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Xinhua insight: 5 key words shaping Chinese diplomacy in 2017
Last Updated: 2017-01-06 06:56 | Xinhua
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With the arrival of a new year, China is embarking on a new diplomatic journey with the rest of the world. Here are 5 key words that could shape the country's foreign relations in 2017.


Two conferences stand out among the numerous international gatherings to be held in China in 2017: a high-level forum on the Belt and Road Initiative and the 9th BRICS summit.

China will be in the spotlight again, following the APEC meeting in 2014, the military parade in 2015 marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, and the G20 summit in 2016.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road trade routes. It has won support from over 100 countries and international organizations.

"Launching a forum serves to make the initiative more understandable to the international community, helping it to be implemented widely," said Ruan Zongze, executive deputy president of the China Institute of International Studies.

Leaders from BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - will meet in September in Xiamen, a coastal city in southeast China, to focus on economic cooperation and joint response to global challenges.

The BRICS countries have contributed 50 percent of world GDP growth in the past decade. Observers say China aims to lift the confidence of the bloc to continue to lead developing economies.


As Donald Trump, the business tycoon turned politician, prepares to be inaugurated on Jan. 20, it remains to be seen whether China-U.S. relations will be smooth under the new administration.

As president-elect, Trump appears imprudent and unpredictable, from accepting a phone call from Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen that broke decades of protocol, to accusing China of "stealing" U.S. jobs and threatening to quit the historic Paris agreement on climate change.

"President Trump's policies toward China will be the biggest variable in China-U.S. relations," Ruan said. Dismissing possibilities of overall confrontation, he said there will be temporary disturbances in the relationship in 2017.

China has said cooperation is the only correct choice for both countries. Trump needs to adapt to his new role and digest this message in order to transform from a green hand in politics to an incoming president.


Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China will remain deeply involved in global governance through participation in the World Economic Forum, G20, APEC, Shanghai Cooperation Organization in 2017.

Analysts said innovation, structural reform and global economic growth -- the major agenda set by China at the 2016 G20 summit -- will continue to figure into the 2017 summit in Germany, showcasing China's influence in global economic governance.

With Brexit, Trump's victory and upcoming general elections in Germany, France and the Netherlands, anti-globalization, protectionism and populism are on the rise, casting uncertainty on the future of globalization.

As a firm supporter of globalization, China will continue to be a champion. Through the Belt and Road Initiative, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Silk Road Fund, China hopes to get more countries on board and share opportunities for growth.

China has vowed to continue to promote its relations with the United Nations under the new Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and consolidate the central role of the UN in world peace and security. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, China will also play its part in hot international issues.


Regarding China's relations with neighboring countries, the South China Sea and the situation on the Korean Peninsula are two issues crucial to China's national sovereignty, security and development.

China and the Philippines have repaired relations after the so-called South China Sea arbitration, and more countries have realized dialogue is the only solution to disputes.

"Though there may be minor frictions, big conflicts are less likely," said Gao Fei, professor at China Foreign Affairs University.

The uncertainties over the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the continuing political turmoil in the Republic of Korea caused by scandal-hit President Park Geun-hye have made the regional situation more complicated.

Staying committed to denuclearizing the Peninsula and maintaining peace and stability there, China said it will continue its efforts to bring the issue back to the negotiating table.

"China's opposition to the deployment of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD) system in the ROK remains unchanged and China will safeguard peace and tranquility on its doorstep," according to the Chinese foreign minister.


China's most significant political event in 2017, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), is scheduled to convene in the second half of the year to map out the country's future development.

It remains unknown what the Congress will be likely to produce in terms of foreign policy, but anything said in the meeting will be of utter importance to Chinese diplomacy over the next five years.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, China has unveiled its signature diplomacy of fostering a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the center and building a community of shared destiny for mankind.

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