A community of shared future is the only viable option for humanity

The Third Dialogue on Exchanges and Mutual Learning Among Civilizations and the First World Conference of Sinologists was held in Beijing on July 3-4. Held under the auspices of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee, it was hosted by the Chinese Association for International Understanding (CAFIU) and organised by the China National Archives of Publications and Culture and Beijing Language and Culture University.

Chinese Vice President Han Zheng attended and addressed the opening session, where he also read a letter of greetings sent by President Xi Jinping. In his letter, President Xi said that in the long course of human history, various nations have created civilizations with their own characteristics and symbols, and equal exchanges and mutual learning among different civilizations will provide strong spiritual guidance for humanity to solve the problems of the times and achieve common development. He also stressed that China is willing to work with all parties to advocate the universal values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom, and to implement the Global Civilization Initiative.

Other speakers in the opening session – in person or via video link – included former Spanish socialist Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and party and state leaders from the Central African Republic, Mauritania and Malaysia.

Friends of Socialist China Co-editors Keith Bennett, Carlos Martinez and Danny Haiphong participated in the conference. On the second day, Danny chaired a parallel session, which included speakers from China, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh, Cuba, Thailand, Mongolia and South Africa.

Keith spoke at another parallel session, alongside speakers from China, Ireland, Russia, Kenya, Mauritius, USA, Cameroon, Indonesia, Malaysia, Türkiye and Iran.

The closing session included video addresses by Bertie Ahern, former Taoiseach (Prime Minister) of Ireland and former leader of the Fianna Fáil party, and Erik Solheim, former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

We reprint below Keith’s speech to the conference. An article version has been published in China Today.

Dear Comrades and Friends

It is a great honor for me to be invited to contribute some thoughts to this Third Dialogue on Exchanges and Mutual Learning among Civilizations. Thank you for your invitation.

Humanity has a history of civilization dating back millennia.  Civilizations arose and developed on different continents and at different times. But they prospered and innovated through mutual exchanges and mutual learning. The ancient Silk Road, which began in China, is one of the greatest examples of this.

Through such routes, Roman remains have been found in China and Chinese silk and coins were to be found in the markets of Ancient Rome. Admiral Zheng He introduced the products of Chinese civilization from South East Asia to East Africa while merchants and traders from the Middle East found their way to China, becoming in time part of the great, diverse but united family of the Chinese nation.

Of course, previous history, since primitive communism gave way to class society, is by no means devoid of conflict, but it was, above all, the rise of capitalism and modern imperialism, which, from 1492 especially, fundamentally disrupted humanity’s inter-civilizational relationships.

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Campaigning against the New Cold War is crucial for all who value peace and justice

We are pleased to publish below the video and speech of a presentation made by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez at a 28 June webinar of the United National Anti-War Coalition, on the theme of US anti-China propaganda, a prelude to war. Carlos exposes the extraordinary hypocrisy and falsehood of the propaganda war that the Western powers are waging against China, and highlights how it is being leveraged to shift public opinion in favor of anti-China hostility.

He points out that the escalating campaign of China encirclement and containment is threatening to derail global progress on key issues, noting that “the future of humanity actually hinges on global cooperation to address our collective problems.” As such, Carlos calls on all progressive and peace-loving people to make campaigning against the New Cold War a core part of their work.

Other speakers at the event included Lee Siu Hin of the China-US Solidarity Network, Sara Flounders of the International Action Center, and Arjae Red of Workers World Party. The full webinar can be viewed on YouTube.

Dear friends, thank you so much for inviting me to speak at this important event. I’m very sorry not to be able to join you in person, as I’m currently in Guiyang, China, on a delegation.

The theme of today’s event, “Anti-Chinese propaganda, a prelude to war”, is closely connected to the rationale for writing my book, “The East is Still Red: Chinese socialism in the 21st century.”

I had two key aims in mind with the book.

One was to talk about socialism, about how China is a socialist country. So many people think that China used to be a socialist country and then became capitalist with the introduction of market reforms. I wanted to show that China remains a socialist country and that socialism provides the framework for its incredible successes in poverty alleviation, development, renewable energy, and so on.

