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Peace, Development and Cooperation --Banner for China's Diplomacy in the New Era
Li Zhaoxing, Chinese Foreign Minister
2005/08/24

Under the banner of peace, development and cooperation, China's diplomacy has made bold headway, serving domestic development and contributing to world peace and common development.

1. Peace, development and cooperation is the irresistible trend of the times.

Since entering the 21st century, the world has continued to undergo profound changes. World multipolarization and economic globalization are developing in greater depth amid twists and turns. Science and technology are making rapid progress as human society advances at accelerated pace. New situations and new contradictions keep cropping up without letup. Maintaining world peace and promoting common development remains the mission of all countries in the world.

Thanks to its exploration and practice, the international community has arrived at a deeper understanding that it must secure peace and promote development through cooperation in the interest of progressing times and human advancement and seek mutual benefit and win-win results by earnestly expanding the convergence of interests of all countries.

--We need cooperation to maintain common security. With non-traditional security threats on the rise and intertwined with the traditional ones, security problems of various kinds have become more transnational, interrelated and sudden in occurrence. The security of one nation is closely related with that of the region and of the world as a whole. Only through international cooperation can we effectively address the common security problems facing all countries. The Cold-War mentality, unilateralism and the worship of military might will lead us nowhere.

--We need cooperation to realize common development. The ongoing economic globalization has increased the level of economic interdependence on the one hand, and aggravated the unevenness of development on the other, reducing some countries to a precarious position of being marginalized. A globalized economy calls for globalized cooperation. It is only through cooperation can we gradually redress the imbalance in global development, effectively ward off economic and financial risks, and enable countries to seize the opportunities brought by globalization to realize common development.

--We need cooperation to promote inter-civilization harmony and coexistence. The spread of information technology has changed the way people live and work and made relations among countries and civilizations more complicated. Only by respecting, tolerating and learning from one another, and by strengthening mutual communications, dialogue and cooperation, can the civilizations in today's world develop themselves properly while making contributions to the progress of entire mankind.

The multi-field, multi-level and multi-channel cooperation within the international community has become the realistic choice of more and more countries in recent years. The vigorous pursuit of peace, development and cooperation by the people of all countries has formed a tide of history.

2. China's adherence to peace, development and cooperation is determined by the socialist nature of the country and its fundamental task of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way.

In keeping with the spirit of the UN Charter and the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, China has all along stood for the development of diplomatic relations and economic and cultural exchanges with all countries and against aggression, hegemony and power politics. The Chinese people need peace and development more than anything else and hold them the dearest. China is a force for world peace and common development. China's period of strategic opportunities as we talk about is nothing but an international environment and evolutionary process where world peace is maintained and common development promoted. It is only under this strategic premise can we achieve the grand goal of building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way.

Loving peace, honoring promises and living in harmony with all others far and near is an important part of China's cultural heritage. In its foreign relations, the Chinese nation has advocated cordiality, benevolence, good-neighborliness and universal harmony. Believing in harmony without uniformity, China's diplomacy has drawn from its 5000-year-old culture inexhaustible wisdom. Engraved on the walls of the UN Headquarters in New York is the teaching of Confucius over 2000 years ago, often referred to as the Golden Rule guiding state-to-state relations. It reads, "Do not do unto others what you would not want done unto you." China will surely make new contributions to human progress with its development.

China's peaceful development is a path of developing itself while maintaining world peace and promoting world peace with its own development. It is a path of coordinating domestic development with opening-up to the outside world, a path that features both the participation in peaceful international competition and extensive cooperation with other countries. By opting for such a path of development, China has committed itself to equality, friendship, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation with all countries in the world in keeping with the tide of history, and to self-reliance, reform, innovation and scientific approach to development while transcending the traditional models, so as to achieve a comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable development and build a harmonious socialist society.

3. The thesis of peace, development and cooperation is an enrichment and development of China's independent foreign policy of peace.

