BEIJING — China’s diplomatic policies toward its neighbors created at a working conference in 2013 have brought shared prosperity to bordering nations.
With a commitment to building friendships and partnerships with its neighboring countries, China aims to create an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood under the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness.
Over the past five years, China has made an unswerving effort to properly settle outstanding differences, enhance mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, and consolidate the foundation of public support with its neighboring countries, setting a good example for the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for humankind.
Stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the hinterland of the Eurasian continent, the vast span of China’s territory bestows a variety of neighbors upon the country. China has been dedicated to maintaining good relations and seeking common ground with its neighboring countries while reserving differences. The aim of China’s efforts is to safeguard regional peace and stability.
As close neighbors facing each other only across a narrow strip of water, China and Japan have faced some stumbling blocks involving territorial disputes and the historical issues, hindering the development of bilateral ties.
Through the joint efforts of both sides, China-Japan relations have improved in recent time. On Oct 25-27, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will pay an official visit to China, his first such visit since first assuming office back in 2012.
In 2017, a military stand-off in the border area of Dong Lang (Doklam) cast a shadow over China-India relations. At the end of April 2018, the leaders of China and India held an informal meeting in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, opening a new page in China-India relations.
In August, China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) reached an agreement on a single draft negotiating text of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, marking a turning point in building the South China Sea into one of peace, friendship and cooperation.
The favorable turn of events on the Korean Peninsula would not have occurred without China’s persistence. China has always adhered to solving issues through dialogue and negotiation, setting the stage for different stakeholders to sit and talk. With a firm commitment to achieving denuclearization, as well as peace and stability on the peninsula, China has played a unique role in ensuring security in Northeast Asia.
In recent years, while firmly safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and development interests, China has continued to enhance trust and maintain close communication with its neighboring countries. The continuous stability of countries in this region highlights China’s diplomatic achievements.
Over the years, China has been enhancing mutually beneficial cooperation with its neighboring countries in a bid to promote shared development.
The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), an important public good, continues to flourish, bringing huge development opportunities for its neighbors, who are welcomed to board China’s express train of development.
In the past five years, from the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, from the New Eurasian Land Bridge to the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor, the BRI has linked different countries together and created an interconnecting network between China and its neighboring countries.
“The enhanced cooperation between ASEAN and China under the framework of the BRI has not only benefited people’s well-being in the region but also elevated the global status of ASEAN,” Philippine House of Representatives Speaker Gloria Arroyo said.
The BRI falls in line with the Philippines’ ongoing Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, Arroyo said, adding that the Southeast Asian country is eager to strengthen cooperation with China in science and technology, talents exchange and construction projects, so as to boost domestic economic development.
During a visit to China last December, South Korean President Moon Jae-in also expressed his country’s willingness to actively participate in the BRI.
It is widely acknowledged by the international community that the BRI not only brings opportunities for infrastructure construction and technological development for participating countries, but also acts as a booster for world economic growth.
Over the past five years, China’s efforts to spread prosperity have laid a solid foundation of public support for China’s relations with its neighboring countries.
A friend in need is a friend indeed. On Oct 9, China’s chartered planes with the first batch of humanitarian supplies landed at the Balikpapan Airport in Bali, Indonesia, delivering tents, water purifiers and generators to disaster zones. The Chinese government, enterprises, civil society and individuals all lent a helping hand to the earthquake and tsunami-hit areas in Central Sulawesi province.
Since the end of 2015, countries in the Lancang-Mekong River Basin have suffered from drought to varying extent due to the impact of the El Nino phenomenon. At this critical moment, China discharged water to the lower reaches to help its neighbors fight drought, although China was also experiencing a shortage of water. The leaders of Thailand, Cambodia and other countries expressed their gratitude and appreciation for China’s selfless help.
In Myanmese, “paukphaw” means brothers. The “Mekong Bright Action” of volunteering Chinese medical institutions is a genuine portrait of China-Myanmar “paukphaw” fraternity. So far, more than 10 Chinese medical and charitable organizations have offered free clinical services and successfully performed cataract surgeries for more than 6,000 local patients, lighting up the life of thousands of families.
In recent years, China and its neighboring countries have shared weal and woe and worked hand in hand. Looking ahead, China’s neighborhood diplomacy will continue to write a promising chapter for the building of a community with a shared future.