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China’s Foreign Affairs and International Relations

2008-08-25

      China consistently upholds the banner of peace, development and cooperation, pursues, as always, an independent foreign policy of peace, and persists with the development of friendly relations with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence––mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence.

      It is the fundamental mission and basic goal of China’s diplomacy at present as well as in the years to come to safeguard the important period of strategic opportunities for China’s development, to strive for a peaceful and stable international environment, an environment of neighborliness, an equal and mutually beneficial climate for cooperation and objective and positive recognition from the international community, and to facilitate the program of building a well-off society in an all-round way.

      China will continue to promote world multi-polarization, democracy in international relations and diversification of the modes of development. It will steer the global economy toward the direction that is conducive to the common prosperity of all nations. Dedicated to multilateralism and a new security concept, it rejects hegemony, power politics and terrorism of all forms, thereby stepping up the establishment of a just, reasonable international order. China is set to deepen its mutually beneficial cooperation with other developing countries and safeguard their shared interests. Adhering to the principle of treating neighbors as friends and partners, it will strengthen friendly and cooperative ties with neighboring countries to deepen regional cooperation. It will further boost its relations with developed countries in the spirit of seeking broader common ground and resolving disputes in a proper manner. China will take an active part in multilateral international diplomatic activities, maintain and strengthen the authoritative and leading role of the United Nations (UN) and its Security Council and make constructive efforts in regional organizations. It is also poised to beef up across-the-board economic linkages and cultural exchanges with other countries, while readily protecting the lives and legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese citizens.

      The Chinese Government and people are willing to commit unremitting efforts to the common cause of sustaining and promoting peace, development and progress together with all the other nations in the international community.

      China and the UN

      China is an original member of the UN and is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council. China acknowledges the irreplaceable role of the UN in international affairs. China supports UN’ initiatives in solving sensitive and complex issues within the UN framework in various areas such as arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.

      China has been active in international affairs. China has been fulfilling its financial obligations to the UN completely, timely, and unconditionally. At the end of 2006, China contributed 2.053 percent to the UN budget, up from the 0.995 percent in 2000. China is the ninth largest donor among all member countries and the largest donor among developing countries.

      China has up-scaled its participation in peacekeeping operations of the UN. China’s peacekeeping task force ranks the 12th among all member countries, and the first among the five permanent members of the Security Council. In September 1988, China submitted an officially application to join the Special Committee on Peace Keeping Operations. In April 1990, China sent five military observers to the UN Truce Supervision Organization, one of the oldest subsidiary organizations of the UN, which was the first time that Chinese military personnel participated in the peacekeeping operations of the UN. By the end of 2006, 6000 Chinese military personnel, policemen and civilian officials had participated in 16 UN peacekeeping operations in conflict ridden regions in Liberia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, Haiti and Sudan. On July 26, 2006, Du Zhaoyu, a UN military observer from China, lost his life in the Israelis’ bombing of a UN peacekeeping station in Lebanon. Peacekeepers from China are highly commended by UN organizations and the government and people of the hosting countries, for being disciplined, valiant and dedicated.

      Relations with Major Powers 

      China has maintained mutually beneficial relations in various fields and at different levels with major countries in the world. The healthy relations between China and these countries have continued their growth.

      China-U.S. Relations

      As the Sino-U.S. relations continue to grow, China and the United States find more and more common stakes in international affairs. The two countries have coordinated positions and cooperated in such fields as the Korean nuclear issues, Iranian nuclear issues, antiterrorism and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. The two countries have also reached consensus on maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan Straight. China is the largest developing country, while the United States is the largest developed countries in the world. Peace between the two countries will bless both parties whereas collision will wreak both.  Hence, China and the United States must deepen communication and understanding, and enhance consensus and confidence. Friendly relations between the two countries will not only benefit the two people but also promote world peace.

      China-EU Relations

      Since forging comprehensive strategic partnership in 2003, China and European Union (EU) have been on good terms, which is reflected in deeper trust and more frequent exchange of high-level visits. China-EU relation has becoming more and more mature and pragmatic. With a closer partnership, responsibilities on both sides increase.

      Trade between China and the EU saw rapid expansion. The EU is by far the largest trading partner of China, and China is the second largest trading partner of the EU. The EU’s investment in China continues to grow. Notable progress in all ranges of the bilateral ties was made. The comprehensive partnership between China and the EU is on a solid track.

