Journal

Working Together to Build A Community of Common Destiny for World Peace and Security

Remarks by H.E. MR. Li Yuanchao Chinese Vice President,at the Fourth World Peace Forum
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Friends,
 
It gives me great pleasure to come back to Tsinghua University for the World Peace Forum. Let me extend, on behalf of the Chinese government, warm congratulations on the opening of the Forum and a big welcome to all participants.
 
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the end of the World Anti-Fascist War and the founding of the United Nations. The theme of this year's Forum "Overcome Difficulties: Understanding, Consultation and Reciprocity" is both timely and relevant. As President Xi Jinping pointed out, in today's world, the interests, prosperity and security of countries are closely intertwined; we should all work together to build a new type of international relations based on win-win cooperation and foster a community of common destiny for all. Here, I wish to share with you some of my thoughts on building a community of common destiny.
 
I. Mankind is moving towards a community of common destiny which links us together like passengers in the same boat
 
Throughout history, civilizations in different parts of the world have interacted with and enriched each other. From geographical isolation to the gradual forming of societies and nation-states, and through thousands of years of conflicts and war, it finally dawned on us that we share a common destiny. This understanding represents the progress of human civilization and trend of the times. After the scourge of the two world wars, we have increasingly realized that confrontation and war will eventually bring about the demise of mankind and we must work for the well-being of all mankind before we can achieve success for ourselves. In today's world, countries have increasing commonalities of both interests and challenges in their development and governance. As such, a wise man who follows the trend of the times should embrace a sense of community of common destiny for all.
 
First, there are increasing commonalities in production pattern, as a result of scientific innovation and productivity increases. This is mostly driven by the globalization of market mechanisms and popularization of the Internet. The manufacturing of goods, from Boeing 747 airliners to smart-phones, is done through collaboration among hundreds of companies in dozens of countries. Global online sales through Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce giant, topped RMB57 billion within a day, on November 11 last year, known as the Singles' Day in China. Some scholars have put forth the term of "a society of zero marginal cost", meaning that the power of the Internet, which brings down marginal cost of production and services to near zero, will usher in a new era of working and sharing for human society.
 
Second, there are increasing commonalities in the development and prosperity of different countries and regions as a result of profound globalization of trade, finance, investment, resources, education, tourism and scientific and technological innovation. In 2014, export of goods totaled US$18.4 trillion worldwide and China ranked at the top. Globally, foreign direct investment reached US$1.26 trillion, of which US$120 billion flowed to and US$116 billion out of China. Worldwide, 1.14 billion tourists travelled to other countries and Chinese nationals made over 100 million outbound visits.
 
In the meantime, countries are increasingly facing common challenges and crises: financial crises, terrorist activities, climate change, epidemics and wealth gap, to name but a few. The subprime mortgage crisis, which stemmed from the US seven years ago and soon spread to the rest of the world, has put the global economy on a decline for years running and recovery remains weak till this very day. The Ebola epidemic came to be one of the gravest public health crises in decades, and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has posed yet another challenge to mankind.
 
There are also increasing commonalities among countries in strengthening global governance and order. War and crisis prevention, counter terrorism, scientific and technological innovation, financial regulation, climate change, development assistance and global poverty eradication, none of these challenges can be addressed by one or a few countries. They can only be effectively tackled through cooperation on a global scale.
 
We have only one planet, and countries share one world. With the penetrating influence of globalization and the Internet, the 7.2 billion citizens of this planet, coming from different cultures, ethnic groups, religions and social systems, are all in the same boat journey together. Every country, from its government to businesses and to the general public, needs to foster a sense of togetherness, and jointly build, safeguard and grow a community of common destiny with all others. We should seek common interests through mutually beneficial cooperation, work together to address challenges and enhance common governance, with a view to enjoying common development and common security.
 
Specifically, there are two areas we can work on to build a community of common destiny for all. The first one is to advance regional integration. After World War II, especially in the past two decades, regional integration has been moving ahead at a faster pace. European integration is advancing on all fronts, from the economic field to political security. North America enjoys deeper economic and trade integration. Regional integration in Latin America is picking up speed. Africa is also moving towards integration. Asia, one of the most dynamic and promising regions in the world, is somewhat lagging in its integration process. We must speed up integration of Asia if we are to achieve development and build a community of common destiny in Asia. The second area to work on is to build frameworks to address the most pressing issues facing mankind. The United Nations, the World Trade Organization and G20 are important mechanisms for global peace and security and inclusive development. Mechanisms such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), the ASEAN Plus One and the ASEAN Plus Three Summits have played an important role in promoting regional peace and development. Today, as we face new problems and complex challenges, we need to strengthen common structures in a creative way and make the global governance system more just, equitable and effective.
 
II. China is a proponent, supporter and facilitator for building a community of common destiny for all
 
The Chinese people are striving to realize the Chinese dream of the great renewal of the Chinese nation. The destiny of the Chinese people is inseparable from that of people of all countries, so are our dreams and aspirations closely connected with those of other peoples.
 
