2015: A Year of Flying Colors for Pursuing Major-Country Diplomacy with Distinctive Chinese Features

Wang Yi, China International Studies, January/February 2016

As 2015, a year of great importance to both China and the world, is drawing to an end, it is time for me to review the progress made in China’s diplomacy.

The year 2015 is a crucial one in the advance of human history.

Seventy years ago, the United Nations was established following the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War. Countries around the world have held commemorations on that part of history which reshaped the future of mankind to draw lessons from history, prevent recurrence of similar tragedies and deliver a better future of peace and prosperity. Pursuing peace and development, China joined the international community in setting the sustainable development goals for 2030 and post-2020 climate change agenda, two priorities on the global agenda. China has also strengthened international cooperation to combat terrorism and address other global challenges.

wang yi

The year 2015 is an important one for achieving the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Also 70 years ago, the Chinese people fought heroically against the barbarous aggression of Japanese militarists and won China’s national liberation and independence. Led by the Communist Party of China (CPC), the Chinese people of all ethnicities have embarked on the path of building socialism with distinctive Chinese features. In 2015, under the leadership of the CPC central committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as the General Secretary, we have worked hard to implement the Four Pronged Comprehensive Strategy and adopted a proposal on China’s 13th Five-Year development plan; and we are endeavoring to achieve the first centenary goal, i.e. to finish the building of a moderately prosperous society in China by 2020.

Embracing major changes in both domestic and international environment under the leadership of the CPC central leadership, we have launched major initiatives and made much progress on the international front. The year 2015 has been a year of flying colors for China’s pursuit of major-country diplomacy with distinctive Chinese features.

First, China’s international standing has been fully raised.

China pursued an active diplomatic agenda in 2015, proposing a number of initiatives and solutions with far-reaching significance in political, economic and security fields. China has grown into an indispensable force in shaping international relations and plays a constructive role in upholding world peace and promoting global development.

We successfully held commemorations on the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War Against Japanese Aggression and the end of the World Anti-Fascist War, sending a strong message of upholding peace and justice to the world. Chinese President Xi Jinping and leaders and representatives of 60 countries and regional and international organizations reaffirmed their commitment to the post- WWII international systém with the UN at its core and the basic norms governing international relations based on the UN Charter. They also renewed their commitment to upholding the hard-won peace and stability of the world, and expressed firm opposition to moves aimed at reversing the trend of history. All this has boosted the pursuit of peace and justice by the human society.

We have continued our efforts to grow the world economy and provided new impetus to global financial stability and reform. Despite downward pressure at home and abroad, the Chinese economy will grow by around 7% in 2015, leading the world and contributing to 1/3 of global growth. China has thus remained an indisputable main engine driving the world economy.

We initiated the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the BRICS New Development Bank, the very first multilateral financial institutions established by developing countries, thus injecting fresh impetus to global economic and financial governance and reform. The RMB has been included into the IMF’s SDR currency basket. The inclusion marks the international status of a currency of developing countries, boosted international community’s confidence in China’s economy and will enhance the current international monetary and financial system and make it more balanced.

We have been actively involved in pursuing major goals on the global agenda and made important contribution to advancing them. When attending the summits commemorating the 70th anniversary of the UN, President Xi Jinping elaborated on China’s positions on major international issues and announced a number of major Chinese initiatives. These include the following: the establishment of a China-UN peace and development fund and a fund assistance for South-South cooperation. China’s joining of the UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System and the building of a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops, and China’s cancellation of debts owed by the least developed countries. China successfully co-hosted with the UN the Roundtable on South-South Cooperation and the Global Leaders’ Meeting on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, which were well attended. The international community has high expectations of China as it has taken over next year’s G20 presidency.

We have acted as a responsible major power and played an important leadership role in enhancing global cooperation on climate change. After reaching the ground-breaking Joint Announcement on Climate Change with the United States last year, China submitted on schedule its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the secretariat of the UNFCCC. And we issued joint statements on climate change successively with the European Union, France, India and Brazil. China announced the establishment of a RMB20 billion South-South Climate Cooperation Fund. At the recently held Paris Climate Conference, President Xi set forth China’s position on climate change and global climate governance. Together with other leaders, he made important contribution to reaching a comprehensive, balanced, ambitious and binding post-2020 agreement on climate change at the conference.

We have offered China’s solutions to hot-spot issues, and played a constructive role in upholding world peace and security, from China’s close neighboring areas to distant West Asia and North Africa. China was deeply engaged in negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue and made vigorous mediation efforts. China contributed its share to resolving the crucial issues of the redesign and modernization of Arak heavy water reactor, thus making it possible to reach a comprehensive agreement. China worked with Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to mediate domestic reconciliation in South Sudan, which was broadly welcomed by the international community.

We raised a four-step framework proposal on achieving political settlement of the Syrian issue and joined relevant international mediation in an objective and balanced way. We have dispatched over 2,700 peacekeepers to many hot-spot areas across the world to uphold local peace and stability.

Together with Pakistan, and with US participation, we have brought the Afghan government and Taliban to peace talks, thus ushering the Afghan peace process into a new stage. We made vigorous efforts to uphold peace on the Korean Peninsula and build consensus for resuming the Six- Party Talks. We sternly condemn and oppose terrorism in all forms and support both international and regional counter-terrorism cooperation. We take the position that in conducting counter-terrorism cooperation, we should be guided by basic norms governing international relations, respect a country’s sovereignty and reject double standards. We should tackle both the symptoms and root causes of terrorism, and pool strengths of all parties to remove the breeding ground of terrorism.

Second, we have advanced China’s diplomacy on all fronts.

