China's Foreign Policy

     The Common Program of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) served as a provisional constitution after it was adopted in September 1949. The document clearly stipulated that the basic principle of China's foreign policy was to guarantee independence, freedom and territorial integrity of the state, support protracted world peace and friendly cooperation among peoples of all countries in the world, and oppose imperialist policies of aggression and war. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China revised during the First Plenary Session of the Eighth National People's Congress has the explicit stipulations concerning China's foreign policy: "China adheres to an independent foreign policy as well as to the five principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence in developing diplomatic relations and economic and cultural exchanges with other countries; China consistently opposes imperialism, hegemonism and colonialism, works to strengthen unity with the people of other countries, supports the oppressed nations and the developing countries in their just struggle to win and preserve national independence and develop their national economies, and strives to safeguard world peace and promote the cause of human progress."

     Following the above policies over the past 50 years, China has actively engaged in foreign activities, and in handling foreign affairs. China has made sustained efforts to developing friendly cooperative relations with all countries and in safeguarding world peace, and has made its contribution in these fields too.

     1. Maintaining Independence and Safeguarding National Sovereignty

     China had suffered imperialist aggression and oppression for over 100 years before the founding of the People's Republic in 1949. Therefore, China regards the hard-earned right of independence as the basic principle of foreign policy.

     China maintains independence, does not allow any country to infringe upon its national sovereignty and interfere in its internal affairs. As to international affairs, China decide on our stand and policy according to whether the matter is right and wrong and in consideration of the basic interests of the Chinese people and the people of the world, and shall never yield to pressure and threat from other countries. China maintains independence, cherishes its own right and also respects for the right of independence of other countries. China upholds that any country, big or small, rich or poor, and strong or weak, should be equal. China maintains independence, will neither enter into alliance with any big power or group of countries, nor establish any military bloc, join in the arms race or seek military expansion.

     2. Opposing Hegemonism and Safeguarding World Peace

     The common aspiration of the Chinese people as well as the people of the world is to maintain peace and to eliminate wars.

     After the World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union desperately engaged in arm races and regional domination in order to contend for world hegemonism. As a result, they caused severe threat to world peace. The Chinese government has constantly opposed arm races and regional domination, and actively stood for the complete prohibition and destruction of nuclear weapons and great reduction of conventional weapons and military troops. China decided in 1985 to reduce one million troops within two years and signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons in 1992. All these received favorable international comments.

     3. Upholding the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence

     The five principles of peaceful coexistence was put forward in line with the reality of a multipolar world. Respect to sovereignty is the most fundamental principle in a new type of international relations. Mutual non-aggression means to get rid of the threat of using arms and armed threat in the internal relations among countries. Non-interference in each other's international affairs is the most important principle in international relations to guarantee each country's right to take care of its own internal affairs and prevent any other country from interfering with any means. Equality and mutual benefit mean political equality, economic equality, cooperation, mutual benefit and supplement to each other's needs. Peaceful coexistence calls on all countries to seek common interests, reserve differences, respect each other, maintain friendly cooperation and live in harmony regardless of differences in their social systems and ideologies.

     In the 1990s great changes have occurred in the world. Domination of two superpowers ended and the world is becoming more multipolar. On the basis of the five principles of peaceful coexistence, China stands for the establishment of a peaceful, stable, just and rational international order. China's stand conforms to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and reflects the trend of the times to seek peace and development.

     4. Strengthening Solidarity of the Developing Countries, and Together Opposing Imperialism and Colonialism

     It is a great cause of the people in the developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America that account for three-quarters of the total population of the world, to take the road of independence and development. China has constantly held that supporting the just demands of the developing countries and safeguarding solidarity and cooperation among the developing countries is its international duty. Whenever the developing countries suffer external aggression and interference, China is ready to give its support. Many leaders of the developing countries regard China as a "tested friend" and a "reliable friend".

     China has become a formal observer of the nonalignment movement, and its cooperative relations with the Seventy-Seven Group and the South Pacific Forum has been steadily strengthened.

     5. Improving Relations with Developed Countries to Promote Common Progress

     On the basis of the principle of peaceful coexistence, China has constantly stood for establishing and developing relations with developed countries, and regarded improving the relations with developed countries and promoting development with them as an important task of China's foreign affairs.

     The establishment of the diplomatic relations with France in 1964 broke the policy of Western countries to isolate China. In the 1970s the world situation experienced a great change, the United States had to readjust its policy on China, and China also readjusted its policy on the United States. This resulted in a breakthrough of the long antagonism between China and the United State, and the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries through common efforts. Meanwhile, China established diplomatic relations and strengthened friendly cooperative ties with other Western countries successively. This further brought about a new situation in China's foreign affairs.

     6. Removing External Interference, Promoting China's Reunification

     Hong Kong and Macao have been inseparable parts of China since ancient times. China does not recognize unequal treaties imposed by imperialist powers. Regarding the issue of Hong Kong and Macao left over by history, China has constantly held the position of peaceful settlement through negotiations at a proper opportunity.

     In order to accomplish China's reunification, Deng Xiaoping put forward the concept of "one country, two systems". The delegations of the Chinese and British governments finally reached an agreement after 22 rounds of talks, and formally signed the Joint Declaration on the Question of Hong Kong and three appendixes. Hong Kong returned to the embrace of the motherland on July 1, 1997. The Chinese and Portugal governments formally signed the Joint Declaration on the Question of Macao and two appendixes in 1984 after they reached an agreement through four-round talks. China will resume its exercise of sovereignty over Macao on December 20, 1999.

     Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory. People of the two sides of the Taiwan Straits are looking forward to the realization of China's reunification. China resolutely opposes the "independence of Taiwan", the attempt to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan". Chinese leaders call on Taiwan authorities to enter into political negotiations with the mainland at an early date. On the premise that there is only one China, the two sides of the Straits should end the state of hostility, and improve the relations between the two sides to accomplish the reunification of the motherland.

     The international situation is experiencing a great change, and peace and development have become the mainstream of the time. China will continue to adhere to the independent and peaceful foreign policy and to make greater contribution to the cause of safeguarding world peace and promoting human progress, and to building socialism with Chinese characteristics.