Viewpoint by Wang Yi
The following is the statement of Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of The People’s Republic of China, at the General Debate of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 27 September 2019
NEW YORK (IDN-INPS) – This year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. In 1945, the United Nations was born in response to the call of the times. Four years later, the People’s Republic of China was founded, and the Chinese nation reemerged before the eyes of the world as a completely reborn nation.
In the past 70 years, we Chinese have changed our destiny through tireless efforts. Seventy years ago, China put an end to a period in modern history in which the country was torn apart and trampled upon. We stood up and became true masters of our country. Over the past seven decades, China has turned itself from a closed, backward and poor country with a weak foundation into a country that is open and on the move. On the basis of meeting the basic needs of its people,
China has achieved initial prosperity. 850 million Chinese have shaken off poverty, and hundreds of millions have joined the middle income group. Such achievements are nothing but a miracle in the development of mankind. In just several decades, China has finished what took developed countries several hundred years to complete.
In so doing, China has blazed a new path to modernization for developing countries, and what China has achieved has enriched the dreams of people around the world for a better life.
None of these achievements has fallen from the sky. Rather, they owe themselves to the hard work, vision and courage of the Chinese people. The secret behind China’s development is our adherence to the centralized, unified leadership of the Communist Party of China, to the development path suited to China’s national conditions, to the fundamental state policy of reform and opening up, and to a people-centered development philosophy.
In the past 70 years, China has integrated itself into the global community and made its contribution to the world. China has actively boosted world peace and prosperity through its development. Today, China has become the leading engine of global development and an anchor of stability for world peace.
China is the second largest funding contributor to both the United Nations and UN peacekeeping operations. China has also dispatched the largest number of peacekeeping personnel among the permanent members of the UN Security Council. For more than a decade, China has been a prime engine powering global growth. China is now pursuing a new round of opening up with higher standard, which I am sure will deliver new opportunities to the world.
As we enter a new era, we Chinese are more confident and capable than ever before to achieve the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and we are in a better position than ever before to make greater contribution to humankind. Guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics in the New Era, we will continue to strive on and forge ahead. Looking back at the road we have traversed over the past 70 years, we are full of pride. Looking ahead at the journey before us, we are full of confidence about our bright future!
On the diplomatic front, China has traveled a journey of tests and challenges and has remained true to our original purpose. The goal of China’s diplomacy has never changed. The Chinese people and the peoples of other countries have always treated each other with sincerity and rendered each other mutual support. Increasingly, China and other countries have become stakeholders sharing a common future.
Facing international uncertainties, China will maintain the stability and continuity of its foreign policy, and will continue to pursue the major country diplomacy with distinct Chinese features. China will continue to safeguard world peace and prosperity and promote development and advancement of humankind.
China is guided by the principle of independence. China will continue to uphold an independent foreign policy of peace. We will neither subordinate ourselves to others, nor coerce others into submission. We are firm in upholding China’s core national interests and legitimate rights and interests; we are against the abuse of power and will never yield to pressure.
China will remain committed to the basic principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in other country ’ s internal affairs as enshrined in the UN Charter. China will never pursue hegemony or seek expansion. Peaceful development, which has long been incorporated in China’s Constitution, is the cornerstone of China’s foreign policy.
China believes in equality among nations. In the 21st century, power politics and the law of the jungle are outdated and obsolete. People want mutual respect and harmonious coexistence. China stands for equality among all countries irrespective of their size. China respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries, and the social system and development path independently chosen by the people of these countries.
China stands ready to share its development experience with other countries and provide necessary assistance in time of need. Yet, we have no intention to export our development model or to lecture others. Nor do we attach any political strings to our assistance.
China stands for equity and justice. On the international stage, we speak for justice and oppose hegemonism or bullying. We wish to engage others in extensive consultation and joint contribution in pursuit of shared benefits. We call for the handling of international affairs based on the merits of each particular case and for the settlement of issues through consultation.
As the largest developing country, China will always stand firmly with other developing countries to safeguard the common interests and right to development of developing countries and increase the representation and say of developing countries in global governance so as to promote democracy in international relations.