On the basis of completing the general layout of China’s diplomatic agenda in the past two years, we have pursued this year’s diplomacy with greater intensity and deepened relations with countries on major fronts.

North America: President Xi Jinping paid a successful historic visit to the United States. Following their meetings in Sunnylands, California, and Zhongnanhai, Beijing, President Xi and President Obama had an autumn meeting in the White House. They reaffirmed the important consensus of building a new model of major-country relations and sought synergy between the development goals and national strategies of the two countries. With keen appreciation of the growing converging interests between China and the United States, they agreed to actively fulfill the two countries’ international responsibilities to the human society. The meeting produced 50 agreements and outcomes and laid out a new vision of promoting strategic cooperation in various areas. During his visit to both the West

Coast and the East Coast, to both the innovation center and the political center, and in his engagement with both ordinary Americans and public leaders, President Xi sent a strong message of forging enduring friendship and win-win cooperation to the American people, laying a solid foundation for the long-term growth of China-US relations.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Chinese and Russian presidents attended the commemorations of the victory of the Second World War held in each other’s country and jointly upheld international justice and conscience. The political mutual trust between the two countries was further enhanced, and China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination has maintained a high-standard performance. Steady progress has been made in cooperation on major projects in energy, aviation and space. A cooperation agreement on building a high-speed railway between Moscow and Kazan was signed, and cooperation on development in Russia’s Far East region entered a new stage. President Xi Jinping paid successful visits to Kazakhstan and Belarus and Premier Li Keqiang chaired the prime ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. China has had top-level exchanges with almost all countries in the region.

Europe: President Xi Jinping paid a grand state visit to the United Kingdom. The two countries agreed to establish a global comprehensive strategic partnership for the 21st century, ushering in a golden age of China-UK relations and setting the pace for deepening mutual trust and cooperation between a major emerging country and a traditional power. Premier Li Keqiang paid successful visits to France and the EU and had the first meeting with the new EU leadership. The visits charted a new course for China’s cooperation with France and EU. China and Germany had their first high-level financial dialogue, and, a few days later, I will go to Germany to attend the first China-Germany strategic dialogue on diplomacy and security. The “16+1” cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European countries has registered rapid progress. The first leaders’ meeting of the two sides held in China affirmed our commitment to forging an open, inclusive and win-win partnership and identified six major areas of cooperation, which constituted a new 1+6 cooperation pattern. This year, China has had high-level exchange of visits with 21 European countries, promoted balanced cooperation with all countries across Europe and has made progress in building partnerships for peace, growth, reform and civilization with Europe.

Asia Pacific: President Xi Jinping attended the Asian-African Summit and commemorations of the 60th anniversary of the Bandung Conference, pointing the way of deepening Asia-Africa cooperation, South-South cooperation as well as North-South cooperation in a new era. Premier Li Keqiang visited the Republic of Korea and relaunched the China-Japan-ROK leaders’ meeting which had been put on hold for three years. We successfully hosted Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit to China, strengthening mutual trust and cooperation between the two major developing countries. When a devastating earthquake hit Nepal, there was an outpouring of sympathy in China towards the people affected by the disaster, and we provided immediate relief assistance to the Nepalese people across the Himalayas. Together with Indochina countries which are China’s close neighbors, we held the first Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, officially launching this new model of sub-regional cooperation process. We have pursued the free trade strategy at a faster pace to build a free trade network with focus on China’s neighbors and covering the whole world. Free Trade Agreements with the Republic of Korea and Australia were signed and approved, negotiations on upgrading China- ASEAN FTA were completed and preparations have been stepped up on upgrading China-Singapore FTA. Major progress has been made in RCEP negotiations, and all parties agreed to complete negotiations in 2016.

Africa and Latin America: For the first time, the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation was held in Africa. President Xi Jinping and leaders of 50 African countries as well as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission attended the summit and made a comprehensive decision to boost China-Africa cooperation in all areas. We put forward a ten-point cooperation plan, designed to enhance Africa’s capacity for self-development and meet the pressing need of the African people. This initiative, a banner in China-Africa solidarity and cooperation and a fine example in South- South cooperation, will enable China to continue to lead in international cooperation with Africa and raise China-Africa friendly ties to a new high. The first ministerial meeting of the Forum of China and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) was held in China, which produced new consensus on building an all-round China-CELAC cooperative partnership of equality, mutual benefit and common development and launched the all-round China-CELAC cooperation mechanism. Premier Li Keqiang visited four Latin American countries, where he sought to align the development strategies of the two sides and promoted a flagship project in production capacity cooperation, namely, a railway linking the Pacific and the Atlantic. China’s diplomacy this year started with the China-CELAC cooperation forum and concluded with the China-Africa cooperation forum, which created good momentum for China’s cooperation with other developing countries in these two vital regions.

Third, we have formed synergy between the development strategies of China and the relevant countries.

This year has seen the completion and launch of the implementation plan of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road for the 21st Century, namely, the “Belt and Road” initiative. China has worked actively to create synergy between its development strategy and those of countries along the routes in accordance with the principle of engaging in extensive consultation, making joint contribution and sharing benefits. China has signed Belt and Road cooperation agreements with more than 20 countries. With the global economy in the doldrums, the Belt and Road initiative has created new hope and new prospect for and instilled dynamism in the Eurasian and global economy.

The Belt and Road initiative has made significant progress in Eurasia, where it was launched. This year, China and Russia, as two major countries on the Eurasian continent, further coordinated their development strategies, signed the joint statement on coordinating development of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Eurasian Economic Union, set up a coordinating mechanism and decided that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be the main platform for advancing this goal, thus greatly boosting the implementation of the Belt and Road initiative in Eurasia. Over the course of this year, China has signed cooperation agreements on pursuing the Belt and Road initiative with almost all Central Asian and Transcaucasian countries. In two days’ time, the annual meeting of the prime ministers of the SCO member states will be held in Zhengzhou, which will be a good opportunity for China to further discuss with Eurasian countries effective ways of enhancing integration and mutually beneficial cooperation.

