The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence have only become more relevant and necessary

China marked the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence on June 28, with an international conference that featured a major speech by President Xi Jinping and the adoption of a Joint Declaration. The five principles were first advanced by Premier Zhou Enlai and endorsed jointly with the leaders of India and Myanmar (Burma). They went on to become a widely accepted norm of international relations.

The following is a brief commentary regarding the background and significance of the Five Principles, written by our co-editor Keith Bennett in advance of the conference. Keith notes that the question of relations between socialist and non-socialist countries arose with the victory of the October Revolution and was first addressed by Lenin. Zhou Enlai’s development of Lenin’s concept was made against the background of such great world events as the emergence of a socialist camp, the defeat of fascism and the founding of the United Nations, and the upsurge in the struggles for national liberation that would lead to the birth of the Non-Aligned Movement and the rise of the Global South. The five principles are needed more than ever today, with humanity facing a number of existential threats.

Part of the commentary featured in an article on China Daily.

The 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence being advanced by Premier Zhou Enlai represents a very significant milestone in the long march towards a post-colonialist, post-imperialist new world order that is genuinely peaceful and equitable.

The five principles were formulated by Premier Zhou, in my view the greatest diplomat of the twentieth century, in the midst of profound global changes and in particular three separate but closely inter-related phenomena, namely:

  • The emergence of socialism not simply as an idea but as a reality holding state power, initially in one country but then in a socialist camp embracing much of Europe and Asia.
  • The defeat of fascism in 1945 and the formation of the United Nations aimed at preventing war and promoting democratic global governance.
  • The upsurge of the national liberation movements and the beginning of the great waves of decolonisation that would lead to the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement and the later emergence and rise of the Global South.

The Chinese revolution itself, and the founding of the People’s Republic, reflected and impacted all these three historical currents.

The October Revolution, and the founding of the Soviet state, had inevitably raised the question of what relationship a socialist country should have with the capitalist powers, and it was on this basis that Lenin advanced a policy of peaceful coexistence.

Zhou Enlai applied and developed this concept with an appreciation that the existence of states with fundamentally different social systems, and hence the need for their coexistence, was not a mere transient phenomenon but rather a reality that would exist for an entire historical period and therefore could not be simply treated as a temporary expedient or tactic but needed to be raised to the level of theory.

His thinking also embodied Chairman Mao Zedong’s concept of there being both antagonistic and non-antagonistic contradictions, as well as the possibility for even actually or potentially antagonistic contradictions to be handled in a non-antagonistic fashion and, in such a way, for their nature to be ameliorated, modified or transformed.

Specifically, the collapse of the colonial empires, and the rise of new emerging forces throughout Asia, Africa and elsewhere, meant that a new world was coming into being, comprised of countries with different social systems, cultures, religious beliefs, and so on, but who shared important common interests of being for independence against imperialism and with them all facing the common needs of development, modernization and poverty alleviation. This provided the basis for Premier Zhou to agree the five principles with India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and for them to form the bedrock of the 10 principles adopted by the Afro-Asian Conference held in the Indonesian city of Bandung the following year.

A key test of the correctness or otherwise of a set of principles is whether or not they stand the test of time. Over the last 70 years, the Five Principles have only become more relevant and necessary. Embodying the principles of the United Nations Charter, and representing the interests of the great majority of the people in every country, they are welcomed and supported by the overwhelming majority of states. Moreover, their virtue and necessity can be seen in the appalling tragedies that result from a failure to uphold them but rather to pursue an alternative course, whether in Iraq, Afghanistan and, of course, above all today in Palestine.

The Five Principles are in turn embodied and being further developed and applied in the important global initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping with regards to security, development and civilization, along with the Belt and Road Initiative. As with Premier Zhou’s initiative seven decades ago, these initiatives are increasingly widely welcomed by countries and peoples around the world, addressing as they do the key questions and imperatives of peace and development, along with the correct and realistic ways to tackle the existential threats currently facing humanity, such as those of nuclear war, climate catastrophe, zoonotic pandemics, antimicrobial resistance, or a collapse in biodiversity, and to promote the building of a community of shared future for humanity.

China and Tunisia establish strategic partnership

Tunisian President Kais Saied paid a state visit to China coinciding with the 10th conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, held in Beijing on May 30.

Meeting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on May 31, the two leaders jointly announced the establishment of a strategic partnership between their countries.

Noting that China and Tunisia are good friends and brothers, Xi said that over the past 60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Tunisia have always respected and supported each other, and treated each other as equals despite international vicissitudes, writing a vivid chapter of developing countries standing together through thick and thin.

Consolidating and developing China-Tunisia relations conforms to the fundamental interests and common expectations of the two peoples, Xi noted, adding that China is willing to work with Tunisia to continue the traditional friendship, deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields and push bilateral relations to a new level.

“Today, we announced the establishment of China-Tunisia strategic partnership, which will open up an even brighter future for our relations,” he said.

China is ready to enhance synergy of development strategies with Tunisia, deepen cooperation in such fields as infrastructure construction and new energy, foster new growth engines for cooperation in medical and health care, green development, water resources, agriculture and other fields, and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation between the two countries to achieve more results, and China welcomes more high-quality Tunisian products into the Chinese market.

China is willing to continue to send high-calibre medical teams to Tunisia, and to deepen cooperation with Tunisia in education and tourism, and enhance people-to-people exchanges.

Xi urged the two sides to work with countries in the Global South to strengthen solidarity and coordination, practice true multilateralism, advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalisation, and achieve common development.

Saied said he is pleased to pay a historic visit to China on the occasion of marking the 60th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic ties and to attend the opening ceremony of the 10th ministerial conference of the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum.

Tunisia enjoys profound friendship and fruitful cooperation with China, and the country expects more support from China for its national development and closer cooperation in health, transportation, green development and education, so as to raise bilateral relations to a new level. Every country has the right to independently choose a development path suiting its own national conditions. Tunisia is willing to work with China to uphold the common values of humanity, strengthen unity and coordination, oppose hegemonism and bloc confrontation, and create a more equal and beautiful world, so that people of all countries can enjoy real human rights and freedom, live in harmony, and share peace, security and prosperity.

The previous day, President Saied had met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang.

Li noted that China firmly supports Tunisia in actively exploring a development path with Tunisian characteristics and firmly opposes external interference in Tunisia’s internal affairs.

China is ready to work with Tunisia to deepen practical cooperation guided by high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, make solid progress in key cooperation projects, and expand cooperation in trade and renewable energy. China is ready to work with Tunisia to make every effort to build a China-Arab community with a shared future for the new era and promote the building of a high-level China-Africa community with a shared future, Li added, urging joint efforts from the two sides to strengthen multilateral coordination and cooperation to safeguard the common interests of developing countries.

On May 31, the Tunisian head of state also met with Zhao Leji, Chairman of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.

Zhao said that, taking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations as an opportunity, the two sides should make good use of important platforms such as the joint construction of the Belt and Road, the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum, and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation to cultivate new driving forces for bilateral cooperation.

He noted that China and Tunisia are both countries in the Global South, and that they should strengthen their coordination and cooperation on multilateral occasions to promote a more just and equitable global governance system.

Saied said that Tunisia has the unwavering will to develop friendly relations with China. His country adheres to the one-China principle and stands ready to strengthen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, thereby opening broader prospects for bilateral relations. 

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

China, Tunisia establish strategic partnership

BEIJING, May 31 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping and Tunisian President Kais Saied on Friday announced the establishment of a strategic partnership between the two countries.

The announcement came as Xi held talks with Saied, who is on a state visit to China.

Noting that China and Tunisia are good friends and brothers, Xi said that over the past 60 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Tunisia have always respected and supported each other, and treated each other as equals despite international vicissitudes, writing a vivid chapter of developing countries standing together through thick and thin.

Consolidating and developing China-Tunisia relations conforms to the fundamental interests and common expectations of the two peoples, Xi noted, adding that China is willing to work with Tunisia to continue the traditional friendship, deepen exchanges and cooperation in various fields and push bilateral relations to a new level.

“Today, we announced the establishment of China-Tunisia strategic partnership, which will open up an even brighter future for our relations,” he said.

China supports Tunisia in pursuing a development path that suits its own national conditions, independently advancing the reform process, and keeping its future firmly in its own hands, Xi said.

China is ready to enhance synergy of development strategies with Tunisia, deepen cooperation in such fields as infrastructure construction and new energy, foster new growth engines for cooperation in medical and health care, green development, water resources, agriculture and other fields, and promote high-quality Belt and Road cooperation between the two countries to achieve more results, Xi said, welcoming more high-quality Tunisian products into the Chinese market.

China is willing to continue to send high-caliber medical teams to Tunisia, deepen cooperation with Tunisia in education and tourism, and enhance people-to-people exchanges, he added.

Continue reading China and Tunisia establish strategic partnership

China proves that not only is a new world possible but it has already arrived

In this article for the Morning Star, Roger McKenzie draws on his experiences on the recent Friends of Socialist China delegation, which combined visits to historical sites with discussions on contemporary Chinese politics, as well as providing an opportunity to witness the Chinese modernisation process in action.

Roger notes “the lengths the Chinese were taking to celebrate their revolutionary history at the same time as looking for ways to be at the cutting edge of modernisation”. This highlights the Chinese communists’ insistence on remaining true to the original aspiration and founding mission. After all, the founders of the CPC “had a dream of a better and fairer society based on Marxist principles” – a dream that still guides the Party today.

The article concludes that those of us in the West can learn a great deal – and take inspiration – from the Chinese example.

“China proves to me that not only is a new world possible but it has already arrived — if we choose to look and if we dare to win.”

The CPC was formed in July 1921 on a red boat in Nanhu Lake in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. It was the start of a century-plus journey from widespread poverty and political weakness to China becoming, according to many experts, the largest economy in the world.
 
China is a country high on ambition. The sort of ambition that would not have been possible without the bravery to set up the CPC under threat of imprisonment or death.

After many visits to China, my comrade and friend Keith Bennett, a co-founder of Friends of Socialist China (FSC), was visiting the Red Boat for the first time.
 
Bennett said: “I think what’s very impressive is how the history of the founding of the CPC is remembered and respected and it’s been passed onto the younger generations. We’ve been here today and we’ve seen lots of middle school students and younger school students all taking a great interest in it.”
 
Another comrade and co-founder of FSC, Carlos Martinez, agreed with Bennett’s analysis adding that he was impressed by the “inspiration that Chinese communists took from the Russian October Revolution and obviously from Marx and Engels.”
 
He added: “So when they talk about being true to their foundations, their roots and founding mission this includes the whole legacy of our global movement.”
 
I couldn’t help but notice the pride that people of all ages were taking in the history of the founding of the CPC. I witnessed the lengths the Chinese were taking to celebrate their revolutionary history at the same time as looking for ways to be at the cutting edge of modernisation.
 
The CPC seemed to have no difficulty in combining seemingly contradictory positions, whether it’s combining the old with the new or the market with socialism. For China, the key priority seems to be making sure that the people are put first.
 
In my view, one of the keys of Marxism is not to reduce it to an immovable dogma. For me — and I do not doubt that someone will see fit to correct me — it is a scientific tool that can be used to analyse the material circumstances confronting us and to use it to develop policies that put people rather than profits first.
 
The fact that the CPC has its hands on the levers of the market and is able to divert resources where they are most needed rather than into the pockets of greedy capitalists, makes all the difference.
 
