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Starting a New Course of Major-Country Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era
--Foreign Minister Wang Yi Talks about President Xi Jinping's Attendance at the 25th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and State Visits to Vietnam and Laos
2017/11/14

From November 10 to 14, 2017, General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and President Xi Jinping attended at invitation the 25th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang, Vietnam and paid state visits to Vietnam and Laos. At the end of the visits, Foreign Minister Wang Yi briefed journalists on the visits.

Wang Yi said that the successful convening of the 19th CPC National Congress recently has attracted worldwide attention. The international community spoke highly of China's remarkable achievements, focused on China's development strategies and paid close attention to the direction of China's diplomacy. President Xi Jinping attended the 25th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and paid state visits to the socialist neighboring countries in Southeast Asia. President Xi Jinping announced China's development paths and governing strategies to the world. Based on the diplomatic policy with neighboring countries featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and on the concept of win-win cooperation, Xi Jinping's visits demonstrate the confidence in path, theory, system and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics and show the new look, new accomplishments and new contributions of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era, thus opening a successful chapter for the visits of the top leader of the CPC and the country after the 19th CPC National Congress.

Over the past five days, President Xi Jinping worked tirelessly day and night, and participated in nearly 40 bilateral and multi-lateral activities and extensively contacted with people from all walks of life in different countries. Grasping the development trends of the times and bearing in mind the big pictures of both domestic and international situations, President Xi Jinping has interpreted development concepts from the perspective of a politician, proposed initiatives in the view of a strategist, promoted cooperation with the boldness of a doer, and built consensus in the style of a diplomat. All his efforts have received more extensive support for China's future development, opened up a brighter future for Asia-Pacific regional cooperation, and injected a stronger impetus into China-Vietnam and China-Laos relations. Public opinions at home and abroad generally view that these visits are the major actions of China to develop a new diplomatic landscape, the efficient measures to build a new type of international relations and a community of shared future for humankind, the wonderful roadshows of China's institutional concepts and development prospects, as well as the vivid demonstrations of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era.

1. To Expound China's Development Path and Expand its Cognition and Recognition of the International Community

As China is moving increasingly closer to the center of the world arena, it has been closely connected with the world's future and destiny. China cannot develop itself in isolation from the world, nor can the world develop without China. Focusing on the world coordinate of the China's development in the new era and grasping the historical evolution of the relations between China and the outside world, President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the APEC CEO Summit in Da Nang, held talks and meetings, discussions and exchanges with leaders from different countries, introduced the great achievements and significance of the 19th CPC National Congress to the international community, and expounded China's development path and philosophy, which have injected China's positive energy and stability to the challenging international and regional situation.

Meticulously elaborate on the advancing journey of China's development. President Xi Jinping reviewed the historical achievements made by China over the past five years in his speech, solemnly declaring to the world that the CPC is now leading Chinese people to embark on a new journey to fully build China into a great modern socialist country. This is a new journey to deepen reform in all respects and sustainably release development vigor; a journey to advance with the times and innovate development pattern; a journey to go global further and develop an open economy of higher standards; a journey to get a people-centered approach towards a better life; a journey to foster a new type of international relations and build a community with a shared future for mankind. It was the first time for President Xi Jinping to elucidate the blueprint of China's development under the planning of the 19th CPC National Congress on multilateral occasions, which received warm responses from both inside and outside the venue. The relevant parties expressed that the speech by President Xi Jinping allows them to get a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of China's development. It also makes them further feel the great talent, the bold vision, and the bearing and manner of the leader of a great nation.

Profoundly reveal prosperous prospects for China's development. President Xi Jinping introduced China's strategic deployment of promoting the reform and development to all sides. He stressed that China will thoroughly implement the new concept of development, deepen comprehensive reform, accelerate the construction of innovation-oriented country, promote a new pattern of all-round opening-up and construct the modern economic system. He also pointed out that China will hold grand celebration for the 40th anniversary of its reform and opening-up next year and conduct its reform and opening-up in broader areas with more varied and forceful measures. The pace of China's opening-up will not be stagnant. These commitments are regarded as an important positive signal of China's economy and policy. Having cited detailed statistics, President Xi Jinping curved the outline of sound economic development and described the booming situation of domestic Internet economy, displaying China's vigorous impetus of innovation growth. By combining with successful practices of the party governance and state administration, he revealed the fundamental principle of "the key of China's tasks lies in the Party", enabling all the parties to better understand China's "success stories", and furthermore increasing the confidence in China's development prospects and enhancing the positive expectations on cooperation with China.

