The following exclusive year-end interview appeared in the People's Daily.

Presenting the Good Image of the Communist Party of China (CPC)
on the Strength of Its Sixteenth National Congress:
Dai Bingguo, Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central
Committee, Discusses the Party's International Work in 2002

Huang Qing and Huang Qixiang
People's Daily reporters

At the end of 2002, Dai Bingguo gave this exclusive interview to People's Daily reporters, in which he discussed the Party's international work during the year.

Q: Not long ago, the CPC held its Sixteenth National Congress, which attracted worldwide attention. Could you elaborate on the worldwide response?

A: Yes, the Sixteenth National Congress did attract worldwide attention. The CPC and its leaders received more than 700 telegrams and letters of congratulation from foreign countries around the time of the congress. More than 50 heads of state or government and more than 300 political parties and organizations plus numerous friends in over 140 countries sent their congratulations. They included leaders of countries without diplomatic relations with China and political parties without relations with the CPC. Never before had the CPC received so many messages at so high a level, from so wide a scope, and with such rich content. Left-wing, centrist and right-wing political parties and organizations as well as leaders of developing and developed countries all spoke highly of the congress and the objective set at the congress to build a well-off society in an all-round way. They have complete confidence in the future of the CPC and the country and want to increase exchanges and cooperation with both. It must be rare in the world for so many political parties and figures to send such heart-warming and friendly telegrams and letters of congratulation to a party in power for its congress. From all these letters, we can draw the following conclusions: the CPC is making more and more friends all over the world; China's achievements in reform and opening up are already exerting immense international influence; the CPC's successes in governance have impressed the world and won its regard; and although the congress dealt with matters pertaining to the CPC and China, its influence reached far beyond our borders.

Q: We understand that many foreign political parties and statesmen think highly of the important thought of Three Represents. Please tell us more about this.

A: Since the important thought of Three Represents was formulated, all kinds of political parties and statesmen from many countries have shown great interest in it. They want to deeply understand its profound meaning so that they can fully appreciate the deep-seated reasons for the CPC's long-term holding of office as the party in power and the rapid development of China, the world's largest developing country, and anticipate the future of both. In the Party's foreign contacts this year, we tried to introduce to our associates the important thought of Three Represents in terms easy for them to understand and to thoroughly publicize the innovations we have made in our practical work guided by this thought. More and more foreign political parties and statesmen have come to realize that the CPC advances with the times and makes innovations in both theory and practice boldly and well and that China's rapid development is attributable to the correct leadership of the resolute and pragmatic CPC. They are more eager than ever before to increase exchanges and cooperation with the CPC, to have discussions on strategies for running one's party and state, and to learn more about the successes and major policies of China and the CPC. One can truly say that the important thought of Three Represents has created better conditions and a brighter outlook for developing the international work of the Party and the state's overall diplomatic work.

Q: The year 2002 is nearing its end. Could you briefly review the Party's international work during the year?

A: The year 2002 is very significant in the history of the CPC and state. The most important event this year was the Sixteenth CPC National Congress. The distinctive feature and priority of the Party's international work this year has been to prepare for, serve and publicize this congress. In our ongoing party diplomacy, we have made new contributions to creating a favorable external environment for reform, opening up and the socialist modernization drive, to serving Party building and the advancement of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and to presenting the good image of the CPC as one that is dedicated to reform, opening up, peace and development and that advances with the times, and we have accumulated new work experience in doing all this. 

Q: What are the characteristics of the Party's international work this year?

A: This year, Jiang Zemin visited Vietnam in the dual capacity of General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee and President of China. Wei Jianxing visited Africa as a member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee's Political Bureau. Wu Guanzheng, Zeng Qinghong, Jia Qinglin, Ding Guangen, Huang Ju, Li Changchun, Li Tieying and other leading comrades also headed delegations on foreign visits. We not only sent abroad many delegations led by leaders of departments and commissions of the CPC Central Committee and of provincial and municipal Party committees but also received more than 100 delegations from foreign political parties and organizations. We not only maintained and developed our ties with old friends but also established relations with some foreign parties and made a number of new friends. The most prominent characteristics of the Party's foreign contacts this year are as follows.