And I wanted to say to the Western left – which tends to be a bit unsure about China – look, China’s achieved all these things, it’s raised living standards beyond recognition, it’s gone from being a technologically backward and oppressed country to being a science and tech powerhouse, it’s leading the global shift to multipolarity; why on earth would we want to ascribe these successes to capitalism rather than socialism? Let’s celebrate socialist victories, let’s uphold the history and politics of the global working class.

Hence ‘The East is Still Red’.

The second key aim in writing the book was to stand up to the propaganda war, which is part of a wider New Cold War against China, and that’s the focus of my talk today.

This work of standing up to the propaganda war is urgent. It needs to be a major focus for socialists, communists, progressives, for anti-war campaigners worldwide; really for anyone that doesn’t think “better dead than red” is a viable slogan for the 21st century.

Because the propaganda war is war propaganda.

It seeks to build the broadest possible public support for a New Cold War, for a campaign of containment and encirclement, and ultimately very possibly for a hot war.

Let’s get something straight. This New Cold War, this anti-China campaign, has absolutely nothing to do with human rights.

When the West throws disgraceful slanders at China over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, does anybody seriously think they’re manifesting a hitherto secret fondness and respect for Muslim people and their religion?

Where was that sentiment when they killed over a million people in Iraq?

Where was that sentiment when they destroyed Afghanistan, turning a quarter of its population into refugees and imposing brutal poverty on the rest?

Where was that sentiment when they bombed Libya into the Stone Age?

Where’s that sentiment today as they wage a disastrous proxy war against Iran in Yemen, creating the most severe humanitarian crisis in the world?

If they’re concerned about Muslims being placed in prison camps and denied their human rights, the first place they need to look is their illegally occupied corner of Cuba, that is, Guantanamo Bay.

When the West spreads outright lies about the suppression of Tibetan or Inner Mongolian language and culture, does anyone seriously think they’re standing up for the rights of indigenous peoples and for the preservation of precious human history?

How many indigenous languages are taught in US schools? To what extent is indigenous culture – and righteous resistance against colonialism – celebrated in US society? When was the last time native rights were upheld over drilling rights? Why does the US Congress seem more concerned with preserving Tibetan heritage than shutting down the Dakota Access pipeline?

These anti-China stories – all of which can be and have been comprehensively debunked – have nothing to do with upholding the principles of freedom, democracy and justice.

Continue reading Campaigning against the New Cold War is crucial for all who value peace and justice

The Global Security Initiative could drastically reduce nuclear risks

The Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) organised a webinar on May 30 to discuss the Global Security Initiative (GSI) put forward by President Xi Jinping. Speakers were Minister Wang Qi from the Chinese Embassy in London; Tom Unterrainer, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND); Dr. Zeno Leoni, Lecturer in Defence Studies at King’s College London; John Gittings, long-term China specialist and peace activist and former assistant foreign editor at the Guardian newspaper; and Dr. Jenny Clegg, retired senior lecturer in Asia-Pacific studies, peace activist, Vice-President of SACU, and member of the Friends of Socialist China advisory group. The webinar was introduced and chaired by Keith Bennett, SACU member and Co-editor of Friends of Socialist China.

In his contribution, Tom noted that the GSI has a focus on nuclear weapons, reiterating that, “a nuclear war can never be won and must never be fought.” Yet today, “rather than a reduction in nuclear risks the world is faced with the most acute set of such risks since the opening of the atomic age.” The famed ‘Doomsday Clock’ of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists is now set at 90 seconds, Tom said, adding:

“It goes without saying that if the proposals contained in China’s GSI were to become the norm through which states and groups of states interacted on the global stage, then we would expect to see a drastic ‘winding back’ of the minute and second hands of the ‘Doomsday Clock’.”

China’s policy with regard to nuclear weapons, Tom explained, is not new, but dates back to the country’s first test of an atomic bomb on 16 October 1964, when the Chinese government noted that it has, “consistently advocated the complete prohibition and thorough destruction of nuclear weapons. If this had been achieved, China need not have developed nuclear weapons. But our proposal was met with stubborn resistance…The Chinese Government hereby solemnly declares that China will never at any time or under any circumstances be the first to use nuclear weapons.”

These policies have remained consistent to the present day.

