Historical Course in Diplomacy

     During the past 50 years, China's independent foreign policy runs through all foreign affairs in different historical periods, and embodies development and change in a series of key Sino-foreign relations.

     From entering an alliance with the former Soviet Union to rebuilding the relationship.

     The People's Republic of China, born in the campaigns against imperialism, feudalism and bureaucratic capitalism, suffered imperialist hostility, blockade and armed threat at the very beginning. Only some socialism countries headed by the former Soviet Union and some neighboring countries supported China at first. Therefore, China entered an alliance with the former Soviet Union, which had given great economic and technological assistance to China's economic construction in the 1950s. But at the end of 1950s, contradictions and conflicts between the two counties became increasingly intensified. In addition to disputes concerning ideology, the main difference was on the great-power chauvinism and hegemonism pursued by the Soviet Union. China refused its demands that damaged China's sovereignty. In July 1960, the Soviet Union decided to unilaterally tear up economic and technological cooperation agreements between the two countries, withdraw Soviet experts out of China. So, the alliance was broken. After 1965, in particular, the Soviet Union employed more than one million soldiers along the Sino-Soviet and Sino-Mongolian borders. The Chinese people rejected this great pressure with dauntless spirit. The confrontation lasted for more than 20 years, until early 1989, when leaders of the two countries met in Beijing and normalized relations.

     After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, China and Russia re-established a new kind of relationship on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence on historical experiences and lessons. They don't ally or confront with each other, nor do they direct against any third country. The new relations, developed into a strategic partnership later, have been operating satisfactorily for years.

     In June 1950, the Korean War erupted, as north and south split. The United States immediately declared it would assist the southern side with arms. It also sent its Seventh Fleet to the Taiwan Straits, publicly interfering in China's internal affairs. The Chinese government repeated its strong protests against the aggressive act, but was ignored. In September the same year, the war spread to China's border on the Yalu River. In October, the Chinese government, at the requirement of the North Korean government, sent Chinese People's Volunteers to resist US aggression. In June 1951, the Chinese and Korean armies moved forward and stabilized the battle line on the 38 degrees north latitude, which became the demarcation line between North and South Korea. The move forced the US to accept armistice talks. Through two years of war and negotiations, the commander-in-chief of the US army was finally forced to sign on the truce agreement. "I am the first commander-in-chief in American history signing an armistice without winning the war," he acknowledged later.

     The United States adopted a hostile policy towards China for 22 years. In February 1972, former President Nixon visited China, beginning the process of normalization of relations between the two countries. The two countries formally established diplomatic relation in January 1979. During the period, three joint communiques were signed. The United States acknowledges that there is but one China, and the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government of China, and Taiwan is part of China. Meanwhile, the US made commitments to break off diplomatic relations with Taiwan, withdraw its military personnel from there, and suspend the Mutual Defense Treaty between the US and Taiwan.

     Geneva Conference resulting in peace in Indochina.

     In April 1954, initiated by the former Soviet Union, the Geneva conference was held to discuss the issues of Korea and Indochina. Participants included foreign ministers of China, the former Soviet Union, the United States, Britain and France. The late Premier and Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai went to the meeting as China's chief representative. China, for the first time, took part in a key international conference as one of the big nations to discuss major issues. The Chinese delegation conducted active foreign diplomatic activities and promoted the signing of the agreement that France would withdraw its military personnel from the three countries of Indochina, so as to restore peace in the region, and acknowledge the national rights of Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia. As a result, the colonial wars lasting for many years waged by France were ended. According to world opinion, suggestions put forward by Zhou Enlai were the most encouraging hope during the conference lasting for seven weeks and a half.

     Afro-Asian conference and consolidation and cooperation with the Third World countries.

     In April 1955, the Afro-Asian conference was held in Indonesia. Representatives were heads of states or governments from 29 countries which shared the same historical experiences. Major topics of the conference were to safeguard world peace, strive for national independence and develop national economy. The late Premier Zhou Enlai led the Chinese delegation to participate in the meeting. Given the situation that the imperialists attempted to disrupt the conference, and the existing contradictions and differences between nations, Zhou Enlai strikingly put forward the principle of "seeking common ground while reserving differences". He appealed to the participants to put aside their differences concerning ideology and social systems, and strengthen cooperation in the common interests of opposing colonialism. These moves helped the meeting acquire complete success. The joint communiqué setting forth Ten Principles passed by the meeting actually reflected and extended the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence jointly initiated by China, India and Myanmar. The meeting is an important milestone for Afro-Asian countries' great union, their fighting for national independence and safeguarding world peace.

     Following the conference, Zhou Enlai three times visited Afro-Asian countries between the end of 1956 and the beginning of 1964, to spread the seeds of friendship, consolidation and cooperation. The moves won sympathy and support from Third World countries. As a result, many foreign countries set up diplomatic relations with China one after another, with the number reaching more than 50 at the end of the 1960s. All of the countries were from Asia, Africa and Latin America, except for France.

     On October 25, 1971, the 26th Session of the United Nations General Assembly, with the mutual efforts of most Asian, African and Latin American countries, broke through the obstruction of the United States and passed the resolution on the resumption of all legitimate rights of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations and the expulsion of the Chiang Kai-shek regime's representatives from UN.

     It was the Third World countries that asked China to enter the UN, said Mao Zedong after the event. At the end of 1978, a total of 110 countries had established diplomatic relations with China.

     Opening to the outside world and striving for a world peace environment benefiting the modernization construction.

     Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping said repeatedly when China entered the new period of reform and opening up that there had always been war crises in the past. Since the Third Plenary Session of CPC 11th Central Committee in 1978, things changed. Although the danger of war still existed, the force to restrict war was a heartening development. It was now possible to strive for a long-term peace, and to avert world war. He also pointed out that China's foreign policy was targeted at striving for world peace. Under this premise, the country would wholeheartedly conduct modernization construction. In terms of foreign relations, the country would further institute its opening up policy, and, on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, set up and develop foreign relations and economic and cultural relations with all countries.

     During the past two decades, China's foreign exchanges, under the guidance of reform and opening up policy, extended to many fields of economic and social lives in an unprecedented range and scope. In international affairs, China does not conduct ideological arguments. China respects political systems and development roads chosen by peoples of other countries. Based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, China will establish and develop normal national relations with all countries. The two decades saw the number of countries setting up diplomatic relations with China rising from 110 to 163.

     Under the principles of equity and mutual benefit, taking advantage of each other's strengths, friendly cooperation and common development, foreign exchanges have developed from the political and legal sectors to the fields of economy and trade, science and technology, culture, education, public health, information spreading, tourism and environment. Diplomatic activities expanded from governmental to parliamentarian, non-governmental, military, human rights and political parties sphere, forming a new pattern of diplomacy.

     Through these exchanges China absorbed all beneficial foreign civilization achievements, promoted domestic socialist modernization construction, played an active role in participating in international affairs, scored contributions to promoting world peace and development, and exhibited a big country image of being peaceful, friendly, stressing principle and responsibility.