China in 2018: A new chapter of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics
"China will remain a strong advocate of openness at the global level, and will continue to act as a stable engine of global growth, a big market with enormous opportunities and an active supporter of global governance reform." – Xi Jinping
China has remained a staunch supporter of globalization and multilateralism in 2018. From hosting multilateral events to attending international conferences, China conveyed a clear, consistent message of its commitment to further open up its economy and deepen reforms as well as taking proactive measures to shape the course of global governance.
China hosted four major diplomatic events this year, opening a new chapter of engagement with the rest of the world: The Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference in April, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Qingdao in June, the 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in September and the first China International Import Expo in Shanghai in November.
CGTN analyzed the content of President Xi Jinping's speeches at each of the four events. His most prominent words are displayed in the word cloud below.
The word cloud identifies the issues or terms on which Xi placed emphasis, such as China-Africa ties, cooperation and opening-up.
Since his re-election as Chinese president in March, Xi has visited 13 countries across four continents and attended three major international summits abroad.
He visited Africa on the first overseas trip, as he did when he was first elected as Chinese president in 2013.
During his visits in 2018, Xi and African leaders witnessed the signing of some 40 cooperation documents. Senegal and Rwanda signed memorandums of understanding on implementing the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with China.
In Papua New Guinea, Xi met leaders of Pacific island nations that have established diplomatic relations with China and agreed on cooperation on Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Xi's trips to Argentina, an old friend, and Panama, a new partner, at the end of the year opened up broad prospects for China's relations with Latin America. Both countries warmly embraced BRI as a boost to their own development strategies.
This year, China welcomed visits made by three leaders in Europe – French President Emmanuel Macron at the beginning of January, British Prime Minister Theresa May at the end of January, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in May. Keeping to the overall direction of all-round cooperation, China and Europe sent a joint message of supporting multilateralism and free trade and tackling global challenges together, and brought the negotiation of the China-EU investment treaty into a new stage.
Russian President Vladimir Putin paid a state visit to China in June as China-Russia relations continued to grow at a high level.
Leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un visited Beijing three times. He and Xi reached an important consensus on developing China-DPRK relations in the new era, revitalizing the traditional friendship between the two countries.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe paid a visit to China in October, with a slew of deals inked between Beijing and Tokyo ranging from building a military hotline and panda loans to settling the East China Sea dispute and investment in third-party nations.
This year, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador established diplomatic ties with China on the basis of equality and voluntarism, recognizing the one-China principle and eyeing further opportunities for cooperation.
China also restored diplomatic ties with Burkina Faso, bringing the total number of countries having diplomatic relations with China to 178 and cementing the international support for the one-China principle. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the decision was a step forward to a goal that all African nations will join in the big family of friendly cooperation between China and Africa.
Following the trend of the times, China is working actively to forge a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. The major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics is forging ahead.