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Thoroughly Understanding and Making Effective Use of International Law to Defend China's National Interests and Jointly Safeguard Global Peace and Development

By Yang Jiechi Source: English Edition of Qiushi Journal Updated: 2021-01-14

The world today is going through major changes unseen in a century. The Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the global landscape and the international order in widespread and profound ways. Maneuvering among major countries and competition in global governance are more intense. New technologies and industries are developing more rapidly. Regarding international law, its importance in stabilizing the international order, regulating international relations, and molding international rules is ever growing. To thoroughly understand and make effective use of international law has both profound and far-reaching significance for defending China's national sovereignty, security, and development interests, for realizing China's Two Centenary Goals and the Chinese dream of great national rejuvenation, and for safeguarding global peace, stability, development, and prosperity as well as the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

I. International law and its historical evolution 

International law refers to the whole series of legal principles, rules, and institutions that have emerged with the formation of modern sovereign states. The birth and evolution of international law is a product of the times. It reflects the shifting balance of political, economic, military, and cultural strength among states, and is the result of maneuvering and compromise by countries around the world in the course of international cooperation and conflicts. 

The founding of the United Nations after World War II marked an important milestone in the development of modern international law. The Charter of the United Nations established universally-accepted fundamental principles of international law as well as basic norms governing international relations, including sovereign equality, non-use of force, and peaceful settlement of disputes. The International Court of Justice was established, its statute passed, and its jurisdiction and adjudicatory basis defined, hence the four major sources of international law: international conventions, customary international law, general principles of law, and judicial decisions and the teachings of the most highly qualified publicists.

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On April 26, 2019, President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing and delivered a keynote speech entitled "Working Together to Deliver a Brighter Future for Belt and Road Cooperation." He is pictured here entering the venue for the ceremony with other world leaders. PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER LI XUEREN

International law has come into being with the appearance of states, and evolved with changes in international relations. In the whole process of the development of human society, international law has been an important tool for developing countries to resist imperialism and colonialism, safeguard their own interests, and advance the course of world peace and development. Meanwhile, one should not lose sight of the political, class-based and contemporary nature of international law, as it is indeed a result of the development to a certain stage in history of human society and of international relations.

II. China as a defender and practitioner of and contributor to the fundamental principles of international law

Over two thousand years ago around the Spring and Autumn and Warring States periods, there appeared in China certain numbers of rules and conventions for the handling of state-to-state relations. In 1689, China and Russia made The Treaty of Nerchinsk. It was the first treaty signed by China with a foreign country in modern times. In the aftermath of the Opium War, Western powers coerced China into signing a series of unequal treaties. Between 1842 and 1949 before the founding of the People's Republic of China, a total of 1,175 treaties, agreements, and charters were signed with foreign countries, the majority of which were unequal in nature.

The founding of New China in 1949 turned a new page in China's pursuits in the field of international law. Immediately after the founding of New China, a solemn proclamation was made that China was ready to establish diplomatic relations with foreign governments abiding by the principles of equality, mutual benefit, and mutual respect for territorial sovereignty, and that China was to conduct a comprehensive review of the treaties signed by the Kuomintang government with foreign countries, and to resolutely abolish those that were unequal. In the 1950s, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, jointly advocated by China and several other countries, became the fundamental principles of international law universally recognized by the international community. Since 1971, with the restoration of its lawful seat at the United Nations, China has fully implemented resolutions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council, and has taken an active part in the formulation of international rules. By now, China has joined almost all universal intergovernmental organizations, concluded over 25,000 bilateral treaties, and acceded to more than 500 multi-lateral conventions. China's say and influence in the field of international law have grown markedly.

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The Asian-African Conference was held in Bandung, Indonesia from April 18 to 24, 1955. At the congress, a final communiqué was adopted and ten principles for handling international relations were introduced. Zhou Enlai, then Premier and Foreign Minister, delivered a speech in which he said that the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence could serve as the basis for the establishment of friendly, cooperative, and harmonious relations between Asian and African countries, earning universal applause from attending representatives. XINHUA (FILE PHOTO)

Since the founding of New China, the fundamental principles of international law have been upheld in China's handling of international relations: 

First, the principle of sovereign equality of states.

