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Win-Win Cooperation: Formation, Development and Characteristics

CIIS Time:11 17, 2017 Writer:Chen Xulong Editor:Wang Jiapei

Founded on a profound basis, the concept of win-win cooperation bears a long history. It is rooted in the traditional Chinese cultural values of “peace and cooperation” and is consistent with the principles of peaceful coexistence [1] and mutual benefit. It is also closely related to and reinforces with the theory of peaceful development, thus reflecting the fundamental characteristics and core values of socialism. In general, it is a major accomplishment of Chinese diplomatic innovations in the 21st century, particularly since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC).


I. Win-Win Cooperation: the Continuation and Development of the Principle of Mutual Benefit and Win-Win Outcomes


Win-win outcomes are based on cooperation and mutual benefit. Originating from mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, win-win cooperation is closely related to and promotes mutual benefit.


The win-win strategy of opening up is the key foundation of win-win cooperation. “Implementing the win-win strategy of opening up” was initiated in the “Proposals for the 11th Five-Year Plan on National Economy and Social Development” passed in the 5th Plenary Session of the 16th CPC Central Committee. Inheriting and developing the concept of “equality and mutual benefit,” the proposals highlighted the strategic importance of “mutual benefit and win-win outcomes.” The Report to the 17th National Congress of the CPC, mentioning “win-win outcomes” five times, promised that China would “unswervingly follow a win-win strategy of opening up.” When attending the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) in October 2008, then Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao delivered a speech entitling “Sharing Weal and Woe, Promoting Mutual Benefit.” The new concept of “sharing weal and woe and pursuing mutually beneficial cooperation” was put forward in the whitepaper—China’s Peaceful development published in 2011.


Since the 17th CPC National Congress, China has extended the principle of promoting mutual benefit and win-win outcomes to political, economic, cultural and security areas in its relations with other countries. China vows to enforce a new concept of development featuring equality and mutual benefit, to advocate a new concept of security featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and to promote a new thinking on culture which respects the diversity of the world. By deepening and extending the notion of mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, China has also readjusted its understanding of national interests, which reflects innovations in six aspects. Firstly, China’s core national interests are clarified, with six core interests being outlined in the whitepaper “China’s Peaceful Development.” Secondly, three fundamental national interests are highlighted, namely, Chinese diplomacy should serve the needs of safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and development. Thirdly, attaching importance to the extension and protection of its overseas interests, China seeks to enhance its ability of protecting overseas interests. Fourthly, China upgrades its national image as a part of the national interests by advocating “image is also a part of interests.” Fifthly, stressing the necessity of aligning China’s national interests with the world’s overall interests, China calls for fully respecting and accommodating other countries’ legitimate concerns and interests and seeks to promote regional and global development while developing itself. The sixth point is that China will pursue common interests with other countries and construct a community of common interests. In “China’s Peaceful Development,” it is stressed that “China aligns its own interests with the common interests of the people of the world and seeks to expand common interests of all the parties. It works to establish and expand community of common interests in various fields and at various levels with other countries and regions. China is committed to promoting the common interests of all humanity and bringing the benefits of human civilization to everyone.” In the meantime, China advocates a new thinking of mutual-benefit cooperation in its foreign relations. In the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs convened in 2006, it was stated that China would seek peace, promote development and settle disputes through cooperation. China emphasized on combining the strategy of “going global” with that of “bringing in,” upheld rule-binding, the rule of law and mutual benefit, and stressed the importance of mutual-benefit cooperation and joint development. In terms of diplomatic policy and practice, China advocated strengthening cooperation with other countries on such nontraditional security issues as environment protection, climate change, infectious diseases and terrorism, etc.


Before the convocation of the 18th National Congress of the CPC, China had come to realize that following the path of peaceful development was the necessary condition and guarantee of pursuing mutual benefit and win-win outcomes, which in turn were the logical extension of peaceful development. As an essential part of Chinese diplomatic strategies in the new era,[2]  peaceful development and mutual benefit and win-win outcomes have laid a solid foundation for the forging of “win-win cooperation.”


