Monday, October 21, 2013

China's rapid development over the years has given rise to worries that China might follow the old pattern of wealth breeding arrogance and strength leading to hegemony; and various versions of the China threat theory have surfaced. However, what happened in the past should not be applied to today's China. The outdated Cold-War mentality has no place in the new era of globalization.

Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs
of the People's Republic of China

Said : 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 in New York on 27 September 2013.

Wang talked about two "centenary" goals of China's "new central collective leadership" for its 1.3 billion people. According to Wang, the first goal was to finish building a moderately prosperous society in all respects by 2020 and the second one to turn China into a modern socialist country by the mid-21st century.

Wang declared China's commitment to pursuing peaceful development and also peaceful resolution of international and regional disputes. With regard to China's disputes with some countries over territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests, Wang said : "We sincerely hope to properly resolve them through negotiation and consultation with countries directly involved. Those disputes that cannot be resolved now can be shelved for future resolution. This is our consistent position and practice." He repeated China's commitment of working with others to establish, what he called "a new type of international relations based on win-win cooperation."

"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," Wang asserted.

Calling the United Nations a big family, where people of all countries are brought together, Wang said that China would like to see a United Nations that plays a bigger role in international affairs. He said China had a consistent position that the purposes and principles of the UN Charter with regard to international relations as well as world peace and stability must be observed. Wang said : "Respecting national sovereignty and opposing interference in internal affairs, safeguarding peace and opposing aggression, and promoting equality and opposing power politics are important principles of the UN and must be observed." 

Wang assured that China would firmly fulfill its due international responsibilities and obligations, although China was still a developing country facing a daunting task of development. Wang said : "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."

Full text of the speech made by Wang Yi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, is available here.

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