China / Politics

FPPC - China's basic diplomatic policies

( Updated: 2014-06-26 16:43

June 28, 2014 marks the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (FPPC): an inevitable outcome of historical development

In 1954, China, India and Myanmar issued a joint statement confirming the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as the basic norms of diplomatic relations.

The principles are: mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful coexistence.

Struggles for national independence and liberation in Asia, Africa and Latin America spread after the Second World War, with one nation after another freeing itself from colonialism and gaining independence. These countries urgently required new international ties to maintain sovereignty, equality and develop their economies.

However, as the US promoted the political isolation of China, and also launched an economic blockade and threatened military action, many Asian countries had misgivings and misunderstandings concerning China. This meant that Beijing was very interested in establishing friendly relations with neighboring countries.

Public debut of the FPPC

In the early 1950s, President Mao Zedong said China should fight for lasting world peace and Beijing would never be aggressive towards any countries and would not permit imperialism and aggression against China. He also said the Chinese people have the full right to decide their country’s affairs and China would not allow any other country to interfere in its internal matters. Mao added that China will also never interfere in the internal affairs of other countries.

On Dec 31, 1953, Premier Zhou Enlai met with a delegation of the Indian government to discuss the Tibet problem. He told Indian delegates about China’s Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and, in April 1954, China and India signed an agreement of trade and transit between India and China’s Tibet - based on the five principles

Also in June 1954, China and India issued a joint statement confirming the adoption of the five principles in diplomatic relations between the two countries. Later, China and Myanmar also issued a joint statement announcing the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence as the guiding norms of China-Myanmar relations.

Practice and development of the FPPC

Following the example of China, India and Myanmar, an increasing number of countries adopted the five principles. In April 1955, delegations of 29 countries from Asia and Africa attended the Bandung Conference in Indonesia, and ten principles were passed - based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

The five principles have become the foundation of China’s foreign policies, including the eight principles of foreign aid in 1964, the four principles of economic and technological cooperation with African countries in 1983, and the four principles of relations with Latin American countries in 1990. They have also been written into the Constitution.

The five principles have evolved over the past 60 years. The principle of sovereignty now also takes into account responsibility and obligation in addition to rights. Also, fairness and justice have been generally recognized, and peace and security and win-win cooperation have been added to the principles - which require the world to evolve from situations of negative peace to positive peace. Countries not only need to stop using force but also to take precautions to avoid conflict. They are also required to form an international community based on common and sustainable development.

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