China pursues mutually beneficial cooperation. In this globalized world, countries all rise or fall together. A zero-sum mentality and beggar-thy-neighbor policy are recipes for failure. China is committed to fostering an open world economy and upholding the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime. It is committed to making globalization more open, inclusive, balanced and beneficial to all. We do not seek unilateral security, nor do we put our own interests above the interests of others. It is our aim to advance our development as part of the development of the global community. We seek to expand shared interests with our door open and share opportunities with others through cooperation.
Major threats to the international order
The world today is not a peaceful place. Unilateralism and protectionism are posing major threats to the international order. At a time when the future of the world is at stake, China has never been and will never be an onlooker. As a founding member of the United Nations, we will work with other countries to build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind. We will be resolute in upholding the stature and role of the United Nations, the international system underpinned by the UN, and the international order anchored upon international law.
Facing the headwinds of protectionism, we should not just stand idly by.
Erecting walls will not resolve global challenges, and blaming others for one’s own problems does not work. The lessons of the Great Depression should not be forgotten. Tariffs and provocation of trade disputes, which upset global industrial and supply chains, serve to undermine the multilateral trading regime and global economic and trade order. They may even plunge the world into recession.
Regarding economic and trade frictions and differences, China is committed to resolve them in a calm, rational and cooperative manner, and is willing to demonstrate utmost patience and goodwill.
Should the other side act in bad faith, or show no respect for equal status or rules in negotiations, we will have to make necessary responses to safeguard our legitimate rights and interests, and to uphold international justice. Let me make it very clear: China is a country with a 5,000-year civilization, 1.4 billion hardworking and courageous people, and a vast land of 9.6 million square kilometers. China will not ever be cowered by threats, or subdued by pressure.
Facing rampant unilateralism, we should not just sit idly by.
The international order needs to go by laws and rules, and acts in violation of international norms can only plunge the world into chaos. Opportunities arising from the new round of scientific and technological revolution are opportunities of the world.
Advances thus made should not be monopolized by any single country, and no one should obstruct the efforts of other countries to make innovations. It is not legitimate or justifiable for any country standing from a position of power to impose unilateral sanctions or exercise long-arm jurisdiction over other countries, as such practice has no basis in international law. To put one’s own interests above the common interests of all other countries is a typical bullying practice that finds no support of the people.
The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty is important in upholding global strategic balance and stability. Unilateral withdrawal from it will cause multiple negative impact. China is opposed to the deployment of land-based intermediate-range missiles in the Asia Pacific. We urge the countries with the largest nuclear arsenals to fully fulfill their special and primary responsibilities in nuclear disarmament. China will continue to take an active part in the international arms control process. Here, I announce that China has initiated the domestic legal procedures to join the Arms Trade Treaty.
Permanent members of the Security Council need to lead by example, as major countries shoulder special responsibilities for maintaining a stable international order. China supports the new round of efforts by Secretary-General Guterres to reform the UN system and make it more efficient and equitable. China has set up an 8,000-strong peacekeeping standby force and permanent peacekeeping police squads. They have met standards for operation and are ready for action. China stands ready to work with other parties to fulfill our due responsibilities as a major country for upholding global peace and justice.
Challenges and mounting risks
In a world fraught with challenges and mounting risks, China will remain on the side of peace and justice. We will actively explore and apply a Chinese approach to addressing hotspot issues, and play a constructive role in upholding international peace and security. China stands for common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We hold that disputes should be settled through dialogue and consultation and that common threats should be addressed through international cooperation in the interest of sustaining global peace and common security.
The Iranian nuclear issue affects world peace and security. All parties need to work together to uphold the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and ensure that this historic outcome is not derailed. Given the growing tensions in the Middle East and the Gulf region, China proposes the following: the Iranian nuclear issue should be speedily brought back to the track of the JCPOA; the Gulf countries should be urged to establish a platform for dialogue and consultation; and countries from outside the region should play a positive role in maintaining security in the region.
