ICAS Spring Symposium Addendum
Humanity, Peace and Security
The Korean Peninsula Issues
June 10, 2008 1:00 PM -- 4:30 PM
United States House of Representatives Rayburn Office Building Room B 318
Capitol Hill, Washington DC 20515
Institute for Corean-American Studies, Inc.
965 Clover Court, Blue Bell, PA 19422
Biographic Sketch & Links: Feng Xie
Executive Vice President Sang Joo Kim, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for your kind introduction. It is a great pleasure to join such a distinguished group at the Spring Symposium hosted by your prestigious institute. It is so nice to meet new friends and renew friendship with old ones.
By focusing your discussions on Humanity, Peace and Security, you have chosen a very befitting theme. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of my reflections on China's path of peaceful development, China's views of the situation and security in the Asia-Pacific region, and China-U.S. relations within that context.
I. China's Path of Peaceful Development
As a result of its sustained and rapid development and its efforts to open wider to the world, China is interacting more and more closely with the international community. One of the major questions the international community has in mind is: how can China become prosperous and stronger while at same time maintain world peace and promote common development of mankind. The answer that China has given is that it will adhere firmly to the path of peaceful development. It is a major decision that China has made on its development strategy. It is also a serious commitment that China has made to the international community.
In essence, the path of peaceful development means that China will develop itself in the peaceful international environment, and that at the same time, it will safeguard world peace and promote common development more effectively through its own development. It means that while taking an active part in economic globalization and regional cooperation, China will strive for comprehensive, balanced and sustainable development on its own through reform and innovation. It means that China will continue the policy of reform and opening up, and vigorously develop cooperation with all countries to ensure that all come out winners. It also means that China will never seek hegemony and expansion, and that China will always be a strong force for world peace and common development.
China's path of development is different from those taken by other big powers in history. Some of these differences are essential. First, China is committed to peaceful and cooperative ways to achieve development, rather than through aggression, expansion or colonization to uphold or maximize its national interests. Second, China is committed to maintaining peace in the course of development. The Chinese people will strongly support, advocate and promote all that is conducive to peace. Third, while developing itself, China is committed to realizing common prosperity and progress with the whole world. It does not seek development at the cost of the interests of other countries or the international community.
The path of peaceful development is a natural choice based on China's historical and cultural tradition. The Chinese is a peace-loving nation. The longing for peace and harmony is what defines the spirit of the Chinese people. Six hundred years ago, Zheng He (1371-1435), the great Chinese navigator of the Ming Dynasty, led the largest fleet of the world on seven voyages to the "Western Seas". He reached more than 30 countries and regions in Asia and Africa, bringing only peace and civilization. He did not occupy an inch of other people's land. This was the best historical footnote for the good faith of China in strengthening exchanges with other countries and peoples.
The path of peaceful development is a natural choice based on China's historical and present national conditions. History of the world has proved that expansion, aggression, and plundering for selfish national gains not only cause untold sufferings and damages to the exploited nations, but also bring about tremendous disasters to the nation itself, undermine world peace and development, and hinder progress of human civilization. Having been subjected to foreign humiliation for over 100 years since the Opium War of 1840, China appreciates dearly the importance of peace. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." Having suffered from the scourge of wars, the Chinese people will absolutely not seek selfish development at the cost of the interests of other countries. In addition, in spite of its great achievement, China remains the most populous developing country in the world. It is faced with various difficulties and challenges in economic, political, cultural and social development. It will take us long and arduous efforts to accomplish the central task of realizing scientific development, promoting social harmony, and improving people's lives.
The path of peaceful development is a natural choice based on the trends in today's world. Having suffered from two world wars and lived under the clouds of the Cold War, people across the globe have developed a common aspiration for peace, development and cooperation. This is the irresistible historic trend of our times. Multi-polarity and economic globalization have given world peace and development a new opportunity. We firmly believe that the path of peaceful development in line with the trend of our times is the best guarantee of China's development.
China's resolve and sincerity in pursuing the path of peaceful development have been put fully into practice.
