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Keynote Speech by Ambassador Lu Shaye at the 5th Asia Maritime Security Forum
2017/10/27

Jointly Building a Sea of Peace and Cooperation

Under Guidance of Concept of Community

With a Shared Future for Mankind

---Keynote Speech at the 5th Asia Maritime Security Forum

(October 26th, 2017, Edmonton)

Mr. Gordon Houlden, Director of China Institute at University of Alberta,

Mr. Wu Shicun, President of National Institute for South China Sea Studies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear friends,

Good morning!

Firstly, I would like to thank Mr. Gordon Houlden and Mr. Wu Shicun for inviting me and providing me the opportunity to share my views with all of you here today. I am not an expert for maritime issues, so I can only speak at large from the international relations perspective.

The theme of this forum is “Maritime Security and Cooperation: Opportunities and Challenges in Asia Pacific and the Arctic”. I believe this is a very important topic and worth conducting discussions. The ocean is closely linked to national and international security, trade, logistics, resources exploitation and environmental protection. As a result, many maritime issues have existed for a long time and tensions over these issues have risen from time to time, such as maritime territorial and delimitation disputes, disputes of rights and benefits, navigation safety, geopolitical issues, non-traditional threats to security, among others. The Asia-Pacific region is one of the fastest-growing and most dynamic economic regions in the world. The Arctic region is so attractive and full of wonders, with vast development potential. Discussing maritime security and cooperation on these two regions will bring us different perspectives and spark new ideas. I expect the inspirational and insightful contributions from you to the solution of the above-mentioned issues.

The world has entered an era of great progress, great transformation and profound change. The global economic recovery has not solidified yet, geopolitical strifes are intensifying, regional turbulences are increasing, global governance deficit is expanding, and populism is growing. “Uncertainty” becomes a high-frequency word to describe the current world situation. It seems that human beings have come to a historical crossroad again, and are facing the decisive choice of where to go. Indeed, almost every area is confronted with some problems of global significance. It is important to solve various specific problems. But in my opinion, what’s more important is to ask ourselves some critical questions, rather than just solving specific problems. For example, what kind of world should we build? How to build it? Only when these fundamental questions are answered, can we solve those specific problems in a better and smarter way.

Against the backdrop of the complex situation, China grasps the overall development trend in the world and gives its own answer to the challenges faced by human beings. The answer is, building a community with a shared future for mankind, and achieving win-win results.

In 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the initiative of building a community with a shared future for mankind to the international community. This initiative is rooted in Chinese history and traditional culture, integrates with the Chinese ancient sages’ lofty ideal of Datong world, literally meaning great harmony. At the same time, it focuses on the reality and problems of the world, and provides meaningful solutions. How do we build such a community? President Xi Jinping proposed goals and approaches in five aspects: Firstly, build a world of lasting peace through dialogues and consultations. Secondly, build a world of common security for all through joint efforts. Thirdly, build a world of common prosperity through win-win cooperation. Fourthly, build an open and inclusive world through exchanges and mutual learning. Fifthly, make our world clean and beautiful by pursuing green and low-carbon development. These five aspects constitute the framework of the community.

Building a community with a shared future for mankind is a systematic project with two main undertakings: one is development, the other is security. China puts forward a concept for international development featuring fairness, openness, comprehensiveness and innovation . For security, China advocates a common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable new security concept. And forging a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation is throughout the whole process. The international development concept, the new security concept, and the new type of international relations are three pillars for the building of the community with a shared future for mankind.

China's international development concept is based on the new development concept of innovation, coordination, green, openness and sharing advocated since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China. It provides a Chinese solution for global development. Actually, the two concepts are consistent and share the same goal to make the development opportunities more equal, to let the development outcomes benefit all, to make the development foundation more solid, to have the development potential fully released, and to make the development power more lasting.

The new security concept is the conclusion and proposition that China achieved, by drawing lessons from the development of modern international relations, and analyzing the essence and root causes of a series of contemporary global security problems. Common security means every country has the right to participate in security affairs as well as the obligation to maintain international security. They should focus on not only their own security, but also others’ . Comprehensive security means to take all traditional and non-traditional security factors into consideration, make overall plans and adopt a multipronged approach to address them, pursuing holistic effect. Cooperative security means countries need to cooperate to deal with security challenges, enhance mutual trust through dialogue, understand and accommodate each other to avoid confrontation. Sustainable security means to address both the symptoms and root causes, eliminate the soil breeding security issues through common development of all countries, promoting sustainable security through sustainable development.

