Following Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and Turning a New Page for People-to-People Diplomacy

By Li Junru

As a special “volunteer diplomat”, I wish to warmly congratulate the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA) on its 70th anniversary. Over the past 70 years, the Institute made remarkable achievements in people-to-people diplomacy, giving strong support to the diplomatic endeavors of the CPC Central Committee. Today, under the powerful guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, the CPIFA is set to embrace an even better future in this new era of great change and transformation . 


Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy forms an important part of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. Informed by the realities in the new era of socialism with Chinese characteristics, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy sustains China’s commitment to the path of peaceful development and the goal of building a community with a shared future for mankind. It is an umbrella theory for China’s diplomacy which adapts the doctrines of Marxism to China’s conditions.  

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is conceived in a dynamic environment, in which China is on course to realize its great rejuvenation while the global landscape is undergoing changes unseen in a century. 

National rejuvenation has been the greatest dream of the Chinese people since modern times; and never before have we been so close to it. But the last leg of a journey is usually the most challenging. To keep pushing forward, we must understand our success is not only to be determined by how we maintain China’s own growth, but also how we respond to the changes beyond our borders. The first wave of economic globalization saw China left out and behind and fell into a miserable fate of being bullied by the foreign countries. The second wave, cut short by world wars, socialist revolutions, and national liberation struggles, witnessed China’s hard-won independence and liberation, and “the Chinese people, accounting for one quarter of the world’s population, finally stood up”. During the third wave of economic globalization, China seized the opportunities to reform and open itself, develop a socialist market economy, and fully engage in economic globalization and ICT application. Historic transformations have since taken place in the country. The Chinese people, who are better off now, exert their utmost to build a stronger country. At this critical juncture, the world in which we live is going through changes unseen in a century. Peace, development and all-win cooperation are the trend of times; technologies, such as the Internet, big data, cloud computing, and AI, are booming. Global challenges are also on the rise. In particular, anti-globalization sentiments are driven by trade protectionism and populism, creating tremendous uncertainties for the world and China’s rejuvenation. What is happening to our world? What shall we do about it? These are the questions asked everywhere around the globe. It is against this background that Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy took its shape. 

The Thought traces back to the founding mission of the CPC in order to answer the questions facing China and the rest of the world. 

Xi Jinping is a Marxist statesman well versed in philosophy and history, with an international perspective and a keen sense of mission. He carefully examined the torrents shaking up the world and the difficult questions of our times. His mind revolves around a set of fundamental questions: Where did we come from? Where are we? Where would we like to go? Such insight! This has been a timeless philosophical inquiry in human history. Xi Jinping was wise to go back to this line of thinking to address the questions at hand, thus giving birth to Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy in the new era. 

In an attempt to answer these questions in diplomacy, we must look back on the founding mission of the Communist Party of China and think about how to fulfill it diplomatically in the new era. In Xi’s words, the CPC works for the happiness of the Chinese people and the progress of mankind. Everything the CPC does is to improve the Chinese people’s well-being, to rejuvenate the nation, and to foster peace and development for mankind. Xi is not only focused on the past, present, and future of the CPC, the socialism with Chinese characteristics, and the Chinese nation; he is also looking back and forward for the whole world. He once noted, “Over the past century and more, mankind has gone through bloody hot wars and the chilling Cold War, but also achieved remarkable development and huge progress.” “Peace and development: this has been the aspiration held dear by mankind over the past century. However, the goal to achieve peace and development is far from being met. We need to respond to the call of the people, take up the baton of history and forge ahead on the marathon track toward peace and development.”

In the new era, what kind of socialism with Chinese characteristics shall we uphold and promote? How are we going to do about it? These are the questions the Party is working to address in the new era. In this context, Xi believes it is important for China’s diplomacy to closely associate itself with the goal of developing socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era, with China’s rejuvenation, and with peace and development for the human community. This is the context that Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy came into being. 


For this reason, I hope we can receive support from the CPIFA in order to better understand and act on Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. 

China’s diplomacy has made historical achievements since the founding of the PRC, especially since the policy of reform and opening-up was introduced. As we enter the new era, under the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and thanks to the personal devotion of Xi himself, China’s diplomacy has reached an all-dimensional approach which takes into account both the domestic and international situations and serves the three overarching priorities of development, security and human rights.

