|Opposing Division Through Solidarity, Promoting Development Through Cooperation|
Beijing, 20 November 2021
Your Excellency Chairman Dino Patti Djalal,
Greetings to you all! I am delighted to join you again in the Global Town Hall.
Last year, against the backdrop of a severe global pandemic, we had useful discussions on "Rebuilding from the COVID-19 World" at the first Global Town Hall. One year on, thanks to the concerted efforts of the international community, important progress has been made in the fight against the coronavirus, and the world economy is gradually recovering. At the same time however, the pandemic is still raging, the world is far from being tranquil, and risks of group politics and cold-war confrontation are on the rise. Challenged by the current situation, countries must join hands together to build consensus and form synergy.
We need to stay committed to solidarity and oppose division. Humanity is a community with a shared future and a common stake. In face of global challenges, only solidarity can bring hope, whereas division would lead to a dead end. China does not want to have conflict or confrontation with any country. Instead, we stand ready to work with all countries to advocate the common values of humanity, practice true multilateralism, uphold the UN-centered international system, safeguard international order based on international law, and together, build a community with a shared future for mankind who all live in this one and same global village.
We need to stay committed to the win-win approach instead of a zero-sum mentality. First and foremost, countries need to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation and seek common development and prosperity. While competition may exist in the process of cooperation, it should be positive and benign in nature, and should be guided by the principle of seeking mutual benefit and win-win results. No country should arbitrarily start vicious competition such as decoupling or severing industrial and supply chains. Still less should one force any third party to take sides in competitions. China will continue to work with all countries to strengthen openness and connectivity, promote mutual benefit and inclusiveness, and build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation.
We need to stay committed to boosting common development through cooperation. Development holds the key to all problems. President Xi Jinping recently proposed the Global Development Initiative, calling on all countries to jointly advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and achieve more robust, greener and more balanced global development. The Initiative has been welcomed and endorsed by the United Nations and a large number of countries. China will work with all countries to strengthen policy communication and coordination, keep the global industrial and supply chains stable and smooth, and provide more impetus to world economic recovery in the post-COVID era.
We need to stay committed to managing differences through dialogue. Countries have different national conditions and interests, and it is unavoidable for them to have disagreements and differences. What is crucial is to properly handle differences, and adapt to seeking common ground while reserving differences. Over the decades, China has been committed to increasing mutual trust, resolving disputes and promoting security through dialogue. We always believe there will be no insolvable problems as long as there is true sincerity and a commitment to dialogue and consultation. China will continue to follow this principle, properly handle and manage differences with other countries, in particular its neighboring countries with outstanding territorial disputes, and jointly maintain peace and stability in the region.
China and the United States are the world's largest developing and developed countries. Whether they can manage their relations well bears on the future of the world. It is a "question of the century", and the two countries must come up with a good answer together.
On 16 November, President Xi Jinping and President Joe Biden had a constructive meeting that was in-depth, candid, wide-ranging and substantive. The Chinese leader stated China's position and bottom line, and at the same time also expressed our sincerity about cooperation and proper management of the differences. Both sides believe that the bilateral relationship is extremely important and must not be messed up, and that the two countries need to respect each other and coexist in peace.
At the meeting, in response to the "question of the century", President Xi underscored the need for mutual respect, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between the two countries. He made an insightful explanation on what the three principles mean and on that basis, identified four priorities for China and the US to focus their efforts on. These important remarks reflected the Chinese leader's deep thinking on the evolution of the China-US relations, and they also outlined the framework for its development in the future.
Mutual respect is a basic precondition for state-to-state relations. Every country has its unique history and culture. It has core interests that it feels most strongly about and cannot give up. And it has the right to choose the social system and development path suited to its national conditions. All countries should understand and respect each other in the spirit of inclusiveness, rather than act condescendingly or even impose their will on others.
Peaceful coexistence is an inherent principle in state-to-state interactions. Peace is the biggest shared aspiration of humanity. Nothing is possible without peace. In particular, conflict or confrontation for big countries like China and the United States, if ever happens, will do no good to either country, and will be an unaffordable disaster for the world. Therefore, no conflict, no confrontation, and maintaining peaceful coexistence should be a sensible choice that both China and the United States must firmly uphold. This is also the right way for big countries with different social systems to get along with each other.
