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Government Documents
UPDATED: March 25, 2011
Hold High the Great Banner of Deng Xiaoping Theory for an All-round Advancement of the Cause of Building Socialism With Chinese Characteristics’ Into the 21st Century
Report Delivered at the 15th National Congress of the Communist Party of China on September 12, 1997

IX. The International Situation and Our Foreign Policy

At present, the international situation as a whole is becoming more relaxed. Peace and development are the main themes of the present era. The trend toward multi-polarity has further developed globally or regionally in the political, economic and other fields. World forces are experiencing a new split and realignment. Relations between the big powers are undergoing major and profound adjustments. Regional and intercontinental organizations of cooperation are active as never before. The overall strength of the great number of developing countries is growing. The development of the trend toward multi-polarity contributes to world peace, stability and prosperity. The call of the people of all countries for treating each other on an equal footing and living together in amity is becoming louder and louder. It has become the mainstream of the times to desire peace, seek cooperation and promote development. The factors for safeguarding world peace are gaining strength. For a fairly long period of time to come, it will be possible to avert a new world war and secure a favorable, peaceful international environment and maintain good relations with the surrounding countries.

However, the Cold War mentality still exists, and hegemonism and power politics continue to be the main source of threat to world peace and stability. Expanding military blocs and strengthening military alliances will not be conducive to safeguarding peace and security. The unjust and irrational old international economic order is still infringing upon the interests of developing countries, and the gap in wealth is widening. It is still serious that human rights and other issues are used to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. Local conflicts due to ethnic, religious and territorial factors crop up from time to time. The world is not yet tranquil.

It is necessary to adhere to the ideas of Deng Xiaoping about diplomatic work and firmly pursue an independent foreign policy of peace. In international affairs, we should determine our position and policies by proceeding from the fundamental interests of the people of China and other countries and judging each case on its own merits. We shall not yield to any outside pressure or enter into alliance with any big power or group of countries, nor shall we establish any military bloc, join in the arms race or seek military expansion.

We oppose hegemonism and safeguard world peace. All countries should settle their disputes and conflicts through peaceful consultations instead of resorting to force or the threat of it. No country should interfere in the internal affairs of another country under any pretext, still less bully the weak, invade or subvert other countries. We do not impose our social system and ideology upon others, nor will we allow other countries to force theirs upon us.

We shall work to bring about a just and rational new international political and economic order. This order should be based on the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, conform to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter and reflect the trend of the times to seek peace and development.

It is necessary to respect the diversity of the world. The world today is rich and varied. All countries are entitled to choose the social systems, development strategies and lifestyles that suit their own conditions. The affairs of a country should be decided upon by its own people, and global issues should be dealt with through consultations by all countries.

The good-neighborly policy should be upheld. This has been our consistent stand and will never change. Keeping in mind the overall objective to maintain peace and stability, we should settle the disputes between China and the surrounding countries through friendly consultations and negotiations. Should this fail to serve the purpose, we should put them aside ['or the time being, seeking common ground while reserving differences.

We should further strengthen our solidarity and cooperation with the Third World countries. The developing countries share the same fundamental goal of safeguarding their independence and developing the economy. China will, as always, join the vast number of developing countries in mutual support and close cooperation in all areas to safeguard our lawful rights and interests.

We should further improve and develop our relations with developed countries on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. All countries should respect each other and live together in amity regardless of differences in their social systems and ideologies. They should seek the point where their common interests converge, expand mutually beneficial cooperation and work together to take up the challenge facing mankind for survival and development. They should persist in dialogue, not confrontation, in properly handling their differences by proceeding from their long-term interests and the overall task of promoting world peace and development. We are opposed to imposing or threatening to impose sanctions without good reason.

Pursuant to the principle of equality and mutual benefit, we should conduct extensive trade, economic and technological cooperation and scientific and cultural exchanges with all countries and regions to promote common development.

We should take an active part in multilateral diplomatic activities and give full play to China's role in the United Nations and other international organizations.

On the basis of the principles of independence, complete equality, mutual respect and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, we shall develop new types of inter-party relations of exchange and cooperation with all political parties of various countries which are ready to have contacts with our Party with a view to promoting state relations.

China is a staunch force for safeguarding world peace and regional stability. In carrying out the socialist modernization program, we need a long-term peaceful international environment, and above all, we need to maintain good relations with the surrounding countries. China's development will not pose a threat to any other country. China will never seek hegemony even when it becomes developed in future. The Chinese people, for a long time subjected to aggression, oppression and humiliation by foreign powers, will never inflict these sufferings upon others.

The future of the world is bright, though the road is tortuous. The Chinese people are ready to join hands with the people of other countries in making unremitting efforts to promote the lofty cause of peace and development and work for a brighter future for mankind.

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