CPC's International Exchanges in the New Era by Chen Fengxiang

The Communist Party of China (CPC) took four major steps in its external work between the 1980s and 90s: the first is the gradual resumption of relations with communist parties in some countries without entangling over the past in the spirit of looking forward and seeking cooperation; the second is exchanges with ruling national democratic parties in Asia, Africa and Latin America for solidarity and cooperation with developing countries in vast numbers; the third is contacts with socialist parties and traditional central and right parties in developed countries in the spirit of transcending ideological difference, seeking mutual understanding and cooperation; the fourth is sober-minded response to the dramatic changes in the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, as well as efforts to establish ties actively and orderly with all types of new and old political parties in the former Soviet Union and Eastern European region as well as African countries.

After entering the new century, especially since its 16th National Congress, the CPC's international exchanges have flourished under the guidance of the Central Committee with Comrade Hu Jintao as its General Secretary, and with the personal involvement of the central leadership of the party. Until now, the CPC has maintained contacts and relations of various forms with more than 400 political parties and organizations of different types in over 160 countries and regions. A new pattern of party diplomacy with Chinese characteristics that is all-dimensional, multi-channel, wide-ranging and deep-going is taking shape.

First and foremost, the guiding philosophy for the party's external exchanges has been further improved. The central leadership of the party with Comrade Hu Jintao as General Secretary has set out clearly the requirements of unswervingly holding high the banner of peace, development and cooperation; following the road of peaceful development; persisting in the independent foreign policy of peace; sticking to the open-up strategy for mutual benefit and win-win result; upholding the five principles of peaceful coexistence; maintaining the new concept of security featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination; preserving the new outlook on civilization characterized by respect for diversity, and building a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity. They not only charted out a new guiding ideology for China's overall diplomatic endeavor, but also pointed out the direction for the party's external work.

Secondly, the party's external exchanges have become higher in level, wider in scope and are based on better mechanisms. More than 50 delegations in overseas visits were led by leaders of the party and state, and nearly 200 delegations of foreign political parties headed by principle party leaders have visited China; in the past 5 years, our party has newly established party-to-party relations with almost 100 political parties from over 30 countries, including those from the South Pacific, Middle East, Central America and Caribbean region. In addition to furthering ties with traditional political parties like communist parties, workers' parties, socialist parties, labor parties and conservative parties, etc, the CPC has made new breakthroughs in relations with newly emerging parties such as the Greens. Meanwhile our exchanges with nearly 100 parties are now basically institutionalized.

Thirdly, our party's external work is becoming more diverse in form and enjoys a wider platform. There are not only high level contacts, but also exchanges of visits by young politicians; there are both frequent political meetings as well as academic and theoretical exchanges between experts and think-tanks. What is especially worth noting is that our party is carrying out party diplomacy in a wider scope by increasingly making use of various multi-lateral platforms. We have contacts with the Socialist International, Christian Democratic International, European People's Party and many party groups in the European Parliament, and have successfully hosted the third International Conference of Asian Political Parties, which has enhanced our party's influence not only in Asia but also across the world.

Fourthly, the advantage of the party's external work is more pronounced. For example, party-to-party relations have played a leading role in the development of China's relations with socialist countries. The past five years have seen frequent exchanges of visits between the CPC and ruling parties of other socialist countries, which are conducive to the further deepening of friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation in all areas between China and those countries. Through inter-party exchanges we have made friends with various types of politicians in all countries and built all-weather “people-oriented connections”, boosted our exchanges with important political figures especially young political leaders from a wide spectrum of political parties in the world, from left, central to right, and promoted the growth of those forces around the world which are friendly toward China. We have also been actively engaged in Taiwan-related diplomatic work, by strengthening efforts in building relations with parties in countries that do not have diplomatic ties with China, expounding the One China Policy to foreign political parties, and disclosing the schemes of Taiwan secessionists. Moreover, we take the initiative to conduct research into governance experience, and compare notes with various political parties from different countries on this subject, and jointly explore ways and means to cope with challenges brought about by globalization.

Fifthly, the party's external work is more effective and fruitful. It first of all actively serves domestic development of China. CPC delegation on foreign missions are usually accompanied by business delegations, which ensures that apart from party and political activities, economic and trade cooperation with host countries is also enhanced, as an effort to combine political and economic activities and promote political relations by economic cooperation. Vigorous efforts have also been made in the Research and Development Project of Marxist Theories, and the study of experience of foreign political parties in terms of running party parties, so as to serve the advancement of the great party building program of the country. The party's external work actively facilitates the overall diplomatic endeavor of the country. Based on the needs of China's overall diplomacy, the party's international exchanges focus on such issues as the reforms of the UN Security Council, security in North East Asia, Sino-African cooperation and some difficult or hot-spot issues in bilateral relations, by forming delegations on instruction, paying overseas visits by authorization, or conducting monographic studies, so as to earnestly safeguard national interests and promote the implementation of China's diplomatic strategic. The party's external work consciously focuses on enhancing a fine international image of the party as well. The growth of China's comprehensive national strength has attracted more attention from the international community, and it has become an increasingly important task for us to let the world know about the development mode and political system, and further enhance the fine international image of our party. Through inter-party exchanges, we energetically publicize the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, the important thought of “Three Represents”, the Scientific Outlook on Development and other theoretical innovations by the CPC, demonstrate China's determination to follow the path of peaceful development and promote the building of a harmonious world. The party's external work has been in an important position for building up soft powers of China. The international image of the CPC as a democratic, progressive, open and innovative party that is committed to the interests of the public and well-being of the people is now being recognized.

(Guangming Daily)