Win-win cooperation is the right direction of history. Globalization is an irreversible trend of the times. Those who practice isolationism and protectionism will hurt both themselves and others. With their interests deeply intertwined, China and the United States will both lose in any zero-sum game. Only by pursuing mutual benefit and common development can the two countries achieve steady and sustained growth.
In response to Taiwan authorities' attempt to seek US support for their independence agenda and some Americans' move to use Taiwan to contain China, President Xi Jinping sounded a warning bell and made clear the firm position of China. There is but one China in the world and Taiwan is part of China. We will strive for the prospect of peaceful reunification with utmost efforts. But we will absolutely not tolerate any "Taiwan independence" moves that aim to separate the country and will absolutely not accept any attempt to create "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan" in the world. I hope that you will all agree that the more unequivocal the opposition against "Taiwan independence" is, and the more resolute the actions against "Taiwan independence" are, the more hopeful that peaceful reunification will be achieved, the more possible that the Taiwan Strait will be peaceful and stable, and the more guarantee that peace and prosperity in Asia and the Pacific will enjoy.
When talking about the future of China-US relations, President Xi Jinping compared China and the United States to two giant ships that are breaking waves and forging ahead. He pointed out that the two sides must keep a steady hand on the tiller to make sure that the two ships will not deviate from the route, lose speed, or even collide with each other. We hope that the US will match its important statements including not fighting a new Cold war, not seeking conflict or confrontation, and not supporting "Taiwan independence" with specific policies and real actions. Only in this way can the China-US relationship achieve steady and long-term growth and benefit both countries and the whole world.
Attending today's Town Hall are many friends from the Asia-Pacific region. As we speak, against the backdrop of evolving international landscape, the Asia-Pacific region faces two very different trends. One focuses on mutually beneficial cooperation, and advocates joint efforts for shared development, revitalization, peace and stability in the region. And the other seeks to stoke estrangement and division, incite conflict and confrontation, and build political and military blocs. Clearly, the first trend meets the shared aspiration and common interests of all countries in the region. The latter will severely undermine the hard-won peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific, and therefore should be firmly resisted by us all.
The Asia-Pacific, in particular the most dynamic East Asia, is already blessed with a mature regional cooperation framework. There is the regional cooperation platform with ASEAN at its center and largely supported by ASEAN's partnerships. Among those partnerships, China's dialogue partnership with ASEAN has all along been a pioneer and a good example in regional cooperation. I would like to reiterate that China supports ASEAN's community building, supports ASEAN centrality in regional architecture, and supports ASEAN in playing an even bigger role in the Asia-Pacific region. We have taken note that ASEAN has independently put forth its own Outlook on the Indo-Pacific, highlighting that it will uphold the concepts such as openness, transparency, inclusivity, equality, mutual respect, mutual trust and mutual benefit, and keep to the important principles of respect for sovereignty and non-intervention. These concepts and principles are compatible with the purposes of the UN Charter, and align with the thinking behind China's foreign policy. China and ASEAN have engaged in productive cooperation on maritime affairs, connectivity, sustainable development and economy, four priority areas that ASEAN has proposed. We are prepared to further deepen cooperation in these areas.
In two days, China and ASEAN will convene a special summit to commemorate the 30th anniversary of their dialogue relations. The meeting will be an important milestone. President Xi Jinping will attend in person and together with leaders of ASEAN countries, review the major achievements and useful experience in China-ASEAN relations over the past three decades. The leaders will make plans and chart the course forward for future progress. The summit will further help strengthen and upgrade China-ASEAN relations, marking new strides to build a closer China-ASEAN community with a shared future. It will also make new and greater contributions to peace, stability and prosperity in the region.
This year marks the centenary of the founding of the Communist Party of China. A week ago, the CPC convened the sixth plenary session of its 19th Central Committee. The Plenum reviewed the major achievements and historical experience of the Party over the past century. It clearly pointed out that China champions opening up over isolation, pursues mutual benefit instead of zero-sum games, and stands up for fairness and justice. We will contribute to world peace through our development, and keep the wheels of history rolling toward a brighter future. As China embarks on a new historic journey, we will work hand in hand with the whole world and open up an even brighter future for humankind!