Clearly point out the essence of China's peaceful development. The 19th CPC National Congress has made a top-level design for China's diplomacy in the new era and set forth the goal of its endeavor. During his visit, President Xi Jinping elucidated on different occasions the core concepts and overall objectives of the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. He stressed that China will stick to the path of peaceful development and will always be the anchor of peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world. China will, with greater efforts, promote the building of a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, equity and justice, and win-win cooperation and join hands with all parties in building a clean and beautiful community of shared future for humankind featuring enduring peace, universal security, common prosperity, and openness and inclusiveness. President Xi Jinping made crystal clear the banner of China's diplomacy in the new era on the international arena, pointed out the direction to which China is willing to work with all parties, and demonstrated China's firm resolution to blaze a trail with Chinese characteristics that differs from those of traditional powers so as to make China stronger, which received overall welcome and high praise. General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Nguyen Phu Trong welcomed President Xi Jinping's proposal on building a community of shared future for humankind, and expressed that it fully embodies the global vision of Chinese leader and the visions of a great power.

Fully demonstrate the global significance of China's development. The continuous development of socialism with Chinese characteristics will broaden the path towards modernization of developing countries, and will make the scientific socialism show the power of the truth in the 21st century. President Xi Jinping introduced the theoretical innovations of the 19th CPC National Congress to leaders from the countries concerned. They exchanged and mutually learned experiences of the party governance and state administration, and most of them expressed that they were greatly inspired. The leaders of the parties and the countries of Vietnam and Laos spoke highly of the theoretical achievements and innovative practices made at the 19th CPC National Congress, and expressed they believe that under the leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, the Chinese people will definitely achieve the strategic targets set forth at the 19th CPC National Congress and continuously make new achievements on the road to the great rejuvenation of Chinese nation. They held that the successful convening of the 19th CPC National Congress greatly encourages the socialist cause in their countries, and it will exert significant impact on the worldwide socialist causes. The new thinking, new strategies and new measures put forward at the Congress are worth learning in an in-depth manner. President Xi Jinping integrated China's development with common development of all countries, and pointed out that China, with its characteristic of high-powered driving force of growth, people's growing sense of gains and deeper interaction with the world, will create more development opportunities, bring more cooperation opportunities to the Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world, and will facilitate more countries to get on China's fast train of development. President Xi Jinping announced that China will hold the International Import Expo from next year, which will be an unprecedented pioneering work proposed by a major economy in the world, showing China's positive attitude of sharing market opportunities and releasing development dividend.

2. To Lead Asia-Pacific Regional Cooperation and Deepen Mutual Benefit and Mutual Trust within the Region

Wang Yi said that the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang was held against the backdrop where the world and the Asia-Pacific region undergoing profound adjustment, and China's role has drawn great attention in this course. At the Meeting, President Xi Jinping held high the banner of openness and inclusiveness, mutual benefit and win-win results, vigorously pushed the process of economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region, advocated the spirit of the Asia-Pacific partnership, and played the role of the backbone in taking the helm steady, guiding the direction and setting the keynote.

Adhere to the direction of building an open economy. President Xi Jinping has always been advocating building an open world economy with a clear-cut stand on many multilateral occasions, such as the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation this year, the 2017 BRICS Xiamen Summit and the 2017 G20 Hamburg Summit. At the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Da Nang, President Xi Jinping stressed again that openness brings progress, while self-seclusion leaves one behind. He also pointed out that the Asia-Pacific region must adhere to the principle of building an open economy, promoting the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, and striving to create a framework for regional cooperation featuring equal consultation, extensive participation and universal benefit. We must support the multilateral trade system and drive economic globalization toward a more open, inclusive, universally-beneficial, balanced and win-win direction. President Xi Jinping's proposal follows the trend of the times, wins people's heart and support and is widely echoed. With the efforts of China, the promotion of free and open trade and investment and continuous opposition to protectionism were clearly written in the declaration of the leaders on the meeting. The meeting has decided to comprehensively and systematically promote the construction of Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific (FTAAP) and make new progress based on the Beijing Roadmap and the Lima Declaration.

