The Objective of CPC's International Relations
2014.11.02 /

The objective and purpose of CPC's international relations were established on the scientific analysis of the contemporary international situation, and to meet the need of China's diplomacy and CPC's missions. In deferent periods of times, they had different scopes and key objects. 

Because party-to-party relations are interactive, sustainable development of the relations are only possible when the relations help realizing common goals and missions. In any period of the past history, the CPC was never selfish or putting its own interests first. Instead, out of the concern of human development and the peace of mankind, while seeking and safeguarding its own interests, the CPC has given adequate care to the need of the parties it associates with. This has brought a win-win situation, a unity of patriotism and internationalism.

Opposing invasions and wars 

Ever since its birth, the CPC has held high the banner of proletarian internationalism. Opposing imperialist invasions, supporting fraternal parties and just struggles by all nations made an important objective of its party-to-party relations. In the hard years of revolution and war, though limited in resources, the CPC managed to give a full support, spiritual and material, to the struggles by the oppressed nations against imperialism and colonialism. After the breakout of the Second World War, together with all advanced forces in the world, the CPC made significant contributions to the victory over Fascism.

During the early years of New China, when socialist and capitalist camps were confronting each other, military conflicts were frequent and war was looming large. In 1960s, anti-imperialism and anti-colonialism struggles by nations in Asia, Africa and Latin America were surging high. National independence and liberation became an irresistible trend of times. Out of this situation, Mao Zedong and other CPC top leaders believed "war and revolution," "revolution caused by war" or "revolution to stop a war" was the theme of times. Out of this judgment, the objective of CPC's foreign relations was to support the just struggles by Communist, left-wing, nationalist and democratic parties of different countries, and through these struggles, to contain or prevent the outbreak of a war, and to maintain world peace through revolution. "Decision on the Communist and Workers' Parties Conference of Different Countries," passed on the 9th Plenary Session of the 8th CPC Central Committee, said, "The tasks and objectives of CPC's international relations are to facilitate struggles against imperialism, seeking world peace, national liberation, democracy and the success of a socialist cause." All the CPC international relations from the founding of New China until 1970s were conducted for these objectives.

It was the international situation that determined the objectives of CPC's international relations during that period of history. The objective also reflected the earnest hope from Asian, African and Latin American Communist and Left-wing parties for a support from the CPC. In 1950s, China assisted Korean people in their resistance against the US's invasion, and during 1950s and 1960s, helped Vietnamese people in their just struggles against successive French and US's invasions. Besides proletarian internationalism and fulfillment of international duties, the assistance China gave them was on the request of the Workers' Party of Korea and the Communist Party of Vietnam, also warmly welcomed by their people. The support from the CPC to Asian, African and Latin American nations in their anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist struggles won much respect from other Communist parties and Left-wing forces. The CPC's support, not only elevating CPC's international prestige, was also a contribution to the progress of mankind.

Safeguarding world peace and stability 

Safeguarding world peace makes an unchangeable objective of CPC's efforts in international relations. China had suffered a lot from imperialist's repeated invasions in modern history. Chinese people treasure peace. During the years of war and revolution, CPC's contacts with the Communist International, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and other advanced forces in the world were to seek victory of Chinese revolution, the victory of the world anti-Fascist war, and to win peace in China and the world.

After the founding of New China, facing the confrontation between the socialist and capitalist camps, and intensified danger of the Cold War, Mao Zedong said, "The general task of ours is to unite the whole nation, to seek assistance from all international friends, to build a great socialist country and to protect world peace and man's development." In 1953, China advanced the Five Principles for Peaceful Coexistence: mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence. These principles, though mainly directed to state-to-state relations, have a guiding significance for CPC's foreign relation work. On the preparatory meeting in 1956 for the 8th CPC National Congress, Mao Zedong said, "We are to unite any one, a foreign party or a non-party individual, so long they are significant to world peace and mankind progress, no matter how little their significance is. This is our principle."

During the early years of New China, when the CPC was facing mountainous domestic difficulties, it still gave a full support to Korean people and Indochinese nations in their struggles against the US's invasions and national salvation. China's role was significant in forcing the US to sign a truce agreement in Korea, and to restore peace in Indochina. On the Communist and workers' parties' conference held in 1957 in Moscow, the CPC delegation, with joint efforts of other parties, promoted the passing of "Peace Declaration." In 1960s and 1970s, while meeting delegations from foreign political parties or visiting foreign countries, CPC top leaders always took the prevention of war and safeguarding world peace as an important subject to be discussed about. The CPC repeatedly organized anti-war and protecting-world-peace mass rallies in different places of China.

Beginning from late 1970s, the international situation took significant changes. Multi-polarization appeared in the world. Safeguarding world peace and facilitating man's development became two major topics. In this new situation, as always, the CPC took safeguarding world peace as its objective of party-to-party relations. "The objective of Chinese foreign policy," Deng Xiaoping said, "is to maintain world peace, and with the world peace as a precondition, we will devote ourselves to modern construction and the development of our country; China's foreign policy is against hegemony and for world peace." Together with the acceleration of economic construction and the realization of the nation's reunification, Taiwan included, Deng Xiaoping made safeguarding world peace as Chinese three major tasks in 1980s.

