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Five principles of peaceful coexistence
Updated: 2005-04-20 14:23

June 28 last year (2004) marked the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which are mutual respect for sovereignty andterritorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

With the end of the Second World War, movements of national independence and liberation flourished in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Newly independent nations demanded the establishment of new patterns of international relations based on equality to maintain their national sovereignty and develop their economies.

The Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence were produced precisely in response to this strong and common demand of newly independent nations.

After their rebirths, China and India, two giants in Asia, established diplomatic relations on April 1, 1950. On April 29, 1954, the two countries signed an agreement on trade and communications between the Chinese region of Tibet and India, introducing for the first time the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence into the preface of the agreement.

In June 1954, former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited India and Myanmar at the invitation of the two countries and held talks with his then Indian and Myanmese counterparts, Jawaharlal Nehru and U Nu.

Consequently, in the "Joint Declaration of Chinese and Indian Premiers" issued on June 28 and the "Joint Declaration of Chinese and Myanmese Premiers" issued on the following day, the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence were officially announced as the basic norms guiding the Sino-Indian and Sino-Myanmese relations.

The Sino-Indian joint declaration proposed that "these principles not only be applicable to relations between nations, but also to the general international relationship," while the Sino-Myanmese joint declaration expressed the hope that "these principles will be observed by all nations."

In April 1955 -- one year after China, India and Myanmar initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, a total of 29 newly independent nations from Asia and Africa held the historic "Asian-African Conference" in Bandung, Indonesia. As a result of the common efforts of the participants, the conference adopted the "Declaration on Promotion of World Peace and Cooperation" and formulated the 10 principles of the Bandung conference.

These 10 principles, which contained all points in the five principles of peaceful co-existence, represented an extension and development of the latter.

Since then, the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence have been recognized and accepted by more and more nations, international organizations and international meetings, and have been incorporated into a series of major international documents, including declarations adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

The five principles were also reaffirmed in the documents on China's establishment of diplomatic relations with more than 160 nations, and in treaties as well as communiques China has signed with other countries.

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