Address by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi At the Opening Ceremony of the Tenth "Spring of Diplomats"
Beijing, 21 April 2011
Vice Chairman Sang Guowei,
Vice Chairman Hu Qili,
Comrade Tang Jiaxuan,
President Ji Peiding,
Friends and comrades,
It is a great pleasure to join you at the opening ceremony of the Tenth "Spring of Diplomats" and Seventh Convention of Outstanding Chinese Entrepreneurs at the invitation of the Association of Former Diplomats of China. The "Spring of Diplomats" event is in its tenth year. Guided by its founding purpose of promoting exchanges and cooperation and enhancing understanding and friendship, the event has played a unique role in deepening China's political trust and mutually beneficial cooperation with the rest of the world and served as an important bridge of dialogue and exchanges between the diplomatic and economic communities in and outside China. This year, against the backdrop of difficult recovery in world economy and profound changes in the international situation, it is of great significance for outstanding representatives from various sectors to gather here, under the theme of "Build World Harmony and Seek Common Development", to discuss ways to deepen China's friendship and cooperation with other countries and advance peace and development throughout the globe. Here, I would like to express my warm congratulations and wish the event a great success. I am sure that the presence of so many diplomatic envoys and their spouses today will add significance to this important gathering.
As the second decade of the 21st century dawns upon us, the international situation and configuration continue to undergo profound
changes and adjustments. There are both new challenges and major opportunities for maintaining world peace and promoting common development.
First, the world today faces more complex and diverse security challenges. Non-traditional security challenges such as economic security, energy security, food security, cyber security, terrorism and proliferation are more pronounced and become entwined with regional conflicts and hotspot issues. The number of uncertainties and destabilizing factors are on the rise. On the other hand, global challenges have led to greater convergence of interests than before. No country can take on these challenges alone. It has become the consensus of the international community to achieve common security in the spirit of democracy, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation. This has created favorable conditions for countries to pursue cooperation and development.
Second, world economic recovery remains fragile. Rising commodity prices and growing inflationary pressure throughout the world has added to the uncertainty of the fragile growth. This said, the momentum of recovery is by and large maintained. The reform of the world economic governance structure has made steady headway in moving the international order towards greater fairness and equality. Structural adjustments in the world economy have picked up speed, and the new technological and industrial revolutions marked by green, smart and sustainable development are burgeoning. All this has given new impetus to global economic growth.
Third, some regions and countries face difficulties in maintaining social stability and promoting economic growth. Differences and problems of various kinds still exist between some countries. Yet more and more people have come to realize that they all stand to gain in cooperation and lose in confrontation. More and more people have come to the recognition that cooperation is a means to development. As for the international political landscape, building democracy in international relations remains a long-term task. However, as the processes of political multipolarization and economic globalization continue, countries of the world have seen greater convergence of interests and found greater need for dialogue and coordination. The strong growth of developing countries and the increasing strength of cooperation mechanisms among emerging economies have shifted international power towards greater balance.
Peaceful development, mutually beneficial cooperation and harmonious coexistence serve the common interests of all countries. It is the fundamental goal of China's diplomacy. We will remain committed to the friendship and cooperation between China and all the other countries and work tirelessly for a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity.
China will unswervingly pursue the path of peaceful development. China's development is peaceful. It is achieved through internal economic and social progress rather than outward armed expansion. China strives for a peaceful external environment to develop itself and in turn promotes world peace through its development. We advocate the new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination. We are committed to a defense policy that is defensive in nature. We do not engage in any arms race. We work hard to bring peaceful solutions to international disputes and disapprove the use of force in international relations. With regard to the developments in Libya, we have been watching closely and hold that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter should be abided by and the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Libya should be respected. The future of Libya should be decided by the Libyan people. The international community should continue to seek to resolve the crisis in Libya through political means. China has demonstrated and will continue to demonstrate through its concrete action that it is a staunch force for world peace.
