2014 diplomatic strategy outlined at Davos

Updated: 2014-01-26 07:21

By Fu Jing in Davos, Switzerland (China Daily)

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Focus will be on relations with EU, Russia and US, foreign minister says

President Xi Jinping will visit Europe to usher in a new era of Sino-EU ties, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.

China will become "strategically active" in engaging the world, Wang told China Daily at the annual World Economic Forum on Friday in Davos, Switzerland.

But he did not reveal details of the proposed visit.

Wang made the announcement when he introduced this year's diplomatic strategy, following last year's meeting between Xi and US President Barrack Obama. China also formulated a new power-relations paradigm and enhanced its partnership with Russia in 2013, he said.

"I think we should become even more strategically active this year based on our fruitful start in 2013 (since the new government has taken office)," said Wang, who attended a UN conference on Syria before his arrival in Davos, where the four-day annual meeting wrapped up on Saturday.

Wang said China plans to sustain the momentum of Sino-US relations upgraded last year and to work to put bilateral relations on a stable and constructive track.

Russia will be the first country Xi visits this year - as it was in 2013 - when he attends the Sochi Winter Olympics' opening ceremony. The visit demonstrates the special care Beijing has continued to pay to relations with Moscow.

Wang also said Beijing is keen to bring its strategic partnership with Brussels to a new level after European leaders visited Beijing last November to mark the 10th anniversary of the "comprehensive strategic partnership".

"I think President Xi's visit will bring bilateral relations into a new phase as both sides have shown such intentions," Wang said.

He added that bilateral relations are built upon countries' mutual recognition of each other as forces for global peace and market-oriented economic development, and as influential and lasting civilizations.

Wang's announcement came before State Councilor Yang Jiechi and his European counterpart Catherine Aston will hold a strategic dialogue on Monday to boost cooperation in 2014.

Although Wang has not announced the timetable of Xi's Europe visit, media have already reported Xi may attend the nuclear security summit on March 24 and 25 at The Hague. The president had said China supports the Netherlands' aspiration to host the event when Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte met him in Beijing last November.

Meanwhile, China and France have decided to fill the year with celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations.

Belgium has prepared to welcome two giant pandas this spring - a sign of panda diplomacy.

In addition to strengthening relations with the US, Russia and the EU, Wang said forging sounder and closer relations with neighbors, African countries and other developing countries also tops the agenda.

He said China this year will vie to respectively host the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia in Shanghai and the APEC summit in Beijing.

"We will try to make the events happen in such a way that they will have historic legacies," he said.

Wang also said China will work with Asian and European countries to revive the ancient Silk Road's economic corridors by land and sea.

"We will also strive for breakthroughs in resolving disputes," Wang said.

He explained China's major focuses will be on the Korean Peninsula's security and Afghanistan's stability.


(China Daily 01/26/2014 page2)