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Statement by H.E. Tang Jiaxuan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, and Head of the Chinese Delegation, at the General Debate of the 57th Session of the United Nations General Assembly

New York, 13 September 2002

2002-09-16 15:10
Mr. President,

First of all, please allow me to offer my warmest congratulations on your assumption of the Presidency of current Session of the United Nations General Assembly. I am confident that with the support of the broad members of this great organization, you will fulfill your mandate with flying colors. At the same time, I wish to express my gratitude to Mr. Han Seung-soo for the contributions he made as the President of the last session of the UN General Assembly.

Also, I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate the Swiss Confederation on its accession to the United Nations and welcome the Democratic Republic of East Timor who will soon become a UN member.

Mr. President,

The opening of this UNGA Session coincides with the first anniversary of the September 11th incident. Thanks to the vigorous cooperation among the people of various countries over the past year, the international campaign against terrorism has made positive headway, dealing heavy blows to the forces of terror around the world. We have come to the moment when we should not only ponder on ways to eradicate the global scourge of terrorism, but take a broader view of the security issue facing mankind and seek more effective ways to achieve lasting peace and universal security in the world.

At present, the international security situation is undergoing profound changes.

Security has begun to take on wider connotations. While military antagonism and conflicts triggered by territorial, resources, ethnic and other disputes remain unremoved, a variety of non-traditional security concerns represented by terrorism have become increasingly prominent. Security is no longer a pure military concern. It has permeated politics, economy, finance, science, technology, culture and many more areas.

Security is no longer a zero-sum game. Its mutuality is obviously on the increase as countries have come to share more in their security interests and feel a greater sense of interdependence.

There needs to be an overhaul in our tools to achieve security. Military means alone has proved inadequate in meeting massive and complicated security challenges. Indiscriminate use of force can only lead to greater trouble in our world.

The new situation calls for new ideas in safeguarding security. We in China stand for a new security concept which features mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation.

By mutual trust, we mean that countries should rise above their differing ideologies and social systems, abandon the Cold-War mentality and power politics mindset, and refrain from misgivings and hostility against each other. Instead, they should go in for frequent dialogues and briefings on their security and defense policies or the major actions they are about to take.

By mutual benefit, we mean that a country, in keeping with the objective requirements of the development of globalization, should respect the security interests of others while pursuing the interests of its own, help create conditions for the better security of others while making itself more secure, thus achieving universal security.

By equality, we mean that every country, big or small, strong or weak, is a member of the international community. All countries should respect each other, treat each other as equals and refrain from interfering in each other's internal affairs, so that international relations will become more democratized.

By cooperation, we mean that countries should resolve their disputes through peaceful negotiations, carry out extensive and deep-going cooperation on their shared security concerns and help eliminate hidden dangers and prevent wars and conflicts from happening.

All in all, our new security concept is aimed at increasing mutual trust through dialogue and promoting common security through cooperation.

It is in the spirit of this new security concept that we in China have been working hard to promote the mechanisms for regional security dialogue and cooperation, cherishing and actively participating in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the ASEAN Regional Forum and endeavoring, together with other countries in the region, for the establishment of an Asia-Pacific security framework geared to dialogue, rather than confrontation.

China is actively committed to international arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation process and supports the consolidation and strengthening of international non-proliferation regimes on the basis of universal participation and non-discrimination. Not long ago, the Chinese Government promulgated the Regulations on Export Controls of Missiles and Related Items and Technologies and its Control List, which marked a fresh step forward in bringing about rule of law in our export control work. The Chinese Government will complete further improvement on its export management mechanisms for biological and chemical dual-use items in the near future. China supports the international community in taking effective measures to prevent the dangerous trend of weaponization in outer space.

Our new security concept is both workable and effective. We call upon the international community to reach a broad consensus thereon and jointly tackle the major security concerns of the day through vigorous dialogue and cooperation.

We should press ahead with international cooperation against terrorism and check the threat of international terrorism once and for all.

Counter-terrorism should be pursued on the basis of international law and norms governing international relations, allowing the UN and its Security Council to play a leading role. It should follow a comprehensive approach with focus on eliminating the root causes of terrorism. Efforts should be made to prevent the arbitrary enlargement of the scope of counter-terrorism campaign, but proven terrorist forces, including the East Turkestan terrorist forces which have been trained, armed and bankrolled by the Taliban and Al Qaeda, must be resolutely stamped out, denying them any opportunity to wreak havoc of society again.

We should step up dialogue and reconciliation and facilitate settlement of regional hotspots.