China will unswervingly carry out the win-win strategy of opening-up. China cannot develop in isolation of the world, and China's development brings benefits to the world. China does not pursue its interests at the expense of other countries or seek to maximize its own interests. What we want is to expand the common interests with other countries and integrate our own interests with the common interests of the entire world with a view to achieving common development. China has become the world's second largest importer and biggest emerging market. For each year over the past decade, China, on average, imported US$687 billion worth of products and created over 14 million jobs for other countries and regions. However, it is important to note that China is still a developing country. There are 150 million Chinese living below the poverty line according to UN standard. To meet national development goals requires long and strenuous efforts. As its development continues, China will make even greater contribution to the world.
China will unswervingly promote the building of a harmonious world of enduring peace and common prosperity. The concept of harmonious world does not deny difference and competition or embrace world uniformity and ultimate perfection. What we aim to achieve is peaceful coexistence between countries, amity between people and harmony between man and nature. We live in a world of rich diversity and an era of dynamic and pluralistic civilizations. We all need to recognize the difference countries have in culture, social systems and values, respect countries' right to choose their own paths, encourage mutual learning among different civilizations and development models, pursue common development by seeking common ground while reserving differences and bring greater harmony to the human society.
Since the beginning of this year, we have been able to seize the opportunities, meet the difficulties head on and properly respond to various challenges facing China's diplomacy. We have worked vigorously to uphold China's sovereignty, security and development interests, enhanced friendship and cooperation with major countries, neighboring countries, other developing countries and international organizations, and conducted economic, security, public and cultural diplomacy with much important progress.
In January, President Hu Jintao paid a successful state visit to the United States. During that visit, China and the United States issued the Joint Statement and agreed to work together to build a cooperative partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. This defined the future development of China-US relations. Last week, State Councilor Liu Yandong visited the United States and co-chaired the Second Meeting of the China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchange, an event that deepened dialogue and exchanges between the two countries. In May, Vice Premier Wang Qishan and State Councilor Dai Bingguo will lead a delegation to the United States for the third round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogues. In the coming months, Vice President Joe Biden will visit China. Vice President Xi Jinping is planning a visit to the United States in due course. China-US exchange and cooperation will continue to make progress.
China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination has further strengthened. President Hu Jintao will pay a state visit to Russia. The two sides will celebrate the tenth anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation. This will enhance China-Russia dialogue and cooperation in politics, economy and trade, high-tech, culture and people-to-people exchanges.
The China-EU comprehensive strategic partnership has been further substantiated. The two sides have had frequent high-level mutual visits and expanded practical cooperation. We have provided support to the European countries suffering from the sovereign debt crisis on many occasions in the hope that the euro zone countries will prevail over the difficulties and achieve recovery. This year, we will celebrate the China-EU Year of Youth. We hope to strengthen the foundation for China-EU relations by boosting understanding and friendship between the youths.
China's good neighborliness and friendship with surrounding countries continued to deepen. We are committed to fostering friendship and partnership with neighboring countries and work actively to maintain close high-level contacts, facilitate trade and investment cooperation, conduct cultural and people-to-people exchanges and steadily promote political trust and win-win cooperation. In 2010, as its trade with other Asian countries reached US$931.6 billion, China became the biggest trading partner and export market for many countries in this part of the world. In the coming months, President Hu Jintao will attend the tenth anniversary summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and Premier Wen Jiabao will attend the East Asia Leaders' Meetings and other multilateral events, and visit Indonesia and Malaysia soon. This year marks the 60th, 50th and 20th anniversary of establishment of China's diplomatic ties with Pakistan, the Laos and Brunei respectively and the 20th anniversary of our dialogue relations with ASEAN. This year is also the China-ASEAN Friendship and Exchange Year and the China-India Year of Exchange. We will work with all relevant parties to ensure the success of all these events and foster a regional environment of peace, stability, openness, inclusiveness and win-win cooperation. Recently, the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference marking the tenth anniversary of the forum was held in Hainan. Under the theme of "Inclusive Development", the conference played a positive role in facilitating exchanges, dialogue and economic cooperation between all sides. We have actively engaged in disaster relief cooperation with surrounding countries. In the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Chinese government and people expressed deep sympathies and extended assistance. President Hu Jintao personally went to the Japanese embassy in China to express condolences. We hope that the Japanese people in the disaster zone will recover from the disaster and rebuild their homes as soon as possible.
