The foreign relations law puts China's attitude on the table: Global Times editorial
Published: Jun 30, 2023 12:25 AM Updated: Jun 30, 2023 12:12 AM
Photo: VCG

Photo: VCG

The Law on Foreign Relations of the People's Republic of China will come into effect on July 1. It is the first comprehensive foreign relations law in the country since the establishment of the People's Republic of China. It sets out the guiding principles, fundamental positions, and institutional framework of China's foreign work and provides a general regulation for the development of China's foreign relations. China is the first major country to have a foreign relations law, highlighting its distinctive Chinese characteristics. As China increasingly moves closer to the center stage of the world, it has become more necessary to establish a comprehensive legislation in the field of foreign relations. This legislation is not merely a short-term response to external challenges, but is a masterpiece focusing on the development of China's relationship with the world.

Those who have a sincere and positive mindset will find positive aspects in this foreign relations law, including China's development outlook, security concept, concept of civilization, as well as the systematic idea of building a community with a shared future for mankind. The law conveys China's determination to pursue a path of peaceful development, promote the building of a new type of international relations, and construct a community with a shared future for mankind. China advocates for the peaceful resolution of international disputes, opposes the use or threat of force in international relations, and rejects hegemonism and power politics. These principles not only represent China's diplomatic attitude but also serve as solemn legal declarations and practices.

The promulgation of the foreign relations law by China signifies self-improvement under new circumstances and international environments, as well as a transcendence of the old paradigm. Through a complete law, China confirms the peaceful nature of its development and diplomacy, its opposition to hegemonism and power politics, and its openness. No other country has done this before. It is the strongest refutation of the "China threat" theory propagated by the US and the West. China, which breaks the logic of "a strong country is bound to seek hegemony," is setting up a new model of human interaction and has global significance. The stronger China becomes, the greater its contribution to world peace and stability is. As long as countries seek normal relations with China, they will easily perceive China's goodwill and sense of responsibility as a major power from the foreign relations law.

At the same time, this law provides valuable stability to the current global governance system, which is affected by the counter-globalization trend and regional conflicts. For instance, the law explicitly states that the country has the obligation to fulfill treaties and agreements in good faith and clarifies that the country will takes steps to implement sanction resolutions and relevant measures with binding force adopted by the United Nations Security Council in accordance with Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations. It can be said that foreign relations law provides an answer from China on how to properly handle the relationship between domestic law and international law. That is to firmly uphold the UN-centered international system and the international order based on international law, thus steadfastly defending international fairness and justice.

Some Western media and public opinion in the US felt nervous about China's foreign relations law and even attempted to discredit it immediately. This reaction is not surprising. Firstly, it is a projection of the US' long-standing history of abusing legal actions. For decades, Washington has repeatedly trampled on international law and norms through the use of "long-arm jurisdiction" under domestic law, imposing illegal unilateral sanctions or intimidation on other countries, causing significant harm to many countries. Now that they see China has enacted such a law, they naturally and subconsciously worry about whether China will use the same means to "retaliate" against the US. In plain terms, this is their habitual double standard and a manifestation of their guilty conscience due to their extensive history of wrongdoing.

Of course, the enactment of China's foreign relations law has a background, which is the increasingly unreasonable suppression of China by the US. Traditionally, China is a country that values harmony and is reluctant to resort to countermeasures. Now, the foreign relations law further demonstrates China's determination to safeguard national sovereignty security, and development interests in a legal form. In this sense, the foreign relations law has teeth. Anyone who deals with China with malicious intent and attempts to infringe upon China's legitimate rights and interests will definitely feel the pain. This point is also very clear.

In international exchanges, law is an indispensable and important part. It is also a reflection of a country's original intention and attitude in dealing with foreign affairs. To some extent, the promulgation and implementation of the foreign relations law demonstrate and strengthen China's strategic transparency. China's diplomacy is open and aboveboard. We hope to be friends with everyone, but we will not tolerate actions that harm China's interest. Whether it is what we support or oppose, we put it on the table. Shouldn't such a great country be trustworthy, lovable, and respectable?