You may have noted that the situation in the South China Sea showed a positive momentum for stabilization since the second half of last year. This is because China has always pursued the new security concept and adhered to solving problems through dialogues, negotiations and the “dual-track” approach. It has been proved that this has enhanced understanding, trust and cooperation of the coastal states of the South China Sea. It has become a vivid example of the positive role the new security concept played. If more countries uphold this concept, I believe a lot of pointless conflicts can be avoided and human beings will live in a safer world.

In practicing both the international development concept and the new security concept, we should adhere to a spirit of mutual respect, fairness, justice and win-win cooperation. It is the purpose of China's proposal to establish a new type of international relations, and also the fundamental essence of China's international development concept and new security concept. Mutual respect is the foundation of people-to-people, country-to-country exchanges. Fairness and justice are shared values of the mankind. Now some countries like to boast the so-called “rule-based international order”, but they hardly realize that mutual respect, fairness and justice are the cardinal rules of international order. In addressing both peace and development issues, we must adhere to the basic principle of win-win situation and get rid of zero-sum game and "winner takes all" approach. We shall neither seek benefits for ourselves at the expense of others nor practice beggar-thy-neighbor; we should take cooperation as a basic way and not follow the old routines of great power rivalry, fighting each other, and bullying the weak or small countries. We can say that the new type of international relations and the concepts for international development and new security are software and hardware respectively. They work together to keep the sophisticated system of the community with a shared future for mankind running effectively.

Building a community with a shared future for mankind is a major outlook of China for the whole world, and the Belt and Road Initiative is a practice platform and an international public good that China has provided to this end.

The Belt and Road Initiative is proposed by President Xi Jinping in the fall of 2013. Within just four years, the Belt and Road Initiative has been transformed from concept to practice, from vision to reality. The approach of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits has deeply rooted in people’s heart. China has signed cooperation documents with more than 60 countries and international organizations, and a large number of infrastructure projects are being accelerated. From 2014 to 2016, China’s total trade volume with the countries along the “Belt and Road” route exceeded three trillion US dollars; the aggregate of China’s investment in those countries reached more than 50 billion US dollars, creating 180,000 job opportunities for relevant countries. Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and Silk Road Fund have provided billions of US dollars of loans and investments to the relevant countries. People-to-people and cultural exchanges among the countries are splendid, and the Chinese government provides 10,000 government scholarships each year for the relevant countries. As a matter of fact, the Belt and Road Initiative is a major exploration of building a community with a shared future for mankind.

The Belt and Road Initiative brings benefits to the world and is open to all friends. China welcomes all countries around the world, including Canada, to become international cooperation partners under the Belt and Road Initiative. With the building of the Maritime Silk Road, the vast Pacific Ocean will become a sea of peace and cooperation.

Canada and China are strategic partners, with great potential for cooperation. I’m much honored to assume the office of Chinese Ambassador to Canada just as China-Canada relations entered a new “Golden Era”. This year, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau exchanged letters, Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made several phone calls to each other. These exchanges helped to set the strategic direction for and inject strong impetus to the further development of our bilateral relations. Our two sides have conducted four rounds of exploratory talks on China-Canada Free Trade Agreement and are expected to launch formal negotiations in the near future. As for international and regional issues, our two countries share more and more common ground and cooperate more frequently, especially in supporting free trade and addressing climate change. The people-to-people and cultural ties between our two countries are getting closer. China is Canada's largest source of international students, with a growth of 34,000 students in the first half of this year, an increase of 80 percent to last year. China has become the fastest-growing country in Canada’s tourist market. 385,000 Chinese tourists traveled to Canada from January to July this year, with an 11 percent increase compared to the same period of last year. By direct interactions, people from our two countries are truly experiencing the tangible benefits brought by the development of our bilateral relations. I have full confidence in the prospects of China-Canada relations.

Two days ago, the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has successfully concluded. President Xi Jinping delivered an important report at the Congress. The highlight of the report is that it put forward the Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This Thought is based on the historic achievements and historic transformation that have been made during the past 5 years, as well as the basic experience drawn from the almost 40 years of Reform and Opening-up, and more than 60 years of nation building since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. A series of important strategies and basic policies in the report has drawn up a development blueprint for China till the middle of this century, and also laid out how to fulfill this goal in nine aspects, through both theoretical analysis and policy guidance. This will be our guide of theory and action for a fairly long time in the future, and I hope friends who are interested in China’s development could pay attention to it.

The Asia Maritime Security Forum is an important embodiment of the communication and cooperation between Chinese and Canadian academia. At last, I wish the Forum a better future and this session a full success.

Thank you.

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