China actively advocates a community of common destiny for all. It upholds peace, development and win-win cooperation and promotes the building of a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. China called for the fostering of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, adopts a neighborhood foreign policy of amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and upholds the principle of sincerity, real results, affinity and good faith in its cooperation with Africa. President Xi Jinping made important initiatives of building a community of common destiny for all mankind as well as a community of common destiny for specific regions, such as in Asia, in China's neighborhood, in Africa, in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in the Asia-Pacific. All of these initiatives received broad recognition and positive response from the international community.
 
China has endeavored to follow through on community building with concrete measures. It has participated actively in multilateral cooperation and played its part as a responsible major country in addressing regional and international issues. By advancing the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road and encouraging the alignment of development strategies of countries along the routes, China will help create opportunities and dividends of development for over four billion Asians, Europeans and Africans. To strengthen connectivity and support mutually beneficial cooperation between countries along the routes, China contributed nearly US$30 billion to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank it initiated and set up a US$40 billion Silk Road Fund. Despite the pressure from the transformation of its growth model, China made vigorous efforts on energy conservation and emissions reduction. By 2014, energy consumption and CO2 emissions per GDP unit had been cut by 30% and 34% respectively from 10 years ago. By so doing, China has made important contribution to improving the global climate and protecting the environment.
 
China is a firm supporter of community building for all mankind. It stands for safeguarding the international order and peace regimes shaped by the victory of the Second World War, upholds the basic norms governing international relations based on the Charter of the United Nations, and respects the authority and role of the United Nations and its Security Council. China has participated in 29 UN peacekeeping missions so far and sent more peacekeepers than any other permanent member of the Security Council. China actively promotes the multilateral trade regime and global trade liberalization. It supports the leading role of the World Trade Organization, opposes trade protectionism, and supports efforts to make the international economic and financial system more fair, just, inclusive and stable.
 
III. We should work together to build a community of common destiny for world peace and security in the spirit of understanding, consultation and reciprocity
 
Peace and security are the prerequisite for common development of mankind. We should act on the principles of understanding, consultation and reciprocity wherever possible in the community building process.
 
First, we should promote understanding, as it leads to friendship, respect and equality. Sixty years ago at the Bandung Conference, leaders of 29 Asian and African countries and regions promoted unity and cooperation among Asian and African people by seeking common ground and shelving differences. They put forward Ten Principles on handling state-to-state relations on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence initiated by China, India and Myanmar. "All roads lead to Rome." As countries have different national conditions, their development paths vary from each other. The right of the people of all countries to independently choose their social systems and development paths should be respected. Taking the same path of development should not be a condition for good relations. Nor should size or wealth mean superiority. Instead, we should respect each other, treat each other as equals and promote friendly exchange to cement mutual trust for peace and security.
 
Second, we should promote peace, harmony and conciliation through consultation. It is natural for neighbors to have frictions, and there can be disagreements and differences between countries. History has shown that force cannot offer lasting solutions to disputes and resorting to war would only bring disaster. Consultation is the only way towards durable peace. In the 1990s, China signed boundary agreements with Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan through friendly consultations and properly settled the boundary disputes left over from history. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization was founded on that basis and provided strong support to peace and stability of the region. Through friendly consultation, China signed Treaties of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation with eight neighboring countries. It is now consulting on the signing of a similar one with ASEAN. And it stands ready to conclude such treaties with all other neighboring countries. For many international hotspot issues with intricate factors at play, force is hardly the solution. Conciliation can only be reached through consultation and dialogue. In dealing with long-standing conflicts, we should use consultation to address disputes, end fighting and promote peace, in an effort to achieve harmonious coexistence between different ethnic groups, religions and cultures and between different countries, systems and communities.
 
Third, we should encourage mutual assistance in the face of difficulties as a means of achieving common development and win-win cooperation. The Chinese have an ancient belief in the nobility of "sticking together through thick and thin". China has for long extended help to other developing countries within its capacity. It has cumulatively provided RMB400 billion in assistance to 166 countries and international organizations. China also received assistance and support from other countries. China made active efforts to encourage the formulation of a United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda that addresses the difficulties faced by developing countries, especially by African countries and the Least Developed Countries. China extended a helping hand to countries affected by the Ebola outbreak and worked closely with the international community to get the epidemic under timely control. With more daunting development tasks ahead, we should strengthen mutual assistance to expand South-South cooperation, promote North-South cooperation, and build a more equal and balanced new global partnership for development.
 
This year, commemorative activities on the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Anti-Fascist War will be held in many countries as well as by the United Nations. These activities are meant as a reminder to mankind to cherish and protect our hard-won peace and never allow the tragedy of war to repeat itself. Let us remember the history and embrace the future. Let us join hands to build a community of common destiny for world peace and security and open up a new era of lasting peace.

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