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UPDATED: August 5, 2014 NO. 28 JULY 10, 2014
Lasting Peace
A decades-old international relations tenet remains crucial to global security
By Yu Lintao

JOINT CELEBRATION: Officials from China, India and Myanmar cut a cake during a ceremony commemorating the 60th anniversary of the announcement of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence in Yangon, Myanmar, on June 28 (XINHUA)

Since the United States launched the Iraq War in 2003 and overthrew the former Iraqi regime after falsely claiming the country possessed large amounts of weapons of mass destruction, the Middle East country became a haven for terrorists. The U.S. interference in Iraq's domestic affairs resulted in not only the further rise of regional anti-U.S. sentiment but also a more turbulent situation in the region. Meanwhile, the competing zones of influence between Western countries and Russia over Ukraine have led to the current civil unrest and national split of the East European country.

Observers said the settlement of ongoing territorial disputes also requires the strict observance of all parties to the Five Principles.

Wang said the Five Principles particularly emphasize mutuality, the parity of responsibilities and obligations, and opposition to unilateralism. That is to say, countries should respect each other regardless of size and settle their bilateral disputes through dialogue.

According to Wang, the deadlock of the current territorial disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea is due to relevant countries insisting on unilateral moves and even seeking help from outside forces, rather than relying on talks or shelving the disputes to collect the resources together.

Qu of the CIIS also claimed that some regional countries' unilateral moves, which are discrepant with the Five Principles, are the major reason for the unrest in East Asia.

"Regardless of China's sovereignty claim, Japan's provocative move of 'purchasing' the Diaoyu Is lands is the ultimate source of the current regional tension," Qu said.

Qu noted that Japan's unilateral actions are the result of a rightward shift in Japanese politics in recent years.

As Japanese politics gradually turn right, Japan took a series of moves that aroused regional tension, including whitewashing its war crimes, prodding territorial quarrels with its neighbors, and, most recently, lifting a ban on exercising the right to collective self-defense by reinterpreting its pacifist Constitution.

Observers noted that the past 60 years have witnessed a rapid pace of globalization and an increasingly interdependent world. But challenges such as biased international relations and regional conflicts and wars are reminding the world that there is a long way to go to safeguard world peace and promote common development.

Under such circumstances, as President Xi indicated in his keynote speech at the commemoration marking the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles, their spirit, far from being outdated, remains as relevant as ever; their significance, rather than diminishing, remains as important as ever; and their role, rather than being weakened, has continued to grow.

New dimensions

In addition to adhering to the Five Principles, China has been enriching the concept in recent years.

Sun Shihai, a senior researcher on international studies with Peking University, said that although the world situation has undergone a sea of changes, the core concept of the Five Principles has not been changed. Throughout these changes, its content has been refined.

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