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Statement by Yang Jiechi at the 51st Munich Security Conference

Updated: 2015-02-07 09:44

Foster a Vision of Common, Comprehensive, Cooperative And Sustainable Security to Build a Better World Of Enduring Peace and Common Development

——Statement by H.E. Yang Jiechi State Councilor of the People's Republic of China At the Opening Session of the 51st Munich Security Conference

Respected Ambassador Wolfgang Ischinger,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to attend this year's Munich Security Conference at the invitation of my old friend, Ambassador Ischinger, and exchange views with you on major issues concerning global peace and development. As a platform for security dialogue, the Munich Security Conference is highly influential not only in Europe but also in the world. The views expressed by conference participants over the years have gone a long way towards deepening mutual understanding against the backdrop of evolving regional and international developments.

Back in the 1980s, Mr. Deng Xiaoping stressed the importance for China to pay special attention to Europe when observing international developments. He regarded Europe as a crucial region in promoting peace and preventing war and hoped to see a stronger Europe. Now, nearly 30 years after these remarks were made, great changes have taken place in the world. But as a region that has more developed countries than any other region in the world, Europe still features prominently in the global strategic landscape. Europe is an irreplaceable pole in this multi-polar world. Europe is now at a key stage of its development, facing both unprecedented opportunities and unprecedented challenges. China has always believed that Europe's development and integration process have good prospects. We have full confidence in Europe's future and wish Europe still greater progress.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations. This is an important year of historic significance. As we review the momentous journey traveled by the world over the past 70 years, we must be sober-minded about the challenges confronting us and, at the same time, doubly cherish the progress we have made in peace, security and development. A review of the past should serve as a guide for us in observing the future trend of the world.

Over the past 70 years, the world has maintained overall peace. The international community has put in place a collective security mechanism with the United Nations at its core. The purposes and principles of the UN Charter are the basic norms governing international relations. A large number of countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America have gained independence, entered the world stage, and joined the force for world peace. Since the end of the Cold War, the trend toward multi-polarity and greater democracy in international relations has gathered momentum, and the international balance of power is moving in favor of world peace.

Over the past 70 years, remarkable progress has been made in human development. Scientific and technological advancement and economic globalization are profoundly changing human society. Several billion people have embraced modernity. Europe and other advanced economies have a solid economic foundation and strong capacity for innovation; and emerging markets and developing countries have maintained dynamic growth and have vast potential to be tapped. By complementing each other and working together, we can bring about steady growth of the world economy.

Over the past 70 years, cooperation within and between various regions has made important progress. The European integration process, which started early, has come a long way. Intra- and inter-regional cooperation of various kinds is flourishing in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Increasingly inter-connected and inter-dependent, countries are forming a closely-knit community of shared destiny.

Both history and reality tell us that peace, development and cooperation are the common aspiration of the people of all countries and an irresistible trend of history. On the other hand, we should not fail to see that the world economic recovery is still sluggish; turbulence in some areas keeps flaring up; global challenges are increasing; and the threat of terrorism is notably on the rise. To uphold world peace and promote common development remains a difficult long-term task.

Peace should be safeguarded by all, development should be shared by all, opportunities should be created by all, and challenges should be met by all of us. We need to draw experience from history, and work together to build a better world.

China is a responsible member of the international community and a staunch force for upholding world peace and promoting common development. As Chinese President Xi Jinping has pointed out, China is committed to realizing the Chinese dream of great national renewal. The Chinese dream is a dream about peace, development and win-win cooperation. It is very much in line with the beautiful dreams of the people of other countries in the world. The pursuit of the Chinese dream will benefit not only the Chinese but also the people of the whole world. China follows the path of peaceful development, and upholds justice and pursues shared interests. China calls on all countries to foster a sense of shared destiny, forge a new type of international relations of win-win cooperation, and build a peaceful, harmonious and prosperous world.

We are now in a challenging international security environment, and China calls for fostering a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. All countries should follow the trend of our times by pursuing peace, development and win-win cooperation and develop a new and win-win approach to security that is built, shared and maintained by all.

First, we need to promote common security. Countries have intertwined interests and common security challenges. Every country has both the right to equal participation in security affairs and the responsibility to maintain security in its region and the world at large. Its legitimate security concerns should be respected and addressed. As an old Chinese saying goes, “He who seeks success should first help others succeed.” We need to maximize our common security interests to ensure security for both ourselves and others and jointly create a harmonious and stable security environment in both our respective regions and the world as a whole. China has entered into partnerships of various types with 75 countries, including many European countries, and five regional organizations. China is committed to maintaining common security and expanding common interests.

Second, we need to promote comprehensive security. In the world today, traditional and non-traditional security factors are inter-connected and interact with each other. In the face of multiple and diverse security challenges, we should not take a fragmented and palliative approach that treats the symptoms only. Instead, we need to take a holistic approach to security issues. This means we need to take into consideration both history and reality as well as immediate and long-term, domestic and international, and traditional and non-traditional factors. And we need to take a multi-pronged strategy that covers political, economic, scientific and technological, social, cultural and security fields. We need to advance global security governance and address the security challenges facing mankind in a coordinated way.

China and Europe have worked together to address non-traditional security challenges and made good progress in this field. China and European countries like Germany and France wish to enter into cooperation on fighting Ebola and other communicable diseases. We will implement cooperation initiatives on information exchange, personnel training and joint research in this area.

Last year, China and the EU announced their respective post-2020 action targets on tackling climate change, and both hope that the climate change conference to be held in Paris at the end of this year will deliver concrete outcomes so as to create a new arrangement for tackling climate change that is fair, equitable and effective.

China and the EU have set up a cyber taskforce and both are committed to building a peaceful, secure, resilient and open cyberspace.

