Xi Jinping, China’s president, on Sept. 28 made his first address to the United Nations General Assembly.
He made some big announcements on peacekeeping; reminded the world of China’s sacrifice in what the Communist Party has taken to calling the “World Anti-Fascist War;” promised that China is a responsible global power and emphasized its belief in the UN; and dropped the obligatory Chinese adage.
Below is the entirety of the UN’s official translation (pdf) of his address. Read what Xi had to say for himself, keeping in mind that any such speech should be taken with a grain of salt, as the old English adage goes.
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Working Together to Forge a New Partnership of Win-win Cooperation and Create a Community of Shared Future for Mankind
Statement by H.E. Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China
At the General Debate of the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly
New York, 28 September 2015
Mr. President, Dear Colleagues,
Seventy years ago, the earlier generation of mankind fought heroically and secured the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, closing a dark page in the annals of human history. That victory was hard won.
Seventy years ago, the earlier generation of mankind, with vision and foresight, established the United Nations. This universal and most representative and authoritative international organization has carried mankind’s hope for a new future and ushered in a new era of cooperation. It was a pioneering initiative never undertaken before.
Seventy years ago, the earlier generation of mankind pooled together their wisdom and adopted the Charter of the United Nations, laying the cornerstone of the contemporary international order, and establishing the fundamental principles of contemporary international relations. This was an achievement of profound impact.
Mr. President, Dear Colleagues,
On the third of September, the Chinese people, together with the world’s people, solemnly commemorated the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People’s War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. As the main theater in the East, China made a national sacrifice of over 35 million casualties in its fight against the majority troops of Japanese militarism. It not only saved itself and its people from subjugation, but also gave strong support to the forces against aggression in the European and Pacific theaters, thus making a historic contribution to the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War.
History is a mirror. Only by drawing lessons from history can the world avoid repeating past calamity. We should view history with awe and human conscience. The past cannot be changed, but the future can be shaped. Bearing history in mind is not to perpetuate hatred. Rather, it is for mankind not to forget its lesson. Remembering history does not mean being obsessed with the past. Rather, in doing so, we aim to create a better future and pass the torch of peace from generation to generation.
Mr. President, Dear Colleagues,
The United Nations has gone through the test of time over the past seven decades. It has witnessed efforts made by all countries to uphold peace, build homeland and pursue cooperation. Having reached a new historical starting point, the United Nations needs to address the central issue of how to better promote world peace and development in the 21st century.
The world is going trough a historical process of accelerated evolution: The sunshine of peace, development and progress will be powerful enough to penetrate the clouds of war, poverty and backwardness. The movement toward a multi-polar world, and the rise of emerging markets and developing countries have become an irresistible trend of history. Economic globalization and the advent of an information age have vastly unleashed and boosted social productive forces. They have both created unprecedented development opportunities and given rise to new threats and: challenges which we must face squarely.
As an ancient Chinese adage goes, “The greatest ideal is to create a world truly shared by all.” Peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom are common values of all mankind and the lofty goals of the United Nations. Yet these goals are far from being achieved, and we must continue our endeavor to meet them. In today’s world, all countries are interdependent and share a common future. We Should renew our commitment to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, build a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, and create a community of shared future for mankind. To achieve this goal, we need to make the following efforts:
—We should build partnerships in which countries treat each other as equals, engage in mutual consultation and show mutual understanding. The principle of sovereign equality underpins the UN Charter. The future of the world must be shaped by all countries. All countries are equals. The big, strong and rich should not bully the small, weak and poor, The principle of sovereignty not only means that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries are inviolable and their internal affairs are not subjected to interference. It also means that all countries’ right to independently choose social systems and development paths should be upheld, and that all countries’ endeavors to promote economic and social development and improve their people’s lives should be respected.
We should be committed to multilateralism and reject unilateralism. We should adopt a new vision of seeking win-win outcomes for all, and reject the outdated mindset that one’s gain means the other’s loss or that the winner shall take all. Consultation is an important form of democracy, and it should also become an important means of exercising contemporary international governance. We should resolve disputes and differences through dialogue and consultation. We should forge a global partnership at both international and regional levels, and embrace a new approach to state-to-state relations, one that features dialogue rather than confrontation, and seeks partnership rather than alliance. Major countries should follow the principles of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and win-win cooperation in handling their relations. Big countries should treat small countries as equals, and take a right approach to justice and interests by putting justice before interests.
—We should create a security architecture featuring fairness, justice, joint contribution and shared benefits. In the age of economic globalization, the security of all countries is interlinked and has impact on one another. No country can maintain absolute security with its own effort, and no country can achieve stability out of other countries’ instability. The law of the jungle leaves the weak at the mercy of the strong; it is not the way for countries to conduct their relations. Those who adopt the high-handed approach of using force will find that they are only lifting a rock to drop on their own feet.