The Belt and Road initiative has created closer linkages between the development of China and Europe. The two sides decided to synergize the Belt and Road initiative and the Investment Plan for Europe, discussed the establishment of the China-EU Joint Investment Fund and set up the Connectivity Platform. China and the UK explored the possibility of cooperation under the Belt and Road initiative and the UK’s National Infrastructure Plan and the Northern Powerhouse program. China and Germany established a mechanism of aligning “Made in China 2025” and Germany’s Industry 4.0 initiative. The Central and Eastern European countries (CEECs) are the eastern gateway of Europe. China has signed governmental MOUs on pursuing Belt and Road initiative with six CEECs, including Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Under the “16+1” cooperation framework, China and CEECs also decided to launch a cooperation initiative involving ports of the Adriatic, Baltic and Black seas, accelerate the opening of the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line with the Budapest-Belgrade railway link as its main component, and explore a new connectivity cooperation framework.

The Belt and Road initiative has boosted the prospect of Asia’s prosperity. In Northeast Asia, China and the ROK decided to synergize four development strategies. China and Mongolia agreed to link the Silk

Road and Mongolia’s Steppe Road initiative. China, Russia and Mongolia reached important consensus on building an economic corridor linking the three countries and signed the medium-term roadmap for trilateral cooperation. In Southeast Asia, China and Indonesia agreed to speed up the alignment of their development strategies. China and Vietnam have intensified consultations on cooperation between the Belt and Road initiative and “two corridors and one ring” initiative. China and Singapore explored the possibility of jointly opening market in third countries under the Belt and Road initiative. Important progress has been made in enhancing connectivity between China and Southeast Asia. China and Indonesia agreed to jointly build the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway. Construction of the China-Laos railway and China-Thailand railway will soon begin. Work of charting the route of the China-Vietnam railway has accelerated. Thanks to these efforts, the long-expected Pan-Asian Railway network has got off ground. In South Asia, China and India have strengthened Belt and Road cooperation in infrastructure. The roadmap of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has been further refined and a number of key projects have been launched. Initial progress has been made in the work of the joint working group of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor. A major transport route connecting East Asia and South Asia will soon take shape.

International cooperation on production capacity and equipment manufacturing has become an important way to achieve win-win progress. Over the course of this year, we have signed agreements on enhancing production capacity cooperation with more than 20 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe, promoting our common development. We have created a new model of production capacity cooperation with Kazakhstan under which a cooperation package containing 45 early harvest projects worth over 20 billion US dollars was agreed upon. We set up a US$30-billion fund for production capacity cooperation with Latin America and a US$20-billion bilateral production capacity cooperation fund with Brazil. The China-Africa Fund for Production Capacity

Cooperation with an initial contribution of US$10 billion was set up. We signed the MOU with the African Union on cooperation on road, railway and aviation networks and industrialization in Africa, and discussions regarding implementation are under way. China has carried out production capacity cooperation of various forms, focusing on industrial parks in neighboring countries, cross-border economic cooperation zones and port industrial zones. China signed cooperation documents on exploring third country market with France and the ROK respectively, creating a new model of North-South and South-South cooperation.

Fourth, China’s diplomatic theory has been further enriched.

China’s fast-paced diplomatic practices have created a new vision for China’s diplomacy. At last year’s Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs, the building of a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation was set as the goal of China’s diplomacy. This year, China put forward a new vision of building a community of shared future for mankind. In his important addresses made at the annual meeting of Boao Forum for Asia and the summits at the United Nations, President Xi Jinping elaborated on what this vision is about. The following is what President Xi envisions: Partnerships based on equality, consultation, mutual understanding and accommodation; a security architecture featuring fairness, justice, joint contribution and shared benefits; open, innovative and inclusive development that benefits all, inter-civilization exchanges that promote harmony and inclusiveness and respect differences; and an ecosystem that puts Mother Nature and green development first. Together, these five elements constitute a broad vision for building a community of shared future for mankind.

Based on a keen appreciation of the underlying global trend, this vision focuses on the future progress of mankind. This concept and the call of building a new type of international relations draw on and enrich each other, and both are about cooperation and win-win progress. Both embody China’s aspiration to make our world a better place and its tireless pursuit  of this goal. The new type of international relations is about what kind of state-to-state relations China wishes to build, and the community of shared future is about what kind of world China hopes to create. The latter has profound political, economic, security, cultural and ecological dimensions. This new vision has received extensive recognition and endorsement by the international community, particularly the developing world. It has become a new hallmark of China’s diplomacy on the international stage.

The year 2016 will be the first year for implementing China’s 13th Five- Year Plan. It will also see accelerated adjustment and transformation of the international architecture from a new starting point. In conducting diplomacy, we will follow the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping as General Secretary, act in accordance with the vision of major-country diplomacy with distinctive Chinese features, and assume our due international responsibilities so as to foster a more favorable external environment for China’s endeavor to finish building a society of initial prosperity in all respects and make more contribution to global peace and development.

We will redouble efforts to promote development at home. To get the implementation of the 13th Five-Year Plan off to a good start will be the central task for the whole Party and the nation next year. China’s diplomacy will be conducted to help accomplish this task. We will give priority to pursuing the Belt and Road initiative, focus on connectivity and production capacity cooperation, and achieve synergy between the development strategies of China and other countries concerned. We will strengthen discussion and coordination with countries along the Belt and Road areas and make the Belt and Road initiative deliver more early outcomes. Flagship projects will be launched by the AIIB and the Silk Road Fund in production capacity cooperation. We will work to conclude new free trade agreements and upgrade the existing ones, and on the basis of achieving win-win outcomes, expand the international market and increase external driving force for promoting economic growth at home.

