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International Situation and China's Diplomacy in 2010 Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi's Exclusive Interview With the People's Daily
2010/12/20

As we bid farewell to the year 2010, could you summarize the main features of the international situation and China's diplomacy over the year?

The evolution of the international situation in the past year mainly has five features:

First, the world economy continued to slowly recover, but its fragility and unevenness were further exposed. Global economic and financial risks persisted, protectionism worsened and development issues became more pronounced. Major economies actively reflected on how to adjust the models of economic growth and management. Competition and adjustments intensified as countries tried to put themselves in an advantageous position for new development.

Second, the world moved toward greater balance of power. A host of emerging economies rose in quick succession and as a whole. They further narrowed their gap with developed countries. Cooperation mechanisms for emerging economies such as BRIC and BASIC continued to strengthen with increased influence and voice in international affairs.

Third, the institutional reform of world economic governance deepened. Developing countries gained a more equal footing when in the world economic governance mechanism and the international system evolved in a more equitable and reasonable direction. The G20 summit was shifting from a crisis response mechanism to a mechanism for long-term economic governance. Its role and influence were recognized far and wide. Reforms of the IMF and the World Bank made positive progress.

Fourth, the international security situation became more complex. The general trend of world peace became stronger, but traditional and non-traditional security issues were intertwined and security threats became more diversified and complicated. Asia on the whole enjoyed stability, but faced growing security challenges. Tensions ran high on the Korean Peninsula, some hotspot issues escalated from time to time and some countries suffered from political turmoil. Factors affecting security became more complicated.

Fifth, international exchanges of ideas and thoughts became more vibrant. As the underlying impact of the financial crisis continued to be felt, reflections, interactions and adjustments became very dynamic in the world of thinking. Countries put forward new ideas and proposals one after another. There was a more notable trend of exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations and development models.

Complex and profound changes in the international situation have brought to China unprecedented opportunities and challenges. For China's diplomacy, this year has been one of both challenges and major progress.

Maintaining stability, promoting development and adjusting structure is on the top of China's economic agenda this year. What contribution has China's diplomacy made to development?

A major task of China's diplomacy is to serve the national goal of maintaining stability, promoting development and adjusting structure and achieving sound and fast economic and social development. In the past year, we were actively involved in international cooperation to counter the financial crisis. We resolutely opposed protectionism, helped to facilitate the implementation of the inviting in, going global and free trade area strategies, and facilitated the launch of a large number of major international cooperation projects. We strongly supported and participated in the infrastructural development in our neighboring countries and made substantive progress. China hosted the UN Climate Change Conference in Tianjin, made active contribution to the discussions at the Cancún conference and played a constructive role in promoting international cooperation to address climate change. Under the new circumstances, as diplomacy more and more relies on development, serves development and promotes development, it plays an increasingly important role in safeguarding China's development interests in the context of the country's all-dimensional opening up.

What major progress has China made in its diplomatic work with regard to promoting the sound development of relations between China and major countries, neighboring countries and other developing countries?

This year has witnessed comprehensive and sound development of relations between China and major countries, neighboring countries and other developing countries. There has been more frequent high level exchanges, which have played a more prominent role in offering political guidance, deepened practical cooperation in various areas and positive progress in all-dimensional cooperation.

China's relations with major countries grew steadily. China-US relationship on the whole maintained steady growth and moved forward along the positive, cooperative and comprehensive track set by the two presidents. President Hu Jintao met with President Barack Obama three times this year. The second round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogues produced positive outcomes. Exchanges and cooperation continued to grow in various areas. China and the United States maintained communication and coordination on the situation of the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear issue, global economic governance, climate change and other major international and regional issues. There are also some problems and differences in China-US relations. We urge the US side to appropriately handle them in keeping with the three Sino-US joint communiqués and the China-US Joint Statement and in a spirit of mutual respect.

China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination further deepened. President Hu Jintao met with President Dmitry Medvedev six times. Premier Wen Jiabao paid an official visit to Russia and attended the 15th regular meeting between the two heads of governments. Coordination and cooperation between the two countries further strengthened on major international issues. The oil pipeline project was smoothly completed. Cooperation was taken to a new level in the economic, trade, science, technology, culture and other areas. Friendship between the two peoples deepened.

This year has been a year of growth for China-EU relations. Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao, NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao, paid successful visits to Europe. The 13th China-EU Summit was held. Political leaders from many European countries visited China. China-EU business cooperation and trade grew steadily. The China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership was further enhanced.