Housing is often seen as one of the measures of how well an economy is serving its people. As I write this from Jiaxing I have yet to see a single homeless person on the street.
 
What I have seen is a diversity of housing provisions including a high-tech development called the Luli Future Community where quality housing, with fitness and children’s facilities, are available at a good price.
 
Some of the cost is subsidised by the central government — particularly for young people and public service workers such as doctors.
 
The brand new Party-Masses Service Centre in Jiaxing, which opened in 2021, is a hub for training, exhibitions, NGOs and the provision of mental health services.
 
Martinez said: “FSC Delegates to China were amazed to learn that you can register for counselling and get an appointment booked for the next day — free of charge.”
 
On one wall in the centre I saw “Only with peace of mind can the people and the country be safe,” which seemed a good summary of the work being carried out.
 
Whatever I say here “haters are always gonna hate.” I’m also not arrogant enough to believe that anything I say makes the slightest bit of difference.
 
But I can only say what I see and what I am seeing is a country brimming with confidence and full of ambition.
 
I’m also seeing a nation that refuses to be diverted from its upward course after generations of poverty and humiliation.
 
The Chinese seem prepared to think big and to continue to confound the racist stereotypes of China as a backward nation.
 
Any person with the slightest knowledge of history will know just how totally wrong that is.
 
China is thinking hard about what the future can look like and not waiting for it to shape them but, instead, taking steps to lead the way.
 
I visited the Yangtze River Delta Science and Technology Centre where they have gathered some of the finest thinkers in architecture, health, industry and communications, to name but a few, to carry out research and to advise the government.
 
China is thinking big but not just for itself. It is prepared to share its knowledge with other countries in a spirit of win-win and mutual respect.
 
The incredibly popular but much-maligned Belt and Road Initiative is a prime example of this. The BRI is based on greater policy co-ordination with partners, connecting facilities, trade, financial integration and, importantly, building people-to-people bonds.
 
Far removed from the zero game US model of you’re either with us or against us. The US model is yesterday’s news. The global South, where most people on the planet live, has had enough and has already moved on.
 
Despite the goading and the sanctions led by the US, China is refusing to play a game that nobody wins. Instead, it is creating a new game with its global South partners.

Shifting the focus away from the old colonial powers to the people — billions of people. Along the way it won’t be perfect — tell me what is?
 
But we have to break with the idea that the old colonial rulers can sit at their table, divide up the world and tell everyone else what to do. Those days are gone forever. The US and its posse just need to understand this.
 
The only questions that really matter are how will the old world respond? Will they do what they know best and resort to violence and financial sanctions? This seems to be their response so far.
 
Alternatively, for those of us interested in building a new world, what might it look like? What more do we need to do to breathe life into that newborn?
 
What I have seen so far in China convinces me that socialism works. Those pioneers on the Red Boat had a dream of a better and fairer society based on Marxist principles.
 
I am not advocating copying China but we can apply the scientific methods of Marxism-Leninism to our own circumstances in the same way that the CPC has with its socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era.
 
Some onlookers say China has abandoned Marxism. I don’t agree for the reasons I’ve already stated. Many have never been there but profess to know better than the people of China.

Clearly not everyone in the country of 1.4 billion people agrees entirely with the road being travelled.
 
I’m told there is a healthy debate within the nearly 100 million members of the CPC but it is clear to me that President Xi Jinping is providing clear direction and outstanding leadership.

Building a revolution against the stream is hard graft but it continues apace in China.
 
China is still red and will continue to attract partners interested in a different way, which may or may not be socialism. China proves to me that not only is a new world possible but it has already arrived — if we choose to look and if we dare to win.

China and Nauru committed to promoting peace, development and stability in the Pacific

President of Nauru David Adeang paid a state visit to China at the invitation of his counterpart Xi Jinping from March 24-29. The visit comes soon after the tiny South Pacific island nation resumed diplomatic relations with China on January 24.

The two heads of state met on March 25 and Xi noted that Nauru’s political decision to adhere to the one-China principle and restore diplomatic ties with China in January is a move that conforms to the trend of history and the times.

Friendship, no matter its beginning, will have a bright future, and cooperation, regardless of scale, will be productive as long as it is sincere, Xi said.

He added that China-Nauru relations have opened a new chapter in history, and China is ready to work with Nauru to create a better future for relations between the two countries and bring more benefits to the two peoples.

China welcomes Nauru as another country to sign the Belt and Road cooperation document with China, adding that China is ready to expand practical cooperation with Nauru in trade, investment and infrastructure construction, and provide assistance to Nauru for its independent and sustainable development without political strings attached.

Stressing that treating others as equals is a defining feature of China’s diplomacy, Xi said China always believes that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community.

China has always been a member of the developing world, and China’s vote in the United Nations Security Council always belongs to the developing countries, Xi said.

Noting that China-Nauru relations are based on mutual respect, equality, mutual benefit and mutual support, Xi noted that China firmly supports Nauru in safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, and in independently pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions.

Calling on the two sides to strengthen exchanges in education, culture, health, youth and other fields, Xi said China welcomes more young Nauruan people to study in China, and is willing to provide Nauru with assistance to address climate change within the framework of South-South cooperation.

China is willing to strengthen communication and coordination with Nauru in multilateral fields such as the United Nations and the Pacific Islands Forum, jointly advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world and inclusive economic globalisation that benefits all, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries, the Chinese president said.

Adeang said it is a great honour to be invited for a state visit to China and experience China’s long history, splendid culture and vibrant development.

Not long ago, Nauru decided to stand on the right side of history and resume diplomatic relations with China on the basis of recognising and adhering to the one-China principle, which is an important landmark in Nauru-China relations and opens a new chapter in Nauru’s national development and bilateral relations, he added.

He said Nauru highly appreciates China’s commitment to equality among all countries, no matter big or small, and is willing to abide by the one-China principle, and continuously deepen cooperation with China.

As the world today faces many global challenges, common progress and prosperity can only be achieved through solidarity and cooperation, Adeang said, noting that the series of global initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping is of great significance.

In a joint statement issued by the two countries, “the Nauruan side spoke highly of China’s great development achievements in the new era under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, and believes that the Chinese path to modernisation offers new options and solutions to fellow developing countries seeking independent development. Nauru welcomes and supports the vision of building a community with a shared future for humanity and the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilisation Initiative set forth by President Xi Jinping.”

The two sides agreed that all countries, regardless of size, strength and wealth, are equals. The Chinese side firmly supports Nauru in upholding its sovereignty, security and development interests, and in independently choosing a development path suited to its national conditions.

The Chinese side welcomes and supports Nauru in joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) at an early date. The two sides agreed to expand exchanges and cooperation in such areas as culture, education, health, sport, tourism, youth, media, and human resources, and take policy measures to promote their cross-border travel.

They agreed that climate change is a global challenge that requires all countries to work together to address it under the framework of multilateralism and following the principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. The two sides will jointly promote the full and effective implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement.

In a particularly significant section, China and Nauru clearly addressed the twin issues of Japan’s discharge of waste water from the stricken Fukushima nuclear reactor and Britain’s planned provision of nuclear-powered submarines to Australia under the AUKUS agreement that also includes the United States, stating:

“The two sides are committed to working with all sides to promote peace, development and stability in the Pacific Islands region. The two sides firmly uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as the cornerstone and the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty, and call on relevant countries to fulfil international obligations and prudently handle the discharge of nuclear contaminated water, cooperation on nuclear-powered submarines, etc.”

It added: “The Chinese side reiterated its active support for the Pacific Island Countries in implementing the 2050 Strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent. The two sides agreed to strengthen cooperation under multilateral mechanisms including the China-Pacific Island Countries Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and the China-Pacific Island Countries Economic Development and Cooperation Forum and under multilateral cooperation platforms for emergency supplies, climate response, poverty alleviation and development, disaster prevention and mitigation, Juncao technology [a Chinese innovation that allows for the breeding of a hybrid grass from fungi and herbaceous plants, thereby addressing issues of poverty, soil erosion and desertification] and agriculture, and work together for a closer community with a shared future between China and Pacific Island Countries.”

Continue reading China and Nauru committed to promoting peace, development and stability in the Pacific

Clean energy was top driver of China’s economic growth in 2023

The following detailed article by Lauri Myllyvirta and Qi Qin, originally published in Carbon Brief, highlights the unprecedented expansion of clean energy technology in China in 2023.

The authors’ analysis shows that clean energy investment in China increased 40 percent year-on-year – the $890bn total is slightly higher than the GDP of Switzerland. Furthermore, clean energy sectors “were the largest driver of China’ economic growth overall, accounting for 40 percent of the expansion of GDP in 2023… This shift positions the clean-energy industry as a key part not only of China’s energy and climate efforts, but also of its broader economic and industrial policy.”

The largest growth was in solar energy, the value of which sector increased by 63 percent. “While China has dominated the manufacturing and installations of solar panels for years, the growth of the industry in 2023 was unprecedented.” There was also significant growth of solar product exports to countries along the Belt and Road, particularly in Africa and Southeast Asia.

The article finds that China’s production of electric vehicles grew 36 percent in 2023. Over a third of cars purchased in China in the last year were electric; this growth is supported by a vast charging infrastructure – the article notes that by November 2023 there were 8.6m charging points (around 50 times the number in the US).

The article also notes that China is rapidly scaling up its electricity storage capacity. “This has the potential to significantly reduce China’s reliance on coal- and gas-fired power plants to meet peaks in electricity demand and to facilitate the integration of larger amounts of variable wind and solar power into the grid.”

The authors argue that the growth of clean energy in China is a result of the country’s overall economic strategy and its clear political commitment to climate goals. “China’s clean-energy policies and wider industrial policy built the foundation and scaled up these sectors so that they were primed for rapid growth.”

It is likely that the Chinese government will continue to direct vast resources towards green energy – benefitting not only China but the whole world. In this light, the recklessness of the US-led strategy of “decoupling” and New Cold War is ever more apparent. Those in the West that care about the future of the planet should work towards friendly relations and close cooperation with China in support of a global green energy transition.

Clean energy contributed a record 11.4tn yuan ($1.6tn) to China’s economy in 2023, accounting for all of the growth in investment and a larger share of economic growth than any other sector.

The new sector-by-sector analysis for Carbon Brief, based on official figures, industry data and analyst reports, illustrates the huge surge in investment in Chinese clean energy last year – in particular, the so-called “new three” industries of solar power, electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries.

Solar power, along with manufacturing capacity for solar panels, EVs and batteries, were the main focus of China’s clean-energy investments in 2023, the analysis shows.

(For this analysis, we used a broad definition of “clean energy” sectors, including renewables, nuclear power, electricity grids, energy storage, EVs and railways. These are technologies and infrastructure needed to decarbonise China’s production and use of energy.)

Other key findings of the analysis include:

  • Clean-energy investment rose 40% year-on-year to 6.3tn yuan ($890bn), with the growth accounting for all of the investment growth across the Chinese economy in 2023.
  • China’s $890bn investment in clean-energy sectors is almost as large as total global investments in fossil fuel supply in 2023 – and similar to the GDP of Switzerland or Turkey.
  • Including the value of production, clean-energy sectors contributed 11.4tn yuan ($1.6tn) to the Chinese economy in 2023, up 30% year-on-year.
  • Clean-energy sectors, as a result, were the largest driver of China’ economic growth overall, accounting for 40% of the expansion of GDP in 2023.
  • Without the growth from clean-energy sectors, China’s GDP would have missed the government’s growth target of “around 5%”, rising by only 3.0% instead of 5.2%.

