China to seek global sway in 2018: FM

Global Times
Li Jiayao

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has pledged better diplomatic work to serve the development of China and the world, stressing that China will participate in global governance and rules-making of emerging sectors in 2018.

As the largest developing country, the diplomatic work of China should serve the creation of a better external environment for the country's modernization, Wang said in an interview with the People's Daily, published on Monday.

"We also need to take our international responsibilities and make new contributions to the development and progress of humanity," he said.

Wang said China will deepen its friendship with neighbors and seek political settlements regarding issues such as the Korean Peninsula and Afghanistan.

"The North Korean nuclear crisis is a significant issue for China, the region and even the whole world. Foreign Minister Wang mentioning both Korea Peninsula and Afghanistan shows China will pay more efforts to these two issues which are closely related to China's interests and safety of its eastern and western borders," Hua Liming, a Middle East studies expert and a former Chinese Ambassador to Iran, told the Global Times.

Foreign ministers of China, Pakistan and Afghanistan will meet in Beijing Tuesday for discussions on development and security, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Thursday.

The Afghanistan issue is closely related to the stability of China's western borders, security and development, and to the counter-terrorism goal in the region, which is why China has paid a lot attention to boosting the peace process of Afghanistan.

Unfortunately, due to the change in the US presidency, the quartet meeting between China, the US, Pakistan and Afghanistan which started during Barack Obama's era, is no longer valid to some extent, so in order to push the peace process with more efficiency, the US is likely to be excluded for a moment, Hua Liming said.

"But if the US wants to come back and make contributions, it will be welcomed by the other countries," he said.

"China will promote the healthy development of China-US relations, maintain high-level strategic coordination with Russia, consolidate the sound momentum for relations with European countries," Wang said.

A new US national security strategy plan that labeled China and Russia as its competitors that want to realign global power in their interests, potentially threatening the US, Trump administration officials said last week.

"Therefore, the China-US relationship will very likely face some challenges, but it will not be surprising because competition is always a part of the relationship," said Diao Daming, an associate professor at the Renmin University of China.

"January 1, 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the US. Both sides need to safeguard the stability of the bilateral ties and avoid subversive mistakes," said Diao.

A new chapter

Wang said China will make every effort when it hosts the Boao Forum for Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation and the China International Import Expo in 2018 to "open a new chapter" for win-win cooperation between China and other countries.

The China International Import Expo, which is planned for November in Shanghai, is special compared to the other three regular events, said Hua Liming.

"China does not have enough pricing power even though it is the biggest importer of many bulk commodities, so now it is time for China to win more influence through diplomacy."

Wang said that in 2018, China will implement the results reached at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation and put in place mechanisms to boost cooperation.

The foreign minister said China will also participate in global governance, make economic globalization more open, inclusive and beneficial to more people, and advance international cooperation in responding to climate change and fighting terrorism.

Moreover, he said China will participate in making rules regarding emerging sectors, such as cyberspace and outer space, and will oppose all forms of protectionism.


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