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Major-country diplomacy shows China’s vision for world

ZHANG JIE | 2017-09-28
(Chinese Social Sciences Today)

The second Forum on the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation was held from Sept. 15 to 16 in Weihai, Shandong Province, under the theme of “Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics and Situation in Northeast Asia.”


More than 100 scholars and experts recently gathered in Weihai, a coastal city in North China’s Shandong Province, to examine major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, a foreign policy concept China proposed to achieve national rejuvenation and serve all mankind.

Held from Sept. 15 to 16, the second Forum on the Rejuvenation of the Chinese Nation was themed “Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics and the Situation in Northeast Asia.” It was jointly organized by the Weihai campus of Shandong University and the Weihai Federation of Social Science Associations in conjunction with the Academic Division of International Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).

Attendees at the forum said that the new concept of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics has shown extraordinary vigor and vitality despite the dominance of hegemonic thinking and power politics in the present-day world and grim challenges in economic, social, cultural and ecological spheres. The initiative of “building a community of common destiny for humanity,” the nucleus of the new concept, has been included into the resolutions of the UN Security Council and Human Rights Council.

Men Honghua, dean of the School of Political Science and International Relations at Tongji University, noted that as China’s economy rises and its comprehensive strength increases, the world is facing a more confident and open China, while China is facing a more complicated, profoundly changing world where opportunities and challenges coexist.

China is building a strategic framework for peaceful development that aims to melt into the global community, realize self-transformation and influence the world, Men said.
“By proposing major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, China is repositioning itself,” said Zhang Yunling, a CASS Member and director of the Academic Division of International Studies at CASS.

In fact, China has been active in regional and world affairs as a new type of major country, playing a particularly important role in coping with crises, maintaining peace and propelling development, Zhang said.

At the forum, the “Belt and Road” (“B&R”) initiative was a hot topic. Yu Hongjun, former vice-minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, said that the “B&R” initiative conforms to the trends of world multi-polarization, economic globalization, cultural diversification and society informatization.

It is intended to promote the free and orderly flow of economic factors, the effective allocation of resources, and the deep integration of markets, Yu said, adding  that the “B&R” initiative serves as a platform for coordinating international economic policy, and forging an open, inclusive and balanced regional cooperation framework.

Zhang said the “B&R” initiative is about more than economic transformation domestically and growth globally. It not only addresses economic issues but also acts as a crucial platform for China to further open up, expand the space for development and drive new international development cooperation, he said.

Yu warned that the “B&R” initiative will never be without its complications. Nonetheless, China has successfully resolved some major challenges involving surrounding regions by political and diplomatic means, which proves that the country is capable of turning risks into opportunities and translating pressure into power. China has shown itself capable of joining hands with its neighbors and countries around the world to achieve new, greater results in the building of the “B&R” initiative, thus making historical contributions to the common progress of human society, Yu said.

“In addition, we should also recognize that for a variety of reasons, the outside world, including neighboring countries, have misunderstandings about the Chinese nation and civilization, China’s peaceful development idea and peaceful rise, as well as the ‘B&R’ initiative,” Yu said. “This indicates inadequacy in our efforts to build the national image, spread Chinese culture, and demystify domestic and foreign policies.”

In light of this, deepening people-to-people exchanges and cooperation should become not only a core task of the “B&R” initiative but also a vital part of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, Yu said.

Wu Yin, former vice-president of CASS, pointed out that major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics is an open system and process that can be innovated and enriched constantly in theory and practice, so it has provided broad space for international studies.

The dramatically changing situation constantly raises requirements, but relevant research has lagged far behind, Wu said, calling for deeper follow-up studies of China’s cooperation with surrounding regions, such as ASEAN, Lancang-Mekong Cooperation, Northeast Asia and South Asia, including China-India relations.




ZHANG JIE is a reporter at the Chinese Social Sciences Today.