|Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president and chairman of Central Military Commission, speaks during a conference on the diplomatic work on neighboring countries in Beijing, capital of China, Oct. 25, 2013. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)
BEIJING, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping has said here that China would strive for a sound neighboring environment for its own development and seek common development with neighboring countries.
At a conference in the capital on diplomatic work, Xi stressed the necessity of good diplomatic work in neighboring countries to realize the "centenary goals" set by the 18th CPC National Congress in November 2012: a moderately prosperous society by 2021 and a prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced, harmonious and modern socialist country by 2049.
CPC leadership in previous generations attached high importance to diplomacy with neighboring countries, raising important issues and guiding policy, opening up a generally sound environment, laying the foundation for diplomatic work, Xi said at the conference held on Oct. 24 and 25.
All members of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau attended the conference.
On the basis of ensuring continuity and stability in China's foreign policy, the CPC Central Committee actively plans and manages China's diplomacy, and carried out a series of major diplomatic activities after the 18th CPC National Conference, with particular attention to neighboring countries.
With respect to geography, the environment and intertwined relations, Xi said the neighboring region has major strategic significance. Dealing with neighboring countries "should have a three-dimensional, multi-element perspective, beyond time and space".
In reviewing China's situation, Xi said there had been lots of changes in relations between China and its neighbors. "Our economic and trade links are closer, with unprecedented interactive exchanges," he said.
"The situation requires us to keep pace with the times and be more active in blueprinting diplomatic strategy and undertaking diplomatic work," he said.
China's neighborhood, full of vigor and vitality, boasts obvious advantages and potentials in development. The region is stable on the whole, and most of the neighboring countries have a friendly and mutually beneficial relationship with China, Xi said.
In diplomacy, one must understand the trend of the time, devise strategy and plan carefully, Xi said.
The strategic goal of China's diplomacy with neighboring countries is to serve the cause of national rejuvenation, for which China must consolidate its friendly relations with neighboring countries and make the best use of the strategic opportunities China now has, according to Xi.
We must strive to make our neighbors more friendly in politics, economically more closely tied to us, and we must have deeper security cooperation and closer people-to-people ties, Xi said.
He emphasized that the basic tenet of diplomacy with neighbors is to treat them as friends and partners, to make them feel safe and to help them develop.
Friendship, suggested Xi, is the consistent principle of China's diplomacy with its neighbors and sincerity is the way to cultivate more friends and partners. Cooperation with neighbors should be based on mutual benefit and create a close network of common interests.
Only through better integration of China's interests with neighbors' can they benefit from China's development and China benefit from theirs, Xi said.
Underlining the importance of tolerance, Xi stressed that the Asia and Pacific region is big enough for all countries to develop, and that countries in the region must promote regional cooperation in an opener mind and with greater enthusiasm.
China itself must embrace and practice these idea so that they will become the shared belief and norms of conduct for the whole region, said Xi.
Xi stressed that the Party must deal with issues strategically by making improvements to planning and operational capability, maintaining that great efforts need to be made to safeguard peace and stability in the region.
"The path of peaceful development is the Party's strategic choice, in line the times and the fundamental interests of the country. A major purpose of this diplomacy is peace and stability in the region," Xi said.
Great efforts must be made towards win-win reciprocity, accurately identifying convergence points for cooperation; making use of China's advantages in economy, trade, technology, and finance; and actively taking part in regional economic cooperation, Xi said.h He said China should work with its neighbors to hasten interconnectivity and establish a Silk Road economic belt and a maritime silk road for the 21st century. China should accelerate establishment of free trade zones, with neighbors as the foundation stone, expand trade and investment and create a new pattern of regional economic integration.
He said China should continuously expand regional financial cooperation by playing an active role in establishing an Asian investment bank for infrastructure construction and improving the regional financial safety network.
He urged accelerating opening up of border areas and deepening reciprocal cooperation between Chinese border areas and neighboring countries.
Xi said efforts shall be made to promote regional security cooperation, noting "security cooperation is the common need of all."
A new outlook on security, featuring mutual trust, reciprocity, equality and coordination, should be adhered to, Xi said, reiterating China's push for comprehensive, common and cooperative security.
China should advance security cooperation with neighboring countries, actively participate in regional and sub-regional security cooperation, and enhance cooperation mechanisms and strategic mutual trust.
Xi also called for public diplomacy and people-to-people exchanges between China and neighbors for the long-term development of relationships. Diplomatic relations rely on the bond between the peoples, he said. People-to-people exchange should involve tourism, technology, education and sub-national cooperation, among others, to make many different kinds of friends.
"We should clearly present our policies to the outside world, tell China's story in an acceptable way, speak out so that we are heard, and interpret the Chinese dream from the perspective of the aspiration of all people in all countries for a better life and regional prosperity, and let the sense of common destiny take root with our neighbors.
Policy and strategy are the lifeline of the party along with its diplomatic work, Xi said.
He urged keeping in mind both the domestic and international situations, noting the domestic focus is on the centenary goals and the "China Dream" while the international objective favorable external conditions for China's reform, development and stability, safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development, safeguarding world peace and stability and promoting common development.
"We should seek common ground and converging interests, stick to the sound value of justice and benefit, have principles to act upon, cherish friendship and righteousness, and offer more assistance to developing countries within our capacity," Xi said.
"We should make arrangements to coordinater diplomatic work, and give full play to various departments to achieve greater progress," he said.
Xi said diplomatic work is arduous and formidable, but called on comrades undertaking diplomatic work to enhance their senses of responsibility and urgency, and engage in disciplined diplomacy with dedication and innovation.
Chairing the conference, Premier Li Keqiang said the event was of great significance in implementing the spirit of the 18th National Congress of the CPC and making best use of an important period of strategic opportunity in China's development.