Yearender: CPC: more influence through diplomacy

BEIJING, Dec. 15 -- Communist Party of China (CPC) is gaining influence among its Asian peers through diplomacy in 2004, said Wang Jiarui, minister of the CPC international department, here on Wednesday.

He told Xinhua he believed that the CPC's diplomacy has been successful and helped the state to tackle some diplomatic stalemates.

Wang has every reason to feel proud. His team held the first international meeting in the party's history in September. Delegates from 81 parties in 35 nations converged in Beijing for the third International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) and announced the Beijing Statement advocating cooperation among Asian parties.

"This is an innovative way for the CPC to develop multi-party relationships, for in the past eight decades, it has never held an international conference," said Wang.

He also said it was a good platform for the new Chinese leadership to explain its leading principles and foreign policy to their neighbors to clear up doubts and dissolve hostility.

Wang said the inter-party diplomacy is a complementary channel to state diplomacy, which could play a pivotal role when the latter is not so successful.

A good example would be Kim Jong Il's visit to China. The general secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) paid an unofficial visit to China from April 19 to 21, two months after the second round of the six-party talk closed at the end of February.

Kim Jong Il agreed in the meeting with General Secretary Hu Jintao to push for the talks, which quieted down the speculation whether the third round could be held after the name-calling and finger-wagging between the Democratic People Republic of Korea ( DPRK) and the United States.

Inter-party diplomacy has helped with the Taiwan issue. According to Wang, through forging ties with political parties in countries which have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, the CPC is trying to exert influence on them without offending diplomatic rules.

China's new leadership is increasingly apt to use inter-party diplomacy. In 2004, more than 300 CPC delegations went abroad and close to 200 foreign delegations visited the country, one third of which were received by the standing members of the central committee's political bureau.

"This is a record high in the CPC's history," noted Wang.

The minister acknowledged that the new leadership not only exchanges views on bilateral ties, regional and international issues with other parties, but also learns from them how they govern and build themselves up.

Wang's department has contributed a lot in the party's learning. His team finished a report in 2004 on ideology, organizing methods, decision-making process, crisis management and sustainable development of foreign peers after two years of research. The report served as the basic draft of the party's decision to build up ruling ability on its Fourth Plenary Session of the 16th Central Committee held in September.

Looking to 2005, Wang said the international department of the CPC Central Committee will explore new spheres and new ways for CPC diplomacy to play its advantage to the full.

It will also conduct deeper and broader researches on foreign parties to provide intellectual support for the party, which is transforming and updating itself in a volatile, fast changing world.