2023 Understanding China Conference (Guangzhou) opening in Guangzhou

Chinese President Xi Jinping on December 2 sent a congratulatory letter to the 2023 Understanding China Conference (Guangzhou) held in Guangzhou, south China's Guangdong Province.

He pointed out that to understand China, the key lies in understanding Chinese modernization. China is advancing the noble cause of building a great country and national rejuvenation on all fronts through a Chinese path to modernization, and promoting the building of a community with a shared future for mankind," Xi said. "China's future is closely linked with the future of the entire humanity.

Li Shulei, Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Minister of the Publicity Department, attended the opening ceremony. He read President Xi's congratulatory letter and delivered a keynote speech. Huang Kunming, Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee and Secretary of the Guangdong Provincial Party Committee, also attended the opening ceremony and delivered a speech.


This conference, themed " China’s New Endeavors Amid Unprecedented Global Changes——Expanding the Convergence of Interests and Building a Community of Shared Future " gathers globally renowned politicians, strategists, scholars, entrepreneurs, foreign diplomats, and representatives from international organizations and multinational corporations from over 30 countries and regions. They will engage in dialogue and participate in discussions with their Chinese counterparts. The conference focuses on exploring topics such as Chinese modernization and modern Chinese civilization, high-quality development and high-level opening-up of the Chinese economy, and the construction of the world-class Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. It aims to showcase China's new endeavors amid unprecedented global changes, convey China's commitment to comprehensive deepening reforms, high-quality development, and high-level opening up, boost confidence among countries worldwide in expanding convergence of interests and building a community with a shared future, and help the international community better understand China and the Communist Party of China. Furthermore, it aims to tell compelling stories about China, the Greater Bay Area, Guangdong, and Guangzhou to the world.

During the keynote speeches, the Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of the 14th National People's Congress and Chairman of the Chinese Peasants and Workers Democratic Party, He Wei, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of China, Sun Weidong, the former President of Ethiopia, Mulatu Teshome, the Founding Chairman of China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy (CIIDS) and Chairman of the Academic Committee of CIIDS, Zheng Bijian, the former Prime Minister of Austria, Wolfgang Schüssel, the Vice President of the Central Party School (National School of Administration) in charge of daily operations, Xie Chuntao, the former Prime Minister of Egypt, Essam Sharaf, the Executive Vice Chairman of the Academic Committee of CIIDS and former Mayor of Chongqing, Huang Qifan, and the Honorary Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Brookings Institution and Global Chairman of the Asia Society, John L. Thornton, delivered speeches. The session was chaired by Wang Chao, the President of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs.

He Wei stated that the new type of party system in China is a product of combining Marxist party theory with China's reality. It is a great political creation of the Communist Party of China, the Chinese people, and various democratic parties and non-party individuals. It is the result of long-term development based on China's historical heritage, cultural traditions, and economic and social progress. In the era of great transformation, the Communist Party of China plays a strong core leadership role. The democratic parties and non-party individuals stand together, work together, share weal and woe with the Communist Party of China. They fight side by side and forge ahead together to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation.

Sun Weidong said that building a community with a shared future for mankind is an important concept advocated by President Xi Jinping. It is an unremitting pursuit of major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and a Chinese solution to address the challenges facing the world. Understanding major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics requires understanding the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind. Building a community with a shared future for mankind is an inevitable choice to grasp the laws of history and promote human development. It embodies the spirit of the Communist Party of China, which embraces the world, and the values of Chinese excellent traditional culture. It is an open, inclusive, and forward-thinking ideological system. It is a proactive action for China to advocate and work jointly with the world. We welcome more friends to actively participate in the "Understanding China" campaign, convey the true China to the world, and promote a better understanding of China by the world.

