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Home >> China
UPDATED: 09:40, June 15, 2004
Chinese, foreign politicians, scholars discuss new implications of Five Principles
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Photo:Seminar on Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence held in Beijing
Seminar on Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence held in Beijing
Over 100 politicians, scholars and experts from China and 12 other countries gathered Monday in Beijing to discuss new implications of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

The International Seminar on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, sponsored by the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA), is being held in Beijing on June 14-15 to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the five principles.

Addressing the opening ceremony, CPIFA President Lu Qiutian said that over the past half a century, the five principles have played an important role in promoting the development of China-India and China-Asia friendly relations, and properly handling of relations among countries.

The five principles have made great contributions to maintaining world and regional peace and prosperity, he noted.

Reflecting the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, the five principles not only meet the fundamental interests of the people in the world, but also comply with the democratic spirit of modern international relations, he said. Therefore, the five principles still have strong vitality for dealing with the contemporary international relations.

Lu held that as the world is going through new transformations, to further carry forward the five principles and discuss its new implications is an important topic for this seminar. He hoped that through the discussion among politicians, scholars and experts, the five principles will be continuously developed under the new situation, and make greater contributions to the world peace and development.

Participants of the seminar will exchange views on four themes, namely, the five principles and contemporary international relations; the five principles and globalization, multilateralism, cultural diversity and new international order; the five principles and Asian security; the five principles and China's peaceful development.

Former Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen and former Indian President Kocheril Raman Narayanan made keynote addresses at the opening ceremony. A number of international renowned persons, including former German Federal Chancellor Helmut Kohl, former UN Secretary-General Butros Butros-Ghali, former US secretaries of state Henry A. Kissinger and George P. Shultz, and former Australian Prime Minister Robert James Lee Hawke will also give speeches at the seminar.

The Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, initiated by China, India and Myanmar in 1954, 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.

Background: Five Pronciples of Peaceful Coexistence

June 28 this year will mark the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which 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.

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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