Beijing: Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, Chinese president, and chairman of the Central Military Commission, met with Chinese diplomatic envoys attending the annual work conference for overseas envoys to foreign countries in 2023 at the Great Hall of the People on Dec 29. Xi delivered an important speech.
Xi acknowledged the significant achievements made in China’s diplomatic work in the new era, and called on the envoys to conscientiously study and implement the guiding principles of the 20th CPC National Congress and the Central Conference on Work Related to Foreign Affairs, the Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and the Thought on Diplomacy in particular. He urged them to have a correct understanding of the international environment and the historical mission faced by China’s work on foreign affairs on the new journey in the new era, to hold high the banner of building a community with a shared future for humanity, and to keep opening up new prospects for major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.
Cai Qi, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, was present at the meeting.
At around 11:40 a.m., Xi and others arrived at the North Hall of the Great Hall of the People amid a warm round of applause. Xi and others waved to the diplomatic envoys and had a cordial exchange with them before having a group photo taken together.
Amidst warm applause, Xi delivered an important speech. He said, “In the past few years, the COVID-19 pandemic has raged and spread, and external forces have continuously escalated their suppression and containment against us, posing special challenges to our diplomatic work. You all have undergone special tests. Over these years, you have stood firm in foreign lands, been on missions for our country, sacrificed personal interests for the greater good, and toiled and struggled worldwide. It is good of you to work hard.” Xi extended sincere greetings to the envoys and all those working on China’s diplomatic front on behalf of the CPC Central Committee.
Xi emphasized that at the 20th CPC National Congress, we made strategic arrangements for promoting the building of a strong country and the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization. China’s major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics will enter a new stage in which more can be accomplished. He urged the envoys uphold the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee, carry forward valuable experience in China’s diplomacy in the new era, enhance cohesion, carry on the fighting spirit, overcome all difficulties and obstacles to achieve new and greater victories.
Xi pointed out that in the just-concluded Central Conference on Work Related to Foreign Affairs, we analyzed the current and future international situation and China’s external environment, and clarified the goals, guiding principles, strategic arrangements, and basic tasks for work related to foreign affairs. Xi called on the envoys to earnestly implement the decisions and arrangements of the Central Conference on Work Related to Foreign Affairs, and make new achievements with a more energetic spirit.
First, Xi urged them to keep in mind the original aspiration and mission, and be loyal to the Party. Loyalty to the Party, the country and the people is the glorious tradition of the diplomatic front. Diplomatic envoys should undertake missions and travel to various parts of the world, no matter where they go, they must never forget why they go there, and they must keep the “scepter” in their hearts. It’s necessary for them to enrich their thinking with the Party’s innovative theories, sharpen their eyes to tell right from wrong, and always keep to the correct political direction. It’s essential for them to have a deep understanding of where the supreme interests of the Party and the country lie, and understand and implement the foreign policy of the CPC Central Committee well. Over 1.4 billion Chinese people are strong supporters of the diplomatic work. The envoys were urged to take “diplomacy for the people” as their commitment, and pass on the CPC Central Committee’s care and concern to every overseas Chinese.
Second, the envoys should strengthen their sense of responsibility and be pioneers in their endeavors. They should understand and implement the Thought on Socialist Diplomacy with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, meet difficulties head on and shoulder responsibilities. It is imperative to strengthen diplomatic capacity building, be firm in taking practical and pragmatic approaches, be alert and clear-sighted and solve difficulties through realistic approaches to serve the overall situation. It is essential to be adept at making more friends and extending friendship. The work of winning public support should reach not only governments but also ordinary people. Globalized way of communication should be used to better tell China’s stories, promote understanding between China and the world through linking the country’s past with the present, so that the world will know better about China in the new era.
Third, the envoys must have the courage and ability to carry on our fight and act as defenders of national interests. It is necessary for them to strengthen confidence and determination, be strategically sober-minded, firmly keep a worst-case scenario mindset, and, with combat preparedness and a firm determination, never yield to coercive power, so as to resolutely defend the country’s sovereignty, security, and development interests. They must strengthen strategic planning and make good use of the effective instrument of united front work. They should skillfully utilize the multilateral mechanisms and rules to seek more understanding and support from the international community.
Fourth, the envoys should keep reforming themselves to act as promoter of full and rigorous Party self-governance. All diplomatic envoys must effectively fulfill their principal responsibilities for Party governance and promote Party building with the spirit of self-reform. They must build strong ideological defense line, constantly reflect on, alert, examine and motivate themselves so as to have firm political convictions and strictly abide by Party rules and discipline.
Strict training and management makes a difference to the building of a good team. It is important to strictly rectify conduct and tighten discipline. Discipline and rules must be constantly emphasized. They must be strict with themselves, fulfill their responsibilities strictly, and manage their subordinates strictly, so as to build a contingent of disciplined and loyal diplomats, who have a strong sense of responsibility and the courage and ability to carry on our fight.
Wang Yi, a member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and minister of Foreign Affairs, attended the conference and delivered a speech at the 2023 Annual
Work Conference for Envoys to Foreign Countries. He urged the envoys to thoroughly study and understand General Secretary Xi’s important speech and the spirit of the Central Conference on Work Related to Foreign Affairs, deeply understand the great theoretical innovation and far-reaching significance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, which should serve as a guide for them to overcome difficulties, forge ahead, and continuously open up new prospects for major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics in the new era.