The newly-formed Foreign Affairs Commission (FAC) of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee held its first meeting in Beijing on Tuesday. Chinese President Xi Jinping, also general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) and head of the FAC, presided over the meeting and called for enhancing the centralized and unified leadership of the CPC Central Committee over foreign affairs.
The meeting was also attended by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and deputy head of the FAC, and Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, also a member of the FAC.
March 18, 2018: Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) shakes hands with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) during the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. /Xinhua Photo
March 17, 2018: Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan takes an oath of allegiance to the Constitution during the first session of the 13th National People’s Congress at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. /Xinhua Photo
The FAC has been set up as part of an extensive shakeup of the CPC and state institutions in China. According to a reform plan released on March 21, the former Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs has been transformed into a commission.
Tuesday’s meeting was the first time that the leadership lineup of the new organ was unveiled.
Two other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Wang Huning and Han Zheng, were also present at the meeting.
Xi calls for safeguarding China’s interests
With the increase of uncertainties and instabilities in the world, China is facing both opportunities and challenges in its course of development, Xi said at the meeting, calling for strengthening awareness of risks and more efforts to safeguard the country’s sovereignty, security and development interests.
May 15, 2017: Chinese President Xi Jinping, foreign delegation heads and guests walk out of Yanqi Lake International Convention Center in Beijing after the first session of the Leaders’ Roundtable Summit at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. /Xinhua Photo
Results of the first Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, which was held in Beijing in May 2017, should be well implemented, Xi stressed. He added that China must open wider to the rest of the world and strengthen communication, collaboration and cooperation with other countries in building the Belt and Road, which should benefit the people of all countries involved.
Proposed by Xi in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.
The FAC should play the roles of decision making, discussion and coordination in foreign affairs, Xi noted.
Rules for FAC’s work was approved at the meeting.