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Peace, Development and Cooperation-Statement of Li ZhaoXing at the General Debate of the 59th Session of the UN General Assembly
(27 September 2004)

2004/09/27




Mr. President,

I would like to offer my warm congratulations on your election as the President of the 59th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I am sure that under your presidency, the current session will achieve fruitful results. I also wish to pay cordial tribute to H.E. Julian Robert Hunte, President of the 58th Session of the UN General Assembly, and Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

The appalling terror in Beslan, Russia not long ago caused massive casualties, many of whom are children. On behalf of the Chinese Government, I strongly condemn, once again, this inhuman act of terrorist violence and extend deep condolences to the victims.

Mr. President,

In today's world, peace and development remain the dominant theme of the times. Multi-polarization and economic globalization are moving forward in twists and turns. Science and technology are advancing at dizzying speed. Forces that make for peace and factors that contain war are both on the rise. Human society is moving in a bright, progressive and positive direction.

However, the light of peace has not fallen on every corner of the globe, nor has development embraced every inch of the earth. Threats to security, both traditional and non-traditional, are intertwined. The dark cloud of war remains menacing. Hotspot issues keep cropping up. Terrorist activities are raging, and such cross-boundary problems as proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking, transnational crimes and illegal immigration are erupting one after another. Uncertain, unstable and unpredictable factors are increasing.

In the course of economic globalization, the gap between the North and the South is widening. Developing countries are confronting new difficulties and challenges as a growing number of them are being further marginalized. Today, half of the global population live on less than 2 US dollars a day, and 1.2 billion of them live on less than 1 US dollar a day. Much remains to be done in the implementation of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Mr. President,

Peace, development and cooperation are the prerequisites for our times. People all over the world are raising their voice in favor of peace, development and cooperation and against war, poverty and confrontation.

Peace is the precondition for human development and prosperity. Without a peaceful and stable international environment, development is out of the question for any country. A chaotic world benefits no one. Having experienced the scourge of two world wars, mankind would not tolerate any more war or bloodshed. Thus it is the fervent aspiration of all peoples to live and develop in a secure and stable environment.

In tackling security issues, it is imperative to foster a new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation. This new concept calls for nations to transcend their differences in ideology and social system, respect each other's security interests, promote greater democracy in international relations and seek peaceful solutions to disputes through dialogue.

Terrorism is the common enemy of the whole world. China stands firmly opposed to terrorism, in all forms and manifestations. To forestall and fight terrorism, we must intensify international cooperation and address both the causes and symptoms of the threat. Only when the root cause of terrorism is eradicated can the peoples live in peace and tranquility again.

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction poses a threat to world peace and security. Non-proliferation efforts, therefore, require participation of all members of the international community. It is likewise important to discard unilateralism and double standards and give full credit and full play to the role of the UN.

China takes an active part in multilateral non-proliferation efforts and firmly defends the international regime of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation treaties. China holds that multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation processes be steadily promoted so as to further improve the international non-proliferation regime.

There is still a long way to go before peace and reconstruction can be realized in Iraq. We support an important role of the UN in Iraq's political process, helping that country with a smooth conduct of the elections.

We appeal to Palestine and Israel to resume dialogue as soon as possible and to start implementing the Middle East Roadmap plan faithfully.

China will, as always, work to resolve the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula through dialogue and talks in the interest of peace and stability on the Peninsula.

Development is the foundation for human progress. Lasting peace and stability throughout the world hinges on coordinated, balanced and universal development. Development is of overriding importance. Living in peace, plenty and harmony among all nations has been the dream of many generations. A coordinated, balanced and sustainable development serves the fundamental interests of all peoples and works for their well-being.

In order to promote economic growth worldwide, it is necessary for the international community to take effective measures to put in place an open and fair multilateral trading regime, and gradually improve it. It is also important to reform and improve the international financial system.

The developed countries must honor their commitments to debt reduction, technology transfer and market access with concrete actions so as to enable developing countries to really benefit from globalization.

The developing countries, on their part, need to work together to attain development and take part in a wide range of international endeavour. They should also deepen South-South cooperation.

We, members of the international community, should join hands in working toward a just and equitable new international economic order that meets the need of growing economic globalization and serves the common interests of all countries.

The Millennium Development Goals are our collective solemn pledges. The UN should further mobilize resources, strengthen coordination and increase input in the development field so as to help Member States achieve these important goals as scheduled.

