A lengthy 4225-character article captioned 'Actively create a good external environment (study and implement the spirit of the 5th Plenum of the 19th Central Committee)', by Politburo Member and former Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was published in the People's Daily on November 30. Yang Jiechi said ‘The world today is undergoing major changes unseen in a century' as concluded by 'General Secretary Xi based on the new historical position of China’s development and looking at the general trend of world development' and it is 'important for us to accurately grasp the international environment and the status of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation'. He said 'China’s foreign work should be guided in the 14th Plan period by Xi’s Thoughts on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era, and his Thoughts on Diplomacy, strengthen the 'four consciousnesses', strengthen the 'four self-confidences', and achieve the 'two safeguards', reinforce confidence in victory, courage to act, focus on the central work of Party and Nation, strengthen planning and comprehensive advancement, and strive to maintain and extend the window of strategic opportunity for China’s development, in order to start a new journey of comprehensively building a modern socialist country and seize the chance to provide a solid and powerful guarantee for a great victory of socialism with Chinese characteristics in a new era'. Yang Jiechi observed that multipolarsation is speeding up and  'The international structure is facing profound adjustment, and the balance of power is developing in a more balanced direction'. He asserted that though 'The world economy has been hit hard', China 'will still be the main source of power for the recovery of the world economy'. Discussing International security he said 'risk points increase and the politics and societies of all countries are facing new challenges. The epidemic adds new complications to international and regional hotspot issues. Non-traditional security threats such as biosecurity, extreme weather, cyber attacks, and terrorism are on the rise. They are intertwined with traditional security hotspot issues such as arms control and have become prominent factors affecting international peace and security. The internal governance difficulties of some countries have become prominent, economic and social fragility has increased, and the possibility of political and social unrest has increased. At the same time, no parties wish the international security situation to go out of control; overall stability is expected to be maintained. The PRC is committed to promoting the implementation of a new security concept that is common, comprehensive, cooperative, and sustainable, and its role in maintaining world peace and stability has become more prominent'. Appearing to indirectly attack the United States, he said 'International ideological trends violently collide, and ideological factors are once again prominent. The epidemic has 'affected countries exacerbated social division, ethnic conflict and political confrontation, and conservatism and populism have increased. To divert domestic conflicts, some try their best to exaggerate ideological antagonism, attacking dissidents under the pretext of human rights and religion'. At the same time, 'Socialism with Chinese characteristics has been further improved, modernising the national governance system and governance capabilities has continued to advance, and the PRC’s international influence and appeal have continued to increase'. Underscoring that 'Strongly led by the Party Central Committee with Comrade Xi at its core, China's foreign work was guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era and Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy; firmly grasping serving the mainline of national rejuvenation and promoting peaceful development to overcome difficulties and forge ahead, innovatively promoting major power diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, actively forge global partnerships, promoting high-quality development of Belt and Road construction ...', Yang Jiechi added that 'since 2020, foreign work has actively implemented the important concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind proposed by General Secretary Xi, carried out in-depth international anti-epidemic cooperation, continued to promote all-round diplomacy, and contributed more China wisdom, China solutions, and Chinese power to the international community, widely winning praise and support'. The Fifth Plenum, he said, had stated that 'the PRC’s development is at present and in the future still in a period of important strategic opportunity, but both opportunity and challenge have new developments and changes. 'The world is now in an era of turbulent change, unilateralism and hegemonism prevail, Cold War mentality and power politics persist, injustice and inequality in international relations remain prominent, and deep-seated contradictions in global development are yet to be effectively resolved'. 'Complex changes in the international situation and external environment make new and higher demands on China’s foreign work' and in a new development stage, it 'must coordinate the overall strategy of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and great changes in the world unseen in a century', and strive 'to create a good external environment and create more favourable conditions for the country's economic and social development'. He asserted 'We must hold high the banner of peace, development, cooperation, and win-win, adhere to an independent foreign policy of peace, promote foreign exchanges at all levels and levels, and promote the construction of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind'. It 'is necessary to strengthen baseline thinking, maintain the spirit of struggle, enhance the ability to fight, effectively safeguard national interests, and continuously advance foreign work in the complex international situation'. He called on foreign work cadres to 'Strengthen the party's centralised, unified leadership, and improve its leadership system and mechanism for foreign affairs. Insist that the power of diplomacy rests with the Party Central Committee, strengthen the constructing theory of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, and fully implement the Party Central Committee’s major diplomatic policies and strategic arrangements'. In conclusion, Yang Jiechi wrote: 'Resolutely safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, backing up national development and rejuvenation. Establish baseline thinking, enhance awareness of danger, adhere to a people-centred approach, and roll out the concept of overall national security. Resolutely defend the leadership of the CPC and the socialist system with Chinese characteristics, resolutely safeguarding the security of state power and systems. On the Taiwan issue, firmly uphold the one-China principle, resolutely oppose distortion and smearing by anti-China forces on issues involving Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet, and will never allow external forces to interfere in China's internal affairs. On such issues as the South China Sea, the PRC effectively safeguards its territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests. Properly respond to economic and trade frictions and safeguard the PRC’s development space and long-term interests. Carry out the purpose of diplomacy for the people, build an early warning and risk prevention system to protect our overseas interests, and the safety and legitimate rights and interests of our overseas compatriots'. And, finally: 'Strengthen the party's centralised, unified leadership, and improve its leadership system and mechanism for foreign affairs. Insist that the power of diplomacy rests with the Party Central Committee, strengthen the constructing theory of major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, and fully implement the Party Central Committee’s major diplomatic policies and strategic arrangements. Deeply promote building foreign-related institutions and mechanisms, coordinate the foreign transactions of the Party, the NPC, the government, the CPPCC, the military, local governments, and popular organisations, and strengthen the Party's overall situation and coordination of all parties' external work. Coordinate and promote local foreign affairs work. Actively carry out diplomacy and foreign aid via NGOs. Strengthen building the system of foreign affairs-related rule of law, strengthen the application of international law, and improve the level of rule of law in foreign affairs. Under the direction of political construction, we will build an external work team that is politically firm, superb in execution, disciplined, and strong'.

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