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Write Together a New Chapter of Common Development

2011/03/21

Write Together a New Chapter of Common Development
Speech by Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi
At China Development Forum 2011

21 March 2011

Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

I am delighted to attend the China Development Forum once again and meet you, friends both old and new, here on this beautiful spring day. This year's meeting, featuring "The Ongoing Transformation of China's Growth Pattern", is most timely and highly significant. Present at the forum are the outstanding representatives of various sectors. I am certain that we will benefit greatly from your insightful views on such topics as world economic recovery, transformation of development pattern, and comprehensive, coordinated and sustainable economic and social development. I wish the meeting full success.

As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, our world is experiencing major developments, major changes and major adjustments. Countries around the globe face not only serious challenges, but also and more importantly, rare and important opportunities.

First, despite some destabilizing factors and uncertainties in the world economy, the momentum of recovery has taken hold, and the global economic restructuring has brought new opportunities for development. The strong growth of the emerging economies and other developing countries has further narrowed the North-South gap and led to a new development pattern featuring dynamic growth of different economies. Steady progress has been made in reforming the world economic governance system and making the international order more just and equitable. Many countries are shifting economic growth patterns and pursuing technology revolution and industrial revolution aimed at green, smart and sustainable development. This will lend new impetus to world economic growth.

Second, despite complex and diverse challenges, the international security situation is on the whole peaceful and stable, providing strong safeguards for greater development. Non-traditional security issues, including economic security, energy security, food security, terrorism and cyber security have become more pronounced, and the nuclear leak in Japan sounded the alarm to the international community about the safety of nuclear power. These non-traditional security threats are entwined with traditional security issues such as local conflicts and hotspots, making today's security challenges interconnected, cross-cutting and multi-dimensional. It is impossible for any one country to meet these challenges alone. More and more countries have come to realize that we must pursue common security through dialogue and cooperation.

Third, despite some differences and competition among members of the international community, the trend of seeking development through cooperation is gaining momentum, which provides favorable conditions for win-win progress and common development. In the face of new opportunities, countries have taken development as their main policy goal. In the face of challenges, they, too, consider development a fundamental solution to various problems. As countries are interconnected and interdependent in this era of globalization, we all stand to gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation. To advance common development through cooperation represents the trend of the time and will open up new vistas for global cooperation at a higher level.

In sum, as the world moves towards multipolarity and greater economic globalization, the trend toward peace, development and cooperation has grown stronger. We have reason to believe that for quite a long time to come, China and the whole world will be blessed with important development opportunities.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China cannot develop in isolation from the world and China's development benefits not only itself but also the rest of the international community. China has been working hard to overcome the adverse impact of the financial crisis and maintain steady and fast economic growth. At the same time, it has shown to the world with concrete action that it is a staunch force for world peace and development.

First, China is committed to the noble cause of safeguarding world peace. China has taken an active part in UN peacekeeping operations. As we speak, 2,039 Chinese peacekeepers are performing their duties in ten UN peacekeeping missions, making China the largest contributor of peacekeeping personnel among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. China has played a constructive role in resolving regional hotspot issues. We have made great efforts to maintain peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and advance the denuclearization process, taken an active part in Afghanistan's peace and reconstruction endeavor, and worked hard for regional peace and development. We have properly handled disputes with neighboring countries in order to uphold the larger interests of bilateral relations and regional peace and stability. As a big and responsible country, China has been actively engaged in international cooperation on non-proliferation and counter-piracy. A few days ago, Japan was hit by a massive earthquake rarely seen in history. We share the pain of the Japanese people. President Hu Jintao, Chairman Wu Bangguo of the National People's Congress and Premier Wen Jiabao sent messages of condolences to the Japanese emperor, leaders of the Japanese Diet and Prime Minister Naoto Kan respectively. President Hu personally went to the Japanese Embassy to express condolences. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, we sent a rescue team, pledged 30 million yuan of material assistance and provided 20,000 tons of fuel oil to Japan. Friendship groups and local governments in China also provided assistance through their own channels. All these fully demonstrate the friendly sentiments of the Chinese people towards the Japanese people. As you all know, we do not approve of the use of force in international relations. We have been following closely the developments in Libya and expressed regret over the military attack on Libya. We stand for respecting the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Libya in keeping with the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and relevant norms of international law. We hope the situation in Libya will return to stability as soon as possible in order to avoid any escalation of armed conflict that will lead to greater civilian casualties.