We are deeply concerned about rising violence in Israel-Palestine conflict. China supports the Palestinian people in their just cause to regain legitimate national rights and establish their own state. We support the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the principle of land for peace. We are opposed to violence targeted at innocent civilians and reject trading violence with violence. Both the Palestinian and the Israeli people have the right to live in peace, and genuine security can only be achieved through peaceful coexistence.

We stand for a political settlement of the Iraqi issue. The United Nations should play an important role in this regard. Iraq should implement the relevant Security Councuil resolutions in a faithful and strict manner.

We hope that India and Pakistan will soon resume dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect and resolve all their differences, including that over Kashmir, through peaceful means.

We rejoice at the positive developments in Afghanistan over the past year or so. China is ready to join the international community in working constructively for lasting peace in Afghanistan and its post-war rehabilitation. We support the UN in playing its important role in this regard.

We should strengthen exchanges and dialogues among different civilizations and keep them from coming into conflict or confrontation.

Our world is home to rich, colorful and diverse civilizations, which differ from one another. And such diversity is a basic characteristic of humanity. To ignore this objective fact, or to stir up hatred and confrontation among different civilizations is inconsistent with the requirements of our times for peace and development. Trying to impose on the world only one idea and one culture while denying the unique traditions and independent choices of various countries runs counter to the tide of democratization of international relations.

Different civilizations do not cause conflicts in the world, rather, they provide a starting point for a more integrated global village. Mankind has come a long way in getting to know itself and the planet it inhabits. We have every reason to treat the achievements of the various civilizations kindly with an open mind and a broad vision, and promote exchanges among them on the basis of respect for diversity. Let exclusion be replaced by tolerance, confrontation by dialogue, conflict by integration. Every one is encouraged to draw upon the strength of others with a view to realizing common development. This, in our view, is the only way to a peaceful and tranquil world, a way that gives all human civilizations a more rewarding future.

Mr. President,

Peace and development go hand in hand. Lasting peace and universal security can only be achieved on the basis of common prosperity in the entire international community. Many a problem we face today may have its roots found in the area of development. In coping with these challenges, it is all the more important to look to development for answers.

In the past year, the UN has held a series of important meetings on development, which reviewed the implementation of the various UN initiatives for development since the 1990s and put forward programs of action for the future. In particular, the World Summit on Sustainable Development which ended earlier this month laid down a new roadmap for the international community's endeavor at sustainable development. What is needed right now is to translate the programs and commitments into reality.

In the past year, regional economic cooperation has continued to show a sound momentum and become an effective channel for mutually-complementary cooperation and common development by countries against the backdrop of globalization. We feel especially happy about the launching of the African Union, convinced that the people of Africa will take fresh historical strides on the road to development.

At present factors making for greater development are all the more active. Thanks to rapidly advancing science and technology, new and more powerful driving force has been made available for human progress. With the surging economic globalization, countries and regions are all faced with a choice: forging ahead or being driven back. Their desire to accelerate development through greater participation in international competition has never been stronger.

Our tasks of development have become more pressing. The situation where greater world wealth is accompanied by a widening wealth gap, must be reversed. The state of higher financial risks and frequent economic and social volatility must be redressed. The sharpening clashes between economic development on the one hand and resources and environment on the other must be allayed. The international order and the rules of the game, which cannot fairly reflect the needs of developing countries, must be changed. The goal of common development for the entire human community remains largely elusive.

The new situation calls for new lines of thinking. Our propositions are as follows:

Establishing a global partnership geared to development. Governments, international organizations, transnational corporations, and non-governmental groups are all parties to the cause of development and should work together for the implementation of the UN's millennium development goals. Between the South and the North, the aid recipient countries and international aid institutions, there should be a partnership characterized by mutual benefit, equality and cooperation. Assisting the developing countries today is to invest in the common destiny of all human beings. With the global economic slow-down, the developing countries are sustaining greater difficulties. The developed countries ought to lend them a helping hand in such areas as finance, trade, technology transfer and development aid and make good on their debt relief promises without delay. The new round of multilateral trade talks should be seized as an important opportunity for forging such a new partnership.

Promoting a balanced and steady development of economic globalization. It would not be in the interest of a sound world economy if the laws of the marketplace were given a free rein to dominate globalization. The international community needs to reform the current rules in the world economy, strengthen guidance and management of the globalization process, take account of fairness and reduce risks while seeking efficiency, and steer globalization in an "all-win" direction of coexistence.

Strengthening developing countries' capacity for self-development. The developing countries should opt for a development path suited to their own national conditions. Always giving top priority to development, they can carry out reforms and opening-up while preserving stability and use every possible international condition in their favor to catch up with the tide of global economic development. The international community should respect the right of the developing countries to independently choose a development path and provide them with assistance in areas such as institution building, personnel training and competitiveness development.