On the diplomatic front, China is playing a constructive role in addressing international and regional hotspot issues. We uphold impartiality and justice, and we act in strict compliance with the U.N. Charter and the universally recognized norms governing international relations. We pursue a good-neighborly partnership with our neighboring countries. We wish them harmony, peace, and prosperity. And we want to be good neighbors and reliable partners for each other. China is taking an active part in international cooperation in counter-terrorism and non-proliferation, and we are doing all we can to help maintain global security and overall stability. Our national defense policy is defensive in nature. We are committed to international arms control and disarmament. We have no interest in arms race, and we do not pose any military threat to anyone.
On the economic front, as China rapidly moves forward and opens wider to the world, it also brings about important opportunities to all countries. As one of the major driving forces of the world economy, China contributed 17% to the world economic growth in 2007. In the same year, China's import amounted to US$955.8 billion, and its import and export totaled US$2.17 trillion. China will import over US$1 trillion worth of goods and services in 2008, and possibly US$1.2 trillion in 2010. China has attracted the largest amount of foreign investment for 14 consecutive years. Over 480 companies of Fortune 500 have investment in China, and most of them have an economic returns rate higher than elsewhere. China is one of the most open developing countries in the world. China has opened more than 100 of the 160 categories of service trade recognized by the World Trade Organization, a level close to that of the developed countries. These statistics offer a perspective to the fact that development of China and development of the world are mutually beneficial and reinforce each other.
II. Asia-Pacific Situation and Regional Security Dialogue and Cooperation
The Asia-Pacific region enjoys stability on the whole. Peace, development and cooperation remain the mainstream of the region. Economy is developing fairly rapidly. Friendly exchanges between nations are growing ever closer. Countries are committed to handling their differences through dialogue and consultation. The six-party talks are making positive headway. A northeast Asia peace and security mechanism is now on the agenda. Regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms are dynamic, playing an increasingly important role in promoting economic growth and regional stability.
On the other hand, the Asia-Pacific is still faced with various challenges. Imbalanced development remains an outstanding issue. There is a long way to go before the wealth gap is narrowed and the dividends of globalization are shared. Local tensions and conflicts are affecting and even threatening peace and development of some countries. It takes political wisdom and concerted efforts from all countries to settle the hotspot issues. Non-traditional security issues keep cropping up. The pressure of energy and resources is increasing. Eco-environmental issues are getting more acute.
How will the Asia-Pacific security situation evolve? This is a matter of long-term regional stability and peace and the future of the world, because this is the world's most dynamic region with the largest potential for development. How to realize lasting peace and common prosperity in Asia and the Pacific? This is a subject we cannot afford to ignore.
The post-Cold War implementation of the new security concept in the Asia-Pacific region is thought-provoking in showing us how to steer the course of security cooperation, formulate a legitimate security concept, and find the right pattern for security cooperation. We believe that the following principles are particularly important.
First, equality, mutual trust, and mutual respect for each other's concerns. The old security concept of the last century featuring alliances, power and coercion did not bring about security and peace to the world, but manipulation, conquering, conflicts and wars. Since the end of the Cold War, diversity has blessed the Asia-Pacific region with peace. The reason for that is that countries have worked hard to develop a security concept of mutual respect and equality, recognize their differences, respect each other's security concerns, engage in security dialogue and cooperation, and jointly safeguard regional peace and stability.
Second, coordination with each other in a joint effort for common security. While economic globalization is gaining momentum, various security factors become inter-connected, and reinforce each other. The interdependence of security interests of different countries and the comprehensiveness of their security cooperation make it imperative that the Asia-Pacific security dialogue and cooperation must focus on common interests, respect diversity, strengthen coordination, put aside differences, and avoid confrontation.
Third, mutually beneficial cooperation to meet common challenges. Under the new circumstances, the Asia-Pacific countries are faced with a growing number of non-traditional security threats. This means that all countries must join hands together to deepen cooperation in counter-terrorism and non-proliferation. They must work together to fight trans-border crimes, illegal immigration, and drug trafficking. They must also jointly promote cooperation in disaster prevention and relief, and public health, and enhance capacity building to tackle climate change.