Tom further noted that it is a matter of public record that China has been repeatedly threatened with nuclear attack, including by Truman in 1950, by Eisenhower in 1953, and then consistently through the 1950s. The UK’s National Archives also reveal that the British government considered threatening China with nuclear attack in 1961.

The GSI, he observed, “offers a number of straightforward measures that could drastically reduce these [nuclear] risks.”

We reprint below a slightly expanded version of Tom’s contribution to the webinar, which was originally published on END Info, a blog produced by the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation for European Nuclear Disarmament (END). The full webinar can be viewed here.

I want to focus on nuclear weapons questions as they relate to the Global Security Initiative but in so doing, it would be wrong to conceive of nuclear risks as entirely separate from the general security issues that the GSI seeks to address. I’d go further and say that eliminating the existential risks posed by the prospect of nuclear use is a central aspect of any coherent approach to security.

Priority 3 of the concept paper addresses nuclear questions and opens with a reaffirmation of the 2022 joint statement of five nuclear-armed states, China included. This statement was, of course, a reaffirmation of a similar statement by Reagan and Gorbachev in the 1980s: “a nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought”.

Since the January 2022 statement, rather than a reduction in nuclear risks the world is faced with the most acute set of such risks since the opening of the atomic age.

As evidence, we need look no further than the decision of the Atomic Scientists to set the hands of their ‘Doomsday Clock’ to ’90 seconds to Midnight’. This cautionary metaphor – signalling the perils we all face resulting from the combined dangers nuclear war, climate catastrophe and technological threats – has never been as close to ‘Midnight’ as it is now. The Atomic Scientists were clear about the contribution of nuclear threats, arising from the terrible events in Ukraine, to their decision.

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Why did Biden snub China’s Ukraine peace plan?

This insightful article by Medea Benjamin, Marcy Winograd and Wei Yu, published in CODEPINK on 3 March 2023, analyzes the Biden administration’s kneejerk negative reaction to China’s recent position paper on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.

Biden, Blinken, Austin and Stoltenberg have all rubbished China’s credentials as a peacemaker, pointing to the fact that China has not condemned Russia, and accusing China of planning to provide Russia with military support. The authors make the important point that “it is the US, not China, that is fueling the conflict with at least $45 billion dollars in ammunition, drones, tanks and rockets in a proxy war that risks – with one miscalculation – turning the world to ash in a nuclear holocaust.” Furthermore “it is the US, not China, that has provoked this crisis by encouraging Ukraine to join NATO, a hostile military alliance that targets Russia in mock nuclear strikes, and by backing a 2014 coup of Ukraine’s democratically elected Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych.”

China’s peace proposal calls for a negotiated peace; it calls for abandoning a Cold War mentality; it calls for an end to unilateral sanctions; and it states that “the legitimate security interests and concerns of all countries must be taken seriously and addressed properly.” Unfortunately the US cannot accept any of this. The US seeks precisely to keep the war going in order to further its Cold War agenda of weakening Russia and consolidating US hegemony over Europe. This is the real reason the Biden administration is so quick to dismiss China’s proposals.

It is a great shame for the people of Ukraine that peace is not on the US’s agenda. What’s more, as the authors point out, cooperation between the US and China on this question might also “pave the way for cooperation with China on all kinds of other issues – from medicine to education to climate – that would benefit the entire globe.”

There’s something irrational about President Biden’s knee-jerk dismissal of China’s 12-point peace proposal titled “China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.”

“Not rational” is how Biden described the plan that calls for de-escalation toward a ceasefire, respect for national sovereignty, establishment of humanitarian corridors and resumption of peace talks.

“Dialogue and negotiation are the only viable solution to the Ukraine crisis,” reads the plan. “All efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis must be encouraged and supported.”

Biden turned thumbs down.

“I’ve seen nothing in the plan that would indicate that there is something that would be beneficial to anyone other than Russia if the Chinese plan were followed,” Biden told the press.

In a brutal conflict that has left thousands of dead Ukrainian civilians, hundreds of thousands of dead soldiers, eight million Ukrainians displaced from their homes, contamination of land, air and water, increased greenhouse gasses and disruption of the global food supply, China’s call for de-escalation would surely benefit someone in Ukraine.

