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Home > Embassy News > 2014
Peaceful Development and Shared Win-win
Speech by H.E. Ambassador Liu Xiaoming At the Royal College of Defence Studies
2014/11/14

General Barrons,

Sir Tom Phillips,

Generals,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a real pleasure for me to visit the Royal College of Defence Studies.

This is the third time I have spoken in a British military institution. Previously, I spoke at the Joint Services Command and Staff College of the UK Defense Academy. There I have twice reflected about China's national defence policy and China's security outlook. The audiences were mainly young field officers.

Today I am in UK's most prestigious institution of military studies. This time Sir Tom has asked me to talk about China's views on the current major strategic issues of the world. The choice of the theme reflects the high status of the audience who are mostly British senior military commanders and government officials as well as your interest in hearing the voice of China.

So, I am very glad to have this opportunity to share with you China's strategic thinking and actions.

Since I have been asked to talk about strategic issues, I want to start with the changing world situation and evolving international system.

Global think tanks and the media have many theories on this subject. For example, the rise of the East and the decline of the West, multi-polarisation and democratisation of international relations, and so on.

All of these refer to one fact. This is the ascent of the emerging economies represented by the BRICS countries, as well as developing countries.

The world is going through a rebalancing of a magnitude never seen since the upheavals after the Cold War.

Meanwhile, globalisation is hurtling forward driven by the immense forces of the digital and knowledge economic revolution. The result is that the world has increasingly become a community where:

· All countries are extremely interdependent.

· National interests are interwoven.

· No single country or grouping can dominate world affairs alone.

· And the international balance of power is moving towards equilibrium.

In China we believe this rebalancing will make the international system fairer and more equitable. It serves the interests of most members of the international community. In response to such profound changes, China proposes 'three shares'.

First, all countries and peoples should share respect. The meaning of 'share' in this context is this:

· All countries, big or small, strong or weak, poor or rich, are all equal.

· Peoples should have the right to independently choose their own development path.

· And all nations should oppose interference in internal affairs of other countries and uphold international justice.

The second 'share' is about joint development:

· All countries and peoples should share development fruits.

· While seeking its own development, each country should also work to promote development of others for mutual benefit.

· And the 'begger-thy-neighbour' approach, and any attempt to divert crisis to others, is neither moral nor workable.

The third 'share' is about joint security:

· All countries and peoples should have a shared security guarantee.

· In the face of varied and complex international security challenges, going it alone does not work.

· A show of force is no solution.

· Cooperative security, collective security and common security are the right choice.

Of course, some people worry that the shifting gravity in the world will lead to war and conflict between established powers and emerging powers. Mankind will therefore once again plunge into the 'Thucydides Trap'.

However, for these observers it must be pointed out that the world in the 21st century is very different from the ancient world.

The world has become a 'global village' of interdependence:

· In this 'village', relationships between established powers and emerging powers is no longer a zero-sum game.

· It is not the rise of some and fall of others.

· It is not the gain of some at the cost of others.

· Instead, we should work together to make the pie larger and share the benefits of development.

To this end, China has proposed a new model of major power relations. This features these principles:

· Non-conflict.

· Non-confrontation.

· Mutual respect.

· Co-operation.

· And shared benefit.

This new model of power relations serves the interests of all parties and meets the expectations of the international community. It reflects a strong sense of responsibility of great powers. The rationale is that it helps to preserve world peace, promote growth and prevent humanity from repeating past mistakes.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Strategic issues not only show in the evolving international system, but also in specific issues. Specific as they are, they have much wider ramifications. For example, the world now faces four pressing issues:

· Ukraine.

· The Islamic State.

· Eebola.

· And cyber security.

All these issues seem specific and local. Yet much is at stake in each of them. I call them the specific issues of strategic significance:

· It takes global and strategic measures in response.

· China's position on these issues is clear-cut.

· China has taken part in addressing each of them actively and constructively.

· And what China has done directly delivers actions following the principles of the 'Three Shares' I talked about earlier.

On the Ukrainian issue, it is not purely domestic politics of Ukraine. Some powers are at play behind the scenes.

What is happening in Ukraine will have implications on Europe's geopolitical landscape. It even reminds people of the Cold War. China has no selfish interests on the Ukrainian issue. Since the outbreak of the crisis, China has adopted an objective and balanced position, and called for observing the norms of international relations. These are non-interference in Ukraine's internal affairs and respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

China always believes that both history and reality need to be taken into account when seeking a radical solution to the Ukrainian crisis. Concerns of all related parties should be accommodated, especially the traditional and historical links between Russia and Ukraine. China wants to see a Ukraine where all ethnic groups live in harmony, and a Ukraine at peace with its neighbours. This is also the fundamental solution for Ukraine's long-term stability and prosperity.

Turning to the matter of the Islamic State. The advent of such a terrorist organisation as the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant shows that terrorism has risen to a new level.

Across the world, extreme terrorism keeps spreading. The form of terrorist activities continues to evolve and rise in the level of horror. This means that counter-terrorism is no longer an emergency response, but a long-term task.

