Follow the Guidance of Xi Jinping Thought On Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era To Break New Ground in China's Foreign Relations

By Wang Yi


The Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era laid out in the report of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) is a major theoretical innovation by our Party, and the latest achievement and a significant advancement of adapting Marxism to the Chinese context. It provides a strong theoretical framework and guideline for the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era. It will inspire the Chinese people to make big strides toward a great modern socialist country and blaze a path of steady and sustained development. It will show the world the bright prospects of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and underline the global significance of China's development and the far-reaching impact of China's path. 

China's diplomatic work is an integral part of the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The report delivered by General Secretary Xi Jinping at the 19th Party Congress lays out a master plan for China's foreign policy in the new era. It provides an incisive review of the major diplomatic achievements of the past five years, and sets out the direction and tasks of China's foreign policy in the years ahead. The report, integrating innovations in practice and theory, outlines a series of major policy initiatives on China's external relations, the international order and global governance, which have enriched the theoretical framework of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. Keeping pace with the changing times and offering fresh and farsighted ideas, the report serves as a guide to action for China's diplomatic work in the new era.

The centerpiece of the foreign policy sections of the report is to build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. By giving a coherent answer to important questions such as what our world should be like, what kind of foreign policy China needs, what is the best way to build state-to-state ties, and how to explore a better future for mankind, these sections articulate a new vision, put forward a new mission, and open a new vista for China's foreign relations in the new era. 

The vision of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind is rooted in China's rich history, culture, policies and diplomatic practice.

This vision emanates from our Party's historical mission. General Secretary Xi Jinping proclaims in the report that "the Communist Party of China strives for both the wellbeing of the Chinese people and human progress. To make new and great contributions for mankind is our Party's abiding mission". These words highlight the sense of mission, global vision and concern for the world among members of the CPC. They underline our Party's commitment to pursuing happiness for not just the people of China but also the people of the world and our Party's internationalist approach ever since its founding. This is an important distinction that sets our Party apart from many political parties of other countries and a key principle China must always follow in developing external relations. 

This vision derived from China's great cultural heritage. The Chinese nation, in its more than 5,000-year history, has created a splendid civilization, which values love and empathy, non-aggression, neighbourliness, peace, and harmony without uniformity, and sees the world as one community. These values have shaped China's guiding philosophy in foreign affairs and reflect Chinese wisdom in handling contemporary international relations.

This vision encapsulates the fine tradition of China's foreign relations. Since the founding of the People's Republic, our Party has put forward a series of foreign policy initiatives and strategic guidelines in the day-to-day diplomatic practice. We advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, pursued friendship and cooperation with other countries, and promoted the common development of all countries while seeking our own development. All this is widely appreciated and supported by the international community and creates even brighter prospects for China's peaceful development.

This vision grows naturally from the latest practice of China's major- country diplomacy. Since the 18th Party Congress five years ago, General Secretary Xi Jinping, with a keen understanding of the trend of the times and the world, has been personally involved in China's foreign affairs, and proposed a whole set of new thinking, measures and strategies, under the guidance of which China's foreign policy has developed a distinct vision, approach and style, and made comprehensive and historic achievements never before seen. China has calmly responded to the transformation of the international landscape, fully engaged in global affairs and major international initiatives, and provided China's input and proposals. China has been building a global network of partnerships and working hard to implement the Belt and Road Initiative to contribute more public goods welcomed by the international community. China has assumed more international responsibilities and fulfilled its due obligations as a major and responsible country by taking on global challenges and endeavoring to improve global governance. China's diplomatic actions over the past five years speak volumes about a China that works for peace and justice, contributes to human progress, and advances with the times in both theory and practice. 

Building a community with a shared future for mankind, a proposal that fits the trend of world development and the common aspirations of  all peoples, thus represents a central mission for China's foreign policy in the new era.

In today's world, peace and development remain the overriding trend. However, mankind is confronted with many common challenges resulting from turbulence, conflicts and imbalances. "No country can address alone the many challenges facing mankind, no country can afford to retreat into self-isolation." People around the world hope to embrace a new vision that responds to the call of the times and promotes harmony among nations. 

