Working Together to Build a World of Lasting Peace and Universal Security and a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind
– Address by H.E. Yang Jiechi at the Opening Ceremony of the Seventh World Peace Forum
Tsinghua University, 14 July 2018
Respected Madame Chen Xu, Party Secretary of Tsinghua University, Mr. Qiu Yong, President of Tsinghua University, and Mr. Wu Hailong, President of the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to join you at the opening ceremony of the Seventh World Peace Forum in this beautiful campus of Tsinghua University. I want to thank Tsinghua University and the Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs for their exceptional organization of this forum, which is now in its seventh year. My warmest congratulations on the opening of this year’s forum and best regards to participants from around the world.
As the Chinese saying goes, “with strong roots, plants will grow; with right approach, people will succeed”. Since its inception seven years ago, the World Peace Forum has brought together the great minds of the world to examine the root causes of major international security issues and to explore ways to address them through cooperation. This is no small contribution to world peace and development. When I look around this hall, I can see many veteran statesmen and leading scholars. We have before us a highly pertinent topic, that is “Constructing a Security Community: Equality, Equity and Justice”. It is therefore most important that we put our heads together, think out of the box, and share new perspectives on achieving world peace and security.
Ladies and gentlemen,
A few weeks ago, the Central Conference on Work Relating to Foreign Affairs established “Xi Jinping thought on diplomacy” as the fundamental guideline for conducting China’s external work in the new era. Since the 18th Party Congress, the CPC Central Committee with Comrade Xi Jinping at its core has shown great foresight and strong leadership. Taking a hard look at the destiny and future of mankind as well as the development trajectories of China and the world, it has broken new ground in both theory and practice, and put forward a whole set of new, forward-looking ideas and proposals that are embedded in China’s reality and reflect the trend of the times. This new thinking and approach has crystallized into Xi Jinping thought on diplomacy, which will guide China to make even greater contribution to both national rejuvenation and progress of all humankind.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The world is experiencing significant changes unseen in a century. We live in an increasingly multi-polar and globalized world. The IT revolution and cultural diversity are facts of life. Interconnection and interdependence between countries have become an inescapable reality. In such a world, all countries rise and fall together. With the forces for peace outpacing the factors of war, the call for peace, development and win-win cooperation has become the order of the day. This year marks the centenary of the end of the first World War. Looking back, we have painful and profound lessons to draw from our experience of two world wars and more than four decades of Cold War. Today, more than ever, all nations prefer peace to war, and cooperation to confrontation.
On the other hand, it is also true that the international situation has become more unstable, uncertain and unpredictable. The world is caught in a historical process of increasingly fast evolution. The Cold War mentality, power politics, unilateralism and protectionism still manifest themselves. Regional turbulence, terrorism, climate change and refugee flows remain unresolved challenges, problems of economic and financial risks and the worsening development gap have become more acute. All of this presents global security challenges that are more complicated than ever before.
To sum up, the ever-changing international environment is reshaping the security landscape in profound ways:
First, security issues have become more interconnected. Security issues have increasingly taken on political, economic, cultural, ethnic and religious dimensions. Problems in one field now have repercussions in other areas more quickly. This new dynamic makes them more complicated than what meets the eye. A simplistic, palliative approach may lead to more problems than it attempts to solve. The spread of terrorism, a product of interwoven political, economic, religious and cultural factors, is a case in point, and must be tackled with a multi-pronged approach.
Second, security issues have become more contagious. In a world that is rapidly becoming a “global village”, security issues respect no national borders. The vulnerability of any one country may create a security “swamp” attracting multiple risks from outside. The insecurity of one country may build up and spill over to the region and beyond. In this day and age, no one can stay unscathed from external risks or achieve so-called “absolute security” on its own. Hence, we must stick together.
Third, security issues have become more perilous. With economic globalization and the IT revolution gathering pace, security issues may wreak havoc in unprecedented ways, affecting not only ordinary citizens but also the elite, not only one but multiple domains and locations - indeed, the entire world. Take the seven-year-long Syrian conflict for example. It has driven millions from their homes and inflicted huge economic losses. The quest for security is also moving into new frontiers such as cyberspace, deep sea, the polar regions and outer space. At stake is not only the development and prosperity of this generation, but also that of our children and children’s children.
To ensure lasting peace amidst these profound security shifts, many new and different solutions have come up. We owe it to our people to pass on the torch of peace, to create sustained impetus for development and to rekindle the light of civilization. Here is what China proposes. We believe that countries should dedicate themselves to global peace and common development, realize a world of lasting peace and universal security, and build a community with a shared future for all mankind. To this end, we call for a vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. To be more specific, we suggest the following principles to be followed in handling international security issues: