Sun Dongmin and Xu Baokang
People's Daily reporters
General Secretary Jiang Zemin inscribed "Peace, Development and Progress" in a picture book of the history of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, solemnly declaring the historic mission the CPC shoulders in its international work in the new century.
The CPC's international work is forging ahead creatively and has made great achievements: The CPC's high-level contacts with foreign parties are livelier than ever before; the CPC exchanges experiences in running one's country and building one's party more intensively; and it gives greater play to the advantages of party diplomacy and has made a good start in its international work in the new century.
General Secretary Jiang's important thought of Three Represents presents a good image of the CPC to the whole world and has a far-reaching influence. Many foreign political parties think highly of this thought and hold the view that the CPC is a party in power that is brave in and good at making theoretical explorations and innovations.
Internationally, the CPC is more influential than ever before. Many foreign political parties have come to realize that behind China, a country that is developing rapidly and progressing constantly, stands the firm and powerful CPC. The upcoming Sixteenth National Congress of the CPC will be another great event of far-reaching significance in its history. Changes will also occur in the international situation.
In 2001, the CPC capitalized on a favorable situation and achieved brilliant success. Its international work forged ahead creatively and made great achievements. The other day, People's Daily reporters interviewed Minister Dai Bingguo of the CPC International Department.
Q: Mr. Dai, could you tell us the new characteristics of the CPC's international work this year?
A: The world situation was complex and volatile in 2001, but the various countries and different kinds of political parties fervently desired to increase friendly contacts, safeguard world peace and promote common development and human progress. The CPC has made a good impression on them as one that innovates boldly, advances with the times, loves peace and dedicates itself to development.
The important characteristics of the CPC's international work this year are as follows. First, the CPC's high-level contacts with foreign political parties have become livelier than ever before. More than 200 political parties in over 100 countries sent delegations to visit China, and the CPC and state leaders met with more than 100 of them. The CPC sent over 100 delegations on visits to the five continents, the most important of which was General Secretary Jiang Zemin's visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). This was an event of great significance for the relations between the CPC and the Workers' Party of Korea and between China and the DPRK, and it attracted worldwide attention. Comrade Hu Jintao visited Vietnam. He reached an important consensus with the new and old leaders of the Central Committee of the Vietnamese Communist Party on working together to develop friendly, good-neighborly, cooperative relations between China and Vietnam in the new century. These historic visits laid a solid foundation for the sound and steady development of our relations with the DPRK and Vietnam in the 21st century, and they have already exerted and will continue to exert an important influence on peace and development in the region and throughout the world. Wei Jianxing, a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau, and other leaders of the CPC Central Committee such as Ding Guangen, Li Changchun, Wu Guanzheng, Luo Gan, Jia Qinglin, Huang Ju and Zeng Qinghong also visited foreign countries. These high-level contacts and exchanges greatly enhanced mutual understanding and trust and promoted the development of relations between parties and between states effectively.
Second, the CPC has exchanged experiences in state governance and party building more intensively. With the needs of the new century and the demands of Party building and national development in mind, the CPC placed greater emphasis on exchanging and analyzing experiences in running the party and state in its contacts with foreign political parties this year. We held several international conferences of political parties on such theoretical and practical issues as "The New Century, New Changes and Political Parties" and "Socialist Reality and the Future." We sent more than ten special research teams abroad to investigate such issues as party building, clean government, and the relationship between markets and society. All this has enriched the forms and substance of party-to-party contacts and invigorated the development of relations between the CPC and foreign political parties.
Third, the CPC has given greater play to the advantages of party diplomacy and has made a good start in its international work in the new century. This year, the CPC's foreign contacts have become more lively and extensive, and they have more diversified forms and richer content. To coordinate with the state's overall diplomatic work, we continuously expanded and deepened our contacts with political parties, legislatures and political figures in countries without diplomatic relations with China and made many new friends there. In order to maintain the continuity and stability of state-to-state relations, we worked hard to increase exchanges and cooperation with major opposition parties in foreign countries. In order to increase friendly exchanges with young statesmen in developed countries and strengthen the foundation of our relations with these countries, we established a mechanism for regular exchanges of young statesmen with major political parties in some important countries.
Q: At the meeting celebrating the 80th anniversary of the founding of the CPC on July 1, 2001, General Secretary Jiang Zemin made an important speech incisively expounding the important thought of Three Represents. We've been told that many foreign parties have shown great interest in this thought. Could you tell us more about this?
A: Around July 1, the birthday of the CPC, we received letters and telegrams of congratulation from more than 100 foreign political parties, in which they extended their congratulations and expressed their admiration for the brilliant achievements China has made under the leadership of the CPC over the past 80 years. This year General Secretary Jiang's important thought of Three Represents has become the focus of attention of foreign political parties and the most important subject in our exchanges with them. Many foreign parties think very highly of this thought and hold the view that the CPC is a party in power that is brave in and good at making theoretical explorations and innovations. They express their desire to increase exchanges and analyses of the theory and practice concerning party building with the CPC. The important thought of Three Represents has further presented a good image of the CPC to the whole world and exerted a profound influence.
