Seventy years of China’s multilateral diplomacy towards neighboring countries: developing processes, main characters and challenges


QI Huaigao


Institute of International Studies, Fudan University


The seventy years of China’s multilateral diplomacy towards neighboring countries can be divided into the difficult starting process (1949–1971), the adaptive adjustment process ( 1971–1991) , the active participation process ( 1991–2013) and the leading advocate process (from 2013 to now) from the perspective of China’s participation in international systems. China’s multilateral diplomacy towards neighboring countries can be summarized in three main characters as follows: first, conducting economic development oriented diplomacy; second, keeping Asia’s cooperation open and inclusive; and third, improving the existing system of institutions by incremental reforms. At the same time, China’s multilateral diplomacy towards neighboring countries is now facing four challenges. The first challenge is the rising tension between the U.S. dominated bilateral alliance system in Asia and China’s multilateral cooperation system. Both China and the U.S. should try to accommodate the above-mentioned two different systems and realize the co-existence. The second challenge is the competitive multilateralism in the Asian region. China needs to integrate the existing competitive multilateral institutions. The third challenge is the leadership competition of multilateral cooperation system in Asia. China and the relevant actors can discuss the feasibility of a multi-actors leadership in the framework of the ASEAN. The fourth challenge is the absence of an Asia-wide regional security regime. China can use the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) as a framework to construct Asia-wide regional security regime in the future. Looking to the future, China will be more active to conduct multilateral diplomacy towards neighboring countries in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative.


multilateral diplomacy towards neighboring countries;regional institutions;open and inclusive;competitive multilateralism;the Belt and Road Initiative


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Total: 21 articles

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