II. The Diplomatic Strategy of Win-Win Cooperation Made Three Historic Leaps since the 18th National Congress of the CPC


1. The first historic leap


It is of historical significance that the 18th National Congress of the CPC upheld “pursuing win-win outcomes” as a guideline of Chinese diplomacy, which facilitated the first historic leap of “win-win cooperation” as a diplomatic strategy and theory.


Firstly, the 18th CPC National Congress deepened our understanding of “win-win outcomes.” “Pursuing win-win outcomes” reflects the characteristics of our times vividly. At present, interdependence among states has been deepening, whereas global

issues are becoming more acute. No country could handle various challenges or risks on its own. Only through seeking win-win results could all countries safeguard and pursue their national interests and ensure peace and development of the world. “Seeking win-win outcomes” bears apparent “Chinese characteristics” as well. As a socialist country, by stressing the concept of win-win outcomes, China calls for abandoning the zero-sum game or the mentality of “the winner takes all” and seeks to win the world’s trust and respect through making concrete contributions. The notion of “win-win outcomes” has profound meanings. It could be applied to various aspects of international affairs, not only to the economic field. Economically, China emphasizes the pursuit of common interests and advocates common development and prosperity. Politically, China upholds mutual respect and equality among states. In the security region, it stresses safeguarding its own security and common security with other countries and facilitates joint efforts towards mutually beneficial cooperation and common security. Culturally, China highlights the importance of inclusiveness and mutual learning as well as cultural co-existence.


Secondly, the status and connotation of “win-win cooperation” in international affairs were defined in the 18th CPC National Congress. The Report to the 18th CPC National Congress stipulates that China calls for promoting equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutually beneficial cooperation in international relations and making joint efforts to uphold international fairness and justice. In promoting mutually beneficial cooperation, China seeks to raise awareness about human beings sharing a community of common destiny. A country should accommodate the legitimate concerns of others when pursuing its own interests; and it should promote common development of all countries when advancing its own development. Countries should establish a new type of global development partnership that is more equitable and balanced, stick together in times of difficulty, both share rights and shoulder obligations, and boost the common interests of mankind.


Thirdly, it was stressed that win-win cooperation was consistent with the pursuit of peaceful development and the building of a harmonious world. By promoting win-win cooperation, China’s peaceful development would be better embraced by the international community. The building of a harmonious world would gain more impetus through enforcing win-win cooperation and extending the notion of the community of common destiny to China’s neighboring states, the Asia-Pacific region and even the whole world.


2. The second historic leap


In the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs held in late November 2014, President Xi Jinping stipulated that China would uphold win-win cooperation and promote a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. Meanwhile, China would follow a win-win strategy of opening up and apply the principle of win-win cooperation to the political, economic, security and cultural areas of its foreign relations. This demonstrated that “promoting a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation” was recognized as an important goal, a guiding principle and a policy option of Chinese diplomacy. This also meant that win-win cooperation made its second historic leap as a diplomatic strategy and theory.


Firstly, the universality of win-win cooperation in international affairs was highlighted in the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs. It was stressed that the vision of win-win cooperation not only applied to the economic field, but also to the political, security, cultural and many other fields. Win-win cooperation was recognized as the fundamental way of promoting the healthy development of international relations in the new era. With the deepening of globalization and the increasing severity of global challenges, all states are closely interconnected with more common interests. No country could make gains from confrontation since only enhancing cooperation would be the righteous way. Benefiting from cooperation and achieving win-win outcomes have been accepted by more countries as an important policy option.


Secondly, the policy of promoting win-win cooperation was clearly stated in the conference. Facing profound changes in the international arena and all countries’ demand for sharing weal and woe, all states should take joint efforts to build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation while safeguarding world peace and promoting common development. China advocated that win-win cooperation should be a basic policy for all in dealing of foreign relations. As for China, it took “promoting a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation” as its strategic guideline and policy option.