First, we better reflected the tenor of the times. This year, the international situation became more complicated, and the conditions of many foreign political parties changed. In its foreign contacts the CPC continued to abide by the four principles of independence, complete equality, mutual respect and noninterference in each other's internal affairs in order to enhance understanding and friendship, seek trust and cooperation and promote the development of state-to-state relations. The Party carried out warmhearted and friendly exchanges and cooperation with all foreign political parties and organizations willing to associate with it. On the basis of respecting the diversity in the world and within countries, we strenuously advocated in these exchanges that all countries should transcend ideological differences, respect each other's civilizations, social systems and roads of development, learn from others to compensate for one's own shortcomings through competition and comparison, work for common development by seeking common ground while reserving differences, and respond together to the new challenges mankind faces. Doing this conforms not only to the developments and changes of the world but also to the themes of the times - peace and development, thus better embodying the tenor of our times.

Second, we attached greater importance to exchanging experiences in governing one's party and state. During their foreign visits, leaders of the CPC Central Committee, departments and local Party organizations made a point of introducing the important thought of Three Represents and fully presented the good image of the CPC as one that is committed to peace and development, promotes reform and opening up, strives for exchanges and cooperation, administers government in the interests of the people, and progresses with the times. In addition, we worked harder to deepen our understanding of the developments and changes presently occurring in the world and in various countries and studied new experiences of foreign parties in power and measures for governing their countries and the new problems and challenges they face in the present new circumstances, so as to learn from the experience and lessons of the rise and fall of foreign political parties and make the Party's international work better serve its Party building and governance.

Third, we paid greater attention to exploring and participating in multilateral diplomatic activities among political parties. While deepening and extending bilateral contacts with political parties in Asia, Africa, Latin America, Europe and Oceania, we further explored and began participating in more multilateral international activities of political parties this year. In particular, we actively took part in the International Conference of Asian Political Parties held in Thailand and discussed such issues as peace, development and cooperation with 70 Asian parties of various kinds. This is a new, useful form of party diplomacy that has developed in response to new circumstances.

Fourth, more economic content was injected into party-to-party contacts. We energetically directed party diplomacy toward serving domestic economic development better and more effectively. We worked out new ways and means for Party diplomacy to set the stage for economic and trade activities, thus enriching the substance of the Party's international work.

Q: At present, the entire Party and the whole country are in the midst of a drive to study and implement the spirit of the Sixteenth CPC National Congress. What do you think the Party's international work will be like next year?

A: The Party's international work is an integral part of the Party and state's responsibilities as well as an important part of the state's overall diplomatic work. We in the International Department, the functional department of the Party responsible for its international work, shall carefully consider the new demands the developments and changes presently occurring in China and throughout the world place on the Party's international work in accordance with the requirements set forth at the Sixteenth CPC National Congress. Through the channel of the Party's foreign contacts, we shall further publicize the important thought of Three Represents and the CPC's strategic goals, tasks and domestic and foreign principles and policies for the new stage in the new century, so as to win greater understanding, support and cooperation from the people of other countries for China's development and construction. We shall continue to conduct extensive, in-depth friendly exchanges with different types of foreign parties and further improve the quality and level of our service to the overall interests of the work of the Party and state. In the spirit of advancing with the times and being innovative and creative, we shall continuously explore how to adapt to the unique circumstances of this new stage and new period and what new ideas, priorities and methods for our work are needed to do so. We shall do the Party's international work more thoroughly, flexibly, practically and effectively, so as to provide greater intellectual support for the Party's efforts to govern and rejuvenate our country and to make a new contribution to building a well-off society in an all-round way and ushering in a new phase in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.