Dialogue Urged in International Affairs

An Address of Foreign Minister of China Yang Jiechi delivered to the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly and published at China Daily on September 29, 2012

Mr President,

I wish to congratulate you on your election as president of the 67th Session of the General Assembly. I am confident that with your ability and experience, you will successfully fulfill this lofty mission. I also wish to thank Mr Al-Nasser for his positive contribution as president of the last session.

The world is undergoing major and profound changes. The trend toward multi-polarity, economic globalization and the application of information technology are gaining momentum. Countries have never been so interconnected and interdependent as they are today; emerging markets and developing countries have never had such strong influence, and cross-civilization dialogue and exchanges are flourishing as never before. To promote peace, development and cooperation has become the shared aspiration of people across the world and the common pursuit of the international community.

On the other hand, the world is still far from being peaceful. The underlying impact of the international financial crisis and the European debt crisis remains strong. Destabilizing factors and uncertainties affecting global growth have increased. Regional turbulence persists, hotspot issues keep emerging and traditional and non-traditional security issues are entwined. The international security environment is highly complex.

Facing both unprecedented opportunities and challenges, we must not allow the outdated Cold War mentality and zero-sum game theory to stand in our way. We should act like passengers who stick together in a boat when crossing a torrential river and seek win-win progress through cooperation. This is the only option for countries around the world. To ensure one's own security, a country should respect and accommodate the security of other countries. To realize one's own development, a country should actively promote common development; and in pursuing one's own interests, a country should take into account the interests of other countries. Only by promoting common security and development for all of its members can the international community effectively address complex and multiple security threats and global challenges, resolve increasingly serious difficulties facing development and ensure durable peace and sustainable development of the world. With this in mind, China believes that it is important that we do the following:

We should promote equality and democracy in international relations. Mutual respect and equality are basic norms governing international relations. All countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community. Respect for each other's sovereignty, core interests and choice of social system and development path is a fundamental principle guiding state-to-state relations. We should vigorously promote greater democracy in international relations. The internal affairs of a country should be handled by itself, and issues involving the interests of various countries should be handled by them through consultation. We should remain true to multilateralism and uphold the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and the central role of the United Nations in international affairs. China endeavors to strengthen political mutual trust and address problems and differences with other countries through dialogue and exchanges. China does not interfere in the internal affairs of other countries or impose its will on others, and China does not allow outside forces to interfere in its internal affairs.

We should seek win-win progress through cooperation in the course of development. As economic globalization deepens, all countries have a high stake in each other's success. We should therefore enhance cooperation and expand common interests to achieve win-win and all-win progress. We should tap the potential for cooperation in all countries, expand and enrich cooperation, improve cooperation mechanisms and work together to make economic globalization balanced, inclusive and beneficial to all. We should accelerate the development of developing countries and narrow the North-South gap. We should enhance global cooperation on development to ensure that the benefits of development reach every one. Since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, China has, while maintaining its own robust growth, significantly increased contributions to international financial institutions, extended a helping hand to other developing countries and increased purchase of bonds of some developed countries. All this has helped stabilize the international economic and financial situation and maintain economic and social development of relevant countries.

We should ensure fairness and effectiveness in conducting global governance. Facing growing global challenges, the international community should strengthen coordination and cooperation, establish a fair, equitable, flexible and effective system of global governance, properly address various global issues and promote the common well-being of mankind. China supports the United Nations in enhancing its authority and efficiency and the ability to address new threats and challenges through proper reform as called for. It is important to advance the building of a global system of economic governance with a focus on reforming the international financial system, speedily implement the quota and governance reform plans of the IMF and other financial institutions, and increase the representation and voice of emerging markets and developing countries. We should fully implement the outcome and consensus of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, make new progress in international cooperation on sustainable development and discuss the formulation of a post-2015 international development agenda on the basis of actively implementing the UN MDGs. We should launch a process of open, transparent and democratic intergovernmental consultation with development and poverty reduction as the core objectives. We should also fully leverage the role of the civil society and private sector in this endeavor. Together with all other parties, China is ready to take an active part in the reform of the international system and in global governance and jointly meet various global challenges.