We will strive to lead global growth. China is the world’s second largest economy and has made more contribution to global growth than any other country. The international community has high hopes on China and expects it to play a bigger role in the global economy. It hopes that China will work with other major economies to steer the world economy out of the doldrums. China will host the G20 summit in Hangzhou next autumn, which will be the first G20 summit hosted by China and another important global economic forum following last year’s successful APEC meetings held in Beijing. At next year’s G20 summit, leaders of major economies will meet by the side of the West Lake, and all eyes will be on China again. Guided by the principles of openness, transparency and inclusiveness, we will maintain consultation and coordination with other G20 member states to ensure a successful summit that will unlock fresh driving force for global growth, produce new solutions to global economic problems, chart a new pathway for improving economic and financial governance, and make new contribution to building an innovative, invigorated, interconnected and inclusive world economy.

We will endeavor to uphold world peace. In the face of an intricate and volatile international landscape, we will continue efforts to build a framework of major-country relations featuring positive interaction and winwin cooperation, and we will work with Russia, the United States, European countries and major emerging countries to tackle global challenges. We will continue to get actively involved in seeking political settlement of various hotspot issues in the Middle East, Africa and China’s neighborhood area in a constructive and responsible manner, and we will fully honor our solemn pledges to UN peacekeeping missions. We will continue to take an active part in international counter-terrorism cooperation in our own way, firmly uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime, and enhance dialogue and cooperation with other countries on fostering a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative international cyberspace.

We will actively contribute our share to the development of our region. We will work with other countries to build a community of shared future in Asia to maintain stability and promote economic development of the region. We are committed to upholding peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, fully support the improvement of inter-Korean relations, and will work tirelessly to create conditions for the resumption of the Six-Party Talks. We will host commemorative events to mark the 25th anniversary of China-ASEAN dialogue relations, implement the upgraded version of China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement, take China- ASEAN friendship and cooperation to a new stage and ensure the success of the inaugural Lancang-Mekong Cooperation Leaders’ Meeting. We support India in hosting the BRICS Leaders’ Meeting, and will work to create synergy between China’s development strategy and those of South Asian countries. We will stay actively involved in Afghanistan’s peace and reconstruction endeavor and support the resumption of the process of national reconciliation in Afghanistan. We will take the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia as two platforms to deepen practical cooperation with the Central Asian countries and support them in pursuing enduring peace, stability, development and prosperity.

With regard to the South China Sea, an issue that has attracted much attention this year, we will, on the basis of respecting historical facts and acting in keeping with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and other international law as well as various agreements reached by China and ASEAN countries, continue to resolutely safeguard our lawful and legitimate territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. We are firmly opposed to the moves taken by a handful of countries and non-regional forces to exacerbate disputes and create tension. At the same time, we stand ready to take the dual-track approach widely accepted by countries in the region. Specifically, we will seek proper settlement of disputes and keep differences under effective control through dialogue and consultation with countries directly involved in accordance with the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. At the same time, we will work with ASEAN countries to maintain peace, stability and freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea.

We will endeavor to fulfill our responsibilities to the well-being of our people. To serve the people remains an abiding goal of China’s diplomacy and to ensure that Chinese nationals are well treated and safe abroad is the bounden duty of China’s diplomacy. In 2015, we have reached agreements with 16 countries including France and Argentina on facilitating personnel exchanges; and we have reached agreement with Canada on issuing visa valid for up to 10 years and with the European Union on the roadmap of negotiation on a personnel exchange agreement. We safely evacuated 613 Chinese nationals from Yemen after turbulence broke out in the country and brought back 5,685 Chinese from the airport in Nepal’s capital after the country was hit by a massive earthquake. We have properly handled close to 60,000 consular protection cases involving the rights, interests and safety of Chinese nationals in various countries. Over 100,000 calls have been handled by the Foreign Ministry’s Global Emergency Call Center for Consular Protection and Services through the 12308 hotline. We have successfully rescued close to 20 Chinese nationals taken hostage overseas. Still, we are saddened that Chinese nationals were killed in violent and terrorist attacks or as hostages. With the implementation of the 13th Five- Year Plan next year, China will open up at a faster pace. The number of Chinese nationals going abroad is expected to rise steadily, and China’s overseas presence will also expand. With this in mind, we will, with a strong sense of responsibility to our people and our nation, work with all relevant government departments to intensify efforts to protect and assist Chinese nationals overseas and do all that is necessary to ensure the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese nationals and businesses abroad as well as the safety of their lives and property.

All of you present here are leading Chinese scholars and researchers on international relations, and you have contributed your share to the successful conduct of China’s diplomacy. Here, on behalf of the Foreign Ministry, I express our most sincere appreciation to you. I am sure we can count on your continued interest in and support for China’s diplomacy.

This is the speech made by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Opening Ceremony of the Symposium on International Developments and China’s Diplomacy in 2015 that was co-hosted by China Institute of International Studies and China Foundation for  International Studies on December 12, 2015.


Forging a Community of Shared Destiny for Mankind: The “Global Dream” of China

Ruan Zongze, China International Studies, January/February 2016

In his New Year Message for 2016, Chinese President Xi Jinping said, “It’s such a big world with so many problems. The international community expects to hear China’s voice and see its proposals. We cannot be absent.” Recognizing the profound changes taking place in the global landscape and the development trend of human society, President Xi has put forward a new concept of international relations, which is to “build a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core, and forge the community of shared destiny for all humankind.” This is not only a declaration of policy, but also a vision for international relations that transcends the old “zero sum game.”