China maintains that all countries, regardless of size, strength, or wealth, are equal; national sovereignty, dignity, and territorial integrity should be respected; internal affairs should not be interfered with; and no one should force one's own will upon others. With the principle of sovereign equality of states, the principle of state immunity is further established. 

Second, the principle of peaceful resolution of international disputes.

China stands for the peaceful settlement of disputes through negotiations on an equal footing and opposes the wilful use or threat of force. Through amicable negotiations, China has properly resolved outstanding boundary issues with 12 of the 14 countries sharing land borders with it and delineated and demarcated 20,000 km of boundary lines, thus achieving a great accomplishment in the history of international relations.

Third, the principle of upholding multilateralism and international cooperation.

China calls for greater democracy in international relations and opposes unilateralism and hegemonism. China is committed to upholding the international system centered around the United Nations, and to advancing multilateral diplomacy, promoting reform of the international system, and expanding the representation and voice of the vast majority of developing countries. China has actively participated in UN peacekeeping missions and operations authorized by the Security Council. China was the first to set up a permanent peacekeeping police squad, and has built an 8,000-troop peacekeeping standby force. The contribution China has made to global peace and development is significant. 

Fourth, the principle of coordinating and promoting integrated development of domestic and international law.

China takes a holistic and balanced approach in viewing and handling the relationship between domestic and international law. China stands firm in safeguarding its own interests and fulfilling its international obligations.

III. China's new, historic contributions to the development of international law in the new era

On vision and direction, China has put forward important visions such as building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Since the 18th CPC National Congress in 2012, General Secretary Xi Jinping, with his keen observation of major world changes never seen in a century, his profound thought on the future of humanity, his wisdom in carrying forward and building on the fundamental principles and essence of international law and, by summing up China's successes in the field of international law, has put forward, in a most creative and pioneering way, the important vision of building a community with a shared future for mankind. The essential aim of this vision is to build an open, inclusive, clean, and beautiful world that enjoys lasting peace, universal security, and common prosperity. In March 2018, the vision was written into China's Constitution, providing a firm legal basis for China's conduct of friendly exchanges and practical cooperation with other countries and for advancing major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. The vision was first written into a UN resolution in February 2017, and was subsequently incorporated into important documents of the UN General Assembly, Security Council, Human Rights Council and other international organizations, winning wide support from the international community. The vision of a community with a shared future for mankind is a continuation and development of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. It also opens up a new frontier, a new direction, and gives new momentum to the development of international law. General Secretary Xi Jinping's call for establishing a new type of international relations and jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative, for an approach to global governance based on extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, for a new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, and for adherence to the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests and acting in good faith, as well as a new approach to civilization that is centered on exchange and mutual learning, all add significantly to the theory and practice of China's engagement in the field of international law.

On security, China has put forward the principles of universal security and lasting peace.

On September 21, at a meeting marking the 75th anniversary of the UN's founding, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that no country has the right to dominate global affairs, control the destiny of others, or keep advantages in development all to itself, and even less should one be allowed to do whatever it likes and be the hegemon, bully, or boss of the world. He called on all parties to follow the approach of extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, and to come together to uphold universal security, share the fruits of development, and jointly decide on the future of the world. At the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia in May 2014, General Secretary Xi Jinping advocated common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable security, which received high praise and enthusiastic support from parties concerned and was written into the Shanghai Declaration. In practice, China has committed to strengthening mutual trust and security cooperation at the global level on the basis of strengthening the collective security framework centered on the UN Security Council. China opposes unilateral sanctions that are not in keeping with international law. China takes a steadfast position that international law must be respected and safeguarded, and that the authority of international law and positive role of international rule of law must be upheld. 

On development, China has put forward the principles of focusing on action and pursuing win-win cooperation.