The surge in clean-energy investment comes as China’s real-estate sector shrank for the second year in a row. This shift positions the clean-energy industry as a key part not only of China’s energy and climate efforts, but also of its broader economic and industrial policy.

Continue reading Clean energy was top driver of China’s economic growth in 2023

Friendly relations between China and Mexico further consolidated

Following the first meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Mexican counterpart, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as Amlo, held in the margins of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit on November 16, friendly relations between China and Mexico have been further consolidated with a visit to Beijing by Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena. 

In a November 6 meeting, Chinese Vice President Han Zheng told Barcena that bilateral relations had become increasingly strategic, complementary, and mutually beneficial. Expressing sympathies over the recent hurricane disaster that hit Mexico’s Pacific coast, Han said China will provide support and assistance to the post-disaster reconstruction.

Barcena thanked China for always providing timely assistance to Mexico when it encountered difficulties.

The previous day, Barcena had met with her Chinese counterpart, Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who said that China is willing to view and develop relations with Mexico from a strategic and long-term perspective, adding that his country stands ready to work with Mexico to uphold mutual respect and equal treatment, and bring bilateral relations to a new level.

Commenting on the meetings, the Mexican Foreign Ministry affirmed that “both parties agreed that the recent engagement between the presidents has strengthened bilateral ties, reaffirmed the friendship between Mexico and China, and achieved significant agreements.”

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency and Telesur.

Chinese VP meets Mexican foreign minister

BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — Chinese Vice President Han Zheng met with Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena in Beijing on Wednesday.

Han said that under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, China-Mexico relations have maintained a high level of operation, becoming increasingly strategic, complementary and mutually beneficial.

Noting that this year marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment of China-Mexico comprehensive strategic partnership, Han said the two sides should implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, consolidate political mutual trust, firmly support each other, deepen practical cooperation, and enhance people-to-people understanding.

He said China welcomes Mexico to integrate its development strategy with China’s major concepts and initiatives to elevate bilateral relations to a new level.

Expressing sympathies over the recent hurricane disaster that hit Mexico’s Pacific coast, Han said China will provide support and assistance in the post-disaster reconstruction.

Barcena thanked China for always providing timely assistance to Mexico when it encountered difficulties.

Barcena said the Mexican side highly appreciates the major concepts and initiatives put forward by the Chinese head of state and is willing to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, deepen bilateral and multilateral coordination and cooperation, and promote the continuous development of bilateral relations. 


Chinese FM meets with Mexican counterpart

BEIJING, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) — Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena on Tuesday in Beijing.

Wang, also a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, said that the recent meeting between the two heads of state in San Francisco, the United States, has provided important strategic guidance for the development of bilateral relations and drawn a blueprint for bilateral cooperation.

China is willing to view and develop relations with Mexico from a strategic and long-term perspective, Wang said, adding that China stands ready to work with Mexico to uphold mutual respect and equal treatment, and bring bilateral relations to a new level.

Barcena said that Mexico attaches great importance to relations with China, and is willing to work with China to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state to promote the greater development of bilateral ties. 


Foreign Ministers of Mexico and China Strengthen Relations

Dec. 7 (Telesur) — On Wednesday, Mexican Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena met with her Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, with the aim of “deepening the bilateral relationship” during her first official visit to the Asian country.

The Mexican Foreign Affairs Ministry affirmed that “both parties agreed that the recent engagement between the presidents has strengthened bilateral ties, reaffirmed the friendship between Mexico and China, and achieved significant agreements.”

Barcena’s visit to Beijing follows the meeting between Presidents Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Xi Jinping on November 16 during the Asia-Pacific Cooperation Forum (APEC) summit in San Francisco, USA.

Both foreign ministers agreed to “hold the Seventh Session of the Permanent Bilateral Commission next year, actively resuming bilateral cooperation after the pandemic.”

Additionally, they emphasized the need for the “establishment of a working group between Mexico and China” to combat the “trafficking of chemical precursors that can be used in the production of synthetic drugs and fentanyl, as well as to monitor the production chain accurately and exchange information to combat the illegal use of these substances.”

Barcena highlighted the importance of China strengthening its ties with Latin America through the enhancement of the CELAC-China forum under the Pro Tempore Presidency of Honduras.

Chinese, Belarusian presidents pledge to enhance ties

The President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko paid a working visit to China from December 3-4. Indicating the particularly close and friendly relations between the two countries, this was Lukashenko’s second visit to China this year, following his February 28-March 2 state visit.

Meeting his Belarus counterpart on December 4, President Xi Jinping pointed out that he and Lukashenko reached important consensus on promoting the high-level development of China-Belarus relations during Lukashenko’s visit earlier this year. The two countries have strengthened political mutual trust and international coordination since then.

China always views its relations with Belarus from a strategic and long-term perspective, firmly supports Belarus in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions and opposes external interference in Belarus’ internal affairs.

Having addressed the question of cooperation within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Xi added that both countries should also expand cooperation in education, health, sports and tourism, support exchanges and cooperation between the youth, and enhance understanding and friendship between the two peoples. 

Lukashenko said under the leadership of President Xi, China has made great achievements in its development and over 1.4 billion Chinese people live a happy life, making an important contribution to the world.

Belarus sincerely hopes that China will grow stronger, which is conducive to peace and progress in the world, Lukashenko added. Belarus has always been a reliable partner for China and will remain so.

Significantly, Lukashenko added that the development of comprehensive and all-weather strategic cooperation between Belarus and China is “determined by the similarity of our ideologies and the very logic of international events.”

Belarus not only maintains an independent, anti-imperialist stand in international relations, it has also refused to engage in full-scale capitalist restoration, maintaining the leading position of the publicly owned sector in the national economy, along with many of the traditions and values of the USSR. It is, for example, the only former Soviet republic to continue observing and honouring the anniversary of the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution. 

Lukashenko also noted that: “Belarus has been a reliable partner for China and will remain so. I don’t think anyone in China needs to be convinced of this… We decided a long time ago that we would cooperate and live in friendship with China. As I said, this friendship is more than 30 years old. We have never turned from this path either to the left or to the right.” 

Regarding BRI, Lukashenko said: “No one can find even a trifle to criticise. The most important thing is that you have defined the common destiny for humankind as the goal. Unlike Western countries that are trying to tear everything apart, you have set the single goal for all. Who can argue with that? No one. The world will be grateful to Great China for this… We would like to see China a powerful country. We would like to see it grow. This is not only our interest. It is the interest of the whole planet.”

The following articles were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency and the Belarus Telegraph Agency (Belta).

Chinese, Belarusian presidents pledge to enhance ties

BEIJING, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Beijing on Monday.

Xi pointed out that he and Lukashenko reached important consensus on promoting the high-level development of China-Belarus relations during Lukashenko’s state visit to China earlier this year. The two countries have strengthened political mutual trust and international coordination since then.

China always views its relations with Belarus from a strategic and long-term perspective, firmly supports Belarus in pursuing a development path suited to its national conditions, and opposes external interference in Belarus’ internal affairs, Xi said.

“China is willing to continue to strengthen strategic coordination with Belarus, firmly support each other, promote practical cooperation and deepen bilateral relations,” Xi said.

Xi stressed that more than 150 countries have signed Belt and Road Initiative cooperation documents a decade after he proposed the initiative, adding that he announced not long ago eight major steps China would take to support the joint pursuit of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation. “China welcomes Belarus to continue its active participation and gain more tangible development opportunities from it.”

Xi called on the two sides to implement projects such as the China-Belarus Industrial Park, push for more results in industrial cooperation, and further facilitate cross-border transport to promote trade and personnel exchanges.

He said both sides should expand cooperation in education, health, sports and tourism, support exchanges and cooperation between the youth, and enhance understanding and friendship between the two peoples.

Noting that China and Belarus are important forces in the reform and development of the global governance system, Xi said China is willing to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Belarus within multilateral mechanisms such as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, promote the implementation of the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative, and advance the building of a community with a shared future for humanity.

Lukashenko said under the leadership of President Xi, China has made great achievements in its development and over 1.4 billion Chinese people live a happy life, making an important contribution to the world.

Belarus sincerely hopes that China will grow stronger, which is conducive to peace and progress in the world, Lukashenko added.

Belarus is committed to developing friendly relations with China and is willing to keep close high-level exchanges with China, firmly support each other, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, strengthen international and multilateral strategic coordination, and push for greater development of the all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership, Lukashenko said.

He said Belarus firmly believes that the initiatives proposed by President Xi truly muster international consensus and cooperation, and Belarus will continue to actively participate in them.

The two heads of state also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis.

Senior Chinese officials Cai Qi and Wang Yi attended the event. 


Lukashenko at talks with Xi: Belarus is a reliable partner for China

MINSK, 4 December (BelTA) – Belarus has always been a reliable partner for China and will remain so, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, BelTA has learned.

“I am glad to have this opportunity and discuss topical issues of cooperation with you in a friendly atmosphere and express our points of view on various problems of international relations, as it has always been the case between us. The development of comprehensive and all-weather strategic cooperation between Belarus and China is determined by the similarity of our ideologies and the very logic of international events and processes that are taking place today,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said. “Our meeting on 1 March [2023] was in many ways pivotal and set the momentum for the whole year. Since March, more than 120 mutual visits have been carried out. Those are various visits. What is most pleasing is that the visits are related to cooperation in the manufacturing sector, trade and economy.”

The Belarusian head of state stressed that the historic rise in relations had given a powerful impetus to the deepening of cooperation in traditional areas and launched new vectors and mechanisms of cooperation.

“Belarus has been a reliable partner for China and will remain so. I don’t think anyone in China needs to be convinced of this. All this has happened before my eyes for the last 30 years, and even way back. I came to China for the first time as a member of parliament,” the Belarusian leader said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also noted his long-term acquaintance with Xi Jinping and joint work to advance bilateral relations.

“We have a lot of experience. We know what our countries need. We have done a lot in this regard,” the Belarusian president said.

“We decided a long time ago that we would cooperate and live in friendship with China. As I said, this friendship is more than 30 years old. We have never turned from this path either to the left or to the right,” the president emphasized.

Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked Xi Jinping for the meeting, noting that the Chinese leader has recently had a very busy schedule: a huge number of international meetings, not to mention domestic policy events in China itself.

“Upon reflecting on this, I can say: well, this is the burden of one of the world leaders,” the head of state said. “Therefore, I am very grateful to you for this meeting, for the responsiveness.”


Lukashenko: Belarus supports China’s idea of building community with shared future for mankind

MINSK, 4 December (BelTA) – Belarus supports the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind put forward earlier by the Chinese leader, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko said during talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, BelTA has learned.

“You just mentioned the Belt and Road. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that the Belt and Road Initiative is, as you said, no longer a concept today. It is already a practice. In progress. No one can argue with this today, and no one can find even a trifle to criticize. The most important thing is that you have defined the common destiny for humankind as the goal. Unlike Western countries that are trying to tear everything apart, you have set the single goal for all. Who can argue with that? No one. The world will be grateful to Great China for this,” the head of state said.

“We would like to see China a powerful country. We would like to see it grow. This is not only our interest. It is the interest of the whole planet, because a huge number of talented hardworking people live here [in China],” Aleksandr Lukashenko added.

Li Qiang: SCO represents the shared aspiration of regional countries for friendship, security and development

The 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) was held in Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan, on October 26.

