What does three PMs visit to China tell the world?

Edited and translated by Liang Jun

At the invitation of Chinese premier Li KeqiangRussian Prime Minister DmitryMedvedevIndian Prime Minister Manmohan Singhand Mongolian Prime Minister NorovAltanhuyag began their official visit to China on October 22. It is a rare event in Chinesediplomacy that three foreign leadersall from countries sharing land borders with China,begin their visits to China on the same day.

The three countries share a long borderline with ChinaEconomic issues will top the agendaduring these visitsAlthough their simultaneous visits to China are part of a coordinatedeffortthere are also inevitable coincidences

Firstthe visit of the three indicates a continuation and acceleration of China's diplomaticstrategy

Recentlyissues with China and its bordering states have become more complexThe newleadership is focused on opening up new prospects for China's diplomacy with surroundingcountriesIt will continue to take "neighboring countries come firstas the guidingprinciple of its peripheral diplomacypursuing the foreign policy of developing good-neighborly relationships and partnerships with neighboring countriesand following apolicy of "bring harmonysecurity and prosperity to neighbors". 

In terms of diplomatic prioritiesChinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang bothchose neighboring countries for their maiden oversea trips after taking officeIn addition,Xi completed China's diplomatic schedule for 2013 as he wrapped up his Southeast Asiatour this month

It is the first time that a new Chinese premier has met his Russian counterpartimmediately after assuming officeit is also the first time since 1954 that there have beenexchange visits between the Chinese Premier and the Indian Prime Minister within oneyearin additionit is Mongolian Prime Minister Norov Altanhuyag's maiden visit to Chinaafter coming to powerThe visit of the three PMs to China will have a major impact onmutual strategic partnerships

Secondit indicates that China's bright economic prospects are attractive to its externalpartnersChina's rapid economic development has laid a solid foundation for economic tieswith its neighbors - China has now become the largest trading partner of almost all itsneighboring countriesincluding RussiaIndia and MongoliaThe long-term economicdevelopment strategy between China and its neighbors is consistentand economic andtrade relations are complementarynot competitive.

During their foreign tripsChinese leaders put forward proposals such as the "Silk RoadEconomic Beltand the "Marine Silk Road", which will bring enormous businessopportunities to the countries concerned

Bilateral ties between China and the three countries are at a new starting pointThe PMs'visit will further tap the potential for bilateral cooperationfocusing first on promotingpragmatic cooperation in tradeinvestmentenergy and other areas therefore pushingmore comprehensive bilateral cooperation to a new level

Thirdit conforms to the modern trend of 'mutual benefit'. HistoricallyChina has hadgrievances with RussiaIndian and Mongoliabut today they will focus on the present andlook to the future.

Needless to say each country's diplomatic policy is determined in accordance with its ownnational interestsand there will be some trade-offs between the partners

Russia is sincere in developing its strategic partnership with Chinaits differences lie in thetrade and economic areas as well as geopolitical issues in Central Asia

India values the characteristics it shares with China as a developing country and anemerging powerbut it is concerned about border issuesits trade deficit with ChinaandChina-Pakistan ties

Mongolia lies between China and RussiaIt gives priority to the development of bilateralties with the two countriesand at the same timeit hopes that diplomatic relations with"the third neighborwill lend additional strategic space and be of benefit to its economicinterests

GenerallyChina and the other three countries have chosen to seek common ground whilereserving their position on any differencesThe consensus on all sides favors enhancingstrategic mutual trust and strengthening pragmatic cooperation

China's simultaneous welcome to the three PMs is a microcosm of big nation diplomacywith Chinese characteristicsand also a positive sign for future developments

The author is Hua Yiwenexpert on global issues.

Source:People's Daily newspaper of China


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