China's President Xi Jinping finished 2017 vowing to boost China's role on the world stage. "As a responsible major country, China has something to say," Xi said in his Dec. 31 New Year speech. "China will resolutely uphold the authority and status of the United Nations, actively fulfill China's international obligations and duties, remain firmly committed to China's pledges to tackle climate change, actively push for the Belt and Road Initiative, and always be a builder of world peace, contributor of global development and keeper of international order. The Chinese people are ready to chart out a more prosperous, peaceful future for humanity, with people from other countries."
Meanwhile, Chinese diplomats closed out the year with a barrage of summit meetings in Beijing and diplomatic initiatives in the world's hot spots, including Afghanistan and Myanmar.
Analysts in China say the proactive statesmanship is befitting the new era Xi has declared, in which China confidently wields its newly acquired wealth and influence and resumes what it considers its rightful place at the center of global affairs rather than leaving world problems to the United States and other countries to deal with.