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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Song Zhe at the Conference "China, the EU and the Restructuring of Global Governance"

Deeper China-EU Cooperation for Stronger Global Governance


Respected President Sepi,

Commissioner De Gucht,

Dear Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today marks the 35th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Europe. And I find it particularly meaningful to join you on this commemorative occasion to speak about the China-EU relations and global governance.

On 6 May 1975, the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai received Baron Christopher Soames, former Vice President of the European Commission, in the Beijing Hospital, where the Premier was under medical treatment for advanced cancer. At that meeting, they made the historic decision to establish diplomatic relations between China and the European Economic Community (EEC). Back then during the Cold War, the serious confrontations between the two camps and the lack of mutual trust for international cooperation made it impossible for anyone, not even the most gifted pundits for international relations to be visionary enough to raise the concept of global governance. Still less were they able to foresee the global and strategic significance of our current relations.

Today, the history of the bipolar world is long gone, and significant changes have taken place around us. We now enjoy more peace and prosperity, yet we are also faced with global challenges, including terrorism, climate change, energy security, and major communicable disease. In this globalised world, all peoples share a same destiny. It has become an irresistible trend for us to strengthen multilateral cooperation and global governance.

In light of such developments, China calls for stronger international cooperation and global governance. In fact, the Chinese President Hu Jintao has already proposed a harmonious world of durable peace and common prosperity in the United Nations as early as in September 2005. We believe that it serves the interests and aspirations of all peoples to share development opportunities, jointly tackle challenges, and promote world peace and development. The international community should abide by the principles and purposes enshrined in the UN Charter, faithfully observe international law and recognized norms governing international relations, and carry forward the spirit of democracy, amity, coordination, and win-win progress in international relations.

Global governance is a complex undertaking. To make it work, we need to, in the first place, find common ground to coordinate our efforts. And in my view, the following four elements are essential for us to make progress on this path.

First, effective cooperation and coordination. It has become increasingly evident that no country could immune from or effectively meet global problems by acting alone. Only by strengthening global coordination and cooperation could we effectively address the challenges ahead. Countries around the world should have comprehensive and in-depth exchanges on the goals, principles, and framework mechanism of global governance. Extensive consensus rather than views of one or two individual countries is seriously needed in this process.

Second, a fair share of responsibilities. “It is an objective fact that all things are different from one another”–a quote from Mencius, an ancient Chinese thinker. Countries have different roles in global governance as they vary in terms of natural endowment and development levels. We should fully respect and appreciate the capacity of sovereign states for a reasonable division of responsibilities. We need to reform the existing international system while giving effective play to mechanisms both old and new. And efforts should be made to encourage and regulate non-state actors such as the NGOs to make active contribution in this cause.

Third, equal and just rights of participation. The main task is to increase representation of the developing countries. It is necessary to ensure developing countries sufficient and effective participation in global institutional and systematic arrangements, because resource and energy security, immigration, poverty, and many other global problems we have today cannot be effectively addressed without efforts of the developing countries, which account for a majority of around 200 countries worldwide.

Fourth, the spirit of understanding and inclusiveness. We cannot expect to resolve the complicated global problems overnight. Instead, we need to work out plans in a phased manner appropriate to the national conditions of respective countries. Developed countries should understand the difficulties faced by the developing world, and provide necessary support and assistance in the joint response to climate change and other problems to help address the root causes of these global problems.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

The EU is the forerunner and practitioner of global governance. Your integration process launched more than fifty years ago has pioneered an unprecedented cause for regional integration and globalization. China is an active participant, facilitator and contributor to global governance. On this basis, we advocate for a harmonious world, a better world that can effectively meet global challenges. In the face of mounting global challenges and greater urgency and significance of stronger global governance, China is willing to advance this goal through joint efforts with Europe in the following aspects.

First, we should work for a democratic international political architecture based on mutual respect and equal consultation. If you take a look at the major powers in the world today, the similarities China and the EU share in our perspectives on international relations and world order outstripped many others. We both advocate multilateralism and place importance on international multilateral mechanisms. We support the continued reform and improvement of the existing international system so that we can more effectively respond to the 21st century global challenges. We see the EU as an important power in the international community, and we stand ready to strengthen our communications and coordination on major international and regional issues. We should work for closer cooperation, promote democracy, ensure countries around world rights of equal participation in international affairs, and build a more fair and reasonable international order in a common effort to offer the international community necessary political environment and institutional guarantee to promote global governance.

