Relations with foreign parties maturing

Direct exchanges between top leaders of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and foreign political parties have played an indispensable role in promoting diplomatic relations, a high-level Party official has said.

Wang Jiarui, minister of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, made the remark in an exclusive interview with China Daily recently.

"During breakthroughs in relations with other countries and some important diplomatic deployments, inter-party exchanges have played a unique role with its special advantages like 'all-weather dialogue', 'soft diplomacy' and 'personal connections'," Wang said.

"As the ruling party of China, the diplomatic job of the CPC has been an important component of the nation's diplomacy, and always serves the country's overall diplomatic goals.

"The CPC has committed itself to fostering friendly communication with foreign political parties and guaranteeing smooth sailing of relations with other countries no matter how the climate in foreign political arenas changes."

Through inter-party channels, the CPC has also actively participated in solving flashpoint regional issues such as the Korean Peninsula nuclear stalemate and the Middle East peace negotiations, Wang noted.

"We played a role in mediating and promoting negotiations by widely engaging with different political groups."

Communication between CPC and foreign political parties has made big strides since the 16th CPC National Congress in 2002, Wang added.

"Over the past five years, we have established inter-party relations with nearly 100 political parties in more than 30 nations. Our new friends come from regions ranging from South Pacific islands to the Middle East and to the Caribbean."

About 1,200 delegations of foreign political parties visited China in the past five years, while over 600 CPC delegations paid visits abroad upon invitations of foreign parties.

"Our inter-party exchange platform is also increasingly pluralistic," he said.

For instance, the 3rd International Conference of Asian Political Parties sponsored by the CPC in 2004, in which over 80 Asian political parties participated, turned out to be a new platform for communication and collaboration with political parties in neighboring countries.

"The CPC has made considerable steps forward in inter-party exchanges, as we have built connections in one way or the other with more than 400 parties and political organizations in more than 160 countries and regions," he said.

"We have been trying to make sure that foreign parties can get an overall and true picture of China," Wang said.

"Almost every foreign party delegation we invited in the past five years had visited China's central and western regions and had a look at our rural areas and townships, which helped them understand the complexity of issues in China."

In external exchanges, the CPC has been adhering to the principle of "independence, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs" and a line of "seeking mutual understanding and cooperation beyond ideological differences", which has won understanding, trust and appreciation from more and more foreign parties, Wang said.

"After years of efforts, an all-round, multi-channel, wide-ranging and thorough new party diplomacy style with Chinese characteristics is maturing."