      China-Russia Relations

      China and Russia make full tap on the cooperation mechanisms between the two governments, actively implementing the important consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries, continuously expanding the mutual collaboration in all fields and achieving notable achievements. The relations between China and Russia maintain good momentum.

      China and Russia have worked more closely together in international affairs. The two countries have worked together in pushing for a feasible solution to the nuclear issues in North Korea and Iran.

      The business ties between the two countries are increasingly tight. Their trade and economic cooperation shows sound and rapid development.

      Enjoying high-level political mutual trust and mutual benefit, strategic coordination and common political wills, China and Russia share the desire and determination of the two peoples to become “good neighbors, close partners and friends.”

      Beijing will unswervingly abide by the Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia, and together with Moscow, continue to promote the strategic cooperative partnership.

      China-Japan Relations

      China and Japan are two neighboring countries divided only by a narrow strip of water. Since their normalization of diplomatic relations in 1972, the bilateral ties have made substantial headway. However, the two countries also face a series of issues of how to increase mutual trust and seek common strategic interests.

      Both sides must bear the historical lessons in their minds and cherish the hard-won peace fruits when dealing with Sino-Japanese relations.

      Taking history as a mirror and facing forward to the future, China and Japan should bide by the principle and spirit of the China-Japan Joint Statement, the China-Japan Treaty of Peace and Friendship and the China-Japan Joint Declaration, expand the common interest of both and pay attention to and each other’s concerns, especially those with regard to historical issues and the Taiwan question. Leaders of China and Japan should view and handle bilateral relations from strategic height and long-term perspective, grasp historical opportunities and further promote long-term and stable friendly and cooperative relations.

      Relations with African Countries

      Relations between China and African countries have been long-lasting and bestowed with a solid foundation. Suffering from similar historical experiences, the two sides have built up profound friendship through mutual support toward each other in their fights for national liberation.

      The founding of the New China in 1949 and the independence of African countries have opened a new chapter of China-Africa relations. Through the past half-century, bilateral political relations have been close, high-level visits frequent, trade and economic ties fortified, cooperation in other fields substantial, and negotiation and coordination in international affairs strengthened. China has provided assistance in its power to African countries, which has extended strong supports to China.

      Sincerity, friendship, equality, mutual benefit, reciprocity and common prosperity are the principle of exchanges and cooperation between China and Africa, as well as the impetus that drive the development of the bilateral ties.

      Relations with Neighboring Countries and Multilateral Diplomacy

      China affirms the balance and sustainable development of the global economy and society. The international community should work together to gradually address the prominent problems including widening gap between the rich and the poor, as well as worsening ecological environment.

      Military Diplomacy

      As supplement to traditional diplomacy, military exchanges between countries are barometers of diplomatic relations. China’s military diplomacy in 2006 was fruitful.

      In 2006, China exchanged military personnel with over 300 countries, played host to over 40 defense ministers or chiefs of staff from other countries, participated in more than 40 bilateral or multilateral consultation or talks and provided humanitarian aid to Lebanon, Indonesia and the Philippines.

      Exchanges of high-level military visits facilitate trust and understanding, and promote consensus and cooperation. As a result, military relations between China and Russia have deepened, and that between China and the United States are growing steadily. All round and multilevel military exchanges and cooperation are underway between China and other foreign countries.

      Joint military exercises, defense and security consultations and dialogues between China and other countries have boosted China’s clout abroad. In September and November 2006, naval forces from China and the United States conducted two phases of joint maritime rescue exercises; with each phase on the territory waters China and the United States respectively. The joint exercise is a new starting point in the military cooperation between the two countries. In September, China and Tajikistan held a joint antiterrorism exercise with the code name of "cooperation-2006." The two sides explored commanding and combating strategies in anti-terrorism, rehearsed coordination between the two forces, and built the platform to further anti-terrorism cooperation. The exercise was also a pilot for the joint military exercises among SCO member countries to be held in 2007. In November, China and Pakistan launched an antiterrorism exercise in Pakistan with the code name “Friendship 2006”. The exercise has strengthened friendly relations between the two countries and two military forces, and has promoted cooperation between the two countries in security affairs, in particular antiterrorism.

      China has always valued the development of friendly relations with neighboring countries and the maintenance of stability in its neighborhood. In 2006, military delegations from China visited more than 20 countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Central Asia. In the meanwhile, 30 short high-level military delegations from neighboring countries visited China. In addition, China exchanged military personnel with countries in West Asia, Africa, Southern Pacific and Latin America. The forms of military contacts were also diversified.

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