After history entered the 21st century, the international situation is generally stable, yet regional wars have happened from time to time and "hot issues" kept appearing. In international relations, the CPC adheres to the principle of making judgments by nothing but their rights and wrongs. By its party-to-party channel, the CPC has done a lot of work on the parties involved in a conflict, and its work has played a positive role to ease regional tension.

In September 2005, on the meeting commemorating the 60th anniversary of the United Nations, Hu Jintao said the following, "Peaceful development is Chinese people's earnest wish which we have untiringly worked for. The road of peaceful development of Chinese nation means to develop ourselves in a peaceful international environment, and with our development to facilitate world peace. It means to follow the economic globalization, strive hard to realize common development and a win-win situation for all; it also means untiring efforts for peace, development and cooperation, and together with other countries, to build a prosperous and harmonious world with ever-lasting peace. China will unswervingly take the road of peaceful development to realize peaceful, open, cooperative and harmonious development."

Facilitating state-to-state relations 

Although CPC's party-to-party relations are for political parties of other countries, not handling directly state affairs, the party-to-party relations can play a very active role in establishing, developing and consolidating state-to-state relations.

Party-to-party relations played an important role in New China's foreign relations. During the early years of New China, the CPC, by good relations with the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and other Communist parties in Eastern Europe and other places, facilitated the establishment of the state diplomatic relations between China and them, and some countries of other social systems. During the 1960s and 1970s, by the relations with Asian, African and Latin American countries, and by relations with political parties in Western Europe and Japan, the CPC advanced the establishment of state-to-state relations with them. Due to the serious ideological split between the CPC and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, both being parties in power, the party-to-party relations affected the state-to-state relations and eventually made them worse. Even the relations with socialist countries in Eastern Europe were affected.

After the reform and opening-up began, the CPC, drawing on the lessons out of past experiences, further defined the difference and relations between party-to-party and state-to-state relations. Deng Xiaoping said repeatedly that the two kinds of relations should be differentiated, and make the party-to-party ones not to affect the state-to-state relations. In 1997, the 15th CPC National Congress made it clear that its party-to-party relations were to facilitate state-to-state relations. Jiang Zemin said on the conference, "On the principles of independence, equality, mutual respect, non-interference in other's internal affairs, and for the purpose of facilitating state-to-state relations, the CPC is willing to have a new kind of relations and cooperation with any foreign political party, so long it wishes to have contacts with us." In 2001, on the rally celebrating the 80th anniversary of the CPC, Jiang Zemin defined the purpose of CPC party-to-party relations as "facilitating the friendship among nations and the development of states." In September 2004, a decision on elevating the party's governing ability made by the CPC Central Committee said, "Consolidating and improving our foreign relation work and non-governmental relations, we will serve the state-to-state relations better."

Guided by these words, the CPC has taken the improvement of state-to-state relations as the major objective for its party-to-party contacts. The CPC takes safeguarding the country's interests and facilitating state-to-state relations as its starting point for its international relations, very careful not to let them replace or affect state-to-state ones. Its international relations after the reform and opening-up began have advanced the development of relations with other countries, increased mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation.

Serving China's reform and opening-up and the socialist modern construction 

As a party in power, the CPC shoulders the responsibility of safeguarding the state and people's interests. The nation's prosperity and revitalization of Chinese nation have been the objective the CPC has worked hard for. In early 1980s, with the all-round reform and opening-up began, and the adjustment of China's foreign policy, serving China's reform and opening-up, its socialist modern construction, working for a nice international environment, became the major objective of CPC's foreign relation work during a new era.

While meeting with Javier Perez de Cuellar, Secretary-general of the UN in 1982, Deng Xiaoping talked about the major task of China. It was to reach a well-off level by the end of the 20th century, and in another 30 or 50 years, getting close to the level of the developed countries. "We hope to have a peaceful international environment." Deng Xiaoping also said, "Our plan would be gone if a war broke out. In that case, we could do nothing but to put if off." Deng Xiaoping also said, "Safeguarding world peace is not an empty talk. It is our need, also the need of all the nations of the world." "It is also the need for economic construction." The CPC modified its constitution on the 14th CPC National Congress in 1992, adding the following to its general program, "The CPC is active to promote foreign relations, working hard for a favorable international environment for our reform, opening-up and modern construction."

Working for a favorable international environment as a goal of its international relations agrees with China's interests, also going along with the wish of other advanced parties and the trend of times. After the Cold War ended, all the nations were eager to have peace, stability, cooperation and development. All the parties, in power or not, wished to develop its country in a peaceful situation. This was particularly so with the parties in developing countries, which were facing an arduous task to get rid of poverty and to develop economy. Taking a peaceful international situation as CPC's major objective for foreign relation work, a perfect unity of patriotism and internationalism, just met their wish.


Source: International Relations of the Communist Party of China, edited by Zhong Lianyan, Beijing: China Intercontinental Press, 2007.10