Agreement and divergence, cooperation and fraction, 2018 is a crucial year for China’s diplomacy. With protectionism surging around the globe, and unstable regional circumstances causing uncertainty, China has made great efforts to create a community with a shared future for humankind. What are the highlights of China’s diplomacy in 2018? Will China and other nations work together to build a better world for us all? With People’s Daily Online, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will comb through China’s diplomatic achievements of 2018, showing us the role China played in international affairs in 2018.
1. A community with a shared future for humankind
In September 2015, Xi proposed the roadmap of building “a community of shared future for humankind” at a United Nations (U.N.) summit. The concept has then become a guide for China’s diplomacy, calling on the whole world to rebalance global order, as well as work together against global challenges.
“The building of a community with a shared future for humankind is the core and essence of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic thinking, going beyond the differences among social systems and developmental phases,” said Wang.
According to Wang, the concept showcases global vision and serves as a goal that Chinese diplomacy in the new era pursues.
2. Chinese-US relations
2018 was a bumpy year for China and US bilateral relations. As 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations, both sides have been making an effort to ease trade tensions, as well as deepen cooperation.
“The experience and lessons over the past 40 years are enough to prove that for China and the US, cooperation will deliver win-win results, whereas confrontation will end with a loss for both sides,” noted Wang.
As the latest round of China-US trade talks took place in January, the two sides made important progress for its current stage, while the two had “candid, specific and fruitful” discussions, according to Xinhua.
“In today’s world, where the interests of China and the US are interwoven in the era of in-depth development of economic globalization, both countries should eliminate all barriers,” added Wang.
3. China-Russian relations
China and Russia further developed their bilateral ties in 2018, with leaders at high levels visiting each other multiple times. Hailing the rapid development of China-Russia economic and trade cooperation, the bilateral trade volume was projected to exceed 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, while the two sides agreed to work together on international issues, safeguarding free trade and multilateralism.
“China and Russia regard each other as comprehensive strategic partners. Thanks to the high-level mutual trust and strategic guidance of the two heads of state, bilateral ties have always been as firm and stable as a rock or mountain,” said Wang.
“Next year will mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. China-Russia relations will surely, based on current high-level development, make further progress in 2019,” Wang added.
4. Regional Stability
Meeting with Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho of the DPRK in December, 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping noted that China will always support the amelioration of inter-Korean relations and facilitate reconciliation and cooperation between the two sides.
“China always stays firmly committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and adheres to establishing a peace mechanism and solving issues through dialogue. We’ve taken efforts toward this for more than 20 years,” said Wang.
“We are happy to see the situation of “double suspension” continue and expect to promote parallel progress in the denuclearization of the peninsula and the establishment of a peace mechanism,” he added.
5. Globalization and cooperation
When meeting with foreign delegates attending the 2018 Imperial Springs International Forum in Guangzhou, south China’s Guangdong Province in December, 2018, Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated that China would adhere to the path of multilateralism and open its door wider to the world.
“Opening-up and cooperation, a consistent theme of Chinese diplomacy in the year 2018, has helped to clearly show China’s role and build China’s image in the international arena,” said Wang.
Despite rising protectionism worldwide, China adhered to the principles of opening wider to the world, defending the rule-based multilateral trading system. In 2018, China hosted the world’s first international import expo (the CIIE), attracting more than 3,600 companies from over 130 countries.
6. Opening Up to the world
2018 marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening up. According to Xinhua, in four decades, the average personal disposable income in China rose from just 171 RMB (about 25 US dollars) to 26,000 RMB (about $3,768) each year.
“Forty years ago, reform and opening-up changed China fundamentally, opening a door for the country’s communication with the rest of the world,” said Wang, adding “I believe that following China’s continuing reform and opening-up, the country will surely inject even greater vitality into the world over the next 40 years.”