Core of President Xi Jinping’s Diplomatic Theories and Practice

In the new year message, President Xi expressed the hope that “the international community can join hands to contribute more peace and cooperation to the world, turn confrontation into cooperation, turn conflicts into peace, and work together to build a community of shared destiny possessed and shared by people of all countries.” This is China’s world view; and also its global dream.


The opening ceremony of the AIIB was held on January 16, 2016. The photo snapped the moment that President Xi unveiled the symbol sculpture of the AIIB –“Midas Touch.”

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in November 2012, the CPC Central Committee with President Xi Jinping as general secretary has been actively promoting the establishment of a “community of shared destiny for all humankind,” with win-win cooperation as its core value, refuting the idea that “a country will definitely seek hegemony once it becomes strong.” In March 2013, President Xi delivering a speech in Russia in which he said, “In the world today, countries are interconnected and interdependent in an unprecedented way. The human race lives in the same global village, and in the same space where history and reality meet. We are increasingly a community of shared destiny in which we are becoming ever more closely interconnected.” In April of the same year, in his speech during the Boao Forum for Asia, Xi stressed that, “Humans have only one planet, and all countries share the same world. Common development is an important basis for sustainable development, which is in line with the long-term and fundamental interests of people in all countries. As we live in the same global village, we should firmly establish a sense of a community of shared destiny, act in keeping with the times, grasp the correct direction, and make joint efforts to bring the development of Asia and beyond to a new level.” Xi has said he likes the phrase “community of shared destiny” very much, and in December 2015, he proposed “building a cyberspace community of shared destiny” at the Second World Internet Conference.

In September 2015, in his speech at the 70th UN General Assembly, Xi said that all countries now depend on each other and share together each other’s weal and woe. He said all countries should inherit and carry forward the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, build a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core, and establish a community of shared destiny for all humankind. He called for partnerships featuring equal treatment, wide consultation and mutual understanding, and the upholding of integrity and justice, and urged the establishment of a security structure shared by all. He said countries’ development paths should be mutually beneficial, inclusive and respect nature, and exchanges between civilizations featuring mutual accommodation and harmony without uniformity should be promoted. At the 2015 Boao Forum for Asia, Xi outlined four principles to promote the establishment of a community of shared destiny for all humankind: all countries should uphold mutual respect and equal treatment; adhere to win-win cooperation and common development; achieve common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security; and stick to inclusiveness, mutual accommodation, mutual learning and borrowing between different civilizations. From bilateral communities of shared destiny to regional communities of shared destiny, to a community of shared destiny for humankind, Xi has continually broadened the scope of China’s vision of a common community.

In recent years, China has being building communities of shared destiny with Arab states, Latin American countries, African countries and ASEAN countries. It has further proposed to build an “Asian community of shared destiny,” “a community of shared destiny with China’s neighboring countries” and “a community of shared destiny for all humankind.” Xi has explained the concept in different ways. For example: “Once the water rises, the lotus blooms higher”; “You travel faster when you travel alone, but you travel farther when you travel with others”; “One single tree is incapable of blocking the wind”; “When the big river is full of water, the smaller ones will never run dry, and vice versa”; “One will burn one’s hair blowing out another’s candle”; “A single flower does not make a spring, which is defined by all flowers in bloom.” These traditional expressions vividly portray the concept, and show that a community of common destiny for all humankind is now at the heart of China’s diplomatic theory and practice. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has pointed out that the country’s new type of international relations answer the question of what kind of international relations China wants to build. And a community of shared destiny for humankind further answers the question of what kind of a world China seeks to build. “Once this important idea was raised, it was universally recognized and welcomed by the international community, developing countries in particular. It is becoming another important banner of China’s diplomacy on the global stage.”

The Chinese Dream and a Community of Shared Destiny

Provide Opportunities for Each Other First of all, the destiny of China is closely related to that of the world. The Chinese dream and the dream of building a community of shared destiny for all humankind depend on each other and reinforce each other. China thus has two dreams: the Chinese dream and a global dream. The realization of the Chinese dream also requires the construction of the community of shared destiny for all humankind. While, at the same time, it is of great significance for the global community that China realize the Chinese dream.

Never before has China been so close to the center of the global stage. Since the 18th CPC National Congress, it has been a common expectation of the Chinese people that the Chinese dream of achieving the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation will be realized. The realization of the Chinese dream and the peaceful development of the world are closely associated and offer opportunities to each other. On December 5, 2012, when he was talking to foreign experts living in China, President Xi mentioned the relationship between China’s development and the shared destiny of the global community, saying, “Our undertaking is an undertaking to achieve win-win cooperation with all countries around the world. The international community is increasingly becoming a community of shared destiny in which every country is dependent on one another.” Countries should be consistent with the trend of the times, grasp the right direction, and achieve mutual benefit and win-win results by firmly establishing the awareness of a community of shared destiny for all mankind.

