China outlines 2014 diplomatic priorities
Global Times | 2013-12-17 0:38:01
By Ling Yuhuan
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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday outlined China's diplomatic priorities for 2014, including enhanced ties  with big powers and economic diplomacy.

"China will further build a framework for its relationships and deepen strategic mutual trust and integration of interests with big powers, which should feature positive interactions and healthy development," Wang said at a forum on China's diplomacy in 2013.

Wang said the Sino-Russian relationship has been upgraded to a new phase and the Sino-US relationship has entered an era of building a new type of relationship between big countries.

China will increase cooperation with US and expand cooperation with Russia in various fields as well as coordinate development strategies with the European Union and enhance cooperation with other developing big powers, he noted.

The minister also pointed out that China should enhance economic diplomacy to serve the far-reaching domestic reform.

In 2014, China will enjoy home advantage in hosting two major diplomatic events including the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia and the APEC summit to strengthen regional security cooperation and promote economic cooperation.

Li Xiangyang, director of the National Institute of International Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that economic diplomacy is considered as a priority because the principle of promoting reform through opening-up has been stressed in documents of the Third Plenary Session of 18th CPC Central Committee.

"As China's international status is rising, it is necessary for the Chinese leadership to take into consideration all the factors in both the domestic and international markets, and make China's diplomatic policies accordingly so that they can better serve the country's domestic reform," Li said.

"China should exploit the advantage of being the host country of APEC and other multilateral or regional meetings next year, and put forward propositions with Chinese characteristics, which can also be accepted by the international community," he added.

Shi Yinhong, director of the Center of American Studies at the Renmin University of China, said that the past G20 summits rarely put forward any appeals for reforms, while the APEC is a loose mechanism, so there will be a lot of difficulties lying ahead for China to put forward a framework that both meets the needs of the international community and domestic reform requirements.

Wang also highlighted China's strategy to forge a Silk Road economic zone and a Maritime Silk Road in the 21st century, noting China will strive for an "early harvest" in those efforts.

Wang said China will insist on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, and strive for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks on the peninsula's nuclear issue; safeguard China's national sovereignty and dignity while settling territorial and maritime disputes with neighboring countries via dialogue; and promote Afghanistan's political reconciliation and economic reconstruction.

Wang also pledged to promote multilateral and bilateral free trade talks, including finishing talks with the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Australia at an early date, upgrading its FTA with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and pushing forward the China-ROK-Japan FTA talks.

He added that China will face the member states of the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks and other FTA initiatives with an open attitude.

Xinhua contributed to this story

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