3. The third historic leap


In September 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech on “Taking joint efforts to forge new partnerships of win-win cooperation and building a community of common destiny” at the general debate of the United Nations General Assembly commemorating the 70th anniversary of the United Nations(UN). For the first time ever, China stipulated its new thinking of establishing a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, which symbolized the third historic leap in the theoretical evolution of win-win cooperation.


Firstly, aligning win-win cooperation with the UN, President Xi attached great importance to the UN’s role in international affairs. In his view, a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation should be built upon the following preconditions: enforcing the purposes and principles outlined in the UN Charter, safeguarding the international order and international system centering on the UN Charter and principles, and endorsing the UN and the Security Council’s leading role in ceasing war and conflicts. President Xi called on the UN’s 193 member states to respect each other, seek unity and harmony, and take concerted efforts to establish a new type of international relations and advance world peace and global development.


Secondly, connecting win-win cooperation with the building of a community of common destiny, China proposed a “five-in-one” blueprint for its building. Politically, it called for creating partnerships featuring equality, mutual understanding and consultation. In the security area, a security pattern upholding fairness, justice and equal sharing should be fostered. Economically, all parties should pursue an open, innovative and inclusive development strategy and optimize rules which ensure economic efficiency and social equity. Culturally, exchanges between different civilizations should be promoted to seek unity without uniformity. Ecologically, an ecological system respecting nature and facilitating green development should be formed.


Thirdly, combining new ideas of Chinese diplomacy put forward since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, the notion of win-win cooperation was made more systematic. Creating a new type of major power relations, implementing the correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit, promoting governance through consultation, advocating a new concept of security for the pursuit of common, comprehensive and cooperative security, and enforcing new thinking on development featuring green, low-carbon, circular and sustainable growth, all these were incorporated in the “five-in-one” strategy.


It is through the three historic leaps based on the innovations in Chinese diplomatic theory and practice since the 18th CPC National Congress that the concept of win-win cooperation gets more systematic and profound.


III. China’s International Outlook Featuring Win-Win Cooperation since the 18th CPC National Congress


1. New thinking on interests featuring win-win and all-win cooperation


While pursuing its national interests, China fully accommodates other countries’ legitimate concerns and interests. Aligning its own interests with the common interests of the people of the world, China seeks to expand common interests of all the parties and is committed to promoting the common interests of all humanity. Rather than undercutting each other’s efforts, countries should complement each other and work for joint progress. Meanwhile, the old mindset of zero-sum game should give way to a new approach of win-win and all-win cooperation.


2. New thinking on development featuring openness, cooperation, win-win results, accommodation and innovation


In the Report to the 18th CPC National Congress, it was stressed that China would strive for open, cooperative and win-win development, and unswervingly follow a win-win strategy of opening up. It would promote robust, sustainable and balanced growth of the global economy through deepening cooperation. China was committed to narrowing the North-South gap and supporting other developing countries in enhancing their capacity for self-development. Meanwhile, China would strengthen coordination with other major economies on macroeconomic policy and resolve economic and trade disputes through consultation. Upholding the principle of balancing rights with obligations, China would participate actively in global economic governance and facilitate free trade and investment while opposing protectionism in all its forms. China called on all countries to follow the principle of win-win cooperation, promote common development of all countries and build a more balanced and new type of development partnership.


The fundamental solution to common development lies in economic integration. To strive for a bright future, one relies on regional development more than its own development. Countries in the same region should deepen practical cooperation in all areas and promote integration through opening-up while pursuing growth through integration. Regional economic ties should be tightened and innovation-driven growth should be encouraged. Infrastructure connectivity is a basic condition for integrated development. Countries in a region should join hands and speed up infrastructure construction including railway, road, air and water transportation. All countries should take advantage of their geographical proximity to deepen cooperation across the upstream, mid-stream and downstream industrial chains, and build an industrial network and economic system that draw on their respective comparative advantages. All countries need to ride the global trend of new technology revolution, enhance exchanges, and draw on each other’s experience to advance scientific and technological progress and personnel training, especially young people, boost the “new economy” featuring green development, energy, environmental protection and the internet so as to seize an advantageous position in the future development and raise industrial and economic competitiveness.