In the face of the great changes and adjustments taking place in the world, China’s diplomacy in the new era has adopted a broader global vision and sense of responsibility. The CPC Central Committee coordinates domestic and international policies, strengthens top-level design, and combines various diplomatic approaches such as host diplomacy, pointenhancing diplomacy, and multilateral diplomacy. Being both flexible and pragmatic, China’s diplomacy employs both hard and soft approaches and makes greater progress with each passing year. Xi makes the most of various international occasions and forums to explain to the outside world “China’s story” and create a favorable environment for the realization of the Chinese dream. He clarifies what kind of a country China is, China’s commitment to a peaceful path of development, the future prospects for the Chinese economy, and why the Chinese dream is of great significance to the world. Xi has pointed out that we should “focus on the new situation and new tasks, actively promote diplomatic innovation in terms of theory and practice, give priority to explaining how the Chinese dream is relevant to the world, enrich the strategic thinking of peaceful development, establish a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, uphold friendship and use the right way to achieve interests, advocate common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security values, build a new type of relationship between major countries, put forward and implement the philosophy on peripheral diplomacy of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and carry out the guidelines of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith in our relations with African countries.

In 2015, China made sustained efforts to strengthen its diplomacy and this yielded remarkable results. President Xi made eight foreign visits in 2015, covering four continents, 14 countries and nine international conferences. The fruits of these include: the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which has been officially launched, preliminary achievements of the Belt and Road Initiative, China provided another $60 billion as assistance for Africa, the renminbi was successfully included in the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights basket of currencies, and China joined the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The US Congress approved the reform program of the IMF, which raised China’s share in the institution from 3.996 percent to 6.394 percent, and it now ranks third among all member countries, up from sixth. This move has added to China’s weight in the global economy. The free trade agreements China signed with South Korea and Australia came into force on December 20, 2015. All these show, as Xi said, “China will always open its arms to the rest of the world; and we will try our best to help those in need. We will make our circle of friends larger and larger.”

Second, the world expects China to play a greater role. By advocating the building a community of shared destiny for all humankind, President Xi is demonstrating China’s willingness to shoulder greater responsibility in world affairs. And, as he has pointed out, that while the Chinese people uphold patriotism, they also have global horizons and think globally. As the country’s national strength grows, China will shoulder more international responsibilities and obligations within its capabilities, so as to make greater contributions to world peace and global development.10 Today’s China is a global country. The Chinese people share weal and woe with the rest of the planet. As a builder of and contributor to the international order, China actively participates in global governance, and it is expanding its status and role in world affairs. China played a key role in the making of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the post-2020 climate change arrangement. It has also actively responded to all kinds of global challenges, including terrorism. In September 2015, during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, President Xi expounded China’s “five-in-one” values on international order, which was the first time that the ecological system was introduced in the context of the international order.

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. As a founding member of the UN, China has taken concrete actions to support the organization in its efforts to play a larger role. Xi announced that China would join the new UN peacekeeping standby mechanism. China has taken the lead in the formation of a standing peacekeeping force, and established a 8,000-people standby peacekeeping force. In the next five years, China will train 2,000 peacekeeping personnel for other countries, and carry out 10 mine clearance assistance projects; provide the African Union with $100 million of free military assistance, so as to support the establishment of Africa’s standing army and emergency response forces; arrange the first helicopter unit for the peacekeeping operations of the UN in Africa; and part of the China-UN Peace and Development Fund will be used to support the peacekeeping operations of the UN.11 Xi stressed in the UN Development Summit that we needed to promote fair, open, comprehensive and innovative development. In the future, China will continue to follow the principle of “pursuing both integrity and interests, with priority given to integrity,” and make joint efforts with other countries to realize the post-2015 development agenda. China will establish the South-South cooperation assistance fund, and offer $2 billion as the first period support for developing countries to implement their post-2015 development agenda. It will also intensify its investment in the least developed countries, striving to invest $12 billion by 2030. It will also remit the unpaid intergovernmental interest-free loans and debts due by 2015 of the least developed countries, inland developing countries and small island developing countries.12 Though still a developing country, China is willing to do its best to contribute to the economic growth of other developing countries and the improvement of people’s livelihoods in those countries.

From late November to early December 2015, during the opening session of the Paris Conference on Climate Change, President Xi called on the developed countries to share more and take more responsibility to achieve mutual benefits and win-win results. He further said that we should ensure the effective compliance and implementation of international rules, uphold democracy, equality, justice, and the international rule of law, and follow the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, and that all countries should be allowed to seek the strategies and responses to climate change most suited to their national conditions. During the critical period of negotiations, President Xi talked to President Obama on the telephone, which played a major role in enabling the conference to achieve concrete results. After the Paris climate change agreement was signed, Xi talked with Obama again, as scheduled, to emphasize that China stands ready to coordinate and cooperate with all relevant parties including the United States, so as to ensure the effective implementation of the agreement, expand bilateral pragmatic cooperation in the field of climate change, and bring more and better benefits to people of China and the United States, as well as the other parts of the world. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that China had demonstrated “strong leadership” to promote and secure an agreement in Paris.

Focusing on the building of a community of common destiny for all humankind, President Xi has spread China’s voice by fully explaining China’s views on the most important issues facing the world today, covering such fields as politics, economy, security, culture, global governance, the environment, development, counterterrorism, nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, peacekeeping, the rights of women, and natural disasters. These efforts have raised the strength of China’s voice in discussing global issues and shaping international rules, enhanced the transparency and predictability of China’s policies, and won the praise of the international community.

The Building of a Community of Shared Destiny for All Humankind Promotes Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics

The concept of a community of common destiny for all humankind has enriched China’s strategic thinking of peaceful development. The report of the 18th CPC National Congress points out that China will continue to hold high the banners of peace, development, cooperation and win-win results, and will unswervingly seek to safeguard world peace and promote common development. It further stresses that China remains committed to the path of peaceful development, adheres to an independent foreign policy of peace, and follows its opening-up strategy for mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. In January 2013, when he was presiding over the group study of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee, President Xi pointed out that while pursuing the path of peaceful development, we cannot sacrifice our core national interests. For the first time, the Chinese leader clarified the dialectics of China’s peaceful development as well as its bottom line. He stressed that China should be good at analyzing the general situation to make the right decisions while “grasping the international trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation, and the domestic trend of prosperity, strength, democracy, cultural progress, and harmony.”


