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International Law Colloquium Commemorating 60th Anniversary of Release of Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence Successfully Held in Beijing

2014/05/28

On May 27, 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and Chinese Society of International Law (CSIL) jointly held an international law colloquium commemorating the 60th anniversary of the release of the "Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence" in Beijing. Nearly 100 people were present at the colloquium, including representatives from over 10 neighboring countries such as India, Myanmar, Pakistan, Indonesia, Nepal and Russia, officials from international organisations such as the United Nations, Asian-African Legal Consultative organisation, Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organisation and International Committee of the Red Cross, representatives from organisations of international law such as the Asian Society of International Law, European Society of International Law, African Institute of International Law, American Society of International Law and China Institute of Space Law, as well as well-known domestic and foreign experts and scholars. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, CSIL President Li Shishi and UN Under-Secretary-General Miguel de Serpa Soares attended and addressed the colloquium. Director-General Xu Hong of the Department of Treaty and Law of the Foreign Ministry of China chaired the colloquium.

The international colloquium is the first of its kind dedicated to discuss the "Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence" from the perspective of international law. It focused on the theme of the development of international law by the Five Principles, highly praised the historical contributions of the Five Principles as the fundamental principles for international relations and international law, analysed and summarized the connotations of the Five Principles over the times, and actively discussed the realistic guiding significance of the Five Principles in maintaining international peace, security, development and cooperation, and building a community of common destiny for the mankind.

In his speech, Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin pointed out that in the current situation, we should uphold the four core values enshrined in the Five Principles, namely, the concepts of sovereignty, peace, win-win progress and justice, and strive to build a harmonious world featuring lasting peace, common development, comprehensive cooperation, democracy and rule of law. Liu stressed that China will, as always, practice the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence and present itself as a "firm defender" of state sovereignty, a "staunch upholder" of international peace and security, an "energetic promoter" of economic and social cooperation and development, and an "active builder" of international order and rule of law.

CSIL President Li Shishi particularly pointed out that it is our responsibility in the current era to replenish, enrich and develop the Five Principles and to allow them to play a better role in the handling of contemporary international relations. The Five Principles bear important practical significance, among which adhering to sovereign equality is the foundation, upholding mutual non-interference is the condition, promoting peaceful development is the core and realising win-win cooperation is the target.

UN Under-Secretary-General Miguel de Serpa Soares pointed out that the Five Principles epitomise the purposes and principles of the "Charter of the United Nations" and are good methods to solve tough international problems. Currently, the mankind is facing unprecedented opportunities and challenges. The basic principles of international law, represented by the Five Principles, should be actively adapted to the changing international situation and continuously improved to reflect the demands of the times.

Director-General Xu Hong read the summary document of the colloquium at the closing ceremony. The document fully adopted the main views of the attending parties, summarised the connotation and concepts of the Five Principles over the times from the perspective of international law, charted the course of the practice and development of the Five Principles, and won the unanimous approval of the attending parties.

All the attending parties agreed that the Five Principles are an important contribution of China to the development of modern international law and an important public product that China offers to the international rule of law. As an open and inclusive principle system of international law, the Five Principles possess strong vitality and universal applicability. They serve as important guiding principles to safeguard state sovereignty, maintain international peace and safety, promote international cooperation and development, solve international disputes, uphold international fairness and justice and establish a new international political and economic order, and will surely continue exerting a far-reaching influence on the development of the theory and practice of international law and international relations.

The colloquium enjoyed a wide range of participation, a warm atmosphere, rich content, fruitful results and positive responses, and successfully started the series of activities in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the release of the Five Principles.

During the colloquium, Vice Minister Liu Zhenmin gave exclusive and joint interviews to central media such as the Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, China Central Television and China Daily successively. Referring to the international situation that China now faces, he elaborated on China's will and resolve to continuously hold high the banner of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence and to unswervingly follow the road of peaceful development.

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