Draw a blueprint for a new round of development. Asia-Pacific has the biggest share of the global economy and serves as a major engine driving global growth. President Xi Jinping has perceived thoroughly the profound changes in global economy in terms of its growth momentum, development mode, globalization process and governance system. He emphasized that Asia-Pacific should expand the opening up and create a broader space for development. It is necessary to seek innovative growth and create a strong driving force for development. It is necessary to strengthen interconnection, forming a coordinated and interconnected development pattern. It is necessary to enhance the inclusiveness of development, so that people can share the fruits of development. These proposals are consistent with the one put forward by President Xi Jinping at the G20 Hangzhou Summit last year, which focuses on building an innovative, open, interconnected and inclusive world economy, and is echoing with China's five new development concepts, injecting positive energy into the Asia-Pacific regional cooperation and global economic growth. President Xi Jinping emphasized that the Belt and Road Initiative will provide all parties with a broader and more dynamic platform for cooperation, which indicates that this initiative will have a greater radiological and stimulating effect on the economic development in the Asia-Pacific region and the world at large.

Expound the significance of promoting cooperation in the next phase. With the accelerating evolution of the political and economic landscape in the world today and the undercurrent of "anti-globalization" and protectionism, Asia-Pacific cooperation faces with more complexity and uncertainties. In response to the general concerns of all parties, President Xi Jinping clearly pointed out that all parties in the Asia-Pacific region should continuously enrich the connotation of the partnership, strengthen the awareness of a community of shared future, uphold the concept of seeking harmony while tolerating differences, take into consideration the self-interests and others' interests, and strengthen the coordination and docking of policies so as to achieve win-win results. The commitment of the participating parties of jointly building a community of shared future for the Asia-Pacific region has become a major highlight and an important achievement of this meeting. As the 30th anniversary of the establishment of APEC drawing near, President Xi Jinping, with a vision of Asia-Pacific cooperation from 2020 onwards, stressed that APEC should remain true to its original aspiration, adhere to be the "incubator" of cutting-edge concept of economic and trade cooperation, the "propeller" of regional economic integration, and the "binder" in various free trade arrangements. APEC should reflect the strategic height and ambition, and lead the global economic development; APEC should also ensure the continuity of all the agenda and carry out a mode of relay cooperation. These proposals are both present-oriented and future-targeted, which is conducive to leading APEC cooperation forward along the right track.

In addition, President Xi Jinping also conducted a series of bilateral meetings during the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, reaching positive results of enhancing mutual trust, building consensus and expanding cooperation. President Xi Jinping has held the 5th meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia within this year and this is also the first meeting of the Chinese and Russian heads of state since the 19th CPC National Congress, which is of guiding significance in planning the development of China-Russia relations in the new era. Both sides agreed to continue to strengthen mutual support, deepen all-round cooperation and unswervingly push high-level operation of the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the two countries, thus better promoting the security and development of both countries and better safeguarding the regional and global peace and stability. The two heads of state also had an in-depth talk on the issues of common concern, which not only reflects their profound personal friendship, but also demonstrates the high level and particularity of China–Russia relations.

President Xi Jinping also respectively met with the leaders of the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan, the Philippines and other countries. When meeting with President Moon Jae-in of the ROK, President Xi Jinping affirmed the recent consensus reached between the two sides on improving China-ROK relations and expressed principled stance on issues concerning China's core interests. He stressed that China and the ROK should step up their communication and coordination, take an attitude responsible for history, for China-ROK relations and for the two peoples on the issues concerning each other's major interests, and make decisions that can stand the tests of history, in order to ensure bilateral relations to always go along the right direction in a steady manner. When meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, President Xi Jinping, based on the recent situation in China-Japan relations, emphasized that China and Japan should make unremitting efforts and accumulate favorable conditions so as to promote the continuous improvement and sound development of China-Japan relations. Japan should take more practical actions and make specific policies to implement the strategic consensus that China and Japan are cooperation partners, but not threat to each other. When meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, President Xi Jinping made positive comments on the development of China-Philippines relations and emphasized that the friendly policy toward China pursued by President Rodrigo Duterte is entirely in line with the interests of the people of the Philippines and the country as a whole. Both sides agreed to stick to good neighborliness and friendship, enhance political mutual trust, consolidate and deepen cooperation and better benefit the two peoples. Moreover, both sides confirmed that they will continue to properly handle the maritime issues through bilateral channels.

