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A Global Alliance> Archive
UPDATED: December 22, 2008 NO. 52 DECEMBER 25, 2008
30 Years of China's Diplomacy
In the three decades since adopting the opening-up policy, China has taken on a new international role

Just like every coin has two sides, economic globalization creates both opportunities and challenges for all countries in the world. As globalization has developed, its adverse effects have become more obvious. Developed countries like the United States and European countries sometimes try to pass the buck to developing countries including China. Faced with this situation, China has kept a clear head on globalization and managed to realize faster and better development. Meanwhile, China insists that all countries in the world share development opportunities and jointly cope with challenges, so as to reach the goal of common development.

China's rapid and persistent development has sparked world interest. Most countries welcome China's vigorous growth and hope to hop on China's economic express. But the Western world led by the United States also views this economic growth and the heightened power that accompanies it with suspicion and fear, leading to theories like the so-called "China threat." The West tries to press China on human rights and other issues, but the fact that China has stuck to peaceful development bursts the "China-threat" bubble. As more countries benefit from China's development, they will better understand that China is pursuing peaceful development.

To China, its domestic development has closer relations with outside world. Therefore, the Central Government stresses the communications between domestic and international situations, and unites domestic development with opening up to the outside world.

The world is now at a historical moment of reformation and adjustment, when conflicts, chances and challenges coexist. The current international order has many deficiencies that make it difficult to address problems as they emerge. Considering the future and fate of the world, China calls on the peoples of different nations to join hands to establish a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.

Diplomatic achievement

Over the past 30 years, China has developed a diplomatic system with strong Chinese characteristics. China has adhered to an independent foreign policy of peace, insisting that diplomacy always serve its modernization process. It seeks to develop friendly cooperation with all countries on the basis on the five principles of peaceful coexistence, and opposes power politics and hegemony in all forms. As China continues to develop, it is assuming the role of a big responsible country.

China's diplomatic achievements mainly fall into four areas.

First, China has actively developed friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation with neighboring countries and regions in order to build an amicable, tranquil and prosperous neighborhood. China's relations with its neighbors are now in their best period in history.

China has resolved boundary issues left over from history with its northern neighbors. By pushing forward the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, China has strengthened friendly cooperation with Central Asian countries in many aspects such as security, economy and culture.

China has also enhanced its relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), actively participated in cooperative mechanisms like the 10+1 (ASEAN plus China), 10+3 (ASEAN plus China, Japan and South Korea) and the East Asia Summit, and pushed forward the establishment of a China-ASEAN free trade zone. By strengthening cooperation and consultation in aspects including security, China and ASEAN have set up regional, sub-regional, bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

China has made great efforts to realize peace, stability and non-proliferation on the Korean Peninsular by hosting and participating in the six-party talks. It has set up a strategic and reciprocal relationship with Japan and upgraded the Sino-South Korean relations to a strategic and cooperative partnership. Furthermore, trilateral cooperation among the three East Asian countries has gained strength.

China now is an observer member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, and its relations with South Asian countries constantly make new progress. The traditional strategic relationship with Pakistan has endured tests of history. The Sino-Indian relationship has also entered a new stage of development. China supports Afghanistan in its struggle to achieve domestic stability and has provided reconstruction aid. Overall, China has maintained good cooperation with its neighbors.

Second, China has developed good and stable relations with world powers. During the past decade, the Sino-Russian relations have been upgraded from a friendly relationship to a constructive partnership, then a strategic and cooperative partnership facing the 21st century. They have completely solved their boundary dispute and enhanced strategic mutual trust.

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