China at a New Starting Point
2013-09-27 23:00

Statement by H.E. Mr. Wang Yi

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China
at the General Debate of the 68th Session of
the United Nations General Assembly
New York, 27 September 2013


Mr. President,

This year has been an unusual one in China's development. China's new central leadership has put forward the Chinese dream of realizing the great renewal of the Chinese nation. And it is leading the 1.3 billion Chinese people in an endeavor to fulfill two centenary goals, namely, to finish building a society of initial prosperity in all respects by 2020 and to turn China into a modern socialist country by the mid-21st century. Having experienced profound changes in the past five thousand years and especially turbulence and rejuvenation in the past century, China has reached a new historical starting point today.

What development path will China take in the future? What domestic and foreign policies will it pursue? And what kind of international role will it play? I understand these questions are of great interest to the international community. As the foreign minister of the new Chinese government, I wish to answer them solemnly:

China will stay firmly on the path of peaceful development. As China has enjoyed fast development over the years, some people are concerned that China may repeat the beaten track that a country will inevitably become arrogant and seek hegemony when it grows in strength and becomes powerful; and various versions of China threat have surfaced. However, what happened in the past cannot be applied indiscriminately to today's China. The outdated Cold-War mentality has no place in the new era of globalization. The Chinese nation loves peace and the Chinese culture values harmony. In history, what the Chinese pursued was international exchanges and trade, not foreign aggression and expansion, and what guided them was patriotism to defend the nation, not colonialism to occupy new territories.

The culture of a country determines its values, and its history points the way to its future.

Close to 40 years ago, it was on this podium that the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping solemnly declared on behalf of the Chinese government that China would never seek hegemony in the world. Today, his statement remains our unchanging commitment and conviction. China has and will continue to honor its promise and be a staunch force for upholding world peace.

China pursues peaceful development and calls on all other countries to embark on the same path. Since the beginning of reform and opening up, China has become increasingly interdependent with the global economy and integrated into the international system. We are committed to working with others to establish a new type of international relations based on win-win cooperation and seek peaceful resolution of international and regional disputes. With regard to China's disputes with some countries over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, we sincerely hope to properly resolve them through negotiation and consultation with countries directly involved. Those disputes that cannot be resolved now should be shelved for future resolution. This is our consistent position and practice. On the other hand, we will, under whatever circumstances, firmly safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity and resolutely uphold China's legitimate and lawful rights and interests.

China will remain committed to reform, opening up and sustainable development. It has been five years since the outbreak of the international financial crisis. Global economy is back on track to recovery, but the foundation of the recovery is not solid and the speed is still slow. The root causes of the financial crisis are yet to be removed, and the structural problems of developed countries remain unresolved. The adjustment of unconventional monetary policies from the outside, coupled with other factors, have posed new challenges and the risk of financial market volatility to emerging market countries. Where the Chinese economy is heading is closely followed in both China and the world. Here, I wish to tell you that both the fundamentals and overall performance of China's economy are sound, and China's development prospects are bright. The leading indicators of the Chinese economy are generally good, and China leads the major economies in terms of growth rate.

In pursuit of progress while maintaining stability, the Chinese government has taken a macro-economic policy that addresses both immediate and long-term needs and adopted a series of innovative policy measures with a view to ensuring steady growth, adjusting economic structure and promoting reform. We are vigorously advancing reform and opening up, deepening economic structural adjustment, and accelerating the shift of growth model. We are implementing the basic state policy of resource conservation and environment protection and promoting green, circular and low-carbon development to build a sound ecology and a beautiful China.

As China grows in economic output and changes its growth model, its economy has entered a phase of high-to-medium growth rate. This is dictated by the law of economics, and it will ensure sustained and healthy growth of the Chinese economy. The Chinese economy is being upgraded, and its future growth will deliver four major dividends, namely, dividends released by industrialization, IT application, a new type of urbanization and agricultural modernization, by reform and innovation, by structural readjustment, and by further opening-up. It is projected that in the coming five years, China's imports of commodities will exceed US$10 trillion, its overseas investment will reach US$500 billion, and Chinese tourists will make over 400 million outbound visits. This will give stronger impetus to the world economy and bring more tangible benefits to other countries.

China will firmly promote reform of the global governance system with the United Nations at its core. The United Nations is a big stage for all countries to conduct consultation and cooperation with each other. It is also a big family where people of all countries are brought together. It is our consistent position that the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations form the cornerstone of current international relations and provide safeguards for world peace and stability. Respecting national sovereignty and opposing interference in internal affairs, safeguarding peace and opposing aggression, and promoting equality and opposing power politics - these important principles must be observed. China firmly upholds the role and authority of the United Nations, supports the United Nations in renewing and improving itself in keeping with a changing world, and looks forward to a United Nations that plays a bigger role in international affairs. China is ready to deepen cooperation with the United Nations and get more actively involved in UN activities in various fields.