Chinese Premier Li Qiang joined fellow leaders, including Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda, Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, the Indian foreign minister, and the Pakistani foreign minister from member states, together with Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko and Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene, from two of the SCO’s observer states. The meeting was hosted by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Akylbek Japarov.

In his speech to the meeting, Premier Li said that looking back at the founding aspiration of the SCO, its members were brought together to ensure that regional affairs are decided by regional countries through consultation, without interference from those outside the region. He added:

“Twenty-two years ago, the SCO was founded in response to the shared aspiration of regional countries for promoting friendship, safeguarding security and pursuing development. Today, the Organisation has grown from the original ‘Shanghai Five’ to nine member states, three observer states, and 14 dialogue partners. SCO member states now account for nearly half of the world’s population and about one quarter of the global GDP.”

Li offered four proposals on deepening SCO cooperation. First, the SCO members should jointly solidify the regional security barrier, firmly reject external interference, improve the organisation’s mechanism of coping with security threats and challenges as soon as possible, and crack down on the ‘three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism’ as well as transnational organised crimes.

Second, SCO members should jointly promote the speedy economic recovery, cooperate to build safe and efficient transportation systems, continuously promote trade and investment liberalisation and facilitation, and maintain steady and smooth industrial supply chains.

Third, the members should jointly enhance the Belt and Road cooperation. The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation has been successfully held, and the Belt and Road has become the most popular international public goods and the largest international cooperation platform in the past 10 years.

The SCO members should reinforce the alignment of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with the member states’ respective development strategies, push forward the construction of major economic corridors, and develop well the SCO Development Bank.

Fourth, the SCO member states should jointly promote the understanding and amity among their people, and continue to deepen cooperation in areas including education, culture and tourism, and sports.

Li Qiang also held a series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit.

Meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on October 25, he said that China is willing to further align its development strategies with Russia, promote synergy between the Belt and Road cooperation and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), maintain the growth momentum of cooperation on trade and investment, deepen cooperation in the field of energy, and enhance connectivity and trade liberalisation and facilitation.

On October 26, he met with Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene, Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, and Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda.

In his meeting with Prime Minister Oyun-Erdene, Li said that China stands ready to work with Mongolia to firmly support each other in safeguarding sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and to strengthen cooperation with Mongolia in such fields as port connectivity, economy and trade, and green development, to further expand the pie of common interests, so as to achieve win-win results.

China is ready to strengthen cooperation with Mongolia under the SCO and other multilateral frameworks to better safeguard their common interests and build a community with a shared future for humanity, Li added.

For his part, Oyun-Erdene said that Mongolia stands ready to work with China to strengthen border port capacity building and connectivity, promote the Belt and Road cooperation, deepen cooperation in areas including trade, railway, green development, tourism, and culture, and deepen multilateral cooperation, so as to lift Mongolia-China relations to a higher level.

In his meeting with Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, Li noted that President Xi Jinping and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi met twice this year and reached a series of important consensuses. China, he stressed, will continue to firmly support Iran in safeguarding its national sovereignty, territorial integrity, and national dignity, and will strongly oppose any external forces interfering in Iran’s internal affairs.

Mokhber said that China is a comprehensive strategic partner of Iran and the two countries enjoy a long history of friendship. Iran appreciates China’s assistance for its economic and social development and is firmly committed to deepening Iran-China relations.

Meeting with Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda, Li said that China is willing to strengthen the synergy of development strategies with Tajikistan, continue to advance high-quality Belt and Road cooperation, give full play to industrial complementarity, expand trade and investment, strengthen cooperation in such fields as transport infrastructure, civil aviation, green economy and digital economy, and deepen people-to-people and cultural exchanges in sports, culture, education and between regions so as to help the development and revitalisation of the two countries.

The two sides, he added, should maintain close coordination in multilateral areas, implement the outcomes of the China-Central Asia Summit, strengthen cooperation within the United Nations, the SCO, and other frameworks, uphold the common interests of the two countries and safeguard international equity and justice.

For his part, Rasulzoda said that Tajikistan-China relations have a long history, profound foundation and rich connotation. Noting that Tajikistan appreciates China’s strong support for its economic and social development over the years, he said that his country is willing to work with China to consolidate traditional friendship, promote the Belt and Road cooperation, deepen cooperation in such fields as industry, agriculture, transportation, energy, infrastructure, and digital economy, and push for further in-depth development of bilateral relations.

Tajikistan stands ready to work with China to promote all-round cooperation between China and Central Asian countries, deepen coordination within the frameworks of the United Nations and the SCO, and promote regional peace and prosperity, he added.

The following day, Li met with the Prime Minister of Belarus, Roman Golovchenko. He said that, under the strategic guidance of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, bilateral relations have achieved leap-forward development in recent years.

China stands ready to push for deeper synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and Belarus’ strategy for social and economic development and jointly build the China-Belarus Great Stone Industrial Park and other key projects.

He called on both sides to tap the potential of cooperation in such areas as trade in services and scientific and technological innovation, strengthen people-to-people and cultural cooperation, and push forward their all-weather comprehensive strategic partnership. The two sides should strengthen communication and coordination within the SCO and other multilateral mechanisms to make greater contribution to regional and world peace, stability, and development.

Golovchenko said that Belarus firmly supports China in safeguarding its core interests. Belarus is ready to strengthen cooperation with China within multilateral frameworks such as the SCO to jointly boost the multipolarisation of the world, he added.

Prior to the Heads of Government meeting, Li Qiang also paid a bilateral visit to Kyrgyzstan on October 25. In his meeting with Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov, Li said Kyrgyzstan is an important neighbour of China, adding that in May, President Xi Jinping and President Japarov lifted bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership for a new era and jointly announced the building of a China-Kyrgyzstan community with a shared future of good neighbourliness and shared prosperity, which, constitutes a milestone in their history of bilateral relations and cooperation.

The Chinese side, Li added, is willing to deepen political mutual trust with the Kyrgyz side, always firmly support each other on issues concerning their respective core interest, further align their development strategies, deepen the integration of economic benefits, and continue to improve the quality and efficiency of bilateral cooperation.

And China is also willing to reinforce communication and coordination with the Kyrgyz side on regional and international affairs, speed up the implementation of the outcomes of the China-Central Asia Summit, closely coordinate within such multilateral mechanisms as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and safeguard the common interest of developing countries and international equity and justice, he added.

President Japarov said that the Kyrgyz side stands ready to deepen cooperation with China within the framework of China-Central Asia cooperation and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, jointly combat the ‘three forces’ of terrorism, separatism and extremism, effectively address traditional and non-traditional security challenges, and promote regional security and development.

The following reports were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency.

Regional affairs should be decided without external interference: Chinese premier

BISHKEK, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) — Looking back at the founding aspiration of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), its members were brought together to ensure that regional affairs are decided by regional countries through consultation, without interference from those outside the region, Chinese Premier Li Qiang said here Thursday.

During his speech at the 22nd Meeting of the Council of Heads of Government of the SCO Member States, Li called for jointly building a security barrier in the region and resolutely resisting external interference.

In his speech, Li said the SCO summit in July this year further reached important consensus, and identified key tasks on carrying forward the Shanghai Spirit and building a closer SCO community with a shared future, adding that China is willing to work with all parties to implement the spirit of the summit.

At the Samarkand summit last year, President Xi Jinping stressed the necessity to uphold political trust, win-win cooperation, equality between nations, openness and inclusiveness and equity and justice, which is the key to the success of the SCO’s development and growth, Li added.

Looking forward to the future, SCO members should keep in mind the founding aspiration and uphold the key to success, Li said, stressing that guided by the vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind, SCO members should work together and make mutual achievements, advance cooperation in various fields in a solid way, and inject more certainty and positive energy into peace and development of the region and the world.

Li offered four proposals on deepening SCO cooperation. First, the SCO members should jointly solidify regional security barrier, firmly reject external interference, improve the organization’s mechanism of coping with security threats and challenges as soon as possible, and crack down on the “three forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism as well as transnational organized crimes.

Second, SCO members should jointly promote the speedy economic recovery, cooperate to build safe and efficient transportation systems, continuously promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and maintain steady and smooth industrial supply chains.

Third, the members should jointly enhance the Belt and Road cooperation. The third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation has been successfully held, and the Belt and Road has become the most popular international public goods and the largest international cooperation platform in the past 10 years.

The SCO members should reinforce the alignment of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation with the member states’ respective development strategies, push forward the construction of major economic corridors, and develop well the SCO Development Bank.

Fourth, the SCO member states should jointly promote the understanding and amity among their people, and continue to deepen cooperation in areas including education, culture and tourism, and sports.

Leaders including Kazakh Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Tajik Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda, Uzbek Prime Minister Abdulla Aripov, Iran’s First Vice President Mohammad Mokhber, Indian foreign minister, Pakistani foreign minister attended the meeting, together with Belarusian Prime Minister Roman Golovchenko and Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene, leaders of two observer states. Kyrgyz Prime Minister Akylbek Japarov hosted the meeting.

The SCO is committed to carrying forward the Shanghai Spirit, said participants of the meeting, adding that since its founding 22 years ago, the SCO has continuously developed, with its global influence ever increasing.

They agreed to implement the consensus reached at the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO, jointly combat the “three forces” of terrorism, separatism and extremism and transnational organized crimes, strengthen cooperation in such areas as economy and trade, transportation, agriculture, energy, finance, high and new technology, environmental protection and green development, promote Belt and Road cooperation, improve infrastructure connectivity, and deepen people-to-people exchanges in such fields as tourism and education.

They also agreed to strengthen institutional building of the SCO, practice true multilateralism, jointly safeguard regional security and promote regional prosperity, and help make the international system more inclusive and sustainable.

The Chinese premier and other leaders of the SCO member states attending the meeting signed and issued a joint communique, and approved a series of SCO cooperation documents and resolutions on economy and trade, railways and institution building, among other areas. 

Continue reading Li Qiang: SCO represents the shared aspiration of regional countries for friendship, security and development

Xi Jinping bilateral dialogues with leaders from Vietnam, Laos and Brazil

Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded his bilateral dialogues with high-level visitors on the sidelines of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) with three meetings in the morning of October 20.

Meeting with Vietnamese President Võ Văn Thưởng, Xi Jinping pointed out that China and Vietnam have supported each other in their respective struggles for national liberation, forming a deep and enduring comrades-plus-brothers friendship. Both nations are moving ahead with their respective causes of socialist modernisation, seeing each other as a priority in their respective foreign policies and considering each other’s development as an opportunity for their own development. In the face of a changing international landscape and arduous tasks of domestic development, both countries should stay true to the original aspiration of carrying forward traditional friendship, bear in mind the shared ideals and mission, move forward hand in hand along the path of socialism to build a community of a shared future with strategic significance, and ensure that bilateral relations will always stay on the fast track of win-win cooperation and joint development.

For his part, Võ Văn Thưởng said that President Xi’s speech at the opening of the forum was visionary, encompassing both strategic planning and specific measures, showcasing the role of China as a major country and the role of the Communist Party of China (CPC) as a major party. It will have a significant impact in guiding future international cooperation and global development. Vietnam admires the significant achievements of the CPC in theoretical and practical innovation. President Xi’s governance philosophy has been inspiring to the party and government of Vietnam. Vietnam views China’s development as an opportunity and supports socialist China in developing itself and achieving its goal of building a strong China as scheduled. The Vietnamese side believes that China will make a greater contribution to world peace and development.

Meeting with General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee and Lao President Thongloun Sisoulith, Xi Jinping pointed out that the past 10 years have seen steady and important progress in building a China-Laos community with a shared future. To build such a community in a world of transformation and turbulence, with accelerated changes unseen in a century, has even greater value and strategic significance for the times, and has an exemplary and guiding role to play.