Fourth, seeking common ground while shelving differences to resolve problems through consultation. History has proved, from both positive and negative sides, that dialogue and cooperation is the most effective channel to enhance mutual understanding, increase mutual trust, narrow differences, and resolve disputes. Military means do not provide fundamental solutions to conflicts, or lead to enduring peace. The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) seeks to enhance mutual understanding and trust through exchanges and dialogue on an equal footing. It has played a constructive role in promoting peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.
We believe that the new security concept, which features the core values of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and coordination, is firmly based on the diversity and common interests of the Asia-Pacific region. It conforms with the will of the people and the trends of our times. It answers the call of the region for peace, development, progress and prosperity. It must be treasured and carried forward by all the countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
As a permanent member of the UN Security Council from the Asia-Pacific region, China is actively engaged in promoting peace, development, cooperation and prosperity in this region.
-- We have settled 90% of the border issues with our neighbors. We demarcated all the national boundaries with Russia. We reached agreement with India on the political guidance for settling border issues. We demarcated national boundaries with Vietnam on the land and in the Beibu Bay. We signed with relevant countries the Declaration on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. We made breakthroughs in joint development in the South China Sea with the Philippines and Vietnam. We had in-depth discussions with Japan on the joint development of the East China Sea.
-- We vigorously promote regional cooperation. We always advocate openness. We do not support protectionism or exclusiveness.
-- We take an active part in the dialogue and cooperation within the ARF, and we work together with all countries to improve the quality and efficiency of cooperation.
-- We vigorously promote the six-party talks on the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula. We are working tirelessly for the denuclearization of the Peninsula and lasting peace in Northeast Asia. At present, the action plan for Phase II is being carried out. Positive progress has been made in disabling DPRK's nuclear facilities. The parties concerned are delivering assistance to the DPRK as pledged. Relations between relevant countries are also improving. The six-party talks proves to be the practical and effective way toward the settlement of the nuclear issue. It is also an important platform for the various parties to enhance understanding and trust, and talk about the new landscape in Northeast Asia. It is critical that various parties move further to enhance mutual trust, demonstrate pragmatism and flexibility, step up the implementation of the action plan for Phase II in a comprehensive and balanced way, and discuss the next phase toward denuclearization.
-- We vigorously promote diplomacy in the military field. We send military and police officers to UN peacekeeping operations. We engage in security and defense dialogue with other countries. We participate in cooperation in non-traditional security areas such as counter-terrorism, and search and rescue on the sea.
Faced with these profound changes in the Asia-Pacific region and the whole world, China will, as always, seek to enhance mutual trust through dialogue, promote cooperation through mutual trust, and realize win-win through cooperation. China and the United States share a host of important common interests in Asia and the Pacific. We are ready to work together with the United States and other countries to seize the opportunity, meet the challenges, and build an Asia-Pacific region of peace, development, cooperation and openness.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
With what I shared with you as the background, I wish to say a few words about China-U.S. relations.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between China and the United States. In spite of the ups and downs, bilateral relationship has been moving forward throughout the past 30 years, growing into one of the most important state-to-state relations in today's world. The Chinese Government attaches great importance to this relationship, and is committed to long-term friendship and cooperation with the United States.
Thanks to the joint efforts of the two sides, China-U.S. relationship has registered steady and significant progress in recent years.
First, high-level exchanges are frequent and productive. Presidents of our two countries have met 16 times. They feel free to pick up the phone when they need to talk to each other. When President Bush goes to Beijing for the Olympics in August, he will be in China for the 4th time, more than any other incumbent U.S. president.
In the wake of the great earthquake in Sichuan on May 12, President and Mrs. Bush came to the Chinese Embassy to express deep sympathies to the Chinese people. The President stated that the United States stands ready to assist in any manner that China deems helpful. On June 6, President Bush participated in the roundtable discussion held in the American Red Cross, offering his support to the response to China's earthquake by the U.S. private sector. The President said that "when a brother and sister hurts, we care about it."