At the UN Sustainable Development Summit held in 2015, President Xi Jinping called on all countries to ensure equitable, open, all-round and innovation-driven development. He also put forward a four-point strategy of building up all countries’ capacity for development, improving the international environment for development, updating the partnership for development and strengthening the coordination mechanisms for development, which set the right direction for global development and international cooperation.


The five major themes of development—innovation-driven, coordinative, environment-friendly, open and all-round development put forward in the Fifth Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee, are not only conducive to China’s socioeconomic development but also to the promotion of global development and international cooperation. They would facilitate the coordination of both domestic and international development.


3. Creating a community of common development and interests featuring mutual benefit and inclusive development


President Xi Jinping stipulates that, with the surge of economic globalization, the interests and destiny of all countries are tied together and the world has become a community of common destiny in which all members are closely interconnected.


President Xi declares that China will continue to be an active contributor to global development and a dedicated facilitator of South-South cooperation. It will continue following a win-win strategy of opening up and fulfill its international commitments. China would share its experiences and opportunities of development with other countries while upgrading development partnerships so as to seek common development and create a community of common interests, thus making new contributions to the cause of global development.


Premier Li Keqiang has noted that, all countries should stick to the overarching goal of common development, continue to act in the spirit of solidarity in face of difficulties, turn their economic complementarity into mutual support for each other’s development, expand convergence of interests and achieve mutually beneficial coexistence and win-win development. Regional Economic integration is in the interests of all countries, and we should work in unison to promote trade liberalization

and investment facilitation, and upgrade regional and sub-regional cooperation.


4. “Win-win cooperation for security”--a new approach of security


China believes that “security depends on the win-win process.” It calls on all countries “to abandon the obsolete zero-sum security concept and view and handle international security issues based on mutual respect and win-win cooperation. No country should seek its own security at the expense of the security of other countries. China is resolutely opposed to acts that benefit oneself at others’ expense, shift trouble onto others, and still less to say, that destabilize a region or even the whole world for the sake of selfish interests.” [3]


China pursues a new concept of common security, comprehensive security, cooperative security and sustainable security and is dedicated to promoting mutual trust, reducing differences and reinforcing cooperation with other countries, so that a new approach of safeguarding security could be realized through joint efforts and win-win cooperation.


China’s proposal of win-win cooperation has upgraded the existing concepts of international security and made them more advanced and practical, which opens a broader prospect for international security cooperation.


5. Upholding the correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit


Noting the new situation and new tasks in China’s relations with other developing countries and with its neighboring countries, President Xi Jinping emphasizes that China will uphold the correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit. Politically, China will keep promises and uphold fairness and justice. Economically, China will adhere to mutual benefit and common development. For those developing and neighboring states which have been friendly to China yet have difficulties in boosting development, China would consider their interests more than its own and offer more but gain less in cooperation. China would never make gains at others’ expense or shift its own trouble onto others.


The correct viewpoint of righteousness and benefit provides a political guideline and moral support for win-win cooperation, which, in turn, offers insurance and a way of enforcement for the views of righteousness and benefit.


6. Actively fulfilling its international responsibilities and pursuing a bright future of win-win cooperation (China’s view of international responsibility)


Aiming to uphold world peace and promote common development, China, as a major power, is committed to playing a constructive and responsible role in international affairs. Actively fulfilling its international responsibility and duties reflects the essence of China’s major power diplomacy, conforms to the expectation of the international community, and demonstrates the fine culture of China and its diplomatic tradition.