Other points in China’s plan, which is really more a set of principles rather than a detailed proposal, call for protection for prisoners of war, cessation of attacks on civilians, safeguards for nuclear power plants and facilitation of grain exports.

“The idea that China is going to be negotiating the outcome of a war that’s a totally unjust war for Ukraine is just not rational,” said Biden.

Instead of engaging China–a country of 1.5 billion people, the world’s largest exporter, the owner of a trillion dollars in US debt and an industrial giant–in negotiating an end to the crisis in Ukraine, the Biden administration prefers to wag its finger and bark at China, warning it not to arm Russia in the conflict.

Psychologists might call this finger-wagging projection–the old pot calling the kettle black routine. It is the US, not China, that is fueling the conflict with at least $45 billion dollars in ammunition, drones, tanks and rockets in a proxy war that risks–with one miscalculation–turning the world to ash in a nuclear holocaust.

It is the US, not China, that has provoked this crisis by encouraging Ukraine to join NATO, a hostile military alliance that targets Russia in mock nuclear strikes, and by backing a 2014 coup of Ukraine’s democratically elected Russia-friendly president Viktor Yanukovych, thus triggering a civil war between Ukrainian nationalists and ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, regions Russia has more recently annexed.

Biden’s sour attitude toward the Chinese peace framework hardly comes as a surprise. After all, even former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett candidly acknowledged in a five-hour interview on YouTube that it was the West that last March blocked a near-peace deal he had mediated between Ukraine and Russia.

Why did the US block a peace deal? Why won’t President Biden provide a serious response to the Chinese peace plan, let alone engage the Chinese at a negotiating table?

President Biden and his coterie of neo-conservatives, among them Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland, have no interest in peace if it means the US concedes hegemonic power to a multi-polar world untethered from the all-mighty dollar.

What may have gotten Biden unnerved—besides the possibility that China might emerge the hero in this bloody saga—is China’s call for the lifting of unilateral sanctions. The US imposes unilateral sanctions on officials and companies from Russia, China and Iran. It imposes sanctions on whole countries, too, like Cuba, where a cruel 60-year embargo, plus assignment to the State Sponsor of Terrorism list, made it difficult for Cuba to obtain syringes to administer its own vaccines during the COVID pandemic. Oh, and let’s not forget Syria, where after an earthquake killed tens of thousands and left hundreds of thousands homeless, the country struggles to receive medicine and blankets due to US sanctions that discourage humanitarian aid workers from operating inside Syria.

Despite China’s insistence it is not considering weapons shipments to Russia, Reuters reports the Biden administration is taking the pulse of G-7 countries to see if they would approve new sanctions against China if that country provides Russia with military support.

The idea that China could play a positive role was also dismissed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who said, “China doesn’t have much credibility because they have not been able to condemn the illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

Ditto from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who told ABC’s Good Morning America, “China has been trying to have it both ways: It’s on the one hand trying to present itself publicly as neutral and seeking peace, while at the same time it is talking up Russia’s false narrative about the war.”

False narrative or different perspective?

In August of 2022, China’s ambassador to Moscow charged that the United States was the “main instigator”of the Ukraine war, provoking Russia with NATO expansion to Russia’s borders.

This is not an uncommon perspective and is one shared by economist Jeffrey Sachs who, in a February 25, 2023 video directed at thousands of anti-war protesters in Berlin, said the war in Ukraine did not start a year ago, but nine years ago when the US backed the coup that overthrew Yanukovych after he preferred Russia’s loan terms to the European Union’s offer.

Shortly after China released its peace framework, the Kremlin responded cautiously, lauding the Chinese effort to help but adding that the details “need to be painstakingly analyzed taking into account the interests of all the different sides.” As for Ukraine, President Zelinsky hopes to meet soon with Chinese President Xi Jinping to explore China’s peace proposal and dissuade China from supplying weapons to Russia.

The peace proposal garnered more positive response from countries neighboring the warring states. Putin’s ally in Belarus, leader Alexander Lukashenko, said his country “fully supports” the Beijing plan. Kazakhstan approved of China’s peace framework in a statement describing it as “worthy of support.” Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán–who wants his country to stay out of the war– also showed support for the proposal.