Second, China is committed to global economic recovery and growth. China's GDP grew by 9.6% in 2010 and contributed over 20% to world economic growth, making China an important force in countering the financial crisis and promoting economic recovery. It has also boosted people's hope and confidence about the world economy. China's trade with other countries has steadily picked up. Last year, our trade with Japan and the ROK reached record highs and our imports from ASEAN grew by 44.8%. We sent several trade and investment promotion missions to Europe and the United States. When Europe was plunged into a serious debt crisis, we increased our bond holdings of some European countries. All these are concrete steps we have taken to support Europe and the United States in overcoming difficulties and achieving recovery. China's trade with Africa and Latin America has also grown rapidly. We have maintained the basic stability of the RMB exchange rate and pressed ahead with the reform of the exchange rate regime. In 2010, the RMB appreciated more than 3% against the US dollar. This is yet another example of China's efforts to enhance global economic stability and development.

Third, China is committed to global and regional cooperation. Chinese leaders have attended a series of important multilateral conferences to discuss with world leaders ways to advance development and build a more just and equitable international order. China has played a constructive role in international cooperation on climate change. We hosted the UN climate change negotiations in Tianjin and took part in the Cancun conference. We support and will host the BRICS Leaders' Meeting in an effort to establish a new platform for South-South cooperation and North-South dialogue. We support the in-depth development of various cooperation mechanisms, including the 10+1, 10+3, China-Japan-ROK, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, East Asia Summit and APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. And we welcome new cooperation initiatives that will drive forward the regional cooperation process. Early last year, the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area was fully established. This is an arrangement that brings benefits to nearly one third of the world's population.

Fourth, China is committed to diverse forms of development in the world and mutual learning among civilizations. Interactions of ideas and thoughts have become more robust in the post-financial crisis era, and the trend of different civilizations and development paths learning from each other has gained momentum. We call for respect for diversity of cultures and civilizations and advocate dialogue and exchanges among them. We hope that all parties will embrace an open and inclusive spirit to learn from each other, treat each other as equals, seek common ground while shelving differences and make joint efforts to achieve diversified and harmonious development.

We believe that, to maintain world peace, stability and development, it is of particular importance to have a correct understanding of the following relationships.

First, the relationship between peace and development. The history of human development tells us time and again that peace and development are each other's essential prerequisites. Development is not possible without peace and stability, and the absence of economic development and prosperity will erode the foundation of peace. The international financial crisis has not only made the issue of development more acute, but also seriously affected the social stability in some developing countries and even regional peace. It has also made the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) a more arduous task. China maintains that the international community should observe the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, follow the new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, and work together to uphold a peaceful and stable international and regional environment. China is ready to work with other countries to facilitate the implementation of the MDGs and enhance peace and development in developing countries.

Second, the relationship between cooperation and competition. There is both cooperation and competition in state-to-state relations, especially in their economic and trade interactions. We believe that competition should be open and inclusive so that it can bring out the comparative advantages of different countries and lead to common development. We maintain that competition should be equal and fair. We don't think economic and trade issues should be politicized, and we are against double standards and discriminatory treatment. We are of the view that competition should lead to mutual benefit. While pursuing one's own interests, it is necessary to think for others and accommodate others' interests. It is ill-advised to follow a beggar-thy-neighbor policy or stir up confrontation by labeling hypothetical rivals. Last but not least, we believe that competition should be balanced and appropriate. Due to historical and practical reasons, some developing countries are at a disadvantageous position in competition. We must do everything we can to help them increase their competitiveness and capacity for sustainable development. China highly values its friendship and cooperation with other countries and is ready to expand cooperation with them on the basis of mutual complementarity and win-win progress.

The third point is in relation to responsibilities and obligations. As a responsible member of the international community, China has made unremitting efforts to fulfill its due international responsibilities and obligations. Here I wish to emphasize that China remains a developing country, with 150 million people living below the poverty line according to UN standard. It is a tall order to achieve our national development goals and we must continue to make strenuous efforts. If people from the outside can think along this line and truly appreciate this point, they will have a fairer and more objective view of China's international position and responsibilities. This said, as China's strength grows, we will make bigger contribution to world peace and development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the beginning of China's 12th Five-Year Plan period. It is an important year for China to build on past achievements and strive for new progress along the course of peaceful development. We will, as always, follow the independent foreign policy of peace, stick to the path of peaceful development and adhere to the win-win strategy of opening-up. We will pursue all-round cooperation with other countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. We will work for steady growth of relations with major countries, deepen friendly cooperation with neighboring countries, strengthen traditional friendship with developing countries, and actively engage in economic, security and public diplomacy. Through our effort on the diplomatic front, we will contribute to the implementation of the 12th Five-Year Plan and the endeavor to change economic development pattern. We will foster a more favorable external environment for building a moderately prosperous society in all respects, and make tireless efforts to build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity.

As a Chinese saying goes, a wise man adapts to the changing situation, and a smart man adjusts strategy in the new context. Time and tide wait for no man. Let's seize the new opportunity to enhance cooperation and work together to usher in an even better future.

Thank you.

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