by H.E. Xi Jinping, the President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC)
March 14, 2013 (TSR) – Today, the world is in a period of major development, change and readjustment. The international situation is experiencing very deep and complex changes. The trend towards a multi-polar world and economic globalization are gaining momentum. Scientific and technological revolutions hold the promise for new breakthroughs. Information is exerting greater influence on the society. Members of international community are more inter-connected and inter-dependant. Emerging market economies and developing countries continue to grow in strength. All of this has changed the international landscape profoundly and exerted far-reaching impact on the development of all countries and international relations.
Despite new developments in the current international situation, peace and development remain the main trend of our times. This is reflected in the following aspects. The exchange, dialogue and cooperation among countries are deepening. Peace, development and cooperation represent the common aspirations of people in all countries. On the other hand, the international community is also facing increasingly complex and diverse security challenges. Regional hotspot issues keep cropping up. Terrorism is rampant. Non-proliferation still faces grave challenges. The underlying impact of the international financial crisis continues to be felt. To maintain world peace and promote common security remains an arduous task.
It is important to recognize that in today’s world, the interests of countries of different systems, types and development stages are intertwined. Their inter-dependence is growing. Countries have shared interests and common stake in security. Under such new circumstances, security goes far beyond the security based on confrontation and balance of power during the Cold War, military security in the traditional sense, or security of just one country or one region. In face of complex and diverse security challenges, no country can stay immune or achieve the so-called absolute security on its own. A country which pursues its own development, security and well-being must also let other countries pursue their development, security and well-being. All countries must take a cooperative approach with an innovative spirit and responsible attitude, stand together and seek win-win cooperation to resolve various problems and challenges, and foster a harmonious and stable international and regional security environment.
To this end, we need to be committed to the following ideas and principles.
First, we must seek security on the basis of development. Economic development and prosperity provides a strong guarantee for security. Many of the world’s conflicts and chaos are closely related to the issue of development. Development is what matters most. Only when all countries develop, can we better maintain world peace and stability. With the lingering impact of the international financial crisis, the issue of economic and financial security becomes more acute. All countries are facing the pressing task of economic development and improvement of people’s lives. We need to continue to give serious attention to and well address the major issue of achieving all-round, balanced and sustainable development, make continued efforts to grow ourselves, actively support the progress of developing countries, endeavor to narrow the growth gap between the North and the South and achieve common development and prosperity.
Second, we must seek security on the basis of equality. Treating each other as equals is essential for maintaining security. Countries, rich or poor, strong or weak, are equal members of the international community. The rich and the strong bullying the poor and the weak can only lead to endless cycle of hatred and revenge. Only by respecting each other and treating each other as equals can countries live in harmony and contentment. It is important to respect all countries’ sovereignty, territorial integrity and national dignity, their people’s independent choice of social system and path of development, as well as their legitimate security concerns. At any time and under any circumstances, countries should adhere to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, refrain from interfering in other’s internal affairs and imposing their own will on others, and bring about security for all through dialogue on an equal footing and mutually beneficial cooperation.
Third, we must seek security on the basis of mutual trust. Increasing mutual trust is indispensable for maintaining security. A person without credibility cannot stand. Mutual trust, not mutual suspicion and mutual respect, not mutual confrontation, are what countries need to transcend differences, manage crisis, understand each other, seek common ground and resolve divergence, and live together in peace and harmony. As countries are different in history, culture, social system and development stage, it is natural for them to have differences and disputes. Therefore, we should make continuous efforts to increase strategic and political mutual trust among countries, properly handle differences and sensitive issues, respect core and vital interests of other countries, expand strategic consensus and consolidate the foundation for the maintenance of security.
Fourth, we must seek security on the basis of cooperation. Dialogue and cooperation is fundamental to maintaining security. Today, traditional and non-traditional security challenges to human survival and sustainable economic and social development are more pronounced. Only through candid and in-depth dialogue and consultation and comprehensive and sustained exchanges and cooperation can countries effectively respond to these challenges. Countries should seek peaceful solutions to international disputes and oppose the use or threat of force. Countries should abandon the zero-sum mentality, the notion that one’s rise means the others’ fall. They should always work for peace, security and settlement of disputes through cooperation, expand converging interests, and commit themselves to win-win and all-win outcome.
Fifth, we must seek security on the basis of innovation. Security issues in today’s world are diverse, easy to spread and have domino effect, and difficult to predict. Security factors, internal and external, domestic and international, traditional and non-traditional, are intertwined. New issues and challenges are emerging one after another. We must abandon those mindset and approach that are rendered obsolete, keep pace with the times, forge ahead with innovation, foster a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, cultivate a new approach of comprehensive security, common security and cooperative security. We must find new answers to old questions and good solutions to new issues to successfully tackle development and security challenges facing mankind.