The Chinese Government unswervingly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. It maintains that all countries, big or small, rich or poor, strong or weak, should be equals that live together in friendship, and that all countries should strengthen and expand their economic, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges and cooperation on the basis of mutual benefit, so as to promote common development. This stand of China serves the fundamental interests of the Chinese people and the people in the rest of the world, winning wide acclaim and appreciation.

In the 21st century, while sticking to its foreign policy objectives of world peace and common development, China has put forward some new thinking and new propositions in diplomatic practice, thus enriching and developing its independent foreign policy of peace.

Actively advocating the new order that is fair and rational. China stands for stronger multilateralism, greater democracy and rule of law in international relations, and the establishment of a fair and rational international order. The United Nations, as the core of international multilateral framework and the key forum of multilateralism, should undergo reforms as may be necessary and reasonable, giving, in particular, scope to the rational demands and concerns of developing countries to the biggest extent possible.

Earnestly implementing the new approach to development centered on equality and mutual benefit. China believes that all countries should aim to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results in their pursuit of development. They are encouraged to be open rather than closed to each other, to compete fairly rather than undercut the partners, and to complement each other with respective strength rather than shift one's trouble onto others. The international community should step up coordination to move economic globalization in a direction that favors common prosperity. The developing countries should be helped to participate on an equal footing in international economic affairs. Efforts should be made to establish an open and fair trading regime and improve through reforms the international financial system. Economic and trade frictions should be properly settled through dialogue, and resort to unilateral sanctions and retaliations at every turn should be opposed.

Promoting the new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation. China stands for mutual trust among countries on the issue of security and their mutually beneficial cooperation in maintaining regional and international security. Committing itself to settling disputes through negotiation and securing stability through cooperation, China supports security dialogue, regional security cooperation mechanisms and stronger multilateral security cooperation, as a way to address security threats and challenges facing all countries. China is opposed to terrorism in all forms and manifestations, and stands for closer international cooperation to fight terrorism and eliminate its root causes.

Advocating a new concept of civilizations that features respect for diversity. In China's views, the world's diverse civilizations are the shared heritage of humanity and an invaluable source of prosperity. They should be properly protected. The right to independently choose the path of development in light of its national conditions is an inalienable right of every people, which must be fully respected. All countries should draw upon each other's strength in the "inter-civilization dialogue" and build a harmonious world together on the basis of equality.

The above propositions of the Chinese Government show a rich Chinese characteristic and a distinct feature of the current times. They also reflect the widespread trend in world development and human progress. They will surely have a positive impact on the healthy development of international relations.

4. China's diplomacy continues to make fresh progress under the banner of peace, development and cooperation.

Dedicated to promoting peace, stability and prosperity in Asia. Committed to building good neighborly relationships and partnerships and implementing the policy of creating an amicable, secure and prosperous neighborhood, China has played an important role in maintaining regional peace and promoting common development in Asia. China has proved itself to be a good neighbor, good friend and good partner of the surrounding countries.

During the 1997 Asian financial crisis, China kept its currency stable for the common good of Asian countries and provided assistance to the best of its ability to the affected countries, thus playing a vital role in overcoming the crisis.

In the wake of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, the Chinese Government and people responded swiftly in expressing sympathy with the governments and people of the afflicted countries and providing the largest-ever foreign relief program since the founding of New China.

With respect to the Korean nuclear issue, China has acted in the overall interests and worked tirelessly in putting together first the Three-Party Talks and then Six-Party Talks, thus keeping tension in the Peninsula from escalating and contributing constructively to peace and stability in Northeast Asia.

China is an active participant in and staunch supporter for the regional cooperation in Asia. It plays a positive role in such Asia-based mechanisms as ASEAN+China, ASEAN+China, Japan and ROK, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, ASEAN Regional Forum, and Asian Cooperation Dialogue. In the course of regional cooperation, China has worked vigorously to promote common development of Asian countries by sticking to the principles of consensus, equality, mutual benefit and gradual progress, and taking into account the interests and concerns of various parties.