At the meeting marking the 75th anniversary of the UN, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that as the UN advances its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, priority should be given to addressing non-traditional security challenges such as public health, that the issue of development should be highlighted in the global macro framework, and that there should be a greater emphasis on the promotion and protection of the rights to subsistence and development. On October 1 at a high-level meeting marking the 25th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed that the world needs to minimize the impact of Covid-19 on women, strive for genuine gender equality, ensure that women advance at the forefront of our times, and enhance global cooperation in advancing women's development. In September 2015, General Secretary Xi Jinping offered a thorough presentation of China's perspective on global development issues at the UN Sustainable Development Summit, proposing an equitable, open, comprehensive, and innovation-driven philosophy of development. In practice, China has followed an opening-up strategy of mutual benefit and win-win, and endeavored to forge a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and mutually beneficial cooperation. China has acted out the concept of mutually beneficial cooperation in all aspects and areas of its external exchanges. China is committed to promoting high quality development of the Belt and Road Initiative. It works to seek areas of converging interests with other parties, and encourages all parties to capitalize on their respective strengths and bring out the best of their abilities. Guided by the principle of pursuing the greater good and shared interests, China has carried out solid cooperation on international development. It has also conducted cooperation and exchanges with other countries and UN Women to promote women's advancement around the world.

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The Security Council Open Debate on "Upholding the United Nations Charter to Maintain International Peace and Security" is held at UN Headquarters, New York, January 9, 2020. The Security Council released a Presidential Statement urging all UN member states to fully and scrupulously abide by the UN Charter and reaffirming the council's commitment to upholding multilateralism and the core role of the UN in multilateral affairs. PHOTO BY XINHUA REPORTER LI MUZI

On human rights, China has put forward the principles of putting people first and making the right to life and right to health top priority.

To combat the sudden attack of Covid-19, General Secretary Xi Jinping personally took charge and directed the battle against the virus. The life and health of the people have always been front and center of China's Covid-19 response. The whole nation has been mobilized and major strategic accomplishment scored in bringing Covid-19 under control. While protecting the life and health of its own people, China has actively promoted global cooperation against Covid-19. It has worked to the best of its ability and provided assistance and support to other countries, thus making indelible contribution to protecting the right to life and right to health of people around the world. On September 22, during the General Debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, General Secretary Xi Jinping said that facing the challenge posed by the pandemic, we should mobilize all resources to make a science-based and targeted response; that no infected case should be missed and no patient should be left untreated; and that the spread of the virus must be contained. On May 18, at the virtual opening of the 73rd World Health Assembly, General Secretary Xi Jinping said that China was not only fulfilling its responsibility for the health and safety of its own citizens, but also doing what it could to advance global health. He also called for the World Health Organization to play a leading role, and for joint efforts to build a global community of health for all. China's great victory against Covid-19 and the demonstration of the spirit of international humanitarianism speak best of the CPC's governing ideals of putting people first and promoting harmony in the world. They give perfect expression to the Chinese civilization's moral emphasis on the human life as being equally important as heaven and the Chinese people's cultural belief in looking out for each other in times of difficulty. They depict the essence of the socialist outlook on human rights with Chinese characteristics in the new era, and greatly enriched the theory and practice of international law. Between 2015 and 2018, General Secretary Xi Jinping sent congratulatory letters to the Beijing Forum on Human Rights, the International Seminar on the 30th Anniversary of the Adoption of the UN Declaration on the Right to Development, the First South-South Human Rights Forum, and the Symposium on the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and gave full account of China’s progress in human rights and accomplishments in international human rights cooperation. In practice, China has worked to balance the principle of universality of human rights with its own conditions and ensure that respect for and protection of human rights run through the entire process of modernizing the country's governance system and capacity. While vigorously advancing its own human rights work, China has also made important contribution to the global human rights cause, thereby successfully pioneering a path for the development of human rights with Chinese characteristics in the new era.

On governance, China has put forward the principles of upholding multilateralism, rigorously enforcing the rule of law, and striving for greater openness.

