Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence transcend differences in social system, ideology

By He Yin, People’s Daily

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Although born in Asia, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence transcend differences in social system and ideology. They have become an important norm governing contemporary international relations and fundamental principles of international law, contributing the wisdom of the East to properly handling state-to-state relations.

Under the current international situation, inheriting and promoting the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence is conducive to fostering international consensus and jointly addressing global challenges, thus promoting world peace and development.

The spirit of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence remains as relevant as ever.

Seven decades ago, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai put forth in full the five principles for the first time — mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

Since then, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence have been incorporated into a series of important international documents, widely accepted and recognized by countries across the world.

The enunciation of these principles was a major initiative in the history of international relations and a significant contribution to the building of a new type of just and equitable international relations.

The five principles capture the essence of today’s international relations and manifest humanity’s common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom. They can apply to relations among all countries regardless of their social system, stage of development or size.

Having withstood the test of the evolving international landscape in the past 70 years, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence are showing strong vitality.

The significance of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence remains as important as ever.

The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence have strong vitality because they give concrete expression to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and conform to the fundamental interests of people around the world.

The core of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence is that there is sovereign equality among all countries and that no country should monopolize international affairs. These principles offer a powerful intellectual tool for developing countries to uphold their sovereignty and independence, and they have thus become a rallying call for enhancing solidarity, cooperation and strength among them.

The world today is undergoing both transformation and upheaval; changes unseen in a century are unfolding at a faster pace; and human society faces unprecedented challenges. In this context, inheriting and promoting the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence is particularly important.

Only by truly adhering to the principle of sovereign equality of states can the foundation for mutually beneficial cooperation between countries be established, and peace and development of the world ensured.

The role of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence has continued to grow.

The five principles are conducive to both peace and development. Rejecting the law of the jungle by which the strong bullies the weak, they provide a new approach for peacefully resolving historical issues and international disputes, and create a sound environment for mutually beneficial international cooperation and common development. They help build a fairer and more equitable international order.

In the world today, injustice and inequality are still pronounced problems in international relations. Unilateralism, protectionism and bullyism are resurging. Regional conflicts and local wars continue to erupt.

The international community should further inherit and promote the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, uphold sovereign equality, respect each other’s core interests and major concerns, enhance mutual trust through dialogue, and build peace through cooperation. By doing this, the international community will continuously embrace common progress and win-win outcomes.

China champions and firmly observes the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Over the past seventy-plus years since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, China has always followed a path of peaceful development. It has never initiated a war or occupied an inch of a foreign land. It is the only country that has incorporated peaceful development in its Constitution, and the only country among the five nuclear-weapon states to pledge no first use of nuclear weapons.

China is working to build a world of lasting peace, universal security, common prosperity, openness and inclusiveness, as well as cleanness and beauty, and a community with a shared future for mankind. Chinese President Xi Jinping has proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, Global Development Initiative, Global Security Initiative and Global Civilization Initiative, providing Chinese solutions to development issues facing the mankind.

Adhering to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in pursuing friendship and cooperation with other countries, China is committed to promoting a new type of international relations, and will contribute its strength in safeguarding world peace and promoting common development.

Under the new circumstances, China will keep working with all parties to inherit and carry forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, call for an equal and orderly multipolar world and a universally beneficial and inclusive economic globalization, build a community with a shared future for mankind and write new chapters of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.


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