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Statement by Ambassador Liu Jieyi at the Security Council Open Debate on War, Its Lessons, and the Search for a Permanent Peace


Mr. President,

The Chinese delegation welcomes the initiative by Jordan to hold this open debate, and I thank Under-Secretary-General Feltman for his briefing.

In humankind’s long history over the past several thousand years, wars and conflicts have brought about devastation and claimed countless lives. They have caused the extinction of many civilizations and prevented humankind’s progress and development. The prevention of war and the pursuit of lasting peace and development have been the common aspiration of all. The two world wars that took place over the short span of 30 years in the twentieth century wreaked unprecedented havoc on the peoples of the world. They also left us many fundamental and important lessons.

First, lasing peace calls for a new security concept characterized by confidence, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation. Faced with complicated and diverse security threats and challenges, we must change the traditional security concepts, respect and take into account the legitimate security concerns of all countries and advocate a new security concept for all based on cooperation. All countries, large or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, should become defenders and promoters of peace. We must seek to resolve differences through dialogue, enhance confidence through cooperation and achieve general security through mutual benefits and win-win results.

Secondly, lasting peace calls for the resolution of disputes by peaceful means. In this age of globalization, where the interests of States are intertwined and our fates are interdependent, peace has become our shared aspiration, and war will never enjoy any support. History has proved repeatedly that the resolution of disputes through dialogue, consultations and negotiation is the only effective way to achieve lasting peace. The international community should step up efforts to promote the peaceful resolution of differences and disputes among the parties to conflicts, prevent conflicts, stop conflicts from escalating and nip war in the bud.

Thirdly, lasting peace calls for multilateralism and the strengthening of the collective security machinery, with the Security Council at its core. The United Nations plays an irreplaceable role in international cooperation aimed at safeguarding the world’s security. Its role should be enhanced rather than weakened. All States should effectively abide by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, which have become the accepted basic norms in international relations. The Security Council should, in accordance with the sacred mandate entrusted to it by the Charter, further enhance its authority and effectiveness, assume greater responsibilities in maintaining international peace and security and play a greater role in the prevention of war and the maintenance of peace.

Fourthly, lasting peace calls for a new concept of development that promotes mutual benefits and win-win results. The efforts by all countries to achieve mutually beneficial cooperation and common development constitute important bases for maintaining international peace and security. Against the backdrop of globalization, countries cannot be separated from each other, and together they form a community of common destiny. In seeking their own development, countries should try to accommodate the legitimate concerns of others and seek more common denominators in their interests, with a view to bringing about optimal development that benefits all countries. We should seek, through our common development, to eradicate the breeding grounds for conflicts and attack the threats to global security at their source, so as to lay a solid foundation for durable peace and security and a harmonious world in which all enjoy prosperity.

It is nearly 70 years since the end of the Second World War. The reflection on that unprecedented tragedy is far from over. Past experience can serve as teacher. We are here today to draw lessons from history so that we will cherish peace even more. Only by facing up to history squarely and through deep reflection on and the memory of those lessons can we truly heal the wounds of war and achieve lasting peace. Attempts to disregard the truth of history or even to change history, to deny or conceal crimes of aggression and to reverse the verdict on the war of aggression not only destabilize regional peace but also pose serious challenges to the cause of peace of humanity. The international community should be highly vigilant in that regard.

In defiance of the strong opposition of the international community and neighbouring States, the Japanese Prime Minister, Mr. Abe, recently visited the Yasukuni Shrine, which honours many Class A and other war criminals, in order to pay tribute to those who launched the war of aggression and were soaked in the blood of the people of the countries that Japan invaded. The Yasukuni Shrine is a particular tool and symbol of Japanese military aggression. The fact that to this very day the war criminals convicted by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East are still regarded as deities, the distortion of the history of aggression, the promotion of an erroneous perspective of history in an attempt to reverse the verdict on the war of aggression and responsibility for it and Mr. Abe’s tribute to those Fascist war criminals are nothing less than a challenge to the victory against Fascism and to the post-war international order established on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations.

Such acts would naturally be strongly opposed and condemned by the Chinese people and Government, as well as the international community. The Charter of the United Nations clearly stipulates that members of the United Nations should be peace-loving countries that accept the provisions of the Charter. Mr. Abe is trying to reverse the verdict on the Second World War and to defend war criminals. That will never be accepted by people who have a conscience or by countries that uphold justice. Whether the Japanese leaders choose to abide by the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations by accepting the victory in the war against Facism and the post-war international order or to support the war criminals is a fundamental question of principle. The Japanese leaders should recognize and reflect on the history of aggression and redress their mistakes through actions so as to regain the trust of the international community, including Japan’s neighbouring States.

No one can defy the current trend of history. Any act that refuses to reflect on the history of aggression, negates the victory of the people of the world against Fascism and challenges the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations will be in vain and will be rejected by history.

China is willing to work with all peace-loving countries in the world in order to uphold humanity’s conscience, the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and international justice and to drive the world towards common security and lasting peace.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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