Mulatu expressed that over the past decade, the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative has evolved from a Chinese proposal to international practice, from an idea to action, from a vision to reality, and from a broad framework to detailed implementation. The Belt and Road Initiative has brought tangible benefits to countries including Ethiopia. In Africa, projects such as the Addis Ababa-Djibouti Railway and the Mombasa–Nairobi Standard Gauge Railway have been put into operation, serving as important corridors for promoting the development of East Africa and even the whole continent. The Belt and Road Initiative, after ten years, has brought remarkable and profound changes to the world and has become a significant milestone in the history of human social development.

Zheng Bijian believed that in the context of profound changes unseen in a century, China has made at least three significant new contributions. Firstly, achieving Chinese style modernization through high-quality development. Secondly, promoting the construction of a community with a shared future for mankind through the peaceful rise of China and other developing countries. Thirdly, creating a modern Chinese civilization through cultural exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations. From the beginning of the Understanding China conference, we have insisted on three aspects of understanding: understanding China, understanding the world, and understanding the profound changes unseen in a century. If this conference can help the world better understand China and the Communist Party of China, as well as assist China in better understanding the world and profound changes unseen in a century, then we will certainly be able to reduce the deficit in understanding through persistent efforts.


Wolfgang Schüssel said that in the face of global transformation and challenges, we cannot afford to act alone. We all live on one planet and interconnected, and we must seek cooperation with our neighbors and partners. Today, trade volumes between China and the US, China and Europe, and the US and Europe continue to rise, and we must collaborate with each other. Globalization is key to lifting people out of poverty and achieving prosperity. No one can remain detached.

Xie Chuntao said that in March 2013, faced with profound and complex changes in the international situation, President Xi Jinping creatively proposed the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind, contributing a Chinese solution to creating a better world. Looking back at the past decade, President Xi has repeatedly elaborated on and sincerely called for the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, deepening and expanding the ideological connotation of this concept. Over the past ten years, different forms of communities with a shared future have been constructed at national, regional, and global levels, across various fields such as politics, security, development, civilization, and ecology, improving and broadening the implementation path of this concept.

Isam Sharaf believed that different colors and shapes can harmoniously form a beautiful picture. Different civilizations can also break cultural barriers, achieve unity in diversity, bridge hearts and minds, and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind. Cultures and civilizations that have existed along the ancient Silk Road for thousands of years have achieved exchanges and cooperation. Now is the time for us to explore the past, uncover the valuable virtues of our ancestors, and use these virtues to shape our future, especially when facing global challenges that require the unwavering cooperation of the global community. The four global initiatives proposed by China, including the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Civilization Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Development Initiative, serve as the cornerstone of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

Huang Qifan believed that in the past decade, China's economic performance has shown three positive phenomena. First, the export structure has significantly improved. With China's vigorous promotion of manufacturing transformation and upgrading, as well as the high-quality development of trade, our country's position in the global industrial division of labor continues to rise, and the trend of exporting high-end and high value-added products is evident. Second, the inflow of foreign investment has shown continuous growth, and China has become an attractive destination for global resources and elements. Third, China has initially formed a new development pattern with domestic circulation as the mainstay and domestic and international dual circulation mutually promoting each other. China will remain the main engine of global economic growth in the future.

John Thornton quoted data and views from a political opinion survey in the United States during his speech. He stated that the survey found that Americans see China as a responsible and active participant in the international community, and the Chinese people are well-liked by the American people. The American people are very interested in Chinese culture and traditions. He said that when ordinary Americans were asked how to describe China and the Chinese people, 88% of the respondents believed they are hardworking, 87% believed they are modern and innovative, 73% said China's economy is strong and stable, 70% said China is forward-thinking, 67% said China is a good place to do business, 53% said China is reliable, stable, and consistent, and 50% said China is compassionate and very caring.

The 2023 Understanding China Conference is held by China Institute for Innovation and Development Strategy (CIIDS), Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs, and People’s Government of Guangdong Province, and organized by People’s Government of Guangzhou Municipality. The conference lasts for three days and includes an opening ceremony, leadership speeches, keynote speeches, lunch presentations, and 10 parallel forums, 8 thematic forums, 3 closed-door discussions, and a series of supporting activities.