We should pursue common progress by embracing diversity of civilization. According to ancient Chinese philosophy, the world will be a great place when "all things thrive without hurting one another, and various endeavors are pursued in parallel without collision among them." We should encourage exchanges and mutual learning between different civilizations and social systems, draw on each other's strength through competition and comparison and make joint progress by seeking common ground while reserving differences. We should respect the diversity of the world and the right of all countries to independently choose their development paths. China encourages cross-civilization dialogue and exchanges. We should replace confrontation with dialogue and bridge differences with inclusiveness so as to make the world a more harmonious place and ensure common progress for mankind.

We should seek common security amid growing interdependence. No country is immune to the complex and multiple security threats and challenges in the world. We should foster a new thinking on security featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, take a holistic approach to address both the symptoms and root causes of diverse security challenges and build a peaceful and stable international and regional security environment. The United Nations should fully play its role in safeguarding world peace and security and establishing a fair and effective mechanism for common security. We must resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and oppose willful use or threat of force. We must oppose terrorism, separatism and extremism in all forms.

West Asia and North Africa are undergoing profound changes. China respects and supports efforts by countries in this region to independently handle their internal affairs and respects the aspirations and calls of people in this region for change and development. The unique features of this region, in terms of religion, civilization, history and ethnicity should be respected. We hope that the relevant parties will settle differences through inclusive and constructive political dialogue and resolve problems peacefully. Safeguarding peace and stability in the region, upholding the fundamental and long-term interests of Arab countries and ensuring the growth of friendly China-Arab relations will remain a central goal of China's policy toward this region. We will continue to make unremitting efforts with countries in the region to promote peace and development in keeping with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

China is deeply concerned about the stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and the economic and humanitarian difficulties facing the Palestinian people. The turbulence in the region should not divert international attention from the Palestinian issue. China supports the Palestinian people in establishing, on the basis of the 1967 borders, an independent Palestinian state that enjoys full sovereignty with East Jerusalem as its capital. China supports Palestine's membership in the United Nations and other international organizations. China urges both Palestine and Israel to take concrete measures to remove obstacles and work for the early resumption and substantive progress of the peace talks.

China is deeply concerned about the persistent tension and worsening humanitarian situation in Syria. We call on all relevant parties in Syria to put an immediate end to fighting and violence, implement the relevant Security Council resolutions, Mr Kofi Annan's six-point plan and the communique of the foreign ministers' meeting of the Action Group for Syria, and launch an inclusive political dialogue and a Syrian-led political transition as soon as possible. China is open toward any political plan that is acceptable to all parties in Syria. The relevant parties of the international community should play a positive and constructive role in this regard, support with credible steps Mr Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative, in conducting impartial mediation, and endeavor to set in motion and advance the process of political transition in Syria.

The Iranian nuclear issue has reached a new crucial stage. The relevant parties should remain committed to a diplomatic solution and begin a new round of dialogue as soon as possible. We should, acting in the spirit of respecting each other's concerns, showing flexibility and pragmatism, expanding common ground and overcoming differences, seek early progress in dialogue and negotiation and, over time, achieve a comprehensive, long-term and proper solution to the issue. China has always supported efforts to uphold the international nuclear nonproliferation regime and will continue to work with parties concerned and play a constructive role in seeking a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear issue through dialogue and negotiation.

The Asia-Pacific region has maintained general stability and rapid growth for many years, thus making an important contribution to global stability and prosperity. Given the growing downward risks in the global economy and increasing volatilities in the international situation, to maintain peace, stability and sound growth in the Asia-Pacific is crucial to ensuring the well-being of people in the region. This also meets the broader interests of the international community. We should fully respect the reality of a diverse and interdependent Asia-Pacific and continue to follow an approach for regional cooperation that has proved effective over the years, namely, building consensus, making incremental progress and accommodating each other's comfort level. We should promote regional development with greater determination, advance regional cooperation with increased resources and handle differences with longer-term interests in mind so as to uphold peace, stability and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific region.

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