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Xi Jinping Tells ‘Five Principles’ Conference: ‘We Should All Champion the Common Values of Humanity’

Xi Jinping at the “Five Principles” conference. Credit: CGTN Facebook page

Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a major policy address to the June 28 “Conference Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence,” held in Beijing. The international event was organized to commemorate the 1954 introduction by China’s leadership of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence: “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.”

Xi’s speech, which should be read in tandem with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s June 14 proposal for a new Eurasian security architecture, began by discussing the history and significance of the Five Principles. He characterized it as “a groundbreaking and epoch-making achievement in the history of international relations,” that helped shape the 1955 Bandung Conference and the founding of the Non-Aligned Movement. He said that China is today carrying on that tradition with its “Vision of Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind.”

“China calls on all countries to bear in mind the future of humanity and the wellbeing of the people, and uphold their essential commitment to equality, mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence. We should all champion the common values of humanity, promote global governance that features extensive consultation and joint contribution for shared benefit, and cultivate a new type of international relations.… Looking at the past and future at this critical moment in history, we believe our exploration for the betterment of human civilization will not end, and our efforts for a better world will not end. No matter how the world evolves, one basic fact will not change. There is only one Planet Earth in the universe, and the whole mankind have one common home. Our shared future depends on Earth. We must take good care of it, and leave a happy land for our future generations.”

Xi emphasized that “The world is big enough to accommodate the common development and common progress of all countries. It is entirely possible for different civilizations to prosper together and inspire each other through mutual learning on an equal footing.…

“Of all the forces in the world, the Global South stands out with a strong momentum, playing a vital role in promoting human progress.… Today, the historic baton of advancing world peace and development has been passed to our generation. Let us take the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as a starting point, shoulder the historic missions, and forge ahead together to build a community with a shared future for mankind and usher in an even better future for humanity.”

(More extensive excerpts of Xi Jinping’s address can be found in the Documentation section below.)