China’s call for a peaceful solution stands in stark contrast to US warmongering this past year, when Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, a former Raytheon board member, said the US aims to weaken Russia, presumably for regime change–a strategy that failed miserably in Afghanistan where a near 20-year US occupation left the country broke and starving.

China’s support for de-escalation is consistent with its long-standing opposition to US/NATO expansion, now extending into the Pacific with hundreds of US bases encircling China, including a new base in Guam to house 5,000 marines. From China’s perspective, US militarism jeopardizes the peaceful reunification of the People’s Republic of China with its break-away province of Taiwan. For China, Taiwan is unfinished business, left over from the civil war 70 years ago.

In provocations reminiscent of US meddling in Ukraine, a hawkish Congress last year approved $10 billion in weapons and military training for Taiwan, while House leader Nancy Pelosi flew to Taipei – over protests from her constituents–to whip up tension in a move that brought US-China climate cooperation to a halt.

A US willingness to work with China on a peace plan for Ukraine might not only help stop the daily loss of lives in Ukraine and prevent a nuclear confrontation, but also pave the way for cooperation with China on all kinds of other issues–from medicine to education to climate–that would benefit the entire globe.

Standing against NATO and AUKUS a key issue for the peace movement

On Saturday January 21, Britain’s Stop the War Coalition organised its first-ever trade union conference.

Speakers included former Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn MP; President of the RMT rail workers union Alex Gordon; Deputy President of the PCS civil service union Martin Cavanagh; Alex Kenny from the National Education Union; Liz Wheatley of public service union Unison; Ricardo de la Torre of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU); Daniel Zahedi of the junior doctors section of the British Medical Association (BMA); striking ambulance worker George Solomou; José Nivoi from the Autonomous Collective of Dockworkers in Genoa, Italy, who have repeatedly prevented arms shipments from being sent to conflict zones in the Middle East; Deputy President of Stop the War Andrew Murray; Stop the War Convenor Lindsey German; and veteran anti-war campaigner Salma Yaqoob.

China specialist Dr Jenny Clegg, who is a member of the Friends of Socialist China advisory group, introduced and led a well-attended session on the AUKUS pact between Britain, Australia and the United States, and on the ‘coming war on China’. She was joined on the panel by Dr. Kate Hudson, General Secretary of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), and Warren Smith of the Australian Maritime Union.

We reproduce Jenny’s opening remarks below, which present an admirable and concise summary of the regional situation. Their cogency and urgency are only underlined by the subsequent visit of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to Japan and South Korea.


The Ukraine war, Russia, and NATO, have been demanding the attention of the anti-war movement, but there is also a whole other dimension to Global Britain that is unfolding in the Asia Pacific.

Some might say that the US and NATO want to weaken Russia before moving on to China in the future – in fact war preparations are accelerating right now in the East.

Progress on AUKUS

The announcement of AUKUS in September 2021 was a surprise, made with no democratic debate.  It came as the new Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier was engaging in multiple joint military exercises in the South China Sea – flying the flag for Johnson’s Global Britain, demonstrating the new Indo Pacific tilt, but the F35 fighter jets it carried actually belonged to the USAF.

The key feature of the AUKUS pact was seen to be the US and UK agreement to assist Australia in acquiring nuclear powered submarines.  BAE systems declared itself ready to support production. However, over the last year, as the US and UK have tried to wangle their way around the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) without apparent success, the deal has struggled and it is not certain that the US and UK can take on the building work given their own nuclear submarines programme commitments.

However, AUKUS is more than just the submarines: it is about Australian militarisation, about advancing military technologies and military industrial cooperation.  BAE systems, Rolls Royce and MBDA have long had subsidiaries in Australia helping to supply its armed forces.

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Webinar: Give peace a chance – China and the world today (22 January)

On Sunday 22 January (at 11am EST, 8am PST, 4pm GMT), the CPUSA Education Commission is organizing a webinar on the theme Give peace a chance – China and the world today. There will be a presentation by Friends of Socialist China co-editor Carlos Martinez, followed by discussion and Q&A.

