China calls for greater democracy in int’l relations

*President says Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence not outdated

BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping has called for greater democracy in international relations. “We should uphold fairness and justice to build a new type of international relations,” Xi said when delivering a speech at a commemoration marking the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence held in Beijing, urging the international community to carry forward the principles to build a new type of international relations and a better world in the new era.
In 1954, leaders of China, India and Myanmar initiated the Five Principles, including mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence.
Xi said justice is a noble goal that people of all countries pursue in international relations. “However, we are still far away from realizing this goal.”
“We should jointly promote greater democracy in international relations,” said the Chinese leader.
The destiny of the world must be determined by people of all countries, and world affairs should be managed through consultation by governments and peoples of all countries, he added.
“The notion of dominating international affairs belongs to a different age, and such attempt is doomed to failure,” Xi said.
He urged the international community to jointly promote the rule of law in international relations.
“We should urge all parties to abide by international law and well-recognised basic principles governing international relations and use widely applicable rules to tell right from wrong and pursue peace and development,” said the Chinese president.
In the international society, there should be just one law that applies to all, he said, noting that there should not be “double standards” in handling international relations.
“We should jointly uphold the authority and sanctity of international law and the international order. All countries should exercise their rights in accordance with the law, oppose bending international law, and reject any attempt to undermine, in the name of ‘rule of law,’ other countries’ legitimate rights and interests as well as peace and stability,” he said.
“We should jointly promote more balanced international relations, advance reform in global governance in keeping with new changes in the relative strengths of international forces, respond to concerns and aspirations of various parties, and better uphold the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries,” he added.
Meanwhile, President Jinping said that the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence initiated 60 years ago were not outdated, but remained as relevant and important as ever in handling international relations.
“Having been tested by the evolution of international relations in the past six decades, the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, as open and inclusive principles of international law, embody the values of sovereignty, justice, democracy and rule of law,” Xi said when delivering the keynote speech.
Xi said the Principles have become the basic norms governing international relations as well as basic principles of international law.
“These five principles, as an integrated, interconnected and indivisible concept, capture the essence of today’s international relations, and can apply to relations among all countries regardless of their social system, stage of development or size,” he said.
Xi said the Principles have effectively upheld the rights and interests of the developing world and have played a positive role in building a more equitable and rational international political and economic order. 

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