China’s Global Initiatives of Development, Security and Civilization and Its Foreign Policy

May 08, 2023

About the author:

Carlos M. Pereira HernándezCuban Ambassador to China



The successful implementation of the reform and opening-up process has made it possible for China to open a new chapter of its history, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and comrade Xi Jinping. The efforts to achieve the national rejuvenation and to position itself as a major power within the international system have required the setting up of a comprehensive strategy that connects, assertively, both domestic and external processes. 

Since Deng Xiaoping was restored to his position in the leadership of China in 1977, the Asian nation has worked to ensure the existence of a positive external environment that allows China to continue its national development. Its foreign policy has been progressively transformed, in line with its domestic conditions and the international environment, maintaining the realization of the great Chinese dream as its supreme objective.

Xi Jinping's foreign policy has been aimed at guaranteeing those conditions that China considers necessary to make progress on its national development strategy. This policy integrates the ideas of comrade Jiang Zemin, who led China in a period of increasing engagement in world affairs as a comprehensive power, and the “harmonious world” from comrade Hu Jintao. At the same time, it incorporates Xi's visions on “socialism with Chinese characteristics for the new era,” which bear a great deal of what is considered a response to the present international environment, shaped at the same time.

Its new potential and its own international actions have made China a threat in the eyes of the United States. Washington is extremely concerned about the increasingly probable occurrence of a change in the international balance of power, which might be negative for Americans while putting an end to its reign as the global hegemon. Accordingly, the White House has launched a global strategy, more deeply involving its allies and becoming more confrontational, to try to contain the rise of China.

This reality has forced Beijing to take a more active role in international relations. Without abandoning the principles of development and peaceful coexistence, its foreign policy must no longer only confront the forces that oppose its rise, but must try to build a new international system as well. 

This is an obvious truth for the Chinese political leadership, despite China's membership in the World Trade Organization, use of US dollar as currency for international trade, and its participation in the international order set up after the end of World War II. The Chinese leadership is aware that those systems were designed to advance US interests and preserve them in the future, therefore a change in the status quo is considered necessary. 

Its “major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics” has progressively moved towards a position where it actively seeks the creation of a multipolar world, and where power is not held by a single state or group of states. Undoubtedly, its growing economic strengths, expressed in turn in the field of defense and security, are a significant support for its actions in the diplomatic sphere, thus expanding its scope and effectiveness.

The careful design and assertive execution of its foreign policy strategy combine skillfully its capabilities, hard and soft power instruments, as well as a well-intentioned media campaign. It has allowed China to establish itself as an alternative pole of power. Beijing promotes relationships and platforms that seek mutual benefit (win-win) for the participants and the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind. Its actions break up with the West's traditional imperialist dynamics, while moving away from the historical center-periphery model promoted by capitalist society.

The global initiatives launched by China for development, security, and civilization are an expression of both the country's new conditions and its approach to international relations, where values of Confucianism like pragmatism, harmony, and commitment to traditions are active parts of Chinese political practice. Through them, Beijing intends to achieve its foreign policy objectives in different and strategic spheres.

These three platforms operate akin to an umbrella, under which other global proposals are launched. They constitute a complement to the Belt and Road Initiative, thus giving rise to a comprehensive proposal from China to humankind and international system.

These three programs, although they do not exclude Western developed countries, are fundamentally aimed at the rest of the actors from the international system. Developing countries are valuable political capital for Beijing, who has strengthened its position in Africa, Latin America and Asia over the past decades. Through the construction of bilateral and multilateral partnerships, which include multinational organizations such as ASEAN and the African Union, China intends to build a counterweight against US hegemony and promote a development model different from the existing one.

Likewise, the Chinese proposals restate its commitment to the basic principles of international law and support the central role of the United Nations within the contemporary international order and the undeniable advantages of multilateralism. This is precisely one of the main objectives of China's foreign policy.

The Initiatives launched by China constitute an excellent opportunity for the international community, especially for developing countries, which have been the main victims of US hegemonism for years. In addition to constituting a way to face current global problems (terrorism, hunger and poverty, human trafficking, underdevelopment, climate change, among others), it enables the different actors to participate as peers in solving these challenges and to obtain equal benefits.

The warm reception given by multiple countries to the Chinese proposals, far from abuse, coercion, and imperialist dynamics, is not fortuitous. The recent visits to China by dozens of heads of state and government and leaders following the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) reflected the positive perception that the international community has on China's international engagements, also on these Initiatives, and on the crisis of the model promoted and safeguarded by the U.S.

China is an important partner for Cuba. Links between our two countries are shaped by strong political dialogue and trust, where exchanges between both communist parties play an instrumental role in the broad relationship, including the exchange of experiences on the respective processes of building socialism according to each country´s characteristics. Cuba was the first country in the Western Hemisphere to establish diplomatic relations with the People´s Republic of China. Friendship and support in relevant issues for both sides have been high on the agenda. Our ties cover a broad range of areas and have experienced a continuous rise in recent decades. The fact that President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermudez was the first Latin American head of state to visit China after the 20th National Congress of the CPC is a clear sign of this strong relationship.

Cuba supports the initiatives launched by China, since we share the same challenges that served as motivations for their setting up, especially considering more than six decades of a fierce blockade imposed by the U.S. and being rejected by the international community that has prevented the Cuban people from the right to development. Cuba fully supports the idea of implementing the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and a vision of cooperative and sustainable security, with no space for unilateralism. At the same time, Cuba agrees that inclusiveness, coexistence, exchanges, and mutual learning between different civilizations play an irreplaceable role in advancing the process of modernization of humankind.

There is a public commitment between the political leaders of both countries in terms of our support for these platforms. As president of the G77+China this year and an active player in Latin-America and the Caribbean, Cuba will promote the proposals presented by China, understanding that the supreme interests of humankind, and not those of a group of people, will be favored by these Initiatives.











Please note: The above contents only represent the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views or positions of Taihe Institute.


This article is from the March issue of TI Observer (TIO), which is a monthly publication devoted to bringing China and the rest of the world closer together by facilitating mutual understanding and promoting exchanges of views. If you are interested in knowing more about the October issue, please click here:




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