Scholars debate major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in new era

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/10 20:13:40

Editor's Note:

China's expanding diplomatic influence calls for continued academic support of China's diplomacy. As the Chinese government pledges major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, what is its significance to China and the world? More than 80 Chinese scholars from key universities and institutes offered their insights at a forum themed "Major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in new era," organized by Shanxi University and China Foreign Affairs University on Monday. The event also served to officially launch the school of international studies of Shanxi University. Following are some highlights of the forum.

Jia Lieying, Dean of the School of International Relations, Beijing Language and Culture University

How should we interpret major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics? In my view, it is a manifestation of the State diplomatic system under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC). The importance of the CPC's leadership has been fully demonstrated in the process of China's reform and opening-up. The diplomatic system is no exception. As the international pattern is experiencing profound adjustments and the post-war international order is subject to challenges, our country needs a leadership core of wisdom and commitment alongside an efficient and influential diplomatic system.

Major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics is not only of crucial significance to realizing China's two centenary goals, but also is valuable to world peace and the destiny of humanity. Many developing countries can derive inspiration and encouragement from China's development path to explore modernization that suits their own national conditions. It transcends power politics and will lead the world to avoid the tragedy of great power politics.

Major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics is not a revolutionary idea, but one that buttresses the current international order. Chinese leaders have on many occasions advocated democratizing international relations and insisted on equality of countries regardless of their size, strength and wealth.

Yu Xiaofeng, Professor of Center for Non-Traditional Security & Peaceful Development Studies, Zhejiang University

Implementing the China-proposed Belt and Road initiative needs innovative diplomacy to promote construction of a new type of international relations. As global non-traditional security issues stand out more, non-traditional security diplomacy has become an increasingly important approach to improve global governance, democratization of international relations and global security co-governance. Non-military diplomatic cooperation to deal with economic, ecological and resources crises can all be categorized as non-traditional security diplomacy.

Countries along the route of the Belt and Road constitute a new governance space that spans Asia, Europe and Africa, where numerous cognitive difficulties and operational challenges are bound to emerge. It necessitates non-traditional security diplomacy to bridge different national identities, dissolve disputes of national interests and solve cultural, religious contradictions. More importantly in this way a multifaceted non-traditional security community can be created, boosting China's ability to understand, participate in and lead the world.

Non-traditional security diplomacy involves both state actors and non-government actors. It is a diverse multilateral diplomacy that requires cooperation and co-governance between governments and the international community. Common security won't be realized without innovation and promotion of non-traditional security diplomacy.

Ling Shengli, Associate Professor of Institute of International Relations, China Foreign Affairs University

China's security cooperation with neighboring countries has restricted the effect of our peripheral diplomacy. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, China's peripheral diplomacy has shifted from an economy-led one to one that combines politics, economics and security.

There are three security architectures in the region: the US-led alliance system, multilateral security cooperation adopted by ASEAN and China's cooperative security concept. In China's peripheral regions, for instance, South Asia, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the country that dominates plays by its own rules in terms of peripheral security. Thus competition exists in these different architectures. It remains a question in the Asia-Pacific how the alliance system led by the US can cooperate better with China-led multilateral cooperative security.

How should China build its peripheral security strategy and promote building a peripheral security community? China needs to ponder several questions: for example, the concept of peripheral area; a unified peripheral security institution versus several sub-regional institutions. China needs to ponder how to coordinate between the institution that we intend to build and the existing institutions. My personal view is it is difficult to build a unified peripheral security institution that includes all countries. We can at least set a bottom line for a peripheral security community, which is to abandon war and the use of force with all countries solving conflicts through peaceful means.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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