The Paris Climate Conference is held from 30 November to 12 December 2015 aimed
at reaching an inter’l deal to limit greenhouse gas emissions and curtail climate change.

Faced with rapid changes in the international situation, China’s diplomatic thinking and practice have been highly innovative, demonstrating distinct Chinese characteristics: In terms of major-country relations, China has proposed a new type of major country relationship featuring “nonconflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation”; in terms of country-to-country relations, it follows a path of “upholding dialogue rather than confrontation, and partnership rather than alignment.” China seeks to make friends with as many countries as possible, and forge a network of partnerships covering the whole world and a circle of friends that expands with each passing year (see the chart below). But even as China promotes the establishment of a community of shared destiny for all humankind, it must properly deal with its relations with other major countries, as well as its developing neighbors. In terms of conflicts, China consistently advocates solving disputes through dialogue and disagreements through consultations.

China’s partnerships with 74 countries or organizations at the end of 2015


Note: Resource from mfa.gov.cn, xinhuanet.com and people.com.cn, as of 2015.

China-Russia relations have been managed at a high level. Russia outnumbers all other countries as the host of President Xi’s visits. Both in 2013 and 2014, President Xi paid visits to Russia. In May and July 2015, he went to Russia twice to attend the event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the victory of Russia’s great patriotic war, and the BRICS Summit and SCO Summit in Ufa. President Putin also visited China in early September 2015 to attend the event commemorating the 70th anniversary of victory in the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945) and the world’s war against fascism. The two leaders have had close communication and frequent meetings. In December, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev co-chaired the 20th China-Russian regular prime ministerial meeting in Beijing, with over 30 bilateral cooperation documents signed to enrich the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries. China and Russia also cooperate closely within the platforms of United Nations, G20, and BRICS. The coordination and communication on international and regional issues have enriched and deepened the China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination.

China has pioneered a new type of major country relationship with the United States. China-US relations in the 21st century and the future of the world will be determined by whether the two countries, as the world’s largest and second-largest economies, can coexist peacefully. In February 2012, when Xi was visiting the United States as Chinese vice-president, he proposed building a new type of major country relationship. This was unprecedented. In November of the same year, the report of the 18th CPC National Congress pointed out that we should “establish a new type of major country relationship featuring long-term, stable and healthy development.” In September 2015, President Xi paid his first state visit to the United States, during which the two countries further removed doubts, focused on cooperation and looked forward to the future. Against the complex backdrop of the United States’ upcoming presidential election and its rebalancing to the Asia-Pacific, both leaderships have stressed the need to further expand cooperation and effectively manage disagreements. As Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, this visit “will lay a solid foundation for the development of China-US relations over the longer term, create more opportunities for China to realize domestic development goals, and set a good example for building new type of international relations.” To build a new type of major country relationship featuring “non-conflict, non-confrontation, mutual respect, and win-win cooperation” has become the basic guiding principle of China-US relations. Special meetings between the two leaders, such as the “no-ties meeting” in Sunnylands in 2013, the Zhongnanhai talks in 2014 and White House talks in 2105, have helped promote a new type of major country relationship between China and the United States. Despite all the twists and turns on the road towards a new type of major country relationship, travelling along this road is an irresistible trend.

The dialogue and cooperation between China and the European Union have been in-depth and extensive. In March 2014, President Xi paid a historic visit to the EU headquarters and proposed establishing a China-EU partnership for peace, growth, reform, and civilization. 2015 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China
and the European Union. In late September, President Xi paid a successful state visit to the United Kingdom, signing deals worth 40 billion pounds. During his visit, the United Kingdom expressed the desire to be China’s “best partner in the West.” China-UK relations are now believed to have entered a “golden age.” Subsequently, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande successively visited China. The intensive meetings and discussions about cooperation among the leaders of China, the United Kingdom, Germany and France have helped to further advance China-EU relations. From late June to early July, Premier Li Keqiang flew to the EU headquarters to attend the 17th China-EU Summit and visited Belgium and France. China and the European Union have made great efforts to align the Belt and Road Initiative with the Europe Development Plan, international production capacity cooperation with the Investment Plan for Europe, and “16+1” cooperation with China-Europe cooperation. For 11 consecutive years, the European Union has been the largest trading partner of China. And for 12 consecutive years, China has been the European Union’s second-largest trading partner. In 2014, bilateral trade exceeded $600 billion. The European Union’s cumulative investment in China has reached nearly $100 billion. In 2014, China’s investment in Europe exceeded Europe’s investment in China for the first time.

The proposal to establish a community of shared destiny for all humankind has made China a shaper of its peripheral diplomacy, which enables it to better safeguard peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. China’s peripheral areas have been basically stable, with the regional economy growing rapidly. However, recently, some countries both inside and outside of the region have colluded with one another to make trouble in the South China Sea. Some countries outside the region are interfering in the disputes with a view to provoking conflicts between China and its neighbors so that they can benefit from the troubles. In October 2013, the central government held a symposium on peripheral diplomacy, which comprehensively analyzed China’s peripheral diplomacy and strengthened its top-level design. China’s guideline for its peripheral diplomacy is “being a good neighbor and partner” and it adheres to a policy of “building an amicable, prosperous and secure neighborhood” through amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness. In April 2015, when President Xi went to Indonesia to attend events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Asian-African Summit and the Bandung Conference, he proposed strengthening Asian-African cooperation and promoting the building of a community of common destiny for all humankind to bring greater benefits to people in Asia, Africa and beyond. China and ASEAN are each other’s opportunities. As a community of common interests and destiny, the two sides are committed to building “diamond years” over the next 10 years, promoting the China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone version 2.0, and discussing and concluding a treaty on goodneighborliness, friendship and cooperation, so as to provide an institutional framework and legal guarantee for the long-lasting peaceful coexistence of both sides. China insists on dealing with the South China Sea issues with a dual track approach—direct negotiations between disputing parties and joint efforts to maintain peace and stability—so that the issues will not affect China-ASEAN relations as a whole. In November of the same year, President Xi visited Vietnam and Singapore, two countries along the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, in order to further expand friendly cooperation between China and ASEAN countries.

