January 18, 2024, a corps of British diplomats visited GVI. They listened to the Chinese experts’ speeches on the themes of "Historical Evolution of Chinese Foreign Policy" and “Priority and Actions of Chinese Foreign Policy (2023-2024)”, and then communicated with them about Chinese diplomacy and the hot topics of current international relations.
The envoys included British diplomats in China, Sweden, Thailand, Vietnam, Austria, and Singapore, as well as the UK’s delegates to the United Nations and the Council of Europe. Experts participating in the talk from the Chinese side were Zhang Baijia, former Deputy Director of the Party History Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, Sun Mingxi, Counselor of the European Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), Li Xinyu, Vice Chairman of GVI, and Zhao Gengrong, Vice Chairman and Director of the Shanghai Center of GVI. Mao Jing, Director of Public Affairs of GVI, presided over the meeting.
Mr. Zhang Baijia delivered a keynote speech, highlighting three aspects: the basic foreign policy of the PRC since its founding in 1949, the development stages of China's diplomacy, and the historical evolvement of the Sino-British relationship. He said that the establishment of a new type of diplomatic relations was the basic demand of the Chinese Revolution; independence and peace were the core concepts of new China's diplomacy; and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence is the cornerstone of its foreign policy. The PRC has maintained the longest relationship with the UK although seeing ups and downs in the process.
Mr. Sun Mingxi told the British mission that the current Chinese diplomacy, in pursuit of building a community with a shared future for mankind, promoting equal and orderly multipolarity of the world and inclusive economic globalization, will actively implement the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative. When talking about China-EU and China-UK relations, Sun said China hopes that China-EU relations will remain independent and not be subject to any third party. He expected that the British diplomatic corps could get a more objective understanding of China through such direct interactions.
Tom Burn, Political Counselor of the British Embassy in Beijing, said that in the complex and changing international landscape, China is playing an increasingly important role in the global arena. The British anticipate that through more dialogues and exchanges with China, they will gain a better understanding of the country and lay a more solid foundation for the future cooperation between the UK and China.