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China's Independent Foreign Policy of Peace


China unswervingly pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. The fundamental goal of this policy is to defend China's independence, state sovereignty and territorial integrity, to create a favorable international environment for the reform and opening to the outside world and for the modernization drive, to maintain world peace and promote common development. The main contents are as follows:

(1) China consistently persists in the principle of independence and taking the initiatives in its own hands. In international affairs, it will determine its position and policy by proceeding from the fundamental interests of the people of China and other countries and judging each case on its own merits. It will never yield to any big power or group of countries. It will never establish military bloc, join in the arms race or seek military expansion.

(2) China opposes hegemonism and safeguard world peace. It holds that all countries are equal members of the international community whether they are big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor. All countries should settle their disputes and conflicts through peaceful consultations instead of resorting to force or the threat of force. No country should interfere in the internal affairs of another country under any pretext, still less bully the weak, invade or subvert other countries. China will not impose its social system and ideology upon others, nor will it allow other countries to force theirs upon it.

(3) China actively promotes the establishment of a just and rational new international political and economic order. After the end of the Cold War, the world political and economic situation has undergone great and profound changes. To establish an international new order which concurs with the development of the times and which accords with the needs of the common development of mankind is an aspiration shared by the international community and the people of the world. China advocates that such international new order should be based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence and other universally acknowledged norms of international relations.

(4) China respects the diversity of the world. There are nearly 200 countries in the world with a population of more than 5 billion. There should not and cannot be only one mode of development, one concept of values and only one type of social system in the world due to differences in historical conditions, social systems, development levels, cultural traditions and concepts of values. China holds that the diversity of the world should not be an obstacle to the development of relations between various countries but should serve as an impetus to mutual exchanges, mutual complement and mutual enrichment. All countries are entitled to choose the social system, development strategies and lifestyle that suit their own conditions. Each country's affairs should be decided upon by its own people and global issues should be dealt with through consultations by all countries.

(5) China would like to establish and develop relations of friendship and cooperation with all the countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence namely, mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

To actively develop good-neighborly relations with the surrounding countries is an important component of China's foreign policy. China has set up or resumed normal relations with all the surrounding countries and settled the questions left over by history with the overwhelming majority of the neighboring countries.

To strengthen our solidarity and cooperation with the developing countries is the basic standpoint of China's foreign policy. China shares common historical experiences with the developing countries and is confronted with the same goal of safeguarding national independence and developing the economy. So the basis for cooperation is solid and the prospect is bright.

China attaches great importance to improving and developing relations with the developed countries. It stands for transcending differences in social systems and ideology in handing state to state relations. Mutual respect, seek common ground while putting aside differences and expand mutually beneficial cooperation. As regards the divergences between states, it should be settled properly on the basis of equality and mutual respect through dialogue rather than confrontation.

(6) China carries out an all-dimensional opening up policy. It is willing to conduct trade, economic and technical cooperation, scientific and cultural exchanges with all countries of the world on the basis of the principle of equality and mutual benefit to promote common prosperity.

Up to 1998, foreign invested enterprises in China have reached 324,712. The total contractual foreign capital is 572.52 billion US dollars. The actual utilized foreign capital is 267.45 billion US dollars. In 1998, the total volume of Chinese import and export trade is 323.93 billion US dollars, ranking 11th in the world.

China has made a lot of effort to join the World Trade Organization in the past 13 years. China has participated in all the Uruguay Round of Negotiations and signed the final package agreement. China would like to join the WTO as early as possible. The principle it adheres to is that China is ready to undertake the obligations as a developing country and at the same time enjoy the rights it deserves. The world economy is an integrated entity mutually related and inter-dependent. Economic globalization presents opportunities for economic development of all countries and tremendous risk as well. To maintain financial stability, to take precautions against financial crisis and to ensure economic security are identical challenges facing all governments.

(7) China takes an active part in multilateral diplomatic activities. It is a staunch force safeguarding world peace and stability.

Regarding arms control and disarmament, China has always stood for the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. As early as the 1960s, China undertook not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, not to be the first to use nuclear weapons, not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapons states or nuclear-weapon-free zone. China has signed the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. After unilaterally cutting its forces by one million in the 1980s, China again cut its forces by 0.5 million in three years beginning from 1997. This is a major step in international disarmament which attracts great attention and a significant contribution by China in safeguarding world peace and regional stability.

The Chinese government has all along attaches importance to human rights and has made unremitting efforts to this end. China has acceded to 17 international human rights conventions. In 1997, China signed the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In October 1998, it signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Together with the international community, China stands ready to strengthen our cooperation in tackling with the global issues confronting human development such as environment deterioration, depletion of natural resources, poverty and unemployment, population growth, spread of diseases, drug abuses and rampancy of international crimes

At the turn of the century, the world is filled with hope. But it is also faced with critical challenges. To seek peace and cooperation and to promote development are the common aspiration of the people of the world. As it did so in the past, China will pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, develop and enhance its relations of friendship and cooperation with all countries and make its due contributions to safeguarding world peace and promoting the common development of mankind.
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