During the meeting, President Xi Jinping attended Dialogue between APEC Leaders and ASEAN Leaders and this is the first time for the Chinese head of state to hold a collective dialogue with the leaders of ASEAN under the multilateral framework in recent years. The dialogue reached extensive consensus on the docking cooperation between ASEAN and APEC and the promotion of regional connectivity. President Xi Jinping encouraged the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with the development strategies of ASEAN, so as to build a higher level of China-ASEAN strategic partnership and move to a closer community of shared future for China and ASEAN countries, which has won positive responses from the leaders of ASEAN countries.

President Xi Jinping also witnessed the signing of a deal on upgrading the China-Chile Free Trade Agreement with President Veronica Michelle Bachelet of Chile. This is the first upgraded version of the free trade agreement signed between China and Latin American countries, which will inject new impetus into practical cooperation between China and Chile and set a new benchmark for China-Latin America cooperation.

3. To Carry Forward the Tradition of Good-neighborly Friendship and Enhance China-Vietnam and China-Laos Intimacy and Closeness

Wang Yi said that China has built profound traditional friendships with Vietnam and Laos throughout the process of our joint pursuit of national independence and liberation. With close geographical location, the same social system and similar paths of development, destinies of both countries are closely connected. As General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and President of China, Xi Jinping firstly visited Vietnam and Laos after the 19th CPC National Congress to achieve the mutual visits between the top leaders of the two parties and the two countries of China and Vietnam as well as China and Laos, reflecting a high emphasis on consolidating bilateral good-neighborly friendships and promoting comprehensive strategic cooperation, and sending a clear signal to the international community that China will promote the building of a community of shared future with neighboring countries and support the development of socialism cause.

The traditional friendships have been further promoted. Both Vietnam and Laos received President Xi Jinping with the highest standards and made special arrangements. General Secretary of the CPV Central Committee Nguyen Phu Trong and President Tran Dai Quang of Vietnam jointly held a grand welcoming banquet. The top leaders of two terms of party and country of Laos received President Xi Jinping. President Xi Jinping amicably interacted and communicated with the leaders of the two counties, fully reflecting the special and close relationships. President Xi Jinping recalled the past in light of the current situation, and reviewed the history of friendly exchanges between the leaders of the older generation and the experience of the two peoples supporting each other, and laid wreathes at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and the unknown martyr's monument in Laos, which aroused strong resonance in local societies. In the former residence of Ho Chi Minh, President Xi Jinping tasted tea and talked freely with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, and promised that they would stay true to the original aspiration of China-Vietnam traditional friendship, and grasp the characteristics of the shared destiny, in a bid to open up a brighter future. The friendship between China and the Pholsena family of Laos has become a favorite tale. President Xi Jinping amicably met with the friends of Pholsena family and other families in Vientiane, reviewed their friendship and encouraged them to continuously devote themselves to the cause of China-Laos friendship. Along the way, scenes of warm hospitality came one after another and people who lined the two sides of the street to extend their welcomes can be seen everywhere, which shows that the China-Vietnam friendship and the China-Laos friendship have remained unshakable and become even firmer as time goes by, shining with new vigor and vitality in the new era.