The Chinese leader emphasised that adhering to the Party leadership and the socialist direction is an essential feature of China-Laos relations. The two parties of China and Laos should continue to deepen political mutual trust, enhance governance capability, and strengthen communication and cooperation in such fields as politics and law enforcement security. The two sides need to tap deep into the potential of the China-Laos Railway, steadily advance the development of the China-Laos Economic Corridor, with a focus on development along the railroad, and actively advance the regional connectivity development outlook, to create a model for Belt and Road cooperation in the region. China will continue to provide assistance for Laos’ economic development to the best of its ability, encourage more Chinese enterprises to invest in the country, import more quality agricultural products from Laos, and expand bilateral cooperation in such fields as energy and mining. Laos will assume the rotating chairmanship of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year, and China is ready to support Laos in playing a greater role in regional and international affairs.

Thongloun Sisoulith congratulated China on successfully hosting the third BRF, and said that the current cooperation between Laos and China in various fields is being successfully advanced, and Laos sincerely thanks China for providing precious help in its economic and social development over the years. The construction and successful operation of the Laos-China Railway has greatly promoted the economic development of the country and has brought positive changes to the Lao people’s life. A new five-year action plan on building a Laos-China community with a shared future to be signed this time will further consolidate friendly cooperative relations between the two parties and two countries.

Xi Jinping also met with the President of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies Arthur Lira. He pointed out that during President Lula da Silva’s successful state visit to China this spring, they had a fruitful meeting and reached important common understandings on steering China-Brazil relations into a new era. China and Brazil are respectively the largest developing countries in the eastern and western hemispheres and emerging major countries with global influence. In the face of a world of change and disorder, the two sides should firmly support and echo each other. China supports Brazil’s hosting of the G20 Leaders’ Summit and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change next year and is ready to strengthen coordination and cooperation with Brazil.

Xi Jinping emphasised that this year marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Brazil strategic partnership, and next year the 50th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two sides. Building on past achievements, China-Brazil relations have much more to accomplish.

Lira noted that Brazil-China relations are in a good shape, and cooperation with China has vigorously promoted Brazil’s economic and social development and increased Brazil’s employment and production capacity. China’s success is of great significance to the world, and China has always been an important partner of Brazil in development. He added that as the rotating president of the G20 next year, Brazil will step up communication and collaboration with China, and play its due role. He looks forward to welcoming President Xi Jinping’s visit to Brazil on that occasion.

The following reports were originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Xi Jinping Meets with Vietnamese President Võ Văn Thưởng

On the morning of October 20, 2023, President Xi Jinping met at the Great Hall of the People with Vietnamese President Võ Văn Thưởng who is in China to attend the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF).

Xi Jinping pointed out that China and Vietnam have supported each other in their respective struggles for national liberation, forming a deep and enduring comrades-plus-brothers friendship. Both nations are moving ahead with their respective causes of socialist modernization, seeing each other as a priority in their respective foreign policies and considering each other’s development as an opportunity for their own development. In the face of a changing international landscape and arduous tasks of domestic development, both countries should stay true to the original aspiration of carrying forward traditional friendship, bear in mind the shared ideals and mission, move forward hand in hand along the path of socialism to build a community of a shared future with strategic significance, and ensure that bilateral relations will always stay on the fast track of win-win cooperation and joint development.

Continue reading Xi Jinping bilateral dialogues with leaders from Vietnam, Laos and Brazil

Building an open, inclusive and interconnected world for common development

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF III) at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on October 18, 2023.

The Chinese leader was joined at the opening ceremony by state leaders from more than 20 countries, including:

  • President of Argentina Alberto Fernández;
  • President of Chile Gabriel Boric;
  • President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou-N’Guesso;
  • President of Indonesia Joko Widodo;
  • President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev;
  • President of Kenya William Ruto;
  • President of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith;
  • President of Mongolia Khurelsukh Ukhna;
  • President of Russia Vladimir Putin;
  • President of Serbia Aleksandar Vučić;
  • President of Sri Lanka Ranil Wickremesinghe;
  • National Leader of the Turkmen people and Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov;
  • President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev;
  • President of Vietnam Vo Van Thuong;
  • Prime Minister of Cambodia Hun Manet;
  • Prime Minister of Egypt Mostafa Madbouly;
  • Prime Minister of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed Ali;
  • Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán;
  • Prime Minister of Mozambique Adriano Afonso Maleiane;
  • Prime Minister of Pakistan Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar;
  • Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea James Marape;
  • Prime Minister of Thailand Srettha Thavisin;
  • Vice President of Nigeria Kashim Shettima;
  • Special Representative of the President and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah (RAK) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi;
  • Special Representative of the President and former Prime Minister of France Jean-Pierre Raffarin;
  • and Senior Representative of the Prime Minister and Minister of Development of Greece Kostas Skrekas, as well as heads of international organisations, including United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and President of the New Development Bank (NDB) Dilma Rousseff.

Presidents Vladimir Putin, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Joko Widodo, and Alberto Fernández, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, and Secretary-General António Guterres also delivered speeches at the opening ceremony.

Under the title, ‘Building an Open, Inclusive and Interconnected World for Common Development’, and noting that this year marks the tenth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), President Xi said that it draws, “inspiration from the ancient Silk Road and, focusing on enhancing connectivity, aims to enhance policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, inject new impetus into the global economy, create new opportunities for global development, and build a new platform for international economic cooperation.

“Belt and Road cooperation has extended from the Eurasian continent to Africa and Latin America. More than 150 countries and over 30 international organisations have signed Belt and Road cooperation documents.”

Belt and Road cooperation, he noted, has progressed from ‘sketching the outline’ to ‘filling in the details’, and blueprints have been turned into real projects. A large number of signature projects and ‘small yet smart’ people-centred programs have been launched.

“Belt and Road cooperation has expanded from physical connectivity to institutional connectivity. Important guiding principles for high-quality Belt and Road cooperation have been laid down, which include the principle of ‘planning together, building together, and benefiting together,’ the philosophy of open, green and clean cooperation, and the goal of pursuing high-standard, people-centred and sustainable cooperation.

Over these 10 years, we have endeavoured to build a global network of connectivity consisting of economic corridors, international transportation routes and information highway, as well as railways, roads, airports, ports, pipelines and power grids. Covering the land, the ocean, the sky and the Internet, this network has boosted the flow of goods, capital, technologies and human resources among countries involved and injected fresh vitality into the millennia-old Silk Road in the new era.

Hydro, wind and solar energy based power plants, oil and gas pipelines, and the increasingly smart and interconnected power transmission networks are removing the development bottleneck caused by energy shortage and fulfilling the dream of developing countries to achieve green and low-carbon development. These energy projects have become the oasis and lighthouse for sustainable development in the new era.”

The Chinese leader went on to note that, “when COVID-19 struck, the Belt and Road became a life-saving road. China provided more than 10 billion masks and 2.3 billion doses of vaccines to other countries and jointly produced vaccines with over 20 countries, making a special contribution to BRI partners’ efforts in fighting COVID-19. And China also received valuable support from more than 70 countries when it was hit hard by the pandemic.

“Belt and Road cooperation is based on the principle of ‘planning together, building together, and benefiting together.’ It transcends differences between civilisations, cultures, social systems, and stages of development. It has opened up a new path for exchanges among countries, and established a new framework for international cooperation. Indeed, the BRI represents humanity’s joint pursuit of development for all.”

He also stressed that:

“We have learned that humankind is a community with a shared future. China can only do well when the world is doing well. When China does well, the world will get even better… We have learned that win-win cooperation is the sure way to success in launching major initiatives that benefit all. When countries embrace cooperation and act in concert, a deep chasm can be turned into a thoroughfare, land-locked countries can become land-linked, and a place of underdevelopment can be transformed into a land of prosperity. Countries taking the lead in economic development should give a hand to their partners who are yet to catch up. We should all treat each other as friends and partners, respect and support each other, and help each other succeed… Viewing others’ development as a threat or taking economic interdependence as a risk will not make one’s own life better or speed up one’s development… Belt and Road cooperation is based on the belief that flame runs high when everyone adds wood to the fire and that mutual support can get us far. Such cooperation seeks to deliver a good life not only to people of just one country, but to people in other countries as well… Ideological confrontation, geopolitical rivalry and bloc politics are not a choice for us. What we stand against are unilateral sanctions, economic coercion and decoupling and supply chain disruption… We need to remain clear-eyed and undisturbed in a volatile world, and we need to be keenly aware of our responsibility for history, for the people and for the world. We should jointly address various global risks and challenges, and deliver a bright future of peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit for future generations… The modernisation we are pursuing is not for China alone, but for all developing countries through our joint efforts. Global modernisation should be pursued to enhance peaceful development and mutually beneficial cooperation and bring prosperity to all.”

President Xi also outlined eight major steps that China will take to support the joint pursuit of high-quality Belt and Road cooperation.

The following is the full text of President Xi’s speech. It was originally published on the website of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government,
Heads of International Organizations,
Representatives of Various Countries,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends,

Today, we are meeting here for the opening ceremony of the Third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF). On behalf of the Chinese government and Chinese people and in my own name, I wish to extend a very warm welcome to you all!

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) I proposed. The BRI, drawing inspiration from the ancient Silk Road and focusing on enhancing connectivity, aims to enhance policy, infrastructure, trade, financial and people-to-people connectivity, inject new impetus into the global economy, create new opportunities for global development, and build a new platform for international economic cooperation.

Continue reading Building an open, inclusive and interconnected world for common development

The historian rewriting China’s understanding of the world

Qian Chengdan is one of China’s best-known but more elusive historians. In 2006, he was a key consultant for a major CCTV television series which analysed the rise and fall of nine world-historical empires. It was widely and correctly identified at the time as illustrating socialist China’s determination that its peaceful rise would never lead to the previous historical outcomes of colonialism, imperialism and hegemony.

Following this high-profile project, Professor Qian preferred to concentrate on his own niche interests, including publishing monographs on English history and translating The Cambridge Introduction to the History of Art.

However, he is now once again in the spotlight having led a team of scholars in a three-year project, resulting in An Outline of World History, which was published in June by Peking University Press. The publishers have described the work as “the first attempt by Chinese scholars to create a new system of knowledge for world history, and to use that system to write a history of the world.”

The book draws heavily on the work of Karl Marx, but, according to an article and abbreviated interview by Wu Haiyun carried by the popular Sixth Tone website, it has “taken pains to distance the work from that of earlier Soviet scholars, whom he believes were overly dogmatic and overlooked key aspects of Marx’s ideas.”

In the interview, Professor Qian says that:

“The Soviet system boils down to two elements: the ‘five modes’ and class struggle. The importance of class struggle to Marxism is well known, but many Chinese also learn about the five modes of production, which refer to the progression of human society from primitive communism to slavery, feudalism, capitalism, and ultimately a future communist society.

“The problem with the Soviet system was its absolutism. It rejected the idea of cultural diversity and posited that all regions and countries worldwide underwent the same process. This does not align with historical reality.”

His interviewer responded: “What you described as the two key points of the Soviet system are fundamental concepts that every Chinese person learns from an early age. Isn’t that standard Marxism? How exactly does your approach differ from the Soviet one?”