We continued to deepen good-neighborly and friendly ties with neighboring countries. President Hu Jintao attended the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Council of Heads of State and the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. Premier Wen Jiabao attended the China-ASEAN Summit (10+1), the ASEAN Plus China, Japan and ROK (10+3) Summit, the East Asia Summit and the meeting of the SCO Council of Heads of Government. China had over 60 high-level visits and exchanges with nearly all Asian countries this year. These major diplomatic activities enhanced China's political mutual trust and win-win cooperation with neighboring countries and promoted peace and development in the region. The China-ASEAN Free Trade Area was fully established, bringing tangible benefits to nearly one third of the world's population. The 10+3 cooperation demonstrated its strong vitality in countering the financial crisis and China-Japan-ROK cooperation made fresh headway.

The Cheonan incident and the exchange of fire between the DPRK and the ROK on the Yellow Sea gave rise to tension on the Korean Peninsula. We engaged in active diplomacy, vigorously persuaded the parties to seek peaceful solutions through negotiations, and worked hard to uphold peace and stability on the Peninsula. After Japan illegally detained Chinese fishermen and fishing boat in the waters near the Diaoyudao Islands, we made strong efforts against the Japanese move and safeguarded our state sovereignty. We paid close attention to the protection of China's overseas interests. For example, when serious riots broke out in southern Kyrgyzstan, we actively coordinated with other government departments and successfully organized a large scale evacuation operation that took the Chinese there to safety. Our efforts effectively protected the safety and security of Chinese citizens and property overseas.

We further deepened traditional friendship with other developing countries. President Hu Jintao attended the second summit of BRIC countries, which promoted practical cooperation between China and other major developing countries. Chinese leaders visited many countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and received leaders of many developing countries. We followed through on the outcomes of the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and successfully held the Fourth Ministerial Conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. We made fresh progress in mutually beneficial cooperation with other developing countries.

This year is an important year for global economic governance reform. What has China done in its diplomacy in this regard and what achievements has it made?

We continued to participate in and steer the course of the reform of global economic governance this year. President Hu Jintao and other Chinese leaders attended a series of important international conferences, elaborated in an all-round way on China's propositions and proposals, and demonstrated to the world that China is a big responsible country.

It is worth noting in particular that important progress was made in our effort to promote the global economic governance reform. The voting power reform adopted by the World Bank increased the voting power of developing and transition countries by 3.13%. The G20 Seoul Summit confirmed that the IMF would achieve a shift in quota shares of over 6% to dynamic emerging markets and developing countries and to underrepresented countries before its annual meetings in 2012. This means a substantive increase in developing countries' say and representation in global economic affairs.

The Shanghai World Expo and other major international events held in China were also important diplomatic gatherings that drew the attention of the world. What has been done on the diplomatic front for these events?

The Shanghai World Expo was another important international event held in China after the Beijing Olympic Games. Nearly 100 heads of state and government attended the Expo. This year, we took the opportunities of the Shanghai World Expo, the Guangzhou Asian Games and the Asian Para Games and vigorously engaged in summit diplomacy, economic diplomacy, public diplomacy and cultural and people-to-people diplomacy. We have shown to the world a culturally advanced, democratic, open and developing China, and promoted China's all-round friendship and cooperation with other countries. These major international events offered important platforms for enhanced mutual understanding and friendship between China and other countries.

How do you see China's diplomacy next year and what can diplomacy do for China's 12th Five Year Plan?

Next year will be the first year of the 12th Five Year Plan period. We face both precious historic opportunities and many foreseeable and unforeseeable difficulties. Our challenges will be more daunting, our responsibilities greater, and our mission more glorious. We will continue to follow the guidance of Deng Xiaoping Theory and the important thought of "Three Represents", apply the Scientific Outlook on Development and study and act on the spirit of the 5th Plenary Session of the 17th Party Central Committee and the Central Economic Work Conference. We will take into account both domestic and international situations and make every effort to create a favorable external environment and enabling international conditions for a good start in the 12th Five Year Plan.

To be specific, we will seek stable development of relations with major countries and will continue to develop a framework of relations with major countries featuring overall stability, relative balance and win-win cooperation. We will deepen friendship and cooperation and expand exchanges in the political, economic, people-to-people and other fields with our neighbors, and consolidate a favorable neighboring environment featuring peace, stability and common development. We will strengthen traditional friendship with other developing countries, continue to deepen cooperation in multilateral mechanisms of emerging economies and developing countries, and reinforce the basic role of developing countries in China's overall diplomacy. We will actively promote the building of the G20 and other international mechanisms so that the international order will evolve in a fairer and more rational direction. We will vigorously pursue economic diplomacy, help advance the "go global" strategy and contribute to the transformation of economic development pattern at home. We will energetically carry out security diplomacy, public diplomacy and cultural diplomacy, and enhance the capacity to protect China's overseas interests. We will continue to enrich and strengthen the system of diplomatic theories with Chinese characteristics.

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