A SHARED VISION

How President Xi diplomatic centre promotes multilateralism

Notions such as "might makes right" and "zero-sum game" are no longer tenable

In Summary

•Leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is the greatest political strength of the country’s foreign policy. 

•In developing China's neighbourhood diplomacy, traditional values of good neighbourliness, benevolence, empathy and non-aggression have been incorporated.

President Xi Jinping with African leaders during the 7th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting between China and African leaders, in September 2018 in Beijing.
President Xi Jinping with African leaders during the 7th Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) meeting between China and African leaders, in September 2018 in Beijing.
Image: File

Last month was a momentous period in China's diplomatic history after Chinese authorities inaugurated the Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy Studies Centre.

The Centre is the result of collaboration between members of the Chinese foreign service and academics who have been dedicated to the study of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and to the theoretical construction of China's foreign policy.

Xi has made a comprehensive assessment of the trajectory of the international arena and the historical juncture in which China finds itself, and put forward a series of new ideas, new propositions and new initiatives with distinctive Chinese features, which reflect the call of our times and lead the trend of human progress.

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy aims at providing fundamental guidance for China's foreign policy in modern times. This has led to several achievements in diplomacy including:

  • Building a global network of partnerships to advance China's diplomatic agenda in a multilateral way;
  • Proactively advancing Belt and Road cooperation, making it the world's biggest platform for international cooperation;
  • Leading efforts in making globalisation more inclusive and beneficial for all and the international order fairer and more equitable;
  • Supporting international cooperation against Covid-19, and promoting the vision of building a global community of health for all.

Leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is the greatest political strength of the country’s foreign policy. Hence, strengthening the centralised, unified leadership and coordination of the CPC over external affairs provides the fundamental political underpinning for continued success of China's diplomacy.

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy bases itself on a keen understanding of global developments and a thorough review of China's interactions with the rest of the world. It grasped the workings of globalisation and global governance by following the Marxist tradition of analysing the dynamics between the productive forces and the relations of production, and between the economic base and the superstructure.

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy has applied the basic tenets of Marxism to the practice of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, and developed a series of creative thoughts and views that have enriched and taken forward Marxist theories on international relations, thus realising a historic breakthrough in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context in the diplomatic arena.

In developing China's neighbourhood diplomacy, traditional values of good neighbourliness, benevolence, empathy and non-aggression have been incorporated.

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping arrive for a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping arrive for a state dinner at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, November 9, 2017.
Image: REUTERS

In the call for global governance reform, time-honored wisdoms of unity in adversity and harmony among all nations have been drawn. In the course of building global partnerships, the philosophy of advocating harmony without conformity and helping others to succeed while seeking one's own success has been followed.

In advocating the concept of greater good, the moral commitment of advancing shared interests with just positions and helping those in difficulty and in need is upheld.

As an innovative effort to renew the spirit of the ancient Silk Road, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the momentous initiative of developing the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The initiative aims to turn the Silk Road, a fruit of human civilisation, into a new type of public good for international cooperation and common development, and has gained growing support and endorsement from countries around the world.

WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy envisions a community with a shared future for mankind, and an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, and calls for a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy upholds China's just position pursued since 1949 of opposing colonialism, hegemonism and power politics, lays out red lines on major issues involving sovereignty and territorial integrity, and informs a series of decisive actions to safeguard China's legitimate rights, core interests and national dignity.

It improves on and transcends traditional theories of international relations. In recent years, the traditional theories are increasingly unable to explain the contemporary world, and notions such as "might makes right" and "zero-sum game" are no longer compatible with the trend of the times.

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy puts the development of China in the global context, and aligns the interests of the Chinese people with the common, fundamental interests of people across the world. It envisions a community with a shared future for mankind, and an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, and calls for a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation.

It rises above national and regional parochialism, transcends the traditional realist theory of international relations, and takes the moral high ground by focusing on the progress of humanity.

The world has continued to change in profound ways. As Covid-19 rages on, the health of people around the world is under grave threat, economic globalisation faces unprecedented headwinds, and the world economy is plunged into deep recession. Unilateralism, protectionism and bullyism are resurging. Deficits in governance, trust, peace and development are widening further.

The establishment of the Studies Centre provides an opportunity to deepen the world’s understanding of the core tenets, essence, rich substance and implementation requirements of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and fully appreciate its great relevance, and theoretical, practical and international significance.

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is of international significance. It is particularly relevant for addressing the global challenges facing our world. It is gaining growing attention and influence worldwide.

Such dialogue and exchanges create opportunities to communicate China's important visions and ideas such as building a community with a shared future for mankind and building a new type of international relations, so that greater international consensus can be forged.

Applying Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is set to break new ground in major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, and make greater contributions to human progress.