China advocates sharing rights and shouldering obligations with other countries and adheres to the principle of sharing weal and woe. It is dedicated to taking joint efforts with other countries to cope with mounting global issues such as climate change, security of energy and resources, cyber security and massive natural disasters, etc., so that the homeland of mankind could be better protected.


In the “Proposals for the 13th Five-Year Plan on National Economy and Social Development” passed in the 5th Plenum of the 18th CPC Central Committee, China outlined the theme of “actively shouldering our international responsibilities and obligations” and vowed to play a more active and constructive role while providing more public goods to the international community. In particular, offering foreign aid was taken as an important demonstration of China’s major power status.


With the rise of its comprehensive power, China will engage more actively in international affairs, putting forth its proposals for safeguarding world peace and promoting common development, fulfilling its due obligations and making more contributions. China’s new image as a responsible world power will be better demonstrated while the world benefits more from China’s peaceful development. China is willing to work together with other countries to build a community of common interests and shared destiny, strive for a bright future of win-win cooperation and build a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity. [4]


7. Enhancing cooperation to safeguard the general environment of peaceful development and build a community of shared responsibilities


Safeguarding the general environment of peaceful development demands the joint efforts of all. Regional turbulence courts disaster while stability in the neighborhood brings prosperity. Asia owes its progress to a peaceful and stable regional environment, and peace and stability are the fundamental safeguards for Asia’s development. We should pass on the vision of peaceful coexistence from generation to generation. A close neighbor is better than a kinsman afar, and close neighbors can become best friends. To achieve peace and stability in Asia, all countries in the region should build consensus, make active efforts and jointly fulfill their due responsibilities. All should promote security dialogue and consultation, strengthen cooperation on nontraditional security issues, including disaster management, maritime search and rescue, counter-terrorism and combating transnational crimes, and actively explore the establishment of a regional security cooperation framework in Asia.


8. Jointly promoting broad regional cooperation via enforcing the “Belt and Road Initiative”

President Xi Jinping has successively put forward the strategic concepts of building the “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road,” which are called as the “Belt and Road Initiative” together. Representing a path of win-win cooperation, the Belt and Road Initiative will align all economies more closely and promote infrastructure construction and institutional innovation, thus creating more jobs and new impetuses to economic growth and enhancing all countries’ internal growth and anti-risk capabilities.


Enforcing the “Belt and Road Initiative” requires increasing connectivity and the synergy of participating countries’ development strategies. Connectivity should be a three-way combination of infrastructure, institutions and people-to-people exchange. Progress in five areas, i.e., policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financial integration and people-to-people bonds, should be promoted so that “five connectivities” could proceed together and broad regional integration could be forged through a step-by-step process.


All participating countries should stick to the principles of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits when implementing the Belt and Road Initiative. Consultation means that China and other countries shall pool wisdom and share good ideas with each other to achieve desirable results, so that the development of the Initiative could accommodate the interests and concerns and reflect the wisdom and creativity of both sides. Making joint contribution means China and others need to do their best to bring into play their respective advantages, tap the potential and register major achievements from accumulated efforts in a persevering way. Sharing benefits means China and Arab states should make more development achievements benefit people of the two sides in a fairer way and build a community of shared interests and common destiny for China and Arab states.


Enforcing the Belt and Road Initiative demands both overarching planning and concrete work. The former means that an overarching mechanism should be designed and development goals should be set so that the grand architecture of regional cooperation could be forged. The latter means that practical actions should be taken to strive for early harvests. Participating countries should accelerate consultation and the implementation of cooperation projects to make early harvest. The earlier could all countries reap concrete benefits from the Initiative, the more would be encouraged to join.


9. Creating a community of common destiny via win-win cooperation


It was stipulated in the Report to the 18th National Congress of the CPC that China would uphold win-win cooperation and advocate a sense of community of common destiny. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders have reiterated the “community of common destiny,” reflecting China’s understanding of the international situation, its global vision and its sense of righteousness and benefit.