Relations between China and other countries and regions made new headway. CPPCC Chairman Jia Qinglin paid a successful visit to Australia, Samoa and Myanmar, which deepened dialogue and cooperation between China and those countries in the political field, business and trade, energy and resources, and people-to-people and cultural exchanges. NPC Chairman Wu Bangguo will visit South Africa, Angola, Namibia and the Maldives to promote continued growth of China's practical cooperation with Asian and African countries, and inter-parliamentary exchanges. A few days ago, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and South African President Jacob Zuma attended the BRICS Leaders Meeting in China. Chinese leaders had in-depth exchanges of views and reached important agreements with them on further developing bilateral relations and cooperation in all fields.
Cooperation between China and international organizations moved to a new level. We hold that the United Nations, as the most universal, representative and authoritative inter-governmental organization in the world, should always play a central role in international affairs. We support a bigger role for the G20 Summit in global economic governance and support France in making good preparations for the upcoming Cannes Summit. The success of the just-concluded BRICS Leaders Meeting has made the mechanism a platform for South-South cooperation and a bridge for North-South cooperation and sent a message of "confidence, solidarity, cooperation and win-win results" to the international community.
In recent years, we took a number of emergency actions to protect our citizens abroad. The recent evacuation of stranded Chinese citizens in Libya is the largest action of its kind since the founding of the People's Republic. Both the number of people evacuated and the complexity of the situation on the ground were unprecedented. The well-organized evacuation has demonstrated the Chinese government's vision of "putting people first and governing for the people", and its efficiency in emergency response. Meanwhile, the operation would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of many countries and the generous assistance of local companies and overseas Chinese. Once again I wish to express our deepest appreciation on behalf of the Chinese government.
This year marks the beginning of the implementation of the 12th five-year plan for China's economic and social development and a critical juncture in the course of China's peaceful development. The effective implementation of the program is not only important for China's future development. It will also have a far-reaching impact on the development of the world economy.
The 12th five-year plan has established the guiding principle, strategic objectives and major tasks for China's economic and social development in the next five years. We will pursue scientific development, focus on faster transformation of economic development pattern, accelerate economic restructuring, step up innovation, conserve energy, reduce emissions, broaden mutually beneficial cooperation with other countries, and explore new frontiers of opening-up. As it works to achieve the goals of the 12th five-year program, China will generate huge investment and consumer demand and create new opportunities for economic, scientific and technological, and cultural cooperation between China and other countries. Entrepreneurs present today will also find more business opportunities in this process. China's diplomacy will continue to rely on, serve and promote development. Good bilateral relationship catalyses economic cooperation. We will help "bring in" overseas companies and encourage Chinese companies to "go global". We will serve as a bridge between Chinese and foreign companies, and facilitate their win-win cooperation.
Over the years, many senior diplomats of the Association of Former Diplomats of China have been active practitioners of public diplomacy and important facilitators in exchanges with foreign countries and domestic economic development. They have dedicated themselves to China's diplomacy and modernization drive. I wish to express warm congratulations on the remarkable achievements the Association has made and sincere thanks to all the entrepreneurs who have worked so hard for the friendly exchanges and win-win cooperation between China and other countries. I hope and believe that you will build on past achievements and contribute to greater mutual understanding and friendship between the Chinese people and people of the world, mutually beneficial cooperation between China and other countries, and harmony and common development in the world.