At the UN's 75th anniversary commemorative meeting, General Secretary Xi Jinping emphasized that China will continue to be a true follower of multilateralism, that it will stay actively engaged in reforming and developing the global governance system, and will firmly uphold the international system centered on the UN, firmly uphold the international order underpinned by international law, and firmly defend the UN's central role in international affairs. He called on the world's major countries to lead by example in advocating and upholding the international rule of law and in honoring their commitments, and to reject acts of exceptionalism, double standards, and distorting international law and using the rule of law as a pretext to undermine other countries' legitimate rights and interests and world peace and stability. During his keynote address at the opening of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in January 2017, he emphasized the need to commit to building an open global economy and share opportunities and interests through opening up to achieve win-win outcomes. In practice, China has firmly supported multilateralism and the UN's core role in international affairs, actively upheld the international rule of law, defended international equity and justice, promoted economic globalization to be more open, inclusive, balanced, and beneficial for all, and the world economy to be more fair and more equitable. China has scored major strategic gains in coordinating Covid-19 response and economic and social development and is on course to achieve positive economic growth for the whole year. All this will serve to provide much-needed confidence and momentum for post-Covid recovery of the world economy.

On the environment, China has put forward the principles of building a cleaner and more beautiful world and pursuing harmonious coexistence of man and nature.

At the General Debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, General Secretary Xi Jinping pointed out that humanity should move faster to create a green way of life and development, preserve the environment, and make Mother Earth a better place for all, and that China will scale up its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions and aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. At the UN Summit on Biodiversity held on September 30, General Secretary Xi Jinping called on all countries to take up the lofty responsibility for the entire human civilization, find a way for man and nature to live in harmony, balance and coordinate economic development and ecological protection, and work together to build a prosperous, clean, and beautiful world. He also emphasized on various international fora the importance of promoting a green, low-carbon, low-waste, and sustainable way of living and working, and the importance of advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a balanced approach, of pursuing a responsible model of development featuring increased production, higher living standards, and healthy ecosystems, and of cultivating ecosystems based on respect for nature and green development. In practice, China has followed an eco-friendly approach and called on all countries to join hands in fostering a harmonious and livable environment for humanity so that everyone can share in nature's beauty. China has been an active part of the global response to climate change, and has played an important role in promoting the setting up of fair and effective climate response mechanisms and in promoting global sustainable development at a higher level.

On cultural exchange, China has put forward the principles of inclusiveness, mutual learning and sharing among cultures.

At the General Debate of the 75th Session of the UN General Assembly, General Secretary Xi Jinping said that we must rise above ideological disputes, and avoid falling into the trap of the "clash of civilizations"; and that we must respect other countries' independent choices of development path and model, and turn diversity of the world into a constant driving force behind the progress of human society and a natural feature of human civilizations. At the opening ceremony of the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations held in May 2019, General Secretary Xi Jinping noted the importance of enhancing exchanges and mutual learning between countries, nations, and cultures, called for strengthening popular support for jointly building an Asian community with a shared future and a community with a shared future for mankind, and encouraged joint efforts to bring about a better tomorrow for civilizations in Asia and the world. At the Qingdao Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in June 2018, General Secretary Xi Jinping stressed the need to champion equality, mutual learning, dialogue, and inclusiveness between civilizations, and the need to overcome cultural misunderstanding, clash, and supremacy through exchanges, mutual learning, and coexistence. In practice, China has enthusiastically promoted dialogue and interaction among cultures and conducted cooperation and exchanges in the cultural and people-to-people field. On the basis of treating each other as equals and with respect and valuing and sharing the best of what each other has to offer, China has actively engaged in cultural exchange and mutual learning in an effort to boost understanding and friendship between different countries and peoples.

The important visions and initiatives put forward by General Secretary Xi Jinping embody a whole set of concepts and fundamental principles of international law, and have profound and far-reaching implications. They are a major part of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy. They also represent significant contributions of General Secretary Xi Jinping and Chinese Communists to the innovation of international law, both in theory and in practice, and to its development and progress.

IV. New circumstances and trends in the development of international law

Deepening global changes and shifting international order have led to changes, adjustment, and reshaping in the field of international law. The process has just started and may well last for a long period into the future. Following are its outstanding features: 

First, as the role and influence of emerging markets and developing countries continue to grow, the calls from the international community get stronger for unified interpretation and application of international law.

