China's neighborhood diplomacy promotes regional peace

Updated: 2013-11-03 18:33


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BEIJING -- China has long pursued a neighborhood foreign policy of building friendship and partnership with its neighboring countries.

This policy has now gained new attention and momentum since President Xi Jinping reiterated at a recent conference here China's commitment to good-neighborliness.

Maintaining a peaceful and stable neighborhood is necessary for China's development. It is also necessary for regional stability and world peace. Since the beginning of this year, China has vigorously advanced its neighborhood diplomacy with several important events.

Xi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang have visited about a dozen neighboring countries to build mutual trust, expand consensus, deepen cooperation and enhance bilateral ties.

Meanwhile, leaders of China's neighboring countries have paid frequent visits to China. Oct 22 alone witnessed the arrivals of three of them, namely, the prime ministers of Russia, India and Mongolia.

China is endeavoring, with concrete actions, to build mutually beneficial ties with its neighbors. This year, China has established strategic partnerships with Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, and upgraded its bilateral ties with Indonesia and Malaysia to comprehensive strategic partnerships.

The China-initiated outlines for implementing the Treaty on Long-Term Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation Between the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) were approved at the 13th SCO summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek, laying a more solid foundation for deeper cooperation between SCO members.

A peaceful environment brings real benefits to China and its neighbors, including closer bilateral ties, stronger economic and trade links, and more cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

Not long ago, Chinese leaders also proposed a series of strategic concepts aimed at promoting regional prosperity and development, including a Silk Road Economic Belt with Central Asian countries, an SCO development bank and a 21st-century maritime Silk Road with Southeast Asian countries.

Looking into the future, China has called for concerted efforts with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to build a China-ASEAN community of common destiny.

While carrying out extensive cooperation with neighboring countries to create a favorable environment for development, China does not dodge conflicts and differences.

Instead, it actively pushes for peaceful solutions. Chinese leaders have on various occasions stressed the principle of "proper control and constructive solutions" to show sincerity and determination.

As Xi has repeatedly pointed out, the Asia-Pacific region is big enough for all countries to develop, and countries in the region must promote regional cooperation with a more open mind and greater enthusiasm.

Differences exist in every bilateral relationship. Seeking common ground while reserving differences is the path toward peaceful co-existence.

China advocates a new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and upholds a security philosophy of comprehensive security, common security and cooperative security, in order to enhance strategic mutual trust.

China has launched consultations with ASEAN on formulating a code of conduct in the South China Sea, China and Vietnam have agreed to establish a maritime work group for joint development at sea, and China and India have signed an agreement on border defence cooperation.

Thanks to the concerted efforts from the countries concerned, significant progress has been made in solving some maritime and border disputes, which has set examples for similar issues.

Of course, "noises" can be heard as China grows. But China's concrete actions have demonstrated that it seeks no hegemony, and those "noises" have a dwindling audience. China's image of peaceful development and prosperous co-existence is prevailing.

The increasingly closer win-win interaction between China and its neighboring countries is steadily pushing forward the great cause of building a harmonious region.