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Remarks by Ambassador Liu Jieyi at the Opening of the Exhibition on the Maritime Silk Road

2014/12/15

                                                    

                                                                            (photo:niuxiaolei xinhua newsagency)

Mr. Maher Nasser,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Good evening. Thank you for joining us in the Photo Exhibition on the Maritime Silk Road.

Over two thousand years ago, our forefathers on the Eurasian continent, with outstanding diligence and courage, opened up several trade passages linking civilizations in Asia, Europe and Africa. These ancient thoroughfares had fostered close political, economic, trade and cultural interactions between China and the rest of the world. Among them was the Maritime Silk Road which wound its way from East Asia to East Africa and to Europe via the Red Sea, stringing up numerous ports along the way. Today's exhibition brings back those old memories--- camel bells braving the deserts; vessels lining up the ports; envoys exchanging pleasantry; and foreign merchants rubbing shoulders on the streets. What we are celebrating here is a brilliant chapter of human history co-authored by peoples of countries across continents.

Please allow me to fast-forward to today. Last autumn, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward two major initiatives to revive the ancient wisdom embodies in the passages, namely to build a Silk Road Economic Belt and to develop a 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, or the Belt and the Road in short. The two new initiatives are passages to mutual interests and win-win cooperation. They represent China's firm commitment to the rejuvenation of Asia and to harmony and development in the world. The Belt and the Road are all about economic cooperation, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and the philosophy of openness and inclusiveness. They entail policy coordination, transport connectivity, trade facilitation, monetary cooperation, and cultural exchanges, which will bring tangible benefit to the people of all countries. The Belt and the Road are getting off the ground, with the inception of a Silk Road Fund recently announced by the Chinese Government and the signing of an MOU on establishing the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank by over 20 countries in Asia. Going forward, China will work with all countries concerned to jointly build and share the benefit of the Belt and the Road. This joint effort will give Asia and others two new powerful engines for growth and prosperity.

Last month, China held a high level conference on foreign policy. Asked by my colleagues about the meeting several times, I wish to take this opportunity to give you a briefing. At the meeting, President Xi Jinping outlined the vision and principles for China's diplomacy in the new era. He pointed out that China is at a crucial stage for the grand renewal of the Chinese nation and must pursue a distinctive diplomacy befitting its role in the world.

He stressed that China's diplomacy should bear distinct Chinese characteristics, which include unwavering commitment to the leadership of the Communist Party of China, socialism with Chinese characteristics and China's peaceful development path, social system, cultural traditions and values. China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace, stays committed to the path to peaceful development, and never relinquishes its legitimate rights and interests, or allows it's core interests to be undermined.

President Xi also emphasized that China's diplomacy should befit its role on the world stage.

l China stands for democracy, fairness and justice in international relations. China believes that all countries, regardless of their size, strength and level of development, are equal members of the international community and the destiny of the world should be collectively decided by people of all countries. China is always ready to speak up for developing countries.

l China promotes win-win cooperation as the core of a new type of international relations. We are committed to the win-win strategy of opening-up and take a win-win approach in every aspect of our political, economic, security and cultural relations with other countries.

l China attaches importance to both morality and interests. We act in good faith, value friendship, champion justice and uphold moral principles in international affairs.

l China firmly upholds the principle of non-interference in others' internal affairs. We respect the independent choice of development path and social system by people of other countries. We promote peaceful settlement of differences and disputes between countries through dialogue and consultations. We oppose the willful use or threat of force in International relations.

This was a quick recap of the gist of the meeting. You will find more expression of these principles in China's future diplomatic activities, including our endeavor to develop the Silk Road Economic Belt and the new Maritime Silk Road.

History is a mirror. The photo exhibition today will showcase how the Chinese nation interacted peacefully with other nations in the past, and how the philosophy of peace and common prosperity has underpinned and will continue to guide China's present-day diplomacy.

In closing, I wish the exhibition success and wish you all a wonderful evening.

Thank you.

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