Terrorism is a scourge for all mankind. China opposes terrorism in all its manifestations. China maintains that poverty and backwardness are catalysts for terrorism. The response must be to tackle both the symptoms and the root cause:

· That requires an increase in dialogue between different civilisations.

· There needs to be a holistic approach through political, economic, diplomatic and security means.

· Co-ordinated international action is needed especially to eradicate poverty, improve people's life, promote development and remove the breeding ground of terrorism.

· And 'the more we fight, the worse terrorism becomes' is the last thing we want.

China has and will continue to resolutely crack down on violent terrorist activities at home.

Across the world China also stands ready to strengthen counter-terror exchanges and cooperation with other countries. China will proactively work for new progress in international cooperation against terrorism.

China opposes any countries adopting double standards on the fight against terror. We believe that in fighting against terrorism we should respect the principles and purposes of the UN Charter, follow the norms governing international relations, respect sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of related countries.

On the ebola virus disease, it is rampaging through West Africa and has become the worst ever public health crisis in modern society. Ebola does not only endanger the life and health of people in affected countries, but also menaces international peace and stability.

On ebola, the Chinese government and people are deeply sympathetic and were quick to act. Together with the rest of the international community, China has assisted African countries in stemming the epidemic. Since the onset of the epidemic last March, China has provided assistance in cash and in kind. These resources were so badly needed by the stricken countries and at the earliest possible time.

Moreover, China has adjusted and increased aid based on the changing epidemic situation and the request of the related countries. So far China has provided four rounds of aid totaling 125 million US dollars. China's aid includes:

· Epidemic control and prevention materials, cash and food.

· China also sent experts and medical staff and set up a mobile lab and emergency observation wards in Sierra Leone.

· China has also funded a treatment centre in Liberia.

Apart from the three stricken countries, China also provided material assistance for epidemic prevention in Cote d'Ivoire and 9 other neighbouring countries.

Meanwhile, China provided funding and political support to international and regional organisations, such as the United Nations, World Health Organization and African Union.

China's efforts have made a positive contribution to curbing the epidemic. As these efforts go on, China is already looking beyond. Our fourth aid plan focuses on the post-ebola period and aims to help stricken areas and African countries strengthen public health systems and capacity building.

On the ebola crisis, it is fair to say that China has truly shared sympathy with African countries. And China has played the role expected of a responsible power.

Turning to cyber security, this is not a problem existing only in the virtual world. It poses a real threat to all mankind.

Recently, the GCHQ Chief, Robert Hannigan, published an article in the Financial Times. In the article, he pointed out these harsh facts:

· For terrorist organisations social media has become a battleground to spread violence.

· Social media provides the means to plot terrorist attacks.

· And social media creates a platform to recruit new terrorist members.

Next month, the British government will host the International Online Child Sexual Exploitation Summit.

This initiative shows that cyber security is not only about technology, but more importantly about the content. The internet has been contaminated by porn and other content harmful to children and young people.

The evidence reveals that the East Turkistan Islamic Movement and other terrorist organisations used the internet to incite and spread violence and terrorism. Then there is the evil that comes from on-line trafficking of drugs and guns which has become very common.

This all adds up to the fact that ensuring cyber security has become a global and comprehensive challenge.

However, some Western media has promoted the 'China threat theory' on cyber security. Without being able to produce any evidence, these journalists claim that the Chinese government has organised large scale theft of foreign secrets. In addition, they label China's lawful management of the internet as restricting web freedom. These claims could not be farther from the truth.

The facts are that the Chinese government and military authorities never engage in or take part in theft of commercial secrets through the internet. The recent Fourth Plenary Session of the 18th CPC Central Committee stressed the rule of law. This included:

1. Strengthening internet legislation.

2. Updating laws and regulations on internet information service.

3. Reinforcing internet safety guarantees.

4. And social management of internet.

China calls for building a peaceful, safe, open and collaborative cyber space through closer international cooperation. To achieve this goal, there is a need to make international rules within the framework of United Nations, build a multi-lateral, democratic and transparent international internet governance regime.

To reach this target all nations must properly handle the following relationships:

· Facilitate on-line communication while respecting sovereignty.

· Speed up development while ensuring security.

· Enjoy freedom while maintaining order.

· And promote open cooperation while ensuring independence.

Only by so doing, can we make sure internet is a blessing for mankind, not a bane, nor a vehicle to circulate and execute terrorism.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

China is a developing country. Our primary task is to grow the economy and deliver a better life for our people. To achieve faster growth, China needs these factors:

· A peaceful and stable international environment.

· China needs to follow the policy of peaceful development.

· And China needs to assure other countries that China's development is peaceful, friendly and mutually beneficial.

Taking stock of the success of China in the past decades, China's path of peaceful development has the following characteristics.

First, China never goes for militarism, nor for spheres of influence:

· China's conduct of international affairs fully demonstrates China's firm position of never seeking hegemony.

· China has not sent abroad a single soldier except on UN peacekeeping missions, nor built any military base on foreign soil.

· China has observed the principles of non-alliance, non-hegemony, non-expansion and no use or threat of use of force.

· China never seeks to establish spheres of influence.