   Building a community with a shared future for mankind is such a vision. It responds to the urgent call and long-standing pursuit of the international community for peace, development, cooperation and progress. It points out the right way forward in addressing current security and development challenges and promoting sound development of international relations. It guidesChina's diplomacy in responding to the development trend of the times and standing on a moral high ground.

   Building a community with a shared future for mankind is a crystallization of innovations in the theory of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. It has drawn on the culture and wisdom of both China and other countries, and seeks to integrate China's development with that of the world. In his report to the 19th National Party Congress, General Secretary Xi Jinping called upon people of all countries to work together and build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity. He also outlined the pathway toward that goal. 

To achieve lasting peace is to replace ColdWar mentality and powerpolitics with mutual respect, equal consultation and harmonious co-existence. 

To achieve universal security means fostering a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, resolving disputes and differences through dialogue and consultation and removing security threats through cooperation. 

To achieve common prosperity, countries are encouraged to draw on each other's strength, and work for the rebalancing of economic globalization, common development and progress through mutual assistance and mutually reinforcing efforts. 

To build an open and inclusive world means staying committed to open development and cultural diversity rather than seclusion, isolation or estrangement, and advocating exchange and mutual learning between countries and cultures.

To build a clean and beautiful world emphasizes environmental and ecological protection, as well as cooperation in addressing climate change with a view to protectingplanet Earth. 

Building a community with a shared future for mankind is an important vision put forward by the CPC. Ithas demonstrated our Party's readiness and ability to make even bigger contribution to resolving the issues and promoting progress and development of mankind. 

Fostering a new type of international relations is first and foremost about taking a new approach to developing state-to-state relations, which will pave the way for building a community with a shared future for mankind. In this endeavor, we need to adhere to the following three key principles, i.e. mutual respect, fairness and justice, and win-win cooperation. 

Mutual respect is the prerequisite. Countries, regardless of their size, strength and wealth, all stand as equals. Different systems, religions and cultures should be treated equally. It is important to respect countries' differences in history, culture, tradition and the context of their development stage. It is imperative to respect each other's core interests and major concerns as well as the independent choices of the people. 

Given the differences in political system and development path of various countries,none should be regarded as the only choice, nor should we mechanically copy others. Countries and regions need to enhance interactions to diffuse misgivings and build consensus,hence achievingtheir own growth and prosperity and contributing to the progress of mankind as well. 

Fairness and justice are norms of behavior among countries. By following the trend of the history, we need to rise above the laws of the jungle and oppose interference in other countries' internal affairs or imposition of one's own will on others. It is important to support the UN in playing a central role in international affairs, observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and adhere to international law and universally recognized norms governing international relations. Efforts should be made to build a more just and equitable international order by supporting the greater say and representation of developing countries in international affairs. 

Win-win cooperation is the goal. No country can stand aloof from the global challenges of terrorism, cyber insecurity and climate change. With the future of all countries closely connected and our interests intertwined, the only right choice is to meet the risks and challenges together and work for mutual benefit and common development. It is imperative to rise above the outdated thinking of categorizing countries into hierarchical groupings or blocs, and reject the zero-sum game and winner-take-all mentality. Countries need to expand converging interests and meet challenges together, with a view to upholding peace and promoting development.  

To build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind represents China's continuity and progress in its pursuit of peaceful development. Representing our vision and aspiration for a better world, it forms a natural connection between the Chinese dream and the dream of the world. 

This vision, having transcended the differences between nationalities, political parties and systems, reflects the biggest common interests of all  countries and the common values of mankind, hence being echoed and supported by more and more countries. By facilitating communication between countries, it will help forge sound international relations featuring efforts to seek common ground while putting aside differences, harmony without uniformity, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation.


As we implement General Secretary Xi Jinping's thought on diplomacy, it is important for us to have a keen understanding of what a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind are essentially about. To undertake this central mission, we must have a comprehensive grasp of the new ideas, new thinking and new strategies of China's foreign policy covering different areas and different fronts. We must identify clear priorities and make coordinated and all-round progress on a path toward greater national strength, one different from that followed by traditional powers. That is a responsibility to mankind's progress that history assigns to China as a major socialist country. It is also a historical mission of our Party as we strive for political advancement of mankind.

