Formulation of Foreign Policy of New China on the Eve of its Birth
On the eve of the establishment of New China, Chairman Mao Zedong set forth some policy perception in order to formulate the foreign policy of New China. The Second Plenary Session of the Seventh Central Committee of the Communist Party of China convened in March 1949 and the First Session of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference convened in September of the same year made important decisions respectively with regard to the foreign policy of New China which provided orientation for diplomatic work after the founding of New China.
Between the spring and summer of 1949, Chairman Mao Zedong advanced the principle of "Starting anew", "putting the house in order before inviting guests" and "leaning to one side". This is a major decision made in the light of China's historical and realistic situation and in accordance with the existing international environment at that time.
In order to make a clean break with the foreign policy of the old and semi-colonial China and uphold the independence and sovereignty of New China, Chairman Mao Zedong advocated that we should "start anew" and "put the house in order before inviting guests". That is to say China renounced all the diplomatic relations the Kuomintang Government had established with foreign countries, treated heads of foreign diplomatic missions accredited to Old China as ordinary foreign nationals instead of diplomatic envoys; reviewed all the treaties and agreements Old China had concluded with foreign countries; gradually cleared up the prerogatives and influence the imperialist countries had in China; and established new diplomatic relations with other countries on the basis of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, and equality and mutual benefit.
The policy of "leaning one side" is to declare that China would lean to the side of socialism. During the War of Liberation in china, there emerged a sharp confrontation between the socialist camp headed by the Soviet Union and the imperialist camp headed by the United states on the international scene. The United States stood on the opposite side of the Chinese people and supported the Kuomintang in launching the civil war. Moreover, after the birth of New China, the imperialist were not reconciled to their defeat in China, might carry out armed intervention against China while the Soviet Union had long been sympathetic to and supportive of the national democratic revolution of the Chinese people. Thus the above-mentioned situation necessitated China's allying with the socialist countries.
In September 1949, the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference held its first session in Beijing and adopted "the Common Programme of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference" which provides: "The principle of the foreign policy of the People's Republic of China is protection of the independence, freedom, integrity of territory and sovereignty of the country, upholding of lasting international peace and friendly cooperation between the peoples of all countries, and opposition to the imperialist policy of aggression and war". The "Common Programme" not only defines the basic principles, including giving the force of law to the three major policy decisions of "starting anew", "putting the house in order before inviting guests" and "leaning to one side". The "Common Programme" provides that "the People's Republic of China shall unite with all peace-loving and freedom-loving countries and peoples throughout the world, first of all with the USSR, all People's Democracies and all oppressed nations. It shall take its stand in the camp of international peace and democracy, to oppose imperialist aggression and to defend lasting world peace"; "the People's Republic of china may restore and develop commercial relations with foreign governments and peoples on the basis of equality and mutual benefit" and so on. All these basic principles and specific policies facilitated the implementation of New China's diplomatic work.