Study and Implement Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy Conscientiously and Break New Ground in Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics
Speech by State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs H.E. Wang Yi at the Inauguration Ceremony of the Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy Studies Centre
20 July 2020
Colleagues and guests,
Today is an important day in China’s diplomatic history, as we are gathered here to inaugurate the Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy Studies Centre. On behalf of all members of the Chinese foreign service, I would like to extend our warm congratulations on the opening of the Study Centre. I would also like to express my sincere thanks to the academics who have been dedicated to the study of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and to the theoretical construction of China’s foreign policy.
Great eras produce great ideas. This has been true throughout human history. Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), socialism with Chinese characteristics has proudly entered a new era. The Chinese nation, which had endured so much in the past, has achieved a tremendous transformation: it has stood up, grown prosperous and is now becoming strong. China has never been so close to fulfilling the Chinese dream of national rejuvenation and never been so close to the center of the world stage. At the same time, the world is going through complex and profound changes unseen in a century. With the foresight of a great strategic thinker and a keen appreciation of the laws of human society, General Secretary Xi Jinping has made a comprehensive assessment of the trajectory of the international situation and the historical juncture in which China finds itself, and put forward a series of new ideas, new propositions and new initiatives with distinctive Chinese features, which reflect the call of our times and lead the trend of human progress. He has given clear answers to a series of key questions in theory and practice, namely, what kind of world and what type of international relations China should promote; what kind of foreign policy best serves China, and how China is to conduct diplomacy in the new era. Xi Jinping Thought on Socialist Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, or Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy for short, has thus been formed and established, pointing the direction and providing fundamental guidance for China’s foreign policy in the new era.
Great ideas, once produced, will in turn drive the progress of the times. In recent years, under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee and the personal attention of General Secretary Xi Jinping, we in the Chinese diplomatic service have followed the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, and taken pioneering steps to meet challenges head on. As a result, we have made historic achievements, and opened up a new situation. We are actively building a global network of partnerships to advance China’s diplomatic agenda in a comprehensive, multilevel, multifaceted way, making friends across the world; We are proactively advancing Belt and Road cooperation, making it the world’s biggest platform for international cooperation, pursuing shared benefits through consultation and cooperation, and promoting mutual benefit and common development with our Belt and Road partners; We are spearheading the reform of the global governance system, making globalization more inclusive and beneficial for all and the international order fairer and more equitable; We are making every effort to support international cooperation against COVID-19, promoting the vision of building a global community of health for all, and fulfilling our share of responsibility in fighting this scourge.
Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is a momentous achievement of epoch-making significance in the development of China’s diplomatic theories since 1949. It is an important system of thought that is scientific, up to date, advanced and action-oriented. We must study it conscientiously and understand it fully.
First, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is an integral component of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. As diplomacy is the comprehensive manifestation of the will of the state, China’s diplomatic work is an integral part of our cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core attaches great importance to China’s foreign relations, and takes them as part of the overarching strategy to rejuvenate the Chinese nation. Keeping in mind both major global changes and the reality of China entering a new era, the CPC Central Committee has made top-level planning and strategic blueprint for advancing major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. Two key Chinese initiatives, China’s call for building a community with a shared future for mankind and forging a new type of international relations, both being core tenets of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, have been incorporated into the “eight clarifications” and “fourteen commitments” under the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Leadership of the CPC is the defining feature of socialism with Chinese characteristics and the greatest political strength of China’s foreign policy. Hence, strengthening the centralized, unified leadership and coordination of the CPC over external affairs provides the fundamental political underpinning for continued success of China’s diplomatic work. Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy represents a more in-depth understanding of the conduct of China’s major-country diplomacy, and reflects the CPC Central Committee’s governance philosophy on the diplomatic front.
Second, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy encapsulates the latest achievement of Marxism on the diplomatic front in the 21st century. As Friedrich Engels noted, “His [Marx’s] way of viewing things is not a doctrine but a method.” Following historical and dialectical materialism, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy applies the Marxist stand, viewpoint and method in a scientific manner, and seeks to combine theory with practice, theory of knowledge with methodology. Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy bases itself on a keen understanding of global developments and a thorough review of China’s interactions with the rest of the world. It grasped the workings of globalization and global governance by following the Marxist tradition of analyzing the dynamics between the productive forces and the relations of production, and between the economic base and the superstructure. Adhering to the people-centered value of Marxism and the principle of seeking truth from facts, the living soul of Marxism, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy has applied the basic tenets of Marxism to the practice of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, and developed a series of creative thoughts and views that have enriched and taken forward Marxist theories on international relations, thus realizing a historic breakthrough in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context in the diplomatic arena.
Third, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy carries forward and elevates the fine tradition of the Chinese culture. Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy embodies a creative transformation and development of traditional Chinese values by drawing extensively from the Chinese culture and enriching it with a new spirit of the times and a commitment to human progress. China’s proposal of building a community with a shared future for mankind epitomizes long-cherished Chinese vision of promoting “common good” and “universal peace”. In developing China’s neighborhood diplomacy, traditional values of good neighborliness, benevolence, empathy and non-aggression have been incorporated. In the call for global governance reform, time-honored wisdoms of unity in adversity and harmony among all nations have been drawn. In the course of building global partnerships, the philosophy of advocating harmony without conformity and helping others to succeed while seeking one’s own success has been followed. In advocating the concept of greater good, the moral commitment of advancing shared interests with just positions and helping those in difficulty and in need is upheld. As an innovative effort to renew the spirit of the ancient Silk Road, General Secretary Xi Jinping put forward the momentous initiative of developing the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. The initiative aims to turn the Silk Road, a fruit of human civilization, into a new type of public good for international cooperation and common development, and has gained growing support and endorsement from countries around the world.
