Xi's diplomacy seen as boon to China, says Foreign Minister Wang

Wang Yi gestures to reporters as he concludes a press conference on the NPC sidelines.
Wang Yi gestures to reporters as he concludes a press conference on the NPC sidelines.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping's head-of-state diplomacy has not only increased the international community's understanding of China but also raised China's status and influence internationally, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Thursday (March 8).

"Head-of-state diplomacy, as the highest form of state-to-state interaction, plays a pivotal role and has irreplaceable strategic value," Mr Wang said at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People's Congress (NPC) or parliament.

He added that since 2012, Mr Xi has been the chief architect of China's major country diplomacy. The Chinese leader was also personally involved in the planning and conduct of head-of-state diplomacy which "has been brilliant", he said.

Pointing out that Mr Xi has visited 57 countries and received more than 110 foreign heads of state, he said: "These important visits and meetings go a long way towards deepening the world's understanding of China, enhancing China's profile and influence and facilitating the solution of many global problems."

Mr Wang's comments came as China is poised to change its Constitution at this NPC session to remove term limits for the president.

Mr Xi, who has been in office for five years, is expected to be given a second term as president at this NPC session, which will be his last unless the two five-year term limit is abolished.

Some Chinese have expressed reservations over this move, with some posting on social media that it could lead to uncertainty and chaos.

China watcher Robert Lawrence Kuhn said eliminating the term limit "enhances Xi's strength by increasing the confidence of others that he will be around to make good on his promises".

Mr Wang said on Thursday that Mr Xi's "leadership style and charisma have earned him and his country many good friends among foreign leaders who represent a diverse range of cultures and social systems".