We should abandon Cold War mentality in all its manifestation, and foster a new vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security. We should give full play to the central role of the United Nations and its Security Council in ending conflict and keeping peace, and adopt the dual approach of seeking peaceful solution to disputes and taking mandatory actions, so as to turn hostility into amity.
We should advance international cooperation in both economic and social fields and take a holistic approach to addressing traditional and non-traditional security threats, so as to prevent conflicts from breaking out in the first place.
—We should promote open, innovative and inclusive development that benefits all. The 2008 international financial crisis has taught us that allowing capital to blindly pursue profit can only create a crisis and that global prosperity cannot be built on the shaky foundation of a market without moral constraints. The growing gap between rich and poor is both unsustainable and unfair. It is important for us to use both the invisible hand and the visible hand to form synergy between market forces and government function and strive to achieve both efficiency and fairness.
Development is meaningful only when it is inclusive and sustainable. To achieve such development requires openness, mutual assistance and win-win cooperation. In the world today, close to 800 million people still live in extreme poverty, nearly six million kids die before the age of five each year and nearly 60 million children are unable to go to school. The just concluded UN Sustainable Development Summit adopted the Post-2015 Development Agenda. We must translate our commitments into actions and work together to ensure that everyone is free from want, has access to development and lives with dignity.
—We should, increase inter-civilization exchanges to promote harmony, inclusiveness and respect for differences. The world is simply more colorful as a result of its cultural diversity. Diversity breeds exchanges, exchanges create integration, and integration makes progress possible.
In their interactions, civilizations must accept their differences. Only through mutual respect, mutual learning and harmonious coexistence can the world maintain its diversity and thrive. Each civilization represents the unique vision and contribution of its people, and no civilization is superior to others. Different civilizations should have dialogue and exchanges instead of trying to exclude or replace each other. The history of mankind is a process of active exchanges, interactions and integration among different civilizations. We should respect all civilizations and treat each other as equals. We should draw inspirations from each other to boost the creative development of human civilization.
—We should build an ecosystem that puts mother nature and green development first. Mankind may utilize nature and even try to transform it. But we are after all a part of nature. We should care for nature and not place ourselves above it. We should reconcile industrial development with nature and pursue harmony between man and nature to achieve sustainable development of the world and the all-round development of man.
To build a sound ecology is vital for mankind’s future. All members of the international community should work together to build a sound global eco-environment. We should respect nature, follow nature’s ways and protect nature. We should firmly pursue green, low-carbon, circular, and sustainable development. China will shoulder its share of responsibility and continue to play its part in this common endeavor. We also urge developed countries to fulfill their historical responsibility, honor their emission reduction commitments and help developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Mr. President, Dear Colleagues,
The over 1.3 billion and more Chinese people are endeavoring to realize the Chinese dream of great national renewal. The dream of the Chinese people is closely connected with the dreams of other peoples of the world. We cannot realize the Chinese dream without a peaceful international environment, a stable international order and the understanding, support and help from the rest of the world. The realization of the Chinese dream will bring more opportunities to other countries and contribute to global peace and development.
China will continue to participate in building world peace. We are committed to peaceful development. No matter how the international landscape may evolve and how strong it may become, China will never pursue hegemony, expansion or sphere of influence.
China will continue to contribute to global development. We will continue to pursue common development and the win-win strategy of opening up. We are ready to share our development experience and opportunities with other countries and welcome them to board China’s express train of development so that all of us will achieve common development.
China will continue to uphold the international order. We will stay committed to the path of development through cooperation. China was the first country to put its signature on the UN Charter. We will continue to uphold the international order and system underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. China will continue to stand together with other developing countries. We firmly support greater representation and say of developing countries, especially African countries, in the international governance system. China’s vote in the United Nations will always belong to the developing countries.
I wish to take this opportunity to announce China’s decision to establish a 10-year, US$1 billion China-UN peace and development fund to support the UN’s work, advance multilateral cooperation and contribute more to world peace and development. I wish to announce that China will join the new UN Peacekeeping Capability Readiness System and has thus decided to take the lead in setting up a permanent peacekeeping police squad and build a peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops. I also wish to announce that China will provide a total of US$100 million of free military assistance to the African Union in the next five years to support the establishment of the African Standby Force and the African Capacity for Immediate Response to Crisis.
Mr. President, Dear Colleagues,
As the United Nations enters a new decade, let us unite ever more closely to forge a new partnership of win-win cooperation and a community of shared future for mankind. Let the vision of a world free of war and with lasting peace take root in our hearts. Let the aspiration of development, prosperity, fairness and justice spread across the world!