China is experiencing rapid industrialization and urbanization. China is committed to economic development, world peace and common development of mankind. China pursues peaceful, open, cooperative and win-win development. After the outbreak of the international financial crisis and the European sovereign debt crisis, China has been working with the international community to tide over the difficulties and made important contribution to the stability and recovery of the world economy. On major international and regional hotspot issues, China is committed to promoting peace and encouraging talks and has played a constructive role in this regard. China has taken an active part in peace-keeping missions and is the largest contributor of peace-keepers among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. We have sent a total of 21,000 personnel to 30 peace-keeping missions of the United Nations. China has worked with the international community to actively tackle terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, climate change, food and energy security, major natural disasters and other global challenges. China has acceded to over 100 international inter-governmental organizations and signed over 300 international conventions and covenants. Facts have shown that China has actively participated in and contributed to the building of the international system. The sustained and fast development of China would not have been possible without peace and development of the world. At the same time, China’s development has provided valuable opportunities and broad space for the common development of all countries.
China will stay committed to the path of peaceful development. China pursues its own development by upholding world peace and helps maintain world peace through its own development. It works with the international community to push for the building of a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity. This is a strategic choice that follows the trend of the times and serves China’s fundamental interests. It is also what China needs to achieve sustained development. The Chinese nation values good faith and pursues harmonious relations. China adheres to the foreign policy of peace. Even when China becomes more developed in the future, it will never seek hegemony. China consistently and firmly pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature to firmly safeguard its sovereignty, security and development.
China will stay committed to the building of a new type of relations between major countries. Major country relations are important factors in the evolvement of the international situation. China and the United States are actively exploring a new type of relations between major countries featuring mutual respect and win-win cooperation. This is in the shared interests of China, the United States and the world. It will be a pioneering effort in the history of international relations. China will continue to encourage all major countries to see each other’s strategic intentions objectively and rationally, respect each other’s interests and concerns, and strengthen coordination and cooperation on major international and regional issues, and strive to build a new type of major country relations and international relations in the 21st century.
China will continue to firmly uphold peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region. China has a vast land territory, vast sea area, and many neighboring countries. China has always been committed to building good neighborly relations. China is committed to the principle of building amicable relations and partnerships with neighboring countries, in an effort to foster a regional environment featuring peace and stability, equality and mutual trust, and win-win cooperation. In future, China will continue to deepen bilateral and regional cooperation, vigorously develop friendly relations with neighboring and other countries in the Asia-Pacific, and contribute, through its own development, to the development of its neighbors. At the same time, China will continue to seek appropriate settlement of the differences and frictions with relevant countries and, on the basis of firmly defending national sovereignty, security and territorial integrity, work together with neighboring countries to maintain the stability of their relations and of the region.
China will continue to fulfill its due international responsibilities and obligations. To endeavor to contribute China’s due share to the progress and development of mankind is the long-standing and solemn commitment of the Chinese government. We are of the view that for China, the biggest developing country in the world, the most important way to be responsible to the world is to manage its own affairs well. China will continue to bear in mind the interests of its own people and the common interests of mankind, follow the principle of responsibility consistent with rights, interests and capability, and undertake more international responsibilities within its capability. China will actively participate in the reform of the international system and global governance, with a view to moving towards a more just and equitable international political and economic order. China will continue to play a constructive part in resolving, through political means, major international and regional hotspot issues and the handling of global challenges. We will strive to make fresh and bigger contribution to world peace, security and stability. China will continue to take an active part in the global development undertaking, and work with all countries for the realization of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and global prosperity and progress.
Today’s world is in general peaceful and stable, despite conflicts and turbulence in some regions. There are both opportunities and challenges for development and security. We must meet the challenges together, pursue win-win cooperation and gradually achieve peace and security in the whole world so that all countries will be able to enjoy peace, security,common development and prosperity in the 21st century!
Xi Jinping is the President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as of March 14, 2013. He succeeded Hu Jintao as Party Secretary-General and Chair of the Central Military Commission in November 2012. Xi and his so-called fifth generation of China’s leaders took the reins of power during the 18th Party Congress. He is vice chairman of the PRC Central Military Commission and president of the Central Party School. Born in June 1953, Xi is a male ethnic Han from Fuping, Shaanxi Province. He entered the workforce in January 1969 and joined the Communist Party of China (CPC) in January 1974. He graduated from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Tsinghua University with a major in Marxist theory and ideological and political education, has an in-service postgraduate education and holds the degree of Doctor of Laws. In December 2010 and January 2011, leaked US cables’ most interestingly featured the opinions of an unnamed professor who was a childhood friend of Xi. The professor reportedly said Xi was drawn to Buddhism during his early career, and had a “seeming belief in supernatural forces”. The professor added that Xi was incorruptible by money, did not drink or take drugs and women felt he was “boring”.