This drew the following response:

“In his book The German Ideology, Karl Marx provided a clear description of the formation of world history. He wrote, ‘the more the original isolation of the separate nationalities is destroyed by the developed mode of production and intercourse and the division of labour between various nations naturally brought forth by these, the more history becomes world history.’

“This is Marx’s own understanding of the formation of world history. Regrettably, his words were largely ignored by Soviet historians…This implies that human society is not only characterised by the progression from lower to higher stages but also by the transition from fragmentation to unity. From this perspective, we can see the superiority of Marx’s theory of world history… We aim to restore history to its authentic form, preserving its most genuine characteristics. In my view, Marx’s theory of ‘world history’ comes closest to grasping the essence of history. Sadly, his theory has long been overlooked.”

One of the things that is not explored in the interview is that Professor Qian’s rejection of simplistic and dogmatic interpretations of historical materialism, something by no means confined to many Soviet Marxists, but also to be found, for example, in many schools and adherents of Western Marxism, is essential to correctly understanding and appreciating the fact that a number of countries have embarked on the road of socialism without first going through the phase of capitalist development.

Concluding on a note of well-placed optimism, Professor Qian notes that:

“From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, the Western world, bolstered by capital and war, essentially gained control over the entire globe, leaving almost no room for the survival of non-Western civilisations. This was a comprehensive ‘horizontal’ shift. However, from that point onward, history has begun to reverse course, and the world today is markedly different from a century ago. Various regions are pursuing their unique development paths, and differences are becoming increasingly pronounced and apparent.”

We reprint the article and interview from Sixth Tone below.

Qian Chengdan might be the Platonic ideal of an ivory tower academic. The director of both Peking University’s Center for World History Research and its Institute of Area Studies, Qian occupies a prestigious perch at one of China’s top universities, but unlike many of his peers, he seems to have little interest in fame or attention: He rarely participates in public forums or sits for interviews, and he avoids all social media — even WeChat.

On the rare occasion Qian does descend from the ivory tower, however, he almost always leaves a mark. In 2006, Qian served as a key consultant on the acclaimed CCTV-produced documentary series “The Rise of the Great Powers,” which told the story of nine world-historical empires, from Portugal and Spain to Japan and the United States. It was one of the first extended introductions to world history aired on Chinese television — and a significant departure from past programming focused on China’s own history.

After the series aired, Qian quietly returned to academic life, eventually publishing a number of well-received monographs on world and English history while pursuing his passion project: translating “The Cambridge Introduction to the History of Art” in its entirety.

Continue reading The historian rewriting China’s understanding of the world

Li Xi: China will always be part of the developing world and a member of the Global South

The Summit Meeting of the Group of 77 and China, a major organisation of developing countries, was held in the Cuban capital, Havana, September 15-16.

Attended by more than 1,300 participants from 116 countries and 12 organisations and agencies of the United Nations system, it represented a major diplomatic achievement by Cuba and a stunning rebuff to US attempts to isolate the heroic socialist island. Representation was drawn from 33 nations from Latin America and the Caribbean, 46 from Africa, 34 from Asia, and three from Europe. They comprised 31 heads of state and government, 12 vice presidents, dozens of ministers from multiple portfolios, and many other high-level dignitaries.

Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee attended as the special representative of President Xi Jinping.

Addressing the summit on September 15, Li said that Cuba has made a great effort and contributed significantly to promoting the collective strength and solidarity of developing countries in addressing global challenges and in safeguarding the development interests of developing nations. He applauded Cuba’s effort and contribution.

The world, he added, is undergoing changes on a scale unseen in a century. Developing countries are becoming stronger. A significant shift is taking place in the international balance of power. And South-South cooperation is growing significantly in both quantity and quality.

At the same time, however, unilateralism and hegemonism are becoming rampant. Some countries are resorting to such practices as unilateral sanctions, erection of ‘fences and barriers,’ decoupling, and disruption of industrial and supply chains, seriously undermining the legitimate development rights and interests of developing countries and their space for development.

China is the world’s largest developing nation and a natural member of the Global South. China is ready to work with Cuba and other G77 members to open a new chapter in South-South cooperation in the quest for greater development through stronger solidarity, build a Global South community with a shared future, and usher in a new era of common development.

Li advanced three proposals to:

1) Stay true to the original aspiration of the G77 for independence and greater collective strength through unity.

The G77 was born nearly 60 years ago in the struggles of its members for national independence and against exploitation and oppression. Developing countries have since advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and the Bandung Spirit, won national independence, and endeavoured to safeguard world peace and promote global development.

2) Advocate equity, justice and inclusiveness.

The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has voted overwhelmingly for 30 consecutive times, demanding an immediate end to the US embargo against Cuba. We must continue to make our voice heard loud and clear at the UNGA and other major international fora and events.

3) Pursue development, revitalisation and win-win cooperation.

We need to foster new drivers for our own development, focusing on cooperation in areas of food security, poverty alleviation, industrialisation, green development, digital technology, and artificial intelligence.

China is the largest developing country in the world, Li stressed. “No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will always be part of the developing world and a member of the Global South. South-South cooperation is always a high priority in China’s cooperation with other countries. This is our strategic choice, and it is not a stopgap measure.

“We, the developing nations, have won national independence and liberation after a long and arduous journey. We share a fervent desire to bring a better life for our people. We have invariably stood in solidarity through thick and thin. We have supported each other and grown together, and we are a community that rise and fall together.”

Li combined his attendance at the summit with an official friendly visit to Cuba. Meeting with First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, he said that China stands ready to promote the development of the respective party building and socialist causes of the two countries.

For his part, Diaz-Canel said that China has firmly stood with the Global South nations and effectively safeguarded the common interests of developing countries, noting that the Cuban side thanks China for its assistance to Cuba’s economic and social development and is ready to maintain close friendly exchanges with the CPC and promote practical cooperation. He also expressed gratitude for China’s firm support for the Cuban people’s just struggle against unilateral blockade and sanctions.

When visiting Army General Raul Castro, the leader of Cuba’s socialist revolution, Li conveyed Xi Jinping’s greetings to Raul and said that the traditional friendship between China and Cuba was forged and carefully cultivated by the older generation of leaders of the two countries. Raul is a close friend of the CPC and the Chinese people and has made historic contributions to the development of relations between the two parties and the two countries. Facing the complex and ever-changing international situation, China is willing to work with Cuba to jointly build a China-Cuba community with a shared future.

Raul Castro asked Li to convey his greetings to Xi. He recalled his exchanges with Chinese comrades, saying that Cuba is happy and encouraged by the great achievements made in the cause of socialism with Chinese characteristics and is willing to learn from China’s development experience. He also visited the Fidel Castro Ruz Centre together with Li.

Following his visit to Cuba, Li’s itinerary featured visits to Brazil and Egypt at the invitation of their governments and ruling parties.

We reprint below the full text of Li’s speech as well as a report of his meetings with Cuban leaders. They were originally carried by the Xinhua News Agency. The full text of the Summit Declaration may be read here.

Full text: Remarks by Li Xi at Summit of the Group of 77 and China

HAVANA, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) — The following is the full text of the remarks by Li Xi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and the special representative of Chinese President Xi Jinping, at the Summit of the Group of 77 and China in Havana, Cuba, on Friday.

Working Together for Stronger Solidarity, Greater Development, and Closer South-South Cooperation

Your Excellency President Miguel Díaz-Canel,

Your Excellency Secretary General Antonio Guterres,

Excellencies Heads of State and Government,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Friends,

It is my great pleasure to attend the Summit of the Group of 77 (G77) and China as President Xi Jinping’s special representative. May I begin by thanking the government of Cuba for the meticulous preparations and thoughtful arrangements that have made the Summit possible.

As the Chair of the Summit, Cuba has made a great effort and contributed significantly to promoting the collective strength and solidarity of developing countries in addressing global challenges and in safeguarding the development interests of developing nations. We applaud your effort and contribution.

The world is undergoing changes on a scale unseen in a century. Developing countries are becoming stronger. A significant shift is taking place in the international balance of power. And South-South cooperation is growing significantly in both quantity and quality.

Emerging markets and developing countries have contributed as much as 80 percent of the world’s economic growth in the past 20 years, and now account for more than 40 percent of global GDP, up from 24 percent 40 years ago. South-South cooperation is playing an increasingly important role in driving the momentum of collective rise of developing countries and in sustaining the continued global economic growth.

Continue reading Li Xi: China will always be part of the developing world and a member of the Global South

Why China is set to significantly overachieve its 2030 climate goals

In this article from Carbon Brief, Swithin Lui – China lead at Climate Action Tracker and climate policy analyst at NewClimate Institute – assesses China’s progress towards its climate targets and the implications for global efforts to tackle climate change.

Analysing the data in detail, he finds that China is on track to significantly overachieve its target of peaking greenhouse gas emissions by 2030; indeed this target will likely be reached in 2025. His analysis shows also that China is on track to achieve a reduction in carbon intensity (emissions per unit of GDP) below 2005 levels of 67 percent by 2030.

Meanwhile, China’s consumption of non-fossil energy is expected to grow by almost 80 percent from 2020-2030. “Our projections show, therefore, China’s share of non-fossil energy comfortably overachieving the 25 percent mark in 2030.”

The author expresses his hope that China will “announce new targets this year to signal its continued leadership in this area and help spark an accelerated international transition.”

China is continuing to build up its domestic fossil fuel production capacity and strengthening its portfolio for energy imports, even as it accelerates renewable power deployment.

Its energy decisions over the next few years will have large implications for its emissions trajectory towards 2030, its pathway towards the 2060 carbon-neutrality goal, and for global warming as a whole.

These recent developments are reflected in our latest Climate Action Tracker assessment of China’s current targets, policies and climate action, published today, which shows its emissions are likely to increase in the short term.

Yet our assessment shows the country is also set to significantly overachieve the targets it promised internationally for 2030, with emissions peaking by 2025. This means that China could increase the ambition of its targets, even without changing the path of its emissions this decade.

On the other hand, we find that this emissions trajectory – and China’s current targets – are incompatible with what would need to happen on a global level to limit warming to 1.5C. If all countries adopted an equivalent level of ambition, we would expect warming to reach 3C.

This article unpacks the details behind our outlook and points to possible ways in which China could take further steps to enhance its commitments towards achievement of global climate targets.

Continue reading Why China is set to significantly overachieve its 2030 climate goals

Engels’ influence from Eastbourne to Beijing

In the following article, which was originally carried by the Morning Star, John Pateman reports on the ‘Engels in Eastbourne’ international conference, which was held in the English seaside resort that was the favourite holiday destination of the co-founder of scientific socialism for many years and from where his ashes were scattered into the sea.

John gives particular attention to the prominent role played by Chinese scholars in the deliberations, with the opening session being on Chinese Perspectives on Engels and Marxism. He notes:

“It is clear that adapting Marxism to the Chinese context will play a crucial role in promoting the modernisation of China. As [Professor Xia] Wei [of Fudan University] observed, ‘Modernisation will be the most likely path to end the absolute power of capital and create a new form of human civilisation.'”

The article also highlights contributions from British Marxist academics, Terrel Carver (University of Bristol), Lindsey German (University of Hertfordshire), Derek Wall (Goldsmiths University London) and Joe Pateman (University of Sheffield), along with Helena Sheehan from Ireland’s Dublin City University and Palle Rasmussen from Denmark’s Aalborg University.

A previous report on this conference may be read here.

“ENGELS in Eastbourne” was an international conference to celebrate the 175th anniversary of The Communist Manifesto, organised by the University of Brighton and the International Association of Marx and Engels Humanities Studies (MEIA), held at the View Hotel, Eastbourne, from June 1-3 2023.