Partnership is an important pathway to a new type of international relations. Those who share the same ideal and follow the same path can be partners; those who seek common ground while reserving differences can also be partners. Embracing an approach of dialogue and partnership instead of confrontation or alliance, China has forged partnerships of various forms with about 100 countries, regions and regional organizations. Those partnerships cover different parts of the world and different types of countries through a multi-dimensional and multi-layered network. China will pursue greater convergence of interestswith other countries and work fora framework of major-country relations featuring overall stability and balanced development. It willdeepen relations with its neighbors in accordance with the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness and with the policy of pursuing friendship and partnership. The emphasis on friendship, justice and good faith is a defining feature of new China's diplomacy that reflects its core values. So China will stay committed to the principle of upholding justice while pursuing shared interests and that of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith as it works to enhance solidarity and cooperation with other developing countries to safeguard and advance common interests. 

The Belt and Road Initiative is a good example of China's commitment to building a community with a shared future for mankind. China will stick to the principle of pursuing shared benefits through consultation and collaboration in the implementation of the outcomes of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. Efforts will be made to form greater synergy between development strategies of different countries, tap the complementarity of countries with their respective strengths, and deliver key programs and projects. This way, the Belt and Road Initiative will grow into a joint enterprise for all participating countries, a grand symphony, so to speak. 

Opening-up must be upheld as a fundamental national policy of China for a long time to come. As a firm supporter of free trade, China will keep its door open to achieve greater development. It will also advocate an open world economy, and uphold and strengthen the multilateral trading regime by promoting FTA arrangements, regional economic integration, and trade and investment liberalization and facilitation. China will continue to support other developing countries in capacity building for greater self-development. That will help narrow the North-South gap, make economic globalization a more open, inclusive and balanced process that delivers win-win outcomes to all, and secure robust and sustainable growth of the world economy.

As a responsible major country, China will stay fully and deeply engaged in global governance, and stand for the sharing of responsibilities as well as benefits. Guided by the vision on development, security, civilization and governance put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping, China will take an active part in the reform of the global governance system and steer it in the right direction. To be specific, China will support a greater role by the UN, the G20, APEC, the SCO, BRICS and other frameworks, and push forward the implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change. China will also actively participate in rule-making in such frontier areas as the ocean, polar affairs and cyberspace to increase China's role and influence in agenda-setting and rule-making in global affairs.

It must be pointed out that China's call for building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind is a natural extension of China's efforts to pursue its own development and consistent with China's need to protect its legitimate rights and interests. China will stay firmly committed to following an independent path of peaceful development, to safeguarding its sovereignty, security and development interests, and to properly resolvingdisputes through dialogue and negotiation. We will unequivocally stand for the one China principle, oppose and forestall any separatist attempt at “Taiwan independence”, and oppose any external interference into China’s internal affairs. We will stay true to our abiding mission of serving the people through effective foreign relations and go all out to safeguard China’s legitimate interests overseas. This is what people would naturally expect from China’s foreign policy in the new era.

Our diplomatic efforts and achievements over the past five years demonstrate both the confidence and the ability of the CPC to achieve remarkable development at home while working with others for common development. We can offer not only Chinese wisdom to mankind's exploration for a better social system but also a new pathway to modernization for other developing countries. As we study and act on the guiding principles laid out at the 19th Party Congress, it is important that we reaffirm confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics, exchange governance experience with other countries, tell good stories about China in the new era, and promote the fine traditional Chinese culture. This way, we can win greater international understanding and appreciation of China’s development path and foreign policy, and increase China’s moral appeal and international influence.

As the tide of the times surges forward, so does the development of China. Our country is conquering waves and forging ahead with unprecedented confidence, courage and perseverance. We must rally even more closely around the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core and follow the spirit of the 19th Party Congress and Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics as a source of strength. We will keep up with the times and strive for continued progress on a new journey of China’s foreign policy in the new era. We will take concrete steps to make new contribution to national rejuvenation of China and to peace and development of mankind. 

WangYi is Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China.