China’s diplomacy is all-dimensional in its overall plan. China is now increasingly active in carrying out major-country diplomacy and neighborhood diplomacy, building relations with other developing countries, and acting multilaterally, especially in the UN (including the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council, the Human Rights Council) and other international and regional organizations. Besides its relations with the US, China is engaging with many other countries and regions, such as Russia, the EU, Africa, and the Latin American countries.

It is all-dimensional in terms of its participating parties. Now, in addition to the government diplomacy and party diplomacy, many others are joining in the diplomatic work, such as the National People’s Congress, the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, people’s organizations, various government agencies, and media outlets. Public diplomacy and international exchange by the general public is growing fast. 

It is all-dimensional in its areas of engagement. While working on relations between states and political parties, China’s diplomatic engagement is also seen in economic cooperation and trade; dialogues in culture, human rights, and military; and judicial cooperation including repatriation of corruption fugitives; and security cooperation, which includes cyber-security. As the country implements a strategy of comprehensive opening-up, its diplomatic work in all these areas complements its economic opening and produces an excellent combined effect. The Belt and Road Initiative, which promotes China’s integration into a globalized world by expanding land and sea transport lines, opening the country eastward and westward, and creating connections online and offline, is also taking diplomacy into a new stage defined by comprehensive engagement in economic, cultural, and security fields. 
It is all-dimensional for the variety of people engaged, which include not only heads of state, diplomats and other government officials, but also members of parliament, business leaders, academics, human rights workers, intellectuals and artists, and those working on social issues. 

It is all-dimensional in its channels of communication. Now, China works on track one, track two, and track 1.5 to engage with the world. The increasing think tank exchanges have also been instrumental in tackling the difficult issues between states and in international events. In recent years, China is hosting more international events as a way of conducting diplomacy, putting the country in a positive international spotlight. 

Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy crystallizes such an all-dimensional diplomacy unprecedented in China’s history. It is crucial that we fully understand the essence of the Thought and let it shape our actions. I am confident the CPIFA will earnestly study the theories of the Thought and make new progress under its guidance. 


Studying and practicing the Though essentially requires us to stay committed to peaceful development and build a community with a shared future for mankind. 

This is a pivotal moment in history: China is about to achieve its rejuvenation and the world is changing at a pace unprecedented in a century. China has two overarching missions for its diplomacy: find the way for a fast-growing China to interact with the world and contribute to building a better world. 

At the beginning of the 21st century, China made clear to the world its enduring commitment to the path of peaceful development. The fast-growing country will neither follow the spectre of colonialism,nor modernize by way of waging wars, or repeat expansionism and hegemonism. Made-up theories like “China threat” or “China meltdown” have never stopped jostling for international attention; yet none of them has any credibility to show for. Later, when the Chinese economy grew to be the world’s second largest, all sorts of conjectures about China were tossed around by those who would only look at the country through colored lenses. In response, Xi Jinping shared his observations that China and the rest of the world had come to “a convergence of interests” and live in “a community with shared interests” and “a community with a shared future”. He expounded on China’s logic of not making wars, bullying others, pursuing its interest at the expense of others, or dominating the world, but building partnerships so that we can all live in a community with a shared future. 

Xi Jinping’s thought on building a community with a shared future for mankind not only helps us understand how China will engage the world as its strength grows, but also how China envisages international relations and order. He calls on the international community to forge partnerships, promote security, develop the economy, increase cultural exchange, and protect the environment, so as to build an open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. The defining goal of China’s diplomacy is to shape a community with a shared future for human beings. To make it happen, China will be a steady force for peaceful and common development and the multilateral trading system and actively participates in global economic governance. 

To conclude, Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy is an important part of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. It represents the latest achievement in adapting Marxism to the Chinese context on diplomacy under the leadership of the CPC. It is a guide to action as we make all-round efforts to advance diplomatic work.

Li Junru is Vice Chairman of China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy, former Vice President of Party School of the Central Committee of CPC, and Member of the 11th National Committee of the CPPCC.