During the last 15 years or so of his life Engels adopted Eastbourne as his favourite go-to English seaside town.

Whenever he had time to spare, he would hurry down to the south coast, usually accompanied by a member of Marx’s family and close friends.

His favourite walk was along the seafront and over the downs to Beachy Head, where his ashes were scattered after his death in 1895.

The opening session of the conference was Chinese Perspectives on Engels and Marxism and included the topics Marxism and Chinese-style Modernisation from Professor Wang Binglin, of Beijing Normal University, Interpretation of the Materialistic-Historical View of Chinese-style Modernisation from Professor Xia Wei, of Fudan University, and On the Outlook of Nature in Engels and Its Contemporary Significance from Professor Wang Xinyan, of Wuhan University.

It was interesting to hear how Engels’ ideas are being used by the current political leadership in China to reinvigorate Marxism in line with the recent 20th congress of the Communist Party of China.

Continue reading Engels’ influence from Eastbourne to Beijing

Western tales about China are just tales – review of ‘The East is Still Red’

In the following review of The East is Still Red – Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century, Roger Stoll provides a detailed summary of the text, including some key facts and figures about life in China today, China’s development strategy, China’s global leadership on renewable energy, China’s trade and investment relationships with the Global South, slanders about human rights in Xinjiang, the New Cold War, and more.

Roger concludes: “For those of us overwhelmed and frightened by the West’s prolific fictions about China and who wish to share a more accurate picture of the country with friends, families and fellow activists, in the hope of stopping the war before it starts, we might give them this book.”

The review has appeared in Popular Resistance, Dissident Voice, Internationalist 360 and Orinoco Tribune, and an abridged version has been published in Chinese on China.com.cn.

Roger Stoll lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and has published articles, book reviews and political poetry in Black Agenda Report, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Internationalist 360, Jewschool, Marxism-Leninism Today, MintPress News, MRonline, New Verse News, Orinoco Tribune, Popular Resistance, Resumen Latinoamericano, San Francisco Examiner, and ZNet.

The East is Still Red can be purchased in paperback and digital formats from Praxis Press.

Introduction

Western media never stop warning us of China: it menaces Taiwan, threatens its neighbors and shipping lanes in the South China Sea, and sticks military bases on Cuba. China, we are told, spies on us by the most devious means, through TikTok, Huawei 5G, and weather balloons. And China, say our media, ensnares Africa with debt traps. Meanwhile, the US government and its media-echo decry China’s abuses of its own people. China, the US says, has committed “cultural” and literal genocide against Uyghur muslims in Xinjiang. As for the Covid-19 pandemic, the West with whiplash-inducing self-contradiction accuses China of mishandling the crisis by imposing both draconian lockdowns and lockdowns that were too lax, as well as premature reopenings and reopenings that were too-long delayed.

Meanwhile, the liberal and left-liberal West shakes its ideological finger at China, declaring it to practice an idiosyncratic communism-capitalism that sometimes features the worst of both worlds. 

In the western imagination, China’s citizens are feared for their abject discipline and uncanny competence. Yet the West pities them too, thinking they are ruled by communist overlords in a dictatorship devoid of individual liberties.

In short, to the western world, China is an iconic picture of tyranny, malevolence, and exploitation. Still, China is not unique in its status as a US bogeyman. Whenever the West targets a country militarily or economically, the press always turns the country into a cartoon, invariably the same cartoon: authoritarian, autocratic, led by an evil/mad dictator, e.g., Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, etc.

Which is why we should be grateful for the picture of China drawn in this elegantly concise and easily read book, The East Is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century, by Carlos Martinez (Praxis Press, 2023, 210 pp.). Of its 210 pages, nearly 60 are taken up with source citations, a 5-page index, reading recommendations, and photographs.

Despite its brevity, the book expertly refutes the West’s blizzard of charges against China. It also sketches China’s 20th century history, its economics and political system, and the ideology that accompanied the Chinese people’s astonishing advance. Martinez analyzes and answers two questions preoccupying many on the political left: Is China socialist? Is it imperialist? (Martinez argues Yes, and No, respectively.)

Continue reading Western tales about China are just tales – review of ‘The East is Still Red’

China is the leading force for world peace

The Forum on Global Human Rights Governance, themed Equality, Cooperation and Development: The 30th Anniversary of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action and Global Human Rights Governance, was held in Beijing in mid-June 2023.

Jointly hosted by the Information Office of China’s State Council, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the China International Development Cooperation Agency, the forum attracted over 300 participants from nearly 100 countries and international organizations, including United Nations (UN) agencies.

In a congratulatory letter to the forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping “stressed the need to respect all countries’ sovereignty and territorial integrity, jointly follow the path of peaceful development, act on the Global Security Initiative, and create a secure and peaceful environment for realizing human rights.”

Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez attended the forum remotely, addressing a panel about the Global Security Initiative and human rights protection. We publish his remarks below.

A version of Carlos’s presentation has been published in Beijing Review.

A few weeks ago, US president Joe Biden called upon his fellow G7 leaders to stand against China’s “aggression”. A few days ago, Mike Turner, the chair of the US’s House Intelligence Committee, referenced “unbelievable aggression by China.”

Indeed, it is entirely normal in Western politics and media to hear China referred to as “aggressive”, “belligerent” and “expansionist”; as a country which is trying to impose its will on the world by means of force, by means of bullying.

Such an accusation, coming from the major imperialist powers, is nothing if not ironic.

After all, it’s well known that the US has been at war for 228 out of its 247 years of existence.

At this moment, there are nearly a thousand US troops in Syria, in violation of international law and Syrian sovereignty. This very year, the US has carried out several air strikes against Syrian government targets.

The US continues to be involved in the disastrous war in Yemen, which has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

In recent memory, the US has waged brutal wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Yugoslavia.

It has active duty military troops stationed in nearly 150 countries, and it maintains 800 overseas military bases.

Its military expenditure is approaching a trillion dollars a year – meaning that a country with 4 percent of the global population accounts for 39 percent of the world’s military spending.

In relation to the crisis in Ukraine, the US’s policy from the start – indeed, before the start – has been to pour fuel onto the fire and to provoke conflict.

Sixteen months into Russia’s special military operation, it’s patently obvious that the only path to peace in the region lies through dialogue, not through escalation. And yet the US continues to provide more and more sophisticated weaponry to Ukraine, whilst doing everything it can to sabotage substantive peace talks.

Besides military aggression, the US is also the pre-eminent world power in terms of economic coercion and unilateral sanctions. It currently imposes unilateral sanctions on China, the DPRK, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, and several other countries. Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs describes the US as “by far the world’s biggest deployer of unilateral coercive measures.”

Let’s compare all this with China’s record.

Since its founding in 1949, China has maintained an extraordinarily peaceful record.

Between 1950 and 1953, over a million Chinese volunteers fought in the War to Resist US Aggression and Aid Korea. And between 1965 and 1969, hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops contributed to the defence of Vietnam.

Besides these wars, plus brief border disputes with India and Vietnam, China has been at peace.

Continue reading China is the leading force for world peace

China and Solomon Islands establish comprehensive strategic partnership

Solomon Islands Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare began a highly successful visit to China on July 9 2023. Meeting with President Xi Jinping the following day, the two sides jointly announced the official establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development for a new era.

President Xi noted that China and Solomon Islands are trustworthy friends and dependable partners to each other. He said that since the two countries established diplomatic relations, their friendly cooperation has become a pacesetter for the relations between China and other island countries in the Pacific in spite of a relatively late start. He said their cooperation is a paradigm of unity, cooperation and common development for countries of different sizes, and for developing countries. He further stressed that China greatly appreciates Solomon Islands’ firm adherence to the one-China principle, supports Solomon Islands in safeguarding its national sovereignty, security and development interests, and supports the development path that the country itself has chosen.

“China is supporting more Chinese enterprises to invest and do business in Solomon Islands, and will continue to provide economic and technical assistance to the country without any political strings attached,” Xi said, adding that China supports Solomon Islands in hosting the 17th Pacific Games.

China fully respects the cultural traditions of Pacific island countries, and adheres to harmony in diversity and shared beauty of diverse cultures and also understands that island countries in the Pacific face severe challenges caused by climate change, and stands ready to strengthen exchanges and cooperation with them in such areas as meteorological services, disaster prevention and mitigation, and clean energy to help them implement the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Xi said.

Noting that the decision to establish diplomatic relations with China was a correct choice, Sogavare said fruitful outcomes have been achieved in bilateral ties and China has become Solomon Islands’ largest infrastructure partner and a reliable development partner.

After the meeting, the two sides released the Joint Statement on Establishing a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership Featuring Mutual Respect and Common Development for a New Era Between the People’s Republic of China and Solomon Islands.

Meeting with his host, Premier Li Qiang on the same day, Sogavare said that Solomon Islands attaches great importance to relations with China, appreciates China’s active assistance for the economic and social development of Solomon Islands and other island countries in the Pacific, and supports the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by China.

Li noted that China is willing to share development opportunities with Solomon Islands, synergize development strategies further, and expand cooperation on trade and investment, infrastructure construction, agriculture, tourism, forestry and fisheries, information and communication, and energy and mineral resources.

According to the Joint Statement, “The two sides agreed that since the establishment of diplomatic ties four years ago, China-Solomon Islands relations have developed rapidly and remained at the forefront of relations between China and Pacific Island countries, becoming an example of unity, cooperation, mutual support and mutual benefit between developing countries.”

They added that they “agreed that all countries, regardless of size, strength and wealth, are equals, and that their sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. The Chinese side reaffirmed its staunch support for Solomon Islands’ nation building process and to choose a development path suited to its national conditions and in upholding its sovereignty, security and development interests. The Solomon Islands side reaffirmed that it is resolutely committed to the one-China principle, that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China’s territory.”

In one of the most internationally noted aspects of China/Solomon Islands cooperation, the two countries agreed to enhance cooperation on law enforcement and security matters. “The Chinese side will continue to provide support and help to Solomon Islands as needed in strengthening Solomon Islands’ police law enforcement capacity. The two sides agreed to step up protection of the safety and lawful rights and interests of each other’s nationals and institutions in their countries.”

China’s assistance to Solomon Islands in this regard has been a particular focus of imperialist ire, with allegations that it infringes on the island nation’s sovereignty and independence. In fact, what really concerns the imperialist and colonialist powers is how this cooperation with China is precisely what is enabling Solomon Islands to assert and enhance its independence. Australia, which sees itself as the United States’ “deputy sheriff” in the South Pacific, has hitherto asserted its right to intervene, in a ‘policing’ capacity under an unequal 2017 security treaty, which Prime Minister Sogavare, secure in his friendly relationship with China, called to be reviewed in June.

The joint statement further said that the two sides are “committed to working with all sides to promote peace, development and stability in the Pacific Islands region, and firmly uphold the international nuclear non-proliferation regime with the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as the cornerstone and the South Pacific Nuclear Free Zone Treaty.” In a clear rebuke to Japan and to the AUKUS military alliance of Australia, Britain and the United States, it added that they “urge relevant countries to fulfill their international obligations and prudently handle issues such as the discharge of nuclear contaminated water and cooperation on nuclear submarine.”

In conclusion, “Prime Minister Sogavare expressed heartfelt appreciation to the Chinese side for the generous hospitality accorded to him during his visit, and extended an invitation to the Chinese leaders to visit Solomon Islands at an early date.”

