Chinese diplomacy to continue promoting common path to modernization for all people in 2024
Published: Jan 09, 2024 09:38 PM Updated: Jan 09, 2024 09:39 PM
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, addresses a symposium on the international situation and China's diplomacy in 2023 in Beijing on January 9, 2024. Photo: AFP

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, addresses a symposium on the international situation and China's diplomacy in 2023 in Beijing on January 9, 2024. Photo: AFP

Chinese diplomacy will adhere to the principle of confidence and self-reliance, openness and inclusiveness, fairness and justice and win-win cooperation to promote the common path to modernization for the people of all countries, top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said at a seminar on Tuesday, as he reviewed the accomplishments China made in diplomacy in the previous year and reaffirmed the mission for 2024 that was set by the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs. 

Analysts believe that with the comprehensive plans outlined at the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs, which was held in Beijing from December 27 to 28, 2023, China will continue to collaborate with the international community in addressing the increasing uncertainties and fulfill its role as a stabilizing and global engine.

Wang Yi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and Chinese foreign minister, delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the 2023 International Situation and China's Diplomacy Seminar held in Beijing on Tuesday. 

Wang noted that 2023 was a year of profound changes in international relations and a year of solid progress in China's modernization, as well as a year of exploration and harvest for China's diplomacy. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, Chinese diplomacy has adhered to its principles, made new contributions and innovation to the construction of a strong country and the national rejuvenation, as well as to maintaining world peace and promoting common development in 2023. 

Wang emphasized that in the past year, facing major issues concerning the future and development of humanity and the world, Chinese diplomacy has always stood on the side of historical correctness and progress, making decisions that have withstood the test of practice and time. 

"In the face of cooperation and confrontation, we firmly choose cooperation; in the face of unity and division, we firmly choose unity; in the face of openness and closure, we firmly choose openness; in the face of peace and war, we firmly choose peace; in the face of multilateralism and unilateralism, we firmly choose multilateralism; in the face of justice and power, we firmly choose justice," said Wang. 

With the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs guiding the direction of China's external work in 2024, the country will make further contributions to global governance amid growing challenges, observers said. 

New challenges 

At the Tuesday seminar, Wang reviewed the six highlights of China's diplomacy in 2023, including the head-of-state diplomacy, building a community with a shared future for mankind, the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the expansion of the BRICS mechanism, the China-Central Asia Summit, and the historic reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

On head-of-state diplomacy, Wang noted that throughout 2023, President Xi personally led and participated in two major diplomatic events, attended three multilateral summits, conducted four important visits, and held over 100 meetings, as well as  conversations via video links and phone calls. These have showcased the diverse aspects of China in the new era, promoted China's two-way interactions with the world, and opened up a new chapter in China's foreign relations.

The interactions between President Xi and other top leaders have never been suspended in the past three years, and they only strengthened in 2023, providing strategic guidance to bilateral relations, Wang Huiyao, founder and president of the Center for China and Globalization (CCG), who also attended the Wednesday seminar, told the Global Times.

The expert noted that in 2023, China's diplomacy has been marked by both head-of-state diplomacy and home diplomacy. This includes having invited a large number of foreign leaders, ministers, officials and individuals from various sectors to visit China. Moreover, high-level exchanges have been accompanied by increased people-to-people exchanges between China and other countries, further solidifying the foundations of these bilateral relations.

Su Xiaohui, deputy director of the Department of International and Strategic Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, said that the year 2023 also held great significance for China as the country had implemented major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, resulting in significant achievements.

For instance, following a meeting between their top leaders in San Francisco, China-US relations have gradually stabilized. Su noted that although there are still uncertainties in the bilateral relations, promoting stable China-US relations will benefit both countries and meet the expectations of the international community.

China's diplomatic achievements in 2023 did not happen by chance, Su told the Global Times, noting that China has actively worked to strengthen relations with neighboring countries and build consensus with developing countries in order to create a community of a shared future. 

The expansion of the BRICS bloc highlights the growing influence of emerging economies in global governance, with China playing an increasingly important role. Additionally, China's commitment to promoting peace talks, justice, and fairness has helped facilitate reconciliation in the Middle East, Su said.

Su warned of uncertainties, especially those brought about by the US due to the US presidential election in 2024, coupled with intense domestic conflicts and polarization. The uncertainties will not only impact US domestic politics but also influence its foreign policies, causing growing concerns worldwide.

Su noted that the year 2024 holds significance as it marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Chinese diplomacy will primarily prioritize domestic development and strive to create a favorable environment for growth. Consequently, China will place great emphasis on safeguarding global peace and stability.

All these highlights of Chinese diplomacy in 2023 have showcased the achievements and effectiveness of China's external work guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. Moreover, with the implementation of China's pragmatic diplomatic work and close collaboration with the Global South, the influence of China, one of the responsible major powers, has also increased, Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Tuesday. 

Moreover, as the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East persist into 2024, the international situation has become entangled with chaos and uncertainties. In light of this, the international community is also eagerly anticipating China's increased involvement, Li said.

In 2024, China is poised to assume the role of a stabilizer and an engine, fostering international collaboration and propelling the world toward prosperity, Li said.

During the Wednesday seminar, Wang emphasized that in 2024, Chinese diplomacy, under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi at the core, will continue to combine China's development with the world's development and combine the interests of the Chinese people with the interests of the people of the world. 

Together with other countries, we will shoulder the responsibilities of the times, work together to meet challenges, and promote the world toward a better and brighter future with a broader vision and more proactive actions, Wang said.