China's development has become a significant part of Asian rejuvenation. Since 1996, China has contributed up to 44% of Asian economic growth. In 2004, China's trade with the rest of Asia stood at US$665.03 billion, accounting for 57.6% of the country's total foreign trade. Making the best of China's development by expanding the cooperation with it has become the unanimous choice of other Asian countries.

In the spirit of mutual understanding, mutual accommodation, and fairness, China has completely settled its boundary issue left over from history with Russia and some other countries through consultations and negotiations, and reached agreement with India on the political guiding principles for the settlement of their boundary issue. China has signed with ASEAN the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, and made breakthrough progress in the joint development with the Philippines and Viet Nam in the South China Sea area.

Strengthening solidarity and cooperation with developing countries as the basic point of departure of China's diplomacy. Against the new international backdrop, China has worked hard to promote South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue, exploring new areas and new ways of mutually beneficial cooperation with other developing countries. While continuing to provide assistance within its capacity to developing countries with a view to helping them overcome difficulties and build capacity for self-development. China has provided tariff breaks to the least developed countries in Asia and Africa, and cancelled the debt owed by 38 developing countries there in the amount of RMB13.778 billion. To strengthen dialogue and cooperation with the groups of developing countries, China has facilitated the launch of the China-Africa and China-Arab cooperation forums.

Ensuring stability and expansion in the relations with developed countries in the interest of greater strategic stability in the world. China has established partnerships of various forms with the world's major countries, while striving to expand common ground with them, properly handling differences and working together to safeguard and promote world peace and prosperity.

China-US relations have, on the whole, maintained stability and growth. Dialogues and exchanges at the various levels have improved mutual understanding and mutual trust. The two countries have strengthened dialogue and cooperation in the economic, scientific, technological, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, regional security and other fields, which serves not only the fundamental interests of the two countries but also peace and stability in the world.

The strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia continues to deepen, as the leaders of the two countries have kept up close exchanges in mutual trust and mutual respect. Bilateral cooperation in the political, economic, military, energy and other areas has grown steadily. The two countries have worked in close coordination and cooperation on regional and international concerns, promoting in a concerted effort multilateralism and greater democracy in international relations.

The overall strategic partnership between China and Europe has become richer in substance. China maintains close high-level contacts with the EU and its member states. In 2004, China emerged as the EU's largest trading partner and EU China's second largest. Bilateral exchanges and cooperation in culture, science, technology, education and the environment are thriving.

As neighbors separated only by a strip of water, China and Japan have enjoyed close economic cooperation and frequent personnel exchanges. China attaches importance to China-Japan relations. In the face of the complex political relations in recent years, China maintains that the two sides, the leaders of the two countries in particular, should act in the strategic and long-term interests, strictly abide by the principles enshrined in the three bilateral political documents and, following the principle of "taking history as a guide and looking to the future", step up exchanges and cooperation and create conditions for steady and sound development of bilateral relations by removing obstacles.

Vigorously conducting multilateral diplomacy for closer international cooperation. China has taken an active part in the work of the United Nations, upholding the authority and role of the world body and its Security Council, and conducting extensive international cooperation in such fields as counter-terrorism, arms control, peacekeeping, development, human rights, law-enforcement, and the environment. In the past 15 years, China has sent a total of over 3,000 non-combatant troops, police force and civil officers on 15 UN peacekeeping missions. China has acted in a principled manner and played a constructive role on the questions of Iraq and Darfur in Sudan. As a participant of APEC, ASEM and other mechanisms, China has made its own contribution to the related regional and inter-regional cooperation.

China's development cannot materialize without the world. And a stable and prosperous world also needs China. So long as we hold high the banner of peace, development and cooperation, and hold on to the path of peaceful development, we will surely make new contributions to world peace and development.
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