· Through friendly consultations, China has resolved boundary issues with 12 of its 14 neighbours.

· China advocates peacefully resolving disputes on territorial sovereignty and maritime rights and interests through direct dialogue and negotiations between the parties.

· China calls for shelving differences and joint development pending a solution.

· China has initiated a collective, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable Asian security concept.

· And, while drawing on the wisdom of Asian people, China also welcomes all parties to play a positive and constructive part in Asian security and cooperation.

· China has no interest in an Asian version of Monroe Doctrine. Never did, never will.

The second characteristic is that China shares development benefits with the rest of international community:

· China is one of the beneficiaries of economic globalization. In turn, China has contributed to the world economy with its own growth.

· Since the 2008 international financial crisis, China has contributed to the IMF a total sum of 93 billion US dollars.

· China has supported the Eurozone countries' efforts to tackle the financial crisis.

· According to the IMF, 30% of world economic growth now comes from China.

· China has increased investments overseas and become one of the world's top five capital sources.

· And, as a result, Chinese investment promotes local economic recovery, jobs and welfare.

· We initiated the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road to integrate Asia-Pacific and European economies.

· These two initiatives are designed to promote economic growth of countries along the route through mutually beneficial cooperation.

· To ensure financial support for these two initiatives, we set up Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and contributed 40 billion US dollars to the Silk Road Fund.

· Just yesterday, China hosted the 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting. The meeting was committed to advancing regional economic integration, promoting innovative development, reform and growth in member economies, and strengthening infrastructure and connectivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

· The 22nd APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting made a huge contribution to an Asia-Pacific Partnership featuring mutual trust, inclusiveness, cooperation and mutual benefit. It also increased the openness of Asia-Pacific economy.

The third characteristic is that China has fulfilled international responsibilities commensurate with its own capacity:

· China has been taking part in UN peacekeeping missions since 1990.

· China is the largest contributor of peacekeeping personnel among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

· China has played a constructive role on hot spot issues such as Iraq, Ukraine, Syria, Sudan and Iranian and Korean nuclear issues.

Late last month, China hosted the fourth foreign ministers meeting of the 'Istanbul Process' on the Afghan issue. This shows China will continue to work with regional countries and international community to firmly support the political reconciliation and peaceful reconstruction in Afghanistan.

On climate change, China sees emission reduction as a must for China's own sustainable development. This action is domestic but is also as much for our international obligations as a responsible big country.

Among developing countries, China is the first to formulate and implement a national plan on tackling climate change:

· China has set the goal of reducing carbon intensity by 40% to 45% on the basis of 2005 level by 2020.

· China is committed to energy conservation, emission reduction, low carbon growth and ecological preservation.

Turning to the fourth characteristic of Chinese peaceful development:

· China is resolute in safeguarding its own sovereignty, security and development interests.

· China does not achieve development at the sacrifice of interests of others.

· At the same time, China will never give up its legitimate rights and interests.

· China will not trade its core interests.

· China will never provoke conflicts with other countries.

· And yet, China is not afraid of them either.

In recent years China has taken a series of steps to safeguard its rights in East China Sea and South China Sea:

· None of the disputes were started by China.

· On the contrary, China always calls for resolving disputes through peaceful negotiation.

· But in the face of the repeated provocations by some countries, there is no way that China will not react.

Most of you gathered here are in military uniform. So, as part of the UK defence capability, I am sure you will understand the actions of China to defend its core interests. Also, this shows that while China is firmly committed to peaceful development other countries should also aim for comparable objectives.

Only when all countries are committed to peaceful development can the world achieve common development and so enable all countries to live together in peace.

In a nutshell, in the international system:

· China is neither an onlooker, nor a trouble-maker, nor a spoiler.

· China is no longer a sleeping lion, nor an 'elephant in a china shop', nor a 'crouching tiger or a hidden dragon' that seek revenge.

· China is a participant, a builder and maintainer of the international system.

· China can be compared to a 'Kongfu Panda' that upholds justice.

· China can be likened to a peaceful, lovable and amicable lion.

In summary, the world has no need to worry about China's development. And there is no need for knee-jerk reactions of panic in reaction to the rise of China.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Diplomats and soldiers are different professions. Yet they have been closely linked since ancient times. People used to say:

"What cannot be achieved on the battle ground is hardly achievable at the negotiation table."

Nowadays, people more often say:

"What cannot be achieved at the negotiation table is hardly achievable on the battleground."

The first saying stresses the importance of military might. It might please you more. But, the latter one stresses the need for diplomatic and peaceful solution. I suggest that reflects the progress of the times we are living in.

In my opinion, diplomats and soldiers both have great responsibilities to fulfill. We both have glorious missions to accomplish. And we are all duty bound to safeguard national sovereignty and security, maintain regional and world peace.

It is my very hope that the most problems of the world will be solved peacefully by relentless efforts of politicians, diplomats and military men.

To achieve this goal:

· China will exercise its influence.

· Play its role.

· Work with the international community.

Together, we can make our world a better place.

Together, we can build a world that is more stable, more peaceful and more prosperous!

Thank you!

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