President Xi points out that, as all countries are getting increasingly interconnected and interdependent, mankind now is living in the same global village. The world is becoming a community of common destiny in which all members are closely interconnected. As members of Asia, we have become a community of shared destiny since our interests are intertwined and our security is interconnected. Therefore, all countries need to foster a sense of community of common destiny, be keenly aware of the chain effect of “one’s prosperity fostering others’ prosperity while one’s failure incurs others’ failure,” and promote cooperation for win-win results. All countries should keep to the right direction, stick together in time of difficulty and ensure that development in Asia and the rest of the world reaches new highs. President Xi calls on all nations to cherish far-reaching hopes while taking practical actions to deepen connectivity and improve regional cooperation in Asia and build a community of common development and shared destiny.


In September 2015, President Xi Jinping elaborated on his idea of “taking joint efforts to forge new partnerships of win-win cooperation and building a community of common destiny” at the UN General Assembly and put forward the “five-in-one” plan of building a community of common destiny for the first time.


China is committed to promoting the building of the community. It hopes to embed the vision of the community of common destiny in its neighboring states and take joint efforts with other countries in the building of the China-Africa, China-Latin America and China-Arab communities of common destiny.


10. A Concept of international order featuring peace, development, equality, justice, cooperation and win-win outcomes


Chinese diplomacy aims to maintain world peace and promote common development. As a participant, builder and contributor of the international system, China promotes equality, mutual trust, inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutually beneficial cooperation in international relations and makes joint efforts to uphold international fairness and justice.


On the forum of the UN General Assembly, President Xi Jinping solemnly declared that China would firmly follow the path of peaceful development as a builder of world peace, it would unswervingly pursue the path of common development as a contributor to global development, and it would pursue the path of cooperative development as a supporter of the international order. China would continue upholding the international order and international system centering on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, continue working with other developing countries, particularly African states, and firmly supporting efforts to increase their representation and voice in international affairs.


11. Advocating new thinking on global governance featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits


In the 27th Collective Learning Session of the Politburo of the CPC Central Committee in December 2015, President Xi Jinping delivered an important speech, noting that the institutional reform of global governance was at a historical turning point. The old way of pursuing national interests and seeking hegemony through war, colonization and carving out spheres of influence, which was practiced for hundreds of years, has given way to new methods in which all countries coordinate their relations and interests by following rules and regulations. Nowadays, as more and more global issues demand the consultation and joint efforts of all countries, creating international regimes, following international rules and upholding international justice have become the consensus of most states. Global challenges need to be handled by all countries together. With the surge of global issues, strengthening global governance and promoting the reform of the global governance system have become an irresistible trend.


Xi Jinping emphasized that all countries should work to change those unjust and unreasonable arrangements in the system of global governance, propel international economic and financial organizations like the IMF and the World Bank, etc. to reflect new changes in the international system, especially to increase the representation and voice of the emerging economies and developing countries. Meanwhile, all parties should promote the equality of rights, opportunities and rules in international economic cooperation while promoting democratization and legalization of global governance, so that the system of global governance could represent the concerns and interests of most countries in a more balanced way. Moreover, all countries should promote the creation of new mechanisms and new rules for cooperation in international economy and finance, in new industrial sectors and in surrounding regions. Mechanisms for regional cooperation should be improved while regional cooperation should be enhanced. The international community’s capacity should be enhanced to better tackle such global challenges as resources and energy security, food security, cybersecurity, climate change, terrorism, and the spread of serious infectious diseases, etc.


Xi Jinping pointed out that the reform of global governance institutions cannot be realized without the direction of new ideas. We should draw experiences from fine cultures of mankind to make the rules of global governance fairer and more reasonable. To facilitate the theoretical evolution of global governance, we need to explore the converging points between the fine tradition of Chinese culture and its ancient ideas of governance and the characteristics of our times, continue enriching concepts like creating a community of common destiny and promote the concept of global governance featuring extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits.