The goodwill and support of the U.S. Government and people are deeply appreciated by the Chinese government and people.
Second, the nature of our bilateral relationship is clearly defined. During his visit to the United States in April 2006, President Hu Jintao reached important agreement with President Bush on pushing forward China-U.S. constructive and cooperative relationship in the 21 century. They agreed that the two countries are not only stakeholders, but also constructive partners. This has set the course for the long-term steady growth of bilateral relations.
Third, the interests of China and the United States are getting more and more interwoven. Cooperation has been expanding in trade and investment, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, law enforcement, science, education, and culture. In 2007, bilateral trade amounted to US$302 billion. We are now the second largest trading partner of each other. For six consecutive years, China has been the fastest growing export market for the United States. The two countries are now the twin engines of the globalized world economy, contributing as high as 40% to the world economic growth. In every sense, we are now on the same boat.
Fourth, strategic and global significance of China-U.S. relations is being recognized worldwide. We are in close contact and effective coordination on almost all international and regional issues such as the Korean nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear issue, and Darfur.
Fifth, China-U.S. cooperation enjoys broad prospects. There are great opportunities for the largest developing country and the largest developed country of the world to work with each other to address climate change, protect the environment, and look for new energies.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
While common interests and cooperation are the defining features of China-U.S. relationship, we do not see eye to eye on everything, due to our differences in culture, tradition, and level of development. I believe that if we address our differences through dialogue on the basis of equality and mutual respect, we will be able to expand common ground and narrow differences.
At present, cross-Strait relationship is moving toward peace and stability. People on the two sides of the Taiwan Strait are showing a stronger desire for more exchanges and cooperation.
On April 29, General Secretary Hu Jintao met with Mr. Lien Chan, the Honorary Chairman of the Kuomintang Party. On May 28, he met with Mr. Wu Poh-hsiung, Chairman of the KMT. General Secretary Hu pointed out that there have been positive changes in Taiwan, and that relationship across the Taiwan Strait is showing a good momentum. The two sides should make joint efforts to build mutual trust, put aside their disputes, seek common ground while preserving differences, and work for win-win. The two sides should truly work for the wellbeing of the compatriots across the Strait, for cross-Strait peace, and for a new phase of peaceful development of cross-Strait relations. Chairman Wu Poh-hsiung expressed the wish to further enhance exchanges and dialogue with the mainland. He said that one of the purposes for his visit is to emphasize that the KMT will, as always, continue to implement the agreements with the Communist Party, and shelve differences and seek win-win on the basis of the 1992 Consensus.
We hope that the United States will honor its commitment to the one China policy and the three joint communiqués, properly handle the Taiwan question, do more that is conducive to the further improvement of cross-Strait relations, and work with China to safeguard cross-Strait peace and stability. This is in our common interests.
Given the pace, size and diversity of our trade relationship, it is inevitable for China and the United States to have some problems or even frictions. China pays great attention to U.S. concerns, and has made continuous efforts to address them. At the same time, we hope that the U.S. side will meet us halfway. It is important that the United States bring into full play its competitive edge in hi-tech and service industries, ease its controls on U.S. export to China, and provide a fair environment for Chinese investment in the United States. This will not only deliver tangible benefits to our two peoples, but will also contribute to the steady growth of the world economy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In less than two months, the 29th Olympic Games will be held in Beijing. "One world, one dream" speaks volumes for the yearning of the Chinese people to be an active part of the international community, and the sincerity in their commitment to world peace and development. The Beijing Olympics belongs not only to China, but also to the whole world. It is more of a world's grand gathering for peace and friendship. We are confident that with the support of the international community, we will have a unique and successful Olympic Games in Beijing. Any attempt to politicize the Olympic Games, or use it for one's own political agenda, runs counter to the purpose of the Olympics, and will get nowhere.