Cooperation is an effective way to cope with common challenges facing mankind. To strengthen international cooperation, we must champion multilateralism. The UN is the centre of international multilateral mechanisms and the key platform for making multilateralism work. It is the widespread call of the international community to adhere to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, take more collective actions, strengthen the role of the UN and safeguard its authority. The threats and challenges we face make it imperative to strengthen, rather than weaken, the role of the UN. A stronger UN is indispensable for maintaining global peace and stability and promoting the common development of mankind. All Member States should honor their commitments to the UN Charter and fulfill their international responsibilities and obligations.

The world is eagerly looking forward to a dynamic and action-oriented UN. China supports necessary and rational reforms of the Organization. Such reforms should aim at enhancing the UN's leading role in international affairs, reinforcing its capacity to tackle new threats and challenges, and making it better reflect the aspiration and needs of the vast majority of developing countries. China is in favor of expanding the Security Council and giving priority to greater representation of the developing countries. China also supports the work of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change and is looking forward to the panel's report by the end of this year to be reviewed by Member States.

Mr. President,

China is a staunch force working for world peace, common development and international cooperation.

After over half a century of strenuous efforts, more than two decades of reform and opening-up in particular, China has now entered a new stage of development aimed at building a moderately prosperous society in an all-round way. However, China is still a developing country, large population and inadequate economic development remain its basic national conditions. It has a long way to go before achieving its development goals.

----The Chinese Government will always take development as its top agenda item. The fact that China, a big developing country with 1.3 billion people, runs its own affairs well, is in itself a major contribution to peace and development of humanity.

----China stands for peace, development and cooperation, and strives to win peace and development through cooperation. It works to promote democracy in international relations, diversity in mode of development and richness in world's civilizations. It advocates a new security concept and facilitates the establishment of a fair and equitable new international order.

----China will firmly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace, adhere to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and engage in mutually beneficial and friendly cooperation with the other countries on an equal footing.

----China will unswervingly safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity, brook no interference in its internal affairs by foreign forces and, at the same time, respect other countries' sovereignty and territorial integrity.

----China remains committed to the common interests of mankind. China's national interest, in the final analysis, is consistent with the common interests of mankind. In handling state-to-state relations, China will safeguard its own interests while taking into account the interests of the other country.

----China will stick to the policy of opening-up and develop economic relations and trade with all other nations on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

----China's development does not stand in the way of any one. Nor does it pose any threat to others. China follows a path of peaceful development, seeking an international environment of peace and stability for its own development and promoting world peace and progress by its prosperity.

China works for a steady development of its relations with the world's major countries. It will stay committed to the policy of building friendship and partnership with its neighbors and combine better bilateral friendship with enhanced regional cooperation. It will strengthen solidarity and cooperation with the other developing countries and support their justified demands and legitimate propositions in international affairs. It will play a constructive role in the political, economic, social, disarmament, arms control and other multilateral fields, safeguard the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the universally recognized norms governing international relations and support consensus that serves the common interest of all countries.

Mr. President,

Taiwan is an inalienable part of the Chinese territory. Safeguarding China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and realizing complete national reunification at an earlier date is the common will and firm resolve of the 1.3 billion Chinese people. Pursuing the policy of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems", the Chinese Government is ready to work towards a peaceful reunification with utmost sincerity and efforts. We, more than anybody else, want to see a peaceful settlement of the Taiwan question. But we will never tolerate Taiwan independence, nor will we allow anyone to separate Taiwan from the rest of China in whatever way.

We hope that the international community will fully recognize the complex and sensitive nature of the current situation across the Taiwan Strait and the serious threat posed by the separatist activities of the Taiwan authorities to the stability of Taiwan Strait and the peace of Asia-Pacific region. We expect you to continue supporting the Chinese Government's efforts for peaceful reunification and join us in containing the pro-independence activities in the interest of stability in the Strait and world peace.

Mr. President,

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. As the basic guidance for state-to-state relations, the Five Principles have withstood the test of half a century and remained an irrefutable truth.

These Five Principles, which embody peace, development and cooperation, are consistent with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. They provide the right guidance for the establishment and development of relations between countries with same or different social systems, point to the correct path toward peaceful settlement of left-over issues between countries and international disputes, firmly defend the interests of the developing countries and facilitate the improvement and growth of North-South relations. The Five Principles present some important ideas underpinning the establishment of a fair and equitable new international order.

China not only initiated, but has faithfully observed, the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. Given the new situation, we will continue to champion these Principles and join all the people in the world in advancing the lofty cause of peace, development and cooperation.

Thank you!

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