Dai Bingguo: Cooperation is the Only Choice

By China’s State Councilor Dai Bingguo in London

It’s a great pleasure to be back in Britain after two years and co-chair with Foreign Secretary William Hague the China-UK Strategic Dialogue.

Nowadays, to have new breakthroughs in our relationship, we need new ideas and new ways to take our cooperation forward. And both our countries must manage differences appropriately to create conditions for closer cooperation.

China-UK relations have made significant progress in the decades past. Today, Britain hosts more Chinese students than any other EU member and is China’s 3rd largest trading partner and 2nd largest investor within the EU.

This year and next year will see quite a number of major occasions in bilateral relations. A pair of giant pandas from China will settle in Britain later this year. 2012 marks 40 years of full diplomatic relations between China and Britain. And it’s also when London will host the Olympic Games. All these momentous events will open the way for our relations to move still further.

China and Britain have different histories, cultural traditions and social systems. It’s unavoidable that we may disagree here and there. What’s essential is that we should respect, accommodate and help each other instead of forcing our own ideas on each other. In real life no one is able to change others. The world is very much like a garden, whose most beautiful season comes when all kinds of flowers blossom.

The world today has increasingly become a global village. Countries are more interdependent and their interests more closely interwoven than any time in history. And the destinies of developed and developing countries, the east and the west, and the South and the North, are inseparable.

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All countries must recognize such a significant change and take actions to adjust and adapt. Those outdated ideas and practices must be dropped, and new visions, policies, behaviors and governance approaches must be developed. No country alone can tackle the growing number of global challenges and non-conventional security threats. The only option for the international community is to come together to pursue harmony and win-win solutions.

Developed and developing countries should build a sincere, genuine partnership based on mutual respect and mutual benefit. Some suggest that the global power is shifting away from the west to the east. It’s much too early to talk about that. In many aspects, western developed countries are still in the lead.

If the world power is shifting, then I believe the power has started to diffuse toward relative equity and equilibrium. This is a positive development to the world. We sincerely hope developed countries will grow at a higher level and developing countries can continue to make greater progress at their own level.

China firmly commits to the path of peaceful development. Our focus is on our own development. We will not repeat the beaten track of the rising powers in the past. And invasion, expansion, beggar-thy-neighbour policy and hegemony are not our options.

We hope to live in peace and seek common development together with the world. This policy is not for selling to other countries. Instead, it’s our own action plan that will be followed through. Because peaceful development is in the best interests of China and the world.

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We do not seek to maximize our own interests at the expense of others, but rather will carry out a win-win, opening-up strategy. We will continue to do what we can to help developing countries and, on the basis of equality and mutual benefit, work collaboratively with developed countries.

As we speak, some western countries have run into certain difficulties. Instead of standing by and blaming others, we have given as much support as we could.

Why is that?

Because in a globalised world, helping others is helping ourselves.

Cooperation is our only choice.

27 September 2011

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戴秉国:合作是我们的唯一选择

戴秉国国务委员在伦敦的谈话

很高兴时隔两年再次来到英国,与黑格外交大臣共同主持中英战略对话。当前两国关系要想取得新突破,一方面要以新思路、新方式推进合作,另一方面要处理好分歧,为合作创造条件。中英关系几十年来取得了很大发展,英国现在是中国在欧盟内第一大留学生目的地国、第三大贸易伙伴和第二大投资来源地。今明两年,两国关系中的大事喜事不断,中国提供的一对大熊猫将在年底前抵英,明年是两国建交40周年和伦敦奥运年,双边关系面临着新的发展机遇。

中英两国历史文化传统、社会制度不同,难免在一些问题上有不同看法。有不同意见不要紧,关键是要相互尊重、相互适应、相互体谅、相互帮助,不要把自己的主张强加于人,老想改变对方,事实上谁也改变不了谁。世界如同一个大花园,百花齐放,才能更美丽。

当今世界正日益成为一个“地球村”,各国相互依存,利益交融,达到历史上前所未有的程度,无论发达国家还是发展中国家,无论东方、西方、南方、北方,都结成了利益和命运共同体。各国必须意识到这一重大变化并积极行动起来,不断调整和适应,淘汰掉一些过时的思维和做法,使自己在思想观念、方针政策、行为方式和治理手段上都适应新的要求。面对越来越多的全球性问题和非传统安全威胁,没有一个国家能够单独应对,独善其身,只能同舟共济、和谐相处、合作共赢。

发达国家和发展中国家要真诚相待,建立起相互尊重、互利共赢的合作伙伴关系。有人说世界权力重心正从西方向东方转移,我看现在还谈不上,西方发达国家在很多方面都占据着优势。如果说世界权力重心有变化,我认为权力分配开始向相对公平、均衡的方向扩展,这对世界是好事。我们真诚希望发达国家更好地、在更高水平上发展,发展中国家也可以在现有基础上取得更大进步。

中国坚定不移地走和平发展道路。中国立足于自身发展,不搞侵略扩张,不搞以邻为壑,更不会走“国强必霸”的传统大国崛起的老路,而是真诚希望与世界各国和平共处,共同发展。我们的方针政策不是说给外国人听的,而是我们自己要真正实行的,因为和平发展最符合我们的利益,也最符合世界的利益。我们不追求自己的利益最大化,而将认真实行互利共赢的开放战略。我们将继续为发展中国家提供力所能及的帮助,在平等互利的基础上与发达国家发展合作。当前,西方国家遇到一些困难,我们没有落井下石,而是尽可能提供支持。为什么?在全球化的时代,帮助别人就是帮助自己,合作是我们的唯一选择。

(2011年9月27日,英国伦敦)

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