Persisting in the course of sustainable development. Economic development must be able to serve sustainable exploitation of resources and a virtuous cycle of the ecosystem. We should promote a balanced development of the economy, population, resources and environment with a view to an organic integration of the economic returns, social well-being and environmental benefits. We should step up international cooperation, combine efforts to address environmental problems of individual countries with those to tackle global concerns, and promote the cause of sustainable development of mankind with our concerted endeavor.

Enhancing an all-round development of the people. Both the starting point and the ultimate goal of human progress lie in the all-round development of the people. Human resource is the primary resource in advancing science and technology and in realizing economic and social development. In formulating development strategies, countries should make the people their top priority and the main beneficiary, bearing in mind the goals of comprehensive enhancement of people's quality and constant improvement of their material and cultural life.

The United Nations plays an irreplaceable role in safeguarding world peace, ensuring universal security and promoting common development. The purposes and principles of the UN Charter have a strong and abiding staying power. We should give full play to the role of this world body, promote a democratized pattern of international relations and spare no effort in the quest for a bright future of mankind.

Mr. President,

The Communist Party of China (CPC) will soon hold its 16th National Congress, the very first in the new century. Standing in the forefront of the historical tide and displaying a spirit of progressing with the times, this Party Congress will draw out a new blueprint for accelerating socialist modernization in China.

Our guiding thought is to consistently represent the development requirements of China's advanced productive forces, represent the orientation of China's advanced culture, and represent the fundamental interests of the overwhelming majority of the Chinese people.

Our historical mission is to accelerate the modernization drive, complete the reunification of the motherland, to maintain world peace and promote common development.

The first 10 to 20 years of this century present China an important strategic window of opportunity for its development. While taking development as our No. 1 priority, we must grasp the opportunities, deepen reform, open the country still wider to the outside world, promote development and maintain stability.

We will put forth new ideas for development, make fresh breakthroughs in our reform and bring about a new situation in our openness to the outside.

We will press ahead with our market-oriented reforms, readjust and improve the structure of the ownership system, and further emancipate and develop the productive forces.

We will focus on higher quality of economic growth through science and technology upgrading and improved management, stress the implementation of the strategy of sustainable development, and attach importance to a balanced approach to development among different regions and between urban and rural areas, with a view to promoting the all-round progress of society.

We will take our WTO membership as a fresh start, take part in international economic and technical cooperation and competition in a more sophisticated fashion in more areas, and expand the scope of our economic development by comprehensively raising the level of our openness to the outside.

We will develop a socialist material civilization, cultivate a socialist political civilization and carry forward a socialist spiritual civilization.

We will continue to pursue an independent foreign policy of peace and actively develop friendly relations and cooperation with all countries in the world on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence. We will dedicate ourselves to lasting world peace and common development of all countries and facilitate international dialogue and cooperation, thus contributing constructively to a fairer and more equitable international order.

Mr. President,

There is but one China in the world. Both the mainland and Taiwan belong to that one China and China's sovereignty and territorial integrity brooks no division. Achieving national reunification is our unswerving stance and a goal of our unrelenting efforts.

In January 1995, President Jiang Zemin made an eight-point proposal on how to develop cross-Straits relations and promote a peaceful reunification of the motherland for the current stage. Since then, cross-Straits trade and economic ties have grown rapidly with personnel exchanges increasing with each passing day. The people on both sides of the Straits, the overseas Chinese communities and all those around the world who wish the Chinese people well are reassured by the achievements of our long-standing efforts and encouraged by the prospects of China's peaceful reunification.

However, the Taiwan authorities have gone out of their way to block the development of cross-Straits relations as the forces for "Taiwan independence" lurched further down the separatist road. A few weeks ago, the leader of the Taiwan authorities flagrantly described the state of cross-Straits relations as "one country on each side", which revealed his true colors as someone who obstinately clings to "Taiwan independence". This is an open provocation not only against the entire Chinese people, our Taiwan compatriots included, but also against the one China principle universally recognized by the international community.

The mainstream public opinion in Taiwan features peace, development, tranquility and better and closer ties with the mainland. The leader of the Taiwan authorities, however, has turned his back on the public opinion, and by preaching "Taiwan independence" and imposing the design of the handful of separatist diehards on the Taiwan people, he will lead Taiwan to disaster. This represents the biggest threat to the security and welfare of the people on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, and also a disruptive factor to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Adhering to the basic policy of "peaceful reunification and one country, two systems", the Chinese Government has worked hard to promote cross-Straits trade, economic cooperation, and personnel exchanges. We are firm in our opposition to all forms of "Taiwan independence" activities, and will tolerate no one to separate Taiwan from the rest of China in any fashion. All acts of "Taiwan independence" are doomed to failure and our grand cause of national reunification will triumph.

Thank you.

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