China seeks ‘better external environment’

January 4th, 2012 - 6:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Jan 4 (IANS) China should engage in efforts to build a “better external environment”, Foreign Minister Yang Jeichi has said, while predicting more instability in the world in the new year.

But 2012 would be a year when China should be able to play an even greater role in global affairs, Yang said in a statement posted on the website of the foreign ministry Monday night.

“The growth and demise of global forces, shifts and adjustments in the international system, as well as tensions in and interactions of global relations will unfold on deeper levels,” the China Daily quoted Yang as saying.

He said 2012 will witness an enormous amount of changes around the world as elections are due in the US, Russia, France and South Korea.

Yang called for efforts to create “a better external environment” by adhering to the path of peaceful development.

These include doing “more pertinent work with countries where elections are to be held and avoiding disruption to bilateral relations due to their domestic political factors”, the statement said.

Yang said mechanisms to boost mutually beneficial cooperation with neighbouring countries will be improved to enhance trust, dispel suspicion and stabilize the region.

Meanwhile, a Chinese expert has called on Beijing to deepen communication with the US to avoid strategic misjudgements.

This would ensure peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, said Ren Yuanzhe, a researcher with the department of diplomacy at the China Foreign Affairs University.

Resolving outstanding issues with its neighbours will be the top concern for Chinese diplomacy in 2012, Ren said.

“Maintaining stability in China’s surrounding areas suits the interests of not only China and its neighbours but also the US,” he added.

But this will not be easy, because the external pressure China faces as a result of its continued rise is mounting, said Wang Junsheng, an expert on Asian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

“China is in a strategic breakthrough period, one that will last for a fairly long time,” he said.

Wang said the principles of diplomacy must be rational, pragmatic and independent.

China should bear more responsibilities in regional and global affairs and offer more transnational mechanisms to showcase its image as a responsible power, he said.

Wang said improvements in relations with neighbouring states were a defining highlight of Chinese diplomacy throughout 2011.

“Aside from furthering the traditional friendships with (North) Korea and Pakistan, China’s relations with Vietnam and India, with which it has territorial disputes,” he said.

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