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Statement by Ambassador Wang Min at the High-Level Thematic Debate of the 69th GA on Promoting Tolerance and Reconciliation: Fostering Peaceful, Inclusive Societies and Countering Violent Extremism

2015/04/21

Mr. President,

China supports the initiative by President Kutesa of the General Assembly, Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and Mr. Al-Nasser, High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations of convening this high-level thematic debate.

At present, religious intolerance has become a serious problem in our world. There is still market for the so-called “theory of clash of civilizations”, defamation of religions appears from time to time, and violent extremism runs rampant. All these constitute severe challenges to our efforts to build peaceful and inclusive societies and maintain international peace and stability. In this connection, China wishes to make the following observations:

First, we should treat different civilizations, cultures and religions as equals and promote mutual respect among them. China has an old saying to the effect that it is in the nature of things to be different from each other. Varied and rich in content, all civilizations, cultures and religions have contributed to the progress of mankind. They differ only in terms of characteristics, not in terms of quality, and they should be treated on equal basis. This diversity of civilizations, cultures and religions should be cherished; arrogance and prejudice renounced; defamation and smear stopped; and mutual respect and tolerance promoted. We should respect the paths to development freely chosen by countries themselves, respect the national conditions and cultural and historical traditions of various countries, and promote the establishment of a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation as its core.

Secondly, we should work to establish harmonious relations among different civilizations, cultures and religions by promoting dialogue and exchanges among them. Only through exchanges and learning from one another can different civilizations, cultures and religions maintain their vitality. Only through communication and dialogue can different civilizations, cultures and religions dissolve misunderstanding and coexist in harmony. We should use the exchanges among different civilizations, cultures and religions as a bridge for enhancing friendship among countries, an engine for human progress and a force for maintaining world peace. We should seek wisdom from different civilizations, cultures and religions in order to tackle challenges facing mankind, and we must not allow extremists to create violence and conflicts under the pretext of religion.

Thirdly, we should address both the symptoms and the root causes of the problem and curb the dissemination and spread of extremist ideologies. Poverty is one of the important factors for the growth of violent extremism, and the dissemination and spread of extremist ideologies the main reason for the current rampant terrorism and violence. We must take a multi-pronged approach to work vigorously to promote economic development, poverty eradication and improvement of people’s livelihood so as to eliminate the breeding grounds for terrorism. We should take resolute measures to maintain social stability and curb the dissemination and spread of extremist ideologies. Special attention should be paid to ensuring that youth be instilled with moderate and rational ideas and concepts so they won’t be take advantage of by extremist ideologies. Religious leaders should play a positive role in this respect.

Fourthly, we should make concerted efforts to resolutely combat terrorist and extremist forces. Violent extremism and terrorism are our common enemies. The international community should unite and make concerted efforts to firmly combat them. Efforts to counter terrorism and combat violent extremism must not adopt double standards, let alone linking terrorism and extremism with specific ethnic groups or religion. Particular attention should be paid to the use by terrorist and extremist groups of new media to disseminate extremist ideologies and raise funds. The international community should take effective measures to firmly combat the recruitment, incitement and planning by such groups via the internet, and use all necessary means to cut off their source of financing.

Mr. President,

China will continue to staunchly support and actively participate in international efforts to promote the dialogue and cooperation among different civilizations, cultures and religions, and cooperate with all other countries in resolutely combatting terrorism and violent extremism, thus making greater contribution to the promoting of world peace, stability and prosperity.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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