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Events to mark 70th anniversary of key initiative

Experts highlight importance of Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in the world today

By ZHOU JIN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-06-26 06:52
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President Xi Jinping will attend a conference on Friday commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, with observers highlighting the everlasting value of the foundational principles in providing the basic approach for countries to get along with each other and a framework for resolving disputes.

In addition to the conference, a luncheon and a series of subforums will be held as part of the commemoration, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning said on Tuesday.

Former state leaders, experts and representatives of media outlets and business communities will attend the commemorative events, which are themed "From the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence to Building a Community with a Shared Future for Mankind", according to Mao.

The events aim to discuss carrying forward these five principles, promoting global response to the multiple crises and challenges facing the world, and answering the call for peace, development and cooperation from various countries, she said.

Seven decades ago, then Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai put forward in full these principles — mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual nonaggression, noninterference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.

These principles have been widely accepted and recognized by various countries, and have become part and parcel of the fundamental norm governing international relations and basic principles of international law, Mao said.

China looks forward to detailed discussions on the theme and hopes to see solid commitment to the spirit of the five principles as well as hear wisdom and input on the global response to crises and challenges, she added.

Observers said the principles offer a key approach for the peaceful settlement of disputes, as countries with different social systems, ideologies and development paths are equal and should resolve their disputes through consultations.

Lin Minwang, deputy director of Fudan University's Center for South Asian Studies, said the hosting of the commemorative events demonstrates that China has remained true to the original aspiration of its diplomacy.

The set of five principles was the first initiative proposed by the People's Republic of China and was its first attempt to integrate into the international stage, Lin said.

The Non-Aligned Movement, which was founded in the 1960s, adopted the five principles as its guiding philosophy. These principles were also incorporated in relevant declarations adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1970 and 1974.

Song Zhihui, vice-dean of Sichuan University's School of International Studies, wrote in a recent article that the principles have deepened mutual understanding and trust among developing countries, promoted South-South cooperation and improved North-South relations.

He said the principles have paved a new path for the peaceful resolution of historical issues among countries as well as international disputes.

The principles play an active role in forming a new type of international relations, featuring fairness, justice and win-win cooperation, Song said, adding that over the past 70 years, the significance of these principles has deepened and their impact has grown stronger.

Lin, from Fudan University, said that commemorating the principles has become all the more important now because they hold great significance both for China and the international community.

He noted that the increasing competition among major countries, heightened tensions in international affairs and regional conflicts further highlight the value of the five principles.

The principles must be carried forward and correctly understood, as they provide the fundamental way for countries to get along with each other, Lin added.


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