The rise of the group of emerging markets and developing countries, including China, has been accompanied by a growing appeal for adherence to the fundamental principles of international law. Countries call for a more just and equitable international order and a global governance system of equal participation. They endeavor to promote healthy development of economic globalization, so that the fruits of world economic development could be shared properly between countries, and global risks and challenges could be dealt with through joint responses. Their voice and influence in international law affairs are going ever stronger. 

Second, though the fundamental principles of international law have been challenged with unilateralism, the vast majority of countries continue to embrace multilateralism, consultation as equals, and mutually beneficial cooperation as the desired basic code of conduct.

In recent years, certain countries, while failing to properly resolve their own domestic problems, have used "human rights" and "good governance" as excuses to brazenly interfere in other countries' internal affairs, and have even used or threatened to use force against other countries. Such attempts have been met with strong opposition from the international community. It underscores the importance of international lawmaking on a multilateral basis. Voices are getting louder for world affairs to be addressed by the international community working together and for disputes to be handled through consultation. Unilateral bullying by certain countries seriously undermine the fundamental principles of international law including sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs, peaceful coexistence, and good-faith compliance. These unilateral acts have proved unpopular, and are doomed to fail. 

Third, the formulation and improvement of international rules is picking up pace.

Global governance is expanding in areas and scope, so are global security risks and challenges. State-to-state interaction and competition are increasingly moving from the traditional land-based territory to new domains such as the seas and oceans, the polar regions, outer space, and cyberspace and to new fields like artificial intelligence and big data. Such a growing trend urgently requires rules-making through international cooperation. The Covid-19 pandemic has further highlighted the need for a stronger global governance system. The calls are surging for active cooperation to speed up the development of international legal regulations in the field of global public health.

At present, peace, development, and cooperation remain the popular aspiration, and to promote multilateralism and uphold the international rule of law remain the universal pursuit of the international community. The important role of international law in driving forward reform and development of the global governance system is irreplaceable. Under the strong leadership of the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core, China has steadily enhanced its composite national strength and its international influence and appeal. The country is growing in overall competence to use international law to safeguard its national sovereignty, security, and development interests. The visions of building a community with a shared future for mankind and fostering a new type of international relations are most timely, advanced, and people-centered in nature. As China conducts international exchanges, greater emphasis will be laid on the application and development of international law. China takes an active part in reform and development of the global governance system. It calls for greater democracy and rule of law in international relations. It works steadily to develop the theories and practices underpinning its commitment to a more just and equitable international order. It will continue to promote international exchanges and cooperation, and will work with other countries to jointly safeguard world peace and facilitate common development. These positions of China's have enjoyed more and more support and recognition from the community of nations.

V. Applying international law properly to firmly defend China's national interests and jointly safeguard world peace and development 

Under the new historical circumstances, we must follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy; we must strengthen the resolve to maintain political integrity, think in big-picture terms, follow the leadership core, and keep in alignment with the central Party leadership; we must be steadfast in upholding confidence in the path, theory, system, and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics; and we must firmly uphold General Secretary Xi Jinping's core position in both the Party Central Committee and the Party as a whole, as well as the Party Central Committee's authority and its centralized, unified leadership. We should act upon the opportunity of General Secretary Xi Jinping's important remarks at the high-level meetings for the 75th anniversary of the UN, and stick closely to the key objective of building a community with a shared future for mankind. We should actively take part in the making of international rules, and promote development of the international rule of law in a more just and equitable direction. We should enhance capacity building in using international law to defend China's national interests and safeguard world peace and development. By doing so, we will provide stronger legal support for our efforts to secure a great victory for socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era and to jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind.

First, we need to enhance strategic thinking, and break new ground in both the theory and practice of international law.

We need to carry out theoretical studies and practical explorations on issues regarding building a community with a shared future for mankind, fostering a new type of international relations, and providing legal support for Belt and Road cooperation. We need to analyze in greater depth the international legal implications of relevant issues, promote innovative progress of international law, and enrich both the theoretical content and practical achievements of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics.

