Thursday, September 29, 2022

China Expands Global Partnerships Under True Multilateralism Over Decade

Distinctive style of diplomacy developed by drawing on fine traditions while adapting to changing times

By GT staff reporters

Sep 29, 2022 02:15 PM

China's diplomacy work in the past decade. Editor: Yang Ruoyu/GT Graphic: Xu Zihe/GT

Over the decade, China has blazed a new path of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, expanded global partnerships by pursuing a broad-based diplomatic agenda, upheld national sovereignty, security and development with China's core interests as a red line, developed a distinctive Chinese style of diplomacy by both drawing on fine traditions and adapting to changing times.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu stressed China's position on the diplomatic front at Thursday's press conference themed around what Chinese diplomacy has achieved in the past decade.

Ma said we fight against the rhetoric and actions that undermine China's national interests and dignity, we safeguard our own legitimate rights and interests and dignity, oppose hegemonic, domineering and bullying acts, and stand firm for international fairness and justice.

We firmly safeguard national interests and national dignity, have a clear-cut position on critical issues, and won't yield one inch, Ma stressed.

Ma stressed that China has also advanced its diplomatic agenda in a comprehensive, multilevel and multifaceted way. To date, China has established diplomatic relations with 181 countries and entered into partnerships with more than 110 countries and regional organizations, thus making more and more friends and forming a network of partnerships covering the entire world, said the vice foreign minister.

With unprecedented breadth, depth and intensity, China has taken part in the system of global governance, contributed China's wisdom and offered China's proposals and embraced China's responsibilities, winning acclaim from the international community, Ma noted.

Over the past decade, China has evolved from a participant, beneficiary and contributor to a leader in global governance. China believes the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, a perception that China never had a decade ago, Wang Yiwei, director of the Institute of International Affairs at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Given these growing uncertainties, China found challenges and opportunities equally unprecedented in a century. Holding the belief of being an important force in driving global economic growth and maintaining world peace, China has taken the initiative to provide more public products and set up models for multilateralism over recent years with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) being a classic example, The Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative, setting up Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and calling for BRICS plus and SCO expansion, Wang said. 

China has promoted BRI and signed more than 200 such cooperation documents with 149 countries and 32 international organizations. Cooperation under the BRI has brought expressways to East Africa and a cross-sea bridge to the Maldives, turned Laos from a land-locked to a land-linked country, and made the China-Europe Railway Express an important lifeline in keeping global logistics stable and smooth, the Global Times learnt from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Over the last decade the BRICS grouping of major emerging economies - China, Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa - has become one of the most fundamental forces in the international geo-economic landscape. Since its first formal summit in 2009, through continued diplomatic activity, economic cooperation and strategic dialogue, the group has consolidated shared views on the role of emerging economies in the global system, especially regarding the reform of global governance and multilateral institutions.

As power politics and unilateral hegemony severely undermine multilateralism, various forms of "pseudo-multilateralism" become increasingly confusing, and China is labeled as a "systemic rival" of the US, China still insists on non-alliance, non-confrontation and not targeting any third party, and adheres to true multilateralism and stresses its role as the biggest developing country, Wang said. 

The international order should only be based on the widely recognized international law, not on the so-called rules set by a few countries, let alone impose family rules of themselves on others, Ma noted. "Our efforts to push forward the reform of the global governance system are not to reinvent the wheel, rather, they are to make the system fairer and more reasonable," Ma stressed.

Ma said that since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with greater resolve, more concrete actions and stronger measures, we have built a firm line of defense for national interests and dignity, and maintained the initiative of safeguarding national development and security firmly in our own hands.

Through actions, we tell the world that the era of the Chinese nation being undermined by others is long gone, and no force can stop China's development and progress, Ma said. We will never sit idly by and watch the national interest suffer, and no one should expect China to swallow the bitter fruit of harming its own interests, the vice foreign minister noted.

He continued that over the years, China has categorically defended the one-China principle, established or restored diplomatic ties with nine countries, and resolutely responded to provocations on the Taiwan question, thus consolidating the consensus of the one-China principle across the international community.

On Hong Kong affairs, China forcefully curbed external interferences and sustained the good momentum of Hong Kong's shift from turbulence to law and order. On issues related to Xinjiang, China has debunked disinformation with facts and defeated the political scheme to use Xinjiang region to contain China, and we have also steadily pushed forward consultations on a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea and safeguarded the overall stability in the region, Ma noted.

China has stood up against politicalizing and stigmatizing COVID-19, and was joined by over 80 countries who wrote letters or issued statements against the politicization of tracing the origins of the virus. China has thwarted anti-China moves in the name of human rights at the Human Rights Council and the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly seven times in a row. Nearly 100 countries expressed support for China's just stance and opposed using human rights as a pretext for foreign interference. Through unremitting efforts, Meng Wanzhou returned home safely after over 1,000 days in illegal detention, Ma said. 

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