Nation expects bright future with neighbors
President's philosophy on diplomacy wins support, inspires greater actions
Ten years ago, the first symposium in New China's history on neighborhood diplomacy convened in Beijing, with President Xi Jinping attending and proposing the landmark principle of China's neighborhood diplomacy — "amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness".
On Tuesday, Xi sent a message to an international symposium in Beijing to mark the vision's 10th anniversary. In order to highlight Beijing's determination to build on the principle alongside its neighbors, Xi emphasized the goal of advancing "Asia's modernization" and "Asian values".
At the event, which was attended by a number of leaders, officials and scholars, the Foreign Ministry released China's first-ever policy document to systematically round up and elaborate on its neighborhood diplomacy.
Analysts said Xi's message and the policy paper mark a major dividend unleashed for common prosperity and peace in the region and the world, and help reassure Beijing's Asian neighbors in their joint pursuit of modernization.
In his message, Xi summarized the goals of China's neighborhood diplomacy as "to pursue friendship and partnership with its neighbors, to build an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood, and to highlight the concept of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness".
Over the past decade, China has actively practiced this diplomatic philosophy and has continuously enhanced political mutual trust and deepened the convergence of interests with its neighbors, Xi said.
To empower and enrich the concept of "amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness", the president pledged that China will promote Asian values that are centered on peace, cooperation, inclusiveness and integration, in order to provide new impetus for regional unity, openness and progress.
The country will ensure that the Chinese path to modernization brings more benefits to its neighbors. It will work to jointly advance Asia's modernization process and make sure that China's high-quality development and a sound neighborhood environment will reinforce and complement each other, he added.
China will "work with other countries in the region to build an Asian homeland of peace, tranquility, prosperity, beauty and friendly coexistence, to jointly write a new chapter in promoting the building of a community with a shared future for Asia and for humanity", Xi said.
Leaders and scholars said that China, as led by Xi, has taken courageous actions to boost openness and win-win cooperation with neighboring countries over the past 10 years, despite ups and downs in economic globalization and a surge in unilateralism and protectionism.
In a pre-recorded video speech delivered to the symposium, Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda recalled his visit to China last month and hailed the progress his country has made with China in advancing an economic and social agenda.
Referring to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said the two nations have extended "support to each other in times of need".
Mongolian Prime Minister Luvsannamsrai Oyun-Erdene called on the world's major countries to "follow the example of China's values and principles and to play an important role in contributing to the cause of peaceful coexistence among humankind".
He noted that this year marks the 10th anniversary of both the Belt and Road Initiative and the concept of "amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness".
China proposed the BRI and the neighborhood diplomacy concept because it recognizes the diversity of civilizations in the world, he said in a pre-recorded video speech.
Regarding the BRI, he said: "We previously had only one railroad crossing with China, and in the near future we will have five railroad crossings. The construction work is in full swing. This is just one concrete example of how the Belt and Road has come to fruition in China's neighboring countries."
Yang Bojiang, director-general of the Institute of Japanese Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, noted that China has 14 adjacent neighbors on land and eight across seas, and that it is one of the few major countries in the world to have a large number of neighbors and a complex geopolitical environment.
Under the guidance of the "amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness" concept, "cooperation between China and its neighboring countries, especially in the economic and trade fields and in advancing Belt and Road construction, has seen unprecedented development, making them major partners of one another", Yang said.