Second, we need to work resolutely to safeguard China's national sovereignty, security, and development interests.

We should remain committed to the principle of mutually beneficial cooperation, promote deeper reform, higher-standard openness, and broader integration with the world, and take active steps to foster an external environment that is favorable to China and to all other countries in the world. We should apply the principles of international law to fight back slander and accusation from those with ulterior motives over Covid-19. We should make effective use of international law on issues relating to Taiwan, Hong Kong, Xinjiang, Tibet, maritime affairs, human rights, religion, and trade to firmly defend China's core and major interests. We should actively conduct international communication and unite as many people as possible to counter anti-China foreign forces seeking to discredit and vilify our country.

Third, we need to remain committed to multilateralism, and actively promote international cooperation.

We should be firm in upholding the international system centered on the UN, the international order underpinned by international law, and the fundamental principles of international law and basic norms of international relations as rooted in the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We should vigorously promote multilateralism and greater democracy and rule of law in international relations, and oppose hegemonism and power politics. We should adhere to the principle that all countries are equal members of the international community irrespective of their size, strength, or wealth, and all should, as equals, take part in decision-making, enjoy rights, and fulfill obligations in world affairs. We should ensure that international law is applied in an equal and uniform manner, and be firm in rejecting double standards and exceptionalism. We should continue using international law to promote and regulate international exchanges and cooperation. Development of China may well serve the common development of all in the world. China's achievements in enriching and innovating the theories and practice of international law could enhance the global commitment to respecting, applying, and developing international law. We should promote stronger global cooperation against the Covid-19 pandemic, and better coordinate efforts of various parties to drive global economic recovery and growth. In this new round of shift and development of the international system, we should aspire to lead with new vision and ideas. We should enhance our international image, provide more public goods, take a greater part in the making of international rules and order, and expand partnerships for cooperation. In so doing, China will truly demonstrate its role as a responsible major country, live up to expectations from other parties, and contribute the China solution to the world.

Fourth, we need to rise up to the call of the times and get more actively engaged in the reform and development of the global governance system.

We should act out the principle of pursuing extensive consultation, joint contribution, and shared benefits, and take a constructive and leading part in the making of global governance rules. We should uphold the position that global governance reform is a matter for all and must therefore be handled on the basis of consensus among and joint action of all parties. We should urge for prioritizing the development agenda in global governance and in international rule of law, and work for greater representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries. We may get more deeply involved in the revision of existing international rules and in the formulation of rules in new domains. On the basis of respecting each country's choice of development path, we may step up cooperation on the development of international rules on the Internet, and continue to deepen international cooperation in environmental protection, climate change, cultural exchange, and women's advancement. And we should continue to work for progress in formulating multilateral treaties within the UN framework, including treaties on protecting marine biodiversity of areas beyond national jurisdiction and on fighting cybercrime. 

Fifth, we should enhance capacity building for making effective use of international law. 

With our experience in applying international law in properly addressing global issues, we may further enhance capacity in international rule making, agenda setting, and coordination and collaboration, in order to increase overall competency that will enable us to get more deeply involved in the development of international rule of law. We should focus on both "inviting in" and "going global" as we bring to the world China's position and propositions on advancing international rule of law and take the global moral high ground. We should give better narratives of China's efforts on international law, share Chinese ideas and Chinese experience, and boost China's influence and appeal in the world. We should strengthen the ability to apply international law in practice, and increase our voice in the field of international law. We should make well-coordinated efforts to develop international law as an academic discipline and cultivate high-caliber talents so as to bolster our ranks of international legal professionals.

Sixth, we must strengthen the Party's centralized, unified leadership over the work related to international law to build greater synergy.

The Party's role in providing overall leadership and coordinating all areas of work must be fully exercised, and application of international law must be strengthened across the political, diplomatic, economic, security, cultural, and environmental fields. This is to ensure that international law could better serve both theoretical and practical innovation of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and peace, stability, and common development of the world. This way, a strong guarantee of international rule of law will be provided for the realization of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

 

(Originally appeared in Qiushi Journal, Chinese edition, Issue No. 20, 2020)