In a year marked by growing disputes and violence around the world, China's diplomacy has shown its maturity by promoting a new type of international relations. It has sought to build partnerships and keep dialogue going rather than promote confrontation and strategic alignments. In 2018, China took part in friendly exchanges with other countries under the continued principle of win-win cooperation. It steadfastly explored how to overcome differences in social systems and development stages to stride ahead with other countries in an equal and mutually beneficial manner. This has provided new options for countries to get along with one another and has been recognized by all.
Strengthening cooperation and coordination with major powers including the United States, Europe and Russia remains the priority of China's international relations. The dinner meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his U.S. counterpart Donald Trump in Argentina on December 1, one of the highlights of diplomacy in 2018, resulted in a truce in the tariff war between the two major economies. It showed China's resolve to carry its critics along with it, instead of turning the G20 Summit into an exercise to isolate Trump. It was also another demonstration of the Chinese goal to build a community with a shared future for humanity. In addition, in 2018, China continued to strengthen cooperation with developing countries, making use of platforms for China-Africa, China-Latin America and China-Arab engagements under the Belt and Road Initiative.
In contrast to the past, when major global or regional meetings used to be held in the United States or Europe, China hosted four major diplomatic events in 2018: the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit, the Forum on
China-Africa Cooperation Summit, and the newly launched China International Import Expo to stimulate the slowing global economy. The four events had different themes but all demonstrated China's aspiration for peaceful development. With the reemergence of populism and unilateralism, China's peaceful development concept has been a stabilizing factor for the international community.
The departing year will also be remembered for the 40th anniversary of China's reform and opening up, a far-seeing strategy that has taken the country to where it is today. Actions speak louder than words and China's development has made the world realize the wisdom of Chinese solutions to problems like poverty and illiteracy that remain global issues. Thus, the implementation of the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) with the target of building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020 will face fewer naysayers, while more people will wait to see the developments, and some will even be willing to pick up pointers from them.