In October 2015, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited South Korea and attended the sixth China-Japan-ROK Summit. The total GDP of China, Japan and South Korea is more than $16 trillion, accounting for over 20 percent of the world’s total. The foreign trade volume of the three countries is nearly $7 trillion, accounting for over 20 percent of the world’s total. The China-Japan-ROK Summit is an important platform to promote Northeast Asia cooperation. However, after the fifth meeting in May 2012, China-Japan and South Korea-Japan relations deteriorated due to the actions and words of the Japanese government. The resumption of the summit after three year will help improve relations, manage disputes, and promote the peace and stability of Northeast Asia. In November 2014, during the East Asia Summit, Premier Li said China stood ready to join hands with countries in the region to build an Asian community of shared interests, shared responsibilities and shared destiny. In November 2015, Premier Li attended the 18th meeting of China-ASEAN “10+1” Summit, the 18th ASEAN “10+3” Summit with China, Japan and ROK, as well as the 10th East Asia Summit, and visited Malaysia. In short, from Central Asia to Southeast Asia, from Northeast Asia to South Asia, the Chinese leaders have sought to build a community of shared destiny for all humankind starting with neighboring countries.

As the largest developing country in the world, China shares a unique relationship with other developing countries. In 2015, the arrangement and plan of China’s diplomacy have given priority to developing countries. 2015 started with the China-CELAC Forum, and ended with the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. The China-CELAC Forum, Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and China-Arab States Cooperation Forum have become three major platforms for China to build a community of common destiny with developing countries. Together with the Belt and Road Initiative, the three platforms cover most of the developing countries in the world.

In early December 2015, President Xi Jinping paid state visits to Zimbabwe and South Africa, and co-chaired the summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation with the South African President Jacob Zuma in Johannesburg. He delivered a speech titled Open a New Era of China-Africa Win-Win Cooperation and Common Development, which expressed China’s willingness to join hands with Africa to implement 10 major cooperation plans over the next three years. President Xi presided over the adoption of the Declaration of the Johannesburg Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Johannesburg Action Plan (2016-2018) of the

Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and gave a closing speech, in which he stressed that China’s policy toward African countries is one of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith, and it upholds friendship and the right way to achieve interests. Xi said China will continue to join hands with African countries to make even greater progress and realize the common development of China and Africa. Despite all the readjustment and evolution of the international pattern, the brotherhood of equality, mutual trust and mutual support between China and Africa remains unchanged. Despite the ups and downs of the economic situation, the fundamental purpose of win-win cooperation and common development between China and Africa remain unchanged. Despite all the changes of the times and society, the coordination spirit of mutual understanding and common progress between China and Africa remains unchanged. Despite all the possible threats and challenges, the firm will to share weal and woe between China and Africa remains unchanged. In December 2015, the Chinese government issued the second document about China’s Africa policy, which comprehensively explained the new ideas, initiatives and measures of China. After 15 years of efforts, the trade volume between China and Africa has jumped from $10 billion to $220 billion, and China’s investment in Africa has soared from $500 million to nearly $30 billion; over 3,000 Chinese enterprises have chosen to invest and run business in the African continent. China has won the trust of African countries through sincere cooperation. The mutually beneficial cooperation between China and African countries has witnessed remarkable achievements, effectively responding to some of the Western media which have tried hard to discredit China’s role in Africa.


Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Xi Jinping as general secretary, China is vigorously advancing the strategic deployment of the Four Comprehensives—to comprehensively build a moderately prosperous society, comprehensively deepen reform, comprehensively govern the nation according to law, and comprehensively govern the Party strictly—and making unremitting efforts to establish a well-off society in an all-round manner and realize the first centenary goal of building of a moderately prosperous society by 2020. The major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics embodies the great traditions of China with an innovative and pioneering spirit, and it has made visible and concrete achievements. The community of shared destiny for all humankind advocated by President Xi vividly encapsulates China’s global vision. As another major idea on international relations after the “new type of international relations,” it transcends the zero-sum game mentality which has prevailed in historical hegemony-seeking between big powers. When it comes to international and regional hotspot issues, China actively promotes peace and dialogue, shoulders its due responsibilities, and upholds fairness and justice. To actions that violate rules governing international relations and the spirit of the UN Charter, China dares to say no, which is also a demonstration of its sense of responsibility. Living in the same global village, the human race has witnessed more and more common challenges, and its destiny should be considered with a global view. But the world is very diverse and the future should be built not only upon the idea of “seeking agreement,” but also upon “allowing differences.”

2016 marks the first year of China’s 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). China is moving from being a big country to a strong country. With the globalization of China’s interests, the challenges it faces are also globalized. Therefore, China must be good at creating opportunities in a smart way, uphold trust and good-neighborliness, highlight its priorities, and make steady and concrete progress. Guided by the principle of building a community of common destiny for all humankind, Chinese diplomacy promises to become even more fruitful and outstanding.

Ruan Zongze is Senior Research Fellow and Executive Vice President of China Institute of International Studies.