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Beijing declaration 2024: China says it stands for five principles of peaceful coexistence

‘All countries are equal. The big should not subdue the small, the strong should not bully the weak, and the rich should not exploit the poor.’

Kathmandu: China has said that it values five principles of peaceful coexistence—mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence—and stands for these values.

The Conference Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, the mega event attended by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Qiang, former political leaders from countries including Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, the Maldives, Egypt, Ethiopia, South Africa, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Brazil, Guyana, Japan, Republic of Korea, Italy, France, Croatia and Slovenia, representatives of international and regional organizations among other from more than 100 countries, issued the Beijing Declaration, which says that the five principles are “the basic norm in state-to-state relations.”

“Over the past seventy years, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence have shown everlasting relevance. They have made indelible historic contributions to the cause of human progress,” the declaration says. “These principles provide a whole set of basic norms for peaceful coexistence among countries across political, security, economic and diplomatic domains, and have a far-reaching impact on the development of international relations and international law.” The declaration further says that the five principles of peaceful coexistence were “designed to protect the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, and redress the systems of imperialism, colonialism and hegemonism. These principles have laid an intellectual foundation for and lent impetus to a more just and equitable international order.” “Building a community with a shared future for mankind is a natural step for carrying forward the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence under the new circumstances, and enriches the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence with the imperatives of the new era,” the declaration says.

The declaration says the overarching goal is to build a world of lasting peace, universal security and shared prosperity and one that is open, inclusive, clean and beautiful, which points the direction for all countries to work together on Earth. “The essence of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence is sovereign equality, which is the most important norm in state-to-state relations. All countries are equal. The big should not subdue the small, the strong should not bully the weak, and the rich should not exploit the poor.”

The declaration says that promoting the five principles of peaceful coexistence is conducive to safeguarding international fairness and justice and upholding true multilateralism. “Hot-spot issues, such as the Ukraine crisis and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, can only be resolved by a political settlement through dialogue and consultation. Global challenges, such as those emanating from climate change and artificial intelligence, must be addressed through open cooperation,” the declaration says.