Support for the Countries and Peoples of Latin America in their Struggle to Safeguard National Independence and State Sovereignty
During the 1970s, the political situation of the countries in Latin America and the Carribean underwent significant changes. On 1 February 1971, Premier Zhou Enlai of the Chinese State Council attended a reception given by Mr. Garcia, Charge d?Affaires ad interim of the Cuban Embassy in China. Touching on the situation in Latin America, Premier Zhou said: The situation in the 70s is very different from that of the 60s.The struggle in Latin America to opposed imperialism and for national independence has made marked progress and a breakthrough has been brought about; the beacon of this struggle has brought light to the whole Western Hemisphere. At the banquet to welcome Mexican president Echeveria on his visit to China, Premier zhou remarked that Latin America is emerging on the world arena with a new stance and that the struggle of the Latin American countries and people to defend their national independence and state sovereignty has gained deeper and more extensive development. The strengthening of contacts and unity among the Latin American countries and the strengthening of contacts and unity between the Latin American countries and the Asian and African countries are playing an increasingly important role in international affairs.
China and the countries of Latin America and the Carribean Sea are all developing countries. China actively supports the Latin American countries in their struggles to safeguard national independence, state sovereignty and national resources, develop national economy, oppose foreign interference, oppose hegemonism and for the establishment of a new international economic order.
China has always been concerned and rendered support to the struggle of the Panamanian people in their just struggles. In January 1964 at the height of the Panamanian people?s patriotic struggle against the United States, Chairman Mao Zedong remarked on January 12 in which he expressed firm support to their just action in seeking to regain sovereignty over the Panama Canal Zone. In March 1973 at the U.N. Security Council?s meeting on Panama, the Chinese representative Huang Hua reiterated that the Chinese Government completely understood and deeply sympathized with and supported the unrelenting efforts of the Panamanian Government and people to regain sovereignty over the Panama Canal.
In the mid 60s, Latin American countries initiated the establishment of a Latin American Nuclear Free Zone and fervently hoped that China support the relevant treaties and accede to the relevant protocals. On 14 November 1972, Foreign Minister Ji Pengfei issued a statement on behalf of the Chinese government in which he pointed out that the Chinese Government respected and supported the just proposal of the Latin American countries to establish a Latin American nuclear-free zone, agreed to the contents of the number two protocal of the Latin American Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, undertook that ?China will never use or threat to use nuclear weapon against Latin American non-nuclear states or nuclear-free zones, nor will it tests, manufacture, produce, stockpile, assemble or deploy nuclear weapons in these countries or regions or to allow nuclear weapons means of delivery to pass through the territories, airspace or waters of the Latin American countries. On 21 August 1973, the Chinese Government representative, Chinese Ambassador to Mexico Hsiung Xianghui signed the number two protocal annex of the Latin America Treaty on the prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. At the same time, the Chinese Government issued a statement in which it declared respect and support to the just proposal of the Latin American countries on the establishment of a Latin America Nuclear-Free Zone aimed at opposing the nuclear threat and nuclear blackmail of the super-powers and safeguarding the peace and security of Latin America. It reiterated that the Chinese government stands ready to continue making unremitting efforts together with the Latin American countries and all the peace-loving countries of the world for the realization of the great goal of complete prohibition and total destruction of nuclear weapons throughout the world.
The struggle initiated by Latin American countries in the 1970s to safeguard the maritime rights of 200 nautical miles gathered greater momentum. China has all along supported the position of the third world countries in this struggle to defend the national economic interests of the countries in that region and to oppose maritime hegemonism. As early as September 1971, Premier Zhou Enlai pointed out in his written answer to question raised by the Peruvian journalist Torre that the struggle of the Latin American countries and peoples to defend their maritime rights of 200 nautical miles is a just one. Countries of Latin America have the right to decide on the width and sphere of jurisdiction of its territorial waters in the light of the specific conditions and needs of each country as well as the right to control its maritime resources. This is the sovereignty right of a country. The neighboring littoral countries may on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and mutual respect for each other?s sovereignty, demarcate the limits of their territorial waters through consultations and no other country should interfere or infringe upon their rights.
At the 28th Session of the U.N. General Assembly held on 2 October 1973, Chairman of the Government Delegation of the People?s Republic of China Qiao Guanhua once again elaborated the position of the Chinese Government. He said that the medium and small countries are unfurling a struggle of great dimension in opposing the maritime hegemonism of the super-powers centering on the question of maritime rights. The struggle to oppose maritime hegemonism is an important aspect of the developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America to safeguard their national resources and develop their national economy and also a new focal point in the current struggle against hegemonism. So long as medium and small countries seek common ground and put aside their differences, unite and persist in making unrelenting and protracted efforts, the struggle to oppose maritime hegemonism will certainly triumph. In March 1975, the Third Session of the U.N. 3rd conference on the law of the Sea was held in Geneva. The Chinese Delegation deliberated actively at the session, unite with the countries of the third world and support their reasonable demand in safeguarding their national maritime rights.
In 1974, the 6th Special Session of the U.N. General Assembly was held and the ?Declaration on the Establishment of a new International Economic Order? and the ?Programme of Action? was adopted. The Chinese Government highly assessed and supported these two documents. The Chinese Government Delegation led by Vice-Premier Deng Xiaoping, attended this session and made an important speech in which he elaborated on the necessity of restructuring the old and unequal international economic order and explicitly proposed the establishment of a new international economic order. He said that the economic lifelines of many Asian, African and Latin American countries were still subjected to control to different extent by colonialism and imperialism after they have gained their political independence and the old economic structure has not been changed fundamentally. The plunder and exploitation by colonialism, imperialism especially the super-powers have made the poor countries even poorer and the rich becoming even richer and the gap between the poor and the rich countries is becoming wider. Countries of the third world strongly demand a change in such extremely unequal international economic relations and many fair and reasonable proposals for reform have been advanced. The Chinese Government and the Chinese people warmly endorse and firmly support all the just proposals advanced by countries of the third world.