China is committed to promoting democracy in international relations and the trend toward a multi-polar world. China calls for greater representation and voice of developing countries in the global governance system, and supports the G20, the BRICS and other emerging mechanisms in playing a big role so as to make the international order fairer and more equitable. China calls for reforming the international monetary and financial systems and upholding the role of the World Trade Organization as the main channel. We are opposed to trade protectionism and are working to make economic globalization more balanced, inclusive and beneficial to all. We call on countries to enhance macro-economic policy coordination and be mindful of the spill-over effects of their respective adjustment of economic policies. We call for strengthening North-South dialogue and South-South cooperation to make development benefits more accessible to people of all countries.

China will firmly fulfill its due international responsibilities and obligations. The Chinese nation is responsible and ready to play its part. Although it remains a developing country facing a daunting task of development, China, as the second biggest economy and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, is fully aware of its responsibilities and expectations placed on it by the international community.

We will fully and more actively involve ourselves in international affairs and work closely with other countries to meet intricate global challenges and tackle difficult issues facing mankind. We will voice China's views, offer China's vision, propose China's solutions, play China's due role and provide more public goods to the international community.

We will vigorously advocate the right vision of striking a balance between upholding justice and pursuing interests and endeavor to build a community of common destiny with other developing countries. In our exchanges and cooperation with other developing countries, we will uphold justice and place it above interests, and give sincere assistance to other developing countries to the best of our ability so as to enable developing countries to realize independent and sustainable development.

We will play a more proactive and constructive role in addressing international and regional hotspot issues to promote peace and dialogue, defuse conflicts and uphold world peace and stability. We will continue escort missions and counter-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden, and increase participation in the UN peacekeeping operations so as to contribute more to peace and security in Africa and other relevant regions.

Mr. President,

Turmoil in Syria has lasted for nearly three years, causing great suffering and trauma to both the Syrian people and Syria's neighbors. The recent use of chemical weapons has met universal condemnation. China firmly opposes the use of chemical weapons. We hope to see an early adoption of a UN Security Council resolution to support the OPCW in launching the verification and destruction of chemical weapons and we stand ready to make financial contribution to the OPCW and to send experts for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria. China calls for an immediate end to hostilities and violence in Syria so as to create necessary conditions for the verification and destruction of chemical weapons. We call for the early opening of the Geneva II conference and faster progress in a political resolution of the Syrian issue. China seeks no self gains in Syria. We respect the aspirations and choice of the Syrian people. China follows the humanitarian situation in Syria with great concern. We have and will continue to provide assistance as we can to the Syrian people, including Syrian refugees outside the country. Recently, China has been implementing emergency humanitarian material aid to Jordan worth RMB15 million, and has provided emergency humanitarian aid in cash worth RMB24 million to the World Food Program and the World Health Organization for the displaced people within Syria and Syrian refugees in Lebanon respectively.

On the Iranian nuclear issue, China has been working to promote a peaceful settlement through dialogue. It has played a constructive role in seeking a comprehensive, lasting and appropriate solution to the Iranian nuclear issue so as to uphold the international non-proliferation regime and peace and stability in the Middle East. The dialogue between the P5+1 and Iran has created new opportunities. All the relevant parties should scale up diplomatic efforts and work for substantive progress in the dialogue at an early date.

The Palestinian issue is at the core of the Middle East conflict. Guided by President Xi Jinping's four-point proposal on resolving the Palestinian issue, China will continue to work for a comprehensive, just and durable solution to the issue.

Thanks to the concerted efforts of all the relevant parties, tension on the Korean Peninsula has eased somewhat. To achieve denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and maintain long-term peace and stability on the Peninsula meets the common interests of all parties concerned. It is China's consistent position that a negotiated solution through dialogue is the right way to solve the nuclear issue on the Peninsula, and the Six-Party Talks are an effective platform to promote denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Six-Party Talks. We hope that parties will create conditions, build consensus, work toward the same goal, and resume the Talks at an early date.

Mr. President,

International development cooperation is at a crucial stage of building on past achievements to make new progress. China supports the continued and full implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and the early launch of inter-governmental negotiations on the post-2015 development agenda. The post-2015 development agenda should continue to focus on development and poverty elimination, give due consideration to national conditions and stages of development in different countries, and respect their independent choices of development paths. The agenda should give priority to strengthening global development partnerships, uphold the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, equity and respective capabilities, improve follow-up mechanisms, step up development financing, promote trade and investment liberalization and facilitation, and increase official development aid and technical support to developing countries.

China welcomes the positive outcomes of the Doha Climate Change Conference held at the end of 2012. China hopes that developed countries will demonstrate political will and honor their commitments by scaling up emissions reduction efforts and providing capital, technology and capacity-building support to developing countries. The Chinese government takes climate change seriously, and has taken a host of forceful policy measures with notable progress made. China will continue to play its due role in addressing global climate change.

Mr. President,

How time flies! We will soon celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Born out of the ashes of the Second World War, the United Nations embodies the yearning of peoples of all countries for world peace and global development. The Chinese dream is a dream about China's prosperity and Chinese people's happiness, which has much in common with the dream of people across the world. As a responsible member of the United Nations, China is ready to work with all other member states to fully adhere to the purposes of the UN Charter, faithfully carry out its historic mission, and continue to make relentless efforts to advance the noble cause of peace and development for mankind.