Sogavare was elected as Prime Minister of Solomon Islands for a fourth time in April 2019 and established diplomatic relations with China in September that year. Since then his government has been subjected to tremendous pressure, both overt and covert, from the United States, Australia and other imperialist powers, but far from retreating, he has actively consolidated and developed the friendly relationship with China, proving himself to be a leader of courage, principle and integrity. This is already providing tangible benefits to his country. Chinese telecoms giant Huawei is building a cellular network whilst a Chinese state company is to redevelop the port in the capital Honiara.

Analyzing the visit, Niu Li, executive director of the Pacific Research Center at Beijing Foreign Studies University, told the Chinese newspaper Global Times that from establishing diplomatic ties with China in 2019 to signing the security pact in 2022, then to Sogavare’s current visit, “the Solomon Islands has shown its determination to defend its national sovereignty and is striving to get rid of being controlled regardless of the pressure from the US and its allies like Australia.”

The Chinese scholar added that the reaffirmation of strategic cooperation between China and Solomon Islands will encourage other Pacific Island countries to cooperate with China. “The China-Solomon Islands cooperation will serve as a model for other Pacific Island countries, which have come under long-standing bullying and control of the US-led Western powers, to defend their national sovereignty and autonomy.”

During his visit, Sogavare also officially opened the Solomon Islands embassy in Beijing, alongside China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi.

The following reports were originally published by the Xinhua News Agency and Global Times.

Xi meets Sogavare, urging enhanced China-Solomon Islands cooperation

Xinhua, 11 July 2023

BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhua) — Chinese President Xi Jinping met with visiting Prime Minister of Solomon Islands Manasseh Sogavare in Beijing on Monday afternoon.

The two sides jointly announced the official establishment of a comprehensive strategic partnership featuring mutual respect and common development for a new era.

Continue reading China and Solomon Islands establish comprehensive strategic partnership

China’s Global Security Initiative Concept Paper: finding a way to peace

The following article is based on a contribution given by Dr Jenny Clegg at a discussion on the Global Security Initiative (GSI) Concept Paper, hosted by the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) on 30 May 2023.

Providing the crucial historical background for the GSI, Jenny explains that the principles set out in the concept paper are “drawn from a world history of struggle against war and division” and are grounded in older conceptions: indivisible security (“the idea that the security of one country should not come at the expense of another”) and the five principles of peaceful coexistence. Jenny points out that the five principles – respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference, equality and mutual benefit – have long served as the fundamental basis of China’s foreign policy. Furthermore they informed the Bandung Conference in 1955 and the theory of nonalignment; as such, the concept paper and the principles it upholds are “far from Sinocentric” and represent a broad global trend, grounded particularly in the Global South.

Consistent with the United Nations Charter, the concept paper calls on the major powers to respond to conflict by facilitating peace talks and “encourage conflicting parties to build trust, settle disputes and promote security through dialogue.” People demand peace; war can be avoided; and governments must be held accountable. The difference with the West’s approach can be seen all too clearly in the case of the Ukraine crisis: while the G7 and NATO escalate by providing ever-heavier weaponry to Ukraine, China and other countries consistently advocate a political solution.

Other speakers at the webinar included Minister Wang Qi from the Chinese Embassy in London; Tom Unterrainer, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND); Dr. Zeno Leoni, Lecturer in Defence Studies at King’s College London; and John Gittings, long-term China specialist and peace activist and former assistant foreign editor at the Guardian newspaper. The session was introduced and chaired by Keith Bennett, SACU member and co-editor of Friends of Socialist China.

“Today, our world, our times and history are changing in ways like never before, and the international community is confronted with multiple risks and challenges rarely seen before… The deficits in peace, development, security and governance are growing, and the world is once again at a crossroads in history. This is an era rife with challenges.”[1]

So opens the Global Security Initiative Concept Paper released by the PRC Foreign Ministry on February 21st, 2023. 

This was indeed a critical moment with the war in Ukraine threatening to spiral out of control. Just three days later, China’s leader, Xi Jinping seized the time with his announcement of the 12-point proposal on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. 

The purpose of the paper is to launch a New Security Concept based on common interests and equal participation for all states.  Whilst almost entirely escaping the superficial attention of the Western media, it in fact provides clarification of the rationale behind the 12-point proposal.[2]  Setting out the aim of the GSI as seeking to ‘eliminate the root cause of wars and improve global security governance’, it indicates the Ukraine-Russia initiative is actually part of a much wider and deeper agenda of global transformation.

There has been much angst-ridden speculation in the West in recent years over China’s emergence as a more powerful global actor.  What then does this concept paper reveal about China’s intentions as a world leader? In the past, China’s practice has been to declare principles to make its position known but not get involved operationally: so now in such uncertain times, is Xi Jinping stepping forward with some concrete solutions? If so is this just another self-serving agenda as with any other power? If not, is this only more of the same foreign policy rhetoric, just another case of old wine in a new bottle?

Perhaps China is making an opportunistic grab for power as it sees the West’s leadership apparently failing? Is it seeking to counter NATO which last year set out its own Strategic Concept identifying China as a security challenge, subverting the rules-based international order?

The GSI: the background

The GSI was first introduced last year at a forum for Asian dialogue and is best understood as part of a series of initiatives advanced by Xi Jinping – the Global Development Initiative put forward at the UN Summit in 2021 to advance the right to development, and the Global Civilisation Initiative launched in March just after the GSI concept paper, advocating mutual learning.  These three proposals frame Xi Jinping’s aim to bring ‘Chinese wisdom’ to the world negotiating table.

Global thinking on security has broadened out over recent years to cover not just matters of war and peace, but also issues of economic security, climate change, pandemics and human rights.  At first sight, China’s document appears as a quick skate over a broad list of concerns, citing also numbers of organisations and initiatives mostly associated with China itself, so making the document look decidedly Sinocentric.  However it needs a deeper dive to understand its holistic approach.

Continue reading China’s Global Security Initiative Concept Paper: finding a way to peace

Webinar: US anti-China propaganda, a prelude to war

Date Wednesday 28 June
Time8pm US Eastern / 5pm US Pacific
VenueZoom

SPEAKERS

  • Lee Siu Hin – China-US Solidarity Network
  • Carlos Martinez – Author: The East Is Still Red
  • Sara Flounders – International Action Center
  • Arjae Red – Workers World Party

Even as the war in Ukraine rages, the US has increased its aggression towards China including increasing its military presence around China, provocations over Taiwan, heightened propaganda on Xinjiang, and claims of a Chinese spy base in Cuba. Does Blinken’s trip to China mean any change in these war threats?

Recently two US antiwar activists have returned from a trip to China.  Hear from these antiwar activists and from others presently in China about the real situation in the country. Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez will be introducing his new book The East is Still Red: Chinese Socialism in the 21st Century.

The Communist Youth League of China’s international responsibilities and tasks in the New Era

The Communist Youth League (CYL) of China opened its 19th National Congress in Beijing on June 19. Nearly 1,500 delegates, representing nearly 73 million CYL members, were joined at the opening ceremony by Xi Jinping and other top party leaders. Delivering greetings on behalf of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Cai Qi urged the youth in China to strive to be the new era’s great young generation with ideals, a sense of responsibility, grit, and dedication. Continued efforts should be made to deliver new results that are worthy of the times and history, and true to the expectations of the people, he added.

Congratulations to the congress were also delivered by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions, the All-China Women’s Federation, and other people’s organizations.

The congress concluded its work on June 22.

In this context, we are grateful to our advisory group member Roland Boer – Professor at the School of Philosophy at Renmin University of China – for drawing our attention to the below article by Zhuo Mingliang, which was originally published in the journal Party Building Reference Material, and for translating it for us. Zhuo Mingliang is a research fellow at the Youth Think Tank and the Academy of Marxism, both of which are under the umbrella of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

In his article, Zhuo argues that China’s CYL should take the initiative to promote the construction of a World Communist Youth League United Front, drawing on historical experience and for the following key reasons:

  • First, from a Chinese perspective it is objectively necessary to engage in struggle over international public opinion in the new era, win the support and approval of international youth, and carry out central tasks for the Party and the country.
  • Second, it is inevitable that the world’s youth should choose to work together in dealing with the impact of Western capitalist ideology.
  • Finally, it is a strategic move to promote the unity of young people around the world, strengthen mutual understanding, learn from each other’s strengths, and complement each other’s weaknesses, view the world from the perspective of appreciation, mutual learning, and sharing, and join hands to build a community of shared future for humankind.

The author further argues that there are now sufficient subjective and objective conditions for this, in that young communist organisations:

  • Accept the guidance of Marxism-Leninism and communism.
  • Accept the leadership of the Communist Party.
  • Are mass organisations of communist parties.
  • Are guided by the spirit of proletarian internationalism.
  • Have similar historical origins.
  • Maintain some existing organisational ties, for example membership of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY).
  • Young people the world over face similar tasks and responsibilities.

Zhuo insists that the young communists of China would not be seeking to “recreate a centralised system” or “establish another world authority.” Instead, they would seek to build a new type of international coordinating body based on the principles of voluntary participation, equality, consultation, mutual assistance, and joint construction. He also says that China’s CYL should, “seek to guide the Communist Youth Leagues of socialist countries to take the initiative in assuming international responsibilities and obligations and strengthen publicity of and support for the Communist Youth Leagues in capitalist countries.”

He proposes that the CYL should learn from the Communist Party of China’s recent experience in arranging dialogues with Marxist parties from around the world and further suggests it holds an annual summer or winter camp for young communists from around the world.

The article is an interesting indication of important debates taking place in China.

Translator’s introduction: The article translated here was written by Zhuo Mingliang, who is a research fellow at the Youth Think Tank and the Academy of Marxism, both of which are under the umbrella of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. The article is one result of a research project concerning the international responsibilities and tasks of the Communist Youth League of China.

I would add that the article is one example of the extraordinary ferment of ideas, proposals, and plans taking place in China at the moment. This is truly a time of “letting a hundred flowers bloom and a hundred schools of thought contend.” All of this takes place in a context in which there is a quiet but very evident optimism in China about the future, and the sense that the times suit China very well. While this is primarily due to the internal dynamics and ever clearer qualitative advantages of China’s socialist construction, the global context also plays a role. The growing consensus here in China is that the West has hit rock bottom and it will be an immense struggle for Western countries to understand the reasons and find a way out. By the time they do so, the world will be a very different place. Readers may note the phrase – very common in China – “changes taking place in the world that we have not seen for a century.” Think back a century or so: this was the time of the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. Historically, of course, we are in a very different situation, but the deep nature of the changes underway at the moment is analogous to the changes of a century ago.


In April of 2022, the State Department Information Office of China published the white paper entitled “Youth of China Youth in the New Era”. The white paper points out that humanity has entered a new era of inter-connectivity, in which the interests and destinies of all countries are closely linked and intertwined. Since the world today is faced with increasingly obvious deficits in governance, trust, peace, and development, as well as worsening chaos, discord and injustice, our era calls on young people around the world to unite, strengthen mutual understanding, learn from each other’s strengths and complement each other’s weaknesses, view the world from the perspective of appreciation, mutual learning, and sharing, and join hands to build a community of shared future for humankind. Since the Communist Youth League of China is the largest of such organisations in the world, the League should take the initiative in promoting the building of a World Communist Youth League united front, explain well the stories of the Communist Party of China and Communist Youth League of China, and draw upon the wisdom and strength of youth in building a community with a shared future for humankind.

Continue reading The Communist Youth League of China’s international responsibilities and tasks in the New Era