Since its founding in 1951, the International Department, under the direct care and leadership of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), has seen a continuous expansion of its international exchanges and communications serving the key tasks of the Party in different periods. In particular, for the last 25 years since the Third Plenary Session of the Eleventh CPC Central Committee held in 1978, it has been engaged in full implementation of the Party's guidelines governing its external relations in the new period. Based on the four principles of inter-party relations, namely, independence, complete equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, the International Department actively conducts new types of party-to-party exchanges and cooperation in an effort to promote the development of state-to-state relations. The aims of its work are to serve China's reform and open-up policy and the socialist modernization drive as well as the overall strategy of the state diplomacy, help consolidate the Party's position in office and contribute to the building of socialism with Chinese characteristics. The CPC associates with not only the communist parties and other left-wing parties of the world as it originally did but also national democratic parties of the developing countries and political parties and statesmen of various ideologies and natures such as socialist, labor and conservative parties in the developed countries as well as their international organizations as it later expanded. Up till now, the CPC has established contacts and exchanges with more than 400 political parties and organizations in over 140 countries, most of which are either parties in office or parties participating in government. A new pattern in the Party's international relations has emerged characterized by all-round, multi-channel, wide-scope and in-depth party-to-party exchanges and cooperation. Gratifying results have been achieved which can be described as "making bosom friends in the four corners of the earth and finding kith and kin across the oceans".
As the scope of the Party's international exchanges has been further enlarged, their contents are getting richer and forms more diversified. High level contacts, working visits, study trips, theoretical discussions, economic cooperation, cultural exchanges and the like have enriched the contents of the new-type party-to-party relations. Direct guidance and personal involvement of the Party and State leaders have given a powerful push to the development of the Party's external work.
Entering the new century, the International Department will keep forging ahead in a more resolute way. It will strive to establish itself as a research institution of international studies, influential with distinct characters both at home and abroad, providing policy recommendations to the central committee for its foreign policy decision making and running of the party and state. It will serve as an important window for our Party to get to know the world better, understand it well and reach out to it more confidently. So that the Party's international activities will play an even more vital role in ensuring the state comprehensive security, propelling the overall state diplomacy and realizing the reunification cause of the motherland. The Department will strive for a peaceful and stable international environment favorable to China's development in the new century, thus making fresh contributions to safeguarding world peace, promoting common prosperity and advancing the cause of progress of mankind.