Fourth, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy carries forward and further develops the diplomatic theories of New China. Building on the diplomatic thoughts of successive generations of leaderships after the founding of New China, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy has further elevated and enriched the system of diplomatic theories of New China. Imbuing China’s foreign policy with the spirit of the times, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy raised China’s long-established philosophies on foreign relations including the independent foreign policy of peace, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and a new international political and economic order to a new historical level, aiming at a community with a shared future for mankind, a new type of international relations, and reform of the global governance system. Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy carries forward China’s policies and propositions toward the neighboring region and Africa, and put forward important principles of “amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness” and “sincerity, real results, amity and good faith”, lending fresh impetus to China’s relations with countries and regions concerned. Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy upholds China’s just position pursued since 1949 of opposing colonialism, hegemonism and power politics, lays out red lines on major issues involving sovereignty and territorial integrity, and informs a series of decisive actions to safeguard China’s legitimate rights, core interests and national dignity.
Fifth, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy improves on and transcends traditional theories of international relations. In recent years, the traditional theories are increasingly unable to explain the contemporary world, and notions such as “might makes right” and “zero-sum game” are no longer compatible with the trend of the times. Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy puts the development of China in the global context, and aligns the interests of the Chinese people with the common, fundamental interests of people across the world. It envisions a community with a shared future for mankind, and an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity, and calls for a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. It rises above national and regional parochialism, transcends the traditional realist theory of international relations, and takes the moral high ground by focusing on the progress of humanity. The new visions proposed by General Secretary Xi Jinping on global governance, security, development, civilization, and the relationship between the greater good and one’s own interests respond to the universal aspiration of all countries for development and progress. Embodying the shared values of mankind as well as distinct Chinese features, they capture the greatest common denominator among people of all nations in aspiring to a better world.
The world has continued to change in profound ways. As COVID-19 rages on, the health of people around the world is under grave threat, economic globalization faces unprecedented headwinds, and the world economy is plunged into deep recession. Unilateralism, protectionism and bullyism are resurging. Deficits in governance, trust, peace and development are widening further. To navigate this highly uncertain world, we must take fundamental guidance from Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy for all our work, stay focused amid the turbulence and seize opportunities from the changes in order to usher in a new stage of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. To this end, we must undertake the following.
We need to step up research and gain a deep and solid understanding of the tenets and essence of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is a well-conceived system of profound theories. It requires time and effort to understand it fully and apply it effectively. In conducting China’s diplomacy, all of us must study Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, which is an important political task requiring sustained and unrelenting effort. The establishment of the Studies Centre provides an opportunity to deepen our understanding of the core tenets, essence, rich substance and implementation requirements of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and fully appreciate its great relevance, and theoretical, practical and international significance. Efforts to gain a deeper understanding must be combined with studying Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era; with studying Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development; and with studying the history of the Party, of New China, of China’s reform and opening-up and of socialism.
We need to conduct active international exchanges to better inform other countries and peoples of the world of the scientific and advanced nature of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is of international significance. It is particularly relevant for addressing the global challenges facing our world. It is gaining growing attention and influence worldwide. We need to reach out to foreign governments, political parties, think tanks and media, and organize more international dialogue and exchanges both in China and abroad to help other countries gain a full, accurate and in-depth understanding of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. Such dialogue and exchanges create opportunities to communicate China’s important visions and ideas such as building a community with a shared future for mankind and building a new type of international relations, so that greater international consensus can be forged. We must also learn to apply Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy to our efforts in presenting China’s stories, visions and proposals internationally to enhance such efforts and increase China’s influence and ability to inspire.
We need to fully apply and follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy in conducting major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. Actions and practice must be guided by ideas and theories. We need to combine study, reflection and application, and align our knowledge, conviction and action with Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, which comes from practice and in turn guides our diplomatic practice. We need to keep strictly in line with the CPC Central Committee in terms of our thinking, political orientation and action, and firmly implement General Secretary Xi Jinping’s diplomatic decisions and guidelines. We must equip ourselves with the latest theories of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy to enhance the development of theories and institutions, and the building of capacities and law-based governance for supporting major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. We must work hard to further modernize the system of governance and capacity for the conduct of Chinese foreign policy, offer intellectual support for addressing key diplomatic issues and challenges, and provide inexhaustible strength to break new ground in China’s major-country diplomacy.
Great vision leads the way forward; hard work makes dreams come true. In this momentous new era, let us rally more closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, strengthen our consciousness of the need to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership. Let us foster stronger confidence in the path, theories, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics. Let us firmly uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping’s core position in both the Party Central Committee and the Party as a whole and the Central Committee’s authority and centralized, unified leadership. By gaining a deep understanding and fully applying Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, we will be able to break new ground in major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, and make greater contributions to national rejuvenation and human progress! Thank you.