Second, we should cooperate and complement each other for economic growth, and jointly facilitate an effective global economic governance system while not overlooking the significance of equal representation. The EU is the world’s biggest economy, and China is the largest emerging economy. There is a huge potential for our cooperation in global governance. Our current pressing task is to strengthen cooperation in the G20 and other mechanisms. The G20 has already become an important platform for international cooperation to address the financial crisis and strengthen global governance. We need to strengthen cooperation and coordination to push for the early transition of the G20 from a crisis management mechanism to a global economic governance system. In addition, we should aim to achieve, through this year’s two summits, practical results in world economic recovery, international financial institutions reform, tightened financial supervision, and rejection of trade and investment protectionism. From a long-term perspective, we could further deepen and expand our cooperation and commit ourselves, together with other countries, to build a new international economic and financial order that is fair and reasonable.

Third, we should strengthen mutual trust and security cooperation to jointly safeguard world peace and stability, and it is imperative that we commit ourselves to resolving of international disputes through peaceful cooperation instead of wars and confrontations. The international environment is undergoing the most profound changes since the Cold War, and the world peace and stability is faced with grave challenges presented by conventional and nonconventional security threats. As we share the same destiny on security, it is essential for us to deepen cooperation in the following three aspects: First, we should pursue the new security concept of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality, and coordination in a joint effort to create a harmonious and stable international and regional security environment. Second, we need to strengthen communications and coordination on the Iranian nuclear issue, Middle East issue, and other international and regional hotspot issues. Third, to better safeguard our respective interest and that of the world community, we should explore and deepen our cooperation to address climate change, energy security, transnational organized crimes, major communicable diseases, and other new and nonconventional security challenges.

Fourth, we should jointly promote world prosperity and progress of human civilization by respecting diversity, seeking common ground, putting aside differences, and drawing on each other’s best practices. Diversity is the cornerstone of human civilization. Global governance cannot be achieved unless we respect the diversity of different cultures and promote exchanges for common progress. We aspire to such a goal. China and Europe represent two splendid civilizations, and we are blessed with time-honored history of exchanges and mutual learning. In the new era, leaders from both China and the EU have already identified cross-cultural dialogues and youth exchanges as key areas of future cooperation. In addition to these initiatives, we should also strengthen cooperation to actively advocate in the international community equality, mutual respect, mutual learning, mutual complementarities, and inclusiveness to better safeguard world and regional peace and amity through joint development of all cultures and civilizations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

There is great joy and pride to see what we have achieved over the past thirty-five years on the growth of our relations, yet our shared destiny presents us stronger purpose and greater responsibility. Compared with thirty-five years ago, our relations today is increasingly extending beyond bilateral context and gaining global significance. On the day to day basis, we should continue with our mutually beneficial cooperation for the benefit of our two peoples. On the strategic level, it is imperative for us to actively facilitate global governance and to cooperate with the rest of the international community for a better world. In this connection, I wish to highlight the connotation and spirit of four key words.

First, trust. We should always view, approach, and promote our relations from a strategic height and a long-term perspective, increase mutual understanding and trust, and build a rock-solid political foundation for global governance.

Second, connection. We have many opportunities for closer cooperation in the post crisis era. We should continue to uphold the principles of equality, mutual benefit, cooperation, and win-win progress to further expand and deepen our cooperation in business and others.

Third, coordination. We should make full use of various bilateral and multilateral mechanisms like the G20 to scale communications and coordination on major regional and international issues, build more consensus, and constantly expand converging interests.

Fourth, inclusiveness. As long as we respect each other, treat each other as equals, and reject confrontation and bias, our differences over certain issues will not hold us back in reaching the common goal of a healthy and steady China-EU relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

Thirty-fives years may just be a fleeting moment in the history of mankind, yet what we have witnessed was an exciting chapter in the 2,000-year long history of China-Europe friendship. Looking back, it is a delight to see that we have not failed our historical mission. Looking ahead, I see without illusion the arduous tasks awaiting. On the road ahead, we need closer cooperation among all countries and greater progress in the China-EU relations as said by Antony McGrew, a famous scholar for global governance, that people everywhere in this crowded planet share the same destiny. I firmly believe that with our joint efforts, we can make greater contribution to a global governance system that balances well fairness and efficiency, and together we can create a better future for all.

To conclude, I wish this conference a complete success!

Thank you!

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