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Carry Forward the Purposes and Principles of the UN Charter And Build a New Type of International Relations Featuring Win-win Cooperation

Remarks by Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the UNSC Open Debate

2015/02/24

New York, 23 February 2015

Dear Colleagues,

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the founding of the United Nations. For countries across the world, it is an important year to be commemorated as well as a historic juncture to reflect on the past and look to the future.

Holding the presidency of the Security Council this month, China has proposed to convene this open debate for the purpose of joining hands with all countries to draw lessons from history and chart the course for the future.

Drawing lessons from history means to reaffirm the solemn commitment to the Charter of the United Nations to spare "the succeeding generations from the scourge of war which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind".

Charting the course for the future means to join hands and build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation in order to realize the lofty goal of "living together in peace with one another as good neighbors".

Dear Colleagues,

Seventy years ago, the great victory in the World Anti-Fascist War was won. As a result of arduous struggle, justice prevailed over the evil and peace was restored in the world. In that unprecedented calamity in human history, China was an important force in the world anti-Fascism alliance and the main theater in the East. Together with other countries, China endured great national sacrifice and made significant historic contribution to the final victory. Here, let us pay tribute to all those heroic men and women who laid down their lives to uphold peace, dignity and freedom of mankind.

The victory won 70 years ago has profoundly changed our world ever since. In the process when people reflected on the past and envisioned the future, the United Nations came into being, ushering in a new chapter of solidarity of mankind and progress in international relations. We will always remember that on 25 June 1945, the San Francisco Conference unanimously adopted the Charter of the United Nations, which set out an ambitious blueprint for the "people of the united nations" to come together to build a better world.

The UN Charter affirms the strong determination of the international community to prevent war and maintain lasting peace. At the outset, the Charter defines the purposes of the United Nations as maintaining international peace and security, which embodies the world's deep reflection over the two world wars and the great yearning of all countries to be free of war, fear and want. For 70 years, the Charter has inspired one generation after another to make unrelenting efforts for the lofty cause of world peace.

The UN Charter defines the basic norms governing contemporary international relations. It clearly sets forth the principles of sovereign equality, non-interference in internal affairs and respect for territorial integrity. It also advocates that disputes should be settled through peaceful means, countries should refrain from the use or threat of force and threats to security should be removed through cooperation. These basic norms serve the fundamental and collective interests of all countries and peoples. Though written into the Charter 70 years ago, they still have great relevance today and continue to play an indispensable role in maintaining world stability and tranquility.

The UN Charter puts in place safeguard mechanisms to prevent war and uphold peace. It identifies the rights, responsibilities and duties of UN agencies and the member states, authorizes the Security Council to assume primary responsibility for upholding international peace and security and provides that coercive measures must have the mandate of the Security Council and that collective security mechanisms shall replace traditional military alliances and the outdated law of the jungle.

Dear Colleagues,

The wheels of history keep rolling forward. Time flies and 70 years have passed. It is true that mankind has made significant progress in the cause of peace and development, but the beautiful vision as set forth in the UN Charter is yet to be fully realized. Though a world war has been averted, local wars and various conflicts have been incessant, and non-traditional security threats such as terrorism crop up one after another; though the world economy has grown markedly, the gap between the haves and have-nots remains prominent and new global challenges including climate change keep emerging; though multilateralism has become the prevailing trend, inequality and lack of democracy still exist in international relations, and the norms that govern international relations are violated from time to time; in addition, although the historical facts have long been made clear on the war against Fascism, there are still some who are reluctant to recognize the truth and even attempt to overturn the verdict and whitewash past crimes of aggression.

Today, 70 years after its creation, the Charter of the United Nations remains as relevant as ever before. Not only should we stay true to the spirit of the UN Charter, we also need to act along the trend of the times and in line with practical needs to add new dimensions to the Charter and bring to it new dynamism and vitality.

Over the past 70 years, China, a founding member of the UN and a permanent member of its Security Council, has always been steadfast in upholding the spirit of the UN Charter, supporting the role of the UN and safeguarding world peace and stability. Not long ago, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the vision for a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation. The idea is built on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and more importantly, it enriches it with new dimensions. Here, I wish to highlight the following principles for developing international relations in the 21st century:

First, we should uphold peace and prevent conflict. Some regions in the world today are still plagued with turbulence and conflicts. The fundamental way out of it is continued observance of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter as well as the sanctity of the United Nations and its Security Council. In China's view, any unilateral move that bypasses the Security Council is illegal and illegitimate. The Security Council needs to take more precautionary measures to forestall conflict and act in a timely manner to stop warfare so as to restore peace and promote reconstruction as early as possible.

Second, we should opt for cooperation, not confrontation. We live in an increasingly globalized world, a world in which the spread of information technologies is growing with each passing day. Facing the mounting global challenges, countries are left with no choice but to join hands and meet challenges together through cooperation. China calls upon all countries, major countries in particular, to rally behind the need for greater international cooperation. The old mindset of confrontation should be discarded, and consultation and cooperation among the parties should be encouraged if we are to address the major issues affecting world and regional peace and development.

Third, we should make sure that justice, not hegemony, will prevail in the world. The call of the times is for greater democracy and the rule of law in international relations. No country in the world is entitled to impose its own will on others or to topple the legitimate government of other countries. China maintains that all countries are equal, regardless of their size or wealth, and that all countries'sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be respected, and their choice of development path and social system be upheld. International law and norms governing international relations should be truly honored and diversity of civilizations in the world should be respected.

Fourth, we should work with each other with a win-win, not zero-sum approach. In the world today, countries are more interdependent than ever and their interests are increasingly intertwined. Antiquated thinking, such as the cold-war mentality and zero-sum games, should have long been thrown into the trash bin of history. China advocates a new thinking of win-win and all-win cooperation, as well as a new concept of community building for shared interests and common destiny. We call upon all countries to come together to share rights and obligations and uphold justice while pursuing interests. This way, we will usher in a new world where the interests of individual countries and those of others and the wider international community could all be properly safeguarded.

Dear Colleagues,

Today falls within the traditional Chinese holiday season of the Spring Festival, also the best time to plan for the whole year that is to come. I hope that today's open debate will serve as the prelude to our joint commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War as well as the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. May the light of the Charter of the United Nations shine upon the earth and may the vision of win-win cooperation flourish across the world.

Thank you very much.

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