China under the new leadership will not "dodge disputes" with neighbours and forsake its core national interests, a top Chinese diplomat today said, making it clear that no country should expect Beijing to swallow the "bitter fruit" undermining its sovereignty and security.
In an article carried by the state media here on the foreign policy priorities of the new leadership under President Xi Jinping, State Councillor Yang Jiechi said, "we must keep in mind the bottom line, working for the best but preparing for the worst."
Yang, who earlier served as the Foreign Minister, is now Special Representative on the boundary talks with India.
"Comrade Xi Jinping has stressed that while firmly committed to peaceful development we definitely must not forsake our legitimate interests or compromise our core national interests," Yang said in the article 'Innovations in China's diplomatic theory and practice under new conditions'.
But at the same time China will endeavour to properly handle the differences and problems by promoting exchanges and cooperation in various fields with them, he said.
His comments assume significance in the backdrop of China's attempts to forge relations with India and host of other neighbouring countries with which it has long standing border and maritime disputes.
"No country should expect us to swallow the bitter fruit that undermines our sovereignty, security and development interests," Yang said.
"In our diplomatic work, we will not dodge disputes or problems as there may be. Rather, we will endeavour to properly handle the differences and problems with relevant countries, while working to promote exchanges and cooperation in various fields to expand common interests and maintain good relations with neighbouring countries and peace and stability in the region," he said.
The new leadership has made innovative headway on the basis of past achievements. "A sound and momentous beginning has thus been achieved in our diplomatic work," he said.
"With the layout being more comprehensive and more balanced, China's diplomacy under new circumstances displays such features as rich ideas, clear priorities, firm positions, flexible approaches and distinctive styles," he said.