Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun Giving Speech at the Munich Security Conference
2012/02/07

On 4 February 2012, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Zhijun attends the 48th Munich Security Conference (MSC) and gives a speech titled "Working Together for Peace, Stability and Development of Asia" at the panel discussion on "America, Europe and the Rise of Asia".

Zhang says the rise of Asia has picked up speed since the beginning of the 21st century. Asia remains a bright spot and a big plus for the world against a backdrop of sluggish recovery of the world economy and frequent regional turbulences. Development is not a zero-sum game between the East and the West. The rise of Asia represents greater balance in the international power structure. The modernization of billions of people in Asia will create a bigger market and more job opportunities for the world, adding renewed vitality to the efforts to fight global challenges and improve global governance.

On the relations between Asia and countries from outside the region, Zhang says Asia is open and inclusive. China welcomes the participation of the United States, Europe and others from outside the region in Asia's development and constructive contribution to Asia-Pacific affairs. At the same time, countries from outside Asia should also follow the tide of development and the shared aspiration of the people of Asia for economic development, better living standards and stability. Any move to deliberately highlight the military and security agenda, create tension or strengthen military presence or alliance runs counter to the trend of the times and popular will in Asia.

Zhang says Asia's unique characteristics and the Asian way should be respected. Asia does not export development models or ideologies. Nor does it want to see others impose theirs on Asia. Asian countries place emphasis on respecting each other's sovereignty and independence, equality between countries irrespective of their size, accommodating each other's comfort level, consensus building and gradualism and do not approve of twisting international rules at will.

On the relationship between Asia and Europe, Zhang points to the immense scope and potentials for Asia-Europe cooperation. The debt problem in Europe shows that all systems and development models need constant reform and self-renewal to adapt to a changing world. China has a stake in a successful Europe and has been supportive of the EU's effort to address the debt problem. It is hoped that China and Europe can increase their mutual understanding, deepen mutual trust and boost mutually beneficial cooperation through their joint efforts.

Zhang says China follows a policy of building friendship and partnership with its Asian neighbors. China and its neighbors have enjoyed over 30 years of peace and their economies have become much more integrated. China is committed to giving back to Asia with its own development and plays a major part in upholding peace and stability in the region. There may still exist some differences and frictions between China and some of its neighbors, but efforts for their solution are underway and they do not affect the overall relations between China and its neighbors.

Zhang says China sees the future of its development in the common development of Asia. What China wants is development for all, not just for itself. China does not seek a sphere of influence. It does not intend to, nor is it capable of building an exclusive regional order. China is firmly committed to peaceful development. In addition to taking care of its 1.3 billion people, China assumes due responsibility for world peace and development. Peaceful development is China's long-term strategy.

Vice Minister Zhang's co-panelists were: former US Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, Singaporean Defense Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen, US Senator John McCain and former French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier. On the sidelines of the Conference, Vice Minister Zhang also met with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and other MSC participants, with whom Vice Minister Zhang exchanged views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest.

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