Q: Safeguarding world peace, promoting common development and creating a favorable external environment for reform and development have always been the central tasks of China's overall diplomacy. Could you explain what role party diplomacy plays in accomplishing these tasks?
A: At present, the CPC maintains ties with more than 400 foreign political parties of various kinds in over 140 countries. In our contacts with political parties in neighboring countries, we are committed to maintaining good-neighborly and friendly relations, improving mutually beneficial cooperation, and safeguarding regional peace and stability. To this end, the CPC has established closer contacts and broadened common understanding with political parties in the ASEAN countries; we have deepened our exchanges with the Workers' Party of Korea in the DPRK and the major political parties in the Republic of Korea; although there is constant friction in the relations between China and Japan, party-to-party contacts between them have continued and statesmen in both countries keep in touch with each other; and our relations with the major political parties in Russia, India and the Central Asian countries have maintained a good momentum of development. In our contacts with political parties in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America, we attach great importance to exchanging experience in running one's country and promoting mutually beneficial cooperation. To support the continued development of the China-Africa Cooperation Forum, we conducted investigations and held conferences with visiting delegations from some parties in power in Africa. Some political parties in Latin America sent delegations to visit China to discuss and investigate how to further develop political and economic cooperation between Latin America and China. The CPC's contacts with political parties in Western developed countries, especially in Western Europe, have become livelier than ever. More than 40 delegations from European political parties visited China at our invitation, and we also organized delegations to visit Europe. In addition, as guests of the Parliamentary Group of the People's Party in the European Parliament (EP), we visited the EP for the first time and had frank, sincere discussions with all its parliamentary groups. All this indicates that the CPC is capable of making friends with various kinds of political parties in the world and engaging in exchanges with them, so as to eliminate prejudices, deepen trust and seek common understanding.
All of the CPC's exchanges with foreign political parties have the lofty goal of safeguarding peace and promoting development and human progress. On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the CPC, General Secretary Jiang Zemin inscribed "Peace, Development and Progress" in the picture album edited and published by the Department to reflect the history of the CPC's foreign contacts. This inscription incisively summarizes the goals the CPC has pursued in its international work and solemnly declares the mission it shoulders in the new century.
As economic factors play an increasingly prominent role in international relations, statesmen everywhere have come to recognize the importance of promoting business cooperation through political contacts, and this has already become an important component of party diplomacy.
The CPC has injected more economic factors into its international work. This year, members of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee who also hold positions of leadership in provinces or municipalities took business leaders with them on almost all of their foreign visits. They had considerable success in seeking opportunities for business cooperation in their contacts with foreign politicians and businessmen. To support the western development strategy, we consciously gave priority to the western provinces and autonomous regions in organizing delegations for foreign visits, and we arranged more than 70 delegations from foreign parties, especially in developed countries, to visit the western region. Through the channel of party-to-party contacts, we emphasize studying political parties' experiences in running their countries and organize investigations on special issues, so as to provide a reference for the CPC and state in their efforts to tackle problems arising from reform and development.
Q: Do you have any reflections on the CPC's foreign contacts this year that you could share with us? And what do you think its international work will be like next year?
A: I deeply feel that the CPC has greater international influence than ever before. On the basis of observations and reflections, many foreign parties have come to realize that behind China, a country that is developing rapidly and progressing constantly, stands the firm and powerful CPC. Proceeding from the needs of their own party building and national development, they want to understand the CPC, the CPC's experiences in the past 80 years and the secret of its success in its 50 plus years of governance. They are also interested in what Chinese Communists are thinking and doing now, what their plans for the future are and how they are going to carry them out. In short, foreign parties have shown greater interest in contacts and exchanges with the CPC than ever before.
The Sixteenth National Congress of the CPC scheduled for next year will be another event of far-reaching significance in its history. We in the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, the functional department responsible for the CPC's international work, shall continue to emancipate our minds and steadily and actively promote and deepen friendly exchanges and cooperation with all foreign parties under the guidance of the CPC Central Committee. We shall continue to strengthen our investigation and research on international issues, especially practical issues that have a great impact on or relevance for our national interests, the CPC's theoretical, institutional, scientific and technological innovation, and its consolidation of political power. We shall widely introduce the CPC's theory and positions and the achievements it has made as China's party in power, so as to help the world better understand China and the CPC and enable the CPC's international work to play a greater role in serving the state's overall diplomatic work, implementing reform and opening up, consolidating and strengthening the CPC's position in power, and building socialism with Chinese characteristics.
(People's Daily, p. 7, December 18, 2001)