China’s Foreign Policy after 19th National Congress of CPC
A country needs to modernize itself and thus command its own destiny, this was the crux of a public talk delivered by Prof Jin Canrong, Associate Dean at the School of International Studies, Renmin University, Beijing at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) here on Tuesday.
The title of the public talk was “China’s Foreign Policy After the 19th National Congress of Communist Party of China (CPC) and its International Relations in the 21st Century.”
Chinese Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China Lijian Zhao and the Cultural Counsellor of China You Yi also participated in the public talk.
Speaking about China’s foreign policy and strategy, Prof Canrong said that the secret behind the rise of the West was that western countries commanded the manufacturing industry. Presently, China has the largest manufacturing industry in the world- it has surpassed even the United States in 2010. The role of China’s great revolution is significant as the social structure in the country has changed – the society is more egalitarian, he noted, which is also a requirement of a machine-based society.
He went on to explain how a country experiences three stages: survival, development and dignity. For China the Mao Zedong era was vying for the survival of New China and the Deng Xiaoping era focused on pursuing economic development. Currently, the Xi Jinping era is seeking dignity by shaping a major power strategy with Chinese characteristics and embracing a new identity from a regional power to a world power. China’s foreign policy framework has always encompassed big powers, its neighborhood, the developing world and international organizations. In the present era it also includes public diplomacy, global governance and protecting overseas interests.
He said that since President Xi Jinping came into power, China has become more active globally, and is trying to establish a mechanism for cooperation by increasing spending on aid development, poverty relief and climate change. While the US wants hierarchy, China wants equality. Its way of global governance is UN centered and it puts development first. As a result, it seeks equal partnership and has a staunch principle of non-intervention.
Director General ISSI, Ambassador Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry appreciated China’s policy of major power diplomacy. He was of the view that the Chinese have reaffirmed belief in UN charter principles. In sharp contrast to US policy makers, China wants to advocate greater power diplomacy, an open economy and globalisation as opposed to protectionist policies. He also said that unless one has the requisite power, any confrontational threats ring hollow and thus before embarking on tough talks one should put their house in order – which is what China has done.
Earlier, in his welcome remarks, Chairman ISSI, Ambassador Khalid Mahmood explained how China’s continuous rise and simultaneous national rejuvenation focused on the need to maintain an open global economy that allows China to maintain its economic development. The new theme advocated by the Party Congress calls for a stronger commitment to safeguarding China’s sovereignty.