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Follow the Trend of the Times and Promote Peace and Development in the World

2013/03/23

Speech by H.E. Xi Jinping

President of the People's Republic of China

At Moscow State Institute of International Relations

23 March 2013

Dear Mr. Anatoly Vasilyevich Torkunov, Rector of Moscow State Institute of International Relations
The Honorable Olga Golodets, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation,
Dear faculty members and students,

I am very pleased to come to the beautiful Moscow State Institute of International Relations today and meet so many faculty members and students here.

Moscow State Institute of International Relations is a prestigious school of world-renown, boasting an outstanding faculty and distinguished alumna. I wish to express my warm congratulations on the remarkable achievements you have made in the various fields.

Russia is a friendly neighbor of China. My current visit to Russia is the first leg of my first overseas trip since becoming China's president. It is also my second visit to your beautiful and richly endowed country in three years. Yesterday, I had fruitful talks with President Putin and together we attended the launch of the "Tourism Year of China" in Russia.

The month of March marks the return of spring, a season of sowing and great renewal. As a popular Chinese saying goes, he who hopes for a good year starts planning and working in spring. China and Russia, having seized the wonderful season to plough and hoe not only for our bilateral relations but also for peace and development in the world, will surely reap a bumper harvest to the benefit of our two peoples and those of other countries around the globe.

Dear faculty members and students,

The Institute of International Relations, as an institution of higher learning specialized in the study of international issues, surely pays a close attention to international landscape and can appreciate even more keenly the enormous changes the world has gone through over the past decades. Indeed, We live in a time of kaleidoscopic changes that make the world constantly different.

It is a world where peace, development, cooperation and mutual benefit have become the trend of the times. The old colonial system has since disintegrated, confrontation between blocs as during the Cold War has long gone. No country or group of countries can dominate world affairs single-handedly.

It is a world where emerging markets and developing countries in their large numbers have embarked on the track of fast development. Billions of people are moving towards modernization with quickened pace. Multiple growth engines have emerged in regions across the world. And the international balance of power continues to evolve in a direction favorable for peace and development in the world.

It is a world where countries are linked with and dependent on one another at a level never seen before. Mankind, by living in the same global village within the same time and space where history and reality meet, have increasingly emerged as a community of common destiny in which every one has in himself a little bit of others.

And it is a world where mankind are beset with numerous difficulties and challenges. They range from continued underlying impact of the international financial crisis, an apparent upsurge of all kinds of protectionism, incessant regional hotspots, rising hegemonism, power politics, and neo-interventionism, to interlaced traditional and non-conventional security threats, such as arms race, terrorism and cyber-security. Upholding world peace and promoting common development remain a long and uphill battle.

We hope that the world becomes a better place. We have every reason to believe that it will. At the same time, we are soberly aware that while the future is bright, the path leading to it can be tortuous. Chernyshevsky once wrote, "The path of history is not paved like Nevsky Prospekt; it runs across fields, either dusty or muddy, and cuts across swamps or forest thickets." Yet as shown by humanity's progress, history always moves forward along its own laws despite twists and turns and no force could hold back its rolling wheels.

The tide of the world is surging forward. Those who submit to it will prosper and those who resist it will perish. Keeping up with the times, one can not live in the 21st century while thinking the old fashion, lingering in the age of colonial expansion or with a zero-sum mentality of the Cold War.

In the face of the profoundly changed international landscape and the objective need for the world to rally closely together like passengers in the same boat, all countries should join hands in building a new type of international relations featuring cooperation and mutual benefit, and all peoples should work together to safeguard world peace and promote common development.

We stand for the sharing of dignity by all countries and peoples in the world. All countries, irrespective of size, strength and wealth, are equal. The right of the people to independently choose their development paths should be respected, interference in the internal affairs of other countries opposed and international fairness and justice maintained. Only the wearer of the shoes knows if they fit or not. Only the people can best tell if the development path they have chosen for their country suits or not.

We stand for the sharing of the fruits of development by all countries and peoples in the world. Every country, while pursuing its own development, should actively facilitate the common development of all countries. There can not be an enduring development in the world when some countries are getting richer and richer while others languishing in prolonged poverty and backwardness. Only when all countries achieve common development can there be better development in the world. Such practices as beggaring-thy-neighbor, shifting crisis on others and feathering one's nest at the expense of others are both immoral and unsustainable.