Political mutual trust has been further enhanced. President Xi Jinping reached important consensus with leaders of Vietnam and Laos on consolidating political mutual trust, intensifying strategic communication, deepening party contacts and exchanges in ruling experience, strengthening multilateral coordination and maintaining common strategic interests, and thus elevating bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to a new stage. Friends are valued in heart-to-heart sharing. President Xi Jinping held a small-scale communication with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Both sides, on the basis of the comradely and brotherly spirit, exchanged in-depth views on the major strategic issues of relations between the two parties and the two countries, deepened mutual trust, expanded consensus, and enhanced tacit understanding, thus bringing more fundamental stability to bilateral relations. The two sides agreed to follow the consensus reached by the leaders of both parties and both countries to properly handle maritime issues, steadily advance maritime cooperation including joint-development, and jointly safeguard the peace and stability in the South China Sea. The development of China-Laos relations has always walked in the forefront of China's relations with neighboring countries. President Xi Jinping and the leaders of Laos had a long and in-depth talk and both sides agreed to enrich the China-Laos comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership featuring high-level mutual trust, mutual assistance and mutual benefit, and build a community of shared future with strategic significance. China issued joint statements respectively with Vietnam and Laos, epitomizing their high degree of political consensus on working together for a common cause and a bright future.

Practical cooperation has been further expanded. China, Vietnam and Laos are all in the pivotal stage of reform and development, and both China-Vietnam cooperation and China-Laos cooperation face new practical demands and embrace new historical opportunities. President Xi Jinping and leaders of Vietnam and Laos worked out systemic deployment and comprehensive plans for intensifying bilateral cooperation in all fields. The three countries agreed to speed up the integration of development strategies, and steadily advance major cooperation projects. Vietnam openly supported the joint building of the "Belt and Road" initiative. China and Vietnam have signed inter-governmental documents on the construction of the "Belt and Road" and "Two Corridors and One Economic Circle", clearly charting the course for bilateral cooperation in the next phase. China and Laos decided to construct China-Laos Economic Corridor together based on China-Laos Railway, and the Corridor will become the most important achievement of aligning the "Belt and Road" Initiative and Laos' strategy of "transformation from a land-locked country into a land-linked one". China has signed nearly 20 cooperation agreements with Vietnam and Laos respectively, covering infrastructure construction, economy and trade, production capacity, economic cooperation zone, finance, science and technology, agriculture, and human resources, which shows that the advantage of traditional friendship is being transformed into more and more benefits in practical cooperation.

Public opinion foundation has been further consolidated. President Xi Jinping has mentioned repeatedly that amity between the people holds the key to sound state-to-state relations and lies in shared aspiration. To further consolidate and develop bilateral relations, we must gain people's support, accommodate their wills and benefit them. President Xi Jinping also puts such conviction into practice. Whenever he visits or receives leaders from other countries, he strengthens communication with them on expanding cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and proposes practical initiatives and concrete measures. In addition, he has close contacts with local friendly personages and narrows the distance with them through warm words, intimate communications and affinity. President Xi Jinping also attended the completion and handover ceremony of Vietnam-China Friendship Palace, and the foundation stone laying ceremony of Mahosot General Hospital in Laos. He stressed that both China-Vietnam and China-Laos cooperation should give priority to people's livelihood and benefit more local people. During these visits, China has announced new measures to help Vietnam and Laos improve their people's livelihood. This is a concrete expression for China to fulfill its obligation as a traditional friendly neighbour of Vietnam and Laos and also the real reflection of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests.

In the end, Wang Yi pointed out that the visit of President Xi Jinping was a historical one with overall significance as it delivers in-depth discussions with neighboring countries, takes root in Asia-Pacific region and affects countries around the world. After receiving leaders of the US, Russia and other countries, China's diplomacy has made headway both at home and abroad, and been expanded with major countries, neighboring countries, and multilateral diplomacy, thus introducing a brilliant opening of diplomacy in the new era since 19th CPC National Congress. We understand that the 19th CPC National Congress not only embarks on a new journey of reform and development, but also sounds the trumpet of diplomacy in new era as well as brings new opportunities for win-win cooperation and common development of China and other countries around the world. At the new historical period, China's diplomacy will move forward with a broader horizon, a higher goal, a grander landscape and a more confident pace. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, we will unite more closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core, remain true to our original aspirations and keep our missions firmly in mind, and continue to carve out a new landscape of China's major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era. We will make new and greater contributions to realizing the strategic target of the "two centenary goals" and the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation as well as achieving the lasting peace and common development of the world.

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