Keith Bennett: Join hands in the struggle for socialism and against imperialist war

At the recent webinar marking the first anniversary of the International Manifesto Group’s document ‘Through Pluripolarity to Socialism’, Friends of Socialist China co-editor Keith Bennett made a speech assessing geopolitical developments since the launch of the manifesto. Keith observes that imperialism’s hasty retreat from Afghanistan has flowed into escalating aggression against both Russia and China, noting that both “NATO’s proxy war against Russia, which it seems determined to fight to the last Ukrainian” and the new Cold War against China have only intensified under the Biden administration.

Keith further states that the international left – albeit in a partial and contradictory way – is embarked on a process of realignment that has significant parallels to the realignment that took place a century ago, when the lines were drawn between those willing to fight against imperialism and those choosing the path of class collaboration. The questions our movement is asking itself are: “Whether to oppose imperialist war wherever it is waged; whether to support all those who fight imperialism, no matter the banner under which that struggle is waged; and whether to give resolute, wholehearted and unqualified support to any and every country, no matter where and no matter how, where our class, the working class, takes power, and sets out on the long and difficult road of building a new society, a socialist society.”

The late British Prime Minister Harold Wilson reputedly said that a week is a long time in politics. Certainly that might seem to be the case for former UK Chancellor Kwesi Kwarteng. The one who turned up in Washington for the annual meeting of the IMF, declaring he wasn’t going anywhere, only to have to leave early to return home for the dubious pleasure of being sacked.

But if a week is a long time in politics, it’s already one year since we launched our Manifesto, Through Pluripolarity to Socialism. Of course, in the broad sweep of human history, a year is far less than a blink of an eye. But perhaps we should reflect more on Lenin’s famous observation that there are periods of years when nothing seems to happen and then there come days into which years are compressed. We seem to be headed more in that direction.

Two things occupied particular attention when we were drafting the Manifesto. One was the global Covid-19 pandemic, the variegated response to it, the contradictions that it had bought to the surface and exacerbated, and the social, economic and political crises it had triggered. The other was the chaotic US, British and NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan and the ignominious collapse of the puppet regime they had sought to leave behind.

We noted that the response to Covid-19 on the part of the socialist countries had been exemplary. And that has continued to be the case, whether in China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, despite the fact that the last two named countries have laboured for decades under crippling and asphyxiating sanctions and blockades. China, Vietnam and Cuba have not only carried out exemplary policies at home. They have been providers of much-needed aid, primarily to developing countries, but also to developed countries, in the finest traditions of working-class international solidarity. By being the very first country to introduce lockdown measures, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea registered not a single case of Covid for over two years, and then, thanks to a huge nationwide mobilization, rapidly suppressed the virus when it finally entered the country. As the Manifesto stated:

“No wonder, the ruling Communist Party of China celebrated a proud centenary in July 2021.”

As we meet today, the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China has opened in Beijing. It will not only set the scene for the next five years of China’s socialist development, but also map out more generically the route from the achievement of a moderately prosperous society and the complete elimination of extreme poverty, achieved just before the first centenary, that of the party, to the realisation of a modern, powerful and prosperous socialist country in all respects by the time the nation marks its second great centenary, that of the founding of the People’s Republic in 2049.

Continue reading Keith Bennett: Join hands in the struggle for socialism and against imperialist war

China marks the UN International Day of Peace

Marking the United Nations’ International Day of Peace on September 21, the Chinese People’s Association for Peace and Disarmament (CPAPD) organized a commemorative event in hybrid format, taking as its theme, ‘Acting on the Global Security Initiative to maintain world peace and stability’. Several hundred people from around the world attended, offline and online.

The event was opened with a congratulatory letter sent by Chinese President Xi Jinping, which was read by Liu Jianchao, Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China.

In his letter, President Xi said that the world has entered a new period of turbulence and transformation. “At this important historical juncture, I put forward the Global Security Initiative, call on all countries to uphold the common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security concept, respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, and take seriously the legitimate security concerns of all countries.”

This was followed by a keynote speech from Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, delivered via video link. Wang noted that, all countries need to practice mutual respect, enhance solidarity and coordination, respect others’ national security, sovereignty and development interests, and refrain from interfering in others’ internal affairs. “We need to work together to improve global governance, firmly oppose hegemony and bullying, practice true multilateralism, safeguard world peace and stability, and promote the development and prosperity of all countries.”

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