We stand for the sharing of security by all countries and peoples in the world. Countries should make concerted efforts to properly address the issues and challenges in their face. As challenges often take on global dimensions, it is all the more necessary for countries to take on them cooperatively, turning pressure into motivation and crises into opportunities. Confronted with complex threats to international security, fighting alone or fighting with a blind faith in the use of force will not get one anywhere. The only right solution lies in cooperative security, collective security and common security.

As the trends of world multipolarity and economic globalization deepen and those of upholding cultural diversity and applying information technology in social life continue to make progress, mankind have never been better blessed for taking strides towards peace and development. And win-win cooperation provides the only practical way to achieve such a goal.

The destiny of the world must be left in the hands of the people of all countries. Matters that fall within the sovereign rights of a country should be managed only by the government and people of that country. And affairs of the world should be addressed by the governments and peoples of all countries through consultation. Herein lies the democratic principle in the handling of international affairs which should be universally observed by the international community.

Dear faculty members and students,

Last November, the Communist Party of China held its 18th National Congress. According to the blueprint it mapped out for the country's development in the next period, China will double its 2010 GDP and per capita income for both urban and rural residents by 2020, complete the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects when the Party celebrates its centenary, and turn itself into a modern socialist country that is prosperous, strong, democratic, culturally advanced and harmonious when New China marks its centennary. At the same time, we are soberly aware that as a large developing country with over 1.3 billion people, China will encounter still greater and tougher challenges on the road to progress, which calls for sustained and strenuous efforts on our part if the goals as identified are to be reached.

The great renewal of the Chinese nation has been the grandest dream of the Chinese people since the coming of modern times. We call it the Chinese dream, with prosperity for the country, renewal of the nation and happiness for the people as its fundamental elements. The Chinese have always been a peace-loving nation. But they were subjected to a century of untold sufferings as a result of repeated foreign aggression and domestic turmoil. They know too well the value of peace, and the necessity to build the country and improve the people's livelihood in a peaceful environment. China is unswervingly committed to the path of peaceful development, dedicating itself to an open, cooperative and win-win development, while calling on all countries to follow the path of peaceful development. China always pursues a defense policy that is defensive in nature, not engaging in arms race nor posing a military threat to any country. By growing stronger through development, China will bring about more opportunities, instead of threats, to the world. The Chinese dream which we cherish deeply will not only serve the Chinese people but benefit the people throughout the world.

It is heartening to see that as each other's largest neighbor, China and Russia enjoy a high complementarity in development strategy. Russia has set the goal of reaching or approaching the level of developed countries by 2020 in terms of per capita GDP and is accelerating its advance in material development. We sincerely wish you success in achieving your goals as soon as possible. A strong and prosperous Russia is in the interests of China and fully conducive to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific and the world at large.

The relationship between China and Russia is one of the most important bilateral relationships in the world. It is also the best relationship between major countries. A strong and high performance relationship like this not only serves the interests of our two countries but also provides an important safeguard for maintaining international strategic balance as well as peace and stability in the world. With our persistent efforts over the past 20 years and more, we have established a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, a relationship that fully accommodates each other's interests and concerns and delivers tangible benefits to the two peoples. We have resolved the boundary issues left from history once and for all and signed the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation, thus laying a solid foundation for the long-term growth of China-Russia relations.

At present, both China and Russia are at a crucial stage of national renewal, as their relations have entered a new period characterized by mutual provision of vital development opportunities and mutual serving as primary cooperation partners. To ensure continued growth of China-Russia relations under the new conditions, we need to work still harder in the following areas:

First, stay firmly committed to building a forward-looking relationship. That China and Russia should live in everlasting amity and never be enemies is the shared aspiration of the two peoples. We need to stand high and look far, working on our bilateral relations with a holistic approach. President Putin once said, "Russia needs a prosperous and stable China, and China needs a strong and successful Russia as well." I could not agree more. By achieving common development, we will give ever broader space to our comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination and provide positive energy to the international order and global systems in their movement toward greater fairness and rationality. China and Russia will forever be good neighbors, good friends and good partners, taking concrete actions to firmly support each other on respective core interests, on respective development and renewal, on following the development paths suited to respective national conditions and on doing a good job with respective affairs and endeavors.

