Huang Qing and Li Wenyun
People's Daily reporters
At present, a new upsurge in the study of the important thought of Three Represents has been set in motion in the entire Party. Guided by this thought, the CPC is embracing new opportunities for vigorous development in all aspects of its work. On the eve of the 82nd anniversary of the CPC (July 1, 2003), People's Daily reporters interviewed Mr.Wang Jiarui, the newly appointed Minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, and asked him about such issues as the new prospect in the CPC's external work.
Reporter: Mr. Wang, the 82nd anniversary of the founding of the CPC is approaching. As the newly appointed Minister of the CPC International Department, could you tell us how you see the CPC's external work and your understanding of it?
Wang Jiarui: Ever since its founding in 1921, the CPC has maintained a global perspective and attached great importance to its external work. Throughout the Agrarian Revolutionary War (1927-1937), the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression (1937-1945) and the War of Liberation (1946-1949), the CPC kept friendly relations with the progressive forces in other countries and won widespread sympathy and support for the Chinese revolution. The CPC's external work made an indelible contribution to the victory of the revolution. In this sense, the CPC's external work has been an important component of its great cause since the very beginning.
After the founding of New China in 1949, the CPC's external work became an important part of the state's overall diplomatic efforts. Through friendly contacts with foreign communist and workers' parties, the CPC's international work played an indispensable role in breaking diplomatic blockade imposed on us by foreign hostile forces, expanding New China's latitude for international activities, and helping the Chinese people, who had just stood up, to participate extensively in world affairs.
Since the introduction of the reform and opening up policies in the late 1970s, as the focus of the CPC's work has shifted, the guiding principles and basic policies concerning its external work and its ways of interacting with its foreign counterparts have been revised and supplemented. To serve reform, opening up, socialist modernization drive and its own Party building, the CPC has gradually established a new type of party-to-party relationship with various types of political parties in other countries and constantly enriched and reinforced the substance of interactions with them, thus achieving progress with outstripping steps in its external work. At this new stage of the new century, the CPC's external work, just like endeavors in other fields, has great potantiality for development. So long as we closely follow the correct leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as its General Secretary, always bear in mind the overall interests of the development of the entire Party and the whole country, make full use of our advantages and take the initiative to serve all the undertakings of the CPC and the country, we are sure to make greater achievements in the CPC's external work.
Reporter: Could you elaborate on how the CPC's external work serves the cause of the CPC?
Wang: The CPC's external work serves as a window through which the CPC observes, understands and reaches out to the world. The present trends towards world multipolarization and economic globalization are progressing tortuously. Analysis of the reasons for the turbulent political situation in other countries and for the success and failure of the political parties there reveals that whether a political party can keenly understand the world's pulse, accurately judge the nature of the times and advance with the times directly determines its political vitality. For this reason, the International Department of the CPC Central Committee should integrate the study and implementation of the important thought of Three Represents with the implementation of the principles and policies of the Central Committee concerning its external work. In addition, the department should also keep close watch on and study developments and changes in the international situation and major international problems, gain an insight of the conditions and dynamics of political parties and party organizations in other countries and submit related information and proposals to the Central Committee. The CPC's external work also serves the CPC's cause in another way. Through the channels of party-to-party contacts, the CPC officials are enabled to go beyond China's borders and reach out to the world; and at the same time, members of friendly foreign political parties are invited to visit China and acquire a better understanding of China and the CPC. Such "going out and inviting in" activities have become increasingly lively in recent years. In 2001, more than 300 delegations, or one delegation a day on average, participated in such activities.
Party diplomacy is different from government diplomacy and from people diplomacy in a general sense. Rather than adhering to formality and diplomatic protocol, party diplomacy engages more intensively in dialogue and ideological exchange. Instead of dealing with specific matters between states directly, party diplomacy lays a foundation for long-term development of state-to-state relations by increasing mutual understanding and friendship between statesmen.
As a functional department handling the CPC's external affairs, an important responsibility of my department is to carry out research on international issues and facilitate the state's overall diplomatic work. Over the past several years, we have organized intensive reviews of the deep-seated causes of the drastic changes in the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries and the successive removal from office of some big, old parties long in power and have drawn lessons from these events. We extensively studied new questions commonly faced by foreign ruling parties and fresh measures they adopted. We promptly reported on the theoretical meaning and latest developments in different political and ideological trends of thought in contemporary world and constantly refined our understanding of laws governing how political systems of other countries change and how political parties there wax and wane. The intellectual achievements we made in these areas provide a valuable reference for the CPC in its effort to absorb nutrients from different political cultures, promote innovations in both theory and practice, improve its way to lead and its ability to govern, and better the leadership structure and work systems. In addition, the CPC's external work actively complements the state's economic development strategy. Party-to-party relations serve as a bridge that promotes cooperation for local economic growth and the development of projects sponsored by various departments.
Reporter: It seems that the active and extensive international contacts have given the CPC a better understanding of the outside world and at the same time have made the outside world better acquainted with the CPC and its cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
Wang: That's true. I can give you a statistic. Since the reform and opening up policies were introduced more than two decades ago, my department has received more than 4,500 delegations from foreign political parties totaling 26,000 person-visits. These delegations have come from ruling, coalition and opposition parties; from communist, workers, socialist, labor and conservative parties; and from parties in developed regions and countries such as Europe and Japan and parties in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Through various meaningful exchanges and contacts with the CPC, including holding talks with the CPC leaders and seeing changes in China with their own eyes, these parties and political figures helped eliminate misconceptions and increase mutual understanding. Many of these visitors have become friends of the CPC and exerting a positive influence on their governments' policies towards China. My department also maintains contacts with parties in countries that have no diplomatic relations with China, which helps to pave the way for establishing state-to-state relations. All these party-to-party contacts not only play a unique and vital role in facilitating the state's overall diplomatic work and promoting a sound and stable development of relations between China and other countries, but also comprehensively publicize the CPC's policies and present a fine image of the CPC in the world as one devoted to peace, development and progress. "Small streams can converge into mighty rivers." On the occasion of the Sixteenth National Congress of the CPC, more than 300 political parties, organizations and political figures in over 140 countries sent the CPC or its leaders nearly 800 telegrams or letters of congratulations. Rarely in history has a party received such widespread solicitude and congratulations as the CPC National Congress received then.
Reporter: Looking to the future, what do you anticipate for the CPC's external work?
Wang: In the beginning of this new century, profound changes are taking place in the international situation and the world's political parties. Parties everywhere are pondering how to adapt to objective conditions in order to survive and develop. The CPC's external work, which is an important component of its cause, should contribute to consolidating the CPC's position as the party in power through its contacts and research efforts. At present, the whole Party and the whole country are ushering in an upsurge in the study of the important thought of Three Represents. This gives us new opportunities for expanding the CPC's foreign contacts. The important thought of Three Represents, imbued with the same spirit as Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought and Deng Xiaoping Theory, is a guiding principle that the CPC must follow for a long period, so it is naturally a long-term guiding policy for my department. Our external work is an important component of the CPC's cause, so we must all the more consciously place the requirements of the important thought of Three Represents at the center of everything we do in our external contacts, international studies and staff improvement. Putting this important thought into practice should enable the CPC's diplomatic work to better expand into new areas, create new forms, conform to the times, follow the law of development and display creativity. It will also help us to make greater contributions to Party building and national development and to the promotion of peace, development and progress of mankind.
(People's Daily, p. 7. June 30, 2003)