China is firmly opposed to terrorism of all forms and is ready to strengthen security and counter-terrorism cooperation with other countries. At the same time, China respects diversity of civilizations and calls for dialogue and mutual learning among different civilizations and religions.

Third, we need to pursue cooperative security. A single line of silk does not make a thread and a single tree does not make a forest. No country, however powerful, can handle today's complex security challenges on its own. Countries need to foster a new vision of addressing security challenges through cooperation so as to promote peace and security through cooperation. We also need to seek peaceful settlement to disputes, conduct candid and in-depth dialogue and communication to increase strategic trust and reduce mutual suspicion, increase mutual understanding, accommodate each other's concerns, avoid conflict and confrontation, and seek benefits for all.

Both China and the EU are against unilateralism and for multilateralism, which is an important strategic foundation for China-EU relations. In recent years, China and the EU have stepped up cooperation with other countries and made effective response to a series of international and regional security challenges. More than 20 countries, including China and some European countries, are actively engaged in escort missions in the Gulf of Aden. The Chinese and EU fleets conducted two anti-piracy escort exercises. All these efforts have helped maintain navigation safety in relevant waters. China, European, and other countries also participated in the escort mission for shipping Syrian chemical weapons, playing a positive role in maintaining peace in the region concerned. We face a major opportunity in resolving the Iranian nuclear issue. China is ready to enhance communication and cooperation with relevant parties to work for the early conclusion of a just, balanced and win-win comprehensive agreement.

On the issue of Ukraine, China calls on all parties to seek peaceful solution through political dialogue and support the international community in making positive efforts towards a political settlement. We call on all relevant parties to pursue a political settlement, strengthen inclusive political dialogue, accommodate each other's interests and concerns and seek a comprehensive, balanced and lasting political settlement. China will continue to play a positive and constructive role in pursuit of a political settlement of the Ukraine issue.

Fourth, we need to pursue sustainable security. For many countries, development is a paramount security issue. Social tensions and turmoil that ravage some countries and regions are caused by poverty and social division and have created breeding ground for the spread of extremist ideology. Inability to develop themselves has gravely constrained some countries' efforts to maintain security and created more security risks for them. We need to strengthen security by addressing both the symptoms and root causes, work hard to improve people's lives, narrow the gap between the rich and the poor, promote common development of all countries and ensure sustainable security through sustainable development.

In recent years, Asia, East Asia in particular, has maintained overall stability and a momentum of fast growth. It has emerged as one of the most dynamic and promising regions in the world. Friendly and cooperative relations between China and other Asian countries have grown from strength to strength. China has conducted high-level exchanges with almost all Asian countries, and for many of them, China has become their largest trading partner, top export market and important source of investment. Each year, more than 30 million visits are made between the Chinese and people of other countries in Asia. China is committed to building friendship and partnership with its neighbors and practicing the principle of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, deepening mutually beneficial cooperation with other Asian countries and promoting regional integration. China is an advocate and builder of regional security architecture. China's peaceful development starts in Asia, relies on Asia and benefits Asia. China believes that relevant countries should properly resolve differences and disputes through dialogue and consultation on the basis of respecting international law and historical facts so as to further enhance peace, stability and prosperity of Asia. We will work together with relevant countries to build a future-oriented Asia-Pacific partnership and fulfill the Asia-Pacific dream of common development, prosperity and progress.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China is the largest developing country, and the EU is the largest grouping of developed countries. Working together, China and the EU will boost ties among a quarter of the world's population and between two major markets representing one third of the global economy and increase interactions between eastern and western civilizations. This is a great cause that benefits China, Europe and the whole world. China supports European integration; we hope to see a united, stable and prosperous EU play a bigger role in international affairs. Europe is always a high priority on China's diplomatic agenda.

China-EU relations stay in good shape, with gratifying progress made in many areas. Last year, President Xi Jinping paid a successful visit to the EU headquarters and several European countries, during which the two sides decided to forge a partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization. This has charted the course for the long-term growth of China-EU relations. Premier Li Keqiang also visited some European countries, achieving major progress in many areas of cooperation between China and Europe. In the past two years, leaders of European countries such as Germany, France, the UK, Italy, Spain, Denmark and the Czech Republic have visited China. Relations between the two sides are now on a fast track of growth.

2015 is a special year for China-EU relations, as this year marks its 40th anniversary. The Chinese economy has entered a new normal. It is moving from high speed growth to medium-to-high speed growth; its growth model is shifting from one based on size and speed to one based on quality and efficiency, and growth is driven more by innovation than by input of factors and investment. This will not only upgrade the Chinese economy and bring about its sustainable and healthy growth, but also provide more development opportunities for other countries. Europe's reform measures to stabilize economy, meet challenges and boost competitiveness have achieved initial progress. All this has created more opportunities and greater space for boosting China-Europe cooperation.

Taking the occasion of the 40th anniversary of China-EU relations as an opportunity, we will deepen China-EU high-level exchange, enhance relations with the EU and its member states, and improve all-dimensional, multi-tiered and wide-ranging dialogue and cooperation between the two sides. We are ready to work with the EU to advance China-EU partnership for peace, growth, reform and civilization, fully implement the China-EU 2020 Strategic Agenda for Cooperation, strengthen our cooperation in building the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road of the 21st century, and upgrade and improve China-EU cooperation. We are ready to work with the EU to take mutual steps to facilitate people-to-people ties and increase mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples, and this will strengthen social and popular support for China-EU relations. We are convinced that with joint efforts of the two sides, China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership will acquire greater international influence.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China's destiny is inextricably linked with the destiny of the world. We will continue to work together with all countries to build a better world of enduring peace and common development.

In closing, I hope that the 51st Munich Security Conference will play a new and important positive role in enhancing international security cooperation.

Thank you.

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