China stands ready to put into action of GDI, GSI: Government Work Report
Pursuing peace ‘the biggest characteristic’ of China’s foreign policy; two initiatives helpful to tackle urgent hot issues: experts
Published: Mar 05, 2023 11:01 PM
The first session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) on March 5, 2023. Photo: VCG

The first session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) on March 5, 2023. Photo: VCG

China remains committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and to peaceful development, pursues friendship and cooperation with other countries, and stands ready to work with the international community to put into action the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and the Global Security Initiative (GSI), Premier Li Keqiang said in his Government Work Report delivered during the first session of the 14th National People's Congress (NPC) on Sunday. 

Some Chinese experts believe that pursuing peace and pushing forward peaceful development are the biggest characteristics of China's foreign policy, and the GDI and GSI are China's solutions to tackling many urgent global issues. Meanwhile, China will continue retaining the "fighting spirit" in its foreign policy, aiming to safeguard its legitimate rights in sovereignty, security and development. 

However, some Western media consider that the "fighting spirit" is a sign that China's foreign policy is becoming more aggressive. Chinese officials and experts refuted such interpretation during the ongoing two sessions. Some experts said that such allegations reflect the West's hype of the so-called China threat that contradicts the reality, and that China has to fight back against unreasonable containment and unilateral sanctions imposed by certain major countries to safeguard its own rights. 

Over the past five years, we conducted major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics on all fronts, Premier Li said in his report. President Xi Jinping and other Party and state leaders have visited many countries and attended, online or offline, many major diplomatic events, including G20 summits, APEC economic leaders' meetings, high-level meetings commemorating the 75th anniversary of the UN, the East Asia leaders' meetings on cooperation, and China-EU summits, Li noted. 

China has also hosted a number of major diplomatic events, including the Qingdao Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the 14th BRICS Summit, the High-Level Dialogue on Global Development, the first and second Belt and Road forums for international cooperation, and the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, according to the Government Work Report.

With courage and the ability to stand our ground, we resolutely safeguarded China's sovereignty, security, and development interests. We actively expanded global partnerships, worked to build an open world economy, safeguarded multilateralism, and promoted the building of a human community with a shared future, Li said. 

In laying out recommendations for the work of the government in 2023, Li said China should stay committed to an independent foreign policy of peace and to peaceful development, and pursue friendship and cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

"We should remain firm in pursuing a strategy of opening up for mutual benefit. We should continue working to safeguard world peace, contribute to global development, and uphold the international order," he said. 

China stands ready to work with the international community to put into action the GDI and the GSI and promote the shared values of humanity, Li said. 

"The biggest characteristic of China's foreign policy is pursuing peace, which is also the ultimate target of our development and security planning," Li Haidong, a professor with the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Sunday. 

Those two initiatives are China's solutions to tackling global and regional hot issues including poverty alleviation, tackling climate change and resolving disputes between countries to form a pattern that is conducive to peace and common development for all countries, which is fair, reasonable and better than that of the US-led West, Li Haidong said. 

Based on GSI, China unveiled the GSI Concept Paper on February 21 amid the growing risks and challenges the world faces today, especially in light of the Ukraine crisis. In the concept paper, China emphasizes that a nuclear war cannot be won and countries should remain committed to peacefully resolving differences and disputes through dialogue and consultation. 

China also calls on all countries to practice true multilateralism, resist a Cold War mentality, unilateralism, bloc confrontation and hegemonism.

However, some Western media and observers have been interpreting China safeguarding its legitimate rights as an aggressive act. 

In response to a question about China's "Foreign Relations Law," which stipulates that China could take countermeasures and restrictions when necessary, from a foreign reporter who also asked will Chinese diplomacy become increasingly aggressive, Wang Chao, spokesperson for the first session of the 14th NPC, said at a press conference on Saturday that it is totally justifiable and necessary for China to make legislative efforts to counter containment, suppression and interference from external forces. 

"Over the past few years, certain major countries have been continuously containing China, drawing up blocs by values and ideologies and hurt our interests by imposing unilateral sanctions, and under such circumstances, we have to take countermeasures," Su Xiaohui, deputy director of the Department of International and Strategic Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times on Sunday.

"Such a fighting spirit is not aggressive but legitimate. China's diplomacy serves our domestic development. We need to develop stable and harmonious relations with neighboring countries and major countries and make as many friends as possible in the world," Su said. 

When it comes to China's alleged diplomatic "fight," it is not China taking the initiative to fight. "If there are some countercurrents in the world, in terms of maintaining international rules, China has to fight to safeguard its own interests while also promoting the long-term development of the world," she said.