The busy scene of Chinese diplomacy is not accidental: Global Times editorial

Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

Illustration: Tang Tengfei/GT

Anyone who pays attention to international relations cannot help but notice the intensive diplomatic activities taking place in Beijing these days. For example, on April 9, Beijing saw simultaneous visits by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, heavyweight politicians from surrounding countries like Chairman of National Assembly of Vietnam Vuong Dinh Hue, Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, and heads of states from Pacific island countries like President of the Federated States of Micronesia Wesley W. Simina. In addition, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken are also preparing to board planes to China. 

Some believe the presence of high-ranking officials from both the US and Russia in Beijing alone highlights China’s significance. However, upon closer observation, there are visits of officials from not just the US and Russia, but also longstanding major Western powers like Germany, as well as many developing countries. Among them are neighboring countries that have maintained a high-level mutual trust and traditional friendship with China, major powers that have differences with China and even view China as their major strategic competitor, and emerging economies that many in the outside world see as engaging in some form of “manufacturing competition” with China. This rich diplomatic landscape is almost unique in today’s world, especially for a major power with significant influence. Some American media describe it as a “difficult balancing act,” but this description is clearly too narrow-minded. 

The fact that so many political leaders appeared in Beijing at almost the same time is indeed somewhat coincidental. It is not deliberately arranged, but is the inevitable result and vivid manifestation of China’s distinctive diplomacy as a major country. In recent years, the international situation has been changing rapidly, but China has always adhered to harmony and coexistence, maintaining true multilateralism internationally, while providing vast development space for all countries with its own openness and strong development momentum. 

For all countries, engaging with China involves a wide range of discussions, mutual understanding, and tangible results. Chinese people are very pragmatic in their approach, and if we support or oppose something, we aim at specific actions and mentality, never targeting any particular country or labeling them as enemies. Therefore, our circle of friends is growing increasingly larger, and “those who come are all guests.”

On the other side, why do some external opinions, including those from American media, perceive this as a “difficult balancing act?” This should have been normal between countries, but today it is seen as “difficult,” which reflects the abnormal state existing in international relations. Similarly, these days, Washington is also seeing the hustle and bustle, with consecutive events such as the US-Japan summit and the US-Japan-Philippines summit, while the British Foreign Secretary is also visiting the US. Looking closely at these activities, the most mentioned terms are “containment,” “alliance,” “aggression,” “protection,” and so on, and one can smell the scent of gunpowder even from afar. If the relationships between countries are to be delineated by “us” and “them,” with each side striving to maximize its own benefits, can this possibly be balanced?

Indeed, it is not easy for China to have forged its current diplomatic landscape. It relies not on mere talk or forming cliques, but on diligent efforts to promote mutually beneficial cooperation bit by bit. Here, there are no “allies,” only friends. Nowadays, an increasing number of foreign dignitaries take the initiative to visit China. China’s role in international and regional hot issues is growing, not only because of its size, but also because its principles are widely embraced. Even many Western countries, considered “friends of the US,” though more cautious in their statements, have not ceased their cooperation with China. In fact, even the US itself cannot truly resist the attraction of mutually beneficial cooperation.

For China, we don’t form small cliques; instead, we are striving to unite over 190 countries to form a large homeland of human society. Such a mindedness may be hard for some Western political elites to imagine, but whether they like it or not, they will have to accept the reality of a multipolar world in the future. China’s busy diplomacy will continue. 

This is the kind of busyness that truly promotes dialogue and exchanges and promotes win-win cooperation. As for those kinds of “diplomacy” committed to hyping up conflict and hoping to profit from it, no matter how noisy it may be at the moment, in the end, it will be proven to be nothing but illusions.