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Statement by H.E. Jiang Zemin, President of the People's Republic of China, at the Millenium Summit of the United Nations

2000/09/06

Mr. President,

In the outgoing millenium and the 20th century, mankind has undergone calamities and holocausts and carried out great struggles and creative undertakings. In the 21st century and the new millenium, mankind will inevitably come across unexpected tests and challenges, and will surely realize new and earthshaking historical changes and a great leap forward.

The Cold War is over. The international situation is on the whole moving towards relaxation. The trends towards multi-polarization and economic globalization are gaining momentum. Science and technology are advancing by leaps and bounds. All this offers mankind a rare opportunity for development. The pursuit of peace and development is the theme of our times and represents the common aspirations of the people throughout the world. But the unfair and irrational old international political and economic order has yet to be replaced. There is a still long way to go before the two strategic issues of peace and development are resolved and a fair and equitable new international political and economic order is established.

The people of many countries are still suffering from the scourge of wars and turmoil. Hegemonism and power politics still exist. Local conflicts keep cropping up. Separatist, terrorist and extremist forces of various kinds are bringing incessant damages to the international community. Environment, drugs, refugees and other global issues are more acutely felt. Many developing countries are still confronted with many difficulties in their economic development. The gap between the North and the South and the gulf between the rich and the poor are widening. Not all countries have become beneficiaries of the progress of modern science and technology and economic globalization. The imbalance in world development is worsening. The planet where we live is still far from stable and tranquil.

Both history and the realities tell us that countries would not be able to live in harmony unless they follow the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and strictly comply with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. To build a common security for all is the prerequisite to the prevention of conflicts and wars. The Cold War mentality must be abandoned once and for all, and a new security concept based on mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation should be established. All international disputes and regional conflicts should be resolved through peaceful means. To promote a multi-polar international configuration is required by the progress of our times and is in the interests of the people of all countries. It will also contribute to world peace and security.

In order to support and promote the development of the developing countries and to alleviate and eradicate poverty, it is essential to fully respect the right of the people of all countries to choose their own social systems and development paths independently. North-South dialogue should be enhanced on the basis of equality while South-South cooperation should also be conducted extensively. The international community should help developing countries to foster and strengthen their capacity of self-development, attach great importance to this and provide them with more help and assistance in terms of technologies, financial and human resources and managerial expertise. The debts of the developing countries should be reduced or exempted and official aid to them should be increased without any conditions attached so that developing countries may share the fruits of economic globalization and scientific and technological advancement along with developed countries.

The principle of democracy must be advocated and implemented in handling world affairs, both to maintain world peace and to promote common development. All countries are equal members of the international community and have the right to take part in and handle world affairs. Ours is a world of diversity. Each and every country and nation has made its own contribution to the advance of human civilization. We should promote the exchanges between different civilizations in a spirit of equality and democracy and encourage them to learn from one another in order to attain common progress. Today the world's destiny should be in the hands of the people of all countries.

In the new century, the United Nations will shoulder a more arduous task. It should be a place where all its member states address international affairs through consultations and democratic means. No country or bloc of countries should adopt a "use it when it is needed and abandon it when it is not" approach to the United Nations. The UN and its Security Council should go along with the trend of history and introduce reforms as necessary and appropriate under the principle of equitable geographical distribution, so as to give expression to the will of all its member states, particularly the developing countries. China has always observed the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and supported the United Nations in playing its important role in safeguarding world peace and international security and addressing global issues. China will, as always, fulfill its duties and obligations.

Chinese civilization is one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. It has added to the splendors of human civilization. China's development is a contribution to world peace and development. The Chinese people love peace and work unswervingly to safeguard world peace and stability. China will never seek hegemony. This is a solemn commitment of the Chinese people to the world.

I am convinced that in spite of the difficulties and twists and turns that might occur in course of the evolution of the world situation and the development of the human society, the world of ours will eventually attain a civilization of a higher level and make progress in all areas. It is my hope that all peace-loving and progress-longing countries and people will work hand in hand and push the wheel of history toward a bright future.

Thank you.

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