Mutual benefit comes only with mutual respect and mutual trust -Inspiration four from 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia
（From Chinese Embassy in Australia）
(Speech by His Excellency Ambassador Chen Yuming at the Defense and Security Luncheon hosted by the
Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 22 February 2012)
Mr Peter Abigail,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to attend this luncheon and I want to thank the ASPI for its kind invitation and wonderful arrangement.
2012 marks the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Australia. In four decades, remarkable progress has been made in wide ranging exchanges and cooperation, in areas like political relations, economy and trade, science and technology and people-to-people links. China-Australia relations have grown more mature, and fruitful cooperation has brought noticeable benefits to our peoples.
ASPI is a leading think tank on defense and security in Australia, and I want to use this occasion to focus on development of defense and security relations between China and Australia.
First, political mutual trust continues to deepen. China and Australia view each other as an important partner for cooperation. Frequent contacts and interactions have taken place between the two leaderships and foreign and defense departments. The two sides have also maintained sound consultation and coordination on Asia-Pacific and international affairs. China supported Australia's participation in the East Asia Summit and Asia-Europe Meeting, and supports Australia's integration into Asia. Prime Minister Gillard stated on several occasions that China's development is good for Australia and good for the Asia-Pacific region and the world.
Second, strategic-level dialogue mechanisms continue to develop. The bilateral strategic dialogue, launched by the two foreign ministers, has seen three rounds of successful talks. The defense strategic consultation is one of the earliest, most senior and most effective defense dialogues that China has established with western countries, and 14 rounds of talks were already conducted. Such in-depth and candid exchanges help enhance mutual understanding and trust between the two sides and reduce misjudgment.
Third, defense and security cooperation continues to expand. Our navy ships exchanged several visits, and Australia is the first western country that carried out live-fire naval exercises with China. Young officers from the Ministry of Defense of China take programs at the Australian Defense Force Academy in Canberra every year. Not long ago, the Chinese and Australian militaries have held a joint humanitarian and disaster relief exercises in Sichuan Province of China.
Over 40 years, China-Australia relations have forged ahead and spiraled upwards. What are the important inspirations we get from it?
First, China's development is peaceful, not a threat. The thinking of peaceful development is rooted in China's 5000-year old culture. China always works for a peaceful international environment to develop itself, and in turn, uses its own development to better safeguard world peace and promote common prosperity. China cannot develop in isolation of the world and the world benefits from China's development.
I recently read Dr Henry Kissinger's new book On China. With sincerity and in earnest, this old man approaching 90 told the West that they should not view China's rise as a threat, and that China is concentrated on domestic affairs and simply has no energy to seek hegemony.
In his recent speech in New York, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd referred to China's commitment to peaceful dialogue, not conflict, as a means of dealing with differences. He said China does not export ideology and China's concept of a harmonious world represents a Chinese attempt to accommodate a diversity of values, and a diversity of interests in the international order. I endorse these words, and the concept is manifested in China's latest efforts to work for a peaceful and proper settlement of the crisis in Syria and push the Iranian nuclear issue back to the track of dialogue and cooperation.
Second, China's development is an opportunity, not a challenge. This is not a wishful thinking, but a factual statement based on solid evidence.
Since we opened diplomatic relations 40 years ago, bilateral trade has soared from AU$ 100 million to AU$ 100 billion, making China Australia's largest trading partner, export market and source of import. China's import from and investment in Australia generates income equivalent to more than AU$ 10,000 per Australian household each year and has created tens of thousands of jobs for this country. This is only because China and Australia have seized the development and cooperation opportunities.
China is building a moderately prosperous society at full swing and moving at an increased speed towards a domestic demand-driven economy. This has turned China into the second largest importer in the world, creating over 14 million job opportunities for its trading partners.
China's strategic intent is nothing but peaceful development. Facts have proven that cold war and containment are anachronic. When two countries trust each other, their relations grow to the benefit of the people. When they mistrust, their relations stagnate and cooperation suffers. This is what history has taught us.
Third, China's development is inclusive, not exclusive. In his widely followed visit to the United States, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said to the media, "the breadth of the Pacific has space enough to accommodate two big countries like China and the United States". These words strike me deeply and speak volumes for the broad-mindedness of the Chinese nation and its philosophy of win-win progress. China never seeks sphere of influence, or supports the building of an exclusive regional order. China welcomes the United States playing a constructive role in the Asia-Pacific, and expects other countries to respect its core interests and legitimate concerns.
The Asia-Pacific is defined by peace, development and cooperation. Both China and Australia are important countries in this region. It is important for us to enhance mutual trust and cooperation and work closely to build an Asia-Pacific that enjoys enduring peace, win-win cooperation and common prosperity.
I would like to conclude my speech by quoting an ancient Chinese philosopher Mencius who said "He who loves others is loved by all; and he who respects others is respected by all". This means your care and respect of others will be reciprocated.
We are living in a world where countries are becoming ever more interdependent and interconnected. Mutual benefit comes only with mutual respect and mutual trust. Let us respect each other as equals and work together to promote win-win cooperation on the basis of mutual trust and build a brighter future for China-Australia relations.