems. The United States should accept the fact that it is unlikely for any country in the world to interrupt China’s increasing strengthening or contain China’s development.

The second signal is that China is not a troublemaker. Other countries, including the United States, share more common interests with China and are able to explore more fields for cooperation. The key is to find a way that makes both sides comfortable. To coordinate with instead of confronting China in world affairs should be a better choice.



Su Xiaohui is Deputy Director of Department of International and Strategic Studies, China Institute of International Studies.




Source: China-US Focus, March 11, 2016.