Second, stay firmly committeed to cultivating a cooperative and mutually-beneficial relationship. China and Russia differ in realities and national conditions. By engaging in close cooperation and drawing on each other's strengths to make up for respective shortcomings, we can show to the world that one plus one can be greater than two. Last year, our two way trade reached US$88.2 billion and there were 3.3 million visits exchanged between our peoples. These figures give full expression to the enormous potential and broad prospects of China-Russia relations. Bilateral cooperation in energy has deepened steadily. The China-Russia oil and gas pipelines have since replaced the "Ten Thousand Li Tea Route" of the 17th century as the new "arteries of the century" connecting the two countries. Right now, we are looking actively to bridge the development strategies of our respective countries and regions in an effort to create still more converging interests and growth areas in bilateral cooperation. We will expand the scope of bilateral cooperation from the energy and resources sector to investment, infrastructure, hi-tech, finance and other areas and from commodity trade to joint R&D and joint production so as to elevate the result-oriented cooperation between the two countries.

Third, stay firmly committed to cementing the friendship between the two peoples. Amity between the peoples holds the key to relations between countries. It is the people's deep friendship that drives state-to-state relations forward. Here, I want to share a couple of stories about the mutual support and mutual help between our peoples. During the Anti-Japanese war, Captain Gregory Kurishenko of the Soviet Union came to China and fought side by side with the Chinese people. He once said emotionally, "I am feeling the Chinese people's sufferings as if I am feeling the sufferings of my own motherland." He died heroically on the Chinese soil. The Chinese people never forget their hero. An ordinary Chinese mother and her son have kept vigil at his tomb for more than half a century. In 2004, China invited some of the children traumatized in the Beslan school hostage incident to China for rehabilitation treatment. The children received meticulous care. Alan, the head doctor from the Russian side, said to the Chinese side, "Your doctors have given our children such great help and they will always remember you." When China's Wenchuan was hit by a devastating earthquake in 2008, Russia raced against time to extend a helping hand and invited the children from disaster areas to Russia's Far East for rehabilitation. Three years ago, I saw with my own eyes at the Ocean Children Center in Vladivostok the loving care Russian teachers showered on our children. As we Chinese often say, love knows no borders. The Chinese children have learned for themselves love, friendship and kindness of the Russian people. There are a lot more touching stories like these and together they keep the tree of our friendship nourished, strong and evergreen.

As countries both with time-honored history and splendid cultures, cultural and people-to-people exchanges between us play an irreplaceable role in advancing the friendship between the two peoples. Ancient Chinese philosophers such as Confucius and Laozi are well known in Russia while the Russian culture left a deep mark on the older generations of Chinese revolutionaries. Even people of my age have read many Russian classic masterpieces. In my youth, I read works of such Russian literary giants as Pushkin, Lermontov, Turgenev, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Chekhov and savoured the powerful charm of Russian literature. It is no wonder that cultural exchanges between China and Russia enjoy a fertile ground.

The youths are the future of a country and the future of the world. They also hold in their hands the future of China-Russia friendship. During this visit of mine, President Putin and I jointly announced that China and Russia would host the Year of Youth Friendship and Exchange in 2014 and 2015 respectively. On the Chinese side, we will invite a delegation of Russian university students, including students of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, to China. I see in you some of the best and brightest of the young generation in Russia. I hope that more and more young people from both countries would take over the baton of China-Russia friendship by actively involving themselves in the cause of friendship.

Dear faculty members and students,

As a Russian proverb goes, "Big ships sail far." We also have lines of ancient poem which read, "A time will come to ride the wind and cleave the waves, I'll set my cloudlike sail to cross the sea which raves." I am convinced that with the joint efforts of the governments and peoples of our two countries, China-Russia relations will continue to press ahead, overcoming difficulties, bringing more benefits to the two peoples and making even greater contribution to peace and development in the world.

Thank you.

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