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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 16:52, June 16, 2004
Basic principles of relations among countries: Ghali
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Photo:New implications of Five Principles highlighted
New implications of Five Principles highlighted
Former UN Secretary-General Butros Butros-Ghali is an old friend of the Chinese people. On the 50th anniversary of the initiation of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence he came to Beijing again at the invitation of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA) to attend the International Seminar on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Before the seminar Mr. Ghali accepted an interview by People's Daily.

Tall and thin, Ghali still looks hale and hearty at the 82-years of age. He spoke in an unhurried and logical manner, illustrious of a seasoned diplomat and well-known statesman. With exuberant energy he talked with the reporter for more than an hour without having a break or drinking any water.

Since 1980 when he first stepped on the miraculous soil of China Ghali has been struck with a wonderful impression of China. He said with emotion: "Over the past 24 years, this is the 12th or 13th time that I have visited China. When I was Vice Premier and Minister of Foreign Affaires of Egypt I paid a visit to China. As Secretary-General of the United Nations I came to China almost every year. I came to China even after I retired and assumed the post of the first Secretary-General of Francophone Countries Organization. This time I've become a 'grandpa'". Then He smiled frankly and spelled out the word "grandpa" in Chinese. "In a word I come to China quite often. Each time I can feel the enormous change that is taking place in China. China has not only accomplished striking successes in domestic construction but also plays an increasingly important role on the international stage. China has become a significant force in coordinating global affairs, for example, China is playing a vital constructive role in the six-party talk for solving the nuclear question on the Korean Peninsular.

It is the 50th anniversary of the initiation of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence this year. When talking about the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence Ghali spoke with high spirit. He said the contents of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence 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. For half a century the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence have gradually been accepted by the international community and become basic principles that are of guiding importance to handling mutual relations among countries. At a time when international affairs are numerous and complicated the proper settling of these international disputes is not at all easy. It makes more salient the importance of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Lashed by the waves of economic globalization, I believe, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence will be endowed with completely new historical significance, spurting out new life force.

Listening to the wise as he went on speaking with fervor and assurance, the author came to a more observant understanding of the significance of the world peace. Moreover the author's heart is filled with feeling of reverence toward this former UN Secretary-General who is still going around and campaigning for world peace at the age of the eighties.

By People's Daily Online

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