The Palestinian issue must be put at the top of the international agenda. What we lack is not a grand design, but the courage to deliver on the commitments and the conscience to uphold justice. There should be no more regression from the two-state solution and the “land for peace” principle, which represent a bottom line of international justice. For the Palestinian people, to establish an independent state is their inalienable right, something that should not be used as a bargaining chip.
On Afghanistan, what we hope to see is a united Afghanistan where all political parties and ethnic groups together determine the future of their nation, a stable Afghanistan that resolutely combats terrorism, and an Afghanistan that lives in harmony with its neighbors and becomes a positive force for maintaining peace and stability in the region. We will continue to contribute our share to Afghanistan’s reconciliation and reconstruction.
Regarding the Korean Peninsula, the opportunity for the political settlement of the issue must not be missed again. The zigzag course over the past 20 years or so shows time and again that the realistic and viable way forward is to promote parallel progress in denuclearization and the establishment of a peace mechanism and to accommodate the concerns of all sides and gradually build trust through phased and synchronized actions. The DPRK has demonstrated a readiness to promote dialogue. It is hoped that the US can meet the DPRK halfway. It is necessary for the Security Council to consider, in light of new developments on the Peninsula, invoking the rollback terms of the DPRK-related resolutions in order to bolster the political settlement of the Peninsula issue.
Myanmar and Bangladesh, with the mediation efforts of China, have reached new common understanding on accelerating the work for the return of displaced persons. The momentum created has not come easily. Waiting without acting brings no solution. It will further deteriorate the humanitarian situation. Only real action will bring hope and create conditions for reaching a final solution toward the Rakhine issue. All the parties involved, including UN agencies, should help move things forward rather than holding back the process.
The Kashmir issue, a dispute left from the past, should be peacefully and properly addressed in accordance with the UN Charter, Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement. No actions that would unilaterally change the status quo should be taken. As a neighbor of both India and Pakistan, China hopes to see the dispute effectively managed and stability restored to the relationship between the two sides.
Development the master key to solving all problems
Development is the master key to solving all problems. Development should be placed at the center of the global macro policy framework, with continued focus on priority areas such as poverty reduction, infrastructure, education, and public health. We need to maintain global development cooperation with North-South cooperation as the main channel, supplemented by South-South cooperation. We need to build an open world economy and help developing countries better integrate into the global industrial and value chains.
The UN member states should achieve complementarity between the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and their medium- to long-term development strategies, in an effort to pursue high-quality development. China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) aims to achieve development that is open, green and clean as well as high-standard, sustainable and people-centered. The BRI, an initiative highly compatible with the 2030 Agenda, has become a road to cooperation, hope and prosperity, delivering real benefits to people the world over. We hope that other countries will seize the development opportunities created by the BRI to add fresh impetus to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
Climate change is a global consensus. We need to respond to this challenge with concerted global efforts according to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The UN Climate Action Summit has achieved positive outcomes; China, as a co-lead of the Nature-Based Solutions, has played its due role to make this possible. China believes in acting in good faith. We will deliver what we have signed up to, fulfill our obligations, and work with real actions to contribute to the building of a clean and beautiful world.
China places high importance on the life and health of its people, and has always taken a zero-tolerance approach to narcotics. We have placed all fentanyl-related substances under control, a move that goes well beyond such scheduling by the UN. This demonstrates that China has actively participated in global narcotics control with a keen sense of responsibility. On to the Ebola outbreak in Africa, as the alarm is sounded once again, China has already sent emergency aid supplies to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its neighbors affected by the epidemic. China has also sent public health experts and maintained close collaboration with the World Health Organization and the African Union Commission. Besides, China will donate another US$18 million to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
I wish to conclude with a quote from President Xi Jinping: “Our world is full of both hope and challenges. We should not give up our dreams just because the reality around us is too complicated; we should not stop pursuing our ideals just because they seem out of our reach.” Let us work tirelessly to promote the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and together build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Related article > https://www.indepthnews.net/index.php/opinion/3029-china-rises-to-an-indomitable-superpower [IDN-InDepthNews – 07 October 2019]
Photo: Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of The People’s Republic of China, speaking at the General Debate of the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 27 September 2019. UN Photo | Loey Felipe
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