IV. Characteristics of the Diplomatic Concept of Win-Win Cooperation


Win-win cooperation is significant and parsimonious, with cooperation as the means and win-win outcomes as the ends. Win-win cooperation is a scientific, theoretical system which encompasses diverse ideas such as peaceful development, exchanges and cooperation, mutual benefit, new types of major-power relationship, harmonious world and the community of common destiny. It is theoretically inclusive but with outstanding features.


First, win-win cooperation is developed on the basis of China’s keen appreciation of the development trends of itself and the world. It conforms to the general trends of peace, development and cooperation while seizing the important period of strategic opportunities for China’s development. It reflects historic transformations in the relations between China and the world and is consistent with new practices of major power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.


Second, advocating and enforcing the concept of win-win outcomes in international affairs is the essence of win-win cooperation. As a new paradigm in the theories of international relations, win-win cooperation is theoretically advanced and practically universal. It is completely different from hegemonism, imperialism, chauvinism, national separatism, new-interventionism, and other forms of extremism. It is also divergent from zero-sum game, the Cold War mentality and alliance forming, as well as fighting for spheres of influence, etc.


Third, win-win cooperation not only inherits the fine traditions of Chinese culture but also keeps pace with our times. It inherits the fine traditions of “peace and harmony” from Chinese culture, upholds the theme of peaceful coexistence in Chinese diplomacy and extends the spirit of internationalism. On the other hand, win-win cooperation goes along with our times featuring multipolarity, globalization and informatization. Taking the Chinese Dream as the new beacon and taking the creation of a community of common destiny as the guideline, win-win cooperation offers an innovative way of addressing hotspot and difficult issues in international affairs.


Fourth, win-win cooperation breaks away from the traditional pattern that a rising power is bound to seek hegemony. It originates from the new thinking for dealing with Sino-US relations while taking the building of a new type of major power relations between China and the US as the key and a test field. It is conducive to overcoming various kinds of predicaments and traps in international relations.


Fifth, win-win cooperation is comprehensive but gives prominence to its key elements. Focusing on the building of a new type of major power relations, particularly that between China and the US, win-win cooperation also covers the construction of other major power relations.


Sixth, win-win cooperation is a theoretical system which transcends the set pattern of “hiding our capacities and biding our time while making some achievements.” It initiates a new notion in international relations and constructs a new discourse in Chinese diplomacy.


Seventh, win-win cooperation is an evolving and open theoretical system. Since the 18th National Congress of the CPC, it has evolved rapidly with its meaning being constantly enriched. The development of China’s diplomatic thinking and practices along with our times will provide new impetus for its innovative development, while new ideas and practices of win-win cooperation from other countries and the international community would help make it better. Therefore, win-win cooperation has a bright future. As a new concept, it is full of life and directs the way of development in international relations. It has great potentials since it is effective and popular.


Therefore, we should be confident in this theory and take joint efforts with other countries to open a new era of win-win cooperation and common development. We should work to build a tighter community of common destiny and open up new prospects for international relations in the 21st century.




Chen Xulong is senior research fellow and Director of Department for International and Strategic Studies of CIIS.


SourceChina’s Initiatives:Responses to an Uncertain World, Word Affairs Press, 2017


[1] On June 28th, 2014, President Xi Jinping delivered his speech at the 60th anniversary congress of the five principles of peaceful coexistence. The theme was“Promoting the five principles of peaceful coexistence and building a win-win world of cooperation.”

[2] “Peaceful Development and Mutual Benefit and Win-win Outcomes—Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi elaborates on Chinese Diplomacy,”World Affairs, Issue2, 2008.

[3] “United in Our Pursuit of Peace and Security,” remarks by Li Yuanchao at the Second World Peace Forum, June 27th, 2013,

[4] Yang Jiechi, “Actively Taking Our International Responsibilities and Obligations,” People’s Daily, Nov. 13th, 2015.