Speech by Mr. Liu Shuqing, Chairman, India-China Eminent Person's Group at the seminar of 50 Years of Panchsheel: Towards a New International Order Base on Genuine Multilateralism
November 18, 2004
2004/12/10

Your Excellency Foreign Minister Natwar Singh, Mr. Cahirman, distinguished guests,ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour and pleasure for me to be invited to attend this International Seminar on "50 Years of Panchsheel: Towards a New International Order Based on Genuine Multilateralism" in New Delhihosted by the Indian Council of World Affairs. Last June, the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs hosted a similar international seminar in Beijing on the theme of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, His Excellency Former President of India K.R. Narayanan attended the Beijing seminar and delivered a key-note speech which was insightful and thought-provoking. Today, I am here in New Delhi to attend this seminar and I hope to take this opportunity to share with you my observations on how to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Panchsheel and futher carry forward the Five Principles.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Half a century ago, late Premier and Foreign Minister Zhou Enlai, during his visit to India, issued with Prime Minister Nehru joint government statements to jointly advocate what we now call the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. These principles are mutual respect for sovereigntyand territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence. At the same time, the Prime Minister of myanmar also advocated the Five Principles, which were later well-received and actively endorsed by many countries in Asia and other pans of the world and international opinion.

Given the situation back then, it is fair to say the inception of the Five Principles fit in with the times and was necessitated by historical evolution.It has laid a foundation for the newly-independent countries in the third world to seek a new type of equitable and rational international relations based on independence and equality.

The creation and application of the Five Principles is deemed a great invention inthe history of international relations. The Five Principles sum up the essence of a new type of state-to-state relations, reflect the development trend ofthe times and serve shared interests of all countries and peoples. Although countries are different in size, social systems and values and may have conflicting or contradicting interests, they could all live in peace by acting inthe spirit of these principles.

Over the past fifty years, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence haw withstood the test of time an shown abiding resilience. they represent the best approach to handle international relations. State-to-state relations will develop well as long as the Five Principles are observed, and fail otherwise. It can be said that they have made indelible contribution to peace and stability iun Asia and the world over and to the sound development of international relations.

Ladies and gentlemen,
Compared with half a century ago, today's world has changed a great deal. We have seen the rapid advance of science and technology and the deepening of economic globalization. However, uncertain and destabilising factores inthe international situation are on the rise and human society is confronted with numerous new challenges.

Just as many of you believe, China holds that the world should be diversified. Mutual respect, mutual understanding, sovereign independence, non-interference in other countries' international affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence should be the basis for a new international political and exonomic order. In order to better follow the Five Principles in practice against the new backdrop, I would like to make the following propositions.

First, to respect the diversity of the world and promote the democratisation of international relations. The ancient Chinese thinker, Confucius once said, "All living creaturesgrow together without harming one another; ways run parallel, without interfering with one another." Different values, religious beliefs and historical and cultural traditions should live in harmony without uniformity and we should conduct exchanges on an equal footing, draw upon one another's strength and seek common progress.

Second, to safeguard world peace and security through dialogure and coordination.

Third, to actively advocate multilateralism. While matters of a country should be decided by its own poeple, global affairs should be diceded by all countries in the world through consultation.

Fourth, to carry out economic cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual benefit.

Ladies and gentlemen, China is not only a strong proponet bu also a firm practitioner of hte Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

Enshrined in the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. the Five Principles have been held as the guideline of new China's foreign policy. Under the guidance of thes eprinciples, China has established diplomatic relations with most countries in the world, carried out multi-dimensional exchanges and cooperation with over 200 countries and regions, and resolved through negociations issues left over from the past with most of its neighbours.

In the new circumstances, China will continue to take the Five Principles as the guide for its diplomacy. This shows China's conviction inthe road to peaceful development, namely, China is seeking a peaceful international environment for its own development, which in turn helps safeguard world peace. As it is said, development is based on peace and peace is rooted in development.

We are fully aware that without a stable internal and externalenvironment, a country will never be able to achieve development or succeed in any area. In the future, China will remain committed to the Five Principles and continue to pursue the policy of building a good-neighbourly relationship and partnership with its neighbors to have in harmony and achieve common development with them and other countries. China will make more friends around the world and contribute more to the peace, stability, prosperity and development in the region and the world at large so as to create more opportunities in this regard, Ladies and Gentlemen,

China and India are both the proponents of the Five Principles. For over hundreds of years, the two peoples have lived in peace and harmony, and friendly relations and coopeartion ahve all along been the mainstream of China-India relations. It is the time-honored friendship that has been passed on from generation to generation between the two peoples that gives nutrition and soil to the evergreen tree of the Panchsheel.

Both china and India are large developing countries in Asia. deng Xiaoping said in 1988: "In recent years there has been comment about the next century being the Asia Pacific century.If Chian and India fail to develop it cannot be called an Asian Century." As Former President of India K.R. Narayanan said,"Along with other countries fo the region developing fast that cooperation will usher in the true Asian Century that Deng Xiaoping had visualised."

as the co-initiators of the Five Principls of Peaceful Coexistence, we both shoulder the historic responsibility of carring forward the Five Principles, achieving sef-development, improving people's livelihood, safeguarding peace and realising common development. Both boasting ancient civilizations and a billion strong population, China nad India are the two largest developing countries in the world. In this sense, to have all-round constructive cooperation between the two countries in the long run is necessary in a his torical perspective.

We should proceed from the fundamental interests of hte two countries, seize the opportunity and maintain the current momentum. We need to bear in mind the bigger picture and perceive and address China-India relations from a long term perspective so as to place our good-neighborly friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation on a track of comprehensive and in-depth development that is sustained and sound. This served the common interests of both countries best and will have significant and far-reaching impact on the region and world at large.

There is no denial there are still-outstanding issues left over from the past between China and India. I personally took part in the prolonged China-India boundary negotiations as the Chinese representative. Today, China-India relations are developing in an all-round way and the two sides are vigorouslypushing forward a constructive and cooperative partnership inthe long run. In such a context, I believe there is no insolvable questions between China and India, which in itself adds substance to the Five Principles, will provide countries with a new paradigm to address their differences and disputes.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am convinced that with the concerted efforts of China, India and other Asian countries, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which was born on this ancient land of Asia, will demonstrate fresh vitality and vigor and add an even more splendid chapter to out history, as the times and mankind move forward.

Thank you

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