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Home >> Opinion
UPDATED: 17:07, April 18, 2005
Spirit of Bandung Conference will shine forever
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Editor's notes People's Daily today publishes on the front page an editorial marking the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference. Full text of the editorial reads as follows:

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the convocation of the well-known Bandung Conference.

The Afro-Asian Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia from April 18 to 24, 1955 was an international meeting, the convocation of which was initiated by Asian and African countries themselves for the first time in history to discuss major issues related to various Asian and African countries.

At the week-long conference, the 304 delegates from 29 countries and regions scored many important achievements by breaking through imperialist obstructions and sabotages. The "Final Communique of the Afro-Asian Conference" unanimously adopted by the conference covers seven aspects including the participating countries' economic cooperation, cultural cooperation, human rights and self-determination, the question concerning people of dependencies, and promotion of world peace and cooperation, consensus was reached in these aspects. In the communiqu��,"The Declaration on Promoting World Peace and Cooperation" puts forward 10 famous principles, which extend and develop the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (mutual respect for territorial integrity and sovereignty; mutual non-aggression; non-interference in each other's internal affairs; equality and mutual benefit; and peaceful coexistence), and which represent Asian-African countries' important contributions to the norms of international relations. On the basis of in-depth discussions on various topics, the conference formed the spirit of the Bandung Conference which features the monolithic solidarity of the people of various Asian and African countries, opposition to imperialism and colonialism, fight for and safeguard of national independence, defense of world peace and enhancement of friendships between people of various countries.

Convocation of the Bandung Conference was seen as an indication of the awakening of the people in the extensive regions of Asia and Africa, and as an important turning point in the history of Asian-African national liberation movements. Since then, Asian and African countries have mounted as an important rising force on to the international arena.

In the 50 years after the Bandung Conference, the Asian-African region has experienced great changes. The system of colonial rule and racial segregation has become a thing of the past, the vast numbers of Asian and African countries are playing an increasingly great role in international affairs and have scored world-attracting achievements in economic development. Many Asian countries are heading for economic revitalization, and numerous African countries are exploring ways of independent development. Although there may still be many difficulties, people are convinced that the 21st century will certainly be a century in which the numerous Asian and African countries will further advance toward development and prosperity.

China was an active participant in the Bandung Conference. Premier Zhou Enlai led the Chinese Delegation to the conference, putting forward and always persisting in the principle of seeking common ground while reserving differences, thus making important contribution to the success of the conference. Premier Zhou Enlai helped dispel doubts, defuse puzzles and quiet down disputes with his charisma of personality, political wisdom and an attitude of equality, thus promoting the cause of Asian-African solidarity and winning respect and admiration from various quarters. The illustrious manifestations of the Chinese Delegation at the Bandung Conference can be regarded as a monumental work in New China's diplomatic history. The brilliant achievements China has gained on its road of peace and development over the past half century all the more represents a successful practice of the Bandung spirit. Today, China continues to firmly persist in the Bandung spirit featuring "solidarity, equality and cooperation"to strengthen relations with Asian-African countries, develop cooperation with various countries around the world and are actively making unremitting efforts for humanity's common cause of peace and development.

Although profound changes have taken place in the world situation over the past 50 years, and international relations are experiencing new adjustments, the principles and spirit advocated by the Bandung Conference, however, are still full of vitality and are of important practical guidance significance. The 10 principle set forth by the conference are an important creation by Asian-African countries in the theory of international relations, as well as an important guiding tenet universally recognized and observed in today's world. The Asian-African cooperation initiated by the conference has been developed and deepened into "South-South cooperation". Inspired by the Bandung spirit, numerous developing countries are strengthening solidarity and cooperation, propelling the establishment of a just and reasonable international new order, and promoting the realization of peace and development, the two main themes of the times.

Today, after 50 years, leaders of Asian and African countries will once again gather together in Bandung to review the Bandung spirit and explore ways for strengthening Asian-African solidarity and cooperation under new historical conditions. This will again undoubtedly be an event of important historic significance. It will inject fresh vigor into the future in-depth cooperation among Asian-African countries, and will bring glad tidings to Asian-African people and people of the whole world. The world needs the voice of peace and sincerity in cooperation, and requires that the decision-makers of various countries, like the great thinkers attending the Bandung Conference in 1955, show their courage before difficulties and wisdom before differences and energetically push forward the development of friendly and cooperative relations with the idea of seeking common ground while putting aside differences, and of peaceful coexistence. This is the fundamental reason for the Bandung spirit to remain fresh as time goes by, here also lies the reason why people lay their great hope on the upcoming Asian-African leaders' conference and the activities marking the 50th anniversary of the Bandung Conference.

The Bandung Conference will remain a splendid event in the annals of history; the Bandung spirit will shine forever!

By People's Daily Online

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